LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s 22 firefighting airplanes were kept out of the skies for evaluation on Wednesday, a day after an air tanker crashed in flames while helping quell a wildfire in Yosemite National Park, killing the pilot, officials said.
The plane slammed into the wall of a cliff above Highway 140 near a western entrance to Yosemite while deployed to fight the so-called Dog Rock Fire. Officials were trying to determine the cause of the accident.
(Reuters) – A 29-year-old California woman with terminal brain cancer has moved to Oregon because it allows assisted suicide for the terminally ill and she is spending the last few weeks of her life campaigning for others facing death to have the same right.
A six-minute video featuring Brittany Maynard explaining her choice was posted to YouTube on Monday and has since been viewed more than 2.6 million times.
(Reuters) – A survey of coral reefs off the Hawaiian island of Oahu has shown warm ocean waters recently contributed to a higher rate of coral bleaching than the state has seen in decades, sparking concerns about the ecosystem, a state official said on Tuesday.
The findings from dives last week by researchers with the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources follows federal warnings of a possible large decline in coral cover in the archipelago this century due to climate change and warming oceans.
LOS ANGELES, Oct 6 (Reuters) – A hot air balloon carrying a
man who had just proposed to his girlfriend drifted into the
ocean off the Southern California coast, where daring surfers
grabbed a rope to pull the aircraft to shore, an official said
The newly engaged couple and a pilot were on board the
balloon on Sunday evening when the wind switched direction and
began pushing it toward the shore of Encinitas, just north of
San Diego, said Encinitas Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Grammy-winning mariachi bandleader Nati Cano, who stirred American audiences with the folk sounds of his native Mexico and played a key role in helping to teach young people how to play the music, has died at age 81, a bandmate said on Saturday.
Cano died on Friday at a hospital in Fillmore, California, after a long battle with cancer, said the bandmate, Sergio Alonso.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The fall season has brought a wave of hot, dry weather to California, with parts of the state baking this weekend in triple-digit temperatures and officials expressing concern the summer-like heat could spark a massive wildfire.
The scorching temperatures came from a high pressure system in the U.S. West and the arrival in Southern California of autumn’s first Santa Ana winds, which carry hot air through mountain passes toward the coast, meteorologists said.
(Reuters) – The parents of an American humanitarian worker held hostage by Islamic State militants appealed for his release on Saturday, speaking in a statement and a video message that highlighted his aid work and mentioned his conversion to Islam.
Ed and Paula Kassig, of Indianapolis, Indiana, urged the release of their son, Peter Kassig, 26. Kassig was threatened in a video issued on Friday by Islamic State militants that purported to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, 47.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is edging closer to court oversight of its jail system after the U.S. Department of Justice found mentally ill inmates were mishandled in vermin-infested facilities where suicides are too common.
Justice Department attorneys warned county officials in a letter last week that they would seek a court-enforced consent decree to resolve problems with the jail system, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Reuters.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California drug dealer whose four pit bulls fatally mauled a woman was sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder, a court clerk said.
Alex Donald Jackson, 31, who used his pit bulls as guard dogs, was sentenced during a hearing at a court in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles. The sentencing came just over a month after his conviction at a trial where jurors heard evidence of past attacks by the dogs that prosecutors said demonstrated Jackson knew they were a menace.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – No charges have been filed so far in the shooting death of the mayor of the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens, a day after his wife opened fire on him during a heated argument at their condominium, authorities said on Wednesday.
Daniel Crespo, 45, and his wife, Levette, 43, were arguing on Tuesday at their home in the city when their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said.