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POSTED March 5, 2013 7:26 p.m.

CREWS REMOVE YACHT GROUNDED BY ALLEGED THIEVES: PACIFICA . (AP) — Crews removed an 82-foot yacht from a Northern California beach early Tuesday after authorities say three people stole it, stocked it with pizza and beer, then drove it a little more than 20 miles before running it aground.

The luxury vessel "Darlin" was pulled from the sand at Pacifica State Beach, where it was stuck for nearly a day.

Pacifica police arrested Leslie Gardner, 63, Dario Mira, 54, and Lisa Modawell, 56, on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy. Each of the three was being held on more than $1 million bail.

The strange tale began early Monday when beachgoers phoned police to report the sailboat in trouble.

The yacht was trapped in shallow water at low tide and unable to get back out to sea. A few wetsuit-clad surfers had paddled out in the frigid water near the grounded vessel as its hull was battered by 4- to 5-foot waves.

TURLOCK MOM WILL FACE TRIAL IN DAUGHTER'S DEATH: MODESTO  (AP) — A San Joaquin Valley mother will stand trial for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who a pathologist testified had not been fed for several days before she was discovered.

Brandy Lee Rose Devine was arrested in July after police were called to her home in Turlock and found the little girl dead in her crib.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves ruled Monday that there is evidence for Devine to stand trial for murder and willful cruelty to a child. The 25-year-old Devine also will stand trial on charges of using meth and an enhancement alleging that she inflicted great bodily injury on the child.

Devine is scheduled to be arraigned March 18. She pleaded not guilty to murder, child abuse and possession of methamphetamine in July.

SACRAMENTO STUDENT ARRESTED FOR FACEBOOK THREAT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Extra security was in place Monday at a Sacramento County high school following the weekend arrest of a student who threatened a campus shooting on Facebook.

The 17-year-old El Camino Fundamental High School student was taken into custody Sunday, hours after parents and fellow students saw his post and notified officials.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos says investigators found no evidence that the teen was planning to carry out his threat.

Ramos said the suspect threatened to commit a shooting Monday morning at the school. He did not direct his remarks at any specific individual.

The newspaper says an extra security officer was on duty at the campus in the Arden Arcade area, and a deputy was stationed on the street corner nearby.

LAPD CAR IMPOUND POLICY'S SUCCESS REMAINS UNCLEAR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly a year after the Los Angeles Police Department changed its impound policy to make it easier for some unlicensed drivers to keep their cars after police stops, the program's success remains unclear.

On Tuesday, the department presented an update to the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Chief Charlie Beck hoped to decrease the number of 30-day impounds and create an incentive for responsible driving. But he says it's too early to tell if more people are getting insurance or carrying identification.

Drivers who are stopped and can't produce a license can provide car registration and proof of insurance. Depending on their record, a licensed driver can then pick up their vehicle.

In 2012, vehicle impounds decreased but traffic collisions increased slightly.

Commissioners want to know how many involved unlicensed drivers.

'BIRDS AND BEES' SINGER JEWEL AKENS DIES AT 79: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jewel Akens, a pop singer who had a 1960s hit with "The Birds and the Bees," has died in Southern California at age 79.

Akens died Friday from back surgery complications at an Inglewood hospital.

Akens was in a group called the Turnarounds when they were offered a song that talked about "the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above — and a thing called love."

Other members disliked it, so Akens recorded it solo. The song was No. 3 on Billboard's Top 100 chart in 1965 and was later covered by Dean Martin and others.

Akens never duplicated its success but performed into his 70s.

BOISE-BOUND PLANE MAKES EMERGENCY SAN JOSE LANDING: SAN JOSE  (AP) — An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Boise has been forced to make an emergency landing in San Jose because of an engine fire.

Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the captain of Flight 2404 was alerted about the fire in the right engine about 20 minutes after the aircraft he was piloting had taken off from Mineta San Jose International Airport on Tuesday morning.

Egan says the captain turned the de Havilland Dash 8-400 plane around and safely returned to the airport.

San Jose International spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes says the flight's 48 passengers got off on the runway, where they were greeted by firefighters.

Barnes says the runway remained closed for about an hour, but that service at the airport was not disrupted.

A replacement plane was brought in from Sacramento.

BEVERLY HILLS STUDENTS STUNG BY DEADLINE MISS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beverly Hills students who took the PSAT in October won't be in the running for National Merit scholarships because their scores got to the College Board late.

Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Tedford says the district mailed them on time, but because of the holidays the scores arrived late.

Tedford says Beverly Hills Unified, which has one high school, was informed Monday that its appeal had been rejected.

Juniors whose scores qualify them as National Merit Scholars can win a $2,500 prize and extra distinction during the college application process.

Tedford says the district will pay for 23 students with high scores to take the SAT by June to try and qualify.

This was the first year the district required juniors to take the PSAT under a college-readiness plan.

NORTHROP CLOSING SOUTHERN CALIF. FACILITY: CARSON  (AP) — Nearly 800 jobs will be affected when Northrop Grumman closes a Southern California facility near Carson this year, as the military contractor seeks to consolidate and cut costs.

The work at the Dominguez Hills campus, which develops information technology and battlefield communications systems, will be moved to other Northrop facilities in phases.

Northrop Chairman Wes Bush said Monday the contractor must reorganize as the federal budget tightens.

Engineers and scientists are among the positions affected.

Rep. Janice Hahn, a Torrance Democrat, says in a statement that she's saddened by news of the 768 jobs that will be moved out of the area.

The Dominguez Hills facility was built in 1987 by TRW. Northrop acquired TRW in 2002.

 

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