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Sep 30, 2014

Reward offered for ‘AK-47 Bandit’ over U.S. bank robberies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Authorities offered a $100,000 reward on Tuesday for the so-called “AK-47 Bandit,” who carried an assault rifle in a string of bank robberies across the U.S. West, in one case opening fire and seriously wounding a police officer.

The suspect, who disguises himself with a black ski mask and gloves and sometimes wears body armor or a vest emblazoned with the word “Sheriff,” has not been identified but should be considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said in a written statement announcing the reward.

Sep 30, 2014

Murder charges dropped over California prosecutor’s tryst with criminalist

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California district attorney said on Tuesday he would drop murder charges against the husband and brother-in-law of a woman killed in 1989 after learning the lead prosecutor in the case had an affair with a criminalist who handled much of the evidence.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said the “undisclosed and improper” relationship had forced him to seek a dismissal of the charges in the 25-year-old killing of Cathy Zimmer. The trial had not yet begun in the case.

Sep 30, 2014

Flat roofs no longer required on L.A. skyscrapers as city repeals rule

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles has scrapped a 1950s rule requiring its skyscrapers to have flat roofs and helipads, giving architects a freer hand to shape the skyline of America’s second-largest city.

The city of Los Angeles has ordered that all high-rise buildings have a flat roof and helipads since 1958. It has been the only major U.S. city with such an ordinance, which was intended to accommodate fire-fighting and life-saving equipment.

Sep 26, 2014

Two convicted in California of conspiring to join al Qaeda

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two men accused of seeking to join al Qaeda and training to carry out attacks on U.S. military bases and personnel in the Middle East were convicted on federal charges in California Thursday after a trial of more than six weeks, prosecutors said.

A U.S. District Court jury in Riverside, California, found Sohiel Omar Kabir, 36, guilty of conspiring to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda and conspiring to kill officers and employees of the U.S. government.

Sep 25, 2014

California woman attacked by bear while walking dogs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California woman was attacked by a 200-pound black bear in a rural area of central California, suffering bites, scratches and a broken rib, state fish and wildlife officials said on Thursday.

The woman told authorities she briefly lost sight of her dogs when they went off the trail during a hike near the community of Carpenteria, east of Santa Barbara, California, on Monday, Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

Sep 22, 2014

Destructive California wildfire burns on as weather heats up

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – Crews fighting a California wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes and charred 28 square miles of forest land have made progress, but officials said on Monday the return of high temperatures and low humidity could fuel a new flare-up.

The so-called King Fire, which broke out on Sept. 13, was burning through drought-parched timber and brush in the popular El Dorado National Forest and Tahoe National Forest, areas northeast of Sacramento.

Sep 20, 2014

Weather helps crews make gains against California wildfire

LOS ANGELES, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Fire crews in California’s
rugged Sierra Nevada seized on a break in the weather on Friday
to slowly gain ground against a blaze threatening to destroy
12,000 homes as it roared for a seventh day through dry timber
and brush west of Lake Tahoe.

More than 3,000 residents of those dwellings remained
displaced, Larry Pendarvis, spokesman for the California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said.

Sep 19, 2014

L.A. pulls ‘unacceptable’ ads for Fox TV show from buses

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles transit officials have pulled posters for a new Fox television network off nearly 200 buses after deeming the language used to describe actress Octavia Spencer’s character inappropriate, a spokesman said on Friday.

The ads, part of a nationwide campaign to promote the hospital comedy-drama “Red Band Society,” were pulled from the buses earlier this week after the chief of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s found that they could be “perceived as sexist or racist,” MTA spokesman Mark Littman said.

Sep 19, 2014

New evacuations ordered as California wildfire doubles in size

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – More residents of Northern California mountain communities were told to leave their homes on Thursday after an out-of-control wildfire doubled in size, scorching more than 100 sq m (259 sq km) of drought-parched timber and brush.

More than 3,800 firefighters battled to stop the march of the King Fire, the largest and most dangerous of 11 major wildfires raging across California, but had managed to cut containment lines around just 10 percent of the flames, officials said.

Sep 18, 2014

JetBlue flight makes emergency landing at California airport

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A JetBlue plane made an emergency landing at the airport in Long Beach, California, on Thursday because of a problem with one of its engines, the airline and a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

Passengers were evacuated from JetBlue flight 1416 using emergency slides following the incident at 9:30 a.m. PDT (1630 GMT), FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told Reuters.