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A.M. Sacramento: Here’s what you need to know for Thursday

The Center for Violence-Free Relationships’ safe house provides shelter to victims of domestic abuse and their children who are fleeing a dangerous environment. They are asking Book of Dreams readers to help them transform the backyard of their safe house into a kid-friendly fun zone, complete with slide, swings, monkey bars and a pingpong table.
The Center for Violence-Free Relationships’ safe house provides shelter to victims of domestic abuse and their children who are fleeing a dangerous environment. They are asking Book of Dreams readers to help them transform the backyard of their safe house into a kid-friendly fun zone, complete with slide, swings, monkey bars and a pingpong table. lsterling@sacbee.com

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know today:

Sunny day today: Looking for dry roadways for the last week of shopping for Christmas? That’s what is ahead. But first, the National Weather Service is predicting light rain Friday morning. Partly sunny skies are then forecast through Wednesday. Today is also expected to be sunny after patchy fog burns off.

Traffic speeds ahead: California’s highways are experiencing record traffic as the economy improves and gas prices plummet, reversing the declines of the recession, new state figures show.

Mayor’s police request: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has asked the city police department to explore broad changes to the way it recruits and trains new officers, examine how cops engage with the community and launch a pilot program to equip officers with body cameras.

▪ Use of police body cameras on rise in Sacramento area

▪ Sacramento cops are not Ferguson cops, writes Sacramento Bee columnist Marcus Breton

Book of Dreams: The Center for Violence-Free Relationships in El Dorado County seeks funds for playground equipment. The Bee’s annual holiday effort helps people in need. Here’s how to make donations.

Hints for the holidays: Unless Santa Claus is handling the delivery, deadlines for mailing gifts for Christmas arrival are fast approaching. Today is expected to be the busiest delivery day for packages, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

▪ Cookie Corner: Treats for those with dietary demands

▪ Photo gallery: Holiday celebrations around the world

Center of attention: Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who has missed 10 games as he recovered from viral meningitis, could return to the lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks, writes The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones.

▪ Bee video: Tyrone Corbin on first game leading Kings

Local sports today: NBA – Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings, 7 p.m. (CSNCA, KHTK 1140, KAHI 950)

Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors, 7:30 p.m. (TNT, KNBR 680)

NHL – Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks, 7:30 p.m. (CSN+)

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