A Washington woman who had disappeared while traveling to visit her daughter in Lodi is safely back at home.
Claudia Long, who had taken a ride with two people from Spokane, Wash., had become the subject of a missing persons investigation Thursday. She was ultimately dropped off at her sister's house in Oregon, Spokane police investigators said Monday.
Long had been on her way to see her daughter for the holidays and decided to take a ride instead of a more expensive Greyhound bus ride, her daughter said.
She was not harmed but the two people made her give them money and she ultimately had to return home, said her daughter, Sabrina Carter.
Long had formerly lived in Lodi but hadn't been back to the area for eight years. She was planning to visit for the holidays, Carter said.
Police in three states had been on the lookout for Long, a former Lodi resident who had left Spokane on Nov. 15. Carter said she was relieved her mother was found safe.
Two plead no contest in lottery ticket case
A former Lodi gas station owner and her son won't be able to sell lottery tickets for three years after pleading no contest to charges of attempted grand theft.
Baljit Kang, 47, and Gurpreet Sing Kang, 22, pleaded no contest Nov. 12, according to San Joaquin County Superior Court records.
Each was fined $5,000, placed on three years of informal probation and must complete 360 hours of community service, according to court records. Both are barred from owning or working at a store that sells lottery tickets.
The mother and son were arrested in June during an undercover sting at Quik Stop, 205 W. Locust St. State lottery agents posed as customers redeeming lottery tickets, then arrested the Kangs after the two didn't redeem the full amount of the winnings.
The two no longer work at the convenience store.
Woman pleads no contest to embezzling
A former employee accused of embezzling from Lodi Tile Works pleaded no contest last week and must spend four months in jail.
Donna McKinney, 47, of Lodi, entered the plea on Tuesday, according to San Joaquin County Superior Court records.
McKinney had worked as a bookkeeper at the business for three weeks until the owners found discrepancies in company credit cards. Among charges that they found suspicious were a hefty utility bill payment for McKinney's home, as well as dinner and jewelry purchases.
As part of her plea deal, McKinney was fined $350, ordered to pay restitution and sentenced to 120 days in jail, according to court records. The jail time can be served through an alternative work program. McKinney was also placed on five years of formal probation.
Sieglock expands lead; 1,081 votes over Huber
Republican Jack Sieglock of Lodi has expanded his lead over Democrat Alyson Huber to 1,081 votes for the 10th Assembly District seat being vacated by Alan Nakanishi, R-Lodi.
As of Monday morning, Sieglock had 84,480 votes (46.9 percent), Huber had 83,399 (46.3 percent) and Libertarian Janice Bonser had 12,291 votes (6.8 percent), according to the California Secretary of State's Office. A week ago, Sieglock's lead was 946.
Thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots remain to be counted in the four counties in the 10th Assembly District. It isn't known how many of the remaining ballots are within the assembly district.
Lundgren loses bid for House minority leader
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, lost out in his bid last week to become House minority leader.
Lungren lost out to Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who served in the top Republican post the past two years.
In a virtually last-minute decision, Lungren decided to run against Boehner to be the leading Republican in the House. Although he lost, Lungren achieved two victories.
One is that for the first time, there was a debate between Lungren and Boehner last Wednesday, and from now on there will be a debate among all people seeking the position beginning in 2010.
Lungren said he sought the leadership post because the Republican Party needs to redefine its goals since the party has lost 50 seats in the last two elections.