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POSTED May 21, 2012 8:24 p.m.

MAN SENTENCED IN NATIONAL FOREST POT GROW: FRESNO  (AP) — A Mexican national has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison in connection with a marijuana growing operation in Sequoia National Forest.

A federal judge sentenced 28-year-old Jorge Aburto of Michoacan, Mexico on Monday. Prosecutors say Aburto conspired with others to grow nearly 7,000 marijuana plants on Sequoia forest land in Kern County. Authorities who raided the site found fertilizer, batteries and plastic irrigation lines. Oak trees and other vegetation had apparently been cut to allow sunlight to reach the plants.

Aburto pleaded guilty last year. Prosecutors say he has also been ordered to pay nearly $4,000 towards clean-up of the site and faces deportation after his prison sentence.

S. CALIF. POLICE DOG INJURED AFTER TRAINING: OCEANSIDE (AP) — A Chula Vista police dog has suffered heat-related injuries while sitting inside a squad car after going through some training exercises.

A German shepherd named Troy was recovering at a veterinary hospital after he suffered his injuries on May 11 in Oceanside.

The dog was in Oceanside for training and was put in a police vehicle while officers trained with other canines. Police said the squad car was air conditioned but may not have been running cool enough for Troy, who has had problems cooling off after training in the past.

The dog had a temperature of 107.5 degrees when brought to the hospital. A dog's normal temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees, according to the American Kennel Club.

CALIF. SCHOOL DISTRICTS HIT FINANCE CRISIS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Department of Education says a record number of school districts are in financial dire straits this year, with a dozen facing insolvency.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Monday that 188 districts have received either negative or qualified financial ratings from the state.

That's up 45 from a year ago, and up 61 from earlier in the 2011-12 academic year.

County education offices have had to step in to oversee 12 districts that either do not have money to finish this school year or to make it through the 2012-13 year.

Torlakson says state funding cuts have caused many districts to plunge into an unprecedented budget crisis.

COLLEGE STUDENT WHO WENT MISSING IN YOSEMITE FOUND: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK  (AP) — A California college student who went missing over the weekend in Yosemite National Park has been found.

Park officials say John Paul Chaufan Field was spotted from a search and rescue helicopter Monday afternoon about five miles from where he was last seen Saturday.

Park rangers found him in good health and were transporting him to a ranger station.

The 22-year-old was on a backpacking trip with fellow University of California, Santa Cruz students in the Hetch Hetchy area in the park's northwest section.

The park says Chaufan Field did not show up for a headcount when the rest of the group left for a day hike around 11 a.m. Saturday. When the group returned an hour later, he was still missing.

CROP DUSTER PLANE CRASHES OUTSIDE YUBA CITY: YUBA CITY  (AP) — A crop dusting plane has crashed in a rice field outside Yuba City, killing the pilot.

Sutter County Sheriff's officials say the crash occurred about 20 miles south of city near Highway 70 around 6:30 a.m. Monday. The plane was dropping zinc fertilizer when it nose-dived and hit the ground.

MAN KILLED WHEN STRUCK BY CHP CAR IN SAN DIEGO: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pedestrian has died after being struck by a California Highway Patrol cruiser on a San Diego freeway.

The man was killed late Saturday on Interstate 8. His name hasn't been released.

The man, believed to be a transient, ran from the center divider directly into the path of the CHP car. The officer attempted to swerve and avoid a collision, also hitting his brakes, but wasn't successful.

The pedestrian was struck by the right front of the patrol car and came to rest on the right shoulder of the freeway.

DEAD NEWBORN FOUND IN OXNARD STRAWBERRY FIELD: OXNARD . (AP) — Ventura County sheriff's detectives are investigating the death of a newborn baby found in an Oxnard strawberry field.

Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Don Aguilar tells the Ventura County Star (http://bit.ly/MBx3VP) that a worker found the body Monday morning near the edge of the field in Nyeland Acres.

Aguilar says the cause of the baby's death is not known, but authorities are treating the incident as a homicide as a standard part of the initial investigation.

Authorities are trying to determine who left the baby in the field and why. Aguilar says authorities also are concerned about the health and well-being of the mother.

SEA LAUNCH VESSELS DEPART ON INTELSAT MISSION: LONG BEACH  (AP) — Sea Launch AG says its oceangoing rocket pad and command ship have departed their Long Beach, Calif., home port for the equator to launch a communications satellite for Intelsat.

The Switzerland-based company said in a statement Monday that liftoff of a Zenit-3SL rocket carrying Intelsat-19 is planned for 10:22 p.m. PDT on May 31.

Built by Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., Intelsat-19 will serve Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. West Coast.

The Sea Launch system takes advantages of physics that allow a rocket to more easily carry a heavy payload to orbit from the equator.

 

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