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Wildfire near Bass Lake destroys at least 10 homes, hundreds evacuated

Another fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite National Park that started Sunday afternoon has swept to the edge of Bass Lake, burned at least 10 homes and forced more than 1,000 evacuations, authorities said.

The Courtney fire began about 1:40 p.m. near Oakhurst -- the same area where the Junction Fire destroyed at least eight homes last month.

By nightfall, the fire had burned more than 300 acres and was 0% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The earlier Junction Fire had been heading to Bass Lake and gathering speed, but a shift in winds worked in firefighters' favor. This time, winds pushed the fire over the ridge and left a neighborhood in heaps of ash.

"This is gut-wrenching," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson told the Fresno Bee. "It makes you sick."

Greg Kilgore, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oakhurst, said that one couple from his church evacuated their elderly parents, their children and their animals, while their...

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Toddler drowns in family pool in North Hollywood

A toddler died at a hospital Sunday, less than an hour after he was found floating in a North Hollywood swimming pool, Los Angeles police said.

Police were called to a home in the 5900 block of Craner Avenue at 3:17 p.m. about a missing child, said Lt. Brian Morrison of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division.

Officers arrived three minutes later and found the toddler in the home’s swimming pool, Morrison said. Officers began lifesaving measures, and Los Angeles fire officials also responded to the scene, Morrison said.

The toddler was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 4:10 p.m., Morrison said.

The pool had been searched before police arrived, but the water was murky, Morrison said.

“The pool was cloudy -- algae, probably, from the recent heat wave,” Morrison said.

The death was being treated as an accidental drowning, he added.

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Earthquake: 3.3 quake strikes near Inyokern, Calif.

A shallow magnitude 3.3 earthquake was reported Sunday afternoon 21 miles from Inyokern, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 5:56 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 6.2 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was 27 miles from Ridgecrest, Calif.

In the last 10 days, there has been one earthquake magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service, and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.

Read more about Southern California earthquakes.

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Navy pilot presumed dead in jet crash was from Lake Arrowhead

A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two jets crashed Friday in the Pacific Ocean was identified Sunday as Lt. Nathan Poloski of Lake Arrowhead.

Poloski, 26, was involved in the apparent collision of two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson west of Wake Island. After a search, the Navy said Saturday that he was presumed dead.

Poloski graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009, and last April he joined Strike Fighter Squadron 94, based in Lemoore, Calif., the Navy said.

“Nathan was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator," Cmdr. Michael Langbehn, commanding officer of his squadron, said in a statement. “My personal thoughts and prayers are for his family, friends and shipmates as they endure this immeasurable loss.”

The search for Poloski covered more than 3,000 square miles and involved multiple ships and aircraft as well as satellite imagery, the Navy said, but his remains were not located. The search was called off Saturday.

The pilot of...

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Earthquake: 3.1 quake strikes San Jacinto, Calif.

A shallow magnitude 3.1 earthquake was reported Sunday afternoon in San Jacinto, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 3:16 p.m. PDT at a depth of 8.1 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was 3 miles from Hemet, Calif., and 4 miles from Valle Vista, Calif.

In the past 10 days, there has been one earthquake magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.

Read more about Southern California earthquakes.

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'Django Unchained' actress detained after 911 indecent-exposure call

Los Angeles police said Sunday that officers were responding to a 911 caller’s complaint of indecent exposure Thursday when they detained actress Daniele Watts.

Watts, who appeared in the movie "Django Unchained," said on her Facebook account that she was handcuffed after kissing her companion in public.

Police said the caller complained that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open. Patrol officers and a sergeant from North Hollywood Division responded to the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City and “located two individuals that matched the description of the suspects, and they were briefly detained,” authorities said.

“Upon further investigation it was determined that no crime had been committed,” police said in a prepared statement. “Ms. Watts and her companion were subsequently released.”

An internal complaint investigation has been initiated regarding the incident, police said.

A video on Instagram shows...

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Earthquake: 3.5 quake strikes near Covelo

A shallow magnitude 3.5 earthquake was reported Sunday afternoon 6 miles from Covelo, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 1:17 p.m. PDT at a depth of 3.7 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was 41 miles from Ukiah, 55 miles from Red Bluff and 60 miles from Clearlake.

In the past 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm.

Read more about Southern California earthquakes.

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Orange County wildfire 20% contained, but heat could slow progress

Firefighters slowed the growth Sunday of the blaze burning in the rugged hills of Orange County's Cleveland National Forest, but officials warned that the fire could become more volatile as winds pick up and temperatures rise into the triple digits. 

Nearly 1,100 employees from federal, state and county fire agencies are working to control the blaze, which is burning in steep canyons covered in bone-dry chaparral. Crews are using nine water-dropping helicopters and seven bulldozers to dig fire lines and hold back flames on rocky ridges near Corona.

The fire grew by fewer than 100 acres overnight, and was 20% contained by mid-morning Sunday. Officials expect the fire to continue to spread to the east and north into craggy, hard-to-reach areas of the forest.  

"In Southern California, in this type of environment, the fuels are very flashy and very dry," said Jake Rodriguez, a spokesman with the U.S. Forest Service. "Things can change very quickly."

No homes have been damaged in the fire,...

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Southern California heat wave to last through Tuesday, forecasters say

A heat wave in Southern California is expected to last until at least Tuesday, said officials with the National Weather Service. 

The weather forecast calls for parching humidity in the single digits, with highs in the 90s and up to 102 in higher elevations and 105 in adjacent foothills.

On Sunday, temperatures reached the high 90s in Los Angeles and low 100s in the San Fernando Valley. 

In San Diego, temperatures on the field at Qualcomm Stadium were well above 100 degrees before the San Diego Chargers took to the field Sunday afternoon.

San Diego Unified School District campuses that don’t have air conditioning in every classroom – more than 100 schools in all – will have a shortened day Monday because of the weather. District officials said they would decide by noon Monday whether Tuesday’s forecast merits the same shortened schedule. 

"Temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees above normal, but we'll see relief Wednesday with greater chances of thunderstorms and cloud cover," said...

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Firefighters make progress on Orange County wildfire

Firefighters say the Silverado Fire in Orange County is at least 10% contained and has slowed considerably.

Despite scorching hot temperatures Saturday, firefighters said they made solid progress on the blaze.

No structures have been damaged. Three firefighters were treated for injuries: two for heat-related problems and one for a back injury.

“It’s pretty much simmering in place,” Vickie Wright, public information officer for the Cleveland National Forest, said Saturday evening. “Right now, it’s all very positive.”

More than 800 firefighters from federal, state and county agencies worked in triple-digit heat to control the fire, which is burning in rugged, chaparral-covered, hard-to-reach terrain.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies were going door to door Saturday urging homeowners to heed a mandatory evacuation order in east Silverado Canyon.

More than 730 firefighting personnel, fixed-wing aircraft and six helicopters were assigned to the fire that continued to burn in a northeast...

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Woman arrested in Hollywood Hills shooting

A Los Angeles woman was arrested Saturday in connection with the shooting of a relative in a Hollywood Hills home, police said.

The victim, a 35-year-old man, was struck by a single bullet and is in stable condition at a local hospital.

Los Angeles Police Sgt. Ozzie Ramos said the suspect, in her late 60s, was in custody at the Hollywood Station. Neither she nor the victim were identified.

Police received a report of the shooting at a residence in the 2600 block of Creston Drive at 4:46 p.m. Police believe the two are related and resided there.

The incident is under investigation and no other details were available.

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Support for death penalty in California at lowest point in 50 years

After a series of botched executions raised questions about the use of capital punishment across the United States, support for the death penalty in California is nearing an all-time low among state voters, according to the findings of a research poll released Friday.

Fifty-six percent of California voters are in favor of keeping the death penalty, the lowest percentage since 1965, according to the study conducted by the Field Poll.

Roughly 10% of state voters had no opinion on the matter in both years.

Support for the death penalty in California reached a high in the mid-1980s, with more than 83% of voters supporting the use of capital punishment. That number has dropped sharply in recent years, falling from 70% in 2010.

A state ballot measure to ban the death penalty in California was also narrowly defeated in 2012.

The study, conducted through phone interviews of 1,280 California voters in six languages, follows a federal ruling that the state's use of the death penalty constitutes...

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