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State news briefs
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EFFORT TO BLOCK CALIFORNIA 'DREAM ACT' FALLS SHORT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The attempt to block a California law that allows public financial aid for college students who are in the country illegally has failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, the leading proponent said Friday.
Opponents fell short by about 57,000 signatures, said state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who led the repeal effort. They needed more than 500,000 registered voter signatures to try to overturn the law.
When the law takes effect next year, it will allow illegal immigrants to apply for state-funded college scholarships and aid at public universities. A second portion of what is known as the California Dream Act took effect this year and allows private scholarships and loans for students who are illegal immigrants.
OCEANSIDE SCHOOL SUED BY PARENTS OF BOY WHO CHOKED: OCEANSIDE  (AP) — An Oceanside preschool has been sued after a 3-year-old boy choked to death on a pushpin.
The North County Times says the parents of Tyler Howell filed a wrongful death suit on Thursday against the owners of the Montessori School of Oceanside.
The Oceanside boy choked to death in August on a pushpin that was holding up artwork in a school bathroom.
A state investigation cited the school for having the pushpins accessible to children and for allowing the boy to use the bathroom without a teacher's supervision. The school was fined the maximum of $150.
NBC PLANNING SHOW FOR BETTY WHITE'S 90TH BIRTHDAY: PASADENA  (AP) — Betty White says her plans for her upcoming 90th birthday might include "a little vodka on the rocks."
The tireless actress's big day on Jan. 17 seems to be exciting others more than her. NBC is airing a birthday special for White the day before and has picked up a "Candid Camera"-like prank show featuring senior citizens called "Betty White's Off Their Rockers."
"I didn't accomplish anything," White said Friday. "It just came up on me. I'm blessed with good health."
NBC has not yet put "Off Their Rockers," which White would host, on the schedule. White said she's on hand to make sure producers don't make any of the humor mean-spirited. In most of the cases, young people are the butt of the show's jokes.
"It's the reverse psychology of the 'poor old seniors,'" White said. "We've
MAN ARRESTED WEARING JAILHOUSE JUMPSUIT ON BUS: RANCHO CUCAMONGA  (AP) — Investigators say a California man wearing civilian clothes when released from jail was arrested a short time later wearing a purloined orange jailhouse jumpsuit.
San Bernardino County sheriff's Sgt. Frank Montanez says 26-year-old Jerry Valentino Aldama was hiding the inmate jumpsuit when he was released from Rancho Cucamonga jail custody at 4:31 a.m. Friday.
He put the jumpsuit back on and boarded an Omnitrans commuter bus at about 5:50 a.m.
The bus driver notified authorities that a suspicious passenger was on board and deputies intercepted the bus in Fontana.
Aldama is back in jail, where he has been booked for investigation of possession of stolen property. Montanez says it's unclear if Aldama is facing a probation violation.
SAN JOSE SHOOTING BECOMES FIRST HOMICIDE OF 2012: SAN JOSE   (AP) — San Jose police investigators believe the city's first homicide of 2012 may have been a gang-related shooting.
Police say 25-year-old Lucas Ricardo was shot while standing in his driveway around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Ricardo was taken to a local hospital where he died about a half-hour later.
Police do not have a motive but believe the shooting may have been gang-motivated even though Ricardo has no gang affiliation.
San Jose, which is the San Francisco Bay area's most populous city, saw its homicide total jump to 41 in 2011.