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AM news: skeeze, slime, elephants and the outer limits

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couldn't happen to a skeezier industry: The FCC has launched the biggest radio payola investigation in 45 years. Clear Channel, CBS, Entercom and Citadel Broadcasting are being investigated for taking bribes for playing crappy music. OK, the FCC didn't specify "crappy," but when you have to pay somebody to get your records played on the radio, that's part of the problem.

slippery and sneaky: They've set out the bait for Reggie the alligator at Machado Lake. He'll be coming awake now that the weather is warm, and officials are hoping he'll start muching at the trap they're leaving open for him. They might as well try something new, since he evaded capture for months last year. Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin waits in the wings.

happy pachyderms: The City Council has approved a new 3.5 acre elephant compound for the LA Zoo; it'll cost $39 million. Some animal activists are thrilled; others say that it's not enough.

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outta this world: Countdown has begun for the Friday launch of two new satellites that will provide "an absolutely new view of our planet," according to one JPL scientist. We love that for all the "news" stories in our city about lip implants and celebrity babies, the Pasadena Star-News consistently reports on some of the coolest aerospace stuff happening on earth.