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CALIFORNIA PRISONS-SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Corrections to pay $50,000 in sex harassment suit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed on behalf of a cook at a youth facility.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday that it reached the agreement with the state.

The complaint, filed in July, alleges that Joe Cummings was sexually harassed by a female co-worker at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility and says the department failed to end the harassment quickly.

If a federal judge approves the settlement, Cummings will be paid for damages and will get back the leave days he used to avoid the harasser.

The complaint says his co-worker made frequent unwanted sexual advances for more than a year. Cummings and other employees said they complained repeatedly, without result.

CONGRESS-CALIFORNIA

Challengers show ability to compete for dollars

WASHINGTON (AP) - Challengers in California's most competitive congressional races are showing strong fundraising for the first three months of the year.

Campaign financial reports were fully available Wednesday after candidates met the Federal Election Commission's midnight Tuesday filing deadline.

One of the most competitive races is for the 52nd Congressional District in San Diego. Supporters of Democratic Rep. Scott Peters are responding with robust fundraising. He has about $1.5 million cash on hand, while his main challenger, Republican Carl DeMaio, has about $1.2 million.

Democrats view the 21st Congressional District just to the south of Fresno as one of their best pick-up opportunities. Republican Rep. David Valadao raised $322,000 for the quarter and has about $850,000 in the bank. The top Democratic challenger in the race, Amanda Renteria, has $424,000 in cash.

MAYORS CONFERENCE

Sacramento mayor to lead national mayoral group

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is the new leader of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a platform that will allow the former NBA All-Star to raise his national political profile.

Johnson was sworn-in Wednesday after the previous president, Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., resigned to run for governor of that state.

Johnson will lead the group's advocacy on local government issues until June 2015. The Democrat says he will push for economic development policies that include partnerships with businesses and private groups.

He is credited for keeping the Kings NBA franchise in Sacramento in exchange for a new downtown arena subsidized partly by the city. First elected in 2008, he told The Sacramento Bee he is strongly considering running for a third term in 2016.

LOST SEA LION

Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Workers at a central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River.

The Merced Sun-Star reported Tuesday that the ranch hands quickly got in touch with wildlife officials after discovering the confused animal last month at Mape's Ranch near Modesto.

A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a cage, where it promptly fell asleep.

The newspaper reports the 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center. Hoppie is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild.

Officials aren't sure why the sea lion left the river or hopped such a long way on the ground.

GIRL KIDNAPPED

Teen girl reportedly robbed, kidnapped

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A teenage girl was robbed, kidnapped and later dropped off in a neighboring city after a possible sexual assault in the San Francisco Bay Area, authorities said.

Authorities received a call just after 5 a.m. Wednesday of a female yelling for help, said Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Coats. When investigators located the victim in Berkeley, Calif., the girl told them the attack began in Oakland, Coats said.

The girl, whose age and identity were not released, was transported to a local hospital, and her condition was unknown.

The Oakland Police Department has now taken over the investigation, and spokeswoman Johnna Watson said in a statement the case may be associated with human sex trafficking.

No further details are being released in the case, she said.

DEADLY APARTMENT FIRE

Toddler is among 2 dead in San Francisco fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Authorities say a toddler is among two people dead from an apartment fire in San Francisco.

Mindy Talmadge, a fire department spokeswoman, says a toddler died Wednesday from the blaze inside a two-story public housing building shortly before 10 a.m. in the city's Sunnydale neighborhood.

Talmadge says firefighters on the scene trying to rescue five adults and one child, saw one resident jump out of a window to escape the flames and heavy smoke coming from the first floor.

She says firefighters found one person dead inside the apartment. The child, who was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, died Wednesday afternoon.

Talmadge says she didn't know if the victims are related.

The blaze was put under control around 10:20 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

YAHOO SEVERANCE

Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

The disclosure in a regulatory filing may lead to more second-guessing of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her second-in-command in October 2012.

Mayer dumped de Castro in January after concluding he wasn't executing on her plan for reviving Yahoo's lackluster ad growth. De Castro had been in charge of ad sales.

Yahoo Inc. previously disclosed de Castro would be getting a severance package, but didn't reveal the amount until Wednesday.

The company's board said most of the severance stemmed from the costs of luring de Castro from his previous job at Google Inc.

YAHOO-BOARD

Yahoo nominates co-founder, 2 others to join board

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) - Yahoo co-founder David Filo is vying to rejoin the Internet company's board after an 18-year absence.

The 47-year-old Filo is among three board candidates hoping to be elected at Yahoo's annual meeting scheduled for June 25. Yahoo Inc. disclosed the candidates to fill recently vacated positions in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

The other nominees to the board are Charles Schwab, the founder of a stock brokerage that still bears his name, and H. Lee Scott Jr., the former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer is on Wal-Mart's board.

Filo started Yahoo with Jerry Yang in a trailer while they were Stanford University graduate students in 1994. Although he gave up his seat on the company's board in 1996, Filo has remained among Yahoo's largest shareholders.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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