In Today’s News: Hurricane Sandy, Endeavour’s debut, Councilman hit with restraining order

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Stories we are following today ion the KCRW newsroom:

Helping hand. California is sending help to areas of the country being pounded by Hurricane Sandy. Gov. Jerry Brown says the California National Guard has flown airplanes, helicopters and two specialized rescue teams to North Carolina. Ten search-and-rescue experts from fire departments up and down the state previously traveled east. The L.A. region of the American Red Cross is also mobilizing volunteers accepting donations for hurricane relief. Gov. Jerry Brown, Red Cross

Shuttle party. NASA astronauts and hundreds of schoolchildren will be on hand as the California Science Center holds a ceremony this morning to officially welcome Space Shuttle Endeavour to the Exposition Park Museum. The shuttle is expected to be a hot ticket. Museum officials are asking visitors to reserve times to see the spacecraft by going to its website. California Science Center

Citizens shield. Lawyers for an Arizona non-profit that poured $11 million into California’s initiative battles says the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United Decision shields it from having to reveal its contributors. Americans for Responsible Leadership has been sued by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which suspects violations of state campaign finance laws. The money went to a California business committee fighting Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure; and supporting Prop. 32, an initiative that restricts the collection of union dues for political purposes. Sacramento Bee

Councilman accused. A woman has obtained a protective order against West Covina Assemblyman Roger Hernandez following an incident at a restaurant this past Sunday. The San Gabriel Tribune reports the woman told police that Hernandez physically abused her on an earlier occasion and that she feared for her safety. A spokesman for the Democratic lawmaker says the charges are politically motivated. Hernandez is up for re-election next Tuesday. San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Death sentence reversal. A federal appeals court has overturned the death sentence for California’s longest serving Death Row inmate. The court said Douglas Stankewitz’ lawyer did an inadequate job. He’ll be given life without parole unless prosecutors elect to retry the penalty phase of the case. Stankewitz was convicted of a 1978 murder in Fresno. L.A. Times