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Weekend catch-up: 7 stories you don’t want to miss

Jeff Simonsen and his dog Zeus check out a vehicle that may be abandoned near his home as part of a neighborhood watch called Paws on Patrol on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Elk Grove.
Jeff Simonsen and his dog Zeus check out a vehicle that may be abandoned near his home as part of a neighborhood watch called Paws on Patrol on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Elk Grove. rpench@sacbee.com

Here are seven stories from the weekend that you will want to catch up on before the work week hits.

1) California politicians stole their money. Will that make them care about democracy?

The scandal that shook the city of Bell seven years ago casts a long shadow.

A vicious combination of voter ambivalence, substandard oversight and human temptation has hollowed out small-city democracy in southeast Los Angeles for decades. Local officials are looking for a new way forward.

2) Homeless pit bull attack leaves cyclist ‘bleeding like a stuck pig’ on popular parkway

Getting attacked by an aggressive dog is a persistent fear among runners, bikers and other regular users of the American River Parkway.

Illegal camping on the American River Parkway has brought garbage, fires and other problems. Add to the list: dog attacks.

3) Sacramento’s growing faster than it has in years, but not too fast, economist says

The Sacramento region added more people in 2016 than during any other year since the housing market infamously overheated and collapsed a decade ago, according to estimates from the California Department of Finance. But growth rates remain far below levels seen during the housing boom.

Of the 10 largest cities in California, Sacramento grew by the largest percentage with a 1.4 percent increase, according to a state report in May 2017. The city’s population rose to 493,025 in 2016. Los Angeles is the dominant population center, t

4) A talker: Charming politician who’d take health care from 24 million people

Rep. Greg Walden, a warm and amusing Republican, has led efforts to repeal Obamacare. What will come of babies with terrible congenital heart defects?

5) Popular on Twitter: White Chocolate is back, shooting when the popcorn’s poppin’

Jason Williams is one on a list of former NBA players set to compete in the new BIG3 League, an eight-team, 3-on-3, half-court league founded by entertainment star Ice Cube that is scheduled to kick off June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

When Big3, a 3-on-3 basketball league comprised of former NBA players, tips off in June, nine of the league's 40 players will be former Kings. Here's a video of those players.

6) Popular on Facebook: Disabled-placard abusers, it’s your day of reckoning

California’s DMV has a message for motorists using disabled placards to get close-in or free parking: The crackdown is here.

An April 2017 report by the California Bureau of State Audits found widespread problems with California’s administration of its disabled placard and plate program. Among the findings: thousands of people in the DMV’s database of placard and licens

7) Popular on video: It might seem like he's just walking his dog. He's really fighting crime.

Elk Grove’s Police Department launched Paws on Patrol, a neighborhood watch effort that asks dog owners to monitor crime activity as they walk past homes.

A new Elk Grove program, Paws on Patrol, has frequent dog-walkers on high alert as they complete their usual routes around their neighborhoods.

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