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LOS BANOS PRIEST ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE: LOS BANOS  (AP) — A former Los Banos Catholic priest has been charged with possession of child pornography following a 10-month investigation by the city’s police department.

Rev. Robert Games was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Merced County Jail. He posted $20,000 bail and was released.

According to court record the Merced County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed a single felony count against Gamel of possession of matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under the age of 18.

If convicted, Gamel faces up to three years in jail.

The 65-year-old former head of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos has been under investigation since August, when church officials told police he may have obtained from the Internet nude photographs of a teenage parishioner.


REAL ESTATE MOGUL SUED FOR ALLEGEDLY SELLING SEX RECORDINGS: SACRAMENTO. (AP) — A former Sacramento real estate magnate has been sued by a woman for allegedly filming her having sex with him and distributing the material on adult websites.

The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday that the latest lawsuit against Michael Lyon was filed in Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of a woman identified only as “Jane Doe.” The suit alleges he “published and/or sold” the recording to adult websites.

The 59-year-old Lyon is also facing felony charges that he secretly recorded his interactions with eight women, including the one suing him.

The woman discovered she had been recorded when law enforcement officials showed her recordings on Dec. 30 that had been confiscated from Lyon’s Arden-area home.

Lyon previously served jail time for secretly recording his private interactions with four escorts.


EAST BAY RESIDENTS HIT WITH HIGHER WATER BILLS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — East Bay residents will be seeing higher water bills as increased rates have been approved by the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

The  higher rates approved Tuesday will cause East Bay residents to see an average 24 percent increase in their water bills starting next month.

A typical household using 246 gallons of water per day will have to pay about $12 more per month.

The agency’s governing board approved a temporary 25 percent drought surcharge on the metered portion of the bill to cover expected losses. They also planned additional increases to replace old infrastructure and pay down debts on water projects.

The agency has brought in less money recently due to customers cutting back their water use amid the state’s drought.


CHILD IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BITTEN BY RATTLESNAKE AT HOME: PITTSBURG, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a 2-year-old girl was bitten by a rattlesnake in suburban San Francisco Tuesday night.

KNTV reports Wednesday that the girl was in the backyard of her home in a community east of San Francisco about 8 p.m. when the attack occurred.

Contra Costa Fire Battalion Chief Josh Andrews says crews found the snake nearby.

Officials say the toddler was treated on scene and then transported by medical helicopter to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. The child’s condition was not immediately available Wednesday morning.

Earlier this month, a 4-year-old boy near Sacramento was also bitten by a rattlesnake. His pregnant mother tried to suck the venom from the wound. The boy is recovering.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MAN WAGES WAR ON NEIGHBORHOOD SKUNKS: COSTA MESA. (AP) — A Southern California man has been waging war on skunks in his Costa Mesa yard. When the city didn’t help him, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

The Orange County Register reports that Jerry Brown began trapping skunks in November after both his dog and a neighbor dog had been sprayed by the noxious animals.

When he contacted a state-licensed critter remover, he was told he could pay $399 to $599 to have the skunks trapped and relocated 50 yards or euthanized.

Brown says he instead created his own traps and has caught 11 since Christmas. He uses ether to drug the animals before releasing them in Newport Beach’s Back Bay area.

He also gives advice about skunk catching and lends out his trap at the email