LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Investigators have ruled out the possibility that an illegal marijuana growing operation started the monster California wildfire that has blackened a swath of Yosemite National Park, officials said on Wednesday, although the cause of the blaze was still unknown.
The so-called Rim Fire, which broke out on August 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest, has charred more than 237,000 acres of Northern California – an area larger than the city of Dallas – making it the fourth largest in modern state history.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown, facing a federal court order to ease overcrowding in the state’s prison system, proposed a $315 million plan on Tuesday to expand inmate capacity by leasing space from county jails and other facilities.
The Democratic governor, who was joined by Republican leaders of the state legislature in announcing the bill, said his proposal would reduce California’s prisons to 137.5 percent of capacity, as required by the court, and avoid the controversial early release of thousands of inmates.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – A San Diego parks employee who says Mayor Bob Filner put her in a headlock and rubbed against her breasts at a public event this year filed a $500,000 battery and sexual harassment claim against the city on Monday, her attorney said.
Stacy McKenzie, one of 18 women who accuse Filner of making unwanted sexual advances, is the second in two months to initiate legal action against the embattled politician. Her claim is the precursor to a lawsuit.
(Reuters) – Hannah Anderson, a 16-year-old California girl kidnapped by a man and taken to Idaho after he killed her mother and younger brother, said in a television interview that she considers herself a survivor who was raised to be strong.
The interview, which aired on Wednesday, comes just over a week after Anderson was rescued in the Idaho wilderness by FBI agents who shot and killed her captor, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.
(Reuters) – The family of a California man who kidnapped a 16-year-old girl after killing her mother and younger brother want more answers from police and has considered seeking DNA tests to determine if he is the children’s biological father, a family spokesman said on Wednesday.
Family members of James Lee DiMaggio were trying to understand what could have prompted the computer technician to kill 44-year-old Christina Anderson and her son, 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, and set fire to his rural San Diego area home, Andrew Spanswick told Reuters in an interview.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Former Mexican drug kingpin Eduardo Arellano Felix, who pleaded guilty to laundering money for the notorious cartel that bore his family name, was sentenced on Monday in California to 15 years in prison in what law enforcement officials called the end of an era.
With the sentencing in U.S. District Court in San Diego, Arellano Felix, 56, became the last of four brothers killed or sent to prison in connection with the Arellano Felix drug trafficking ring, federal prosecutors said.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Heidi Fleiss, nicknamed the “Hollywood Madam” in the 1990s after she was accused of running a high-priced Southern California call-girl ring, may face charges after 392 pot plants were found at her Nevada desert home, a county sheriff said on Tuesday.
Deputies who went to Fleiss’ home in Pahrump, some 45 miles west of Las Vegas, last week searching for a wanted female found the marijuana plants, Nye County Sheriff Tony De Meo said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hundreds of residents of three small communities in the high desert east of Los Angeles were evacuated on Wednesday as an out-of-control wildfire headed toward them.
The fire broke out shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday near a back-country road south of Banning, about 90 miles outside Los Angeles in Riverside County.
LOS ANGELES, Aug 6 (Reuters) – A Colorado man accused of
plowing his car through crowds at the Venice Beach boardwalk in
Los Angeles, killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon and
injuring 16 others, was charged on Tuesday with murder and
multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, was also charged with 17 counts
of hit-and-run, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s
Office said in a statement.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The seaside community of Venice Beach was still reeling on Monday after a man plowed a car through a crowd at the boardwalk, killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon and injuring 11 others, and police identified the driver as a transient with no strong ties to Southern California.
Nathan Campbell, 38, was arrested late on Saturday. Police said he abandoned the car blocks from the scene of the carnage and walked to a police station in the adjacent community of Santa Monica. He was booked on suspicion of murder and could face formal charges as early as Tuesday.