STOCKTON

Teen takes plea in boy's beating death

A Stockton teenager is facing nearly 20 years in state prison after pleading guilty to participating in the beating and stomping death of a 14-year-old boy at a city park.

Jereme Sin, who is now 17, was the same age as the victim, Rin Ros, when he and seven other teens were charged as adults with murder in Ros' August 2010 slaying. Sin pleaded guilty on Monday to involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Record of Stockton says six co-defendants have agreed to the same deal, which carries a sentence of 19 years and eight months.

Police think Ros was attacked because he was trying to get out of a street gang.

A final defendant in the case is awaiting trial.

SACRAMENTO

Sumatran tiger has surgery at zoo

Veterinary surgeons at the Sacramento Zoo are removing obstructions caused by stones in a Sumatran tiger's urinary tract.

The surgeons from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the zoo began performing the minimally invasive procedure early Tuesday. Doctors planned to implant thin, flexible tubes that will allow urine to drain normally from the cat's kidneys to its bladder.

The 15-year-old male tiger named Castro is originally from Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. It has been at the Sacramento Zoo since 1999.

It is one of about 200 Sumatran tigers in zoos around the world. Fewer than 500 are believed to live in the wild.

Earlier this year, Castro was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer. The tiger is undergoing chemotherapy.

LOS ANGELES

City looks at buildings vulnerable in quake

Los Angeles officials hope to follow San Francisco's lead in upgrading so-called "soft-story" buildings, those with bottom floors that are susceptible to collapse during an earthquake. Legislation, however, could be years away.

Officials were expected to provide details about a proposed census of L.A.'s soft-story structures at Tuesday's Buildings at Risk conference, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Also this week, Los Angeles officials are meeting with San Francisco's earthquake team to get advice on how to proceed in addressing the risks associated with these buildings.

Los Angeles is considering legislation similar to that passed in San Francisco last spring, which requires owners of soft-story apartments to make the structures safer. Such buildings generally have parking on the first floor supported by weak columns.

Estimates show more than 60,000 Los Angeles residents could be left homeless in an earthquake, unless thousands of apartments with weak first floors are reinforced, the Times said.

Firefighters rescued from burning church

Authorities say emergency crews have rescued two firefighters who were trapped while fighting a fire at a century-old wood frame church in Los Angeles.

Fire Department spokesman Jaime Moore says the roof collapsed at the church on East 27th Street near Central Avenue south of downtown.

Television news images showed a male firefighter on a gurney being loaded into an ambulance. Moore says both injured firefighters were transported to a hospital in stable condition.

The white Romanesque Revival style building is fully engulfed.

The blaze was reported at 9:27 a.m. Tuesday at the Crouch Memorial Church of God and Christ in the 27th Street Historic District.

City News Service says the church, built in 1895, was the center of the prohibition movement in the early 1900s.

2 face trial in killings of Chinese students

Two men have been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the killing of two Chinese graduate students who were gunned down in a car near the University of Southern California.

The Los Angeles Times reports a judge ruled Monday during a preliminary hearing that there is "more than enough" evidence tying Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden to the April 2012 slayings.

The case against the 20-year-old Barnes and the 19-year-old Bolden has drawn international attention.

The men are charged with shooting engineering students Ming Qu and Ying Wu a mile from campus. Prosecutors believe the killings took place during a robbery of their cellphones.

Prosecutors played a recording of a wiretapped phone call between Barnes and Bolden, in which they apparently discussed the attack on the students.

-- Associated Press