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POSTED November 20, 2012 6:21 p.m.

Redford creates ecology program with Calif. college

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California college is teaming up with Robert Redford to create a program where students can combine environmental studies with media and liberal arts.

The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that Pitzer College, one of the seven Claremont Colleges, is creating the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability with a $10 million gift from Nicholas and Susan Pritzker, parents of a Pitzer graduate who support environmental causes.

Redford is a trustee of the college and serves as its special adviser on the environment.

The program's aim is to create environmental communicators and advocates. Its centerpiece will be a 12-acre coastal sage scrub ecosystem, an endangered habitat where students can study problems and come up with solutions.

Drugged driving bigger problem than drunk driving

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A statewide survey shows there are more drugged drivers than drunken drivers on California roads during the weekend.

The California Office of Traffic Safety said Monday that 14 percent of drivers surveyed tested positive for driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.

A little more than 7 percent of drivers were driving with alcohol in their system.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/SJAAk8) says the federally funded impaired driving survey involved more than 1,300 drivers who voluntarily provided breath and-or saliva samples at roadside locations in nine California cities on Friday and Saturday nights.

Samples were tested for alcohol, marijuana and illegal drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Marijuana was most prevalent with 7.4 percent of drivers having it in their system.

Calif. teen's sentence reduced in dryer killing

FRESNO  (AP) — A state appeals court has reduced the prison sentence of a Central California teenager convicted of molesting and drowning his 4-year-old neighbor and then hiding the boy's body in a clothes dryer.

The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge erred in adding eight years to Raul Castro's sentence for his sex-crime convictions. The Mendota teen was convicted of forcible sodomy on a child and a forcible lewd act on a child in addition to first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of Alex Mercado.

Authorities say Castro, then 14, drowned the preschooler in a bathtub after Mercado said he would tell his mother about the sexual assault.

The Fresno Bee reports that the appeals court reduced Castro's sentence last week from 33 years- to-life to 25 years-to-life in prison.

Man killed by falling tree in San Diego County

JAMUL  (AP) — A man has been crushed to death by a tree he was cutting down in San Diego County.

U-T San Diego says the 69-year-old man was using a chain saw to cut an oak tree in Jamul shortly before noon Monday when it fell on him.

The man suffered blunt-force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name hasn't been released.

 

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