general news correspondent
Steve's Feed
Oct 8, 2014

Highways fragment Southern California mountain lion gene pool

LOS ANGELES, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Mountain lions in Southern
California are under growing pressure from a shrinking gene
pool, fragmented by highways and urban sprawl that has left the
cats’ territories increasingly isolated from each other, a study
published on Wednesday showed.

Analysis of DNA from about 350 mountain lions, or cougars,
statewide revealed that those in the Santa Ana Mountains
southeast of Los Angeles are only about half as genetically
diverse as more robust populations in the Rockies.

Oct 8, 2014

Air tanker crashes fighting Yosemite National Park wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An air tanker plane being used to fight a wildfire in Yosemite National Park crashed in flames on Tuesday, but the fate of the pilot was not immediately known, officials for the park and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said in a tweet that the plane went down near the so-called Dog Rock Fire and that the condition of the pilot was “undetermined.”

Oct 3, 2014

American cameraman for NBC News diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment, the network said on Thursday in an online report.

Diagnosis of the cameraman, who the network said came down with symptoms on Wednesday that included aches and fatigue, is believed to mark the first time an American journalist has been infected with the deadly virus since the current outbreak in West Africa.

Oct 2, 2014

California probes near-death escape of 12 firefighters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California forestry officials have opened an inquiry into a life-threatening ordeal faced by 12 firefighters who were nearly engulfed by flames in the Sierra Nevada last month before a helicopter pilot flew to the scene and led them to safety.

The team had already crawled into foil-lined personal fire shelters – a survival measure of last resort – before they were spotted by the pilot as columns of fire raced up a canyon at them, igniting whole trees along the way.

Oct 1, 2014

Mayor of Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens shot to death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The mayor of Bell Gardens, California, a small Los Angeles suburb, was shot to death by his wife on Tuesday in an apparent domestic dispute, and his spouse has been detained by investigators, according to the county sheriff’s department.

The shooting stemmed from an afternoon quarrel between the mayor, Daniel Crespo, 45, and his wife, Lavette, 43, that escalated when their 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., intervened, sheriff’s spokeswoman Crystal Hernandez said.

Sep 25, 2014

Rain helps firefighters suppress blaze in California’s Sierras

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rain and cooler temperatures in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada brought welcome relief on Thursday to fire crews battling flames that have destroyed a dozen homes and threatened thousands more during the past two weeks near Lake Tahoe.

A firefighting force now numbering 8,000 personnel, the most ever deployed against a single California wildfire, had carved buffer lines around 43 percent of the blaze’s perimeter as of Thursday morning, fire command spokesman Mike McMillan said.

Sep 25, 2014

U.S. to pay Navajo tribe $554 million in landmark settlement

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle longstanding claims by America’s largest Indian tribe that its funds and natural resources were mishandled for decades by the U.S. government.

The accord, resolving claims that date back as far as 50 years and marking the biggest U.S. legal settlement with a single tribe, will be formally signed at a ceremony on Friday in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the sprawling Navajo reservation.

Sep 24, 2014

California town approves coyote trapping after spike in pet attacks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Officials in a Southern California suburb beset by a surge in coyote attacks on pets, including a small dog snatched from its owner’s living room, have approved a plan to trap and kill some of the wild canines roaming the town.

The City Council of Seal Beach, a seaside community of about 25,000 residents south of Los Angeles, took the action this week following an uproar over a rise in coyotes venturing into neighborhoods to prey on dogs and cats.

Sep 24, 2014

Firefighters advance on blaze in California’s Sierras

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fire crews in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada tightened their grip on Tuesday on a fierce blaze that has destroyed a dozen homes and threatened thousands more as it raged for an 11th day through drought-parched timber west of Lake Tahoe.

The so-called King Fire, which authorities say was deliberately set on Sept. 13, has charred more than 89,500 acres in two national forests, but officials said crews had managed to carve containment lines around 35 percent of its perimeter as of midday Tuesday.

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.

    • About Steve

      "Joining Reuters in 1994 as a member of the broadcast/online desk in Washington, Steve later moved to Los Angeles, where he spent 10 years covering the entertainment industry, and the past two years as a general news correspondent. Steve began his career at United Press International in Washington. He also spent three years on Capitol Hill as editor of a weekly news journal published by a congressional caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference."
    • Follow Steve