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POSTED July 3, 2012 8:45 p.m.

LARGEST STATE WORKERS UNION RATIFIES FURLOUGH  DEAL: SACRAMENTO,   (AP) — California's largest state workers union has ratified a furlough agreement to reduce employees' pay by roughly 5 percent for a year.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1000 announced Tuesday that 66 percent of voting members supported the agreement for 12 unpaid days of leave.

Unlike past furloughs that imposed unpaid days off, employees will have some flexibility to schedule their time off.

Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker says the agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown not only represents a compromise, but achieves some of the union's goals. It sets up a task force focused on reducing private vendor contracts. The administration also agreed to eliminate student assistants and some retired state workers who come back to work for the state.

Brown initially proposed moving the state to a four-day workweek.

2 TONS OF ILLEGAL FIREWORKS SEIZED IN EAST LA : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies cracking down on illegal fireworks before the July 4 holiday have seized two tons of explosives with names such as "Devil's Thrill" and "Reapers Doom."

A Sheriff's Department statement says the dangerous fireworks was seized in East Los Angeles on Monday and had a street value of $10,000.

One man was cited for possession of illegal fireworks and released.

Authorities have seized 10 tons of illegal fireworks in the past week.

LA MAYOR, GIRLFRIEND BREAK UP AFTER 3 YEARS : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his girlfriend of three years have broken up.

TV reporter and former Miss USA Lu Parker has moved out of the mayor's official residence.

Her publicist, Juliette Harris, tells the newspaper that the relationship ended May 25. She did not specify a reason.

The 59-year-old Villaraigosa has not commented publicly on the breakup. In 2007 he held a press conference to confirm an affair with another TV reporter shortly after his wife filed for divorce.

The 44-year-old Parker's absence at official events had been noted by the media in recent weeks.

Villaraigosa terms out as mayor next year. He was recently appointed chairman of the Democratic National Convention.

TODDLER STRANGLES ON WINDOW CORD: SAN JACINTO AP) — Riverside County authorities say a toddler has strangled after a window-covering cord became wrapped around its neck.

The 14-month-old child died at a hospital Monday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Department says the mother told deputies that she had left the room for only a few minutes while the child and a 3-year-old sibling were watching television.

The mother says she returned to find the 14-month-old unconscious on the couch with the cord wrapped around its neck.

ANALYSIS: LA COUNTY ASSESSOR DONOR GOT TAX BREAK: LOS ANGELES (AP) — An analysis of tax records shows the taxable value of properties belonging to Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez's biggest campaign contributor was slashed by $307 million.

The Los Angeles Times did the analysis and reports Tuesday that the amount was four times more than Douglas Emmett received the previous four years. The county ended up refunding Emmett's company $4.5 million in 2011.

The analysis shows Emmett got a 27 percent tax break while others got 16 percent.

A company spokesman says some of the breaks should have been bigger because property values plummeted.

Noguez became assessor in 2010. He's now on indefinite paid leave while the district attorney investigates.

A former appraiser has been arrested on 60 felony counts related to reductions for wealthy property owners.

MOM CHARGED WITH DROWNING BABY IN BATHTUB: SANTA ANA  (AP) — A Southern California woman has been charged with murdering her 2-month-old daughter by filling a bathtub halfway with water and drowning her.

The Orange County district attorney's office said Tuesday that 27-year-old Lucero Carrera is charged with one felony count each of murder and assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.

Prosecutors say Carrera drowned her daughter Friday in the Santa Ana trailer they shared with her mother and took a large quantity of pills. Authorities say Carrera's mother found the baby face down in the tub when she returned home.

Carrera was taken to a hospital. She is being held on $1 million bail and due to be arraigned July 20.

SMOKE CREATES FLIGHT EMERGENCY; PLANE LANDS SAFELY: SAN JOSE  (AP) — A Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas has landed safely at San Jose's Mineta airport after the captain declared an emergency following a report of smoke in the cabin.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane was about 25 miles east of San Jose airport, its intended destination, Tuesday morning when someone reported smelling smoke in the cabin.

The captain declared an emergency, and the plane's landing was expedited. Television news footage showed the plane at a gate with firefighters surrounding it.

San Jose Fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez says firefighters who responded did not see any smoke, but noticed a burnt smell.

Gregor says the FAA will work with the fire department to determine the cause of the odor.

MOM PLEADS GUILTY IN BABY BLOW DRYER DEATH: ARCATA  (AP) — A Northern California mother has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 3-month-old daughter, who suffered third-degree burns from a blow dryer.

The Times-Standard of Eureka reports that 30-year-old Rebecca Carroll entered the plea on Monday in Humboldt County Superior Court.

Authorities suspect an intoxicated Carroll returned to her Arcata home in the early morning hours of Oct. 15 from a night out and got into bed with her daughter, Rebelle Rose Keene, while blow drying her hair.

Rebelle was found dead about six hours later. The coroner's office says it appears she went into shock as a result of burns from the blow dryer.

Carroll, who is also known as Rebecca McPherson, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 27 and faces up to four years in prison.

 

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