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POSTED May 15, 2013 9:40 p.m.

HIKERS WON'T HAVE TO PAY $160K RESCUE COSTS: SANTA ANA  (AP) — Two hikers lost for days in the Southern California wilderness won't be charged the $160,000 it took to find them.

County supervisors made that decision in closed session on Tuesday. Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson tells City News Service he thinks there's no legal way to force the hikers to reimburse their rescue costs — even though one is charged with a drug crime.

Nineteen-year-old Nicolas Cendoya and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack were rescued from the Cleveland National Forest last month after spending several days there without food or much water.

Authorities say methamphetamine was later found in Cendoya's car. He's been charged with felony possession and could get up to three years in prison if convicted.

LA IS WORST CITY FOR DOG ATTACKS ON MAIL CARRIERS: LOS ANGELES  (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says Los Angeles was the worst city in America for dog attacks on letter carriers last year, and it urged pet owners to help reduce the attacks.

The agency on Wednesday released its city rankings ahead of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which starts Monday. The Postal Service said nearly 5,900 postal workers were attacked last year, a tiny portion of the 4.7 million Americans bitten by dogs annually.

Los Angeles was the worst with 69 attacks, followed by San Antonio with 42 and Chicago with 41. The city with the least attacks was Wichita, Kan., with 20.

If letter carriers feel threatened by a dog, they can skip delivery to the house and ask the customer to retrieve any mail at the post office instead.

 

SF POLICE RAID, REMOVE SQUATTERS FROM BUILDING: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police have arrested at least two people in an early-morning raid on squatters at an abandoned church.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza says police raided the illegally occupied church around 7 a.m. Wednesday. It is in the city's Ocean View district.

One person was taken into custody on suspicion of resisting arrest, the other for alleged outstanding arrest warrants. Their names have not been released.

Esparza says more than two dozen other people left the building without incident.

Police believe the group is homeless and had been squatting in the building for months in a protest to have it converted into a community center and garden.

TESTS SHOW CALIF BEACH BONFIRES HURT AIR QUALITY: HUNTINGTON BEACH  (AP) — Preliminary testing shows that wood smoke from beach bonfires that dot the Southern California coastline is hurting air quality near the fire pits and in adjacent neighborhoods.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Wednesday released results that showed microscopic pollutants from wood smoke were up to 10 times higher than background levels in parking lots near the fire pits.

In residential areas, that extra-fine pollution was up to three times the normal "background" level.

The report estimates one bonfire burning all evening emits as much pollution as a diesel truck driving 564 miles.

Air quality regulators are poised to vote on a proposal to ban beach bonfires in Los Angeles and Orange counties over concerns about their health impact. The proposal has ignited a controversy.

SUSPECT SHOT BY DEPUTY INSIDE CARMICHAEL PHARMACY: CARMICHAEL  (AP) — Sacramento County Sheriff's officials say a deputy shot and wounded a robbery suspect inside a pharmacy with an employee just a few feet away.

The man, who has not been identified, is expected to survive. Sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos says he was holding what was later determined to be a replica firearm when a deputy fired a single shot at him on Tuesday.

Deputies had been called to the CVS pharmacy in Carmichael around 5 p.m. on a report of a robbery in progress. Arriving deputies were told the suspect was still inside.

Ramos says they spotted the man holding what appeared to be a handgun in a secure area for employees. He was shot in the upper body after allegedly refusing orders to drop the object.

 

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