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Jul 8, 2015

Big rock fall in Yosemite alters climbing route on Half Dome

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (Reuters) – A 2,400-ton chunk of granite broke loose last week from the towering Half Dome formation in Yosemite National Park, altering one of North America’s most popular rock-climbing routes, but no one was hurt and casual visitors will probably never notice.

The fallen slab, estimated to have measured about 800 cubic meters in volume, is believed to have crumbled from the middle the northwest face of Half Dome some time very late on July 2 or early July 3, park spokeswoman Jodi Bailey said on Wednesday.

Jul 8, 2015

Big Yosemite rock fall alters climbing route on Half Dome

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (Reuters) – A 2,400-ton chunk of granite broke loose last week from the towering Half Dome formation in Yosemite National Park, altering one of North America’s most popular rock-climbing routes, but no one was hurt and casual visitors will probably never notice.

The fallen slab, estimated to have measured about 800 cubic meters in volume, is believed to have crumbled from the middle the northwest face of Half Dome some time very late on July 2 or early July 3, park spokeswoman Jodi Bailey said on Wednesday.

Jul 8, 2015

California levels new charges in recycling fraud crackdown

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles-area truck driver has been charged with smuggling 7,000 pounds of used beverage containers into California from out of state, marking the third such arrest this year in a crackdown by California’s recycling enforcement agents.

Cesar Vargas, 42, is accused of trying to defraud the California Redemption Value (CRV) program, which allows empty soft-drink bottles and cans to be redeemed at state-certified recycling centers for the 5- or 10-cent deposits consumers pay on those containers when they are purchased.

Jul 7, 2015

L.A. judge refuses to dismiss murder case against ‘Suge’ Knight

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles judge refused on Tuesday to dismiss murder and attempted-murder charges against rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight in the hit-and-run death of one man and injury of another outside a hamburger stand in January.

Defense lawyers had filed a motion seeking to throw out the case on grounds that a key witness declined under oath to identify the Death Row Records co-founder as the driver who ran over the two victims with a pickup truck.But Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus sided with the prosecution, ruling there was more than enough evidence to establish that Knight was behind the wheel of the vehicle.

Jul 6, 2015

Disney seeks continued tax exemption from Anaheim, California

LOS ANGELES, July 6 (Reuters) – The “happiest place on
Earth” will keep a special tax exemption in Anaheim, California,
for 30 more years if the City Council approves the Walt Disney
Co’s plan for a $1 billion-plus expansion of its theme park
complex in the city.

The five-member council is expected to vote on Tuesday on
the company’s proposal to go ahead with its Disneyland Resort
makeover in exchange for a continued waiver of any future
admission tax the city might impose on entertainment venues.

Jun 24, 2015

Exxon suspends drilling from 3 platforms off Santa Barbara, California

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp
has suspended offshore production from three drilling platforms
along the Santa Barbara, California, coastline following last
month’s rupture of a pipeline that carries crude oil away to
refineries, the company said on Tuesday.

Exxon cited a refusal by Santa Barbara County authorities to
approve an emergency application to transport its offshore crude
by truck from its onshore processing facility while the crippled
line owned by Plains All American Pipeline remains shut down.

Jun 23, 2015

Tar balls on Los Angeles-area beach linked to Santa Barbara oil spill

LOS ANGELES, June 22 (Reuters) – At least some of the tar
balls found littering one of southern California’s most popular
beaches last month were matched by lab tests to crude oil that
spilled from a ruptured pipeline along the Santa Barbara coast
about 100 miles away, state and pipeline company officials said
on Monday.

Sticky, black oil globs began washing up along more than 6
miles of Manhattan Beach, just southwest of Los Angeles on May
27, prompting health officials to briefly close a stretch of
shoreline in the area.

Jun 18, 2015

Experts point to likely wood rot in California balcony collapse

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Wood rot from exposure to excess moisture likely weakened the horizontal beams supporting an apartment balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, California, killing six people, several independent experts said a day after the tragedy.

But the consensus among structural engineers interviewed by Reuters on Thursday was that the balcony should otherwise have been sturdy enough, under normal circumstances, to safely bear the weight of the 13 people who were on the deck at the time.

Jun 15, 2015

Two teens injured in shark attacks at North Carolina island resort

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Two teenagers enjoying a day at the beach were badly mauled in separate shark attacks less than two hours apart on Sunday in coastal waters off Oak Island, North Carolina, casting a pall over the start of that tiny resort town’s summer tourist season.

A girl about 14 years old was attacked shortly after 4 p.m. local time, suffering grave wounds to her left arm and leg before a man swimming nearby heard her screams and came to her aid, Mayor Betty Wallace told Reuters.

May 28, 2015

Federal government orders pipeline company to clean California oil spill

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The federal government on Wednesday ordered a company at the center of a Southern California oil spill to continue its efforts to clean up the pipeline breach that dumped crude onto a pristine stretch of shoreline and into the Pacific Ocean.

The order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Coast Guard also requires Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline to submit a written plan by June 6 that will outline measures for analyzing the spill’s effects on the environment.

    • 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."
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