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Despite drought, California almond crop off just 1 percent

The federal government on Tuesday projected an almond crop of 1.85 billion pounds in California this year. The estimate is down 1 percent from last year and 9 percent from the record harvest of 2.03 billion pounds in 2011. The figure suggests growers are stretching what water they have to produce a food in high demand around the world.

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Merced clinches playoff spot in baseball

Lawrence Anderson went the distance to pick up the win as the Bears defeated Atwater 5-1 to secure the third and final playoff spot in the Central California Conference. The Bears scored four runs in the first four innings against Atwater ace Austin Conour, who no-hit Buhach Colony in his last outing.

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