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POSTED May 30, 2012 9:22 p.m.

CAR HITS STUDENTS OUTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL, 9 HURT: HEMET  (AP) — A pickup truck ran into a group of students who were crossing a street outside a California high school on Wednesday, leaving nine people injured and backpacks and clothing strewn across an intersection.

The accident occurred shortly after school ended for the day at Hemet High School, Riverside County fire officials said in a statement.

Three people were in critical condition and five more were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. Those injured included the driver of the truck and at least five students, officials said.

Witnesses told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that a white Ford Ranger went straight through a right-turn only lane and ran a red light before hitting students who were in a crosswalk leading to a student parking lot and the school football stadium.

Backpacks and clothing were strewn near the school following the crash, NBC4-TV reported.

School activities director Al Fernandes said his 17-year-old daughter was among those hit. He told the newspaper the girl was conscious and talking but extremely sore at Moreno Valley Regional Medical Center.

Hemet is a desert community about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

USS IOWA REACHES LA, WILL BECOME MUSEUM : LOS ANGELES (AP) — The USS Iowa, a World War II-era battleship, was at anchor Wednesday off the Port of Los Angeles, where it will become a museum.

The decommissioned warship arrived after being towed down the California coast from the Port of Richmond.

The Iowa will be permanently berthed in the port and operated as a museum by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center, which was selected over a San Francisco Bay area organization.

The battleship was first commissioned in 1943 and saw action in World War II and the Korean War. It was decommissioned for the final time in 1990 and spent the past decade in the Suisun Bay mothball fleet.

The vessel's hull will be cleaned before it is brought into the harbor Saturday.

A tugboat will initially tow the Iowa to a temporary mooring, then lead it down the harbor's main channel to its permanent berth June 9, Crowley Maritime Corp. said.

The museum is scheduled to open July 7, following a reunion of USS Iowa veterans.

HITTING HORSE WITH SLEDGEHAMMER WAS EUTHANIZE TRY : PORTERVILLE (AP) — The owner of a 27-year-old horse that could no longer stand says the horse was hit in the head with a sledgehammer in an attempt to euthanize the animal.

Tulare County Sheriff's deputies arrested 50-year-old Martin Padilla and 59-year-old Maximo Rodriguez on Sunday for investigation of animal cruelty. The Porterville men were released after each post $2,500 bail.

The horse's owner Lupe Valadez said that Padilla hit the horse named Lobo with the sledgehammer in a misguided attempt to end its misery.

The sledgehammer blow didn't kill the horse. When authorities arrived at the one-acre Porterville property, the horse was tied down to a flatbed trailer in the driveway but it was still alive.

It was later euthanized by a veterinarian.

BOY, 3, CRITICAL AFTER PIT BULL ATTACKS HIM: BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — A 3-year-old Bakersfield boy was in critical condition Wednesday after being attacked by the family's 125-pound pit bull.

The Kern County Sheriff's Department was investigating Tuesday evening's attack because of the severity of the boy's injuries. He was airlifted to Madera, where he was undergoing treatment at Children's Hospital.

The boy's parents were bitten by the dog while trying to stop the attack, said Kern County Animal Control spokeswoman Kim Rodriguez. They were able to free the boy but suffered hand injuries.

The family had the dog since it was a puppy, and animal control estimated it is now 3 to 5 years old.

"The message we're trying to get out is about responsible pet ownership, and it's not just about food and water and medical needs," Rodriguez said. "It's imperative to maintain control of your animals, not just for your family but for the community as a whole."

Investigators said the boy was alone with the unneutered dog and they do not know what prompted the attack.

Animal control as keeping the gray and white dog under a 10-day quarantine while its future is decided.

 

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