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State news briefs
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SCHOOL AIR CONDITIONERS STOLEN IN FULLERTON: FULLERTON  (AP) — Fullerton police are looking for crooks who've stolen air conditioning units from schools.

Sgt. Jeff Stuart says thieves have stolen $30,000 worth of conditioning units and copper wiring in the past three weeks from Richman and Laguna Road elementary schools and Nicolas Junior High.

The thieves work at night.

Students won't return from the summer break until next week but police say they may find it harder to learn without air conditioning if hot weather continues.

ELDERLY WOMAN OK AFTER ATM ROBBERY ATTEMPT: MERCED  (AP) — Police say a 96-year-old Central Valley woman is OK after she refused to hand over her cash to a robber at a bank drive-thru ATM.

Merced police Lt. Bimley said after a man with a gun grabbed the woman's arm and the cash she had just withdrawn from the machine around 12:30 p.m. Friday she refused to give up the money.

West says as the woman gripped the cash, the robber pulled on the money, tearing the bills in half.

The woman, who has not been named, received a minor scratch on her arm in the struggle.

The robber ran from the area. Police were reviewing video surveillance footage in the hopes of identifying the man.

BILL WOULD BAN EMPLOYERS FROM SEEKING PASSWORDS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The state Senate has unanimously approved a bill to prevent employers from asking job applicants for their passwords to social media sites.

AB1844 would ban employers from requiring current or prospective employees to disclose their user names or passwords for sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Nora Campos of San Jose passed the Senate 37-0 on Monday. It returns to the Assembly for a final vote on technical amendments.

Proponents cited media reports that prospective employers were reviewing job applicants' social media accounts to get answers to questions they could not legally ask.

The bill has support from an unusual coalition that includes the California Chamber of Commerce, unions and labor organizations. Several other states are considering similar bans.

JUVENILE CONVICTS COULD GET 2ND CHANCE UNDER BILL: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that could give a chance at freedom to criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison.

The inmates could ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison. Judges could reduce the no-parole sentence to 25 years-to-life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.

Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, says his SB9 recognizes that young people do foolish things but change as they age. Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican from La Mesa, calls the bill "absolutely outrageous."

Currently, 309 offenders are serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed when they were younger than 18.

LANCASTER  SETS MARK OF 22 DAYS OF HIGH HEAT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California is in for some cooling but not before setting a heat duration record.

The National Weather Service says the 105-degree reading Sunday at the Lancaster airport marked the 22nd day in a row on which the maximum temperature reached or exceeded 100 at the high desert location.

The streak which began on July 29 broke a 21-day record set at the airport in July 2009.

Weather records at the airport in the Antelope Valley date to 1974.

The weather service says low pressure approaching from the northwest will bring a cooling trend to the region this week. Temperatures are expected to fall a few degrees below normal from midweek into the weekend and the marine layer is expected to increase during nights and mornings.

CALIF. BILL WOULD END USE OF 'MENTALLY RETARDED' : SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would add California to the list of 42 states that have ended use of the term "mentally retarded."

The state Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill to drop the term from legal references and refer instead to "intellectual disability."

SB1381 by Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills seeks to end the use of what many consider an offensive and outdated term in education and social services.

The new policy is not expected to cost the state more money because the changes will be made during routine revisions to laws over the next several years.

The bill, approved previously in the Senate, is sponsored by The Arc of California, a group that advocates for disability rights.

LEGISLATOR: SCOTT DEATH SHOWS NEED FOR BARRIERS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state legislator is calling for better suicide barriers on bridges in California in response to the death of "Top Gun" film director Tony Scott in Los Angeles.

Scott stopped his car on the towering Vincent Thomas Bridge and made a fatal 18-story plunge into Los Angeles Harbor on Sunday.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat, said Monday that more than 1,500 documented jumps have been taken from the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in his home district in 1937.

Ammiano says the Golden Gate has better barriers than many bridges in the state, and pledged to work toward better bridge safety in California.

POLL: MOST CALIFORNIANS SUPPORT HEALTH CARE REFORM: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A new poll finds that Californians support the federal health care overhaul but many don't think it will affect them.

The Field Poll published Monday found that 54 percent of registered voters support the Affordable Care Act and 37 percent oppose it.

Support has grown since last year in a state which has a large Democratic electorate and where many people are uninsured.

However, 46 percent said they didn't expect the law to significantly impact them or their families. Twenty-six percent thought they'll be better off and 24 percent believed they'll be worse off.

The poll was sponsored by the nonprofit California Wellness Foundation. It interviewed 1,579 registered voters by phone from July 12-29. The poll has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.