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POSTED August 21, 2012 9:50 p.m.

AUTHORITIES AMEND NATALIE WOOD'S DEATH CERTIFICATE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Natalie Wood's death certificate has been changed to reflect some of the uncertainties and lingering questions surrounding the actress' drowning more than 30 years ago in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California.

The document was amended earlier this month and shifts Wood's death from an accidental drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors," according to a copy of the certificate obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The amended document also now states that the circumstances of how Wood ended up in the waters off Catalina Island in November 1981 are "not clearly established."

The changes occurred nine months after sheriff's homicide investigators renewed their inquiry into Wood's death shortly before its 30th anniversary.

Chief of Detectives William McSweeney said the decision to amend the death certificate was ultimately made by the coroner's office, which has been instructed by detectives not to discuss the case.

WEST HOLLYWOOD APPROVES PLASTIC BAG BAN: WEST HOLLYWOOD  (AP) — Another California city has banned plastic bags at store checkouts.

The West Hollywood City Council approved the ordinance on Monday night.

The Los Angeles Times (lat.ms/ShqOJM) says the law prohibits grocery and other retail stores from distributing plastic bags.

Larger retailers must stop using plastic bags within six months. Smaller stores have a year to comply.

Farmers markets and restaurants are excluded.

The ban is intended to reduce landfill waste and to encourage residents to shop with reusable bags or paper bags made with recycled materials.

Unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and other California cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena, already have plastic bag bans.

BILL TARGETS FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT PLAYGROUNDS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Playgrounds at fast-food restaurants will have to meet strict cleaning standards if a bill approved by the Senate becomes law.

AB1513 would require restaurants to devise policies for keeping those brightly colored plastic jungle gyms as germ-free as eating areas.

Assemblyman Mike Allen was inspired to write the bill by an Arizona mom who has been on a cross-country mission to clean up dirty fast-food play structures.

Her group, Kids Play Safe, says it has found high levels of bacteria at California fast-food playgrounds, which are currently unregulated.

If the Santa Rosa Democrat's bill becomes law, fast food restaurants will have to inform parents how regularly they clean their playground structures.

HAZING AT  HUMBOLDT:  EURKEA (AP) — The president of Humboldt State University on Tuesday suspended the school's men's soccer team for the coming academic year as a result of a new recruit hazing ritual involving most of the team's players.

Rollin Richmond made the announcement as the university released its findings from an investigation into the Aug. 4 incident at an off-campus house party where new players, most of them incoming freshmen, were ordered to perform humiliating acts and to consume large amounts of alcohol.

"Following careful investigation including interviews with team members, the university has concluded that an incident of hazing did occur, and that it placed the lives of two students in real jeopardy," Richmond said in a letter to the campus.

Along with prohibiting the 33-member soccer team from competing in any California Collegiate Athletic Conference or university-sanctioned games during the 2012-2013 season, Humboldt plans to discipline individual students, he said. Many Lumberjacks were involved in or witnessed the hazing, he said.

MOTORIST SHOOTS HIMSELF WHILE DRIVING: SANTA BARBARA . (AP) — A motorist has shot himself in a suicide while driving on a California central coast highway.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's Sgt. Mark Williams says the man was driving southbound on U.S. Route 101 when he shot himself to death.

The vehicle crashed near the Winchester Avenue off ramp.

The name of the dead motorist, described only as a man in his later 50s, is being withheld.

9 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RESCUED AT ARIZ-CALIF BORDER: YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Nine illegal immigrants lost in the desert have been rescued in southwestern Arizona near the California border.

Yuma Border Patrol Sector agents say they received a call Monday from a woman who reported a group of distressed Mexican nationals traveling in the desert north the Chocolate Mountains and west of Blythe, Calif.

Blythe Border Patrol agents and members of Yuma Sector's search and rescue team later found six people, who reported there were others left behind.

Agents were able to track footprints of two more individuals and the pair was found buried in the sand seeking shelter from the sun.

The ninth person called 911 to say he could see a CBP helicopter flying in the area.

He was transported to a hospital for treatment of dehydration and asthma symptoms.

BILL RAISES FEES ON LOBBYISTS TO FUND DISCLOSURE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Lobbyists and political committee will have to pay more for the privilege of doing business in California if a bill approved by the Assembly becomes law.

SB1001 would double the registration fees lobbyists pay to the Secretary of State's Office and require committees and candidates to pay fees, as well. The revenue would go to California's Cal-Access website, which tracks lobbying activity and campaign finance reports.

Committees and lobbyists would pay $50 a year. The California Newspaper Publishers Association supports the bill, while the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association calls it a "punitive measure."

LILY POND TRASHED BY WATER GUN FIGHT UNDER REPAIR: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities are making more than $19,000 in repairs to a lily pond in San Diego that was trashed during a midnight water gun fight.

Repairs to the landmark pond and a fountain in Balboa Park are expected to be completed by Wednesday.

The repair cost is about the double the original estimate.

The fight was organized over social media and drew as many as 1,000 people to the park on Aug. 11. Authorities say some trampled landscaping, damaged submerged planters, broke a pipe that left the pond partially drained and damaged the Plaza de Panama Fountain.

The nonprofit Friends of Balboa Park raised $13,000 in donations to help pay for repairs.

 

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