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POSTED February 5, 2013 7:40 p.m.

2-YEAR-OLD DIES AFTER DRINKING CLEANING SOLUTION: MERCED . (AP) — Merced County officials say a two-year-old boy has died after his grandmother gave him what she thought was a bottle of water to drink, but the bottle actually contained a cleaning solution.

Sheriff's Deputy Tom MacKenzie, a department spokesman, told the Merced Sun-Star when the boy became thirsty while playing at his grandparents shop Friday afternoon, the grandmother gave him water from a bottle she found on the floorboard of her husband's truck.

When the boy — identified as Jack Shearer — started choking, his grandfather realized the boy had ingested a caustic cleaner used to clean aluminum rims.

After the boy's grandfather drove the child to a hospital in Merced, the child was taken to a second hospital in Madera, where he was pronounced dead.

MacKenzie says detectives believe the incident was nothing more than a tragic accident. No charges are expected to be filed.

LAWMAKERS WANT CAL FIRE OFF-BUDGET ACCOUNT PROBE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California Republican lawmakers want federal prosecutors to investigate nearly $4 million placed in a Cal Fire off-budget account.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection placed the money with the California District Attorneys Association from 2005 to 2012 to use for training and equipment.

Cal Fire regulations say the $3.6 million from legal settlements was supposed to be sent to the state general fund.

In a letter to the governor, the legislators say what they call subterfuge money has been spent on a variety of questionable expenditures that have nothing to do with reimbursing the state for firefighting costs.

The letter asks the governor to request an investigation by the U.S. Attorney.

State Department of Finance auditors are already looking into the fund.

ANOTHER CITY SUES STATE OVER REDEVELOPMENT FUNDS: RANCHO CORDOVA  (AP) — Another California city is suing the state Finance Department for refusing to return former redevelopment agency funds.

Rancho Cordova wants to recoup more than $6 million it loaned in recent years to its former redevelopment agency.

The Finance Department denied repayment and the city east of Sacramento has now sued.

Last week, the city of Galt south of Sacramento sued because of rejection of about $12 million in current and future payments for redevelopment work in the city's historic area.

The cities want the agreements with their one-time redevelopment agencies declared enforceable obligations.

Lawmakers recently dissolved redevelopment agencies and local governments were put in charge of winding them down.

The issue now is whether some of the money can be used to satisfy redevelopment debts.

SAN DIEGO STRUGGLING WITH STINKY BIRD POOP: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego is struggling with a stinky problem — the smell from bird poop at a scenic cove.

Authorities have considered washing the bird excrement from La Jolla Cove but that would violate water quality laws.

They've also suggested vacuuming up the poop, installing bird spikes, covering the rocks with removable tarps, building offshore roosting areas for the seagulls, pelicans and cormorants and using falcons to scare off the birds.

Recent rains have brought some relief but officials are still seeking long-term solutions.

Authorities say it's hard to find a solution that won't run afoul of state and federal regulations.

WOMAN HEADED TO CRASH VIGIL STRUCK, KILLED: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Sacramento police say a woman taking flowers to the site of a fatal crash was struck and killed by an SUV.

The woman was identified on Tuesday as 79-year-old Kathryn O'Farrell.

O'Farrell died the previous evening while attending a vigil for a man who died in a two-vehicle crash on Sunday.

Police say the SUV driver who hit O'Farrell stayed at the scene and is cooperating.

3 GENERATIONS KILLED IN CALIF. TOUR BUS CRASH: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Three generations of the same family were lost when a 13-year-old boy, his mother and grandmother were killed in Sunday's tour bus crash outside a California ski resort.

The boy's aunt, Luz Garcia, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she believes Victor Cabrera-Garcia went to see the snow with his mother and grandmother to celebrate his Jan. 13 birthday.

Garcia says all were members of her ex-husband's family.

She says the boy lived with his 40-year-old mother, Elvira Garcia, and his 61-year-old grandmother, Maria Guadalupe Olivas, in San Diego.

She says her children are so saddened by the deaths of their grandmother, aunt and cousin, that they have not left their home since they learned of the accident.

The family members account for three of the seven passengers killed.

DIABLO CANYON REACTOR SHUT DOWN FOR REFUELING: SAN LUIS OBISPO  (AP) — A reactor at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the central California coast has been shut down for refueling and upgrades.

Pacific Gas & Electric took the Unit 2 reactor at the twin-reactor plant out of service on Sunday.

The Unit 1 reactor completed a two-month refueling and upgrade project last summer. It included installation of a new digital control system.

The Tribune of San Luis Obispo says about a third of the Unit 2 reactor's fuel assemblies will be replaced.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plant will also upgrade a crane system that allows movement of large components and a digital control system will be installed.

Each reactor is refueled every 18 months.

Diablo Canyon produces enough electricity to power more than three million homes.

 

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