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State news briefs
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BILL WOULD GIVE CYCLISTS 3-FOOT BUFFER ZONE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California bicyclists who navigate busy roads may be able to ride a little easier if a bill approved by the Assembly becomes law.

The Assembly approved SB1464 Monday, which would require motor vehicle drivers to stay three feet from cyclists in most cases. Drivers would be allowed to cross double solid yellow lines to provide bicyclists enough room.

Opponents of the bill by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Long Beach Democrat, argued that it would give bicyclists a false sense of security. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year.

The new legislation would allow fines of at least $35 for drivers who impinge on bicyclists' buffer zones.

The bill passed 52-19 and returns to the Senate for a final vote.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: I'M MARRIED, SELLING ART ON EBAY: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rosie O'Donnell has announced that she married her fiancee, Michelle Rounds, in a private ceremony in June, just days before Rounds had surgery to treat desmoid tumors.

The 50-year-old TV personality also said Monday on her blog that she is selling original paintings on eBay to raise money for the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation.

A spokeswoman for O'Donnell confirmed the nuptials and fundraising efforts.

Rounds was diagnosed with desmoid tumors in June. She and O'Donnell wed in New York on June 9, and Rounds underwent surgery June 14. Desmoid tumors occur rarely and can affect almost any area of the body. The tumors can be fatal.

O'Donnell has had health issues of her own. She said Aug. 20 that she recently suffered a heart attack.

MEDFLY INFESTATION LEADS TO QUARANTINE: RANCHO CUCAMONGA  (AP) — An infestation of crop-destroying Mediterranean fruit flies has led to an 88-square-mile Southern California quarantine zone east of Los Angeles.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says three adult male flies and a female were found in two traps on Aug. 16 in the Rancho Cucamonga area of San Bernardino County.

Medflies lay eggs in more than 260 varieties of soft fruits and vegetables.

A quarantine area was mapped and officials began releasing sterile male Medflies over an 11-square-mile area last week.

Growers and residents in the quarantine zone cannot move produce from their properties.

About 250,000 sterile flies are being released weekly in each square mile of the target area.

Sterile male flies mate with fertile female flies and there are no offspring.

BILL AIMS TO PREVENT DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Recreational drug users seeking medical help would get a reprieve from legal repercussions if a bill heading to the governor's desk becomes law.

AB472, by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, stipulates that it is not a crime to be high or in possession of small amounts of illegal drugs when seeking medical assistance for a drug overdose. The bill also carves out a legal exception for underage drinkers.

The bill passed the state Assembly 50-20 Monday. Several Republicans who supported the bill said they condemn drug use but want people in trouble, especially teens, to seek help.

Ammiano, of San Francisco, says he wrote the legislation because he'd rather have his child around to yell at than have to attend his funeral. Washington and New Mexico have similar laws.

FRESNO CO. PENSION PROGRAM SUES INT'L LIQUOR GROUP: FRESNO  (AP) — Fresno County's employee pension program has filed a lawsuit against a leading international liquor producer whose plunging stock price hurt the program's investments.

The Employees' Retirement Association is suing the Central European Distribution Corporation alleging that misstatements artificially inflated the company's stock price.

A federal judge in New Jersey last week named Fresno's pension program and the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System as the lead plaintiffs in the class action suit.

The Fresno Bee reports ( that the Fresno pension program, which oversees a portfolio valued at about $2.7 billion, lost nearly $400,000 because of the company's financial woes.

Company officials denied they deceived investors and attributed the drop in stock prices to a loss of vodka market share in Poland.

The Fresno County association is also suing Facebook, Toyota Motors and Countrywide Financial Corp., among others, over stock price drops.

2 ARRESTED FOR POINTING LASERS AT AIRCRAFT: CLOVIS  (AP) — Two people have been arrested for pointing lasers at helicopters near Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

Air traffic controllers contacted police after a laser was pointed at an air ambulance helicopter near the airport on Saturday night.

Lasers can cause temporary blindness.

A Fresno police helicopter attempting to pinpoint the laser's origin was also struck several times by the green laser beam in the Clovis area.

The police air crew contacted Clovis officers and two people, ages 22 and 24, were arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail.

SKATEBOARDER SHOT ON WAY HOME FROM WORK: NATIONAL CITY  (AP) — A skateboarder returning home from work has been shot in the back on a Southern California sidewalk.

KNSD-TV ( says the man had gotten off a commuter trolley in National City and was riding his skateboard the rest of the way home when he was shot at about 11 p.m. Sunday.

National City police says the victim, whose name hasn't been released, was taken to a hospital and his condition isn't known.

Witnesses told police the gunman may have fled the shooting scene in a car.

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKER ACQUITTED OF DUI CHARGE : SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, a Southern California Democrat, has been acquitted of a drunken driving charge.

Bruce Flynn, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office, says a jury on Monday found Hernandez not guilty of misdemeanor drunken driving. The jury could not reach a verdict on a second count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of at least .08, the minimum level for DUI.

Hernandez, of West Covina, has maintained that he was not drunk when police arrested him in March in the eastern San Francisco Bay-area city of Concord.

During the trial, his attorney questioned the accuracy of the test, but Hernandez has called the test results "a huge wake-up call."

The DA's office has until mid-September to decide whether to retry Hernandez on the second count.

VENUES IN LA AND OC ANNOUNCE RULES FOR SPORTS FANS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Major venues in Los Angeles and Orange County are teaming up to warn sports fans that being too drunk, offensive or violent could lead to ejection or arrest.

Los Angeles Sports Council President David Simon says Monday his group came up with a set of commonsense rules for fans to follow at major events.

Many venues already had some or all of the rules in place, but venues that regularly host more than 10,000 attendees including Staples Center, Dodger Stadium and the Honda Center will share a common code to avoid confusion.

Simon says more than 20 million tickets are sold annually to LA-area sporting events.

The rules were drafted after officials from the University of California Los Angeles and the Rose Bowl voiced concerns about fan behavior.