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POSTED January 29, 2012 7:50 p.m.

4 MEN STABBED LEAVING WEDDING RECEPTION: HALF MOON BAY (AP) — Authorities say four men are hospitalized in critical condition after they were stabbed as they left a wedding reception in Half Moon Bay.

The men had just walked out a reception hall around 11:20 p.m. Saturday when they were stabbed as they exchanged words with two other men.

San Mateo County sheriff's officials say despite the injuries suffered by the four men, they are expected to survive. Their names have not been released.

MENDOCINIO LOSINGPOT PERMIT FUNDS: UKIAH . (AP) — A major source of funding for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department is going up in smoke over the county's decision to cancel a medical marijuana permit program.

County officials have calculated the sheriff's department will be losing more than a half-million dollars in revenue after the Board of Supervisors voted last week to end the program of issuing permits to cannabis collectives.

The permits allowed the collectives to grow up the 99 plants at a time, but also required deputies to conduct monthly inspections.

Ssheriff's officials collected $663,230 last year in fees for the inspections.

Despite the loss of revenue, Sheriff Tom Allman says he doesn't expect to have to lay off any deputies.

Supervisors voted to stop issuing the permits after representatives from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag's office warned that Mendocino's law was at odds with federal law.

OC SHERIFF'S DEPT. DROPS PUPPY PLUNDERING PROBE: ANAHEIM (AP) — The Orange County Sheriff's Department is dropping a criminal investigation of a pair of puppy thieves at the request of a pet store owner, who says the robbers have paid restitution and apologized.

Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said Sunday the thieves who stole a chow puppy from Pet City in Anaheim last week sent the store an envelope with a note of apology and $600 in cash after the theft was widely publicized and surveillance video was shown on several TV stations.

Amormino says the department continued its investigation, but after the thieves gave additional money Saturday to cover the cost of taxes and fees and offered yet another apology, the department agreed to drop the criminal probe because the owners said they were satisfied.

REPORT: BROWN REPLACED REGULATOR OVER OIL RULES: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A top state regulator and his deputy were removed last year after ignoring pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown to relax rules for companies seeking to tap California's oil, according to a newspaper investigation.

The governor asked officials in October to develop a permitting shortcut for firms hoping to employ underground injection, a risky method of oil extraction common in California.

Department of Conservation head Derek Chernow wrote a memo stating that easing regulations on underground injection would violate environmental laws, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The process, in which a rush of steam, water and chemicals flushes oil from depleted wells, had been linked to spills, eruptions and the death of a worker in Kern County. The federal Environmental Protection Agency had asked the state to tighten its regulations, but the oil industry complained in a letter-writing campaign to Brown that the strict rules were hurting a key state business.

A week after the memo was written, Brown had Chernow removed, along with a deputy, Elena Miller, the Times said. The governor appointed replacements who agreed to stop subjecting every underground injection project to a comprehensive review before issuing a permit.

STATE CONSIDERS ABANDONING CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY: LOS ANGELES (AP) — State transportation officials are proposing to abandon a winding, mountainous Southern California highway because it costs too much to maintain.

Caltrans is hoping the U.S. Forest Service or Los Angeles County will take over Highway 39, which runs 27 miles from Asuza into the San Gabriel Mountains, but neither agency wants it.

The state spends $1.5 million annually maintaining the two-lane paved highway, which is damaged regularly by landslides, flooding and forest fires, the newspaper said. Some three million motorists travel on the popular, cliff-hanging route every year.

The Forest Service said it interprets the agreement as saying that if Caltrans abandons the highway, it would have to remove its improvements — meaning the roadway itself — and return the area to the natural landscape.

 

 

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