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TACO BELL FIRING RIDGECREST EMPLOYEE FOR TACO LICKING: RIDGECREST. (AP) — Taco Bell is firing a California employee who was photographed licking a stack of taco shells.

The shot was made in March at a Taco Bell in Ridgecrest, 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

Taco Bell Products Inc. says the shells were provided for workers to practice making its new Cool Ranch tacos and were thrown out without being sold.

The Irvine-based company says the photograph was taken for a contest showing employees enjoying their first bite of the product. It wasn't submitted, but a worker posted it to a Facebook page — which violates company policy.

Taco Bell says the worker also violated food handling procedures.

The company says the licker has been suspended and will be fired, while the photographer no longer works at the restaurant

POLICE SHOOT, KILL BLACK BEAR IN SEASIDE: SEASIDE,   (AP) — A state fish and wildlife official says he will not second-guess police officers' decision to shoot and kill a black bear that was running loose in a Central California coastal town.

Don Kelly told The Herald of Monterey ( that wildlife officials consider everything from letting the animal wander back into its natural habitat to using a tranquilizer gun in such situations. But the police's priority is public safety.

The 300-pound bear was shot with rifles in the backyard of a Seaside home early Monday.

Seaside police Cmdr. Judy Stradan said police from her agency and two others had tried to keep the bear in a park, but it ran down a street and began jumping fences in a heavily populated neighborhood.

SAN DIEGO SCHOOLS GO TO 'MEATLESS MONDAYS: SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego elementary schoolers may be asking, where's the beef?

U-T San Diego  says the school board voted Tuesday to declare meatless Mondays this fall for elementary schools and kindergarten-through-eighth grade campuses. It's aimed at promoting healthier diets for kids.

Students can still bring meat in their packed lunches, though.

Middle and high schools will continue to offer meat on Mondays, along with vegetarian dishes.

Promoters of meatless Mondays note that nearly 28 percent of children in San Diego County are overweight.

Judge unlikely to let DWP keep salaries secret

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge has indicated he is unlikely to comply with a request from the city Department of Water and Power to keep the names and salaries of hundreds of employees from the public.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ordered DWP lawyers to return Aug. 1 with a pared-down list that includes only employees who can prove a legitimate safety concern.

But Chalfant added that "the odds are nobody is going to be excused" from having his or her name disclosed.

SEARCH OF SENATOR'S OFFICE INVOLVES WATER MEASURES: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — The FBI investigation of California state Sen. Ron Calderon involves legislation he introduced for a Los Angeles-area water district that uses his brother as a consultant, according to two people questioned by federal agents.

Agents raided a state senator's two offices on Tuesday but the FBI wouldn't provide details on the investigation, which originated in Southern California. Two people told The Associated Press on Wednesday that they were questioned by the FBI about Calderon and his brother, Tom.

Michael Franchek, former vice president of EcoGreen Services, said agents contacted him twice and they discussed a deal his company lost out on to a firm linked to Tom Calderon, who was also a consultant for the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

And a Los Angeles-area elected official said agents asked him about legislation written by Ron Calderon for Central Basin. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.