News Briefs: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

California gas tax set to go down

California’s gas tax is set to go down 7.5 cents a gallon this summer, according to The Ventura County Star and the state Board of Equalization.

An attempt to lower the excise tax rate from 18 cents to 10.5 cents will be put to vote by the five-member tax board at its Feb. 24 meeting in Culver City. The article attributed the annual adjustment as an accounting maneuver to close the 2010 state deficit.

The change would take effect July 1, although drivers may not see a decrease at the pump because suppliers are not required to pass on the savings.

Free traffic safety programs for teenage drivers and parents

The California Highway Patrol and Ventura County Medical Center are teaming up during the month of February to offer a free traffic safety program for teenage drivers and their parents.

According the Ventura County Star, the Start Smart Program is focused on promoting awareness and safety for new and upcoming drivers.

The program’s courses outline defensive driving, DUI awareness, tips on avoiding collisions and other topics in efforts to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions.

The next class will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the cafeteria of Ventura County Medical Center, 3291 Loma Vista Road in Ventura.

Passenger stung by scorpion on plane

Alaska Airlines Flight 567 was destined for Oregon when it was grounded at Los Angeles International Airport on Feb. 14 after a scorpion stung a female passenger.

According to KTLA 5, the flight was leaving the terminal when the arachnid stung the woman.

The plane departed 40 minutes later after paramedics treated the passenger. She declined further medical attention but remained in Los Angeles.

Although it is unknown how it entered the plane, the scorpion was located and killed by flight attendants.

Two killed after shootings in Denmark

Citizens in the Danish capital of Copenhagen are on high alert after two possibly connected shootings claimed two lives and wounded five more people on Valentine’s Day weekend.

According to The Huffington Post, after a shooting on Feb. 14 at a free speech event left one man dead and three officers wounded, gunfire again opened near a synagogue early on Feb. 15.

Two more officers were injured as police confronted and killed a man who was considered to be a person of interest in the prior attack. The Danish police have a  suspect, and according to the suspect was “well known by the police for several criminal incidents.”

The free speech forum featured controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks who is known for his caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The U.S. National Security Council condemned the attacks and offered condolences to the victims.

Three arrested for plots to carry out mass shooting in Canada

According to, three out of four suspects were arrested as Canadian police circumvented plots to carry out a mass shooting in the country’s east Halifax on Feb. 15.

The plot involved a man, 19, from the Halifax suburb of Timberlea, an Illinois woman, 23, and two Canadian males, 20 and 19. The 19-year-old man committed suicide upon police efforts to arrest him.

According to the article, Brian Brennan, commanding officer of the Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police, described the group as having “some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens but there’s nothing in the investigation to classify it as a terrorist attack.”

Kristen Hansen
Staff Writer
Published February 18th, 2015