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State news briefs
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METEOROLOGIST: TORNADO NEAR STOCKTON NOT UNUSUAL: STOCKTON (AP) - The National Weather Service says the tornado that struck five miles outside of Stockton on Wednesday was not unusual for this time of year.

The twister on farmland near Interstate 5 left a path of damage about a mile long. Iit shredded a wood-frame shop, tipped over a big-rig trailer and sent shards of aluminum siding across more than an acre of land.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Stefanie Henry says it also took the shingles off the roof of a home.

Henry says California averages about eight tornadoes a year. Although a tornado is still possible on Thursday in the Stockton area, she says weather conditions are not as favorable.

RODNEY KING SAYS HE GRIEVES FOR TRAYVON MARTIN: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rodney King says the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida reminds him of his own police beating in Los Angeles 20 years ago.

The Los Angeles Times ( says King issued a statement Wednesday comparing what he calls the "horrifying sound of a young black male screaming for his life" on a 911 tape with King's own scream during his videotaped beating in 1991. King says at the time, he thought he was going to die.

However, it remains unclear whether the person screaming on the 911 tape is Martin or George Zimmerman, who shot the unarmed teen. Zimmerman was in court Thursday to face a charge of second-degree murder.

King says he's grieving for Martin and adds: "This is about something bigger than race — this is about justice."

LAWMAKERS VOTE TO BAR RAPISTS FROM ALIMONY: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — People convicted of spousal rape will no longer be able to collect alimony if a bill passed by the state Assembly becomes law.

AB1522 was passed unanimously with 69 votes Thursday. It would prohibit judges from awarding alimony, attorney's fees or insurance benefits to people convicted of violent sexual felonies against their spouses.

Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego said that the bill was necessary to close a loophole that forces victims to pay their abusers.

The bill is a response to the case of a San Diego-area woman who accused her husband of raping her and was forced to pay his alimony and attorney's fees before he was convicted.

Current law prevents spouses convicted of attempted spousal murder from taking their intended victim's assets.

CALIF. BILL WOULD END USE OF 'MENTALLY RETARDED': SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Lawmakers want California to join the federal government and 42 other states in ending use of the term "mentally retarded."

The state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill to drop the term from legal references and refer instead to "intellectual disability." The bill now moves to the Assembly.

Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills says SB1381 seeks to end the use of an offensive and outdated term in education and social services.

The bill is sponsored by The Arc of California, a group that advocates for disability rights, and is supported by United Cerebral Palsy in California.

LAPD HAS NEW POLICY ON TRANSGENDER STOPS, SEARCHES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police have a new policy on how to respectfully interact with transgender individuals during stops and searches, according to a memo issued Thursday by Chief Charlie Beck.

The department's aim with the new procedure is to "create mutual understanding, prevent discrimination and conflict, and ensure appropriate treatment of transgender individuals," Beck wrote in the memo to all department personnel.

When a person identifies as transgender, officers are directed to "respect the expressed gender and do not question it."

When in doubt, the memo tells officers to rely on what a transgendered person may be wearing or their language and demeanor, and respectfully call the person "sir" or "ma'am" accordingly as they would in any stop.

The memo also bars officers from frisking individuals or questioning them for the sole purpose of learning their anatomical gender.

SHELTER HOPES CATS' IPAD ART DRAWS IN DONATIONS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles animal shelter that lets its cats chase toys on top of iPads hope the digital art created by the movement will encourage donations of money and tablet computers.

An Animal Planet crew visited the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles for the April 14 episode of "Must Love Cats," where they documented how four cats used an app called Paint for Cats.

The results were so compelling that the shelter turned them into notecards. The cards with drawings named "Study in Feather Toys" and "Movement in Catnip" are being sold online for $5.99 a pack.

HIKER MISSING IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY BADLANDS: BORREGO SPRINGS  (AP) — The search has resumed for a hiker who vanished over the weekend in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in eastern San Diego County.

The Sheriff's Department says 50 to 60 searchers and a helicopter renewed the hunt Thursday morning for 24-year-old Guillermo Pino.

He went missing on Sunday after leaving his companions to explore caves. The rugged area is called the Badlands for its steep and unstable hillsides, ravines and mud caves.

Authorities say Pino is an experienced hiker but he had no shoes, food, water, flashlight or cell phone.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell says there are hundreds of caves in the area and Pino could be in any one.

INMATE WHO KILLED CELLMATE RULED INCOMPETENT: FRESNO  (AP) — A California judge has ruled a Fresno jail inmate is mentally unfit to stand trial for the Valentine's Day pencil stabbing death of his cellmate.

The Fresno Bew says 26-year-old Jose Cuevas will be sent to a state mental hospital until it is determined he's able to understand the charges against him.

Judge Jon Nick Kapetan reviewed reports from two psychologists and ruled on Wednesday that Cuevas suffers from schizophrenia and is unable to assist in his defense.

Investigators say Cuevas killed 47-year-old Troy Phillips by plunging a pencil into his neck 22 times.

Theft suspects Cuevas and Phillips were in the same cell because both were considered mentally ill.