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State news briefs
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LONG BEACH OWED $18M IN UNPAID PARKING TICKETS: LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A councilwoman says Long Beach is owed $18 million in unpaid parking tickets.

A pilot program started three years ago when the city was owed nearly $12 million in unpaid parking citations was aimed at putting the squeeze on scofflaws.

The city bought 20 wheel clamps or "boots" for $500 each to target offenders.

But Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said that improvements to the city's citation collection system were never delivered.

City Auditor Laura Doud and Mayor Bob Foster's office wouldn't release details about the latest audit showing $18 million is owed until a Thursday news conference.

Schipske says the city should consider contracting out billing and collection services for parking citations.

MAN GETS 56 YEARS FOR BEATING DEATH OF TODDLER: TORRANCE  (AP) — A Southern California man who kicked and punched to death his girlfriend's toddler son has been sentenced to 56 years in prison.

The Los Angeles County judge admonished 26-year-old Daniel Vegas during Wednesday's sentencing hearing for the most vicious, sadistic and depraved case he's seen in his 14 years on the bench.

Marisa Mendoza left her Lomita apartment in March 2011 to run errands, leaving her boyfriend with her 2-year-old son Gabriel Dominguez.

When she returned, Vega was gone.

The toddler was dead in bed with more than 100 kicking and beating bruises to the midsection.

MAN KILLED, DEPUTY HURT IN SO. CALIF. SHOOTOUT: HIGHLAND (AP) — Authorities say a man and sheriff's deputies traded gunfire in the parking lot of a Southern California supermarket, leaving the suspect dead and a deputy wounded.

San Bernardino County sheriff's officials say deputies were looking for a rape and robbery suspect Thursday morning at a Stater Bros. store in Highland. They found the man, who first fled then turned around and opened fire, and several deputies returned fire.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller says the suspect died at the scene. The deputy was hit in the leg and taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive.

DOZENS OF ANIMALS FOUND IN CALIF. MOBILE HOME: STANTON  (AP) — Dozens of animals, including 18 cats and a raccoon, have been found in a woman's Southern California mobile home strewn with feces and urine.

Animal Care Sgt. Kyle Warner says crews wore respirators Wednesday to clear out the squalid mobile home, which was tagged by the Orange County city of Stanton as uninhabitable.

They removed the cats, two chickens, a raccoon, a crow, eight dogs, four rabbits, mice and reptiles from the home in Beach West Mobile Estates. Two dead possums were found in an outside trash bin.

ANALYSIS SHOWS CALIF. WOMEN LAG BEHIND MEN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — An analysis on how women are faring in California shows there have been achievements in some areas but they still lag behind men in leadership roles and earning power.

The Mount St. Mary's College analysis released Thursday shows women earn college degrees at a higher rate than men, but far fewer women get degrees in engineering, math or computer-related fields.

The gender gap in advanced math and science is attributed to different preparation and course-taking patterns in high school and college.

It may be the first attempt at a comprehensive look at the status of California women based on poverty, education, employment, leadership, and mental and physical health.

Faculty, staff and students compiled data from U.S. Census data and information from state agencies.

LA UNABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR $7M WORTH OF CITY FUEL: LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's no record of who used millions of gallons of gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas pumped at city of Los Angeles fueling sites.

City Controller Wendy Gruel says her auditors are unable to find records for more than $7 million of taxpayer-funded fuel used at the 141 fuel sites in recent years.

The Los Angeles Times ( says the unexplained transactions occurred despite a $12 million tracking system installed more than a decade ago.

The city spends nearly $29 million annually to power its fleet, including trash trucks and police squad cars.

Workers with fuel cards use a keypad. Some vehicles have with a high-tech system that automatically logs the amount of gas pumped.

But the system can be bypassed manually or with "master cards" at the fuel sites.

LOST DATA CARTRIDGES MAY HAVE EXPOSED 800K IN CA : LOS ANGELES (AP) — State child support officials say four data cartridges containing personal information for 800,000 people — including their names and social security numbers — have been lost by IBM and Iron Mountain Inc.

Department of Child Support Services spokeswoman Christine Lally says there's hope the information won't be accessed because a specialized machine is needed to run the data cartridge, and special hardware and software are needed to read it.

Lally says the cartridges are believed to have been lost in transit, somewhere between Boulder, Colorado and Sacramento.

The data cartridges also contained addresses, driver license numbers, names of health insurance providers and employers for custodial and non-custodial parents, and their children.

TEACHER'S AIDE SENTENCED FOR CHILD MOLESTATION: LANCASTER . (AP) — An Antelope Valley teacher's aide who pleaded no contest to sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy has been sentenced to six years in state prison.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says 35-year-old Holly Marie Polson also was ordered Thursday to register as a sex offender for life and must stay away from the victim for 10 years.

Polson pleaded no contest last month to four counts of lewd act on a child under 14.

Polson was an instructional aide at Shadow Hills Intermediate School in the Palmdale School District.

Prosecutors say she admitted having a sexual relationship with the student in a classroom and her car between May 29 and June 10, 2011.

The boy's mother alerted police when she learned of the relationship.