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Senate layoffs resulted from $4 million budget gap

Senate layoffs resulted from $4 million budget gap


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Senate faces a budget shortfall of up to $4 million this fiscal year, helping explain why it laid off 39 of its roughly 1,000 staff members last month.

Senate officers had previously said that fiscal problems were to blame for the cutbacks.

Dan Reeves, chief of staff in the Senate president pro tem's office, tells The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/15QTIdl ) that the deficit resulted from slow budget growth during the recession, higher health care costs and having too many employees.

He says the constitutional formula that the sets the Legislature's budget provided a smaller than expected increase this year.

Rain causes travel problems in Sacramento area

Rain causes travel problems in Sacramento area


The much-needed rain storm throughout the Sacramento area on Tuesday did not go off without a hitch.

The wet and slippery roads caused major travel problems for commuters during the evening rush hour. The heavy congestion was a headache for drivers who were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.

Dozens of vehicle accidents were reported, including a solo-vehicle roll over crash on Exposition Boulevard. The driver walked away without injuries.

"There's a lot of traffic and accidents so it kind of helped me," said Lea Johnson, who found herself stuck in traffic, trying to make her flight out of Sacramento International Airport.

Luckily for Johnson, her flight, as well as dozens of others, were delayed because of the inclement weather.

"First, they told me 35 minutes [delay] and now, it's almost an hour," she said.

Obama's immigration plan brings relief to local families

Obama's immigration plan brings relief to local families


President Obama will announce executive action on immigration in a primetime address on Thursday. His remarks are eagerly anticipated by millions across the country, including families here in Sacramento.

Gloria Casillas came to the United States 10 years ago where she met her husband and had a 6-year-old son who is an American citizen. While waiting for immigration reform, her biggest fear was getting deported and separated from her son.

The president's impending executive action brought relief because it meant she would be able to drive and work legally in the country. But she felt for
those who may not qualify for the protection.

Gunman shoots 2 men in Sacramento

Gunman shoots 2 men in Sacramento


Two men were shot in a confrontation Monday afternoon.

Emergency responders said their injuries were non-life-threatening.

The incident was on the 3800 block of Pinell Street in Sacramento at approximately 1:40 p.m.

Sacramento police Officer Michele Gigante said an Hispanic man came up to the two victims who were working on a concrete job and demanded money. The workers refused and that is when the man pulled a long-barreled gun and shot them.

The shooter then fled in a waiting car.


UPDATE: Missing Hiram Johnson High School student found


An at-risk 16-year-old Hiram Johnson High School student who went missing Tuesday morning has been located and is safe, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

Zong Chang had last been seen at the high school on 14th Avenue at about 8 a.m., police Officer Michele Gigante said. No details were provided about how and where Chang was found Tuesday afternoon.


Arson destroys East Sacramento business


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Sacramento city firefighters believe a blaze that destroyed a business early Monday morning was the result of arson.

The fire started at around 1 a.m. at Crepes and Burgers at 56th and H streets in Sacramento. There were no injuries.

The blaze remains under investigation.


Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices

Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices


SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's transportation agency is spending $2.5 million to update its fleet of vehicles with high-tech gear.

The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday that Caltrans is installing GPS tracking devices on its 7,500 sedans, snow plows, trucks and other vehicles. The devices will report where vehicles are traveling, how long they idle and their speed among other things.

The devices will also track which employee is driving.

In July, the California Highway Patrol found a stolen Caltrans vehicle and arrested a thief within an hour of it going missing because of a GPS tracking device.

The devices cost $2.5 million and Caltrans will spend another $1.5 million on a reporting system annually.