Getting into top U.C. schools is tougher than ever

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A welcome banner over Bruin Walk marks UCLA Bruin Day 2012.

Bruin Walk welcomeThe University of California has accepted a record number of students for the fall – but at most U.C. campuses it was harder than ever for in-state students to make the cut. U.C. officials say nearly 87,000 freshman were accepted – up 4.8 percent from last year. But most of the increase comes from out-of-state and international students. Admission rates for those students were up 8.9 percent and 17.6 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the admission rate dropped at six of nine U.C. campuses. At UCLA, roughly 18 percent of applicants made it in, down from 20 percent last year. U.C. officials say no qualified state students were displaced by an out-of-state or international student. But they acknowledge trying to enroll more of those students because they pay about $23,000 more a year than California residents.

HAWIIANAIROne FBI agent calls it “a miracle.” A Bay Area teenager survived a freezing flight half way across the Pacific Ocean in the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines jet. The boy was uninjured despite frigid temperatures and a lack oxygen as the Boeing 767 cruised at 38,000 feet. He told investigators that he quickly blacked out and had no memory of the flight. The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating how the boy managed to breech security and make it onto the plane.

The state agency that oversees campaign finance rules is investigating a Political Action Committee formed by Assemblyman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly. The Fair Political Practices Commission says Donnelly has failed to file campaign statements for the PAC for more than a year, in violation of state law. Donnelly disputes the allegation. He says the reports were filed last week. The San Bernardino County lawmaker has emerged as the frontrunner to take on Gov. Jerry Brown this fall. But his campaign is on shaky financial footing. The most recent disclosure statements indicated that Donnelly’s campaign had a deficit of more than $130,000.

steelhead-troutSteelhead trout were once a common sight in Southern California’s streams and rivers. But biologists say the region’s steelhead population is currently about 500 fish. The Aquarium of the Pacific is aiming to bring attention to the dwindling local steelhead population with a new exhibit detailing their journey from mountain streams to the Pacific Ocean. An $850,000 steelhead display is scheduled to open May 23rd. Steelhead start their lives as rainbow troutbut instead of staying in streams – they migrate to the ocean. They fish undergo physical changes that allow them to return to freshwater to spawn.