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POSTED March 12, 2012 7:44 p.m.

BROWN SEEKS TAX-HIKE SUPPORT FROM POLICE CHIEFS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown appealed Monday to chiefs of police for support of his November tax initiative, even as he conceded the ballot likely will be crowded with tax proposals.

Brown noted that his plan is the only one of the three proposals that would dedicate some of the revenue to local law enforcement.

His address to the California Police Chiefs Association came as Brown faces significant hurdles in his bid to persuade voters to approve his measure, which would raise the state sales tax by half a cent for four years and increase the income tax on those making more than $250,000 a year for five years.

The biggest challenge could come from competing proposals that seek similar ends but could confuse voters and end in defeat.

The California Federation of Teachers is backing another initiative that would raise taxes on millionaires. In addition, attorney Molly Munger is underwriting an initiative that would increase income taxes across the board. Both measures would dedicate the new revenue to public education.

STRIP CLUB DONATION HELPS LITTLE LEAGUE: LENNOX . (AP) — A surprise donation from a strip club will keep bats cracking for a financially-strapped Little League in Los Angeles County.

The Lennox Little League, part of the California District 37 Little League, will continue for at least another year because of donations from local businesses, including $1,200 from the Jet Strip gentleman's club.

Lennox is an unincorporated area just east of Los Angeles International Airport and south of Inglewood.

The Torrance Daily Breeze says that unlike the 2005 "The Bad News Bears" remake in which youngsters had "Bo-Peeps Gentleman's Club" on their uniforms, Lennox Little League players won't have jerseys with the Jet Strip logo.

FISH MARKET WORKER SHOOTS OWNERS, 1 DIES: FONTANA  (AP) — Police say an employee shot the owners of a Southern California fish market, killing the woman and wounding her husband.

Fontana police Sgt. Billy Green says 46-year-old Lan Randy Hoan was arrested shortly after the Sunday evening shooting at the El Pescado Fish Market.

The gunman repeatedly shot the married couple who own the fish market. Green says their names are being withheld.

They were taken to a hospital where the woman died. Her husband is expected to survive.

DIVERS SEEK 4TH BODY FROM CA BOAT CAPSIZING: SANTA BARBARA  (AP) — A dive team is searching the ocean near Southern California's Santa Cruz Island for a fourth person believed to have died when a 24-foot boat capsized during a weekend fishing trip.

Three bodies were recovered after the boat from Channel Islands Harbor was reported overdue on Sunday and a search began. A fourth body was spotted by air but couldn't be found when searchers arrived.

The Santa Barbara County sheriff's office says the three victims recovered so far have been identified as Ventura County men — 37-year-old Sieng Sophorn Bun of Oxnard, 54-year-old Edgar Allen Isnec of Port Hueneme (wy-NEE'-mee) and 52-year-old Ramiro Alvarez Duarte of Oxnard.

The sheriff's dive team plans to search the water until dusk Monday.

CASSINI SPACECRAFT GLIMPSES NEW VIEWS OF MOON RHEA: PASADENA  (AP) — The pockmarked surface of Saturn's second-largest moon has come into sharper focus in new images released by NASA.

The space agency on Monday released the new views of the moon Rhea, which were captured by the international Cassini spacecraft during a recent flyby. One of its cameras spied two huge impact basins and other geologic features on Rhea's icy surface from 26,000 miles away last week.

Cassini, funded by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies, was launched in 1997. It reached Saturn in 2004 and has been studying the ringed planet and its numerous moons.

L'OREAL GIVES EPA $1.2M FOR ANIMAL-FREE TESTING: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cosmetics maker L'Oreal is giving $1.2 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help develop new animal-free chemical tests.

Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator in California, said the money will go to the agency's ToxCast program and fund new research into 10 chemicals used in cosmetics.

Blumenfeld said 1,000 chemicals have already been tested through ToxCast, which compares animal-free chemical testing methods against data collected from 30 years of animal tests.

L'Oreal and other European cosmetics companies are developing testing alternatives for wrinkle creams and lipsticks to comply with European Union laws, which require a phase out of animal skin testing by 2013.

Laurent Attal, executive vice president at L'Oreal, said the ToxCast research will bolster the company's other research into animal-free toxicology testing.

9 SNOWMOBILERS CITED AROUND LAKE TAHOE: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says nine snowmobilers have been cited on suspicion of driving in closed areas south of Lake Tahoe in recent weeks.

Five snowmobilers were cited Feb. 25 after they were allegedly caught riding in California's Mokelumne Wilderness, where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Four other snowmobilers were cited March 2 after they were accused of riding in Tahoe's Freel Peak-High Meadows area.

Forest Service spokeswoman Cheva Heck says she can't recall so many citations being issued to snowmobilers in such a short period of time.

She told the Reno Gazette-Journal that such closures are designed to protect natural resources and to reduce conflicts between snowmobilers and other recreation users.

All nine snowmobilers, residents of the Minden area or South Lake Tahoe, Calif., must appear before a federal magistrate.

MASSIVE SAN DIEGO BAY CLEANUP MAY GET OK: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Regulators this week are expected to order a massive cleanup of San Diego Bay, where lead, arsenic and other pollutants have built up over decades.

U-T San Diego says the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board is expected to rule Wednesday on a plan to remove 143,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment.

Scientists say the pollutants are harming the marine ecosystem and endangering those who eat fish and shellfish from the bay.

Dredging could start in September and take five years.

It would be the largest cleanup of its kind in the bay and could cost $70 million. Companies, the Navy, San Diego city and others that contributed to the pollution are expected to pay for the work.

NUKE PLANT QUAKE STUDY ON HOLD OVER $64M COST: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An earthquake study at the San Onofre nuclear plant is on hold until regulators determine whether utility customers should pay the $64 million cost.

U-T San Diego says the study will survey hidden quake faults near the coastal plant.

Southern California Edison wants customers, not shareholders, to cover the cost. The California Public Utilities Commission will decide and Edison says it's waiting for the decision before proceeding.

The scope of the study was enlarged after a Japanese nuclear plant was damaged by a quake and tsunami last year.

San Onofre was built to withstand a quake of magnitude-7 or stronger. But there's a chance that hidden faults could provide a greater quake risk.


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