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POSTED May 14, 2012 8:12 p.m.

MODESTO CEMETERIES VANDALIZED, HEADSTONES BROKEN: MODESTO (AP) — Vandals have caused thousands of dollars in damage in three of Modesto's cemeteries.

Multiple headstones were knocked from their bases at St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery, Acacia Memorial Park and Modesto Citizens' Cemetery. Some weighed as much as 2,000 pounds and date back to the 1800s.

The damage was first discovered by a gardener early Monday morning. Police, ID technicians and a member of Modesto Citizens' Cemetery board surveyed the broken headstones along Scenic Drive later in the day.

The latest destruction follows on an attack on two of the cemeteries in 2008, when vandals did about $50,000 in damage to 80 headstones.

STANISLAUS COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S DEATH IS 3RD IN 2 YEARS: MODESTO  (AP) — The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office is grieving the death of its third prosecutor in less than two years.

Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley says Deputy District Attorney Frank Alvarez died Sunday at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in north Modesto.

Shipley says the circumstances and causes surrounding Alvarez's death are not immediately known.

The 57-year-old Alvarez also was the commander of a local Latino veterans group and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Alvarez is the third Stanislaus County deputy district attorney to die in less than two years.

Forty-year old prosecutor Shawn Barlow died of natural causes at his home in Turlock in Sept. 2010. Forty-two-year-old prosecutor Nate Baker died a month earlier in a San Francisco hospital where he was awaiting a heart procedure.

FAMILY  WAKES TO FIND LEXUS IN THEIR POOL: LA PUENTE  (AP) — The Diaz family awoke to find a Lexus at the bottom of their swimming pool.

The Southern California family said that drivers navigating the tricky intersection next to their house in La Puente have hit their cinderblock wall before, but early Sunday one of them smashed right through it in his silver sedan, then sank into the pool. A crane later fished out the 2006 Lexus.

California Highway Patrol officer Steve Licon says the driver — 40-year-old Modesto Cabral — was able to escape from the car through the passenger side window and had only minor injuries.

BLAZE RAZES 7 BUSINESS IN HAMLET NEAR YOSEMITE: MARIPOSA  (AP) — A devastating $1 million blaze has razed seven businesses in a California foothill hamlet that depends on tourists headed for nearby Yosemite National Park.

The weekend fire burned the estimated 9,000-square-foot building to the ground, destroying a major part of the Mariposa economy.

The popular Mariposa Pizza Factory, an often standing-room-only landmark in the town of 2,200 residents, and the Pony Expresso Coffee House & Trading Post are among the incinerated businesses.

The cause of the Friday night fire hasn't been determined.

California Highway 140, a stretch frequented by Yosemite National Park visitors, was shut down until Saturday afternoon while firefighters mopped up and extinguished hot spots.

PIT BULLS ATTACK WOMAN WALKING HER DOG: LONG BEACH  (AP) — Police shot and killed a pit bull that attacked a Southern California woman, her dog and two good Samaritans who intervened.

The woman was walking her pit bull on a Long Beach street on Saturday evening when two other pit bulls attacked.

She was hospitalized with serious bite wounds that required surgery.

Two bystanders attempted to stop the attack, but they were also bitten and needed medical attention.

Sgt. David Marander says the animal was cornered 10 blocks away and shot to death because it was a danger to the public.

Animal care officials found the other dog at its home and it is now in quarantine pending an investigation.

The woman's pit bull was taken to a veterinary hospital.

PARAGLIDER HITS CLIFF AND DIES IN SAN DIEGO; SAN DIEGO (AP) — A paraglider has died after crashing into some cliffs in San Diego.

The medical examiner's office says 52-year-old Pamela Hargett of Inman, S.C., was killed Saturday at Torrey Pines, a beachside area popular with paragliders.

U Hargett's boyfriend also was paragliding, saw her slam into a cliff and called 911 just after noon.

San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma says lifeguards rappelled down to retrieve the woman but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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