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State news briefs
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LA BANS SKATEBOARD "BOMBING" AFTER 2 DEATHS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles officials voted Tuesday to respond to two teen deaths by banning skateboard "bombing," where skaters zoom down steep hills at up to 40 mph.

The City Council voted Tuesday and the measure will go to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for approval.

If approved, it would take effect 30 days after signing.

Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced the measure after two deaths in his district.

In November, 14-year-old Michael Borojevich died after a skateboarding injury and in January, 15-year-old Caleb Daniel Simpson was killed while skating down a hill.

The law would require skateboarders to stop at stop signs and obey posted speed limits. It would also ban bicyclists or drivers from towing skateboarders.

Violators could face penalties of up to $250.

TAXPAYER COST PUT AT $4M FOR LA OCCUPY PROTEST : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Last fall's downtown Los Angeles Occupy protest cost taxpayers more than $4 million.

The City Council's budget committee was told on Monday that most of the money was for police and park personnel overtime.

The Occupy LA protesters, part of the nationwide anti-Wall Street social movement, took over the park outside City Hall for two months. The park reopened last month after a $1 million makeover.

Some 1,400 police officers helped to evict the protesters on Dec. 1.

Those costs included $431,000 for the repairs to the lawn and a new sprinkler system.

The General Services Department says it spent $571,753 to provide various items to the demonstrators and to clear the site of 25 tons of debris after they left.

SUIT FILED AGAINST FARM CONTRACTOR OVER WAGES: FRESNO  (AP) — California labor officials are suing a farm labor contracting company over allegations the company failed to properly pay more than 100 farmworkers.

In a suit filed by California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, the commission claims Javier Diaz and his Visalia-based company Diaz Contracting violated the law by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to its 129 employees.

In the suit filed in Fresno County Superior Court on Monday, the commission is seeking $634,800 in unpaid wages for the farmworkers.

Officials say it is the first time the Labor Commissioner has sued a farm contractor over unpaid wages.

FULLERTON MAY TAKE STEP TOWARD DISBANDING POLICE : FULLERTON  (AP) — Fullerton may consider disbanding its police department to slash its budget, eliminating a century-old force that's under a cloud over the beating death of a homeless man.

The City Council may decide Tuesday night whether to ask the Orange County Sheriff's Department for a preliminary analysis — a first step toward a formal bid to take over police services.

The current police force has 144 officers and a budget of $37 million.

The department sparked a public outcry last year over the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill transient who died after a videotaped confrontation.

In the wake of his death, two officers were criminally charged, three left the force, the police chief retired and three council members were recalled.

WILDFIRE CLOSES MAIN ROAD IN LASSEN NATIONAL PARK: MINERAL . (AP) — A growing wildfire has prompted officials to close a 10-mile stretch of the main road through Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Park spokeswoman Lisa Wilkolak says the Reading fire was sparked by a lightning strike on July 23 in the park about 50 miles east of Redding. The blaze was fairly small until Monday, when strong winds caused it to grow more than 1,000 acres.

Officials say about 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, which had burned about 1,400 acres and was 10 percent contained Tuesday.

Officials say the Main Park Road is closed from Summit Lake to Devastated Area. Some trails were closed, but campgrounds and visitor centers remain open.

About 100 miles south, a wildfire in the Plumas National Park has consumed 24 square miles and was 10 percent contained Tuesday.


The City Council proclaimed the day Tuesday in honor of the Jamaican reggae legend whose string of hits include "I Shot the Sheriff" and "No Woman, No Cry."

Marley was 36 when he died of cancer in 1981 but his children Ziggy and Karen were on hand for the honor. With Councilman Joe Buscaino leading from the podium, they joined in singing a verse from Marley's "Redemption Song."

Buscaino says Marley's music "brought people together in times of trouble."

Ziggy Marley also is a noted musician and has a home in Los Angeles.

COMMUTER TRAIN ON PACE FOR DEADLIEST YEAR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California commuter train line is on pace to have the deadliest year in its 22-year history.

Six people have been struck and killed by Los Angeles County Blue Line trains this year, including four who committed suicide.

A record 10 people died in 1999.

This year's deaths were among 22 accidents reported along the 22-mile line from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. The line handles 26 million riders a year and is one of the busiest light rails in the nation.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority member Zev Yaroslavsky says the number of suicides is a record. He also says the line could see a record number of deaths by year's end, and he's urging an investigation to help reduce the toll.

PRIVATIZING LA CONVENTION CENTER SUGGESTED: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Turning over management of the Los Angeles Convention Center to a private firm would save the city up to $37 million over five years.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said in a report that privatization will also help the city better compete for lucrative conventions.

Tthe city budget chief has advised Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council to launch a competitive search so a private firm could be in place by July 1.