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State news briefs
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DISNEY WILL ALLOW PARK WORKERS TO HAVE BEARDS: ANAHEIM. (AP) — Workers at Disney's U.S. theme parks will be allowed to grow beards and goatees for the first time ever, Disney officials said Monday.

The change in Disney's facial hair policy will apply to workers in Florida and California starting next month, said spokeswoman Andrea Finger.

Facial hair was prohibited on theme park workers when founder Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California in the mid-1950s. The company revised its policy in 2000 to allow mustaches, provided they were grown on vacation and not at work.

Starting Feb. 3, beards, mustaches and other facial growth will be allowed.

Reaction from rank-and-file workers has run the gamut, said Donna-Lynne Dalton, a spokeswoman for Teamsters Local 385, which represents costumed workers, laundry workers and parking attendants.

EX-CHP OFFICER CONVICTED OF MURDERING HUSBAND: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former California Highway Patrol officer was found guilty on Monday of killing her husband three years ago near a freeway off-ramp.

Jurors convicted Tomiekia Johnson, 32, of first-degree murder. She faces 50 years to life in prison when she's sentenced March 9. The courtroom was cleared after Johnson collapsed and fell under a table following the reading of the verdict. Her condition was not immediately known.

Prosecutors said Johnson shot husband Marcus Lemons in February 2009 once in the head, then drove to her parents' home in Compton with her husband's body in the passenger seat.

Johnson reported the shooting, telling investigators she shot her husband in self-defense after the couple argued and he threatened to kill her and began choking her.

She testified during the trial that she told her husband to get out of the car but he grabbed the keys out of the ignition. A struggle over her purse, which contained a handgun, ensued between the couple and fearing for her life, she shot Lemons, Johnson said.

NEWS CORP PLANS US SPANISH-LANGUAGE TV NETWORK: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is launching a Spanish-language broadcast TV network that aims to bring the flavor of the Fox network to Hispanic audiences in the U.S.

The move is touted as a bold entry into a market dominated by top-ranked Univision and No. 2 Telemundo, in the same way that Fox rattled broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC with its debut a quarter century ago.

The company said Monday that the new network, MundoFox, will be launched in September or October in partnership with Colombia-based RCN Television Group. RCN already produces popular shows for one of Univision's junior networks in the U.S., TeleFutura. RCN's biggest hits include "El Capo" and "La Hija del Mariachi."

'CITIZEN KANE' TO BE SHOWN AT HEARST CASTLE: SAN SIMEON  (AP) — The 1941 film "Citizen Kane" will be shown at Hearst Castle, the elaborate California estate built by the newspaper magnate who inspired Orson Welles' cinema classic.

"Citizen Kane" will be shown March 9 at the visitor center theater as part of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, with the blessing of the late William Randolph Hearst's family.

Hearst sought to derail the movie, which portrayed the rise and fall of an obsessively controlling character, and festival director Wendy Eidson says it has probably never been seen at the estate, which is now a state park.

Great-grandson Steve Hearst says it will be presented as a work of fiction rather than as a documentary about the media tycoon.

SUSPECT IN SERIAL KILLINGS TO STAND TRIAL: SAN RAFAEL  (AP) — A judge ruled Monday that a man accused in the decades-old "Double Initial" serial killings case must stand trial for the murders of four Northern California women whose first and last names began with the same letter.

Joseph Naso, 78, was ordered to trial after a preliminary hearing before Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet.

Naso is charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya, in the 1970s and 1990s. Police said all the victims were working prostitutes who had contact with Naso.

Prosecutors said they discovered DNA matching the profile of Naso on the stockings of Roggasch and under the fingernail of Colon.

Naso was arrested last year, after a probation search of his Reno, Nev., home unearthed photographs, journals and other evidence that authorities said linked him to the slayings.

FRIEND: DEFENDANT TRIED TO SELL BLOODSTAINED RUG: ALHAMBRA  (AP) — A man who masqueraded as a Rockefeller and is now accused of murder was confronted in court Monday by witnesses who said he tried to sell them an Oriental rug with a blood spot.

Christian Gerhartsreiter, who is charged with murdering a San Marino man from whom he had rented a cottage in 1985, smiled slightly at witnesses Robert and Bettie Brown, an elderly couple who once welcomed him into their home for religious study classes and became his close friends.

Gerhartsreiter is charged with killing John Sohus, whose bones were found in 1994 in the backyard of his former home in San Marino, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles, nearly 10 years after Sohus and his wife vanished.

Gerhartsreiter left town soon after they went missing. He is charged only with killing 27-year-old John Sohus. No sign of Linda Sohus has been found.

OFFICERS SHOOT, KILL MAN ACCUSED OF MAKING THREATS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police say they shot and killed a man who allegedly threatened officers with a metal bar he was using to smash the windows of a restaurant in Monterey Park.

Officers responded to a call on Monday that a man was breaking windows at a Carl's Jr.

When authorities arrived they saw several patrons run out of the restaurant and a man armed with a 3-foot-long metal bar.

Officers say they ordered the suspect to drop the bar but when he did not comply they used a stun gun to subdue him.

When that failed to stop him and the suspect allegedly began swinging the bar at police, an officer shot the suspect.

STATE SENATE VOTES TO EXTEND MORTGAGE PROTECTIONS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The state Senate has voted to extend a law passed during the peak of the mortgage crisis that provides added protections for property owners, renters and neighbors of foreclosed properties.

The 2008 law says foreclosure proceedings cannot begin until the lender has tried for 30 days to work out alternatives with the delinquent homeowner.

Lenders must notify renters that they are beginning foreclosure proceedings and provide 60 days' notice before evicting them. They also are required to maintain vacant foreclosed houses or risk fines up to $1,000 a day.

The law was set to expire after this year. The Senate voted 32-1 on Monday to extend it another five years, through 2017.

SB708, by Democratic Sen. Ellen Corbett of San Leandro, now goes to the state Assembly