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Ex-teacher accused of tying up toddler
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PLEASANTON (AP) — Police are investigating allegations that a teacher at a Northern California preschool tied up a 2-year-old girl for refusing to take a nap and later showed the photos to other teachers.

Workers at Centerpointe Presbyterian Church in Pleasanton, which operates the preschool, contacted the state's community care licensing department last week, saying that a teacher had tied the child's wrists and ankles with masking tape, church spokesman Tim Hunt told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Church officials didn't know about the incident until the teacher — who left the school earlier this year — showed cellphone photos of the child to her former colleagues during a March 1 gathering of current and former teachers, Hunt said.

One of the teachers who saw the photo was the child's mother, who went to the Pleasanton police and told school officials three days later, Hunt said.

The 2-year-old is the only alleged victim at this time, Pleasanton police Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber said Tuesday.

Both police and church officials said it happened a few months ago. Both also declined to name the teacher allegedly involved and why she left the school.

"We are appalled and shocked that such an incident, if proven to be true, took place," Centerpointe Pastor Mike Barris said in a statement. "Every human person made in the image of God, all of the children in our care, deserves the highest degree of respect and protection from any action that dehumanizes them."

The school also will suspend preschool classes next week, while the staff undergoes training and reviews its operating procedures and state regulations, Hunt said.

Schlehuber said that the church has been "extremely cooperative" as it understands the severity of the allegation.

"We are in the middle of an active investigation," Schlehuber said. "We believe that the allegation is against one teacher as there is nothing leading us to believe that there are any others involved."

In response, church officials have informed parents of the violation by sending them a detailed letter of the alleged incident at the preschool and invited them to a parents-only meeting Tuesday night at the school to answer questions.

On Monday, the church released a three-page statement detailing past violations. This included a teacher leaving diluted bleach spray within reach of children discovered during an unannounced site visit in October, and improper supervision of a school-aged program in January.

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2 plead not guilty in Calif. pot deal slayings

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Two of the suspects in a triple slaying in Sonoma County during an apparent botched marijuana deal have pleaded not guilty.

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports ( that 46-year-old Mark William Cappello and 38-year-old Odin Leonard Dwyer, both of Colorado, entered the pleas on Tuesday. Both face murder charges in the Feb. 5 slayings at a home near Forestville.

Authorities say Cappello, Dwyer and Dwyer's father, 65-year-old Francis Raymond Dwyer, drove from Colorado to Sonoma County to buy pot, and Cappello shot and killed the three men when they met at the house.

The victims have been identified as Raleigh Butler, 46-year-old Richard Lewin and 42-year-old Todd Klarkowski.

Prosecutors say the elder Dwyer is fighting his extradition from New Mexico.