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

Painters work on a mural at 2000 K Street in Sacramento on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Painters work on a mural at 2000 K Street in Sacramento on Saturday, August 20, 2016. rbenton@sacbee.com

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

1) Vaunted group home for sex-trafficking victims closes amid state scrutiny; big donors pull back

Public documents show that Jenny Williamson voluntarily closed the six-bed facility, effective June 14, amid a flurry of state inspections that found numerous violations, including inadequate staffing levels and no current administrator working at the home.

2) Public Eye: Sacramento city employees generally earn less than their suburban counterparts

The city of Sacramento has more people, employees and demand for services than any other city in the region. But Sacramento generally pays its employees less than workers in nearby suburbs, potentially creating recruitment and retention problems, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of more than 13,000 local government employee salaries.

3) Lawrence Bittaker, a most depraved killer, twists justice system

As voters prepare to decide Proposition 62 to abolish capital punishment and Proposition 66 intended to speed it up, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation led a tour of this state’s death row last week.

Death row inmate Lawrence Bittaker, who in 1979 killed five teenage girls with accomplice Roy Norris, said he's getting afraid of death, and laments his "totally wasted life" during an interview in his cell.

4) A talker: The doctor vs. the lawman: Is this Sacramento’s shadiest election?

If it’s true that we are judged by the company we keep, then what are voters to say about Bera and Jones?

5) Popular on Twitter: Tears, hugs follow jurors' $3.1 million award to whistleblower in teacher credentialing case

A Sacramento woman fired from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing after disclosing a three-year backlog in teacher misconduct complaints has won a $3.1 million jury verdict in a lawsuit against the agency and two of its executives.

Kathleen Carroll, a former attorney for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, lost her job after disclosing a three-year backlog in teacher misconduct complaints and other problems at the agency. Then-state Auditor Elaine Howle chara

6) Popular on Facebook: ‘Pokémon Go’ mobs thin in Sacramento area

More than a month after “Pokémon Go” set off a craze across the country, the smartphone game that allows people to “capture” the colorful critters appears to have tapered off in Sacramento.

7) Popular on video: Visit Sacramento's newly opened downtown railyard

After decades hidden away, Sacramento’s massive railyard officially opened its doors to the public Friday, ushering in what officials predict will be a building boom in the northwest corner of downtown for decades to come.

The new streets of downtown Sacramento's shuttered railyard were officially opened to traffic on Aug. 19, 2016, as developers prepared the property for building.