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State news briefs
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IRON BUTTERFLY BASSIST LEE DORMAN DIES AT AGE 70: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lee Dorman, the bassist for psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly, has died at age 70.

Orange County sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Krause says Dorman was found dead in a vehicle Friday morning. A coroner's investigation is under way, but foul play is not suspected.

Krause said Dorman may have been on his way to a doctor's appointment when he died.

Iron Butterfly was formed and rose to prominence in the late 1960s. Its second album, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," sold more than 30 million copies, according to the band's website. The title track's distinctive notes have been featured in numerous films and TV shows including "The Simpsons," ''That '70s Show" and in the series finale of "Rescue Me."

Douglas Lee Dorman was born in September 1942 and had been living in Laguna Nigel, a coastal city in Southern California, when he died.

CALIFORNIA FARMERS, RESIDENTS TO GET MORE WATER: FRESNO  (AP) — California residents and farmers can expect to receive more of the water they requested for next year, thanks to early storms that replenished reservoirs and built up the snowpack.

The state Department of Water Resources said Friday that State Water Project contractors will get 40 percent of their requested deliveries for 2013. That's up from the 30 percent announced at the end of November.

The contractors supply water to more than 25 million residents and nearly a million acres of farmland.

Initial projections are usually low because more than 90 percent of California's snow and rain falls from December through April.

The final allocation this year was 65 percent of requested deliveries.

Higher allocations are difficult to achieve even in wet years due to pumping restrictions to protect threatened and endangered fish.

US APPEALS COURT OKS BOY SCOUT LEASES IN SAN DIEGO: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The city of San Diego can continue leasing public land to the Boy Scouts of America for $1 a year even though the group bans gays and atheists, a federal appeals court ruled.

A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a 2003 lower court ruling that said two leases violate state and federal constitutional bans on giving aid or preference to religious groups.

The city had leased a total of 18½ acres of land in Balboa Park and Fiesta Island for a nominal fee to the Scouts.

In 2002, after a lawsuit was filed, the city reached a new 25-year lease with the Scouts to pay $1 a year along with a $2,500 annual administration fee to use Balboa Park, and to pay to maintain and improve the property, which includes a swimming pool and amphitheater.

The Scouts got the Fiesta Island property rent-free but spent about $2.5 million to build a Youth Aquatic Center that provides low-cost boat rentals.

The original leases were challenged in 2000 by lesbian and agnostic couples that argued that their sons were effectively banned from using the city land because of the scouting ban on gays, agnostics and atheists.

71-YEAR-OLD SKIER DIES AT SQUAW VALLEY: TAHOE CITY, Calif. (AP) — A Lake Tahoe-area ski resort says a 71-year-old skier has died after hitting a tree.

Squaw Valley officials reported on Friday that the unidentified man died around 11 a.m. on the west face of KT-22.

The resort said the man was wearing a helmet.

Squaw Valley is located in Placer County in the Sierra Nevada and was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

ASHTON KUTCHER FILES FOR DIVORCE FROM DEMI MOORE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ashton Kutcher filed court papers Friday to end his seven-year marriage to actress Demi Moore.

The actor's divorce petition cites irreconcilable differences and does not list a date that the couple separated. Moore announced last year that she was ending her marriage to the actor 15 years her junior, but she never filed a petition.

Kutcher's filing does not indicate that the couple has a prenuptial agreement. The filing states Kutcher signed the document Friday, hours before it was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Kutcher and Moore married in September 2005 and until recently kept their relationship very public, communicating with each other and fans on the social networking site Twitter. After their breakup, Moore changed her name on the site from (at)mrskutcher to (at)justdemi.

Kutcher currently stars on CBS' "Two and a Half Men."

FEDS REJECT CALIF. REQUEST FOR EDUCATION WAIVER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's top education official says the federal government has rejected the state's request for a waiver from parts of the U.S. Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a letter sent Friday to local superintendents that a formal denial has not been issued, but education officials told him the request would be rejected.

California applied for a waiver in June from the law's school-performance accountability requirements, citing the state's Academic Performance Index that ranks school achievement by standardized tests and is slated to be expanded to include other measures.

Torlakson says California's accountability system is more meaningful than the federal system and is waiting for further direction from federal officials.

Federal funding can be withheld if states do not comply with the law.