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State news briefs
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MISSING BERKELEY WOMAN, BOYFRIEND FOUND DEAD: MANTON  (AP) — A missing Berkeley woman and her boyfriend have been found dead in a rural area in Shasta County.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office said the bodies of 52-year-old Camille Kober and 54-year-old Eric Eide were found Friday on property owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. near the city of Manton, where Eide lived.

The couple was reported missing Dec. 24, and a PG&E employee reported seeing the pair walking onto the utility's land.

A company helicopter reported seeing an orange piece of cloth in a densely wooded area, and reported it to authorities, who found the bodies.

The sheriff's office said there was no evidence of foul play.

It appears Kober and Eide became disoriented during a storm, when temperatures dropped and darkness fell, authorities said.

JOSHUA TREE SPIDER SPECIES NAMED FOR U2'S BONO: JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — After his "Spider Man" musical had a rough Broadway run, it appeared Bono and arachnids didn't mix. But that didn't keep a biologist from naming an actual spider species after the U2 singer.

Jason Bond of Alabama's Auburn University has identified 33 new species of trapdoor spider, including three of them in the California desert at Joshua Tree National Park, featured in both the title and cover of U2's 1987 breakthrough album, "The Joshua Tree."

The Riverside Press-Enterprise ( reports that Bond named two of the spiders after Indian tribes and one, A. bonoi, after Bono.

Bond has named other spider species after Angelina Jolie, Cesar Chavez and Stephen Colbert.

The trapdoor spider, found in the US southwest, is so-named because it makes a hatch to hide from prey.

SAN DIEGO AIRPORT DEALING WITH RAT PROBLEM: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Officials at San Diego's Lindbergh Field airport are scampering to deal with a rat problem.

Workers in Terminal 1 tell KGTV-TV that they've seen rats in the halls and even in some restaurants.

U-T San Diego ( says Los Angeles County environmental health inspectors checked 21 restaurants and food shops on Thursday and found rat droppings in two.

Airport officials say rodents are coming out because of ongoing demolition and construction as the airport overhauls its concessions and builds new stores and restaurants.

Spokeswoman Diana Lucero says the airport has hired an exterminator to deal with the problem.

JAIL FOR EX-TEACHER WHO HUGGED AND KISSED STUDENT: SANTA ANA  (AP) — A former Southern California teacher has been sentenced to a year in jail for hugging and kissing a 14-year-old female student.

Orange County prosecutors say 33-year-old Joshua Alexander Evans pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Besides jail, the judge placed the Fullerton man on three years' probation and ordered him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Investigators say the English teacher had a two-month relationship with the girl.

Prosecutors say Evans groomed the victim by sending her text and email messages.

They met at least three times at another student's home while he was teaching English at El Rancho Charter School in Anaheim Hills.

UC PRESIDENT MARK YUDOF TO STEP DOWN IN AUGUST: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — University of California President Mark Yudof said Friday he plans to step down as head of one of the nation's leading systems of higher education, citing a "spate of taxing health issues."

Yudof, 68, said he will end his tenure on Aug. 31, about five years after he became the 19th president of the UC system. The former law professor plans to return to teaching law on the UC Berkeley campus.

"The prior 18 months brought a spate of taxing health issues," Yudof said in a statement. "Though these challenges have been largely overcome, I feel it is time to make a change in my professional lifestyle."

The UC Board of Regents will create a committee to search for Yudof's successor, UC officials said.

"He's irreplaceable. We are so sad," board Chair Sherry Lansing told The Associated Press. "I've been trying to change his mind for several months and even went to see his wife to try to change his mind."

TRIAL BEGINS IN SILICON VALLEY OFFICE KILLINGS: SAN JOSE  (AP) — A triple-murder trial is under way for a Silicon Valley engineer charged with fatally shooting three executives at a technology startup.

Jing Ha Wu is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted for the shooting rampage inside the Santa Clara offices of SiPort Inc. in November 2008.

The San Jose Mercury News reports ( that Wu's attorney, Tony Serra, said during opening statements Thursday that during the shootings his client experienced a psychotic break that was brought on by a flashback to the abuse Wu suffered at the hands of Communists during the Cultural Revolution in his native China.

"His family was treated as traitors, as capitalists," Serra said. "They were vilified, spit upon, forced to wear those tall hats and do all kinds of hard labor. He was bullied, he was harassed, he was shot at and it filled his mind with feelings of pain and unworthiness."

Serra added: "He was out of his mind."

FIREBALL LIGHTS UP SKY OVER CALIFORNIA, NEVADA: RENO, Nev. (AP) — A fireball spotted across a wide swath of the West from Reno to San Francisco might have broken up over the Pacific Ocean, experts said Friday.

The American Meteor Society based in New York has received reports from about 50 people in California and Nevada who saw the brilliant streak of light at 5:21 a.m. Thursday, spokesman Robert Lunsford said.

Lunsford said most of the reports came from the San Francisco Bay Area, but the fireball also was seen around Reno, and in San Diego and Redding, Calif. Most people described seeing an intense flash of blue or white light.

"It looks like it was heading from east to west, so it may have made it into the ocean," Lunsford told The Associated Press. "Most of the people who saw it were heading off to work in the dark, and say it lit up the ground like it was almost daylight."

Ronald Normandin was driving to work in Vacaville, Calif., when the fireball lit up the inside of his car.

"It looked like it was real close. It had a long streak of light, and the front part appeared to be huge and a squarish shape," he said.

TOLL COLLECTOR KILLER SENTENCED TO DEATH: MARTINEZ . (AP) — A Northern California man was sentenced to death Friday for the shotgun killing of his ex-girlfriend while she was working at a San Francisco Bay-area bridge toll plaza.

Nathan Burris' sentencing by Contra Costa County Judge John Kennedy followed a jury's recommendation for Burris to receive the death penalty after they found the former truck driver guilty of two counts of murder with special circumstances of killing multiple people and lying in wait.

In November, Burris, 49, of Richmond, was convicted for fatally shooting Deborah Ross in a toll booth on the busy Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in August 2009. Burris also was found guilty of shooting and killing Ross' friend, Ersie "Chuckie" Everette III, a Golden Gate Transit District bus driver who was visiting her.