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Yosemite's hotel housekeeper charged with theft


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A federal grand jury has charged a housekeeper at a Yosemite National Park hotel with 32 counts of first degree burglary and theft for stealing cash from guests' rooms.

The U.S. Attorney General's Office says Thursday that court documents show Jennifer Crystal Downing stole cash from customers at the Ahwahnee Hotel between March and October. The 39-year-old hotel maid was working on the Ahwahnee's housekeeping staff at the time.

Prosecutors say Downing faces up to seven years in prison and $350,000 in fines.


Obama's immigration plan brings relief to local families

Obama's immigration plan brings relief to local families


President Obama will announce executive action on immigration in a primetime address on Thursday. His remarks are eagerly anticipated by millions across the country, including families here in Sacramento.

Gloria Casillas came to the United States 10 years ago where she met her husband and had a 6-year-old son who is an American citizen. While waiting for immigration reform, her biggest fear was getting deported and separated from her son.

The president's impending executive action brought relief because it meant she would be able to drive and work legally in the country. But she felt for
those who may not qualify for the protection.

Former Tiger Tennis ace helps celebrate new tennis complex

Former Tiger Tennis ace helps celebrate new tennis complex

Thirty years ago, Eve Zimmerman threw herself on newly resurfaced tennis courts at University of the Pacific – and kissed them. That passion brought her back to her alma mater recently to help celebrate the groundbreaking for what is planned as one of the finest tennis facilities on the West Coast, the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center.

Made possible by a $1.5 million gift from Zimmerman, the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center will include 12 courts, a 5,500-square-foot clubhouse, covered player benches, and a new electronic scoreboard. It will occupy a portion of the footprint of the former Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Stadium.

“This facility will enable Pacific tennis players to shine as Tigers should,” said Zimmerman, who played for Pacific from 1980 to 1984 and went on to become a world-ranked professional player. Returning to Pacific for Homecoming, she will be making her first visit to the campus since she graduated.

Eibeck tapped for NCAA Division I Committee on Academics

Eibeck tapped for NCAA Division I Committee on Academics

Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific, has been appointed to serve on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Committee on Academics. 

The new committee is chaired by Roderick McDavis, president of Ohio University, and comprises academic and athletics leaders from 18 other institutions of higher education, including Georgetown, Northwestern and Texas A&M. 

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve the NCAA and the student-athletes it represents,” Eibeck said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to advance the NCAA mission of supporting student-athlete success in the classroom and on the playing field.”

The new committee replaces two previous NCAA bodies: the Committee on Academic Performance and the Academic Cabinet.

University of the Pacific launches Bay Area's first music therapy program

University of the Pacific launches Bay Area's first music therapy program

Until now, becoming a music therapist in California has meant competing for limited seats each year in music therapy programs at University of the Pacific’s Stockton campus or Cal State Northridge, the only two institutions statewide that have been accredited by the American Music Therapy Association.

But starting next fall, Pacific will launch the Bay Area’s first music therapy program at the university’s new state-of-the-art San Francisco campus at Fifth and Mission. Applications are being accepted now for the Music Therapy Equivalency Program.

McGeorge students make law – and history

McGeorge students make law – and history

Revenge porn victims can get offensive material taken off the Internet using a pseudonym. Child care centers can consider job applicants' arrest warrants in hiring decisions. Prisoners can seek a new trial if the scientific evidence that convicted them is later discredited. And police will get training to recognize signs of elder abuse.

Californians won these new rights and protections thanks to four bills developed by students at Pacific McGeorge School of Law and signed into law by Gov. Brown.  

"It is rewarding to have our students not only studying the law on the books in the nation's most important state capital, but also helping to put those laws on the books," said Francis J. Mootz III, dean and professor of law at McGeorge.  

University of the Pacific Pres. Pamela A. Eibeck named AICCU chair

University of the Pacific Pres. Pamela A. Eibeck named AICCU chair

Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific, has been named the new chair of the executive committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, an organization that has represented the state’s 77 private nonprofit colleges and universities since 1955.

Eibeck’s two-year term begins Oct. 24. She succeeds Pepperdine University president Andy Benton.

“California’s partnership with its private nonprofit colleges and universities has played a pivotal role in making our state a symbol of innovation across the globe,” Eibeck said. “Over the course of nearly 60 years, AICCU has made tremendous strides for higher education, and I look forward to the challenges and rewards of continuing that effort during my tenure.”