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State news briefs
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CALIFORNIA MAY BAN GAY TEEN 'CONVERSION' THERAPY: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight is speeding through the California statehouse.

Supporters say the legislation, which passed its final Senate committee Tuesday, is necessary because such treatments are ineffective and harmful.

"This therapy can be dangerous," said the bill's author Sen. Ted Lieu. He added the treatments can "cause extreme depression and guilt" that sometimes leads to suicide.

Conservative religious groups emphatically reject that view of sexual orientation therapy and say the ban would interfere with parents' rights to seek appropriate psychological care for their children.

The bill would prohibit so-called reparative therapy for minors and obligate adults to sign a release form that states that the counseling is ineffective and possibly dangerous. It passed the committee 3-1.

MAN CONVICTED OF GIVING PORN TO 11-YEAR-OLD BOY: VICTORVILLE  (AP) — A Southern California registered sex offender faces up to six years in prison for giving a hardcore pornographic video to an 11-year-old neighbor boy.

A San Bernardino County jury on Monday convicted 49-year-old Russell Arthur Bender of giving harmful material to a minor in an effort to seduce the boy for sex. He will be sentenced June 5 in Victorville.

Bender befriended the victim and his mother when they moved into a Hesperia trailer park where he lives.

The prosecutor says the boy went to Bender's home alone three years ago and the defendant gave the youngster the porn video and an adult magazine.

BODY FOUND IN HOLE COULD BE MISSING SO. CAL HIKER:  BORREGO SPRINGS  (AP) — A body found in a deep mudhole may be that of a hiker who vanished on Easter in the Southern California badlands.

A mine rescue team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department may be called in Tuesday to recover the body.

Twenty-five-year-old Guillermo Pino was exploring mud caves in the Anzo-Borrego Desert State Park in eastern San Diego County when he vanished. He had no shoes, water or cell phone.

Hundreds of volunteers searched for days without finding him. However, Pino's family kept searching. The area is pitted with hundreds of caves.

U-T San Diego saod on Saturday, family members lowered a video camera down a 50-foot hole in a mud cave and found a body they believe could be Pino's.

PARTYING TEEN DIED OF ACUTE ALCOHOL INTOXICATION: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The coroner says a Los Angeles teenager who died after a night of partying died of acute alcohol intoxication.

The autopsy showed 17-year-old Salvador Preciado's blood-alcohol content was 0.35 percent, more than four times the legal limit to drive, when he died in March after a night of partying in the San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles Daily News says the Panorama High School athlete passed out after heavy drinking at a friend's birthday party.

Investigators say friends called school volunteer coach Brian Molina, who took Preciado to a friend's apartment.

Preciado's mother Irma Guevara was then called and told of her son's condition, and they added the teen had fallen asleep. When she arrived to pick him up the following morning, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound football player was dead.


SISKIYOU COUNTY CONSIDERS PROPOSAL TO BAN WOLVES: YREKA  (AP) — A word of warning to the lone wolf wandering through Northern California: Steer clear of Siskiyou County.

The Board of Supervisors is set to consider a proposal Tuesday that would attempt to ban the animal. Any that enter Siskiyou would "be destroyed."

Problem is, it's illegal under federal and state law to kill wolves, which are considered endangered in California.

But that hasn't stopped local cattleman Leo Bergeron, who is huffing and puffing about the danger that wolves could pose to people and livestock. His proposal would call for the removal, or killing, of any wolf in the county.

California's lone wolf, known as OR7, crossed the border from Oregon around Christmas, likely in search of a mate. It's currently in southwestern Modoc County.

No livestock deaths have been attributed to the wolf.