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Feds optimistic California farms will get more water

FRESNO, CA (AP) -- Federal water regulators say the ample rain and snowfall in California this winter will likely let them boost water supplies for farms and cities higher than last year's amounts.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says agriculture contractors south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for now will receive 45 percent of the water requested -- the same as in 2010. Industry and cities south of the delta will get 75 percent of their requested amount.

But if the wet weather continues those figures likely will jump up next month, when the agency announces its official water delivery plans.

The bureau and the state run the pumps that send water to more than 25 million Californians and the farms that produce much of the nation's fruits and vegetables.

Naughty puppy, bad kitty!

What's the most destruction your pet has ever caused? E-mail your response to now@news10.net and we'll add it to this story. If you have a photo of the damage, even better (except for you!).

Thanks in advance!

New doctor appointment rules take effect in California

SACRAMENTO, CA - Californians who have HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and some PPOs (preferred provider organizations) are now entitled to be seen by doctors within certain timeframes.

The law kicked in Monday. Under the new wait time rules, a patient must be given an appointment to see a primary care doctor within 10 business days and a specialist within 15 days.

Another provision is that a qualified health professional must be available around the clock to help determine the urgency of a caller's health.

"The Department of Managed Health Care will audit those health plans on a routine basis, and than we'll as well be doing secret shopper audits where we call up and try to get appointments and ensure that in fact patients are getting the care that they need," said department director Cindy Ehnes.

Sacramento joins battle for redevelopment funds

SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson wants city leaders to act quickly to keep the state from snatching redevelopment funds.

"One of the things that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing is eliminating redevelopment agencies," Johnson said at his weekly news conference. "I think that's a terrible idea."

When he released his budget proposal, Brown said he wanted to use redevelopment funds to help balance the state's budget. 

Johnson said Sacramento needs the money to clean up blighted areas.  He wants to follow the lead of Fremont, Los Angeles and Citrus Heights, cities that approved ordinances to protect their redevelopment funds on Monday.

Johnson contended the damage without that money will be horrendous. "If you look at this year alone, we have 19,000 jobs that are at risk in this community," he said. "We have $100 million in redevelopment funds that we want to allocate."

Sacramento soldier shot by Iraqi soldier he was training

MOSUL, IRAQ - A Sacramento soldier has been shot to death by an Iraqi soldier he was training.

Spc. Martin J. "Mick" LaMar, 43, was shot Jan. 15 in Mosul, Iraq.  The Iraqi soldier also shot Sgt. Michael P. Bartley, 23, of Barnhill, Ill.

Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

A news release said a third U.S. soldier was wounded.  It was not immediately clear what happened to the Iraqi soldier who shot them.

One of LaMar's friends called News10 to clarify the soldier's name.

"He hated being called Martin," said Wylie Guadamuz.  "We called him Mick or Micky," he said.

Guadamuz said LaMar served as a Marine in the first Gulf War and later joined the Army.  "He lived to be a soldier.  He loved it."

Roses in the Sacramento Valley - Part 1

Roses in the Sacramento Valley - Part 1
My dad was a backyard farmer, as was his father before him and my Irish great-grandfather before him (although he had an actual farm!). I remember my grampa’s deep, narrow lot in San Francisco where he grew corn. My dad grew asparagus and planted fruit trees and vegetables in Southern California, my mom canned. My brother and I sold avocados door to door. Small wonder I fancy gardening. It’s my heritage. Read more.

Newsom launches California discussion on state's higher education system

Newsom launches California discussion on state's higher education system

California's Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday the launch of a statewide higher education listening tour and an online campaign that will engage Californian's in a public dialogue, seeking their feedback and suggestions on issues relating to the state's higher education system.

In the coming months, Newsom is expected to travel to the University of California (UC), Califoria State University (CSU) and community college campuses, to meet with a broad range of stakeholders, including students, administration officials and community and business leaders.

"I look forward to having an honest conversation and hearing directly from students, educators and administration officials on everyday issues and challenges within our higher education system," said Newsom.

Stories on Stage celebrates first anniversary

Stories on Stage celebrates first anniversary

SACRAMENTO -- Stories on Stage won the 2010 Best of Sacramento Award for Best Reason to Listen Up and now they are celebrating their first year anniversary.

Created by Sacramento-based author Valerie Fiorvanti, Stories on Stage is a writer's version of open mic night. The series takes place on the last Friday of every month and during the night, writers gather to have their short fiction read by actors.

"I started up the series last year because there was a need for it and Sacramento didn't have anything like this for writers," said Fiorvanti.

On January 28, actor Victoria Goldblatt will read Valerie Fioravanti’s “Lifetime Happiness Potential” and Tim Kahl will read Andrew Foster Altschul’s "The Future’s Not Ours to See."

Andrew Foster Altschul is the author of the novels Lady Lazarus and Deus Ex Machina.

Hands on History: Trappers, Trades and Treaties - January 22

With a concerted effort to provide more interactive, hands-on opportunities than ever before, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park will present a special "Hands on History: Trappers, Trades, and Treaties" event on Saturday, January 22.

Visitors to the Fort will step back in time to the 1840s to learn why trappers were considered "jacks of many trades" and experience how they lived, worked, explored new territory and traded with local Native Americans. Docents will treat Fort visitors to musket demonstrations and share examples of many fascinating aspects in the life of a trapper.

Fort visitors will have the hands-on opportunity to examine fur pelts, create documents with a quill pen and oak gall ink, and even string trade beads to take home.

Study finds toxic chemicals in pregnant womens' bodies

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Pregnant women take elaborate steps to protect their babies' health, following doctors' orders to avoid alcohol, caffeine, tobacco - even soft cheeses and deli meats.

In spite of these efforts, a new study shows the typical pregnant woman has dozens of potentially toxic or even cancer-causing chemicals in her body - including ingredients found in flame retardants and rocket fuel.

Almost all 268 women studied had detectable levels of eight types of chemicals in their blood or urine, finds the study, published in today's Environmental Health Perspectives. It analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These chemicals include certain pesticides, flame retardants, PFCs used in non-stick cookware, phthalates (in many fragrances and plastics), pollution from car exhaust, perchlorate (in rocket fuel) and PCBs, toxic industrial chemicals banned in 1979 that persist in the environment.