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California schools chief to appeal tenure ruling

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California's schools chief will seek an appeal of a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for teachers.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson says the ruling by a Los Angeles judge isn't supported by facts or the law and says it unfairly blames teachers for flaws in the education system.

The judge on Thursday affirmed his June ruling that found the state's teacher hiring-and-firing rules violated the state Constitution. A lawsuit brought by students argued that they saddled schools, especially in poor neighborhoods, with bad teachers who couldn't be fired.

Torlakson, who's backed by powerful teacher unions in his bid for reelection, announced Friday he'll ask the attorney general to appeal.

His opponent in the November race, Marshall Tuck, says Torlakson isn't sticking up for students.


Southern California surf diminishing

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Advisories for high surf along the Southern California coast have been canceled for all but Orange County as remnants of a former hurricane diminish in the eastern Pacific.

The National Weather Service say the remaining high surf advisories will end at 8 p.m. Friday, but surfers and swimmers should use caution because of large waves still rolling ashore on some beaches and the likelihood of strong currents.

Huge surf battered the coast starting late Tuesday when swells arrived from then-Hurricane Marie spinning off the coast of Mexico.

The swell peaked Wednesday with some of the biggest surf seen along Southern California in years. Seal Beach homes experienced minor flooding, piers lost pilings, a lifeguard building was lost to breakers and significant damage occurred at a Santa Catalina Island boatyard.


Federal officer accused of brandishing gun drunk

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Burbank police say a U.S. Marshals Service agent has been arrested for allegedly brandishing a handgun at a man while intoxicated.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that 27-year-old Andrew LeConte was holding a handgun when he walked up to a man on a Burbank street who was working on an SUV late Wednesday and asked him to follow him.

Police Lt. Eddie Ruiz told the newspaper that the man ran away. Police arrested LeConte after locating him.

LeConte could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.

Ruiz says he was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm.

Authorities say his motive for allegedly approaching the man was not immediately clear.


California man sentenced in sex with 'houseboy'

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) - A judge has sentenced a San Francisco Bay Area man to 15 years in prison following his conviction on charges he molested a 16-year-old who answered his ad for a "houseboy."

The Oakland Tribune reports an Alameda County judge sentenced 59-year-old Christopher Purcell, of Hayward, on Thursday. A jury in June found Purcell guilty of 22 counts of oral copulation and five counts of sodomy of a person under 18.

Purcell's ad - posted on Craigslist in May 2013 - offered room and board in exchange for cooking and cleaning and said play would be expected.

Prosecutors say Purcell molested the boy until August 2013, when the boy's mother overheard Purcell and her son arguing about sex.

The boy and his mother had been homeless from time to time.


Prosecutors: Man knew dogs dangerous before attack

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) - Los Angeles County prosecutors say a 31-year-old man whose pit bulls mauled a jogger to death was not just negligent but knew that his animals could endanger someone's life.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that in an unusual murder trial prosecutors presented evidence that Alex Jackson's dogs were involved in at least seven other altercations in the 18 months leading up to the May 9, 2013, attack on 63-year-old Pamela Devitt in the desert town of Littlerock.

The jury is in deliberations.

Vincent Jackson told the newspaper his brother has accepted some responsibility and wrote a letter to the victim's husband that was never sent.

But he says he thinks the murder charge is a knee-jerk reaction to people's disdain for pit bulls.

Devitt was bitten 200 times.


Woman held in fatal shooting of 96-year-old mother

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a 71-year-old Orange County woman has been arrested in the shooting death of her 96-year-old mother.

A Sheriff's Department statement said Friday that deputies responding to reports of gunshots found Gretchen DeStefano dead inside her home in unincorporated Rossmoor, adjacent to Los Alamitos.

Authorities arrested her daughter, Christine Reynolds, at the scene and seized a handgun. The sheriff's statement said the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute but gave no details.

Reynolds was booked for investigation of murder and held on $1 million bail. Her first court appearance will be on Sept. 2.


Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) - Singer Chris Brown is scheduled to appear in a District of Columbia court for what would be a third attempt at a plea deal to resolve an assault case that dates to October 2013.

According to court filings, Brown was scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Friday for a plea hearing but was unable due to travel issues. The hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, confirmed Brown is due in court. But he declined to comment on the case.

In January and June, Brown rejected plea deals on a misdemeanor assault charge. At the time of the incident, Brown was on probation in California for a 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend singer Rihanna.

Brown's attorney, Stuart Sears, declined to comment on the case.

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