CALIFORNIA

Brown unveils plan to boost electric cars

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has outlined a $2.5 billion plan to help Californians buy electric vehicles and expand a network of charging stations as part of a goal of getting 5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2030.

The ambitious proposal to transform California's car culture comes as Brown begins his final year in office and works to set the stage for his environmental legacy to continue under his successor.

The number of zero-emission cars is a significant expansion of Brown's goal of selling 1.5 million such vehicles by 2025. It's a nearly 15-fold increase over the 350,000 zero-emission vehicles already on California's roads. The $2.5 billion in spending still needs legislative approval.

Reaching the goal will require that 40 percent of vehicles sold in 2030 be clean, said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, up from about 5 percent now.

Brown's plan, announced Friday, would extend subsidies to help people buy emission-free vehicles. It seeks to have 250,000 electric-vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations, an increase from about 14,000 charging stations and 31 hydrogen stations.

OHIO

Defense: Killer was addicted to opioids

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) should consider his fight against the state's deadly opioid epidemic when deciding whether to spare a condemned killer whose life spiraled out of control after becoming addicted to painkillers, say attorneys trying to stop the killer's execution in less than three weeks.

Death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts was doing fine until he was inappropriately prescribed painkillers for a work injury in the mid-1990s, according to documents provided Kasich by federal public defender Erin Barnhart.

Tibbetts, 60, was sentenced to die for stabbing Fred Hicks to death at Hicks's Cincinnati home in 1997. Tibbetts also received life imprisonment for fatally beating and stabbing his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, during an argument that same day over Tibbetts's crack cocaine habit.

Trash truck nearly killed homeless man: San Diego officials are investigating after a homeless man was nearly crushed to death in a city garbage truck. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city was clearing up a sidewalk encampment on Dec. 22 when a crew threw a tent into the truck. The man inside began screaming and waving his arms before they activated the hydraulic compactor.

More victims possible in Texas abuse case: Authorities say more victims are expected to come forward now that five soccer players at a Dallas-area high school have been charged with sexual assault. Kaufman County sheriff's officials were notified last week of allegations against the five players at Forney High School. Court testimony Friday and an arrest warrant affidavit show two players say they were victimized.