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POSTED September 21, 2012 10:10 p.m.

LAW WILL BOOST CALIFORNIA'S SPACE TRAVEL INDUSTRY: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — With the space shuttle Endeavour's final flight capturing the attention of Californians, Gov. Jerry Brown announced he had signed legislation intended to boost the fledgling private space travel industry.

Brown said Friday he had signed the bill by Republican Assemblyman Steve Knight, which limits private space companies' liability from civil lawsuits.

Under AB2243, the companies cannot be held liable for the injury or death of customers because of the obvious risks associated with space travel. They still can be sued in cases of gross negligence or willful disregard for participants' safety.

The bill also does not limit the ability to sue parts manufacturers.

Brown said the legislation will allow companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and the Spaceship Company "to innovate and explore without the worry of excessive liability."

CHP OFFICER BOOKED FOR ALLEGED SEX ACTS WITH MINOR: TRUCKEE . (AP) — The California Highway Patrol has arrested one of its own on suspicion of engaging in sexual acts with a minor.

Truckee CHP officer Robert Holland was arrested at his Loyalton home Tuesday afternoon after other officers searched his home. They also seized his phone and computer.

CHP Commander Timothy Malone says the 46-year-old Holland resigned the next day after 15 years on the force.

The arrest followed allegations brought to the agency's attention. While the CHP typically doesn't investigate sex crimes, Malone says the Sierra County Sheriff asked his division to lead the investigation.

Police did not release the minor's age or gender. Malone says the alleged sexual acts happened while the officer was off-duty.

Holland is being held in Nevada County Jail on $500,000 bail.

MORE THAN 17m CALIFORNIANS REGISTERED TO VOTE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The secretary of state's office reports that more than 17 million Californians are registered to vote ahead of the November presidential election, or nearly 73 percent of those who are eligible to cast a ballot.

The report issued Friday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen shows the number of unaffiliated voters continues to grow. More than one in five, or 3.7 million voters, have chosen no party preference.

Bowen's office says Republican registration continues to decline and is just barely over 30 percent. About 7.5 million voters are registered Democrats, or 43.3 percent, compared with nearly 44 percent in the November 2008 presidential election.

The rolls could see a spike before the Oct. 22 registration deadline after California this week launched its first online voter registration program.

RECORD 103 DEGREES IN LOS ANGELES SUBURB: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Summer in Los Angeles is going out with a sizzle: Woodland Hills hit a record 103 degrees.

The National Weather Service says Thursday's high temperature in the west San Fernando Valley suburb broke the old record of 102 set in 2003.

Autumn starts Saturday and forecasters say there will be a slight cool down.

Morning fog at the beaches will clear with afternoon temperatures around 70, valley highs will range from 92 TO 102, the mountains will be in the 80s and 90s and the deserts will peak in the low 100s.

 

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