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State news briefs
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CURIOSITY BEAMS NEW WILL.I.AM SONG FROM MARS: PASADENA . (AP) — has premiered his new single — from Mars.

The NASA rover Curiosity beamed to Earth his new song "Reach for the Stars" on Tuesday in the first music broadcast from another planet, to the delight of students who gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to listen.

The song had been uploaded to the rover, which landed near the equator of Mars, and played it back — a journey of some 700 million miles.

The musician, who promotes science and mathematics education, was among more than a dozen celebrities who were invited to JPL to watch Curiosity's landing earlier this month. Others included Wil Wheaton, Seth Green and Morgan Freeman.

SIMI VALLEY SPECIAL ED STUDENT LEFT 4 HOURS ON BUS: SIMI VALLEY  (AP) — A Southern California school district is investigating how a special education student was left alone on a school bus for more than four hours.

The Ventura County Star ( says it happened last week in the Simi Valley Unified School District.

School board President Janice DiFatta says the child was picked up to attend the first day of school at Crestview Elementary School but somehow wound up alone after the bus driver parked and left the vehicle.

The child wasn't hurt but DiFatta calls the Aug. 22 incident inexcusable. She says the driver has been removed from duty while the district investigates.

DRIVER WHO HIT GAS BY MISTAKE KILLS PEDESTRIAN: SPRING VALLEY  (AP) — A driver who mistook the gas pedal for the brake has run over and killed a woman in San Diego County.

Authorities say 45-year-old Pamela LeBlanc was leaving a dry cleaning store in Spring Valley Monday morning when she was struck by a car heading into a nearby drive-thru.

The 22-year-old woman behind the wheel intended to brake but hit the gas instead.

The Pontiac G6 rolled on top of LeBlanc. Witnesses used a floor jack from a nearby auto repair shop to free her but she died at a hospital.

ANTIOCH POLICE SHOOT AND KILL ARMED SUSPECT: ANTIOCH  (AP) — Antioch police say an armed suspect was shot and killed while he was on top of the roof of a house and pointing a gun at officers.

The incident occurred late Monday night when officers responding to a report of a domestic violence at a house found a man with a gun fleeing the scene in a car with a toddler inside.

Police say officers tried stopping the suspect but he led them on a high-speed chase before crashing his car and running through backyard and climbing on the roof of a house.

CALIF. SENATE APPROVES BILL INSPIRED BY PENN STATE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — All employees at California colleges would be required by law to report suspected child sexual abuse under a bill approved by the state Senate.

Sen. Ron Calderon says AB1434 "can be summed up in one word: Sandusky."

The bill passed unanimously Tuesday and now goes to the Assembly.

California law already requires teachers, teacher aides, doctors and others who supervise children to report abuse suspicions.

Calderon, a Democrat from Monterey Park, says the child sex abuse convictions of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky revealed the need to specifically require reporting by university employees. Two school officials were charged with failing to report abuse allegations.

A mandatory reporter's failure to report child abuse can bring up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

TEEN FACES EXPULSION FOR PELLET GUN AT SCHOOL: LOMPOC  (AP) — A California central coast teenager is facing expulsion for bringing a pellet gun to school.

A caller notified Lompoc police Monday morning that a 13-year-old boy pulled a handgun from his backpack and said he needed to bring the weapon to school for protection.

Police briefly ordered a lockdown at Lompoc Valley Middle School and the weapon, which turned out to be a pellet gun, was found.

The Santa Maria Times says the youth was taken to jail and was booked for investigation of possessing a weapon on school grounds. He was then released to his parents.

School district spokesman Arthur Diaz says the 7th grader will be disciplined for bringing a dangerous object on campus and for disrupting school operations. He's temporarily suspended and he's facing possible expulsion.