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POSTED February 6, 2012 8:11 p.m.

MODESTO MAN 11 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ALMOND HEIST: FRESNO  (AP) — A Modesto man will serve more than 11 years in federal prison for his part in a conspiracy to steal almonds from Central Valley growers and processors.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence O'Neill also ordered that Ronald John Salado pay $2 million in restitution to victims and $2.5 million in forfeiture to the federal government.

Salado worked as a buyer for a Turlock nut processor. In February jurors found the 59-year-old guilty of money laundering and multiple mail and bank fraud-related charges.

Prosecutors say Salado conspired with others to sell hundreds of thousands of pounds of nuts under fictitious names between 2000 and 2007.

Randal Burtis, Robert Adams and Jason Espinola also pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme. Burtis and Adams had management positions at processing plants.

MCDONALDS PULLS AD AFTER PIT BULL OWNER OUTRAGE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — McDonald's apologized and pulled an ad that came back to bite them.

The ad that said eating a Chicken McBite was less risky than petting a pit bull enraged pit bull owners and their defenders.

McDonald's spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said Monday the Kansas City-area radio ad for Chicken McBites ran just a few days before it was pulled Friday.

The company issued an apology by email and social media sites and people who called a toll free number got a recorded apology.

Rachele Lizarraga of Sacramento says she found it reckless so she started a Facebook site and an online petition.

Some critics said McDonald's should also donate to pit bull causes or use a pit in an ad.

3 KILLED, 3 INJURED IN FOLSOM HIGHWAY CRASH

FOLSOM  (AP) — Authorities say an intoxicated, wrong-way driver caused a head-on collision on a Sacramento County highway that killed three people and injured three more.

The  crash happened shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday on Highway 50 in Folsom.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a Honda CRV was going eastbound in the westbound lanes and slammed into an oncoming Pontiac Aztec that was carrying five people.

Two females and a male in the Aztek were killed. The remaining two people in that car suffered minor injuries.

The wrong-way driver of the Honda has been hospitalized in critical condition. The CHP says the suspect will be booked on suspicion of driving under the influence.

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TRAIN TRENCH DIG FINDS ARTIFACTS NEAR OLD MISSION: SAN GABRIEL . (AP) — Archaeologists have dug up thousands of pieces of history along the route of a planned train trench near the historic San Gabriel Mission.

Some 20,000 artifacts have been uncovered so far, including coins from the 1800s, chunks of pottery, Native American shells and railroad spikes.

A 30-member team of archaeologists is working along the path of a $498 million, 2.2-mile trench that will lower existing train tracks 30 feet, easing traffic tie-ups along the San Gabriel Valley route east of Los Angeles.

 

 

NORTH COAST COLLEGE WARNED ON ACCREDITATION STATUS: EUREKA  (AP) — College of the Redwoods administrators are trying to reassure students and faculty members following a warning that the school could lose its accreditation.

The North Coast community college was notified last week it had been placed on probationary status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The agency told the 7,000-student college that its institutional planning and student learning outcomes documentation is not in compliance with the commission's standards.

Interim CR President Utpal Goswami told the Del Norte Triplicate the college would be forced to close if it lost its accreditation but he believes it can quickly address the issues raised by the commission.

School officials have until October to fix those problems.

SACRAMENTO DEPUTY FATALLY SHOOTS SUSPECT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy has fatally shot a car theft suspect during a struggle.

Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit says two deputies saw 47-year-old Lamont Harmon in a Kmart parking lot on the city's southeast side about 2:30 a.m. Monday. Police had reported finding a stolen vehicle parked nearby.

Pettit says Harmon ran when deputies tried to question him about the stolen vehicle.

One deputy began to struggle with Harmon. Pettit says the deputy first used a stun gun, then shot Harmon multiple times when he feared for his life.

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The deputy is on administrative leave pending an investigation by Sacramento police.

The sheriff's department says it is the sixth officer-involved shooting in Sacramento County this year.

LA SCHOOL JANITOR HELD FOR ALLEGED CHILD MOLEST: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles elementary school janitor has been arrested for investigation of committing a lewd act with a child on campus — the third such arrest in the district in two weeks.

Thirty-seven-old Paul Adame was booked Monday and released on bail. He's been pulled from school duties.

Police Capt. Kris Pitcher says a woman told police that Adame had "inappropriate contact" with her child during school hours Friday at Germain Elementary School in Chatsworth.

Pitcher won't provide details but urges anyone who might know of other possible victims to contact police.

The arrest follows recent arrests of two teachers from Miramonte Elementary School in unincorporated Los Angeles. Mark Berndt has been charged with lewd acts involving 23 children and Martin Springer is being investigated on allegations involving two girls.

TRUCK STRIKES, KILLS MURDER SUSPECT : SANTA ROSA (AP) — A suspect in the murder of a Santa Rosa woman was killed by an oncoming big rig moments after being stopped by police on Interstate 5.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Lisa Banayat tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that John Quincy Ellis of Stockton died Monday after initially getting out of his car and asking officers to shoot him.

Banayat said moments later, Ellis stepped onto the roadway in front of the truck.

Ellis was a suspect in the Sunday slaying of 61-year-old Carole Brooks. Brooks was found with a gunshot wound to her stomach at a small rental property where she ran a massage therapy business.

Police said clues left behind at the crime scene helped them track Ellis to Stockton.

LA MUSICIAN ARRESTED FOR THREATENING PARKS WORKER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles musician is free on bail after she was arrested for allegedly trying to run over a park employee who told her to put her dog on a leash.

Arune Kavaliauskaite was repeatedly told to leash her dog at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena on Friday.

The 28-year-old fronts the band Arune & Alternatives.

The musician is accused of yelling and cursing at the county park employee and continuing to let her dog roam unleashed.

The park employee tried to photograph her license plate, but the singer's car lurched forward and allegedly knocked the worker into a parked car.

 

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