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State news briefs
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SF SHERIFF CHARGED WITH OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Over the past nine weeks, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi hasn't spoken to his wife and has seen his 3-year-old son only sporadically.

He also has denied accusations that he tried to pressure a next-door neighbor to destroy evidence and lie to police investigating a New Year's Eve dispute between the sheriff and his wife, the former star of a popular Venezuelan soap opera.

It's all part of the sheriff's emotional domestic violence case in which he pleaded guilty in court to a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment and is now the target of misconduct charges filed Wednesday by the mayor with city commissions that could force him from office.

Through it all, a growing media throng has watched as Mirkarimi cried while discussing his family, sweat profusely when defiantly refusing to resign, and even tried to duck questions by making his way through seldom used City Hall stairwells.


MARINE SAYS CORPS KICKING HIM OUT: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An outspoken Marine critical of President Barack Obama says the Marine Corps is moving to kick him out.

Sgt. Gary Stein says he was notified Wednesday that the Marine Corps has charged him with using contemptuous words against the commander in chief and violating the Defense Department's guidelines barring troops from engaging in political activities.

Stein says the notification stated that the Corps was beginning the process to have him discharged.

Stein says he was told he was in violation for running the Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party and stating on the page that he would not follow unlawful orders from Obama. Stein says he launched the page to encourage service members to exercise their free speech rights.

He says he has done nothing wrong.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY SET TO WELCOME ITS LARGEST SHIP: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A cargo ship that maritime officials are calling the largest ever to enter San Francisco Bay is scheduled to pass beneath the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The MSC Fabiola is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall and can carry more than 12,000 shipping containers. Those containers placed end-to-end would stretch more than 47 miles.

The vessel is heading north from the Port of Long Beach, and also will cross under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge before mooring at the Port of Oakland.

Built in South Korea in 2010, the Fabiola is one of a new class of ultra-large container ships.

Ship watchers who miss the Fabiola's arrival can see it depart back to the Pacific early Thursday evening.

MAN, 88, SUSPECTED OF AIDING WIFE'S SUICIDE: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An 88-year-old "Renaissance man" suspected of helping his wife kill herself doted over his partner, caring for her in a custom-built home overlooking a canyon as she became increasingly ill, relatives said Wednesday.

Margaret "Jo" Purdy, 84, was sick for several years and tried to kill herself before, said John Muster, a son-in-law. He did not know the circumstances of her death or the previous suicide attempt.

"She had mentioned for some time that she was under a great deal of pain and that this was a very hard life," Muster said in a telephone interview from Berkeley. "It was a great life. I loved her dearly and I'm sorry she's gone. I'm not going to second-guess her choice."

Alan Purdy was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of aiding a suicide after paramedics found an elderly woman dead inside the Purdys' home in San Marcos, north of San Diego, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. He was released on $15,000 bail.

LA POLICE SHOOT, KILL ARMED SUSPECT AFTER CHASE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say officers shot and killed an armed man who had shot a tobacco shop employee during a robbery, then carjacked a Mercedes and led police on a chase with the owner still in the car.

Police spokeswoman Officer Karen Rayner says the suspect in the Wednesday shooting in Sun Valley ditched the Mercedes and eluded police on foot.

Rayner says police set up a perimeter, and about 30 minutes later the suspect walked into a street holding a handgun, and officers shot and killed him.

Police told KCAL-TV that the store employee was shot in the leg and was being treated at a hospital, and the carjacking victim was shaken up, but not hurt.

Rayner says no officers were injured.

HERRERA NAMED CALIF'S FIRST HISPANIC POET LAUREATE: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Writer, poet and activist Juan Felipe Herrera has been named California's first Hispanic poet laureate.

Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced the appointment Wednesday. The 63-year-old is the author of 28 books and currently serves as chairman of the creative writing department at the University of California, Riverside.

Herrera is the son of migrant workers from Mexico. He has received numerous national and international awards for his work documenting his experience as a Hispanic in the U.S. He also has won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.

The governor's spokesman, Gil Duran, says Herrera is the first Hispanic to serve as California's poet laureate. The position requires Senate confirmation, and the California Arts Council provides an annual stipend of $5,000.

BEEKEEPERS ASK EPA TO BAN PESTICIDE TOXIC TO BEES: FRESNO  (AP) — Commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations are asking federal regulators to suspend use of a pesticide they say harms honeybees.

The groups filed a petition Wednesday urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the insecticide clothianidin.

Beekeepers and some scientists say the chemical contributes to colony collapse disorder by weakening bees' immune systems and making them more susceptible to pathogens.

Bees pollinate about a third of U.S. crops.

The EPA registered clothianidin in 2003. The agency says the chemical poses less risk to workers and wildlife than alternatives.

While data show clothianidin is toxic to honeybees, the EPA says there's no proven link to bee colony die-offs from exposure to the chemical.

JUDGE WON'T BLOCK SAN DIEGO COUNTY TURKEY HUNT: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A wild turkey hunt for youngsters will proceed this weekend at a San Diego County nature preserve after a judge refused to block it.

U-T San Diego says an animal protection group sought a temporary restraining order but a judge rejected the request on Tuesday.

Twenty hunters under the age of 18 will take part in the event Saturday and Sunday at the Santa Ysabel East Open Space Preserve. County supervisors approved the hunt in January.