Today’s News: Bloomberg opening wallet for L.A. race; Valley schools in Decathlon duel; Minimum wage hike?

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Bloomberg bucks. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is throwing more money into the L.A. School Board race. Bloomberg gave $350,000 this week to the Coalition for School Reform. The political committee is led by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and supports the policies of L.A. Schools chief John Deasy. Prior to the March primary, the New York’s billionaire mayor donated $1 million to the committee. L.A. Times

Brain games.
Some hard-working L.A. students are testing their intellectual mettle in national academic competitions. Teams from El Camino Real Charter High School and Granada Hills Charter High School are taking part in the national Academic Decathlon in Minneapolis. Granada Hills is the defending champion and El Camino is a six-time winner of the competition. North Hollywood High and other Southland schools are taking part in the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. L.A. Daily News, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Search ends. The main suspect in the abduction and sexual assault of a Northridge girl is in an L.A. jail this morning awaiting his first court appearance. Tobias Dustin Summers was returned from Mexico after being taken into custody yesterday at rehab center near Ensenada. A phone tip led authorities to Summers. The FBI had focused its search in Mexico – offering a $25,000 reward and plastering Summers’ face on billboards. Ultimately, it was a large Superman logo tattooed on Summers chest that confirmed his identity. He’s facing dozens of felony counts that could keep him in prison for life. L.A. Daily News

‘Dumping’ response. Nevada is pledging to change its policies when it comes to releasing patients from psychiatric facilities. Officials in the Silver State have been under pressure from city leaders in L.A. and San Francisco over allegations of so-called “patient dumping.” The flap started with a report in the San Jose Mercury News reports saying Nevada’s main psychiatric hospital bused hundreds of indigent patients out-of state following their release, many to California. Nevada officials say a chaperone will now accompany any mentally ill patient being sent out of state. Sacramento Bee

Bigger minimum. Lawmakers have taken the first step toward raising California’s minimum wage. The Assembly’s Labor and Employment Committee approved a bill that would hike the minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $9.25 over three years. The proposed law also calls for yearly inflation-adjusted increases. The California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups say the bill would harm small entrepreneurs. But proponents say the state’s current minimum wage is not high enough to lift families out of poverty. The bill now moves to the full Assembly. Ventura County Star