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Settlement is reached in lawsuit over 2020 Census deadlines

Settlement reached with civic groups

A federal judge on Thursday approved a settlement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau, and the National Urban League and a coalition of civil rights groups, civic organizations, and tribal and local governments.

The plaintiffs — represented by Wendy R. Weiser, Thomas Wolf and Kelly M. Percival of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law — had argued that the bureau acted unlawfully by moving up data collection and processing deadlines last year, potentially harming the accuracy of the decennial census.

“We share an interest in transparency and a complete and accurate census,” said a statement released by the bureau after the settlement was reached. “We will take the time needed to produce 2020 Census data that meets our quality standards as a statistical agency.”

The Trump administration had been pushing to receive the state population counts and a tally of undocumented immigrants before President Donald Trump left office so that he could implement a plan to exclude them when calculating how many House seats each state gets. The agreement says that 2020 Census data “would not include or otherwise incorporate any information on citizenship or immigration status, nor would such counts or data products be affected by any information on citizenship or immigration status.”

The Census Bureau also agreed to continue the involvement of third parties to perform quality checks on the data collected and to provide the plaintiffs with bimonthly status updates of the quality metrics. Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved the agreement, dropping the lawsuit.

— Brittany Renee Mayes

1 dead, 4 wounded in San Diego shooting

A man in downtown San Diego shot and killed one person and then walked another block and opened fire again, wounding four people before police subdued him, police said Friday.

The 32-year-old suspect was arrested after the Thursday night shooting. He was taken to a hospital for injuries after being tackled by bystanders before police could detain him, police homicide Lt. Andra Brown said.

Brown said the gunman had been bumping into people and verbally picking fights in the busy Gaslamp Quarter, a downtown nightlife district.

Around 10:30 p.m., the gunman confronted a man standing in a valet area outside a hotel and opened fire, police said. He walked away, then quickly turned back and shot again. It was not immediately known if the victim was an employee of the hotel.

The gunman then walked a block and confronted a group of men. He opened fire again, wounding four of them, before walking away, police said. Bystanders tackled him before police arrived and got in a struggle with him, Brown said.

Police described the slain man as a 28-year-old but did not release any names.

Three of the victims were being treated at a hospital. A 27-year-old man was shot in his upper body, a 68-year-old man was shot in the torso and a 26-year-old man was shot in the arm. The fourth victim, a 28-year-old man, was treated at the scene for a gunshot injury to his arm.

— Associated Press

Scenic highway hit by winter storm reopens

A section of California’s scenic Highway 1 that collapsed during a winter storm reopened to traffic on Friday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and work crews stood on the freshly paved and marked roadway to celebrate the reopening of the main artery to and from Big Sur, which attracts millions of tourists who visit the famous coastal region each year.

The highway has been closed since Jan. 28, when heavy rain unleashed torrents of mud and debris left over from a wildfire, washing down a 150-foot chunk of roadway into the sea.

Storms in 2017 caused slides that closed off Big Sur for more than a year.

This time, crews began to fill the canyon below with compacted dirt in early March. They worked nearly 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, and were able to restore the roadway nearly two months ahead of schedule, aided by dry weather and increasingly longer days, the California Department of Transportation said.

After the reopening, crews will replace the main drainage system above the fixed roadway to help withstand future debris flows, rising sea levels and coastal erosion, Caltrans said. They will also work on landscaping and installing guardrails throughout the early summer.

The work was estimated to cost $11.5 million, the agency said.

— Associated Press

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