Campus threat. A 19-year-old student has been detained as a “person of interest” in connection with threats to Santa Monica College and East L.A. College and lockdowns have been lifted at the schools.
Police got a call around 8 o’clock this morning from a man identifying himself as a student, saying he was going to bring an assault weapon to the schools and shoot up the campuses.
Candace Corrubias of the Santa Monica Police Department says authorities obtained the name of a suspect from the CHP and then checked a roster of classes. They detained the student in a classroom. He was unarmed and was taken into custody without incident. But the threats caused widespread chaos at the schools, along with some nearby grade schools. Police from several agencies, including Santa Monica P.D., The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the CHP, spent the morning trying to sort out the threats. L.A. Times
Grand Fire. Some 800 firefighters are battling a 2,500-acre wildfire that erupted around mid-day yesterday near Frazier Park, close to an area where L.A., Ventura and Kern counties meet. Officials say the Grand Fire is 15 percent contained this morning. They are concerned about power lines that supply the city of L.A. with electricity. If the winds shift, there’s also a possibility that Interstate 5 could be shut down. KNBC
School funding. The leader of the state Senate says he’s hopeful of reaching an accord with Governor Jerry Brown over a plan to give the neediest school district’s a bigger share of state money. But Democrat Darrell Steinberg object to the governor’s methodology. Brown proposed boosting education spending by $1.6 billion in the revised budget plan he released this week. He wants to steer that money to school districts with high numbers of students who are poor or English learners. Steinberg says that instead of distributing the money by district – the governor should look at individual schools. Sacramento Bee
Higher ed. Governor Brown continues his push to get students at California’s public universities to graduate faster, which he says would make the schools more efficient and lower the cost of attending, He’s proposed giving financial incentives to individual U.C. and Cal State campuses if they boost four-year graduation rates. Yesterday, he asked U.C. officials to explain why graduation rates vary between campuses. They cited a number of factors, including a student’s financial aid status, major and family education history. L.A. Times
Bike day. You might see more bicyclists than usual on Southland streets today as people ditch their cars in celebration of Bike to Work Day. The event is designed to encourage people to use alternate transportation for a day, relying on pedal power instead of gasoline. Several cities are setting up special pit stops for bicyclists – offering free bike checks, drinks and snacks. Bicyclists will also be able to take advantage of free rides on some Metro bus routes. Metro
Prop. 13 fight. Democrats in the state Senate are firing the first shots in a battle to overturn Proposition 13. The voter-approved measure limits property taxes. But it also requires the approval of two-thirds of voters to boost a tax or implement a new one. Democrats are pushing six separate Constitutional Amendments that would lower that voter threshold to 55 percent. Capital Public Radio