North state crab fishermen hit the water

Northern California crab fishermen will begin harvesting Dungeness crab after a stalemate over price kept boats at the dock for nearly two weeks.

The Eureka Times-Standard reports that the crabbers dropped their pots on Thursday night after reaching an agreement with wholesalers for $2.65 per pound.

Crab season was scheduled to open Dec. 1, but fishermen balked at the $2.50 per pound being offered. They wanted $3.

Mark McCulloch, a fish monger in Eureka, told the paper that Christmas is one of the busiest crab sales days of the year, and that plenty of the crustaceans should be available.

Fishermen said they were disappointed with the price, but that once a price was set in Oregon's crab fishery they had little choice but to accept the 15-cent increase.


Man rents movie from Redbox, gets porn

A Northern California man who rented a children's movie from DVD kiosk operator Redbox got something very different instead.

James Terry, of Rocklin, tells KCRA-TV the "Smurfs 2" DVD turned out to be pornography. He rented the movie from a Redbox machine in Stockton on Tuesday.

Terry says he called Redbox, which offered him 10 movies and a $2 credit and said it was working on a program to prevent people from photocopying bar codes.

In a statement to the station, the company said it was helping local law enforcement try to find the person responsible in Terry's case.

The other movie Terry rented that day, "Man of Steel," did not have any problems.


22 arrested in school drug investigation

An undercover operation to stop drug dealing at two Riverside County high schools has ended with about two dozen arrests.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says 22 arrests were made Thursday at Paloma Valley High in Menifee and at Perris High. Three students still are being sought.

The arrests followed a semester-long operation in which two sheriff's deputies posed as students. Authorities say most arrests were for dealing small amounts of marijuana but cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription pills also were seized.

Students told the Press-Enterprise that officers with photos of the suspects came into classrooms and handcuffed them in front of classmates.

A similar probe last year led to around two dozen arrests at two schools in Temecula. One arrest involving an autistic student has prompted a lawsuit.


City to offer $75K reward in TV director's death

Los Angeles officials are offering a $75,000 reward in the fatal home-invasion shooting of a director on the reality TV show "America's Next Top Model."

Councilman Jose Huizar introduced the motion Friday in an effort to spur leads in the Nov. 27 killing of 42-year-old James Marcus Howe.

Police say a man posing as a solicitor knocked on Howe's door in the Eagle Rock neighborhood at 10:55 a.m. and tried to force his way inside.

A fight ensued, and another man pulled out a handgun, opening fire. Howe's wife was injured, but their 6-year-old son unharmed.

Police are looking for two men in their late teens or early 20s and a woman. They were driving a Ford Mustang.


Worker in fuel tank blast was reconditioning tank

State safety officials say the worker killed in a 300-pound fuel tank blast at a Central Valley ranch was grinding the tank when it exploded.

California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman Peter Melton says the man and two other workers who were injured in Wednesday's blast near Merced were reconditioning three gasoline and diesel fuel tanks.

They were working on the second tank when it exploded.

Melton tells the Merced Sun-Star one of the workers suffered severe burn injuries. The other had less serious injuries and was expected to be released from a hospital. The man who died has not been identified.

The workers were contracted through Big Valley Labor, of Winton. The Sun-Star says calls to the company were not returned.

-- Associated Press