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POSTED March 1, 2012 8:58 p.m.

JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT AGAINST FED POT CRACKDOWN: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A federal judge in Sacramento has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged U.S. attorneys' efforts to shut down pot clubs in California.

U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell said in a ruling this week that the Justice Department is free to enforce federal drug laws. He rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the Obama administration had reneged on a promise to let states set their own medical marijuana policies.

The plaintiffs — a Sacramento medical marijuana collective and a patient — pointed to a 2009 administration memo directing federal prosecutors not to focus on those following state medical marijuana laws.

But Burrell said the memo was a statement of priorities, not a binding commitment.

The lawsuit was one of four challenging the federal crackdown. A lawyer for the plaintiffs says they plan to appeal.

SKIER HURT IN SIERRA AVALANCHE: NORTH LAKE TAHOE (AP) — One skier is hurt but two others escaped injury when authorities say they appeared to have caused an avalanche while skiing in a back country area in the Sierra Nevada.

Placer County Sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin says the skier was hurt in an avalanche around 2 p.m. Thursday in an area called Ward Valley, outside the boundaries of the Alpine Meadows ski resort.

Erwin says the skier was being taken down the mountain on a basket dragged by a rescue team.

It was believed the skier had suffered a broken leg, but Erwin did not know if he had suffered additional injuries.

Authorities did not release the name of the injured man, or of the two other skiers. All three were believed to be in their 20s.

Erwin says the skiers had "apparently" caused the avalanche accessing a back country area near Highway 89 where there is no avalanche control.

DOCTOR ACCUSED OF MURDER IN DRUG OVERDOSES : LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California doctor who was under investigation for overprescribing painkillers and sedatives was charged Thursday with murder in the drug deaths of three of her patients.

Dr. Hsui-Ying "Lisa" Tseng was arrested after a years-long probe that involved undercover work by drug enforcement agents who posed as patients to obtain prescriptions.

The case highlights the problem of doctors who prescribe drugs for no reason other than getting the patient high, said District Attorney Steve Cooley, who announced the charges.

"Prescription drug overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions," Cooley said. "Enough is enough. Doctors are not above the law."

Tseng wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions over a three-year period starting in January 2007 — an average of 25 a day, according to a DEA affidavit.

She was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of otherwise healthy men in their 20s, including a University of Arizona student.

POLICE: FUGITIVE KILLED AFTER FIRING AT OFFICERS: LA MIRADA  (AP) — A fugitive wanted for a double murder was shot and killed Thursday when he climbed onto the roof of a garage and fired a shot at police and FBI agents who had tracked him to the home, authorities said.

The 27-year-old man was a suspect in the Nov. 30 killing of two suspected gang members in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

Members of a joint police-FBI task force obtained an arrest warrant and tracked him to a La Mirada home.

With a helicopter overhead, authorities surrounded the home and ordered everyone to leave. The fugitive fled from the back of the home and climbed onto the roof of the detached garage, Smith said.

"He paced back and forth and refused to come down. He reached in his pocket and took out a gun and fired one round," Smith said.

Officers fired back, killing the man. None of the officers or agents was hit.

FATHER ARRESTED AFTER SHOVEL ATTACK ON DAUGHTER: LANDERS  (AP) — Investigators say a 48-year-old Southern California father attacked and seriously hurt his daughter with a shovel.

San Bernardino County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Radeleff says James Shovey used a square nose shovel to smash through the front door of the victim's Landers home late Wednesday.

Radeleff tells KCDZ radio that Shovey then struck the woman with the shovel several times, telling her he was going to kill her and her baby.

The woman is hospitalized with moderate to major injuries.

Shovey was arrested a short time later on State Route 62 by the California Highway Patrol.

'HOUSEWIVES' ACTRESS SAYS SHE WAS STUNNED WHEN HIT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nicollette Sheridan told jurors on Thursday that she was shocked and humiliated after being struck in the head by the creator of "Desperate Housewives" on the set of the hit ABC show.

The actress was the first witness called during her trial alleging that she was fired after a dispute with creator and executive producer Marc Cherry. She is seeking more than $6 million in damages.

At the request of her attorney, Patrick Maloney, the actress demonstrated the blow by striking her lawyer in court. Sheridan contended it was a hard blow, although attorneys for Cherry and ABC claimed it was a light tap meant to give the actress some direction for a scene.

Sheridan told jurors that Cherry appeared stunned after the hit and later apologized to her.

Wearing a navy blue suit and white blouse, Sheridan split the day testifying about the show's early years and the dispute with Cherry and its aftermath.

Her character Edie Britt was killed off in the show's fifth season, when she was earning $175,000 an episode. By then, she also had been granted a portion of the series' profits by that point and was slated to earn $250,000 an episode if she remained on the series through the seventh season.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA  BANK HOSTAGE RESCUED: BUENA PARK . (AP) — SWAT officers rescued a bank manager held at gunpoint by a would-be robber who was arrested Thursday after being wounded in a shootout with police.

The female manager was safe after police shot the middle-aged suspect as he went to the front of the Saehan Bank with the female banker at gunpoint, said Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez. Video from a television helicopter showed at least eight officers with guns drawn approaching the bank in a small strip mall when the front window shattered and the woman was pulled from inside the shattered door.

Three officers suffered minor wounds to their arms, but it wasn't immediately known how they received their injuries or whether the gunman returned fire.

The gunman, who hasn't been identified, was in custody and was taken to University of California, Irvine, Medical Center and listed in serious condition.

The gunman entered the bank shortly after 11 a.m. and seven people inside were released, authorities said.

Sianez characterized the incident as a botched robbery and said the man, armed possibly with a shotgun, had made demands during the four-hour standoff.

 

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