California News Briefs: Jan. 14

Northern California

HALF MOON BAY – Using precipitation measured in Montara in their findings, a team of California-based researchers has discovered that the fog that often blankets the Coastside deposits significantly more methyl mercury onto the landscape than rain — and that the element can be found in higher concentrations along the coastline. Half Moon Bay Review

STOCKTON – The Stockton Police Department says its recent Neighborhood Blitz program reduced violent crime nearly 70 percent in one neighborhood. The program is a combination of code enforcement cleanup and heavy police presence in one area for three months. CBS13

ST. HELENA – The city of St. Helena plans to hire a forensic accountant to investigate how the city spent more than $10 million in flood control money. Napa Valley Register


Central California

CERES – Ceres missed its water reduction goal of 28 percent by 4.2 percent during November. That’s not a particularly good sign given that little outdoor watering was required that month in fall. Ceres Courier

FRESNO – Work is beginning this week on the demolition of the Tuolumne Street bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in downtown Fresno. But don’t expect to see any explosions or wrecking balls involved. Fresno Bee

MODESTO – Israel gets about a third of its irrigation water from sewage-treatment plants and has not had major problems, experts said at a Modesto gathering that explored how to stretch California’s supplies. Modesto Bee


Southern California

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles officials attributed last year’s crime jump to increased gang activity and homelessness, among other things. Los Angeles Times

PORTER RANCH – For more than two months now, a ruptured storage well has poured thousands of tons of gas into the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon leak is huge – California’s largest known source of methane emissions at this point – but not compared to another font of wasted gas miles away in Venezuela. National Geographic

TAFT – A break in the California Aqueduct has halted the flow of water in the canal that supplies millions of Southern California residents, but there’s no concern that taps will run dry. Orange County Register

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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