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As Thomas blaze grows, firefighters continue the battle: 'This fire is a beast and you're gonna kill it'

The Thomas fire, which has burned through Ventura County for more than a week and entered Santa Barbara County over the weekend, has now scorched 237,500 acres and is 25% contained, fire officials said Wednesday. The fire, which ignited Dec. 4, grew by 1,500 acres overnight, a Ventura County Fire...

Battle against Thomas fire enters second week as blaze continues to grow

The massive Thomas fire, which has burned through Ventura County for over a week and entered Santa Barbara County over the weekend, has now scorched 234,200 acres and is 20% contained, fire officials said Tuesday. The fire, which began Dec. 4, grew about 2,500 acres overnight as gusting winds pushed...

9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski to be investigated after sexual misconduct allegations

The chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals asked for an investigation Thursday into allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Alex Kozinski. In a statement emailed to reporters, 9th Circuit Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas said he was acting “to ensure confidence” in the impartiality...

L.A. Fire Department used drones for the first time during Skirball fire

The Los Angeles Fire Department dispatched drones for the first time while battling a wildfire this month as firefighters took on the Skirball fire in Bel-Air. Fire officials demonstrated the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles for reporters on Thursday, sending two drones buzzing near blackened...

L.A. County animal control confirms investigation into death of 29 horses in Creek fire

Animal care officials confirmed Thursday that they are investigating the death of 29 horses at a Sylmar ranch during the fast-moving Creek fire last week. The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control issued a lengthy statement last week in which they shared their officers’ efforts...

Beverly Hills anesthesiologist charged with murder in plastic surgery death of doctor

An anesthesiologist was charged with murder Wednesday after a 71-year-old patient suffered a fatal overdose under his care, authorities said. Stephen Kyosung Kim, 53, is accused of administering a lethal dose of the narcotic Demerol to a patient undergoing surgery at the Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery...

Gold Line train, car collide in Pasadena; motorist hurt

A collision involving a Metro Gold Line train and a vehicle near a Metro station in Pasadena on Thursday left a motorist with minor injuries, authorities said. Paramedics sent to Del Mar Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway about 9:35 a.m. took the man, in his 70s, to a hospital for treatment, said Lisa...

Swastikas painted at synagogue in Woodland Hills

Swastikas and other graffiti were found on Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills earlier this week, and authorities are investigating the actions as a hate crime, it was reported Thursday. The vandalism, which also included the writing of a gang name and a profane drawing, occurred between late Sunday...

Vera Katz, who helped turn Portland into an eco-friendly hipster haven, dies at 84

Vera Katz, a Jewish refugee who as mayor helped transform Portland from a sleepy backwater into a trendy city known for its public transit, eco-conscious design and live-work architecture style, has died after being diagnosed with acute leukemia. Katz was diagnosed this month after undergoing dialysis...

Amid destructive infernos, California considers new utility rules in fire zones

California utilities may face tougher safety rules for power lines, phone lines and utility poles in parts of the state most prone to wildfires. Under the proposed rules being considered Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission, tree branches would have to be kept farther away from...

Essential California: How one of L.A.'s fires is a parable for the city's extreme wealth and misery

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, Dec. 14, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Lopez weighs in on wealth and misery in L.A. “Last week, the two worlds intersected when a cooking fire at a homeless encampment destroyed six homes...

'This fire is a beast': Massive inferno keeps growing despite all-out battle

More than a week after the Thomas fire ignited in Ventura County, destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands as it grew into a massive inferno, firefighters are now in a race to protect the pristine coastal communities of neighboring Santa Barbara County before a shift in powerful winds...

Earthquake: 4.2 quake strikes near Fort Bragg

A shallow magnitude 4.2 earthquake was reported Wednesday evening 13 miles from Fort Bragg, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 8:57 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 3.7 miles. According to the USGS, the epicenter was four miles from Branscomb, 39 miles from...

Jurors vote for death penalty for mother's boyfriend in torture killing of 8-year-old Palmdale boy

Jurors on Wednesday voted for the death penalty for a man convicted of fatally torturing his girlfriend’s young son — a savage slaying that led to sweeping reform within Los Angeles County’s child-welfare system. The verdict ended a murder trial in which jurors heard and saw disturbing evidence...

L.A. City Council approves development fee to raise money for affordable housing

The so-called linkage fee is opposed by some business groups and supported by homeless advocates. Officials say the measure will raise about $100 million a year for affordable housing by 2019.

Water loss caused Sierra Nevada to grow an inch during California drought, researchers say

The Sierra Nevada mountains grew nearly an inch taller during the recent drought and shrank by half an inch when water and snow returned to the area, according to new research from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Researchers used 1,300 GPS stations throughout the mountain...

Bel-Air fire is a parable for L.A.'s extremes of wealth and misery. It should also be a call to action

Sunbaked and wind-battered Los Angeles, blessed and burdened city of extremes, is home to those with everything and those with nothing. Last week, the two worlds intersected when a cooking fire at a homeless encampment destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in Bel-Air, where affluent residents...

L.A. backs requirements that could freeze out Wells Fargo from city contract

Los Angeles lawmakers pressed forward Wednesday with new requirements that likely would prevent Wells Fargo from hanging on to a multimillion-dollar contract with the city. The decision is the latest fallout from the scandal surrounding Wells Fargo, which admitted to creating as many as 3.5 million...

From the Archives: 1922 Christmas party on the battleship California

From 1919 until 1940, San Pedro served as the home port for the United States Navy’s battle fleet. On Christmas day, 1922, many ships invited local children to attend parties. An article in the Dec. 26, 1922, Los Angeles Times reported on a Christmas part aboard the battleship California: “Captain...

As the Thomas fire burned closer, he worked to save a cherished Carpinteria ranch

For Arnulfo Basave, life on a Carpinteria ranch filled with avocado and fruit trees has been sweet. The former avocado picker was hired years ago at the ranch off Stanley Park Road, where he manages the property, prunes the trees and hires laborers to pick the fruit. For more than 20 years, he...

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