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MAIL CARRIER WINS HEAP OF CASH FROM CALIF. LOTTO: RIALTO (AP) — A Southern California mail carrier now has a whole heap of cash to tote around too.

Sheila Williams of Rialto won $750,000 not playing Super Lotto or Mega Millions but the California Lottery’s Crossword Cash Scratchers game.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise(reports that Williams said she didn’t understand the game’s rules all that well and at first wasn’t sure she’d won before she consulted a friend. She had to finish a whole day of making her mail rounds before going to a lottery office and learning her payout was real.

Williams, who has three adult children and five grandchildren, says she’s going to use the money to pay off debts and buy a house.


LA WOMAN, 100, GETS MEDAL FOR WWII SERVICE : LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 100-year-old woman from Los Angeles has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her role in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II.

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman announced on Wednesday that pioneering pilot Lt. Col. Jeri Truesdell has received the award.

Sherman co-sponsored legislation earlier this year that would award the medal collectively to people who were members of the Civil Air Patrol during World War II.

Truesdell also helped train other female pilots during the war under a Navy volunteers program.

Sherman said in a statement that “Lt. Col. Truesdell is an American hero” and “a pioneer for women in service.”


FATHER, GIRLFRIEND CONVICTED OF STARVING CHILDREN: SAN BERNARDINO AP) — A Southern California father and his girlfriend have been found guilty of torture and child abuse for starving two of his children and beating a third.

A San Bernardino County jury convicted 30-year-old Erik Austin Flores and 23-year-old Mariah Rita Sugg of Hesperia on Wednesday. Each faces 20 years to life in prison when they’re sentenced next month.

Prosecutors say the 4-year-old and 5-year-old children suffered permanent height loss because of their malnutrition and resembled concentration camp survivors when they were found and taken in by authorities earlier this year.

The third victim who did not starve because he was fed at school testified that Sugg would beat him and his siblings, make them do exercises for hours and make them stand in the corner for entire days.


CALIFORNIANS WHO KEPT MORE THAN 30 DOGS ARE FINED: RIVERSIDE (AP) — People at a Riverside County home have been fined more than $13,000 and could face criminal charges for keeping more than 30 dogs — including a pair of poodles that belonged to other people.

Authorities went to the Mead Valley home this week and discovered two standard poodles, Murray and Savvi, who had been reported missing last Friday. They were reunited with their owner in Quail Valley.

County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh says it’s unclear how the dogs wound up at the home.

Welsh says the other dogs are probably pets that the property owners collected over the years.

A dozen dogs have been impounded and the residents fined for violating licensing, neutering and other pet laws.