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State news briefs
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CONVICTED CALIF. MOLESTER, PSYCHIC FACES NEW TRIAL: SAN LUIS OBISPO  (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking a new trial for a former television psychic and self-proclaimed karate expert who is being kept in a California state mental hospital after serving 17 years in prison for a molestation conviction.

A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court trial to determine whether 54-year-old James Hydrick can still be held ended in a hung jury last month.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports a new trial is set to begin Oct. 21.

Hydrick appeared in 1980s television shows like "That's Incredible" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not."

But he went to prison in 1989, convicted of molesting six Orange County boys.

He's served his sentence but has been detained at Atascadero State Hospital under state sexual predator law.

VENTURA COUNTY MAN ARRESTED OVER NEON YARD SIGN: VENTURA  (AP) — A Ventura County man who refuses to shut off an illegal, flashing-neon anti-Mitt Romney sign in his front yard has been arrested.

The Ventura County Star reports 59-year-old Steven Showers of Newbury Park was taken into custody after a hearing Monday.

Two weeks ago a jury convicted Showers of eight misdemeanor counts of having unlawful signs, illegal electrical connections and other code violations.

A judge released Showers on his own recognizance provided he shut off the 10-foot sign that reads "Romneys Racist Heart Dotcom" and "Save the GOP." Showers refused.

He says the display falls under his First Amendment rights.

BOY, 16, HIT BY SOFTBALL DIED FROM HEART PROBLEMS: RAMONA  (AP) — Authorities say a 16-year-old boy who died after being hit with a softball at a San Diego County school had heart problems.

Taylor Dorman had an enlarged heart and a viral infection in his heart. The county medical examiner's office concluded those factors led to sudden cardiac arrest.

Dorman was struck in the chest with a softball on April 10 during physical education class at Ramona High School.

He showed no ill effects but collapsed about 20 minutes later and died at a hospital.

SUSPICIOUS DEATHS OF CATS PROBED IN YOLO COUNTY: WOODLAND  (AP) — Authorities are investigating a rash of cat deaths at a Yolo County apartment complex in recent weeks.

The Sacramento Bee reports a resident of Woodland reported Friday that a cat appeared to have been poisoned.

The resident said at least five cats in the complex had suffered similar symptoms recently.

A second resident told investigators that five kittens disappeared from his back patio. He said that in the past week, he had discovered at least five other dead kittens stacked next to a trash bin.

A week earlier animal control officers said they had recovered a cat from the same apartment complex that had died of poisoning from anti-freeze.

Police said anyone involved in animal cruelty and poisoning could face felony charges.

STATE RECOMMENDS EXPANSION OF HAZARDOUS DUMP: KETTLEMAN CITY (AP) —California regulators are recommending allowing a major expansion of the largest hazardous waste dump in the Western United States, even though some residents blame the dump for birth defects and have opposed the expansion, officials said on Tuesday.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control said it has issued a draft expansion permit that would allow the landfill near Kettleman City — a farmworker community in the state's Central Valley midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles — to expand by 5 million cubic yards.

The landfill, which is operated by Chemical Waste Management, currently houses 10.7 million cubic yards of hazardous waste.

Environmental organizations and residents have opposed the expansion of the 1,600-acre landfill for years. The landfill has been fined numerous times by state and federal regulators for improper waste disposal and other problems.

PRIEST ACCUSED IN MOLESTATION TESTIFIES: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A Northern California priest charged with molesting a young girl has spoken for the first time since his 2011 arrest.

The Sacramento Bee reports 33-year-old Rev. Uriel Ojeda testified Monday at a hearing to determine if prosecutors can use in trial the statements he allegedly made to a church secretary and a private investigator.

Ojeda said it never crossed his mind that his discussions about his alleged misconduct might be turned over to police.

No details emerged on exactly what Ojeda said to the two men.

Defense attorneys want the statements excluded on grounds they were a confidential clergy-penitent communication under the state Evidence Code.

Ojeda — former parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Redding — is facing seven counts of molesting a girl under the age of 14.

POLICE KILL DOG IN VIDEOTAPED SHOOTING: HAWTHORNE  (AP) — A Southern California police officer fatally shot a Rottweiler that lunged at officers arresting its master.

The videotaped shooting occurred Sunday after police surrounded a home where a gunman reportedly robbed two people.

Police arrested a bystander they say refused to turn down blaring car music during the incident. A cellphone video, posted on YouTube, shows the dog leaping out of the car window and lunging at officers who handcuffed its master. It's shot four times.

Leon Rosby spent the night in jail on suspicion of obstructing officers.

Rosby, who has a criminal history and a current lawsuit against police, say they needlessly killed his dog. His lawyer, Michael Gulden, says the incident will be added to the lawsuit.