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State news briefs
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RELICS STOLEN FROM SAN BUENAVENTURA MISSION: VENTURA . (AP) — A thief has taken relics from a 230-year-old California mission.

Parishioners at Mission San Buenaventura were told on Sunday that nine first-class saint relics, which are a chip of the bone of a saint, were taken from the locked baptistery on Oct. 12.

The theft wasn't discovered until Saturday.

The Ventura County Star (says the 2- to 3-inch relics are of St. Bonaventure, St. Catherine Laboure, Junipero Serra, St. Bernard, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Judas Tadeo.

Ventura police examined video surveillance tapes and recognized the thief as a man already in custody on other charges. The man's name and other details are being withheld.

Mission San Buenaventura, founded in 1782, is the ninth mission established by the Spanish in California.

MAN TRYING TO STOP CHURCH GRAFFITI SHOT TO DEATH: LOS ANGELES (AP) — One man is dead and another wounded while trying to stop a vandal scrawling graffiti on a Los Angeles church.

Police investigators say the men were shot Sunday night after emerging from their storefront Filipinotown church to challenge the vandal.

City News Service says one man in his 20s died at the scene. A man in his 40s was hospitalized and is reported only as stable.

The gunman fled and has eluded capture

TRAFFIC FLOWING AGAIN ON I-15: SAN BERNARDINO  (AP) — Traffic is flowing again after the all-day shutdown of a major interstate linking Southern California and Las Vegas, and homes are no longer threatened after a wildfire erupted in a mountain pass.

The 350-acre fire in Cajon Pass was 5 percent surrounded by late Monday afternoon. Video from news helicopters overhead showed little smoke.

California transportation officials say they have slowly begun reopening lanes in both directions of Interstate 15.

The fire broke out as the region baked under the influence of a Santa Ana condition producing hot, dry air, and wind gusts of about 25 mph.

Evacuations had been ordered in an area known as Mathews Ranch.

Despite the progress, firefighters expect that the blaze won't be fully contained until Tuesday evening.

PASSENGERS STEP IN TO HELP ATTACKED LA BUS DRIVER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say passengers came to the rescue after a man attacked a Los Angeles County bus driver.

It happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Monday aboard a Metro bus near Los Angeles International Airport.

Rick Jager of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says about a dozen passengers were on the bus when one man began hitting the driver on the head and tried to grab the wheel.

Several passengers grabbed him and the driver braked, causing the man and several passengers to hit the windshield.

The man was treated for leg pain and arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking.

One passenger was treated for cuts.

It's not immediately clear what prompted the attack.

2 IMPOVERISHED TRIBES WANT OFF-RESERVATION CASINOS: FRESNO  (AP) — Two impoverished California tribes are planning off-reservation casinos.

They would be the first in the state to have casinos off Indian reservations.

The San Francisco Chronicle ( says the 1,950-member North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians near Oakhurst wants to build a gambling hall north of Fresno.

The tribe says the casino will pump more than $100 million in wages and other revenue into the local economy each year.

The other tribe is the 800-member Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians, near Oroville.

The tribe says the casino near Marysville would generate a $280 million annual boost to the local economy.

Gov. Jerry Brown approved the North Fork and Enterprise casino plans in August.

The Interior Department gave its tentative OK.

The casino proposals are now awaiting state Legislature approval.

LAST-MINUTE MAILER SWITCHES CA CANDIDATE'S PARTY: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Just days before Tuesday's election, a California congresswoman has changed political parties.

At least that's what mail landing at voters' homes says.

Rep. Laura Richardson's campaign was outraged Monday after residents in her Los Angeles-area district received mail labeling her a Republican in her race against fellow Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn.

Richardson is — and has been — a Democrat.

Spokeswoman Jasmyne Cannick tells the Los Angeles Times the mailers amount to "dirty politics."

The mailer lists several offices with recommendations.

Under the section labeled "44th District," it lists Hahn as a Democrat and Richardson as a Republican.

The ads were sent by a former Los Angeles councilman who once worked for Hahn's late father. Nate Holden tells the newspaper the error was unintentional and he regrets it.

WOMAN IN SAN DIEGO CRIME SPREE CASE WAS SEX VICTIM: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A woman charged with taking part in a violent San Diego-area crime spree that wounded an off-duty policeman was a sex trafficking victim three years ago.

Cindy Garcia was 14 when the National City woman was kidnapped and forced into prostitution in Mexico. She was rescued nearly two months later.

Authorities say Garcia, who's now 18, was with 40-year-old boyfriend Philip Hernandez during a string of shootings and robberies last week before he was killed by police. Two victims were shot and wounded, including an off-duty San Diego policeman.

Prosecutors say Garcia held a gun to a carjacking victim's head.

She pleaded not guilty Friday to carjacking and other crimes and faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted.

YUBA COUNTY  DEPUTY INJURED IN FRACAS BETWEEN RIVAL GANGS: MARYSVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a Yuba County Sheriff's deputy was struck with a chair during a melee between rival gangs at a Hmong New Year's celebration.

Lt. Damon Gil tells the Marysville Appeal-Democrat that the deputy was hit in the back with a metal chair during the scuffle on Sunday. No other serious injuries were reported.

The deputy's name has not been released.

Gil says the fracas involving about 50 members or affiliates of the gang Hmong Nation Society and 20 members from Menace Boys Crew occurred during day two of the celebration at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City.

Gil says the deputies at the scene used their batons and pepper spray to defend themselves and to diffuse the situation.

DRUNKEN DRIVING SUSPECT SLAMS INTO POLICE CAR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A suspected drunken driver is in jail after destroying a parked Los Angeles police car in a rear-end crash.

The wrecked police car was knocked about 30 feet into a second police car, which was damaged.

Investigators say officers were arresting a DUI suspect early Sunday in the San Fernando Valley community of Reseda when the driver of another vehicle hit the parked squad car.

City News Service says the driver of that car was also booked for investigation of drunken driving and he remains in jail.