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Amber Alert System raises questions, receives praise

SACRAMENTO, CA - The latest Amber Alert catches the eye of many drivers thanks to highway signs and high tech digital billboards.

Exactly how helpful have amber alerts been though since 2002 when it was first activated?

"We've been tremendously successful. We've had 175 activations and recovered 213 children," Assistant Chief of the California Highway Patrol Ike Tani said.

Authorities also caught more than 100 suspects.

During the past three years, 24 Amber Alerts were sent out statewide each year, even more kids are found. In many cases, authorities catch the suspects.

The California Highway Patrol said it's been a great service, but not perfect. In fact, some people question why the CHP doesn't issue Amber Alerts sooner.

"Normally, that has to do with investigating agency, the investigating agency has to put the criteria together to make that determination," Tani said.

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Divers end search for Amber Alert suspect's car in canal until Thursday

PATTERSON, CA - Dive teams have concluded their search for the night at the Delta Mendota Canal for a car matching the description of one driven by the suspect in a Patterson abduction was seen going into the water Tuesday.

Sheriff Adam Christianson said a man who works in the area called his department Wednesday afternoon after learning about the Amber Alert for 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas. He reported seeing a car like the Toyota driven by abduction suspect Jose Esteban Rodriguez driven into the canal yesterday.

Christianson said divers dragged the canal and reported snagging a large object.

On the first dive, a diver found the object to be a large piece of concrete. On a second dive, a car that had been reported stolen was brought up but it was not the one connected to the abduction.

Divers found a third object in the water, but were not able to identify what it was before it got dark.

Divers will return to the canal at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Oak Ridge boys & St. Mary's girls top this week's Sac-Joaquin Massey Ratings

SACRAMENTO, CA - This week's high school basketball Massey Ratings catapult the Oak Ridge Trojans boys team into the Sac-Joaquin Section top spot, ahead of the second ranked Sacramento Dragons.

The undefeated Trojans become the area's top boys team this week in the Section and rank 13th in the state.

Joining the Trojans and the Dragons in the Sac-Joaquin top ten boys Massey Ratings this week are:

1.  Oak Ridge Trojans (18-0)

2.  Sacramento Dragons (12-4)

3.  Jesuit Marauders (13-6)

4.  Sheldon Huskies (12-7)

5.  Granite Bay Grizzlies (15-3)

6.  Luther Burbank Titans (12-4)

7.  Woodcreek Timberwoles (16-3)

8.  Franklin Wildcats (Elk Grove) (14-5)

9.  Monterey Trail Mustangs (13-5)

10.  Fairfield Falcons (13-5)

El Dorado Supervisor Nutting rescues kitten

El Dorado Supervisor Nutting is the ultimate cat hero, saving a cat who had been stuck in a tree for 4 days.  Read more...

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Judge: California handgun ammo laws unconstitutional

FRESNO, CA (AP) -- A judge has ruled that key sections of a California law restricting the sale of handgun ammunition cannot be enforced because they are unconstitutional.

Gun rights advocates celebrated Tuesday's ruling in Fresno County Superior Court, saying the law would have created uncertainty by forcing local gun shops to decide for themselves what type of bullets were covered by the restrictions.

The bill also would have required handgun ammunition to be bought in a face-to-face transaction, which they say would not have prevented a tragedy like the Arizona shooting rampage that killed six and injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Shooting suspect Jared Loughner legally purchased ammunition the morning he allegedly opened fire at Giffords' district meet-and-greet outside a Tucson Safeway.

Bill would mandate Internet retailers to collect CA sales tax

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Berkeley Assemblywoman claims her bill to require out-of-state online-only retailers to collect California sales taxes on purchases sold in the state would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the cash-strapped state.

Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, introduced Assembly Bill 153 Monday. The measure would affect Internet-only retailers such as Amazon.com, eBay and Overstock.com. Gov. Schwarzengger vetoed a similar bill from the 2009 state budget. 

The California Retailers Assocation and brick and mortar retailers generally support the so-called "E-Fairness" bill. Illinois lawmakers recently passed a similar measure.

Great Hang Up Obstacle Course

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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.