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POSTED July 9, 2012 9:00 p.m.

REMAINS OF MISSING WWII SOLDIER RETURN TO CALIF.: SAN BRUNO  (AP) — A California soldier who died during World War II will be buried near his boyhood home this week after the former Marine's remains were discovered on a remote island in the South Pacific.

James Austin Sisney and six other crew members died on April 22, 1944, when their twin-engine plane crashed into a mountain during a night training mission, the San Mateo County Times reported Monday.

Not long after the crash, a team of soldiers found the wreckage on Espiritu Santo, the largest island in the archipelago nation now known as Vanuatu. They found human remains and buried them near the crash site.

"It obviously exploded upon impact, instantly killing all personnel, and then burned," Maj. John Palmer, commander of the aircraft group, wrote in a report about the accident.

But that report disappeared in the confusion of war. The wreckage was overtaken by jungle and forgotten by all but the local residents.

The missing soldiers' relatives did not know the plane's whereabouts until 2007, when one of them tracked down and unearthed the wreckage on the steep mountainside. The military excavated it and the soldiers' identities were confirmed through DNA.

Sisney grew up in Livermore and Redwood City and joined the Marines in December 1942 when he was 17, becoming part of a bombing squadron known as the Seahorse Marines. He was 19 when his plane failed to clear the summit of a mountain on the South Pacific Island.

Sisney's coffin will arrive at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday. A portion of his remains will be buried with full military honors at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno on Friday. A ceremony for the entire crew will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia in October.

GOV. BROWN SIGNS BILL DELAYING WATER BOND TO 2014: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill delaying a vote on an $11 billion water bond until November 2014.

Brown announced Monday that he signed AB1422 by Democratic Assemblyman Henry Perea of Fresno. It's the second time the measure has been postponed.

Voters were originally supposed to consider the bond in 2010, but former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation delaying it until this year.

But Democrats concerned about the cost of the proposal sought a second delay to focus on Brown's tax hike proposal this November. The Democratic governor wants to increase the sales tax and income taxes on high-wage earners to help cut the state deficit and fund public schools.

The water bond received bipartisan support from lawmakers because it includes funding for many regional water projects.

LA DROPS BUSINESS TAX FOR NEW-CAR DEALERS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles says taxes were driving car dealers out of town. Now it's trying to lure them back.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance on Monday that exempts dealers of new cars from the city's business tax.

The mayor says the tax drove away dealerships along with potential jobs and the sales tax they generated.

Los Angeles has lost 95 dealerships in the past 25 years to neighboring cities such as Burbank and Pasadena that have lower business taxes on new car lots or none at all.

The mayor's office says last year, Los Angeles received about six times as much money from the sales tax paid by new car dealers than it did from their business tax revenue.

FEDS SAY 160K TIRES AT RECYCLING PLANT POSE DANGER: MECCA  (AP) — Federal regulators say a Southern California desert tire recycler's 160,000 discarded tires are dangerous.

The Environmental Protection Agency told Mecca's Consolidated Tire Recyclers a year ago that the tires were a fire risk and the outdoor piles needed to be removed.

But little has been done and the Desert Sun of Palm Springs says the original estimate of 70,000 tires has now burgeoned to more than twice that amount.

The EPA says the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, operators of the recycling plant 140 miles southeast of Los Angeles, have removed only about 10,000 tires since April.

TEEN DIES IN FIERY LA FREEWAY CRASH: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A teenager has died in a fiery Los Angeles freeway crash.

Investigators say the 17-year-old Santa Ana boy was in the backseat of a Chevrolet that rear-ended a disabled Jeep Sunday evening in the fast lane of State Route 179 in North Hollywood.

The driver and a passenger in the Chevrolet had gotten out to check on the Jeep occupants when a Lexus sport utility vehicle slammed into the rear of the car.

City News Service says the Chevrolet flipped and the teenager was trapped as flames engulfed the car.

EL CAJON POLICE SHOOT WOMAN WIELDING SHOTGUN: EL CAJON  (AP) — Police have shot a San Diego County woman they say pointed a shotgun at them during a half-hour standoff.

Thirty-five-year-old Jamie Fitzgerald was wounded Sunday morning at her El Cajon apartment. A police dispatcher didn't know her condition Monday.

Police say she called them to report that she wanted to turn over a loaded shotgun.

However, when officers arrived, police say Fitzgerald appeared on a balcony holding a shotgun in a threatening manner.

A neighbor, Gaylene Henderson, tells U-T San Diegothat Fitzgerald sang, pointed the gun in several directions, at times turned the gun on herself and appeared to pull the trigger.

Police say she ignored a crisis negotiator and a 23-year veteran officer shot the woman when she leveled the shotgun at officers.

SANTA MONICA MAY DIVERT FLIGHTS TO OTHER AIRPORTS: SANTA MONICA  (AP) — Santa Monica Airport may divert flights to other airports to solve neighborhood noise complaints.

The City Council meets Tuesday and is expected to approve a six-month, $90,000 program to divert up to 4,800 takeoffs and landings to eight other airports on weekends and holidays.

The other airports haven't been identified.

The Torrance Daily Breeze says the plan is designed to get rid of noisy private plane touch-and-go practice landings and takeoffs that provoke noise complaints.

Santa Monica Airport's half dozen flight schools would receive $150 per training flight shifted elsewhere.

 

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