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State news briefs
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District didn't notify state of teacher dismissal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Unified School District says it broke a state law by waiting a year to tell a teacher-credentialing agency that it was firing an instructor under investigation for alleged lewd acts with students.

Superintendent John Deasy said he's launched a probe into why the district failed to meet the 30-day notification deadline after Mark Berndt was dismissed in February 2011. Berndt appealed but later agreed to resign.

KPCC reported Thursday that the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing was only notified last month, after Berndt was arrested and charged with committing lewd acts with 23 students in his class at Miramonte Elementary School.

The commission suspended his license immediately but says the late reporting posed a potential risk to student safety.

Man pleads no contest in cat-eating case

BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — A Central California man has been sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possessing a cat with the intent to use it for food.

Jason Wilmert, 35, of Oildale was sentenced on Friday, the same day he entered the plea. Prosecutors agreed to drop an animal cruelty charge.

Wilmert must also perform 40 hours of community service and pay a $235 fine.

A neighbor reported seeing Wilmert fileting a cat and chopping its head off on Feb. 3. Deputies say they found the dead cat in Wilmert's kitchen sink.

Suburban drug raids net more than $1M in pot

MARYSVILLE  (AP) — Authorities say drug raids in a Yuba County planned community have netted more than $1 million in marijuana seized from three suburban homes transformed into grow houses.

Investigators say the growers had gutted the houses and set up elaborate systems of lighting and irrigation to grow their crops.