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State news briefs
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Animal fat-to-biofuel plant proposed  

WATSONVILLE  (AP) — A 65,000-gallon-per-day plant that converts animal fat into biofuel has been proposed along the California coast.

Railcars would bring tallow from a Washington rendering plant and it would be processed in a 20,000-square-foot building behind a Watsonville cold storage warehouse.

Most biofuels are currently made with vegetable oils. Fuels made from animal waste are harder to produce.

But North Star Biofuels, a joint venture of R. Power Fuels of Emeryville and Agri Beef of Boise, Idaho, says its new process could lead the industry into the next decade.

North Star anticipates running three shifts, seven days a week to produce up to 65,000 gallons of high-quality biodiesel and biojet fuel each day. Some fuel would be sold on site.

Riverside shelters place 400 pets a day

JURUPA VALLEY  (AP) — Riverside city and county animal shelters have placed 400 dogs and cats in a single day with some help from the ASPCA.

Spokesman John Welsh said Tuesday that people came to shelters in Jurupa Valley and Thousand Palms from Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties Saturday to get free pets.

From now until Friday, vets will work to complete spay and neuter surgeries on the pets.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gave Riverside a $10,000 grant to offset fees. Shelter volunteers handled paperwork.

Welsh says 320 dogs and 80 cats were adopted.

Unofficially the event may have set a national record for adoptions in a day.

Oakland charter school accused of fraud may close

OAKLAND  (AP) — Allegations of fraud and violations of state law may force closure of an Oakland charter school that has produced California's second-highest test scores.

A state audit found that more than $1 million in public funds has been funneled to American Indian Charter School II founder Ben Chavis and wife Marsha Amador for questionable expenses.

Oakland school district staff recommended the Board of Education deny the charter school's renewal application.

The school posted 990 points out of a possible 1,000 points on the Academic Performance Index, only two points behind Lodi's top-scoring Elkhorn Middle School.

The school is one of three Oakland charter schools founded by Chavis.

His profanity-laced, no-nonsense approach has been praised by some as a model for inner-city schools.

Ron Paul plans town halls at 3 campuses
SACRAMENTO . (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will visit three California public universities this week.

Kathleen McPartland, a spokeswoman for California State University, Chico, confirmed that the Texas congressman is expected on the Northern California campus Tuesday evening.

Paul's website also lists a town hall Wednesday at the University of California, Los Angeles and a UC Berkeley meeting Thursday.

Paul has yet to win a primary this campaign season, but his anti-war message often resonates with students. His Republican rivals also made recent stops in California, which holds its primary June 5.

Paul's town hall invitation invites students to show their support for his message of "peace, prosperity and individual liberty."

In addition to the campus visits, Paul is expected to hold a fundraiser Thursday in San Francisco.