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State news briefs
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CALIF. SENATOR PROPOSES LATER ALCOHOL SERVICE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Last call at California restaurants, bars and nightclubs could come later under legislation proposed by a state senator from San Francisco.

Sen. Mark Leno's bill would allow cities and counties to petition state alcohol regulators to allow alcohol service until 4 a.m., two hours later than current regulations.

Leno, a Democrat, tells the San Francisco Chronicle ( his bill would make California cities more competitive as tourist destinations with cities that allow alcohol service past 2 a.m.

Leno says he expects opposition based on public safety concerns, but he has not seen evidence that later alcohol service leads to increased alcohol-related traffic deaths.

NO JAIL FOR MAN WHO ALLOWED BOY, 4, TO GET DRUNK: CHULA VISTA  (AP) — A San Diego County man who allowed a 4-year-old boy to become dangerously drunk will avoid jail.

Joseph Calles learned Wednesday that he'll be sentenced to four years of probation. He pleaded guilty in December to felony child abuse.

Authorities say the 22-year-old was babysitting his girlfriend's 4-year-old and the couple's infant son last year in Chula Vista when he went to check on the baby.

He left a vodka-and-Squirt soda cocktail on a coffee table and the older boy drank it.

Authorities say the boy consumed the equivalent of 10 drinks for a 160-pound adult. His blood-alcohol level was .23 — a potentially lethal amount.

The boy was hospitalized and has since recovered.

CALIF APPEALS COURT REINSTATES DISABILITY LAWSUIT: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has reinstated the lawsuit of a disabled California woman who accused an airline of refusing to provide her a wheelchair in several airports.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said an airline that violates federal standards could be found negligent under state law for not treating a passenger with reasonable care. Michelle Gilstrap of Los Angeles, who suffers from osteoarthritis, said United Airlines denied her requests for wheelchairs at terminals during two flights in 2008 and 2009.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Gilstrap said airline employees questioned her need for a wheelchair.

A federal judge had dismissed Gilstrap's damage suit, citing a 2003 federal law, which requires airlines to assist disabled passengers but does not expressly allow them to sue for violations.

.6-MAGNITUDE QUAKE HITS NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: COBB  (AP) — A small earthquake has jolted Northern California but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.6 struck at 2:09 a.m. Thursday in Lake County. It was centered near the small rural community of Cobb, about 70 miles northwest of Sacramento.

Some reports say it was felt as far away as San Francisco, some 70 miles away.

Seismic activity is common in the area.

AT LEAST 10 WOUNDED IN FIGHTS AT  PRISON: DELANO  (AP) — At least 10 inmates at a state prison in Central California have been taken to hospitals for treatment of stab wounds after several fights broke out at the prison's maximum-security yard.

State corrections officials say groups of inmates at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano began rioting a little before 10 a.m. Thursday.

Officers were able to quickly stop the fights using pepper spray, chemical agents and direct impact rounds.

Prison spokesman Lt. Jeff Smith told the Bakersfield Californian ( ) about 50 to 70 inmates were on each side of the yard when the fights broke out.

It was not immediately clear how many inmates participated in the riot, what prompted it or how severe the injuries were.

Smith told the Californian guards fired sponge rounds to stop the fighting.


Students at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have celebrated one of the most important numbers in mathematics — Pi — by eating actual pie.

Students at the high-tech school dug into blueberry, apple and other pies on Thursday, that is, the date of 3-14. Pi is 3.14.

But the students went further. Pi — which is used to calculate the circumference of a circle — actually is a never-ending number.

The students started at 1:59 a.m. and had 26 pies each of five kinds of pie. That covered Pi to nine digits — 3.14159265.

Caltech math club President Christopher Perez calls it "a celebration of nerdiness."

PRISON AGENTS CATCH CALIF. PAROLEE AFTER 32 YEARS: MONROVIA  (AP) — California corrections officials have finally caught up with a parolee convicted of murder who had eluded them for more than three decades.

Richard Bradford had been living under the false identity of James Edward Heard and owned several properties in the Pasadena area, including a drug rehabilitation facility, authorities said.

Bradford was sentenced to life for first-degree murder in 1971, was paroled in 1978, and skipped out on his parole supervision in 1980, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement Wednesday.

Agents arrested Bradford this week, more than 32 years after he had disappeared, the statement said.

A false birth certificate with Heard's name was created in Alameda County in 1977, and a Social Security card was issued to him in 1978, both while he was still in prison, officials said.

MISSING MOVIE EXEC'S CAR FOUND; HOMICIDE SUSPECTED: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California authorities said they've found the car of a 20th Century Fox executive who vanished 10 months ago and now believe he was murdered.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson said a Mercedes-Benz registered to Gavin Smith was found Feb. 21 at a Simi Valley storage facility. Dolson said that storage facility was linked to John Creech, a man who is in jail on an unrelated drug conviction.

Creech, 40, has been in custody since June 22 on an eight-year sentence for sales or transport of narcotics, Dolson said.

Smith, 57, was last seen May 1 in Ventura County's Oak Park neighborhood after leaving a friend's home at about 9:35 p.m. wearing a gray shirt and dark athletic shorts, Dolson said.

The case has been classified as a homicide even though Smith's body has not been located.

SOCIAL WORKERS VISITED HOME BEFORE HATCHET KILLING: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Child welfare workers investigated reports of violence and drug use at the Sacramento home where authorities say a 9-year-old boy was allegedly killed by his father with a hatchet weeks later.

Representatives from the Sacramento County Child Protective Services office confirmed drug use at Matthew Hernandez' home during a Feb. 4 visit.

Social workers recommended the siblings not be left alone with their adult caregiver. But they concluded the behavior did not warrant removing the boy and his brother.

Matthew's father, Phillip Hernandez, is charged with murder in the boy's Feb. 26 slaying.

The records reviewed by The Bee did not make clear whether the caregiver mentioned was the father. The county agency says it's working with law enforcement in the investigation.