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State news briefs
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BROWN QUESTIONED LEGALITY OF CLOSED LA MEETING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged during a closed-door meeting he had with the Los Angeles County supervisors last fall that the meeting may not have been legal, according to a transcript obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper reported Friday that Brown said "let's get our Brown Act cover story," referring to the state's open public meeting law — the Ralph M. Brown Act, during the Sept. 26 meeting, which was held to discuss the transfer of state prisoners to county care.

Brown spokesman Gil Duran told the Times that the governor was "clearly joking."

"He was mocking the county counsel's premise for holding the session in closed session, which he thought was questionable," Duran said.

Brown did not halt the meeting because it was the supervisors' decision how to conduct the session although Brown and his staff had expressed concern about it being private, Duran said.

Several reporters had complained that the meeting was closed. The Times later filed a complaint with the District Attorney's office and the nonprofit group, Californians Aware, sued the county, charging the meeting was illegal.

EXPLOSIVE HITS TAHOE POT DISPENSARY ON EVE OF 4/20: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE . (AP) — Police are investigating after an improvised explosive device was thrown through the window of a South Lake Tahoe marijuana dispensary on the eve of a marijuana holiday.

The Douglas County Bomb Squad responded to reports about 10 p.m. Thursday of an IED in the Patient to Patient Collective, one of the town's three dispensaries.

They found the device had been thrown through one of the business' back windows and caused a small fire.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports ( nobody was hurt. The dispensary was closed, but two employees were working inside at the time of the incident.

April 20 is an unofficial holiday celebrated by some marijuana users. The number 420 has been associated with marijuana use for decades, though its origins are murky.

CALIF. VOTER ROLLS, INDEPENDENT VOTERS INCREASE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A higher percentage of eligible Californians is registered to vote in this presidential primary compared to four years ago, but fewer are embracing political parties.

Figures released Friday by the secretary of state show that more than 17 million voting-age residents are registered to cast ballots in the June 5 primary. That's an increase of 1.1 million registered voters since 2008.

More than 3.6 million — one in five — chose no party preference. The rate, 21.3 percent, is the highest ever of California voters unaffiliated with any political party.

The figures show a continued decline in registered Republicans. Republicans now make up 30.3 percent of registered voters, down from nearly 33 percent before the last presidential primary.

The percentage of those registered as Democrats remained unchanged at 43.5 percent.

FORT ORD GETS NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATION: SEASIDE  (AP) — A rare California coastal wilderness that served as a training ground for generations of soldiers was designated a national monument Friday in a presidential signing ceremony.

President Barack Obama signed a proclamation that protects nearly 15,000 acres of the decommissioned Fort Ord military base along Monterey Bay. It's the second national monument created by Obama in his three years as president.

About 1.7 million soldiers trained at the former U.S. Army post from the beginning of World War I through Operation Desert Storm. Now, the scenic area is a popular spot for hikers and mountain bikers and home to protected wildlife and plants.

"This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California's coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century," President Obama said in a statement.

The area coming under federal protection will preserve a major swath of the rare Central Coast Maritime chaparral ecosystem, a habitat unique to California. Mountain lions, deer, eagles and the protected California black legless lizard all make their homes at Fort Ord.


PHYSICS PAPER WASN'T WHY TRAFFIC TICKET WAS TOSSED: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego court commissioner is denying that a scientist's physics paper had anything to do with her dismissing his $200 traffic ticket.

News outlets reported this week that Dmitri Krioukov of the University of California, San Diego, used an equation-filled paper on the physics of a car in motion to successfully appeal a ticket for failure to stop.

Superior Court Commissioner Karen Riley says that's not true. She tells U-T San Diego that she listened to the physics argument but much of it went over her head.

Riley says she found Krioukov not guilty because the officer who cited him wasn't close enough to the intersection to have a good view.

LA MAYOR'S BUDGET PLAN WOULD ELIMINATE 669 JOBS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mayor of Los Angeles has released a budget plan that slashes employee pensions, cuts staff and makes other changes to close a $238 million deficit.

The $7.2 billion plan announced Friday eliminates 669 city jobs — 231 of them through layoffs. Many civilian Police Department employees would lose their jobs.

His plan also maintains the size of the police force, restores some Fire Department services, beefs up the city's reserve fund and fills an additional 50,000 potholes.