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POSTED January 10, 2012 7:15 p.m.

Driver gets prison in deadly Ceres crash
MODESTO  (AP) — A man whose pickup truck plowed into five junior high school students, killing one, in Central California is headed to prison for 16 months.
Larry Dale Duke, 46,  was sentenced Monday, after previously pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Witnesses told authorities that Duke ran through a stop sign and crashed into the girls as they walked to Ceres' Mae Hensley Junior High School in February 2011. Thirteen-year-old Danielle Tarancon-Leon was killed, and two others suffered severe injuries.
A blood test found Duke had methamphetamine and the sleeping aid Ambien in his system at the time.
Records show that Duke has had at least 10 traffic violations.
In court Monday, Duke apologized to Danielle's family, saying he didn't mean to hurt anyone.


State AG announces $1M settlement in car wash suit
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The state attorney general's office says it has reached a $1 million settlement with eight California car washes that underpaid workers and violated labor laws.
Attorney General Kamala (KAH'-mah-lah) Harris announced the settlement Tuesday.
Harris says state investigators found the car washes routinely denied workers minimum wage and overtime, failed to pay wages to those who quit or were terminated and denied rest and meal breaks. They also found the car washes created false records of time worked.
Prosecutors say the car washes also operated for years without proper licensing.
The attorney general's office sued the car washes in 2010. They were located in Fair Oaks, Folsom, San Ramon, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Santa Monica and Venice.
Fire damages building at LA Mormon temple
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pre-dawn fire Tuesday badly damaged a building under construction at the nation's second-largest Mormon temple, and arson investigators were trying to determine the cause.
The blaze erupted just after 1 a.m. in West Los Angeles and 48 firefighters doused it within a half-hour, Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence said.
Because the blaze occurred on church property, the Fire Department's special house of worship arson task force was called in to investigate, Spence said.
The temple property is patrolled around the clock, but security guards did not indicate they saw any intruders, spokesman Matt Ball said, adding the temple had not received any threats before the fire erupted,
The 4,000-square-foot building was in the wood framing stage. It is intended to house the Los Angeles Mormon mission president and serve as an administrative welcome center for visitors, Ball said.
Much of the framing was charred, but officials were awaiting a full report before determining the extent of the damage, Ball said.
Construction will continue, he added, calling the fire "just a little setback."
Animal rights group claims credit for arson
COALINGA (AP) — Fresno County sheriff's officials say they are looking into claims by animal rights activists who say they caused the fire that destroyed 14 big-rig tractors and several trailers at California's Harris Farms cattle operation.
Animal rights activists claimed responsibility for the fire at the state's largest cattle feeder, beef processor and beef marketer on Monday in an email released by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. The email includes a detailed description of how the fire was lit.

 

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