Alex's Feed
Jun 12, 2015

California curtails some longstanding water rights over drought

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s water board, facing a devastating four-year drought, on Friday curtailed some longstanding water rights for agriculture and other uses in Northern and Central California for the first time in nearly 40 years, officials said.

The curtailment affects more than 100 so-called senior water rights holders, including farmers and water districts, with most of those located near the Sacramento River, the State Water Resources Control Board said in a statement.

Jun 12, 2015

Wildfire in drought-parched Northern California threatens small town

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – An out-of-control wildfire raging through a Northern California forest as the state battles a devastating drought has forced authorities to warn about 250 people to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes in a remote town, officials said on Friday.

The fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest follows an outbreak of lightning-sparked blazes in neighboring Oregon that prompted authorities to warn residents that drought and low mountain snowpack could lead to a destructive fire season.

Jun 10, 2015

Activists demand Los Angeles officer be charged over shooting

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Civil rights activists called on Wednesday for criminal charges against one of two Los Angeles police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, after the city’s police commission found the officer had violated department policy.

The August 2014 shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford, who a family lawyer says suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, led to sporadic protests in the city and increased tension between police and some members of the African-American community.

Jun 5, 2015

Man accused of having wife slain near Los Angeles for $500 in 1992

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 42-year-old man has been charged with murder in the 1992 Los Angeles-area fatal shooting of his wife when both were teenagers, with prosecutors accusing him of paying his drug dealer $500 to stage a street robbery and commit the killing.

Morrad Ghonim appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they may seek the death penalty if Ghonim, who is held without bail, is convicted.

Jun 4, 2015

Tar balls close Southern California beaches, oil spill link probed

LOS ANGELES, June 4 (Reuters) – A second stretch of Southern
California shoreline has been closed after masses of tar balls
washed ashore, and authorities said on Thursday they were
looking into whether the sticky blobs were linked to a recent
oil pipeline spill.

The shoreline closure in Long Beach, south of Los Angeles,
follows a similar problem last week on a 6-mile (10-km) stretch
of beaches just to the north in the South Santa Monica Bay area.

Jun 4, 2015

California Senate approves hotly debated physician-assisted suicide bill

June 4 (Reuters) – The California Senate approved a
physician-assisted suicide bill on Thursday that would allow
some terminally ill patients to obtain medication to end their
lives, even as opponents criticized the bill as dangerous.

California lawmakers unveiled the bill in January in an
effort tearfully welcomed by a woman whose 29-year-old daughter,
Brittany Maynard, moved from California to Oregon last year to
end her life after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Jun 3, 2015

California school won’t ban Native American student’s feather

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California school district, threatened with a civil rights lawsuit, has agreed to drop its objection to a Native American student wearing an eagle feather at his high school graduation ceremony in the city of Clovis, officials said on Wednesday.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California on Monday filed a notice of intent to sue on an emergency basis to challenge the Clovis Unified School District’s refusal to allow the feather, the organization said.

Jun 3, 2015

California officials reach settlement on path to resuming executions

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Authorities in California, where the death penalty has been on hold since 2006, have reached a court settlement that would require the state to create lethal injection rules that could allow it to resume executions, officials said on Tuesday.

Attorneys for the most populous U.S. state submitted the settlement to a Sacramento court on Monday in a lawsuit brought by family members of murder victims who say the state’s failure to provide a viable execution method denies them justice.

Jun 3, 2015

California Senate votes to ease health insurance access for undocumented immigrants

LOS ANGELES, June 2 (Reuters) – The California Senate voted
on Tuesday to allow unauthorized immigrants to buy health
insurance on a state exchange created under the U.S. Affordable
Care Act, a measure that would make the state the first to offer
that kind of coverage.

The bill would not provide a subsidy for undocumented
immigrants to buy health insurance, unlike U.S. citizens and
legal residents who can qualify for such assistance based on
their incomes, said Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for the bill’s
author, Senator Ricardo Lara.

Jun 2, 2015

California Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21 from 18

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The California Senate voted on Tuesday to raise the legal smoking age in the most populous U.S. state to 21 from 18, in a move that could make California one of the states with the highest smoking age.

The measure was approved by the Senate 26-8 and must now be approved by the state Assembly.