Today’s News: Red ink at San Onofre; Death penalty teeters; Mail-in deluge

Written by

Stories we are covering today in the KCRW newsroom:

San Onofre costs. The cost of flipping off the switch at the San Onofre nuclear power plant is now $317 million. That’s about double what the company reported in June. The California Public Utilities Commission has launched an investigation into the potential hit to ratepayers from the extended outage. Depending on the outcome, some or all of the costs could be removed from customer’s rates. Orange County Register

Shooting fallout. USC President Max Nikias says the university is taking a fresh look at its policies regarding visitors and events on campus. This after a Halloween night shooting outside a university building wounded four people, one critically. None of the people involved in the shooting were affiliated with the university. L.A. Times

Secret donation. A Sacramento judge is expected to rule today on an appeal filed by a shadowy Arizona group that donated $11 million to influence two proposition races in California. The judge has already said that Americans for Responsible Leadership must turn over financial documents to California’s political watchdog agency. But yesterday, the group appealed. Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News reports the group has ties to the George W. Bush White House and top Republican fundraisers. San Jose Mercury News

Capital punishment. A new poll finds support is growing for ending the death penalty in California. The Field Poll found that 45 percent of likely voters support Prop. 34, which would end executions in favor of life imprisonment without parole. Thirty-eight percent of likely voters oppose Prop. 34. Almost one in five voters is undecided. Sacramento Bee

Mailing it in. Half of California voters could cast their ballots by mail this election, and that’s raising concerns that results from some close races could be delayed. AP says California distributed nearly nine million mail-in ballots this election cycle – about 20 percent more than during the last presidential election. Mail-in ballots take longer to count because election workers have to compare the signature on the envelope with the signature on the voter registration card. San Jose Mercury News

Early starters. More than half-a-million L.A. County residents have already voted by mail. Of the ballots turned in so far, the L.A. Times reports 277,000 came from Democrats, 162,000 from Republicans, and 71,000 from voters with no party preference. L.A. Times