Crime classifications could be changed

San Francisco's top prosecutor is seeking to reclassify some crimes in order to save money that could be used to fund crime prevention and mental health services.

The San Francisco Chronicle repored that District Attorney George Gascon filed a proposed ballot measure Thursday that would reduce most nonviolent crimes, such as petty theft and drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors.

The measure needs about 500,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Supporters estimate the shift could save up to $250 million a year and that that money could be earmarked for programs aimed at reducing recidivism.


Struggling city to cut employees' salaries

The financially troubled city of Desert Hot Springs has decided to cut police and city employee salaries amid bankruptcy concerns.

The Desert Sun reported the City Council approved the cost-saving measure by unanimous vote Thursday.

Starting Dec. 28, city salaries will be cut by more than 20 percent, and there will be a reduction in paid holidays.

The cuts amount to about $2 million in annual savings.

Police union attorney Wendell Phillips claims the council's decision violates state law.

He said the union would file a complaint with the state's Public Employee Relations Board.


Man held in Molotov attack at border

A 39-year-old man was charged with throwing a lit Molotov cocktail at inspectors at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in San Diego.

Ricardo Martinez was charged with assaulting a federal officer Wednesday at the San Ysidro port of entry, the nation's busiest.

Despite a large fireball, no injuries or property damage were reported.

Authorities said the incendiary device landed about a yard south of a vehicle inspection booth, near four officers and motorists.

The federal complaint says Martinez, a U.S. citizen, admitted to authorities that he ignited the bottle filled with gasoline and stuffed with a rag.

It doesn't say whether he disclosed a motive.

-- Associated Press