California

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New Claim on Polanski: He Molested Me When I Was 10

Woman claims he sexually abused her during 1975 photo shoot

(Newser) - Los Angeles detectives said Tuesday they're investigating a woman's claim that Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski molested her in 1975, when she was 10 years old. But the statute of limitations has long expired, so criminal charges couldn't be brought even if proven, reports the AP , though law... More »

Mayor's Unexpected Death Rattles San Francisco

Heart attack killed Edwin Lee at age 65

(Newser) - It was a most unexpected and unwelcome middle-of-the-night email. "It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday, December 12, at 1:11am at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital," read the email sent from the mayor's... More »

California Fire Now Bigger Than NYC

'Squirrely' winds are making firefighting difficult

(Newser) - One of several wildfires burning in southern California is now the fifth-biggest fire on record in the state and firefighters are losing ground: Containment of the Thomas fire slipped from 15% to 10% as wind speeds picked up Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fire, which has now spread... More »

California Governor Says Fires Are the 'New Normal'

Jerry Brown also says the U.S. needs 'heroic' effort to fight climate change

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown says deadly and destructive wildfires in winter are "the new normal." Brown on Saturday toured Ventura County neighborhoods ravaged by a weeklong wildfire that killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings. At a news conference, Brown said drought... More »

Internet's Rabbit-Rescuing Hero Facing Backlash

'Let the animals take care of themselves'

(Newser) - A man caught on video rescuing a small rabbit from a blazing wildfire in California was hailed as a hero Thursday—but not by everybody, including experts who say it's debatable whether the rabbit even needed saving in the first place. Torie Bosch at Slate says risking the flames... More »

New Calif. Wildfire's Victims: Elite Horses

Lilac Fire adds to region's misery

(Newser) - California's newest wildfire tore through retirement communities built on golf courses and killed elite thoroughbred horses in its first destructive day. The new blaze in San Diego County means a huge swath of Southern California is now in flames after December's shockingly dry, hot, and windy conditions brought... More »

Man Who Bilked $100M From Investors Escapes Prison

Frederick Berg was discovered missing Wednesday in California

(Newser) - A Washington state man who bilked investors out of more than $100 million in a Ponzi scheme has escaped from a federal prison in central California, according to the US Marshals Service. Prison officials said Frederick Berg, 55, was discovered missing Wednesday from a minimum-security work camp next to a... More »

Famed Forensic Pathologist Quits Over Macabre Goings-On

Dr. Bennet Omalu says Sheriff-Coroner Steve Moore asked him to do improper things

(Newser) - Two forensic pathologists—one famous, as far as forensic pathologists go—have amassed more than 100 pages of notes since May, and the details they contain are in some cases macabre. Susan Parson resigned her post with San Joaquin County last week; Dr. Bennet Omalu—known for his CTE-related discoveries... More »

Against an Inferno, Man Rescues the Smallest Creature

Wild rabbit saved

(Newser) - Whether you consider it brave or foolish, it's tough not to consider it incredible. NBC News has video of a driver who pulled over on California's Highway 1 near La Conchita to save a wild rabbit from the blazing wildfire that's painting the backdrop orange. As the... More »

California: 'The Forecast for Tomorrow Is Purple'

Wind, fire dangers hit unprecedented level

(Newser) - Southern California has felt yellow wind, orange wind, and red wind. But never purple wind. Until now. The color-coded system showing the expected strength of the winds driving the region's fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory, pushing past red, which means "high," into the color that means... More »

Moving Within These US Cities? Open Your Wallet

Moving within certain cities in California is especially costly

(Newser) - Ready to pack up and move—but maybe not too far? If you're looking for a better school district or just a fresh new start in a nearby neighborhood, 24/7 Wall St. looked at how much it costs to move within 100 of the largest US metro areas. To... More »

New Report on America's Homeless Is Bleak

Things are getting worse, not better

(Newser) - The nation's homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Point-in-Time count Wednesday, a... More »

Southern California Wildfire Reaches Pacific

Ring of fire surrounds former Johnny Cash home

(Newser) - Terrifying wildfires are continuing to rage in southern California, where the Thomas fire in Ventura County reached the Pacific Ocean Tuesday after spreading to at least 50,000 acres, crossing oil fields and freeways. The fire, which caused Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency, has caused mass... More »

Southern Calif. Wildfire Growing 'Exponentially'

Thousands have fled homes in Ventura County

(Newser) - Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that forced thousands of homes to evacuate and could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000, authorities say. The blaze broke out Monday and grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed, consuming... More »

She Owed Her Husband $120K, Planned to Pay $2K to Kill Him

Diana Lovejoy, Weldon McDavid guilty of attempted murder, conspiracy

(Newser) - Apparently unhappy at the prospect of sharing custody of her son, a California mom enlisted her former lover to lure her estranged husband to a deserted path and shoot him to death. But all did not go as Diana Lovejoy planned, authorities say. Greg Mulvihill was shot in the side... More »

Limo Driver Prepares to Fly a Mile in Homemade Rocket

'If you're not scared to death, you're an idiot'

(Newser) - The countdown to launch creeps closer and there's still plenty for self-taught rocket scientist "Mad" Mike Hughes to do: Last-second modifications to his vessel. Pick up his flight suit. Leave enough food for his four cats—just in case anything happens. Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who'... More »

No Superhero Rescue at Calif. Car Crash—Just Harrison Ford

Star rushed to help woman whose car veered off Santa Paula highway

(Newser) - A woman who crashed her car off the side of a California highway over the weekend probably wasn't expecting Indiana Jones to come to her rescue. But that's who she got, in the form of the real-life Harrison Ford, who happened to be driving behind her late Sunday... More »

1K Bicycles, Hidden Bunker Found in Homeless Camp

'I’ve been doing this job for 20 years and even I was stunned'

(Newser) - “It’s nothing I’ve ever seen before," Lt. Jeff Puckett of the Orange County Sheriff's Department tells the Orange County Register . Having removed between 150 and 200 homeless people from an encampment along the Santa Ana River in Southern California earlier this month, officials were... More »

Jehovah's Witnesses Paying $4K a Day to Shield Records

Court order levies penalty for each day it doesn't turn over documents about alleged abuse

(Newser) - The Jehovah's Witnesses have a $2 million tab with the state of California that's growing by $4,000 every day, all because the group won't hand over internal documents that detail alleged child sex abuse in its congregations. Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting explains: San... More »

Charles Manson in Hospital, Reportedly in Dire Condition

Mass murderer, 83, hospitalized for unspecified issue; one source says 'it's just a matter of time'

(Newser) - All that California corrections officials will confirm is that Charles Manson is alive—but all other details on why the 83-year-old mass murderer is now at a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., are being kept under wraps, per the Los Angeles Times . It's his second reported hospital visit this year,... More »

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