Today’s Headlines: Maui wildfire death toll rises to 36, with more than 270 structures damaged

Fire burns on Front Street in downtown Lahaina, Maui.
(Alan Dickar / Associated Press)
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Hello, it’s Thursday, Aug. 10, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Maui wildfire death toll rises to 36, with more than 270 structures damaged. A wildfire tore through the heart of Maui on Wednesday with alarming speed and ferocity, destroying dozens of homes and businesses in a historic tourist town, killing at least 36 people and wounding dozens of others, and forcing panicked residents to jump into the ocean to flee the flames.

The fire was widespread in Lahaina town, including on Front Street, a popular shopping and dining area, County of Maui spokesperson Mahina Martin said by phone early Wednesday.


Hollywood writers have been on strike for 100 days — and there’s no end in sight. The Writers Guild of America’s strike against the major media companies has turned into a marathon.

The labor action hit the 100-day mark on Wednesday — a milestone that matches the duration of the bitter slog 15 years ago, when screenwriters demanded compensation for shows distributed online. And there’s no end in sight to the standoff that deepened last month after the actors’ union joined writers on picket lines.

California, facing another wet winter, races to prevent more flooding with levee repairs. As forecasters sound the alarm about another potentially wet California winter fueled by El Niño, Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking urgent but controversial measures to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods that befell the state this year.

An executive order signed by the governor this month will streamline levee repairs and debris removal to help protect and prepare communities for another inundation.

At a summit she helped start, an absent Sen. Dianne Feinstein is honored in Lake Tahoe. Feinstein, 90, missed a summit about Lake Tahoe’s health, which she helped start. Still, her legacy and contributions to the region took center stage.

The bipartisan gathering attracts the top leaders from California and Nevada and, on occasion, U.S. presidents to take stock of what was needed to keep the lake’s waters clear and fend off toxic algae.


A man surfing
A surfer takes advantage of a good south swell and warm water as he surfs on a hot summer day at Malibu Surfrider Beach.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Where to catch a wave this summer in SoCal, for every kind of surfer. Summertime is in full swing and you’ve got a freshly waxed surfboard and some of Southern California’s finest surf breaks just waiting to be explored — traffic be damned.


Thousands of homes are in peril from the fast-paced Bunnie fire in San Diego County. Thousands of San Diego County residents were ordered to evacuate their homes Wednesday amid a raging brush fire that had the potential to spread to several hundred acres, officials said.

A female commander fired after drunken incident calls out LAPD ‘double standard.’ In a recent court filing, former LAPD Cmdr. Nicole Mehringer contested her firing, arguing the department has overlooked — or even helped cover up — similar behavior by dozens of male supervisors.

COVID-19 is ‘heating up all around’ this summer. Should we be wearing masks again? Amid the latest coronavirus uptick in California, health officials reiterate the same advice: Masks work, but it’s a personal preference whether to wear them.

A class-action lawsuit offers free cash to many LADWP customers. Are you eligible? In a tentative settlement, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has agreed to repay customers who were charged too much for sewer service from May 2016 to June 2022.

Sacramento, ordered not to clear homeless camps, did it anyway. ‘Oversights,’ the city says. At least twice over a week, Sacramento has violated a court order against clearing homeless encampments as temperatures hit triple digits.


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Mexican authorities shutter pharmacies in Yucatán, citing the threat of counterfeit pills. The four-day series of raids comes months after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that drug stores in major tourist destinations across Mexico were selling counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl and methamphetamine.

The winning lottery ticket was sold in Florida for the largest Mega Millions jackpot, $1.58 billion. Should the ticketholder claim the prize, they would have the option of cashing out for a $783.3-million lump sum or taking a 30-year annuity for the total prize.


Billy Porter says he has to sell his house because of strikes: ‘You’ve already starved me out.’ “To hear Bob Iger say that our demands for a living wage are unrealistic? While he makes $78,000 a day?” Porter said. “I don’t have any words for it, but: F— you...”

‘American Graffiti’ at 50: An oral history of ‘the quintessential hot rod movie.’ To mark the film’s 50th anniversary, The Times spoke with co-writer Willard Huyck, star Ron Howard and other members of the ensemble about their experience making the film, its warm reception and its lasting legacy.

Travis Scott announces a 2023 tour, his first since the Astroworld crowd-crush tragedy. The rapper is going on tour for the first time since the 2021 Astroworld crowd-crush disaster that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.


What the sale of a major American book publisher means for authors, the industry — and you. On Monday, Simon & Schuster was sold to a private equity firm. What happens next is unpredictable. Will Simon & Schuster end up like Toys R Us or RBMedia?


WeWork has ‘substantial doubt’ it can stay in business. WeWork’s office locations, which emptied out during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, were showing slow progress toward filling back up over the last year. But so far, the recovery appears to be unsustainable.

L.A. County supervisors propose $25 minimum wage for hotel and theme park workers. The measure would apply to employees of Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain, and people working at hotels with more than 60 rooms.

Disney’s ESPN to enter online sports betting business with ESPN Bet sportsbook. The partnership represents an about-face for ESPN, which until now has only supplied gambling information and data on its programs and digital properties.


Column: Fashion or blasphemy? What are they doing to Dodgers caps? Today, you can buy a Dodgers cap in colors better discovered deep within a jumbo box of crayons: neon green and cement gray; pale yellow and stone orange; pecan and neapolitan; toffee and tiramisu; walnut sky and desert mist.

Julio Urías makes statement on mound as Dodgers hold off Diamondbacks. Urías officially has a scoreless streak going. The 26-year-old southpaw played to all his strengths in a four-hit, five-strikeout display.


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Grocery stores used to be my happy place. Then they started locking up the detergent. “Grocery stores feed our bodies but should also nourish sociability, not strip our dignity. Companies claim the new security measures make customers feel safer, but they risk molding us into more anxious, suspicious people,” Stacy Torres writes.

Why Georgia might beat the feds at holding Trump accountable. State crimes are not subject to pardon by the president. To the extent that Trump needs to be held accountable and deterred from future election subversion or other crimes through prosecution, the state route is as promising, if not more so, than the federal one.


Collage of images featuring swan paddle boats on a lake, jellyfish in an aquarium, a mural and the El Capitan theater.
(Los Angeles Times photo collage; photos by Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times; Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times; Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

You were going to do so much in Los Angeles this summer. Then life happened.

But there’s still time. Here are 25 terrific things to do in L.A. before summer ends.



Then-judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses in her robe in her office at U.S. District Court in Washington
In this Aug. 3, 1993, photo, then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses in her robe in her office at U.S. District Court in Washington. Earlier, the Senate voted 96-3 to confirm Bader as the 107th justice and the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
(Associated Press)

On this day 30 years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn as the nation’s 107th Supreme Court justice. She became the second woman on the high court, joining Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The Times wrote about Ginsburg’s swearing in ceremony on Aug. 11, 1993. For the story, the women’s rights pioneer said, “In my lifetime, I expect there will be among federal judicial nominees based on the excellence of their qualifications as many sisters as brothers in law. That prospect is indeed cause for hope, and its realization will be cause for celebration.”

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