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State news briefs
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JUDGE DISMISSES CA BUS AND TRUCK POLLUTION LAWSUIT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed without prejudice a trucking association's lawsuit against new rules aimed at reducing truck and bus pollution in California.

Judge Morrison C. England in Sacramento ruled Wednesday the suit left the court's jurisdiction when the Environmental Protection Agency approved California's plan to reduce emissions, including the rules for trucks and buses that will go into effect Jan. 1.

Morrison says if the California Construction Trucking Association wants to continue pursuing the case, it will have to include the EPA as a party in the litigation in a court of appeals.

CCTA spokesman Lee Brown says an appeal is being discussed and it's likely. The group brought the lawsuit against state regulators to prevent implementation of the legislation, which was first adopted in 2008.

JURY CONVICTS MOTHER FOR SCALDING TODDLER DAUGHTER: SANTA MARIA  (AP) — A California mother is facing 18 years in prison for scalding her cosmetics-curious toddler.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say jurors deliberated about an hour on Wednesday before convicting 25-year-old Lorena Monserrat Arenas of torture, corporal injury to a child and child abuse.

Her 2-year-old daughter was hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns in April 2010 after the Santa Maria woman held her daughter's arms under scalding water for five minutes because she got into her cosmetics.

The Santa Maria Times ( says Arenas faces a possible 18-year-prison term when she's sentenced in February.

The child's father Jose Luis Gonzalez was earlier sentenced to four years in prison after pleading no contest to felony child endangerment. He waited 12 hours to take the toddler to the hospital.

FLA. TEEN ARRESTED FOR THREAT TO 'SHOOT EVERYONE' : FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — Police have arrested a Florida teen who they say posted a Facebook message threatening to "bring a gun to school tomorrow and shoot everyone."

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's office said Thursday night that they received a tip from a parent who saw the threat from the 13-year-old student.

A sheriff's spokesman says the student did not have access to any weapons. No schools were evacuated or locked down, but security at area schools had already been increased as a result of the mass shooting at a Connecticut school last Friday. The student is charged with a single second-degree felony charge of making a written threat.

Authorities say he is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Pierce.

MAN CRITICAL AFTER CAR PLUNGES OFF MOUNTAIN ROAD: GLENDORA  (AP) — A man has been ejected from a car that plunged off a Southern California mountain road popular with street racers.

The driver was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition after the late Wednesday crash on winding Glendora Mountain Road in the Angeles National Forest.

The motorist, whose name hasn't been released, was the only person in the car.

Authorities are investigating the possibility the crash was the result of a race.

City News Service says the car went over a 300-foot cliff and the driver was ejected on the way down. He was found 150 feet below the edge of the roadway.

FUNERAL HELD IN NH FOR MOM OF CONN. SCHOOL GUNMAN: KINGSTON, N.H. (AP) — A private funeral has been held in New Hampshire for the woman whose son shot her dead at their Connecticut home and then drove to an elementary school and killed 20 children.

The police chief in Kingston says the funeral for Nancy Lanza was held Thursday at an undisclosed location.

Chief Donald Briggs says about 25 family members attended the ceremony in the small town, where Lanza once lived.

Lanza's 20-year-old son, Adam Lanza, killed her at their home in Newtown, Conn., last week and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed the children and six school employees before committing suicide.

The Newtown massacre is the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history after the 2007 Virginia Tech rampage, which left 33 people dead.

HALLE BERRY, CHAKA KHAN AMONG 2013 BET HONOREES: NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Halle Berry and musician Chaka Khan will be honored at the 2013 BET Honors.

The network announced Thursday that basketball star Lisa Leslie, music executive Clarence Avant and religious leader T.D. Jakes will also be celebrated at the Jan. 12 event in Washington at the Warner Theatre. The special airs Feb. 11.

BET Honors highlights African Americans performing at top levels in the areas of music, literature, entertainment, education and more.

Maya Angelou was among the honorees at this year's BET Honors. First Lady Michelle Obama presented her award.

OFFICIALS CHECKING DOCK ASHORE IN WASHINGTON: SEATTLE (AP) — A dock that apparently was ripped away from Japanese waters by a tsunami and drifted for more than a year and a half across 5,000 miles of the Pacific washed ashore on one of the most remote beaches on the west coast of the United States.

It was spotted Tuesday by the Coast Guard on the Olympic Peninsula. Tsunami debris experts didn't try to reach it by ground until Thursday because of stormy weather and treacherous terrain, said David Workman, spokesman for the state Marine Debris Task Force.

It's a four- or five-mile walk from the nearest road on little-used trails crossing streams running full from a drenching December storm.

Removing the dock or just scraping it clean of potential invasive species of marine life "is going to be a real challenge to find the right solution," Workman said.

MAN DEFENDS SELF AFTER SLASHING LAWYER IN COURT: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man who slashed his lawyer in the face during a San Diego court hearing last week has delivered his own closing argument to the jury.

U-T San Diego says 32-year-old Eduardo Macias was handcuffed as he addressed the jury Wednesday.

Macias acknowledged using a smuggled razor blade to slash a fellow prisoner at Donovan state prison more than two years ago. But Macias said he was guilty of assault, not attempted murder.

Last week, a judge said Macias had forfeited his right to an attorney after he cut his lawyer, William Burgener, in front of the jury with a blade he'd hidden in his mouth.