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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.

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North America's oldest Asian elephant dies

North America's oldest Asian elephant dies

VALLEJO - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Tuesday the passing of its beloved female Asian elephant Taj. At 71 years old, she was the oldest elephant in a North American facility. Over the past several weeks, Taj's quality of life had declined significantly and she died on Jan. 17.

"Taj was a remarkable elephant that touched millions of people over the course of her long life," said Dale Kaetzel, the park's president. "We are truly in mourning for this loss. Words cannot describe how our entire staff is feeling, in particular the elephant trainers who worked with her every day for years.

Fairfield police arrest shooting suspect

FAIRFIELD - Fairfield police arrested a suspect after a 50 year old man was shot in the face and hand Sunday morning.

Officer Cleo Mayoral said police responded to a call for a shooting at an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Alaska Ave. at 11 Sunday morning.  When they arrived they found a 50 year old man from Berkeley with gun shot wounds to his face and hand.

Within a few minutes, Mayoral said another officer noticed the suspected shooter, Gary Wayne Cotton, 55, sitting in a car at the corner of Tabor Ave. and Bristol Ln. Cotton was arrested and a loaded semi-automatic handgun that was recovered in the car.

Cotton was booked into the Solano County Jail for Attempted Homicide, Convicted Felon in Possession of a Loaded Firearm, and several Alameda County Arrest Warrants.

One person killed in Vacaville house fire

VACAVILLE, CA - One person died in a house fire in Vacaville Friday morning.

According to Vacaville Fire Battalion Chief Brian Moore, the fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Clayton Circle.   

Moore said the first firefighters on the scene reported light smoke coming from the house when they arrived.  Once inside, he said, they found a fire burning in the back part of the home, and requested a second alarm.   

While firefighters were putting out the fire, Moore said they found the body of a man inside the house.   The man has not been identified, but it is believed to be the homeowner.

Moore said investigators are on the scene trying to find out where the fire started, and how.  No other injuries were reported.

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Vacaville police: Man, 75, arrested for sexual assault of teenage girl

VACAVILLE, CA - A 75-year-old Vacaville man is behind bars for the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

Vacaville police arrested Gregorio Gonzales Rubio,75, at a home on the 6000 block of Browns Valley Road on Saturday.

Investigators say Rubio is suspected of sexually assaulting the 14-year-old numerous times starting in 2008, said Officer Bryan Larsen. 


The teen was found in the home when the suspect was arrested. She was placed in protective custody with Solano County Child Protective Services. The relationship between the victim and suspect remains unclear.

Rubio was booked into the Solano County Jail on charges of rape, lewd acts with a child, false imprisonment and sexual assault.