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FATAL LION ATTACK
DUNLAP, Calif. — A lion killed a volunteer intern at an exotic animal park in Central California after she entered its enclosure, and authorities were trying to determine what might have provoked the animal to maul her. By Gosia Wozniacka and Tracie Cone.
AP Photos, Video.
TUCSON, Ariz. — The body of Ildefonso Martinez arrived on a Friday night in April as John Doe, Case No. 12-01000. He wore black Nike shoes, a Perry Ellis belt, jeans with a 34-inch waist, a Casio digital watch and had with him an elephant keychain. For medical examiners at the Pima County morgue, his was an unusual case. Not in how he died — making the same arduous journey that has claimed thousands of illegal immigrants — but rather in that he was identified so quickly or, even, at all. The death of migrants crossing the Southwest border has long been a tragic consequence of illegal immigration and, some say, of the massive increase in U.S. border enforcement in past decades. For many, such tragedies are a powerful motivator in pushing Congress to act this year on a larger immigration reform package, but critics say proposals offered so far call for more enforcement with few specifics on how to save lives. By Elliot Spagat.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California is 15 percent higher today than before Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect 17 months ago, according to figures released Wednesday by the state corrections department. The increase amounts to 360 more sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown and who were not reporting to their parole officers last year. An Associated Press analysis of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data shows that 2,706 paroled sex offenders disappeared in the 15 months since the new law took effect in October 2011, compared to 2,346 in the 15 months before realignment. By Don Thompson.
— BC-CA--California Prisons-Realignment-Glance.
LOS ANGELES — Curiosity has hunkered down after the sun unleashed a blast that raced toward Mars. While the hardy rover was designed to withstand punishing space weather, its handlers decided to power it down as a precaution since it suffered a recent computer problem. "We're being more careful," said project manager Richard Cook of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which runs the $2.5 billion mission. By Alicia Chang.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown is joining hundreds of law enforcement officers and community members at a memorial for two Santa Cruz police detectives who were shot and killed during what they had expected to be a routine investigation. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker, 51, and Officer Elizabeth Butler, 38, were at the doorstep of Jeremy Goulet residence last Tuesday, trying to interview him as part of a misdemeanor sexual assault case. By Martha Mendoza.
Eds: Memorial set for noon.
NO CPR-WOMAN DIES
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Police say no criminal charges will be filed after a care worker's attention-grabbing refusal to perform CPR on a resident of a Central California independent-living facility. The Bakersfield Police Department said it has closed its investigation into the death of Lorainne Bayless, 87, who died Feb. 26 at Glendale Gardens while a nurse there refused a 911 dispatcher's pleas to administer CPR.
— POLICE SHOOTING-CALIFORNIA — Community members cried, prayed and left remembrances at a closed-casket visitation for two slain Santa Cruz Police Department detectives.
SAN DIEGO — Beachgoers will be able to linger a little longer around the seaside fires that are synonymous with Southern California in Newport Beach. The California Coastal Commission postponed a vote on whether to order the removal of Newport Beach's public fire rings. The commission first wants air quality authorities to offer a recommendation about the pollution the fires create. Although the fire rings are beloved by visitors who sometimes arrive at sunrise to secure a fireside spot at sunset, some beachfront residents complain that smoke from the wood fires is a nuisance and, worse, a health hazard.
LA REVENGE KILLINGS-DORNER ADMIRER
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a restraining order Wednesday against an admirer of Christopher Dorner who blogged threats against the county's Child Support Services Department while the ex-cop was on his murderous rampage. Judge Carol Boas Goodson granted a three-year order against Hashim Mwamba Bomani, 43, of Downey that requires him to stay away from the department's headquarters and three of its members, including Director Steven J. Golightly. By Tami Abdollah.
OXNARD POLICE-MODEL MURDER
OXNARD, Calif. — A former Oxnard police commander claims his department denied him retirement privileges because he married a woman accused of murdering a young model, and his wife is still awaiting trial. Tom Chronister filed a claim last month saying the police department intentionally and maliciously violated his rights and harmed his reputation because of its disciplinary actions.
LOS ANGELES — Paul Tanaka, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's second in command who oversaw the agency's troubled jails, has announced his retirement. Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Tanaka informed executive staff of his decision Wednesday afternoon. Tanaka, 54, has been with the department for 32 years, Whitmore said. His retirement is effective Aug. 1.
— GIRL SCOUT THEFT — A 20-year-old accused of snatching nearly $500 from a table where Girl Scouts were selling cookies has pleaded not guilty in San Bernardino Superior Court.
— LA FIREFIGHTER THEFT — Prosecutors say a Los Angeles city firefighter has been sentenced to probation for filing workers' compensation claims at the same time he was competing in mixed martial arts fighting.
— DOWNTOWN LA STREETCAR — The Los Angeles City Council has approved a 30-year plan for the funding and operation of a streetcar line in downtown Los Angeles.
— SEX OFFENDER-SENIOR — Oxnard officials say they'll remove a longtime sex offender who's been convicted seven times from his job on the city's Senior Services Commission.
— COLD CASE THEFT — Police say they have solved a 23-year-old murder by linking DNA evidence to a man who was shot and killed by a woman he tried to kidnap.
LOS ANGELES — Time Warner Inc. said it will spin off the magazine unit behind Time, Sports Illustrated and People into a separate, publicly traded company by the end of the year, ending a media marriage that has lasted more than two decades. CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement Wednesday that the decision to split off the Time Inc. magazine company will give Time Warner "strategic clarity" and enable it to focus on its TV networks including TNT, HBO and CNN, and its Warner Bros. studio, which produces movies and TV shows. By Ryan Nakashima.
CURRENT TV-AL JAZEERA LAWSUIT
SAN FRANCISCO — A television consultant claims that former Vice President Al Gore and others at Current TV stole his idea to sell the struggling network to Al Jazeera. Los Angeles resident John Terenzio is demanding more than $5 million in a lawsuit quietly filed in San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges that Terenzio brought the idea of approaching Al Jazeera to Current TV board member Richard Blum in July. The lawsuit says Blum agreed to present Terenzio's plan to other board members and Gore. By Paul Elias.
GEORGE LUCAS-MUSEUM BID
SAN FRANCISCO — "Star Wars" creator George Lucas wants to build a museum dedicated to visual storytelling in San Francisco's Presidio that would house an art collection he amassed over more than four decades. The filmmaker said he has long sought to showcase his collection of 150 years of populist art, which includes illustrations by Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, comics and digital technology. Lucas, 69, said he doesn't have enough wall space at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, so he wants to invest up to $300 million of his own money to build the museum.
SAN FRANCISCO — Six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers has been released by the San Francisco 49ers after two seasons filled with record-breaking highs and incredible lows. General Manager Trent Baalke thanked Akers in a statement Wednesday, calling the kicker a "true professional who represented himself and this organization with class." By Antonio Gonzalez.
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