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State news briefs
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Disneyland's Matterhorn  ride undergoes renovations

ANAHEIM (AP) — One of Disneyland's most popular and visible attractions — the Matterhorn Bobsled ride — is down for six months for one of the longest and most extensive overhauls since it opened in 1959.

The Los Angeles Times says that when the ride reopens it will feature shiny new bobsleds and a fresh coat of paint on the mountain. A permit filed with the city of Anaheim describes the work as a $1 million project.

Disney officials say they are not planning any significant changes to the ride itself. Although the company has tied in its movies with theme park rides, officials say there are no plans to connect the Matterhorn changes with an adventure movie that Walt Disney Studios is developing that takes place largely in the Swiss Alps.

Jury acquits man who paid teens to spit in face

VENTURA  (AP) — A Southern California jury has acquitted a man charged with misdemeanors for paying high school students to spit in his face while yelling profanities for his sexual gratification.

Ventura County prosecutors says jurors deliberated less than an hour on Tuesday before finding 41-year-old Charles Hersel not guilty on four counts of annoying and molesting a child.

If convicted, Hersel was facing a year in jail and would have been required to register as a sex offender.

The Ventura County Star says Hersel was arrested in November 2009 at a Thousand Oaks mall.

Westlake High School students say Hersel paid them to yell profanities, spit and slap his face.

The prosecutor told jurors it was for sexual gratification, but defense attorney Ron Bamieh says there was no sexual intent.