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Lawmaker wants explanation for state’s marijuana tax
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California legislator wants the state to explain its recent decision to increase business taxes on the state’s struggling legal marijuana industry.

The changes that take effect Jan. 1 are expected to boost prices at the retail counter.

Palmdale Republican Tom Lackey says bigger price tags on buds, concentrates and other legal products will inevitably send more customers into California’s tax-free illegal market in search of bargains.

In a letter Monday, Lackey asked the Department of Tax and Fee Administration to provide the analyses it used to justify a boost in cultivation taxes and what’s known as the mark-up rate.

The mark-up rate is used when calculating taxes in certain business transactions, such as when a retailer purchases wholesale cannabis. It’s being pushed up over 30 percent.

Los Angeles police fatally

shoot machete-wielding man

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police have shot and killed a man they say carjacked someone at a Hollywood fast-food restaurant and then charged police with a machete.

Lt. Chris Ramirez says the man had robbed an auto parts store around 11:30 a.m. Monday before walking to the restaurant’s drive-thu and carjacking a patron.

A video obtained by KABC-TV shows the man driving away from officers who surrounded the car, then hitting two police cruisers and running off.

A different video aired by KABC-TV shows the man turning and chasing an officer while brandishing a foot-long machete.

The officer runs into the street and falls to the ground. The man stands over him with the raised machete before he is shot.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital. An officer suffered minor scrapes and bruises. 

Lawmaker wants explanation

 for state’s marijuana tax boost

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 21-year-old man has pleaded guilty to sending false shooting and bomb threats to schools in the U.S. and Britain.

The Department of Justice says Timothy Vaughn of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was a member of the Apophis Squad, a collective of hackers intent on using the internet to sow chaos.

Prosecutors say Vaughn, who used the online handle “WantedbyFeds,” entered guilty pleas Monday to multiple counts including conspiring to make threats and possession of child pornography.

A co-defendant, 19-year-old George Duke-Cohan of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is currently serving a prison sentence in Britain for a hoax threat targeting an airliner.

NAACP Image Awards to

be televised on BET for first time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NAACP Image Awards will be televised for the first time on BET.

NAACP and the cable network announced Monday that the 51st awards ceremony will be held in Pasadena on Feb. 22. The event will spotlight the contributions of the NAACP and its impact on the community.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson says the collaboration between the organization and BET will be “critical to reaching our shared communities” before heading into the 2020 election and census.

Nominees for the awards will be announced Jan. 9.

Beyoncé was named entertainer of the year at the previous awards in March. Her husband, Jay-Z, received the President’s Award, and the Marvel film “Black Panther” won several nods, including best motion picture