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POSTED March 2, 2012 8:39 p.m.

PASTOR GETS 158 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MOLESTING GIRLS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A pastor of a Northern California church has been ordered to serve 158 years to life in prison for molesting five young girls that he and his wife were caring for at their home.

The Sacramento Bee reports that 49-year-old Tommy Gene Daniels was sentenced Friday after jurors in December found him guilty of 11 counts child molestation.

During the trial, prosecutors said the molestations of the girls took place between 2002 and 2007 at a family child-care operation that Daniels and his family ran out of their Citrus Heights home.

At the time, Daniels was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rio Linda.

The girls were between the ages of 5 to13. Four of the girls had been placed in the home by their adoptive parents, while the fifth girl attended daycare at the home.

1ST WOLF IN CALIF IN DECADES RETURNS TO ORE: GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's wandering wolf, OR-7, has crossed the border back into his home state after spending the last couple of months in Northern California.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday that the latest GPS tracking collar data put him in Klamath County on Thursday and in Jackson County at midnight.

OR-7 was the first known wolf in California in 87 years.

Just before members of his pack in northeastern Oregon were put under a kill order for preying on livestock, OR-7 lit out for new territory last September.

He has trekked more than 1,000 miles across highways, deserts and mountains, looking for a mate and a new home territory.

There have been no livestock attacks confirmed along his path.

LA SCHOOLS HIT WITH MORE CLAIMS IN LEWD ACTS CASE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer says he's so far filed 33 legal claims that the Los Angeles Unified School District ignored warning signs that a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School was committing lewd acts on students.

Attorney Luis Carrillo told a press conference Friday that he has filed 20 claims, which are precursors to lawsuits, on behalf of children who were allegedly victimized by 61-year-old Mark Berndt, who has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of lewd acts on children.

Carrillo says he filed another 13 claims Thursday on behalf of parents who say they were traumatized.

The district had no immediate response.

Berndt is charged with blindfolding children and feeding them his semen on cookies and spoons from 2005 to 2008.

Carrillo is among various civil attorneys filing claims in the case.

EJECTED PASSENGER KILLED DURING STREET RACE: FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — An ejected passenger is dead and three other people are hospitalized after two cars crashed during a street race in California's San Joaquin Valley.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Axel Reyes says the cars were racing in a rural Fresno area at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when the drivers lost control and the vehicles crashed into fences and power poles.

The Fresno Bee says a passenger in one of the cars was ejected and killed.

Three other people with moderate to major injuries are hospitalized at Community Regional Medical Center.

No names have been released.

COUPLE PLEAD NO CONTEST TO FELONY CHILD ABUSE: LONG BEACH  (AP) — A Long Beach husband and wife have pleaded no contest to felony child abuse in the beating death of their 31-day-old baby.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram says Melissa Swanson and Michael Cross each pleaded no contest Friday to a single count of felony child abuse causing death. They also pleaded to an allegation that each personally used a weapon in the August death of their daughter, Michaela Cross.

A prosecutor says that allegation is based on the coroner's ruling that the baby was slammed or swung into a hard object with such force it caused a massive and deadly skull fracture.

The cause of death was blunt-force trauma, specifically a skull fracture on the left side of the baby's head.

TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ON-CAMPUS SEX WITH STUDENT: HEMET  (AP) — Investigators say a high school teacher has been arrested for having sex with a student on a Southern California campus.

Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Wally Clear says 31-year-old Janel Ramirez, a ninth grade English teacher at Hemet High School, was arrested on Thursday for investigation of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

The age of the student hasn't been disclosed.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says investigators notified the Hemet Unified School District on Wednesday night that a teacher may have had sex with the teenager on campus in December.

The district then notified Child Protective Services

FIRE HYDRANT CRASH FLOODS SAN DIEGO HOSPITAL: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Officials say there is water damage to two floors and an elevator shaft at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego after a hit-and-run driver struck a fire hydrant.

A fire-rescue dispatcher says the crash happened at 4:30 a.m. Friday. Water gushed from the hydrant until crews could get it turned off around 6:15 a.m.

The dispatcher says she doesn't know how much damage was caused and the hospital will call in its own salvage crews.

City News Service says the flooded areas housed labs and offices.

MAN GUILTY IN FRESNO DELIVERY DRIVER'S MURDER: FRESNO  (AP) — Jurors needed only 90 minutes to find a Fresno man guilty of murder for gunning down a beer deliveryman outside a convenience store.

The Fresno Bee   reports that Joey Jesse Lopez was convicted of murder Friday in the killing of 27-year-old Richard Hernandez, a father of two children, in December 2009.

Lopez never denied shooting Hernandez, but claimed that he was insane at the time of the shooting.

After finding 29-year-old Lopez guilty, jurors will begin on Monday begin the insanity phase of the trial.

If they do determine that Lopez was insane, he could be sent to a state hospital for the rest of his life. If he's found sane, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

EUREKA MAN FACES DEATH PENALTY IN POT FARM SLAYING: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Humboldt County man could be sentenced to death if found guilty of federal charges that he murdered a worker at his marijuana farm.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that a grand jury indicted 29-year-old Mikal Xylon Wilde of Eureka on charges of murder during a narcotics offense and other drug and gun offenses.

Wilde remains jailed in Humboldt County, where he faced state charges over the alleged August 2010 shooting at the Kneeland-area marijuana grow.

The Times-Standard of Eureka reports that other workers, including one who was shot in the face, testified during a September preliminary hearing that Wilde opened fire after they quit and demanded to be paid.

Wilde pleaded not guilty at the time of the preliminary hearing. He has yet to appear in

 

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