News Minute: Here is the latest Northern California news from The Associated Press

News Minute: Here is the latest Northern California news from The Associated Press

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KERNVILLE, Calif. (AP) - The smoke is clearing from a wildfire that destroyed eight homes northeast of Bakersfield. The U.S. Forest Service says crews continue to build lines around the blaze 16 miles from Yosemite National Park. As of last night the fire was 72 percent contained after scorching more than six square miles of dry brush. Eight single-family homes and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed since the fire broke out on Monday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Senate refused on an initial vote to ban plastic microbeads in soaps and cosmetics. Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara argued that the bill would level the playing field among manufacturers, some of whom already are phasing out the exfoliating ingredients. But it fell one vote short of the 21 it needed to pass yesterday. Jackson says the microbeads can harm the environment and says there are natural alternatives.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Police have filed marijuana possession charges against Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount following a traffic stop. Police in suburban Pittsburgh also say a woman from Northern California was charged. Police say 21 Mercedes Dollson of Elk Grove and the two men acknowledged the three-quarter-ounce of marijuana found in the car belonged to them.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss told California lawmakers yesterday that he hopes the public will once again view politics as a noble calling, and he pledged to do his part through his civics education initiative. The 66-year-old actor was honored by California state lawmakers for his work promoting civics in public schools. In 2008, he founded The Dreyfuss Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes teaching about American democracy in classrooms nationwide.

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