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POSTED September 6, 2013 9:47 p.m.

SPACESHIPTWO MAKES 2ND SUPERSONIC TEST FLIGHT: MOJAVE (AP) — Virgin Galactic says it successfully conducted a second rocket-powered, supersonic test flight of the passenger spaceship it is developing.

The craft dubbed SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 69,000 feet over California's Mojave Desert early Thursday after it was dropped from a carrier aircraft and its rocket was ignited for a 20-second burn.

Two pilots and a flight test engineer were aboard as the craft reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.43, then glided to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port.

Both the altitude and speed exceeded marks set during the first rocket-powered flight last April.

Virgin Galactic plans to take paying passengers on suborbital flights that briefly enter space. The commercial spaceline is owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's aabar Investments PJS.

'TWERKING' RECORDS TO BE EXPUNGED: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego school district has agreed to expunge the records of 31 high school students who were suspended for making an on-campus video featuring "twerking" dance moves.

U-T San Diego reports a legal agreement was reached Thursday. The district will erase mention of the discipline from the student records— meaning the suspensions won't show up on the students' transcripts when applying for college.

The students, mostly girls, were suspended from Scripps Ranch High School in May after the rump-shaking video was posted online. School officials said the students violated district policies against sexual harassment.

Parents of several students went to a lawyer after the school board said it couldn't overturn the suspensions. Attorney Ruth Hargrove says she's thrilled by the agreement.

COUPLE HELD AFTER GIRL TESTS POSITIVE FOR METH: SAN BERNARDINO  (AP) — A Southern California couple has been arrested after a 3-year-old tested positive for methamphetamine.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says meth was found in the girl's system on Wednesday at San Bernardino Community Hospital.

Investigators say the girl's mother and the mother's boyfriend had taken her to the emergency room for treatment of a fever.

A Sheriff's Department statement says drugs were found under the child's seat in the couple's car.

Alexis Parker and Tony Medrano of San Bernardino were arrested for investigation of child endangerment and possessing methamphetamine for sale. They remain jailed Friday.

NO CHARGES FOR MAN WHO SHOT FRESNO FIREFIGHTER: FRESNO (AP) — Fresno police say the homeowner who shot a firefighter in the leg won't face any charges.

Police spokesman Jaime Rios said the homeowner mistook the firefighter for an intruder when he opened fire early Thursday.

Firefighters were called to the home by paramedics, who had responded to a call of a person in distress and needed help to get inside the house.

The firefighter opened a window that paramedics had pointed out as a possible entry point. Rios says that triggered an alarm that woke up the residents.

The homeowner grabbed his gun and shot at the firefighter thinking he was an intruder coming through the window.

The homeowner told investigators he had not called for medical help.

FLOOD DAMAGE CLOSES 2 PALM SPRINGS-AREA CANYONS: PALM SPRINGS  (AP) — Thunderstorm flash-flood damage has forced the closure of two Palm Springs-area canyons popular with hikers.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians says on its website that Tahquitz Canyon and Indian Canyon will be closed indefinitely following heavy flooding this week.

Runoff carrying trees, boulders and mud has damaged trails and roads to the canyons owned and maintained by the Agua Caliente Band.

Tribe Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe says the canyons are almost unrecognizable.

Thousands of visitors are drawn annually to the approximately 56-square mile area and its 60-plus miles of trails and cultural sites.

 

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