- - Saturday, November 14, 2009

CALIFORNIA

Judge says seals can stay, maybe

SAN DIEGO — A judge says harbor seals who took over a La Jolla beach a decade ago can probably stay.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued a tentative ruling Thursday that allows the seal colony at Children’s Pool in La Jolla to remain. He’s expected to issue a final ruling after opponents get a chance to argue that the pool should be restored for people.

In 1997, the city said the pool shouldn’t be used because of bacteria from seal waste.

Another judge earlier ordered the city to remove the seals. However, Judge Taylor says a state law signed by the governor in July could allow them to remain. It would permit the cove to be designated as a marine park.

COLORADO

‘Balloon boy’ parents plead guilty

FORT COLLINS — The parents accused of pulling a spectacular hoax by reporting that their son was aboard a runaway balloon have pleaded guilty to charges that could bring some jail time and probation.

Richard Heene pleaded guilty to knowingly and falsely influencing Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden, a felony. Mayumi Heene pleaded guilty to knowingly filing a false report with emergency services, a misdemeanor.

Richard Heene told Judge Stephen Schapanski he understood that he could have to pay restitution for the costs incurred by public agencies because of his actions. Local and federal authorities spent at least $62,000 pursuing the balloon and searching for 6-year-old Falcon after it landed.

Judge Schapanski told Mayumi Heene that her plea doesn’t automatically prevent any action by federal authorities regarding her immigration status; she is a Japanese citizen. Her attorney, Lee Christian, acknowledged that was the case but said avoiding a trial could reduce the consequences.

FLORIDA

World’s largest cruise ship arrives in port

FORT LAUDERDALE — The world’s largest cruise ship has arrived in South Florida.

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