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State news briefs
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SANTA PAULA POLICE FIND COUNTERFEIT MONEY IN TRASH: SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Counterfeit money found burning inside a Ventura County trash container has been turned over to the Secret Service for investigation.

Police responded to reports of a small fire inside a bin in Santa Paula Monday night.

After the blaze was put out with a fire extinguisher, officers discovered about 20 partially burned fake $20 bills.

Investigators have asked local businesses to pay special attention to the currency they accept for the next several weeks.

FEDS SUE PLACER COUNTY NONPROFIT GROUP : SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Federal regulators are suing a Placer County nonprofit for allegedly failing to provide reasonable accommodations to a deaf employee.

The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accuses Placer ARC of refusing to provide a certified American Sign Language interpreter for a deaf instructional aide.

The suit says Homeyra Kazerounian had previously established a three-year record of good service at the organization's Auburn facility, where she was supported with interpretation when she was in training and mandatory staff meetings.

That support ended when she was transferred to a Placer ARC Roseville facility in 2008, according to the EEOC.

Placer ARC provides independent living services to people with developmental disabilities.

TEACHER SENTENCED IN STUDENT SEX CASE: MERCED  (AP) — A California high school teacher charged with having a longtime sexual affair with an underage student has been sentenced to five years of probation and five months in jail.

Twenty-eight-year-old Melody Carter-McCabe was sentenced on Monday in Merced County Superior Court after pleading no contest to nine felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor. Carter-McCabe won't have to register as a sex offender and will be given credit for jail time already served.

Prosecutors say the boy was 15 years old when the nearly yearlong relationship began in 2010. Carter-McCabe — an agriculture teacher at Livingston High School and mom — was the boy's mentor in Future Farmers of America.

The boy told authorities he frequently went to the teacher's San Joaquin Valley home, and they had sex at least 50 times.

LANCASTER OFFICIALS CAN PRAY AT MEETINGS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says members of a Southern California city council can open their meetings with a prayer.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that the Lancaster City Council's invocation policy is constitutional because it allows for the opening prayer to be said by any faith or religion. The prayer is said by a volunteer cleric of any faith who submits an application to the city clerk.

Lancaster is a desert city in northern Los Angeles County.

911 CALL OF WOMAN IN SACRAMENTO RIVER RELEASED: SACRAMENTO,  (AP) — A dramatic 911 call captures the terror of a woman who died after she was trapped in her car as it sank in the Sacramento River.

Fifty-eight-year-old Mussarat Chaudhary was headed to her West Sacramento home earlier this month when the car she was driving went off the road and into the river.

On the call — released on Monday — Chaudhary is heard shouting, "My car - river!" and pounding on the windows as the car sank.

A translator who spoke Punjabi was brought in when the 911 operator realized there was a language barrier.

The translator can be heard telling the dispatcher that Chaudhary's windows were closed, and she was unable to get out of the car. The connection was eventually lost.

SETTLEMENT IN OVERTURNED 1985 BAKERSFIELD CASE: BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — A man who spent decades in prison for a child molestation conviction that was later overturned has received a $725,000 settlement from Kern County.

The payment will stand even though Grant Self had two prior convictions for child molestation and, since getting out of prison in 2009, has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation in Oregon.

The settlement is based on a 1985 conviction that was part of a larger case.

Self and three co-defendants were convicted of abusing boys. All had their convictions later overturned for lack of evidence. In Self's case, four of the five alleged victims recanted their accusations.

Grant was granted parole in 2000 but remained in a mental hospital until 2009 because he had been classified as sexually violent.