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State news briefs
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STUDENTS PROTEST ADMISSIONS POLICIES AT UCLA: LOS ANGELES (AP) — About two dozen demonstrators are occupying the admissions office at the University of California, Los Angeles to protest the number of black, Latino and native American students admitted.

Members of the By Any Means Necessary coalition, which advocates overturning the ban on using race and ethnicity as a factor for admission to California's state universities, took over the office around 3 p.m.

Organizer Hoku Jeffrey says the group wants UCLA to double its admission of qualified blacks, Latinos and native Americans, who make up half of California's high school graduates, but only a quarter of UCLA's incoming freshmen.

DAD'S TRACTOR RUNS OVER TWIN TODDLER SONS, 1 DIES: HESPERIA  (AP) — A father using a Bobcat tractor in his Southern California desert backyard has accidentally run over his twin toddlers, killing one of the boys.

The other son was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor foot injury.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Rose says the father called 911 on Thursday afternoon and said he ran over his son while doing construction work in the backyard of his Hesperia home.

The twins were using a nearby play set.

The father, whose name has been withheld, pulled the tractor forward and he heard a scream when he went into reverse.

The distraught father tried to revive the boy but he was dead at the scene.

$1M SOUGHT IN ALLEGED REDWOOD CITY TEACHER ABUSE: REDWOOD CITY . (AP) — A mom whose 5-year-old son was allegedly kicked and deprived of food by a Redwood City special education teacher is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Nadia Cortez filed a legal claim on Thursday that names the teacher, 44-year-old Alexia Bogdis, and several school district officials and aides. Such claims generally precede lawsuits.

Cortez says Bogdis, a teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, pulled her autistic son's hair, kicked him in the stomach and prevented him from eating and drinking water. She accuses the district of negligence for hiring Bogdis and says teachers' aides who saw the abuse failed to immediately report it.

POLICE FOLLOW DISCARDED WRAPPERS TO THEFT SUSPECTS: LA MESA  (AP) — Police say they followed a trail of discarded food wrappers to track down four people accused of stealing from a Little League snack bar.

La Mesa Police Sgt. Colin Atwood tells U-T San Diego  that police were called late Thursday about noise at the Rolando Little League snack bar in Rolando Park. Atwood says officers followed a trail of empty cookie, chip and Cheetos packages for about two blocks to a home where more snacks were found in a car.

Atwood says officers found more Little League property, including a cash register, inside the home. He says one man, two women and a girl were arrested for investigation of burglary.

PREGNANT WOMAN SHOT IN FACE AT RED LIGHT: PALM SPRINGS  (AP) — A gunman in a Cadillac has shot a pregnant woman in the face at a Palm Springs red light.

Sgt. Mike Kovaleff says the woman has a non-life threatening wound to her face. Her name hasn't been released.

The woman was a passenger in a Honda CRV sport utility vehicle stopped at a red light Thursday night when the Cadillac sedan pulled alongside.

Kovaleff says an armed passenger in the Cadillac yelled and began firing at the two people in the SUV.

2 WATER GATES IN DELTA TO BE REPAIRED: WALNUT GROVE  (AP) — State officials say they plan to close two large water gates in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for repairs.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said on Friday they will close the Delta Cross Channel gates in Walnut Grove starting on Monday, June 4 for a period of 10 to 14 days.

The gates have been open since one of them became stuck in the open position earlier this week because of mechanical problems.

The gates were built in the 1950's and are used to divert Sacramento River water into the Delta, which is then pumped to farmers and urban water users across the state.

The gates are usually open on weekends through June 15 for boats. But they remain closed on weekdays to ensure that migrating juvenile salmon are not disturbed in their path down the river to the ocean.

COURT MAKES IT TOUGHER ON SMALL-TIME GOLD MINERS: A federal appeals court ruling Friday makes it tougher for small-time gold miners to work their claims on federal lands across the West.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in a split decision that the U.S. Forest Service has to consult biologists from other agencies before allowing miners to do anything that might harm salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act. The ruling overturned a District Court decision.

The case was brought by the Karuk Tribe in Northern California as part of a longstanding battle to protect struggling salmon from mining on the Klamath River. The tribe traditionally depended upon the salmon for food.

"The Forest Service's decision to place the search for minuscule flakes of gold above the needs of people who rely on clean water, and especially wild salmon, was unconscionable," Leaf Hillman, director of natural resources for the Karuk Tribe, said in a statement.

A mining group said the ruling makes it virtually impossible for people to use suction dredges on rivers through federal lands with protected species. The dredges are gasoline-powered vacuums that suck the gravel from river bottoms and concentrate the gold.