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Teacher suspected of lewd conduct found dead
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SAN LORENZO  (AP) — A California teacher suspected of lewd conduct with a child has apparently committed suicide.

The body of 28-year-old James Izumizaki was found Monday in his car in San Lorenzo.

Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson says the Albany Middle School teacher's death is being treated as a suicide. The cause of the death hasn't been disclosed, but Nelson says a firearm wasn't used.

The sixth grade teacher was arrested last week and he was released on bail after a parent reported Izumizaki had committed lewd act with a girl who is a former student.

Trial opens in nursing

 student murder trial

OAKLAND  (AP) — A murder trial is underway for a woman accused of stalking and killing a San Francisco Bay area nursing student.

Alameda County Prosecutor Butch Ford argued Monday that Giselle Esteban killed former friend Michelle Le last year out of "jealousy, hatred and rage," because she blamed Le for ruining her relationship with Scott Marasigan, her daughter's father.

Ford said Esteban texted Marasigan that "punishment would be swift" if he didn't cut Le out of his life. Ford also said that Esteban went to great lengths to hunt Le down, including stealing a security badge and a class roster from Le's nursing school.

But Esteban's defense attorney, Audrea Aura, admitted while there's "a mountain of evidence" against her client, Esteban did not plan to kill Le, but snapped due to "extreme provocation and heat of passion."

Lawsuit filed over

gay teen therapy law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Christian legal group has filed a lawsuit to overturn a first-of-its-kind California law that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from practicing therapies aimed at making gay and lesbian teenagers straight.

The Pacific Justice Institute challenged the law signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown. The lawsuit was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

The institute filed the suit on behalf of a psychiatrist and a marriage and family therapist who is also a church pastor in San Diego. It also names as a plaintiff Aaron Bitzer, a Culver City man who says he has benefited from the "reparative" therapy.

The lawsuit claims the law, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, violates First Amendment and equal protection rights.



Chevron sues over Richmond

 refinery property taxes

MARTINEZ  (AP) — Chevron Corp. is challenging a Contra Costa County property assessment of its Richmond refinery that found it had been undervalued by up to $27 million.

The energy company filed the lawsuit on Monday, challenging the county's assessment of the facility's taxable value for the years 2007-2009.

The company already sued the Contra Costa Assessment Appeal Board for its 2004-2006 decision, in which it was awarded $17 million instead of the $73 million it sought.

The latest suit is related to the board's assessment that it had undervalued the Chevron refinery property in 2007-2009 tax years.