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POSTED September 25, 2012 9:13 p.m.

POLL: VOTERS DIVIDED OVER DEATH PENALTY REPEAL : SACRAMENTO . (AP) — A new Field Poll shows California voters split over a November ballot initiative seeking to repeal the death penalty.

Just 42 percent of likely voters say they favor Proposition 34, with 45 percent saying California should retain capital punishment. The survey, released Tuesday, found 13 percent undecided.

Blacks were the only ethnic group in which a majority — 59 percent — favored repealing the death penalty. About half the Hispanics surveyed supported keeping the death penalty.

The San Francisco Bay area was the only region in which a majority of voters — 57 percent — supported Proposition 34.

Field and The Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley surveyed 902 likely voters from Sept. 6-18. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

 WEST HOLLYWOOD BEGINS INSTALLING RAINBOW SIDEWALKS: WEST HOLLYWOOD  (AP) — Rainbow hue crosswalks are being installed in West Hollywood.

City officials say the two crosswalks are a symbol celebrating the pride in the area's homosexual, bisexual and transgender residents.

The rainbow crosswalks are at Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards.

City officials say the intersection serves as the entrance to the city's PRIDE festival. -hue

QUAKE SHAKES RURAL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: UKIAH  (AP) — A light earthquake has struck Mendocino County in Northern California.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the preliminary magnitude-4.5 quake struck at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday 2 miles northeast of Ukiah and nearly 100 miles northwest of Sacramento.

A police dispatcher in Ukiah says there have been no reports of damage or injury although the quake shook the department's windows.

2 SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, SUSPECT SHOT NEAR SAN DIEGO: LAKESIDE  (AP) — Two sheriff's deputies were shot Tuesday in suburban San Diego while investigating a case of possible child abuse, and the child-abuse suspect was also shot, authorities said.

The shootings occurred shortly after noon when the deputies arrived at an apartment in Lakeside, a semi-rural community east of San Diego, said San Diego County sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser. He declined to elaborate on the circumstances, including who fired the shots.

The sheriff's department said in a statement that it had "many witnesses to talk to and evidence to gather."

Fraser didn't know whether any of the injuries were life-threatening or what condition the victims were in. The deputies underwent surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, according to the sheriff's department, which did not disclose where the suspect was being treated.

CHP OFFICER SUFFERS INJURIES IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says an officer is expected to survive from major injuries after crashing his motorcycle during a congested morning commute near Sacramento.

The CHP says the officer was heading westbound on Interstate 80 around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday when a Chevrolet Cruze rear ended a Toyota Corolla during a lane change in stop-and-go traffic.

The Toyota was then pushed into the carpool lane as the officer's motorcycle was approaching. The officer then hit the back of the Toyota and he was ejected from his motorcycle into a center divider.

CHP spokeswoman Officer Lizz Dutton says the 10-year veteran officer whose name was not released was transported to a local hospital with major, but non-life threatening injuries.

FRESNO COUNTY AG PRODUCTION SETS RECORD IN 2011: FRESNO  (AP) — Fresno County's agricultural output has set a new record behind the popularity of grapes and almonds.

The rosy 2011 crop and livestock report released Tuesday by county officials put the value of agriculture production at $6.88 billion. That's a 15 percent increase from the previous year and the first time the value of crops in the county has topped $6 billion.

The report cemented Fresno's place as the No. 1 agricultural producing county in the nation.

It shows the value of table and wine grapes increased from $820 million to $961 million. Almonds grew from $619 million to $831 million. Tomatoes, poultry, milk, cotton, beef, garlic, oranges and pistachios rounded out the top 10 crops by value.

Fresno growers produce more than 400 commercial crops.

MOTHER, SWON ABANDON 30 DOGS:  SANTA ANA (AP) — Prosecutors say a mother and her adult son abandoned 30 dogs in a Southern California park.

The Orange County Register says 59-year-old Floreliza Aguillo Escano has been charged with animal abandonment, cruelty and neglect. Her 26-year-old son James Francis Alambra has been charged with animal abandonment and mistreatment.

Two kennels stuffed with 30 dogs were left under trees at San Remo Park in Laguna Hills in May.

Investigators say the dogs were stacked atop one another without food or water.

The dogs, ranging in age from 6 months old to 6 years old, showed signs of neglect, including matted fur and ingrown toenails.

4  ARRESTED WITH $500K WORTH OF MARIJUANA: PORTERVILLE  (AP) — Deputies have arrested four men and seized $550,000 worth of marijuana in California's Giant Sequoia National Monument.

The Fresno Bee (bit.ly/UsNWlk) says Tulare County sheirff's deputies got a tip on Sunday night that marijuana was being moved out of a remote area of the refuge.

A suspicious vehicle was stopped a short time later and deputies found 135 pounds of pot in one-pound packages.

Investigators said Monday that four men from Simi Valley and Victorville were arrested and booked for investigation of cultivation and transportation of marijuana for sale.

  DEPUTY SHOOTS, KILLS HIMSELF IN COURTHOUSE: CRESCENT CITY  (AP) — Colleagues at a Northern California sheriff's office are mourning one of their own after a longtime deputy fatally shot himself inside the county courthouse.

Del Norte County Sheriff's Cmdr. Bill Steven said Tuesday that 45-year-old Harold Esparza was off-duty when he shot himself in the head after entering the courthouse's holding cells Sunday morning.

Steven said authorities are calling Esparza's shooting a suicide as the married father with kids may have killed himself due to a combination of stress and other undisclosed issues.

The sheriff's office said the deputy of nearly 20 years gave no note or warning prior to his death.

 

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