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Bay Area news briefs
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FUNERAL PLANS FOR DEPUTY KILLED IN EVICTION ATTACK: MODESTO  (AP) — Funeral services for a Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy who was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice are planned for Friday.

Deputy Robert Paris and another deputy were serving the notice at the Modesto home of James Ferrario when the shooting happened last week. Paris was killed, as well as locksmith Glendon Engert, who was hired to help in the eviction.

Police say Ferrario then barricaded himself inside the apartment with a cache of weapons, leading to an hours-long standoff. They say he killed himself at some point before a fire engulfed the building.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran says the funeral for Deputy Paris will be held noon Friday at Modesto's Big Valley Grace Church. Paris then will be laid to rest at the Lakewood Memorial Park in neighboring Hughson.

BILL WOULD ALLOW SWIFT ACTION AGAINST TEACHERS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Local school boards would have the authority to fire teachers accused of violent, sex or drug offenses involving children under a bill that passed a legislative committee on Wednesday in the wake of an egregious teacher misconduct case.

Sen. Alex Padilla's SB1530 was prompted by outrage over the case of a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher accused of blindfolding his students and spoon-feeding them semen.

Padilla, D-Los Angeles, won unanimous approval for his bill from the Senate Education Committee despite opposition from teachers unions. The Legislation would let school boards dismiss teachers, rather than leaving the decision to a three-member disciplinary commission.

 LEGISLATOR WANTS TO EASE DRUG PENALTIES: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A California legislator wants cocaine and heroin possession penalties lowered from felonies to misdemeanors.

State Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, has introduced a bill that would ease drug possession punishment.

Leno's bill (SB1506) won support on Tuesday from a legislative committee. If it becomes law, California would be the nation's 14th state to classify drug possession as a lesser crime.

The federal government already classifies simple drug possession for personal use as a misdemeanor.

Leno says his proposal would reduce prosecution, incarceration and probation costs.

He says it could also have a significant social impact, noting felony convictions limit the ability to get a job and housing.

MARIJUANA CLUB FILES $3M SUIT AGAINST MURRIETA: MURRIETA  (AP) — A medical marijuana club is suing a Riverside County city for $3 million, claiming police are harassing its members.

The director of the Greenhouse Cannabis Club filed the suit Tuesday. It claims that Murrieta police are violating medical privacy laws and threatening patients with violence, arrest and detention.

The suit says police have targeted patients leaving the club and grilled them about their possession of medically prescribed marijuana. It asks a judge to strike down the city's existing moratorium on drug dispensaries.

The club opened in January. Federal drug agents raided it last month and earlier this month a judge evicted the club from its premises.

PROBE: OFFICIAL INFLATED SAT SCORES ON HIS OWN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — An investigation has shown that a Claremont McKenna College administrator doctored incoming freshmen's SAT scores and other statistics in an effort to make the school appear more selective.

The probe by law firm O'Melveny & Myers shows aggregate scores and class ranking data were altered in the data hyping uncovered in January.

The investigation also revealed that former vice president for admission and financial aid Richard Vos said he was responding to pressure from school president Pamela Gann to make the college more selective and did not intend to boost its ranking in U.S. News & World Report listings.

ARMORED CAR GUARD OPENS FIRE IN SACRAMENTO LOT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Sacramento County Sheriff's officials say an armored car guard opened fire and wounded a suspect in a department store parking lot after the man tried to rob him.

The incident outside a Sacramento Walmart occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The suspect allegedly hit the guard with a stun gun while the guard was leaving a store with bags of money.

Sheriff's deputies say the guard fell, but got up and began pursuing the suspect, shooting him in the leg.

The unidentified suspect allegedly continued running and got into a vehicle that drove toward the guard, prompting him to open fire again.

The vehicle fled. Deputies say the suspect was found a short time later hiding in a dumpster and arrested.

He was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening wound.

LA MAY EASE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's second-largest school district may ease its ambitious college-prep graduation requirements.

The Los Angeles Unified School District could face a flood of dropouts if it doesn't lower the bar for graduation.

This fall's incoming freshmen are required to pass college-prep classes under a Board of Education plan designed to raise academic standards.

But district officials on Tuesday proposed reducing overall graduation requirements and allowing students to pass those classes with a D grade.

They say failure to change course would cause students who can't pass the more rigorous requirements to leave school.

The proposal would allow students to graduate with 25 percent fewer credits.It needs school board approval.

PLEAD NOT GUILTY IN BLACK FRIDAY SHOOTING: SAN LEANDRO  (AP) — Two men have pleaded not guilty in connection with the Black Friday shooting of a man outside a San Leandro Walmart.

The Daily Review of Hayward reports ( that 30-year-old Detwone Watson and 20-year-old Tony Phillips entered the pleas on Tuesday. Watson is facing several felony charges, including attempted murder.

Phillips is charged with robbery and attempted robbery.

Authorities say Watson and Phillips demanded money from 21-year-old Christopher Murillo and his cousins in the parking lot on Nov. 25, prompting a fight during which Watson shot Murillo in the neck. Murillo survived and was released from a hospital a few days later.