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State news briefs
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TEENS DRINKING HAND SANITIZER TO GET DRUNK: LOS  ANGELES (AP) — Teenagers are showing up in Los Angeles emergency rooms after drinking inexpensive liquid hand sanitizers to get drunk.

Cheap and easily accessible hand sanitizers contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol. six teenagers have shown up in two San Fernando Valley emergency rooms in the last few months with alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer.

Some of the teens used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, making a potent drink similar to a shot of hard liquor. Distillation instructions can be found on the Internet.

SJ SET TO BAN PLASTIC FOAM AT CITY FACILITIES: SAN JOSE (AP) — San Jose is cracking down on plastic foam.

The City Council on Tuesday WAS expected to ban the use of plastic foam food containers at city facilities and venues.

Use of the material is already prohibited at special events on city property with more than 1,000 people.

The ban could eventually be expanded to include businesses in San Jose although city officials first plan to study the effects of such a citywide move..

BILL LINKING STATE. EMPLOYEE PAY TO GOVERNOR FAILS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A bill that would have prohibited California state employees from making more than the governor has died in committee.

Sen. Joel Anderson proposed capping salaries at the roughly $174,000 paid to the governor.

He cites a prison doctor who was paid $785,000 last year, a prison psychiatrist paid $566,000 and a University of California president paid $560,000. He says 9,000 employees were paid more than the governor last year.

MOM, DAUGHTER TO STAND TRIAL FOR DEADLY DOG ATTACK: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge in San Diego has ordered trial for a mother and daughter whose pit bulls attacked and killed a 76-year-old neighbor.

Alba Cornelio and her daughter, Carla, were ordered Monday to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. They face up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted.

Authorities say the two pit bulls got through a hole in a fence and attacked Emako Mendoza in her San Diego yard last June as she went outside to get the morning newspaper.

She lost part of an arm and a leg and died on Christmas Eve.

CALIFORNIA PANEL LED BY GEENA DAVIS GETS NEW LIFE: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Academy Award winner Geena Davis joined lawmakers in the state capital Tuesday to announce new funding for the Commission on the Status of Women, which Gov. Jerry Brown had proposed eliminating as part of sweeping cuts to the state budget.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said the state Assembly will give the commission $150,000 from its own budget. Davis, who is the commission's current chairwoman, said the panel's work is still needed as California women face unequal work conditions, earn only 84 cents to the dollar that men earn, and are more likely to be without health care.

The "Thelma and Louise" star, who was appointed to the commission by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the money will allow the commission to keep operating in the 2012-13 fiscal year. It will seek private funding and partnerships for future years.

MARINE BOOKED IN KILLING OF ANOTHER MARINE'S WIFE: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Marine already in custody in the theft of an assault weapon was booked Tuesday on suspicion of murder in the death of another Marine's wife, authorities said.

The latest allegation against Louis Ray Perez came a week after the body of 22-year-old Brittany Killgore was found in brush near a Southern California lake.

Sheriff's investigators identified the 45-year-old Perez as a person of interest shortly after the body was discovered.

The San Diego County district attorney's office said the case was under review.

Another suspect, Jessica Lynn Lopez, 25, pleaded not guilty to murder last week in Killgore's death. She is being held on $3 million bail.

DRIVER IN FATAL LAUGHING-GAS CRASH TO STAND TRIAL: FOLSOM, Calif. (AP) — A Sacramento County judge has ordered a trial for a man accused of causing a fatal crash while driving under the influence of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

The Sacramento Bee reports that 22-year-old Michael Dean Sharp of Folsom has been ordered to stand trial on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. He faces as many as 15 years in prison if convicted.

Superior Court Judge Greta Curtis Fall set the trial for July 26 during Tuesday's preliminary hearing.

Folsom police say Sharp bought 50 "whip-it" canisters of nitrous oxide and inhaled one before crashing into oncoming traffic on Jan. 7.

Police say 37-year-old Christopher Martell and his 32-year-old brother Robert, both of Citrus Heights, were killed. A friend who was in their car was injured.

FEDS BUST ECSTASY RING CONNECTED TO RAP LABEL: VALLEJO  (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged 25 people, including several rappers connected to a San Francisco Bay area music label, with taking part in a nationwide drug ring that specialized in Ecstasy.

Investigators seized 45,000 Ecstasy pills along with crack cocaine, heroin and $200,000 in suspected profits tied to the Vallejo-based drug trafficking operation. Properties totaling 230 acres were forfeited.

Many of the suspects are associated with Thizz Entertainment, a popular label on the Bay Area's rap scene. "Thizz" is slang for the feeling of being high on Ecstasy.

Suspects from various California cities as well as New York and Oklahoma City were arrested Thursday, said U.S. Attorney

More than 60 artists have performed on the Thizz label founded by Mac Dre, a rapper well-known in Northern California who was killed in 2004 after performing in Kansas City, Mo. The music is known for its playful themes and emphasis on the party lifestyle.

MAN TAKES PREGNANT HOSTAGE DURING BANK ROBBERY: HAYWARD (AP) — Hayward police have arrested a knife-wielding man who took a pregnant woman hostage during an attempted bank robbery.

Lt. Roger Keener says the suspect entered the Wells Fargo bank at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. He gave the teller a note demanding money and told everyone to drop to the ground.

Keener says tellers hit a silent alarm button and several customers ran out of the bank and called 911.

Police say two detectives arrived at the scene and saw the suspect holding a knife to the upper body of a pregnant woman.

Keener says the suspect surrendered after the hostage told him she had a baby and detectives urged him to release her.

SEARCHERS FAIL TO FIND BODY OF MAN OVER THE FALLS: OROVILLE . (AP) — Searchers have been unable to find the body of a 28-year-old man who fell from a trail overlooking at the 410-foot Feather Falls in Northern California.

Mitch Padula of Chico slipped and fell over the falls and into the turbulent waters near Oroville on Sunday evening.

There has been no sign of Padula in the white-water, boulder-strewn area below the falls.