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POSTED October 24, 2012 9:07 p.m.

$450K FOR FIRED WORKER WHO TATTLED ON COCAINE USE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Hollywood visual effects specialist fired for reporting on-the-job cocaine use is getting at least $450,000 for wrongful termination.

A Los Angeles jury deliberated much of the day Tuesday before returning the verdict in favor of Andrew MacDonald, who sued Ascent Media Group Inc. in 2009.

The jury also found that one or more company officers acted with malice, triggering a Wednesday penalty phase of trial.

City News Service says McDonald was in the men's bathroom when he saw an executive use cocaine. He reported the incident to a supervisor and was fired.

MacDonald filed a wrongful termination suit a year later.

TEEN CAMPER MISSING IN SIERRA FOUND DEAD: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE  (AP) — One of two family members from California who went missing during a hunting trip in the northern Sierra Nevada has been found dead.

The Alpine County Sheriff's Office says crews found 14-year-old Taylor Brent Dustin's body around 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Mokelumne wilderness bordering the Eldorado and Stanislaus National Forests.

Dustin's uncle, 40-year-old Devin Andrew Smith, was found in the same area three hours earlier. He was suffering from severe hypothermia.

The pair was camping in a valley about 22 miles south of Lake Tahoe, but did not return from a deer hunt on Sunday. The area got about 18 inches of snow between Sunday and Tuesday.

TIRE KILLS WOMAN DRIVING IN FREEWAY: BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — Authorities say a Southern California woman was killed on a highway near Bakersfield after a tire flew off another vehicle and struck her windshield.

California Highway Patrol officials say the woman was headed south on Highway 99 on Tuesday night when a trailer being hauled by a pickup going in the opposite direction lost a wheel.

Officials say the wheel struck the woman's windshield and she was killed from the impact.

CHP Officer Ben Glapenske says the combined speed of the loose tire going in one direction and the car going in the opposite direction would have been equivalent to an impact of about 115 miles per hour.

LONG BEACH POLICE MAKE ARREST IN MOLOTOV ATTACK:  LONG BEACH . (AP) — Long Beach police have arrested a suspect in a Molotov cocktail attack on a 54-year-old man outside a market on Pacific Coast Highway.

Police said at a news conference Wednesday that 27-year-old Jacob Lagarde, a parolee from Long Beach with a long and violent criminal record, was arrested Tuesday night, four days after the attack.

Surveillance video shows a man walking up to the victim and throwing a Molotov cocktail at his feet. The man became engulfed in flames and ran into the parking lot, where bystanders helped put out the fire. He remained hospitalized Wednesday. Police described his condition as critical but stable.

Police say the man had been waiting for his father who was shopping and did not know his attacker.

FRESNO BEE PUBLISHER BUYER OF TRACY PRESS: FRESNO  (AP) — The publisher of the Fresno Bee is stepping down to take over co-ownership of a newspaper in Tracy.

Will Fleet announced his departure to Bee employees on Tuesday. His last day is Oct. 31.

Fleet and Ralph Alldredge bought the 114-year old Tracy Press in San Joaquin County out of bankruptcy. It publishes weekly.

Alldredge also owns the Calaveras Enterprise and was the 2011-2012 president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Fleet was named publisher of the Bee in 2008. He told staff members the purchase shows that he believes in the future of print newspapers.

JURY SAYS BEHAVIOR DOOMED MAN KILLED BY DEPUTY: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — A federal jury says a knife-wielding Northern California man shot to death by a Yolo County sheriff's deputy was doomed by his own behavior.

The parents of Luis Gutierrez filed a civil rights lawsuit against the county and three deputies for the 2009 shooting death of the 26-year-old Woodland resident.

Gutierrez was walking on a sidewalk in a gang-infested Woodland area when gang task force deputies stopped him for questioning.

Deputies testified that Gutierrez ran and was chased and captured. He pulled a knife on a sergeant and a deputy shot him.

 

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