SOUTH PASADENA (AP) — South Pasadena police who stopped a man for riding a bike at night without a headlight or rear reflector say they found 23 pounds of marijuana stashed in a water cooler.
City News Service reports that police pulled 53-year-old Marco Solis over at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
A subsequent search of his water cooler turned up the marijuana.
Solis, of San Gabriel, was arrested on suspicion of possessing and transporting marijuana for sale.
Police estimate the pot's street value at about $23,000.
PRISON PSYCHOLOGIST IN ALLEGED RAPE SCHEME FIRED: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A California prison psychologist charged with faking her own rape has been fired from the prison system.
A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told the Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/s7lf1H) on Wednesday that Laurie Ann Martinez's last day with the department was Dec. 22.
Her firing came less than a week after the state psychology board announced it was suspending the 36-year-old Martinez's license.
Martinez is accused of staging her robbery and rape in April at her home with the help of a friend and then dialing 911.
Sacramento authorities say she and her friend, 33-year-old Nicole Snyder, have acknowledged the scheme. Martinez was allegedly trying to get her husband to move to a more desirable neighborhood.
FATHER WITNESSES DAUGHTER'S FATAL CRASH: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities say a woman driving a just-purchased vintage pickup truck was killed after losing control of the vehicle on a San Diego County freeway.
The woman's father was driving behind the woman and witnessed the fatal crash on Wednesday.
The California Highway Patrol says 25-year-old Wendy Hamabata was driving the 1955 Chevy truck north on Interstate 805 when she lost control and veered into the center divide.
The truck slammed into a post and rolled over and Hamabata was ejected. She died at the scene.
The CHP says Hamabata and her father had just bought the truck and were returning to Rancho Penasquitos.
WAYWARD MOTHER WHALE DIED OF SKIN INFECTION: KLAMATH (AP) — The wayward gray whale that died last summer after swimming from the sea into the Klamath River and attracting hundreds of well-wishers along the way suffered from a fungal skin infection caused by the river's fresh water, scientists said.
Sarah Wilkin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said) that the mother whale's skin was weakened by her lengthy stay in the freshwater river, which allowed the fungus to get into her body.
The whale, called "MaMa" by locals, garnered national media attention when she entered the river with her calf on June 24. The pair were migrating north with other gray whales when they made their unexpected foray upriver.
Three weeks later, the calf made it back to the Pacific Ocean but the mother whale stayed behind.
It was the end of a story that captivated many of the 800 people who live in the small coastal town. People crowded on a highway bridge over the river to see and photograph the whale. Some even waded into the river to serenade the creature.
MaMa died before dawn on Aug. 16 after beaching itself on a sandbar in the river. The whale was buried by members of the Yurok Tribe along the riverbank.
ESCONDIDO SISTERS ATTACKED DURING SALES DEMO
VISTA (AP) — A door-to-door salesman has pleaded not guilty to a dozen felony charges for allegedly assaulting two sisters during what was supposed to be a cleaning product demonstration at their Escondido-area home.
Twenty-one-year-old Joshua Thomas Nitkin appeared in court Wednesday in Vista. He is charged with assault with intent to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and kidnapping. He is also charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
San Diego County prosecutors say the sisters were threatened with a butcher knife, forced to disrobe, groped and tied up with belts.
Nitkin's bail was set at $1 million. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison.
Palm Desert says Occupy free speech cost city $89K
PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — The taxpayer cost for recent Occupy Coachella Valley protests in Palm Desert is about $89,000.
City officials say the costs added up because of overtime for police, code enforcement and public works employees.
City Manager John Wohlmuth says most of the expense was for police overtime in October and November when the protesters camped in Civic Center Park and marched down El Paseo.
Councilwoman Cindy Finerty says the cost of enforcing city laws was too much,
Occupy organizer Jayel Aheram agrees, telling the Palm Springs Desert Sun that the city could have given money to charities rather than harass protesters.
COUGAR THAT RAIDED OAK GLEN PETTING ZOO IS KILLED: OAK GLEN (AP) — The owners of an Oak Glen apple orchard say a mountain lion that kept raiding the company's petting zoo has been killed.
Devon Riley told said the mountain lion had killed 13 goats and sheep at Riley's at Los Rios Rancho near Yucaipa. So he got a special permit from the California Department of Fish and Game to shoot the cougar.
Riley's son shot the animal on Christmas day.
Petting zoo animals started disappearing in late November. Carcasses would be found nearby.
The family moved the petting zoo closer to their home, but the attacks continued. Neighbors also reported losing livestock.
Riley says eight surviving goats and sheep, a pig, donkey and llama have not been bothered since the cat was killed.
SACRAMENTO POLICE BREAK UP HOMELESS TENT CITY: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — Sacramento police have evicted a group of about 150 homeless people that had set up tents along the American River.
Police told the campers on Wednesday to move on or risk arrest. Almost all of them complied and left the site.
City officials said the eviction was needed to protect the environment along the river and satisfy nearby property owners.
But it was not clear where the campers would go. The city and members of the community secured nearly 60 additional shelter beds, but that was be enough to cover all the campers.
POLICE: SUSPECT RAMS SFPD VEHICLE, GETS AWAY: OAKLAND (AP) — San Francisco police say a man suspected of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon rammed a vehicle with plainclothes officers inside and then got away.
The officers with the San Francisco police department's violence reduction unit had gone to Oakland on Wednesday afternoon after receiving a tip that the suspect was there.
They apparently spotted the unidentified man at an Oakland street corner around 6 p.m. Police say the suspect appeared to recognize the officers and intentionally hit their vehicle with his before fleeing.
The officers were not injured. They did not pursue the suspect, who remains at large.