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POSTED December 11, 2012 7:45 p.m.

COUPLE PICKS UP CUSTOMERS' TABS AT LIVERMORE WALMART: LIVERMORE  (AP) — Christmas came early for some shoppers at a Walmart in Livermore.

Store employees say a couple selected at least five shoppers at random on Friday and paid for their purchases, charging thousands of dollars to their credit card.

Cashier Joyce Short rang up some of the purchases. She told the Contra Costa Times the couple said they just wanted to do something nice for people.

Another employee said there were lots of tears.The couple did not give their names.

$1M GIFT TO HELP ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AT UC BERKELEY: BERKELEY  (AP) — The University of California, Berkeley says a $1 million gift will help provide scholarships to nearly 200 students who are illegal immigrants.

UC Berkeley officials said Tuesday the award from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is the largest single gift for this type of scholarship at any American university.

Most of the scholarship recipients will be UC Berkeley students who came to the U.S. as children and are living in the country without legal permission.

Illegal immigrant students are not eligible for federal grants, loans or work-study positions. But the 2011 California Dream Act made them eligible for state financial aid and privately funded scholarships.

Haas, Jr. Fund President Ira Hirschfield says he hopes other donors will consider "providing funding to help undocumented students achieve their potential."

5 ARRESTED IN SF BOUND AND GAGGED MURDER : SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police say five people are in custody in connection with the death of a man who was one of two people found bound and gagged on a San Francisco street.

San Francisco police say 32-year-old Maelene Lintz, of San Francisco, and 21-year-old Montrail Brackens, of Oakland, were arrested at a home in Hercules Tuesday morning. Both were being held on suspicion of homicide.

Also arrested at the home were 19-year-old Tyler Miller and 24-year-old Heather Leach, both of Hercules, and 22-year-old Maryann Manalastas of Oakland. They were being held on suspicion of accessory to murder.

The arrests come after 26-year-old Stephen Reid and an 18-year-old woman were found tied up and gagged on a street in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley neighborhood late Sunday.

Reid died after being taken to a hospital. The woman, who has not been named, is expected to survive her injuries.

COUPLE KILLED AT SAN PABLO APARTMENT: SAN PABLO  (AP) — There are no arrests in the shooting deaths of a couple found at a Northern California apartment building.

San Pablo police officers responding to a Sunday morning shots-fired call found the body of 30-year-old Edgar Campano just outside the apartment and mortally-wounded 30-year-old Blanca Arguetta inside.

Arguetta died at a hospital.

The couple's 4-year-old daughter was found unharmed in their apartment.

ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST EQUESTRIAN: SANTA ROSA,   (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped an animal cruelty charge against an Olympic-level equestrian from Santa Rosa who was accused of starving a horse.

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that 58-year-old Gwen Stockebrand was scheduled to go on trial this week before she reached an agreement with the District Attorney's Office.

In exchange for having the charge dropped, Stockebrand must volunteer for 80 hours at a horse facility and allow inspections by animal control officers.

She also cannot seek the return of the horse she was accused of starving at her Santa Rosa ranch — a 30-year-old mare named "Valerie."

The allegations against Stockebrand arose last December after Sonoma County animal control officers said she tried to give two emaciated horses to a ranch in Willits. Stockebrand has been part of several U.S. equestrian teams.


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