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Pipe that spewed 20M gallons near UCLA shut off

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Work crews have stopped the last of the water gushing from a 30-inch pipe near the University of California, Los Angeles some 30 hours after it burst.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokesman Albert Rodriguez said the pipe was shut off completely at 9 p.m. Wednesday, and repairs are expected to be finished late Friday or early Saturday.

At its peak, water was gushing at 75,000 gallons per minute out of the riveted-steel pipe, and by Wednesday afternoon it was still spewing 1,000 gallons an hour, putting out an estimated 20 million gallons overall.

Rodriguez says workers had a giant inflatable plug at the ready to stop the flow, but it wasn't needed.

The break in the 93-year-old pipe left a swath of the UCLA campus including its basketball arena swamped with water.


Dead whale floats in at California naval base

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP) - Scientists will try to determine what killed a 40-foot whale that floated into the port at the Port Hueneme naval base.

Kimberly Gearhart, a public affairs officer with the base, says the whale appeared to have been dead for some time and may have been struck by a ship.

Officials believe the animal is a finback whale. When fully grown, finbacks can reach nearly 90 feet in length, making them the second-longest animal in the world. The species is listed as endangered.

The Ventura County Star reports biologists from the National Marine Fisheries Service arrived Wednesday to assess the situation.

The carcass has been secured to a wharf. After scientists take tissue samples it will be towed out to sea.


Pastor sued for trying to sell church property

(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News,

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) - The pastor of an East Palo Alto church is being sued for allegedly trying to sell both the church and a house donated by a former deacon without permission of congregants.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the complaint names Born Again Christian Center Pastor Andre Harris, along with his wife, Gloria, and members of his extended family.

The suit alleges that the church's congregants never approved the sale of the church properties.

It alleges breach of fiduciary duty and violation of a state law that dictates the sale of properties by nonprofit religious entities.

Pastor Harris could not be reached for comment Wednesday.


2 plead no contest in 2010 state fair robbery

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two men have pleaded no contest in connection with a 2010 armed robbery of a food vendor at California's state fair during which thieves made off with $200,000.

Thirty-six-year-old Gene Felder and 54-year-old Antonio Harvey were arrested in 2012 on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

The Sacramento Bee reports the 54-year-old Harvey was an employee of the food service company that was robbed during the annual Cal Expo.

He was sentenced Wednesday to time served, and was slated to be released from jail.

The 36-year-old Felder, who was identified in court papers as Harvey's brother, and who has three prior felony convictions, was sentenced to six years in state prison.

None of the three women who were ordered at gunpoint to give up their money could conclusively identify the suspects.


Software engineer commits $2M to Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A senior software engineer at Google Inc. has made a $2 million commitment to benefit the Michigan State University College of Engineering.

The East Lansing school announced Wednesday that the gift is established through an estate plan for Doug Zongker of Mountain View, California. The provision in his estate will establish the first endowed chair of computer science at Michigan State University.

Zongker graduated from Michigan State University in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Support from the endowment will offer funding for the position, as well as the ability to conduct research and scholarship as new opportunities arise.

In February 2011, Zongker established the Doug Zongker Endowed Discretionary Fund for Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University.


California man sentenced on Alaska drug charges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 35-year-old Stockton, California, man will spend 16 years in a federal prison after being convicted of conspiring to distributing methamphetamine and heroin in Alaska.

The U.S. attorney's office says Ernie Benny Juarez Jr. was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

Prosecutors say he flew from Stockton to Anchorage in October, and then picked up drugs that co-conspirators had shipped to him.

Authorities say the amount of drugs included 385 grams of heroin and more than 500 grams of meth.

The sentence was enhanced because of his previous felony convictions, including on drug charges in California.


Oakland Zoo animals enjoy fruit after truck crash

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Animals at the Oakland Zoo were treated to a buffet of tropical fruit after a truck spilled its shipment on a freeway.

The Oakland Tribune reports about 13,000 pounds of plantains and jackfruit were donated to the zoo Wednesday after the fruit truck overturned on Interstate 580. Nobody was hurt.

Bears, giraffes and elephants dined on the treats, though zookeepers say some of the animals initially were hesitant to taste the unusual fruits.

Zoological manager Darren Minier said only fruit in good condition without major bruising, broken skin or insects would be fed to the animals.

The newspaper reports the Alameda County Food Bank received about 35,000 pounds of fruit, as well.

The fruit spilled after the truck collided with a pickup early Monday in the Altamont Pass.


NBA ref Violet Palmer to marry longtime partner

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Violet Palmer, the first woman to referee an NBA game, says she will marry her longtime female partner this week.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Palmer says she came out to her fellow NBA referees in 2007 and has not kept her sexuality a secret from her co-workers since that time.

Palmer says, "This is actually the big formal coming out. We are saying to the world, to everyone, here's my wife of 20 years."

Palmer will marry celebrity hair stylist Tanya Stine on Friday in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be officiated by "Basketball Wives LA" star, Tanya Young Williams, the ex-wife of former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams.

Palmer made her NBA debut in 1997 and has officiated postseason games and an All-Star game.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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