A man and a woman who led authorities on a day-long search were arrested in Oroville Friday evening. The CHP said 33-year-old Ricky Nolan Jr. and 41-year-old Rebecca Bochantin were arrested after they tried to have money wired to them at Rite Aid on Oro Dam Boulevard. The pair was wanted for kidnapping a man early Friday morning in Corning, ordering him to withdraw money, and then stabbing him when he tried to escape. A day long search for the suspects started in Chico when the victim’s van was tracked to West 17th and Chestnut. That prompted a lockdown at Chico Country Day school.
The code yellow lockdown has reportedly been lifted at Chico Country Day School. However, the search continues for the two suspects sought by law enforcement. The lockdown was sparked by the presence of a man and a woman allegedly involved in a murder-kidnapping scheme out of Corning who were close to the school.
WASHINGTON (AP) – In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and the loss of trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West. A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online Thursday by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center. While bin Laden saw al-Qaida’s standing with Muslim populations at risk of crumbling, the documents show he remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots, however improbable, to kill U.S. leaders. He wished especially to target airplanes carrying Gen. David Petraeus and even President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency and plunge the U.S. into crisis.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – California State University employees have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a series of two-day strikes if a new contract cannot be reached. Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association, which represents 24,000 professors, librarians, coaches and counselors in the 23-campus system, said Wednesday nearly 95 percent of members voted in favor of the strike authorization. The union has proposed “rolling” strikes in which groups of campuses would go out on strike for two days each, one group following another. University spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp says talk of a strike is premature as bargaining is ongoing with talks scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The 400,000-student system is dealing with a $970 million loss in state funding since 2008, raising tuition and slashing staff as a result.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Investigators looking into California’s first case of mad cow disease say they have tracked down at least one of her offspring in another state. It was euthanized and tested for the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The test was negative. USDA officials said Wednesday that the diseased cow had at least one other offspring within the last two years, but it was stillborn. They did not say how that carcass was disposed. The USDA announced April 24 that the nation’s fourth case of mad cow disease was discovered in the 10-year-old cow. It had been euthanized and at a Tulare County dairy and sent to a rendering plant. That dairy and another associated with it are under quarantine. A calf ranch where the cow was raised also is under investigation.
BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese activist and U.S. officials are offering differing accounts of what prompted Chen Guangcheng to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beijing today. Chen tells The Associated Press that American diplomats told him that Chinese authorities would send his family back to their home province if he remained in the embassy. He says one U.S. official warned that his wife would have been beaten to death. A senior U.S. official confirms the first part of the story but denies that U.S. officials relayed any threat of violence to Chen’s family. Chen, who fled to the embassy six day ago, left under an agreement in which he would receive medical care, be reunited with his family and allowed to attend university in a safe place. He says he now fears for his safety and wants to leave.
NEW YORK (AP) – Newt Gingrich is thanking supporters a day before he officially suspends his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich released a video message on his website Tuesday saying he would bring the campaign to a close on Wednesday. The former House speaker said he would continue working to defeat President Barack Obama, whose re-election he says would be a “genuine disaster” for the country. Gingrich doesn’t mention Mitt Romney, the all-but-certain GOP presidential nominee. After finishing poorly in five Northeastern primaries last week, Gingrich indicated that he would leave the race. He won only two contests, in South Carolina and Georgia, which he represented in Congress for 20 years. His campaign also has reported more than $4 million in debt.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew last month at the fast pace in nearly a year. New orders, production and a measure of employment all rose. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its index of manufacturing activity increased to 54.8 in April. That’s the highest level since June and up from 53.4 the previous month. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The positive report helped the stock market turn positive. A measure of employment rose to a nine-month high, an indication that factories are still hiring at a healthy clip. That’s a good sign ahead of Friday’s April jobs report. The data come after several reports suggested the manufacturing sector and the economy overall could be slowing.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the first three months of this year. Stronger consumer spending was offset by cutbacks in government spending and by businesses restocking their shelves at a slower pace. The Commerce Department says the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the January-March quarter, compared with a 3 percent gain in the final quarter of 2011. Consumers spent at the fastest pace in more than a year. In 2011, the economy grew just 1.7 percent. But growth is expected to rebound to around 3 percent for all of 2012 as stronger job growth spurs increased consumer spending.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California State University employees are set to finish voting on whether to authorize their union to declare a strike. The 24,000 members of the California Faculty Association – which includes professors, counselors and other staff among 23 campuses – on Friday will wrap up the voting, which began on April 16 after negotiations failed to yield a new contract. Union leaders say they expect the members to support a strike declaration. The vote comes at a tough time for CSU, which has lost $970 million in state funding since 2008. In response the 400,000-student system has raised tuition, laid off staff and cut admissions. CSU spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp has said the administration is hopeful that a settlement can still be reached.