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POSTED July 11, 2012 8:02 p.m.

SHERIFF WANTS POLITICIANS TO RETURN BADGES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sheriff Lee Baca is recalling about 200 official-looking badges that were given to politicians for use during disasters.

The move in Los Angeles County came two weeks after federal authorities arrested three officials of the small suburb of Cudahy on bribery charges.

Prosecutors handling the case released a photo of a woman in a nightclub holding two handguns and wearing a badge given to a councilman.

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department, said there's no connection between the photo and the decision to recall the badges, which he said was made in January but didn't begin until recently.

"Why it began now, that's a good question," he said.

OFF-DUTY DETECTIVE THWARTS WOULD-BE CARJACKERS: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An off-duty San Diego police detective pulled his gun when confronted by a pair of would-be carjackers and they ran away.

The detective was in his vehicle at a stop sign in the Colina Del Sol neighborhood Tuesday night when the suspects walked up to his car.

City News Service says one of the suspects reached to his waistband and told the detective that they were taking his vehicle.

The detective, whose name is being withheld, then pulled out his gun and the suspects fled.

The detective chased them on foot but they got away.

LA DEPUTIES CALL ANIMAL CONTROL FOR 32 CHIHUAHUAS: LA PUENTE  (AP) — Animal control officers say they found 32 Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes at a La Puente home and they are in good condition.

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control chief Aaron Reyes says the sheriff's department was at the house Wednesday conducting some enforcement action when deputies found the dogs.

The owner relinquished custody of all the animals so animal control needs homes for 32 dogs, including seven puppies.

Reyes says the dogs will be available starting Thursday.

The dogs are at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center. Adoption fees are $100 and that includes spaying and neutering, shots and a microchip.

THEME PARK SUED FOR BARRING AMPUTEES FROM COASTER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Universal Studios Hollywood has been sued for barring amputees from a theme park roller coaster.

The federal court lawsuit contends two men were kept off the Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Angel Castelan's forearms were amputated after an electrical accident as a child and Marvin Huezo's legs were amputated after a car accident.

Castelan says ride operators told him in 2010 that he couldn't ride the coaster because he doesn't have hands to grip the safety bars.

He returned to the theme park last year with Huezo and operators told them a new policy requires riders have at least one hand and one leg.


MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO HEISTING PILLOW PETS : OCEANSIDE  (AP) — A San Diego County man has pleaded not guilty to stealing some 3,500 Pillow Pets from an Oceanside warehouse.

The North County Times  says 42-year-old Danny Ray Wright of Carlsbad entered the pleas Tuesday to grand theft and burglary.

Prosecutors contend that Wright stole $84,000 worth of the animal-shaped pillows and may have sold some on eBay.

Authorities say he was an independent contractor who was allowed to sell some pillows but never paid the company. Prosecutors contend that beginning in January, he pilfered Pillow Pets by sneaking them out of the warehouse.

He's free on bail and could face four years and eight months in prison if convicted.

LA-AREA COUNCILMAN WHO HAD AFFAIR QUITS: SAN FERNANDO  (AP) — A Los Angeles-area city councilman has resigned after his affair with a colleague that led to an ugly breakup and mutual restraining orders.

Mario Hernandez stepped down Tuesday night, several hours before the San Fernando City Council meeting that would include Councilwoman Maribel Del La Torre.

Hernandez and De La Torre announced at a council meeting in November that they were romantically linked. Hernandez was mayor and married at the time and his wife was in the audience.

Hernandez and De La Torre are under court orders to stay 100 yards away from each other, and it was not clear how the meeting would have been conducted had both attended. Both sought restraining orders after a June 28 confrontation over a trip Hernandez was taking and an iPad she wanted to get back from him.

SANTA MONICA TIGHTENING SMOKING RESTRICTIONS: SANTA MONICA  (AP) — Smokers are finding it tougher to light up in Santa Monica.

The City Council approved a law on Tuesday that prohibits smoking for new apartment and condominium dwellers and forces existing residents to designate their units as smoking areas.

Those residents will lose the right to smoke at all in their homes if they fail register as designated smoking units.

The ordinance, which needs a second reading, also requires city staff to give the City Council a drop-dead date after which every unit in Santa Monica would be declared non-smoking.

GRAND JURY PROBES BORDER DEATH: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal grand jury is investigating the death of an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was shot by U.S. border authorities with a stun gun, suggesting the government is considering criminal charges after more than two years of silence on the politically charged case.

Eugene Iredale, an attorney representing the family of victim Anastasio Hernandez, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he understood attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division have been presenting evidence to the grand jury.

A person other than Iredale who is close to the Hernandez family said two eyewitnesses to the incident have been called to testify Thursday in San Diego. The person, who spoke directly with the witnesses, requested anonymity because grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret.


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