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Friends, family mourn death in LA lightning strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Friends and family are mourning the death of 21-year-old Nick Fagnano (Fahn-YANN'-Oh), who died after lightning struck off the coast of Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach.

Fagnano's uncle Dennis Shanahan said Monday his nephew was "a kid that lit up the room wherever he went."

Some witnesses said Fagnano had been in the water when the lightning hit Sunday. He was unresponsive as he was rushed to a hospital and later died.

He grew up in Los Angeles and played pitcher on the baseball team at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.

Fagnano attended Santa Barbara City College and had been accepted as a transfer student to the University of Southern California, where he planned to pursue urban policy and development.

A funeral is scheduled for Thursday.


Rare storm at California beach hard to see coming

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Although lightning does strike Southern California frequently, it rarely hits the beach.

When it does, the consequences can be chaotic and deadly, as they were Sunday when a huge lightning bolt descended on Los Angeles' bohemian Venice Beach, killing 21-year-old Nick Fagnano and injuring 12 others.

Climatologist Bill Patzert says the storm that materialized did so rapidly and was so isolated that he couldn't say anyone was to blame for not seeing it coming despite lightning striking a man on a golf course on nearby Santa Catalina Island earlier in the day.

The chances of being struck by lightning in California are one in 7 to 10 million, much rarer than other parts of the country. The phenomenon is so rare that lifeguards lack an emergency warning system.


California suspect dead, marshals and cop wounded in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities say a sex-assault suspect got in a shootout with law enforcement in New York City that left the suspect dead and two federal marshals and a police officer wounded.

The U.S. Marshals Service says it happened in the West Village.

The slain suspect has been identified as Charles Richard Mozdir, who was wanted in a California case.

A $1 million bench warrant was issued for Mozdir in June 2012 after he skipped an arraignment in San Diego Superior Court on child sexual assault charges.

His case had recently been featured on CNN's "The Hunt with John Walsh." Mozdir was accused of abusing a young boy while babysitting him. Authorities said they later found evidence of child pornography and bestiality on his cellphone and computers.


Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and cleared the way for the $2 billion sale of the team to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Judge Michael Levanas sided Monday with Sterling's estranged wife in the case that arose after the 80-year-old billionaire was banned by the NBA for making offensive remarks about blacks.

Shelly Sterling sought the court's approval for the deal she negotiated after taking control of a family trust and removing her husband as a trustee after two doctors found he had Alzheimer's disease and couldn't manage his affairs.

Donald Sterling claimed his wife deceived him about the medical exams.

Sterling has vowed to fight the NBA until his death and is expected to continue to wage court battles to stop the sale.


EPA reaches San Francisco Bay pollution settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco Bay Area water agency and six cities it serves have agreed to pay $1.5 million in fines to settle allegations that they allowed raw or partially treated sewage to flow into the bay.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the penalties are part of a settlement to a lawsuit it brought five years ago against the cities and the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Under the deal announced Monday, the water district and the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont also agreed to invest an estimated $1.5 billion over the next 21 years to upgrade their aging sewer systems to prevent future spills.

According to the EPA, about 1.1 billion gallons of sewage was either forced out of manholes during storms or illegally discharged from the water districts between 2009 and last year.


Conservation group appeals San Diego power plant

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A conservation group is challenging a proposed natural gas power plant in San Diego.

The Protect Our Communities Foundation filed a petition with the 4th District Court of Appeal on Monday asking it to overturn the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of the plant.

The state commission voted unanimously earlier this year to approve it despite concerns from environmentalists.

The plant's supporters say it is particularly needed because the San Onofre (oh-NOH'-fray) Nuclear power plant went offline last year.

Opponents say the approval undermines the state's commitment to green energy and will cost taxpayers $1.6 billion during its first 25 years.

The plant would be in Otay Mesa, about 20 miles southeast of downtown San Diego.

The CPUC says it hasn't seen the petition and can't comment.

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