California

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Calif.'s Other Big Problem Amid Blazes: 'Fire Devils'

Fire tornadoes fueled by powerful winds were strong enough to flip cars, damage homes

(Newser) - Like earthquakes can unleash tsunamis, strong winds and the California wildfires apparently set loose another type of natural disaster: fire tornadoes. And the San Francisco Chronicle says the fire-filled tornadoes that hit Santa Rosa last week, driven by nearly 80mph winds, wreaked major havoc, tossing cars, pulling trees out of... More »

Identity Theft, Fraud Worst in This State

Sorry, Californians

(Newser) - Given the recent Equifax security breach —alongside a 630% increase in data breaches in the past year, according to one report —identity theft is bound to be a concern for many Americans. But it turns out the state you call home has a lot to do with your... More »

Residents Boo LAPD's New Drone Program

Locals and privacy advocates not happy about yearlong test program

(Newser) - The LAPD is about to embark on a yearlong test program with a fleet of "small Unmanned Aerial Systems," aka drones—making it the country's largest police department to use them—and some residents aren't happy about it. The Los Angeles Times reports on Tuesday's... More »

Teen Forced to Flee Wildfire on Foot Doesn't Make It

Kai Shepherd became separated from parents, sister

(Newser) - The death toll now stands at 40 in the wildfires that have been raging in California for more than a week. One of the many tragic stories to emerge from the catastrophe is that of 14-year-old Kai Shepherd, who became separated from his family and burned to death as they... More »

The 10 Greenest Cities in the US

San Francisco comes out on top

(Newser) - Which US cities do best at promoting eco-friendly lifestyles? To answer that question, WalletHub looked at the 100 biggest cities in the country and compared 22 "green" indicators, ranging from greenhouse gas emissions and clean-energy policies to urban agriculture, water quality, number of commuters, and "green" job opportunities.... More »

In Midst of California Fire Wreckage, an Eerie Sight

Mailman continues to deliver mail, by customer request, to destroyed neighborhood

(Newser) - The wildfires raging in California have killed at least 31 people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes, including that of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz . The Washington Post reports that the death toll has reached "historically grim heights," with entire neighborhoods gutted and authorities facing the gruesome task... More »

As Fire Raged, Calif. Couple Hid in Pool for 6 Hours

Death toll now at 31; emergency far from over

(Newser) - The confirmed death toll from the California wildfires is now at least 31—and it would probably be two higher if Jan and John Pascoe hadn't remembered their neighbors' pool. The couple, trapped as flames surrounded their mountaintop Santa Rosa home, ended up spending six hours sheltering in the... More »

After Visiting 'Miracle' Babies in Hospital, Tragedy for Mom

Katie Evans killed in car crash

(Newser) - Katie and Jacob Evans' premature twin girls weren't expected to survive when they were born at around 2 pounds each less than eight weeks ago. Now they're thriving—but after visiting them in the hospital Friday, their mother is gone. Katie Evans, a 37-year-old mom of six, was... More »

'Right Now We Need to Grieve' in Sonoma County

At least 10 dead as fires rage in wine country

(Newser) - "We are a resilient county; we will come back from this," Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane said Monday after devastating wildfires swept through the region. "But right now we need to grieve." Seven people died in her county, making the total at least 10 across northern... More »

Oldest Member of Senate Is Running for Re-Election

'I'm all in,' says Dianne Feinstein, 84

(Newser) - California's Dianne Feinstein has been noncommittal for weeks now on whether she would seek another six-year term as a senator. On Monday, however, she ended the speculation. "I'm all in!" she tweeted . "Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare.... More »

It's Not Easy Leaving a Man Even Strangers Are Terrified Of

Part 5 in the 'Dirty John' series from the 'Los Angeles Times'

(Newser) - "Scariest man I've met in my 70 years," attorney John Dzialo tells the Los Angeles Times in Part 5 of its six-part series on "Dirty John" Meehan, a conman who married a California woman desperate to find love . Dzialo was hired—and quickly fired—by Meehan... More »

Here Are the 10 Fastest-Growing US Cities

Frisco, Texas, takes the top spot

(Newser) - While some metropolitan areas are stagnating and trying to figure out their next move to stay competitive, others are in the fast lane—and the Lone Star State can claim four of the top 10 on WalletHub's list of the fastest-growing cities in America. The rankings took into account... More »

2 States Sue Over Trump Decision on Birth Control

Massachusetts, California take action

(Newser) - Two attorneys general filed lawsuits Friday over the Trump administration's decision to allow businesses to refuse to cover employees' birth control in their insurance plans. The move rolled back a mandate of the Affordable Care Act and allows companies to claim moral or religious objections to providing birth control... More »

He Was the Man of Her Dreams. Then the Red Flags Piled Up

The 'Los Angeles Times' presents 'Dirty John' in 6 parts

(Newser) - At 59, Debra Newell had found professional—but not romantic—success. Divorced four times, the Irvine, Calif., interior designer hadn't totally given up on love, and then it found her in a whirlwind. She met John Meehan via an online dating site in October 2014, and he seemed too... More »

Why This Scene May Cease to Exist in California After 2040

Assemblyman wants to ban sales of cars fueled by gas, diesel by that deadline

(Newser) - If Phil Ting has his way, California girls will soon be cruising down Highway One and never having to stop for gas. When the state Legislature returns at the start of 2018, the Dem assemblyman says he'll introduce a bill that would ban the sale of new cars fueled... More »

Sheriff's Office Makes Unusual Offer to NFL Players

They can ride along in patrol cars in Fresno any time

(Newser) - The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is making an offer to NFL players in response to the national anthem protests. The office says players are welcome to ride along with deputies during patrol shifts in the California county, the Fresno Bee reports. "We welcome the opportunity to share what... More »

Without Warning, a Building-Sized Rock Falls in Yosemite

Tragedy at El Capitan

(Newser) - Tragedy at Yosemite National Park: A visitor was killed and another injured when a massive chunk of rock fell off the El Capitan granite monolith, one of the world's most famous climbs. The National Park Service says the huge rockfall happened near the "Waterfall Route," a popular... More »

Starbucks Robbery Suspect Plans to Sue Customer

Fresno police chief says idea of lawsuit is 'ludicrous'

(Newser) - A California man who tried to rob a Starbucks armed with a knife and a fake gun is now planning to sue the man who stopped him, according to his parents. Ryan Flores, 30, was stabbed repeatedly with his own knife in a fight with customer Cregg Jerri, 58, who... More »

California Sues Trump Over His Border Wall

State AG Xavier Beccera filed the lawsuit Wednesday

(Newser) - “No one gets to ignore the laws," Xavier Becerra says. "Not even the president of the United States." The California attorney general sued the Trump administration Wednesday over the president's proposed border wall, which Becerra says violates myriad environmental laws, the Los Angeles Times reports.... More »

This Is the Least Diverse State in US

West Virginia's 'diversity score' is lowest: WalletHub

(Newser) - West Virginia trails behind all other US states when it comes to diversity, according to WalletHub . The site's ranking doesn’t simply apply to racial diversity. WalletHub gave all 50 states a "diversity score" out of 100 based on the diversity of residents' ethnicity, religion, marital status, birthplace... More »

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