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State news briefs
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HOSPITAL FINED $50K FOR LEAVING TOWEL IN PATIENT: FRESNO  (AP) — California regulators have fined a Fresno hospital $50,000 for leaving a towel in a patient who had abdominal surgery.

The patient needed a second surgery to remove the towel.

The patient was examined at Saint Agnes Medical Center two years ago for abdominal pain and she had surgery.

The state health report released Thursday says the woman returned four months later complaining of pain, nausea and vomiting and she was hospitalized for five days. She was released and returned for a third time.

Surgery was ordered again and the towel was removed.

PLAYER SAYS USC CAUSED HEART ATTACK: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former University of Southern California player is suing the school claiming team doctors injected a painkiller that caused a heart attack.

The Los Angeles lawsuit filed Thursday by 22-year-old Armond Armstead, who was hospitalized for five days after last year's incident, says USC team doctors injected the prescription drug Toradol without his knowledge.

The Sacramento Bee says USC obstructed Armstead's efforts to transfer at a major cost to his professional career.

The defensive lineman says didn't play his senior year at USC and it destroyed his chances to become a high-level National Football League draft pick.

Armstead, who played at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove before going to USC, is making $46,000 a year with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts.

MAN CRITICALLY HURT IN CRASH OF STOLEN LAPD CAR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say a man who stole a police car lost a leg after smashing it into a light pole and a Starbucks cafe.

The 25-year-old is hospitalized Friday morning in critical condition.

Officer Tenesha Dobine says the car was stolen shortly before 4 a.m. as police were investigating a report of an assault with a deadly weapon and robbery in the southwest area of town.

She says a supervisor left the keys in the car and a man jumped in and took off on a joyride.

EVACUATION LIFTED IN 2 NORCAL WILDFIRES: REDDING (AP) - Residents near two Northern California wildfires once ordered to evacuate are now being allowed to return home.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office lifted a mandatory evacuation on Friday for hundreds of residents in northwest Siskiyou County after the Goff Fire threatened about 80 homes in Seiad Valley. Several roads have also been reopened.

Fire spokesman John Calabrese said more than 600 firefighters continue to battle the blaze that is 28 percent contained after scorching 27 square miles.

SUSPECT IN CAR CHASE CALLS 911 TO DIVERT POLICE: WATSONVILLE  (AP) — Authorities say a Watsonville man tried to shake a police car that was pursuing him by calling 911 to report a fake shooting.

Watsonville police Sgt. Eric Taylor says the ruse didn't work, and 28-year-old Jose Luis Fernandez was taken into custody.

Fernandez was on Santa Cruz County's Most Wanted list for suspicion of selling drugs when officers spotted him driving Thursday morning.

Taylor says that during the 50 mph chase that followed Fernandez called 911 on his cellphone to report a nearby shooting. He then drove through a berry field, but was caught while running off through the brush.

Fernandez was arrested on the felony drug warrant, as well as on suspicion of evasion of an officer, resisting arrest, making a false report to 911 and using a cellphone while driving.

STOCKTON STANDOFF SUSPECT APPARENTLY KILLED HIMSELF: STOCKTON (AP) — Authorities say a Stockton man who was in an eight-hour standoff with officers appears to have shot and killed himself.

Stockton police spokesman Joe Silva said that officers found the suspect's body inside a home late Thursday. It was not known how long he had been dead.

Silva says the incident began around 1:30 p.m. when the suspect sped away from officers attempting to stop him for a traffic violation.

Police say the suspect fired several shots at officers before he ran and barricaded himself in his house. SWAT officers apparently tried communicating with the suspect around 5 p.m., but were unable to make contact with him.

A police robot was later sent into the home, where the suspect's body was discovered.