SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HEAT
Southern California again warm and dry
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Predicted gusty Santa Ana winds and low relative humidity will bring wildfire concerns in Southern California by midweek.
The National Weather Service says a trough of low pressure currently near Oregon will drop south into California by Wednesday, bringing gusty offshore flow mainly over Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Sustained winds are expected to range from 30 mph to 45 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph. Humidity levels will fall below 15 percent.
Forecasters have issued a fire weather watch for Wednesday morning through afternoon.
Southern California's weather has returned to warm and dry conditions a week after one of the few significant storms of the winter.
On Sunday, Los Angeles International Airport was a record 85 degrees.
Los Angeles has received less than half its normal seasonal rainfall.
LA-MEDICAL MARIJUANA-LOS ANGELES
More than 100 Los Angeles pot shops closed
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles has shut more than 100 pot shops since it began enforcing new rules for medical marijuana dispensaries. But officials say many more continue to operate outside the law.
On Monday, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced an education campaign to alert business owners and realtors about requirements of Proposition D.
That measure, passed by voters last year, permits only about 100 registered pot dispensaries in the city, taxes them and restricts where they can locate.
About 800 dispensaries were believed to be operating before the law took effect last summer. Feuer says his office has prosecuted nearly 300 pot shop owners and employees.
But while dozens of dispensaries have closed, the Los Angeles Times says more than 300 have registered to pay taxes.
High lead test near Los Angeles-area battery plant
VERNON, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say tests have found elevated lead levels in the soil of 39 homes and a school near a Southern California battery recycling plant.
State officials announced the test results Monday. Officials ordered Exide Technologies in Vernon to perform more tests and gave the company until March 21 to come up with a plan to protect children and pregnant women in the area.
They say the lead levels aren't an immediate health threat but they're urging people to keep children away from bare soil and thoroughly wash their hands.
In a statement, Exide emphasized that while some tests exceeded the guidelines of the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment they were below the maximums allowed by the Department of Public Health.
In January, regional air quality officials sued Exide for $40 million, claiming the plant exposed people to cancer-causing chemicals.
New trial denied for convict in Cunningham bribery
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - A federal appeals court has refused to order a new trial for a former defense contractor convicting of bribing California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused the request Monday from Brent Wilkes, agreeing with a lower court that what Wilkes' attorney called new evidence that could exonerate him was available during his trial.
Wilkes was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribery and other charges for lavishing Cunningham with more than $700,000 in cash and gifts in exchange for nearly $90 million in defense contracts.
Cunningham, whose U.S. House career ended in disgrace when he was convicted of accepting $2.4 million in bribes, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison in 2006 and was released last year.
POLICE SUIT-WHITNEY HOUSTON
Officer sues over Whitney Houston fallout
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - A Beverly Hills police sergeant is suing the city, claiming he faced retaliation after reporting that a detective made inappropriate remarks about Whitney Houston's body at her death scene.
City News Service says Sgt. Brian Weir filed the suit Monday in Los Angeles.
Houston was 48 when she drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton two years ago. Weir contends that a detective sergeant kneeling by the singer's body removed a sheet and remarked that she was "still looking good," along with similar comments.
Weir says that when he reported the alleged remarks, he was harassed, removed from the SWAT and K-9 units and denied promotions.
Police Lt. Lincoln Hoshino says he wasn't aware of the lawsuit but that he considers similar claims Weir made earlier to be baseless.
Migrants seek to enter US in San Diego protest
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Dozens of young migrants have presented themselves to U.S. border inspectors in San Diego without legal documents to protest U.S. immigration policies.
Demonstrators in green, purple and yellow graduation gowns marched through the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, to the Otay Mesa border crossing on Monday. They chanted slogans urging an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws and called on President Barack Obama to halt deportations.
Organizer Rocio Hernandez of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance says about 30 attempted to cross. By the end of this week, she says that number may rise to 150.
Many are expected to seek asylum. Similar protests were held last year at border crossings in Arizona and Texas.
The migrants call themselves "Dreamers," after failed legislation aimed at allowing some immigrants to stay in the county.
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