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POSTED October 29, 2013 9:35 p.m.

PARASITES FOUND IN CALIF. 'SEA SERPENT' DISSECTIO: SANTA BARBARA  (AP) — One of two oarfish found in Southern California waters earlier this month had a host of parasites living in its giant, serpent-like body.

Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara last week dissected the 18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island and found large, larval tapeworms in its intestine. An adult spiny-headed worm also was found embedded in the intestine.

Scientists say the discovery of the parasites is important because it tells them what the natural enemies of the oarfish are and could indicate where the elusive fish lives or hunts for food.

A snorkeler found the carcass of the oarfish Oct. 13. Several days later, another oarfish washed ashore in Oceanside.

It's not known how either died.

PAROLEE CHARGED IN SHOOTOUT WITH OFFICERS: ROSEVILLE  (AP) — Placer County officials have filed attempted murder charges against a 32-year-old man accused of wounding six police officers during a violent confrontation in a Sacramento suburb last week.

Samuel Duran, of Roseville, was charged Tuesday with seven counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and seven counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer. He also faces weapons, burglary and false imprisonment charges.

Duran allegedly fired at a Homeland Security officer and Roseville police last Friday when they tried to arrest him as a parolee at large, then barricaded himself inside a home.

Duran's previous convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and attempted carjacking count as two "strikes" under California's Three Strikes law. He faces life in prison if he is convicted.

CALIFORNIA MAN SENTENCED IN BATH SALTS CASE: VENTURA  (AP) — A California man has been sentenced to three months in jail after being convicted in connection with the sale and possession of illegal bath salts.

The Ventura County Star reports (http://bit.ly/1dIAZ53) 27-year-old Brandon Sarrail was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. He is among three men who were charged after investigators served search warrants at two head shops and seized hundreds of packages of synthetic drugs.

Bath salts are crystalized chemicals that are snorted, swallowed or smoked. They can cause psychotic episodes, seizures and hallucinations.

Authorities say the case is the first to be filed in California involving the sale of the synthetic drug.

JURY AWARDS $3.7M IN SF FIREFIGHTER LAWSUIT: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury has awarded more than a dozen firefighters a total of $3.7 million in a case where the San Francisco Fire Department was accused of age discrimination.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports jurors voted 9-3 Monday in favor of the 15 firefighters, three of whom have retired. The lawsuit claimed the city arbitrarily altered dozens of scores for a promotional exam and shredded scoring records before firefighters could legally challenge the results.

The firefighters also believe the exam process was skewed against those who were over the age of 40.

The city had no immediate response to the verdict.

Questions surrounding the department's promotional exams have dogged the city since 2008, prompting a string of unresolved lawsuits.

REPORT: ASSISTED CARE OWNERS HAD MONEY PROBLEMS: CASTRO VALLEY (AP) — Court records show the owners of a California assisted care facility where authorities say 14 patients were left with just a skeleton staff had a history of financial problems.

The Contra Costa Times reported Tuesday that Hilda Manuel ran Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley with her husband, Rodelio, and daughter, Mary.

Court records obtained by the newspaper say the Manuels have been sued since the mid-1990s for allegedly failing to pay bills, including a $4.1 million loan from Wells Fargo Bank.

Hilda Manuel's lawyer, Orrin Grover, said his client paid back most of the debts by 2005.

Grover also said she was trying to find homes for the patients remaining at the facility and had not abandoned them.

LEGISLATIVE HEARING PLANNED ON BART WORKER DEATHS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A state legislative committee is planning to hold a hearing in response to the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit track inspectors who were struck by a train.

Assemblyman Roger Hernandez said Tuesday that he was convening the Nov. 7 hearing to "get to the bottom" of the fatal accident, which occurred when BART's regular train operators and maintenance workers were on strike.

Hernandez, a Democrat from West Covina, chairs the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment.

San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting requested the hearing.

BART officials announced last week that trains are now required to slow down or stop when they approach work zones.

Before the change, workers performing simpler tasks or walking on tracks were responsible for their own safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Oct. 19 accident.

 

LA ZOO TREATS 21 CONDORS FOR LEAD POISONING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials say a record 21 California condors have been treated for lead poisoning this hunting season in California.

Veterinarians at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens say three birds were critically sick when they arrived. They were malnourished, had stopped eating and had a disease that causes the stomach to stop moving food.

Dr. Curtis Eng says it's scary to see so many sick birds, but two of the condors are recovering, and one remains in critical condition.

Vets say 18 of the condors were mildly ill.

The birds are trapped twice a year to check for lead poisoning. The condors are getting the lead in carcasses of animals shot by hunters.

California has a new law that will ban lead ammunition, but it won't be phased in until 2019.

 

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