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POSTED October 31, 2013 9:20 p.m.

 

YOSEMITE PLAN TO RESTORE SEQUOIA GROVE MOVES AHEAD: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK  (AP) — An ambitious plan to restore and improve the health of the largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park is moving forward with the release Thursday of an environmental impact statement for the project.

The tourist site at the south end of the park includes asphalt parking lots that cover the sprawling roots of the giant trees, as well as tram service and roads through the grove.

Park officials hope to restore wetlands, remove the parking lot, reduce noise and add shuttle service for visitors to reach the trees.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman said the three-year project will be paid for by $20 million from the Yosemite Conservancy and $4 million from the National Park Service.

Officials hope to break ground for the park's 150th anniversary next June.

ALTERED ROUTE RECOMMENDED FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL LEG: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California high-speed rail officials are recommending a new route for the second leg of the bullet train south of Fresno.

Rail authority officials said Thursday that the board will consider a staff proposal next week to adopt a route that includes the so-called "Hanford East" alignment for a 114-mile stretch from Fresno to Bakersfield.

The eastern alignment would send trains in between Hanford and Visalia, then veer west along an existing freight rail corridor. Rail officials previously recommended that the bullet train go west of Hanford, but Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales says the eastern route would do less harm to the environment.

Hanford, a city of 55,000 that is 30 miles south of Fresno, is home to some of the most vocal critics of the $68 billion project.

KARDASHIAN AND WEST SUE OVER LEAKED PROPOSAL VIDEO: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are suing a co-founder of YouTube over a video of their marriage proposal that was posted online.

The lawsuit filed Thursday claims Chad Hurley violated a confidentiality agreement when he posted the fuzzy footage of the lavish proposal on his new web venture, MixBit.

The 2 1/2 minute video captured West's Oct. 21 proposal to Kardashian at San Francisco's AT&T Park and the ensuring celebration.

The lawsuit states West contracted with a producer to film the event for possible broadcast on E! Entertainment Television, home to his fiancee's hit show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

Kardashian and West are seeking unspecified damages from Hurley and his company, Avos Systems Inc.

A message sent through MixBit seeking comment from Hurley was not immediately returned.

ANOTHER BODY PART FOUND IN LA-AREA SEWAGE PLANT: CARSON  (AP) — A human body part has been found in a Los Angeles County sewage treatment plant for the third time in less than a week and authorities suspect they may belong to the same woman.

City News Service says a left arm was found Thursday morning in a debris settling pond in Carson — the same facility where a woman's legs and pelvis were found on Saturday.

A head and upper torso were found on Monday at a connected plant some 20 miles away in Bassett.

Investigators suspect the remains may belong to a body that was dumped into a manhole and got pulled apart by processing machinery.

Coroner's officials will try to determine an ID and cause of death.

CALIF MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN DOG SNIFFING CASE: HAYWARD  (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged with killing another man four years ago in Hayward after he was allegedly upset because one of the victim's dogs was sniffing at his leg.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1f5Mt0n) 24-year-old Dereak Turner has been charged with murder and a gun enhancement for the November 2009 slaying of Thomas Cunningham outside a liquor store. Turner is being held without bail.

Cunningham had been walking home with his daughter after buying some ice cream when they came across Turner, who asked the victim to hold his dogs back as he passed. The dogs were off leash but weren't acting aggressively.

Authorities say Turner was upset one of the dogs sniffed his leg and exchanged words with Cunningham before allegedly shooting him twice with a handgun.

CA STUDENT AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO SEXTORTION: SANTA ANA  (AP) — Authorities say a Temecula man will plead guilty to hacking the computers of Miss Teen USA and other women as part of a scam to obtain nude photos.

City News Service reported Thursday that Jared James Abrahams agreed earlier this month to plead guilty to one count of online sextortion. The 19-year-old computer science student is to appear in court Monday.

Prosecutors say they will ask that he be sentenced to as much as 33 months in prison.

Authorities say Abrahams told his victims he had obtained nude photos of them by taking over their computers' web cams.

He would then threaten to post the photos online if they didn't send him more nude images of themselves.

Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf contacted the FBI after she was threatened.

CALIFORNIA MAN CONVICTED IN REAL ESTATE SCHEME: SANTA ANA  (AP) — A California man accused of seizing distressed homes he didn't own and renting them out has been convicted of recording false real estate documents.

The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/1h1TFir) 50-year-old Blair Hanloh was found guilty Wednesday of five counts. He faces nearly six years in prison when he's scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 13.

Prosecutors say Hanloh filed deeds turning over homes that were vacant or being prepped for a short sale from himself to a business he ran. However, authorities said the deeds were phony because Hanloh didn't own the homes.

Once he had the Orange County homes, Hanloh rented the properties and collected the money.

Hanloh was arrested three years ago after police were contacted by neighbors who feared the empty homes were invaded by squatters.

 

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