Weekend News Briefs from CVBT

August 11, 2017 9:01pm
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•  Fresno landlords come under more city control

•  Applebee workers sweating

•  And more….

Fresno begins more intense regulation of rentals

Every rental unit in the city of Fresno – and estimate 85,000, give or take a condo or three – now has to be registered with the city.

Its part of a new ordinance that is supposed to see the city inspect one unit from each property owner at least once in the next five years.

Property owners will be able to register their units on line later this month or by early September, cuty officials say. Those who do not register could face fines.


No word yet on which Applebee’s to be closed

There are 30 Applebee’s restaurants in the Central Valley from Chico to Bakersfield. Employees in them may be a tad nervous because some of the stores could be closed by the parent company, DineEquity Inc. (NYSE: DIN) of Glendale.

It says it is closing between 105 and 135 restaurants nationwide out of more than 2,000.

Same-restaurant sales declined 6.2 percent at Applebee's in the second quarter, it says.

“We believe 2017 will be a transitional year for Applebee's,” says Richard Dahl, chairman and interim CEO of DineEquity.

This week it told investors that it now expects Applebee's domestic system-wide same-restaurant sales performance to range between negative 6.0 percent and negative 8.0 percent.

For Applebee’s worker bees, here’s a hint in the financial filings this week: “The expected closures will be based on several criteria, including franchisee profitability, operational results and meeting our brand quality standards,” the company said.


Congressman objects to federal threat to hold back money meant for Stockton

Stockton police and other local law enforcement must be able to decide on the best strategy to combat crime without federal interference, says U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton.

Mr. McNerney makes the comments in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, responding to the agency’s threat to withhold federal dollars from the city of Stockton if local law enforcement does not notify the Department of Homeland Security regarding the detainment of undocumented persons.

“The funds DOJ is threatening to withhold come from the Public Safety Partnership, which was created to help keep cities and communities safe and to improve relationships between community members and law enforcement,” the congressman says. “These grants are essential to our local law enforcement and withholding them would be counterproductive to the progress these regions have made.”

He says if the Trump Administration “is truly committed to public safety through federal leadership, they will seek other opportunities to support their local law enforcement counterparts, rather than handicap them.”


Making and selling assault rifles sends Sacramento man to prison

Luis Cortez-Garcia, 44, of Sacramento, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison by U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. for unlawful manufacturing and sales of firearms, possession of a machine gun, and possession of a unregistered firearm, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.

In December 2016, Mr. Cortez-Garcia’s brother and co‑defendant Emiliano Cortez‑Garcia was sentenced to six years in prison for unlawful manufacturing and dealing in firearms, possession of a machine gun, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

According to court records, Mr. Cortez-Garcia ran a firearm parts business called LCG AR‑15 Parts and Custom Accessories on Florin Road in Sacramento. Through this business, he sold AR-15-style firearms that were manufactured in the metal shop at the rear of the business. He did not have a license to manufacture or sell firearms and as an illegal alien and a felon, he was prohibited from possessing firearms.

During the investigation, undercover agents and at least one convicted felon purchased manufactured-to-order assault weapons from the brothers. These firearms did not have any manufacturer markings or serial numbers, making them untraceable should they be involved in criminal activity. During a search of the business in 2013, law enforcement officers seized 312 guns, including multiple fully automatic assault rifles, illegal short-barreled rifles, and silencers.


State continues crackdown on fake disable parkers

Eighteen motorists in the Central Valley, along with dozens elsewhere in the state, have been ticketed in the latest crackdown on illegal use of disabled parking placards, the Department of Motor Vehicles says.

DNV investigators caught 170 people fraudulently using disabled placards in 24 enforcement operations carried out in July.

Those issued misdemeanor citations must appear in court, face possible fines that range from $250 to $1,000, and will have the offense recorded on their driver record. Investigators also confiscate the misused placards. The cases are forwarded to the local jurisdiction for prosecution.

The statewide crackdown is part of the DMV’s efforts to ensure handicap parking spots are used by individuals who have legitimately obtained disabled parking placards to assist them with their mobility. It is important to point out that not all disabilities are visible and allegations of abuse may be unfounded.

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