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State news briefs
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SHUTTLE IS MAJOR DRAW AT CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — There was always been a special connection between space shuttle Endeavour and California, where it was built.

The California Science Center is learning how special.

The Los Angeles museum, where the retired shuttle is on permanent display, had 180,769 visitors in July 2012, before the shuttle arrived. This July, museum officials expect 230,916 visitors.

Officials say souvenir sales are way up too. Before the shuttle, the average visitor to the museum was a student with $5 in his or her pocket. Now it's a tourist who has $20, $30 or more to spend.

T-shirts and apparel have been flying off shelves. Spokesman Ken Jones says 10,000 T-shirts were sold in the 50 days after the exhibit opened in October.

A DEPUTIES SHOOT, KILL MAN HOLDING HANDGUN: COMPTON  (AP) — Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have killed a man they say pointed a gun at them during a chase in Compton.

A sheriff's statement says it happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. Thursday after a patrol car answered a report of shots being fired.

Authorities say deputies saw a black Pontiac speeding away from the scene and chased it to a dead-end where a man with a gun got out.

Authorities say the man ran down a driveway, ignoring commands to stop and put down the gun.

Deputies say they shot him when he turned and pointed the gun at them.


A handgun was recovered at the scene.

MOM, BOYFRIEND HELD AFTER PALMDALE BOY, 8, BEATEN: PALMDALE  (AP) — A Palmdale couple has been arrested after the woman's 8-year-old son was beaten, burned and left in critical condition.

City News Service says 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre was arrested Thursday for investigation of attempted murder. His girlfriend, 29-year-old Pearl Fernandez, was arrested for investigation of child abuse. Both remain jailed Friday.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Hudson says firefighters called to an apartment late Wednesday night found the boy wasn't breathing. He was hospitalized in critical condition with burns and a broken skull and ribs.

A neighbor, Claudia Sergoviano, tells KCAL-TV that whenever she saw the boy he was covered in bruises.

Child welfare officials removed two other children from the home.

MOLESTER FOUND SLAIN IN CORCORAN PRISON CELL: CORCORAN  (AP) — Investigators at California State Prison-Corcoran are investigating as a homicide the death of an inmate who was a convicted child molester.

On Thursday corrections officials found the 63-year-old unresponsive in his cell. They have not released his name.

He was serving a six-year sentence out of Los Angeles County for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, among other crimes.

The inmate's cellmate, 48-year-old Allen Duane Queen, is the suspect. Queen is serving 259 years for convictions in San Joaquin County including attempted murder of a government officer, possession of a weapon by a prisoner, assault with a deadly weapon of a custody officer and making terrorist threats.

Corcoran houses 4,395 inmates.

POLICE KILL SAN DIEGO ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An armed robbery suspect set off a dramatic manhunt Friday after he held up a San Diego gas station, fled in a stolen car, and held a woman hostage in a home before officers shot him to death.

The man, carrying a sawed-off shotgun or rifle, robbed an Arco gas station around 11:30 a.m. and fled in a stolen two-door Suzuki that he later crashed in the working-class neighborhood of Bay Terraces.

He then tried to set the car on fire and ran to a home where he shot a resident in the foot, police Lt. Kevin Mayer tells U-T San Diego.

The suspect then ran to another home, knocked on the door, and told the man who answered that he had just committed a robbery and needed clothes, Mayer said.

The man gave him a gray, long-sleeved shirt before the suspect took off, running through yards and jumping over fences. He then darted into an open door at a home where he held a woman hostage before police managed to get her out through a window.

Officers then fired on the man, who was pronounced dead at 1:50 p.m.