ACLU SUES OHIO CITY OVER SIDEWALK MESSAGES BAN: TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the city of Defiance in northwest Ohio, alleging the city's ban on sidewalk messages shouldn't apply to chalk messages and violates free speech rights.
The city prohibits disfiguring sidewalks by painting words, names or ads on them. The issue arose last year when members of an Occupy protest group were threatened with arrest for writing messages in chalk on sidewalks.
The ACLU's Ohio chapter argued in its federal lawsuit Tuesday that the law is unconstitutional and asked a judge to stop its enforcement. The group also argued the law shouldn't apply to chalk because chalk's not permanent.
Toledo law director David Williams said he hadn't seen the complaint. He previously has said the ban has nothing to do with the messages' content.
RACE COMPLAINTS GET DIRECTED TO SEX LINE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — People who tried to complain about noise from a San Francisco marathon got an earful of racy language instead.
When they called the city's 311 hotline to complain about Sunday's Nike marathon, they were incorrectly directed to a phone sex line.
City officials now say they were given the wrong number and are investigating how the mix-up occurred.
The phone sex number and marathon number differed only in their prefix: 800 versus 866.
311 Director Nancy Alfaro says the wrong number was given out for about a half hour before city officials were alerted. It's not clear how many people were misdirected.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports people were complaining about noise from the marathon's festivities that began around 5:30 a.m.
An email to Nike was not immediately returned.
FBI FOUND 4 EXPLOSIVES IN HOLMES' APARTMENT: CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Three FBI experts say they found four types of explosives and other chemicals when they tested items found in Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes' apartment.
The experts testified Tuesday at a pretrial hearing to determine whether they will testify at Holmes' trial. They shed little new light on the case and mostly answered questions about testing methods.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are arguing over evidence that could be used to weaken his insanity claim, including homemade bombs found in his apartment.
OC WAVE RIDERS DISCUSS SURF ACCESS RULES: NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — Surfers, bodyboarders, skimboarders and bodysurfers lined up for a chance to weigh in on the controversial rule that dictates when they can and can't ride Orange County's waves.
The Orange County Register says about 150 people gathered in Newport Beach Monday to discuss blackball, the rule that forces boards out of the water at certain stretches of the beach during peak hours.
The most talked-about area was Newport Beach's Wedge, where wave-riders flock when a summer south swell comes in. Current law requires all boards to leave the water from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting May 1 through Oct. 31.
Boarders want more access, but swimmers and bodysurfers say that would create chaos.
FRESNO DOG LOSES EYE IN BEATING BY BURGLAR: FRESNO (AP) — A German shepherd belonging to a Fresno store owner is recovering from losing an eye after being beaten by a burglar.
The Fresno Bee reports the 9-year-old dog, Flash, lost her right eye when she was struck with a weapon wielded by the crook, who was after radio scanners and other merchandise at Sparky's, an electronics store.
Owner Cheryl Cook tells the newspaper she isn't sure whether Flash was beaten out of fear that she was a guard dog or out of simple cruelty. Cook says Flash, who was alone in the store during the burglary, is more of a friendly pet than a guard dog.
After surgery, Flash was back at the store Monday, appearing chipper and sweet despite her injuries.
Cook is planning to offer a reward for the arrest of the burglar.
EXPLOSION IN PICKUP TRUCK SHATTERS WINDOWS IN LA: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police bomb squad responded after an early-morning explosion in a pickup truck shattered windows and prompted evacuations.
Sgt. Mike Kammert tells City News Service the blast happened just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in a residential area of North Hollywood.
Officers and firefighters determined that the explosion occurred inside the cab of the pickup, which had its roof blown off.
Kammert says there was at least one propane tank inside the truck. The cause of the blast is under investigation.
No injuries were reported. Some residents living within a square block of the explosion were evacuated, but Kammert says the evacuations were not mandatory and some people sheltered in place.
Residents have since returned home.
CHINA CRACKS DOWN ON 'AMERICAN IDOL'-STYLE SHOWS : BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are cracking down on how often broadcasters can air reality, dating and talent shows such as the Chinese versions of "American Idol" and "The Voice," which draw huge audiences.
Provincial broadcasters show such programs, which are cheap to produce and earn a lot of advertising revenue, on satellite channels seen around the country.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that the "American Idol" kind of talent shows now need approval from the body that oversees broadcasting, which will license one such program per channel each quarter for prime-time viewing.
It also reported that new regulations require satellite channels to allocate no less than 30 percent of their weekly air time to topics including news, economics, culture and science from next year.
There have been repeated efforts to limit American-style reality TV and other light fare shown on satellite TV, or push them out of prime-time viewing, with stated reasons including the need to stop vulgar content and promote more efficient use of resources.
cahn sells big Netfix stake for 457 pct profit
NEW YORK (AP) — Activist investor Carl Icahn sold more than half of his Netflix stake for a 457 percent profit.
He says he and funds run by his son and a partner bought the shares for about $58 each, and sold them in several blocks this month for $304.23 and $341.44 apiece.
A filing on Tuesday shows he still owns 2.7 million shares, or 4.5 percent, of the Los Gatos, Calif., company.
Netflix shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday of $389.16. But investors started taking profits off the table, and it closed down 9 percent at $322.52.