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FREEWAY SANDSTORM CAUSES MULTIPLE WRECKS, 6 HURT: LANCASTER (AP) — The California Highway Patrol has closed a freeway north of Los Angeles after a sandstorm in Lancaster led to several car wrecks that injured six people.

Officer Jerry Nelson says the sandstorm kicked up in the early afternoon and forced the closure of the Antelope Valley Freeway at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Fire officials say visibility in the area has been reduced to 6 feet or less depending on the wind gusts.

COUPLE CHARGED WITH MURDER IN PALMDALE BOY'S DEATH: LANCASTER (AP) — A Southern California woman and her boyfriend have been charged with capital murder in the death of the woman's 8-year-old son.

Los Angeles County prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against 29-year-old Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre of Lancaster. In addition to one count of murder each, the charges include a special-circumstance allegation of torture.

County firefighters responding to a call in Palmdale last Wednesday discovered the boy was not breathing. He died at a hospital Friday. Investigators say the boy had a fractured skull, several broken ribs and burns..

LULL IN WINDS AIDS FIGHT AGAINST LOS PADRES WILDFIRE : SANTA BARBARA  (AP) — Firefighters took advantage of a lull in winds on Tuesday to try to gain ground against a forest fire in mountains northwest of Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara County blaze erupted Monday in Los Padres National Forest, carving its way through 2.8 square miles of dry chaparral, oak and pine. It was only 10 percent contained, and the forecast later in the day was for wind gusts of up to 40 mph. More than 550 firefighters, supported by a dozen aircraft, were on the lines about 10 miles northwest of downtown Santa Barbara.