Alex's Feed
Oct 31, 2014

Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes during Calif. test flight

By Alex Dobuzinskis

MOJAVE Calif. (Reuters) – A suborbital passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one crew member and seriously injuring the other, officials said.

The crash of the vehicle, undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles, came days after another private space company, Orbital Sciences Corp, lost a rocket in an explosion moments after liftoff in Virginia.

Oct 29, 2014

Group says piece of metal found on Pacific island is from Earhart’s plane

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Researchers probing the 1937 disappearance of famed American aviator Amelia Earhart’s plane said on Wednesday they now believe a slab of aluminum found decades ago on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean came from her aircraft.

The warped piece of metal was uncovered on a 1991 voyage to the island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has spent millions of dollars searching for Earhart’s plane in a project that has involved hundreds of people.

Oct 23, 2014

Massive gold nugget goes on sale for $400,000 in San Francisco

Oct 23 (Reuters) – A 5-pound gold nugget dug up in Northern
California this past summer and believed to be the largest
privately held piece of its kind from the state was offered for
sale at $400,000 on Thursday.

The chunk of gold, which is the size of a misshapen baked
potato and weighs 72 troy ounces, or about 5 pounds (2.3 kg), is
on display at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show from Thursday
through Sunday, said David McCarthy, senior numismatist for
Kagin’s Inc.

Oct 23, 2014

Woman who gouged her eyes in California sues over viral photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nurse at a Los Angeles hospital took a photo of a woman who gouged out her own eyes with pencils, and the patient sued the hospital and its administrators after the picture went viral on the Internet, her attorney said on Wednesday.

The plaintiff, who is not named in the lawsuit, was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after she tried to commit suicide by jamming the pencils through her eyes at another facility and was rushed to the hospital, her lawyer, Douglas Johnson, said.

Oct 17, 2014

Ex-Los Angeles schools chief says resignation came in polarized atmosphere

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Los Angeles public schools Superintendent John Deasy said on Friday, a day after resigning from his post, that his testimony in a landmark case on tenure rules for teachers created a polarizing atmosphere over his leadership.

The former top official of the second-largest school district in the nation, who has been praised by reform groups seeking to hold teachers to more stringent standards, also told reporters in a conference call that he might eventually run for office.

Oct 16, 2014

Los Angeles schools superintendent resigns following controversy over iPads

LOS ANGELES, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Los Angeles schools
superintendent John Deasy, who became a controversial figure
over problems with the district’s $1.3 billion iPad rollout and
other issues, resigned on Thursday, officials said.

A joint statement from Deasy and the school board gave no
reason for the move, and said Deasy would continue working for
the district in some capacity through the end of the year to
help in the leadership transition.

Oct 16, 2014

Court orders American Indian casino in California to stay closed after standoff

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal court on Wednesday ordered an American Indian casino in California to remain closed over public safety concerns tied to an armed standoff that occurred last week between two tribal factions at the establishment, officials said.

The order by U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the Eastern District of California is expected to keep the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold closed at least until a court hearing on Oct. 29, said Madera County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Erica Stuart.

Oct 16, 2014

California atheist jailed over objections to faith-based recovery gets $2 million settlement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California atheist convicted of drug possession who was found in violation of his parole and sent back to prison after he objected to a treatment program centered on belief in a higher power has won a nearly $2 million legal settlement, his attorney said on Wednesday.

Barry Hazle Jr., 46, had sued parole officials accusing them of breaching the constitutional separation of church and state, and won the payout after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found last year he was entitled to compensation for time he was unjustly held in prison.

Oct 15, 2014

California air tanker that crashed went down after striking tree

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California firefighting plane that crashed while battling a wildlands blaze near Yosemite National park this month is believed to have gone down after its wing struck a tree and broke off, the results of an investigation showed on Wednesday.

The air tanker slammed into the wall of a cliff on Oct. 7 while fighting the so-called Dog Rock Fire near a western entrance to Yosemite, killing veteran firefighting pilot Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt.

Oct 15, 2014

Los Angeles mayor vows to cut water use by 20 percent over drought

LOS ANGELES, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The mayor of Los Angeles
aims to reduce local water use by 20 percent over the next three
years to address a record drought through a mix of voluntary
measures for residents and mandatory restrictions for city
departments, the city said on Tuesday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, in an executive order, asked residents
in the city of 3.9 million people to limit watering their lawn
to twice a week and ordered city departments to reduce watering
of municipal lawns.