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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED May 4, 2015 9:20 p.m.

‘DJANGO UNCHAINED’ ACTRESS ORDERED TO APOLOGIZE TO POLICE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — An actress who accused Los Angeles police of racial profiling when they investigated a report she was having sex with her boyfriend in a parked car was ordered Monday to apologize to officers.

Daniele Watts, who appeared in “Django Unchained,” pleaded no contest Monday to disturbing the peace with loudness and was ordered to write an apology to three police officers and the occupants of a building near where she was briefly detained last year.

Police officers were investigating a report of two people having sex in a car when they questioned Watts and her boyfriend, Brian Lucas. Watts claimed they were just kissing and accused the officers of racial bias.

The pair was later charged with lewd conduct, but that count was dismissed on Monday.

Watts and Lucas, who entered the same plea, were sentenced to 40 hours of community service and must remain out of trouble for a year. If they do so, the case will be dismissed and not appear in public records.

Lou Shapiro, an attorney for the couple, says the actress will apologize for her comments to police and is not admitting she and Lucas engaged in lewd conduct.

He said Watts “wishes she hadn’t said some of the things she said” to police during the incident.

 

CALIFORNIA DROUGHT LEAVES 12 MILLION TREES DEAD: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Extreme drought conditions have left an estimated 12 million trees dead in California’s forests over the past year.

KPBS-FM reports that the estimate comes from a U.S. Forest Service aerial survey conducted in April.

Interim Aerial Survey Program Manager Jeffrey Moore says 82,528 trees in San Diego County are dead from lack of rainfall and many more are struggling to survive.

He says a tree’s survival often depends on its proximity to other trees, which are competing for any moisture available.

The study shows that Jeffrey pines are particularly hard-hit by the lack of water.

Those large trees store carbon from the air and provide food and habitat for squirrels, deer and birds.

National Drought Mitigation Center Climatologist Brian Fuchs says the dead are a larger fire risk.

 

ASSEMBLY APPROVES BAN ON REDSKINS SCHOOL TEAM NAME: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The state Assembly has approved legislation barring California public schools from using the Redskins name for teams and mascots.

AB30 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, a Democrat from Watsonville, would prevent public schools from using the controversial term as a school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname starting in 2017.

The Assembly voted 59-7 in favor of the bill Monday, sending it to the state Senate.

The legislation comes as American Indian groups have protested continued use of the name, which many consider racially derogatory, and amid a fight over the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

A federal panel ruled last year that the team’s trademark should be canceled, but the team is challenging that decision in federal court.

 

MACHETE ATTACK ON DOG SPARKS DOZENS TO PROTEST ANIMAL ABUSE: MERCED  (AP) — Dozens of people gathered in Merced to protest animal abuse after a 1-year-old Siberian Husky was tied to a fire hydrant and slashed by two men with machetes.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that Ralph Guerrero attended the Saturday rally after his husky, Lucious, was attacked on Friday.

Police say authorities euthanized the badly injured dog.

Brian Taylor brought his 3-year-old boxer, Jack, to the protest. He says he adopted Jack after he was abused and dumped in an orchard.

Taylor’s sign reminded drivers that of another Merced attack earlier this year. In that incident, a German shepherd was left dead after being beaten with a baseball bat.

They arrested 45-year-old Myron Patillo and 29-year-old Aaron Carney on suspicion of animal cruelty and robbery in connection with the dog’s attack.

 

FEDS: TERMINAL FOR CRUDE OIL TRAINS VIOLATES AIR STANDARDS: TAFT  (AP) — Federal authorities say a train terminal used to unload crude oil in Southern California violates clean air regulations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Bakersfield Crude Terminal failed to get the appropriate permits for the facility that opened last year. The terminal located 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield receives oil from up to two trains each day.

Federal officials say the terminal’s owner has 10 days to respond to an April 30 letter citing 10 violations.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District spokeswoman Jaime Holt says her agency issued the permits and federal authorities got it wrong.

She says the EPA doesn’t understand the requirements for an oil train terminal.

EPA spokeswoman Nahal Mogharabi says the company can continue to operate while meeting with authorities.


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