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State news briefs
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ONE-ARMED MAN SUES STARBUCKS FOR NOT HIRING HIM: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man who was born with half a left arm is suing Starbucks for failing to hire him as a barista.

Eli Pierre sued the company in San Diego two weeks ago for unspecified damages.

Pierre says that during a Feb. 1 interview for a San Diego job, the store manager told him that the coffee flavoring syrups were placed high up and a one-armed man couldn't work there.

The discrimination suit claims that the former bartender was capable of doing the job but was never given a chance to fully explain his capabilities or possible accommodation as required under state law.

Starbucks says it employs many disabled persons and Pierre's disability wouldn't disqualify him. The company says his application was thoughtfully considered and disputes his version of the interview.

SACRAMENTO WOMAN TO STAND TRIAL IN MICROWAVE DEATH: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Sacramento woman will stand trial on charges of killing her 7-week-old daughter by placing her in a microwave oven.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Eugene Balanon on Tuesday also found enough evidence to support a special allegation that Ka Yang tortured her daughter, Mirabelle.

Prosecutors ruled out the death penalty, but Yang faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

The 30-year-old mother of four has been held since June after investigators determined her baby died of "extensive thermal injuries." A pathologist testified during Tuesday's hearing that the microwave essentially cooked the child's stomach and small intestine.

Yang's defense attorney Linda Parisi suggested that her client might have been affected by a seven-year history of seizures.

MAN PLEADS NO CONTEST TO SLASHING 2 ON HALLOWEEN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors say a man has pleaded no contest to slashing two Halloween revelers with a box cutter at a Hollywood Metro Red Line station last year.

Deputy District Attorney Louis Avila says 25-year-old Lang David Dunbar pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Dunbar is accused of making a disparaging remark about a woman's Halloween costume before a fight broke out on a mezzanine above the train platform.

The woman's face and arm were gashed in the attack. The man was slashed in the neck.

MAN TRAPPED ON CLIFF RESCUED IN LA-AREA MOUNTAINS: ALTADENA (AP) — A man has been hauled to safety by helicopter after he became trapped on a sheer cliff face in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County fire officials say they received a call shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday that a man was trapped.

KABC-TV showed a man in a T-shirt and a backpack standing up and clinging to a root or a branch in the middle of the jagged cliff face.

Around 11 a.m., a rescue team member was lowered on a cable, grabbed the man and they were reeled back up to the helicopter.

TRANSIENT SENTENCED IN 100-YEAR-OLD'S SLAYING: SANGER (AP) — A transient has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in the killing of a 100-year-old Central California man.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Gary Hoff said he did not think 47-year-old David Anthony Romero's apology for Joe Fischer's death was sincere. He also sentenced Romero on Friday to four additional years for several prior convictions, including on burglary and assault charges.

Romero pleaded no contest last month to first-degree murder in Fischer's death as part of a deal with prosecutors. The Fresno Bee reports that he faced the possibility of life in prison without parole if convicted at trial.

Authorities say he severely beat Fischer at Fischer's Sanger home during an attempted home invasion robbery on Aug. 8. Fischer died three days later at a hospital.

$100,000 AWARD IN BEEF PROCESSOR ARSON: COALINGA (AP) — Fresno County authorities are offering $100,000 for information leading to an arrest in last month's arson attack at the state's biggest beef processor.

Sheriff's officials announced the reward Tuesday.

The Jan. 8 fire destroyed 14 big-rig tractors and several trailers at Harris Ranch near Coalinga. Harris Ranch estimated the loss in excess of $2 million.

Animal rights activists claimed responsibility for the fire through an anonymous email released by the North American Animal Liberation press office. The email included a description of the containers of accelerant and kerosene-soaked rope apparently used to set the blaze.

MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN SLAYING OF NORCAL WOMAN: RANCHO CORDOVA AP) — A man convicted of raping and strangling a Rancho Cordova woman has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne Gilliard also sentenced 33-year-old Demetrius Shaffer on Friday to seven additional 15-to-life terms in another sexual attack.

Gilliard said Shaffer had lived a "predatory, perverted life."

A jury convicted Shaffer last month of first-degree murder in Rajneet Kor Singh's New Year's Day 2011 killing. He was also convicted in a 2010 sex assault on another woman.

Authorities say Singh and Shaffer met on New Year's Day and went together to the Rancho's Club Casino. Singh's body was discovered the next morning about a block from the casino. She had been raped and strangled.

FORMER 'COLUMBO' STAR FALK LEAVES $3M TO UCLA: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The estate of former "Columbo" star Peter Falk has donated $3 million to the University of California, Los Angeles, for student scholarships.

UCLA officials say the money will be used to establish the Shera and Peter Falk Lt. Columbo Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Falk died in June at the age of 83 after a long acting career with performances on Broadway, television and in movies.

He was best known for his role as a disheveled but astute Los Angeles police detective on "Columbo," which earned him four Primetime Emmy Awards.

The first award will go to five students entering UCLA in fall 2012. They will have their tuition covered for four years.