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POSTED June 14, 2012 10:26 p.m.

MAN FILES SUIT AGAINST TV NETWORK, BRISTOL PALIN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man is suing the Lifetime Network and Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, claiming he was taped heckling her for a planned reality show without his knowledge or consent.

Stephen Hanks filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking general and punitive damages, saying he's a victim of defamation and invasion of privacy after video aired of their confrontation at a West Hollywood bar in September.

Hanks says he wasn't told the film crew was shooting footage for the show "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp."

In an expletive-laden tirade, Hanks insults Bristol's mother and calls the 21-year-old "white trash from Wasilla."

Hanks says Palin called him a homosexual and defamed him in a magazine.

The show is set to air Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.

SOLANO COUNTY HIT WITH GRASSHOPPER OUTBREAK: FAIRFIELD  (AP) — A grasshopper outbreak is wreaking havoc in a portion of Solano County.

County officials said Thursday the insects are eating vegetation as they move through the county's northwest.

Spokesman Stephen Pierce said there have been no reports of damage to agricultural crops. Commercial farmers have pesticides that specifically target grasshoppers.

County officials say those pesticides are not available to homeowners, who are being advised to instead protect plants by covering them with a fine metal mesh screen.

The infestation is being blamed on a combination of weather and environmental factors. Officials are in the process of determining the exact variety of grasshopper causing the damage.

MASSIVE LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURT LAYOFFS TO BEGIN:  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Squeezed by state budgets cutbacks, the Los Angeles County court system is launching massive job layoffs, pay cuts, and transfers Friday.

Cutbacks will affect 431 court employees and 56 courtrooms throughout the nation's largest superior court system.

Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmons says longtime employees are being laid off in the quest to save $30 million. She notes that earlier reductions already saved $70 million, but more cuts in state support for trial courts are scheduled for the next fiscal year.

The plan calls for laying off 157 people while hundreds more will be given lower-level positions, reduced to part-time work or transferred to new jobs because their old ones have been eliminated.

Targeted employees will not be identified until they are notified Friday morning, according to a court spokeswoman.

YOUNG GRAFFITI VANDAL ARRESTED IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: VISTA  (AP) — San Diego County sheriff's deputies say a boy has been arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall on 180 counts of felony vandalism.

The boy was arrested Wednesday and is suspected of graffiti vandalism that caused about $85,000 in damage in Vista, about 40 miles north of San Diego.

Johnston says deputies served a search warrant at the boy's home and seized some evidence. He says the boy was arrested at another location and was in possession of graffiti paraphernalia and implements.

The boy's name was withheld because he is a minor. Deputies did not release his age.

UTILITY: SUMMER POWER NEEDS TO BE MET IN S. CALIF. : SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Gas & Electric officials said Thursday that they expect to be able to meet power demands this summer despite losing supply from the nuclear plant in San Onofre, which is offline due to wear in tubes that carry radioactive water.

Utility spokeswoman Allison Zaragoza said the situation will be helped by a new transmission line called Sunrise Powerlink, which is expected to bring power from the Imperial Valley and go online any day.

San Onofre has been shut down for four months. It typically produces enough electricity for about 1.4 million homes.

SDG&E President Michael R. Niggli said San Onofre, which is the region's largest power plant, will remain offline for most of the summer.

Zaragoza warned that conservation will still be key to ensuring the lights stay on, particularly in the event that there is an extended heat wave.

"If the situation is tight and we don't get enough conservation from customers, that is always difficult," said Zaragoza.

The agency that manages much of the state's power grid, the California Independent System Operator Corporation, said in its summer assessment that there were adequate supplies for most of California. In the second half of 2011, more than 283 megawatts of new power were added to the grid and an estimated 926 megawatts are coming on line by July 1, 2012, according to the agency.

6 CHARGED AS PART OF FED CRACKDOWN ON CA POT SHOPS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Six people were arrested Thursday on federal drug conspiracy and possession charges for their roles in a trio of Southern California medical marijuana dispensaries ordered to be shut down by the government last year.

Federal prosecutors said the six were indicted in connection with three stores in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. They included the founder-owners of the G3 Holistic stores in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley and employees including workers at an Ontario growing site.

All were expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Riverside during the afternoon.

In October, California's four U.S. attorneys announced they would crack down on illegal pot shops, saying that they violate federal drug laws. Federal prosecutors believe pot suppliers are using California's 1996 medical marijuana law as a cover for making huge profits.

Hundreds of dispensaries have closed because of evictions or fears of prosecution. Thursday's action was the second criminal case involving retail outlet operators in the Los Angeles region under that crackdown.

MICROSOFT TO MAKE 'MAJOR' ANNOUNCEMENT ON MONDAY: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is being secretive about a "major" announcement it plans to make in Los Angeles on Monday.

The company invited media to an afternoon event, but it says it won't divulge the location until that morning. In an email, the company says, "This will be a major Microsoft announcement — you will not want to miss it."

Fresno County sheriff's dog injured during arrest

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Fresno County sheriff's deputies say a K-9 dogs was hurt while helping arrest of an alleged child molester.

Deputies tell The Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/KWaz2M) they were arresting 45-year-old David Guerrero Wednesday for the alleged sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl. They sent their dog Oka after Guerrero when the man went into a crawl space under a house. As man and dog fought, deputies fired beanbag bullets at Guerrero and he agreed to come out.

Deputies say Guerrero was treated at a hospital for dog bites and beanbag strikes. Oka was treated for cuts and bruises.

Guerrero, a registered sex offender, was booked for investigation of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, assault on a peace officer's dog with injury, resisting arrest, and dissuading a witness.

In recent months Microsoft Corp. has made more TV programming available on its Xbox 360 video game console. Netflix Inc. is among the offerings on the Xbox, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is on Microsoft's board.

Microsoft is also preparing to release a new operating system, Windows 8, that works across laptop computers, tablets and even televisions.

 

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