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Calif. Governor Decides on 'Assisted Suicide'

Gov. Jerry Brown meets with bishop, doctors before deciding

(Newser) - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday allowing terminally ill people in the nation's most populous state to take their own lives, saying the emotionally charged bill forced him to consider "what I would want in the face of my own death." Brown, a lifelong Catholic and former... More »

Calif. Fires Claim 2 More Lives

Power lines may have caused deadly blaze

(Newser) - Officials searched the burned-out remains of homes in northern California yesterday, looking for a former police reporter and several other people who authorities fear were killed in a fast-moving blaze in that part of the state. About 170 miles southeast, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, two bodies were found inside... More »

This 'Garden of Eden' Is Now Blackened Dust

Harbin Hot Springs among businesses torched by Valley Fire

(Newser) - The hot springs resort that fell victim to a raging wildfire was among the oldest hot springs of its kind in California—and just happened to have a clothing-optional policy, reports USA Today . Footage of the nonprofit holistic center Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown—which one visitor compared to the... More »

Wildfire Aftermath: 'That I Left Her There, It Haunts Me'

Barbara McWilliams had MS, told caretaker she didn't want to leave

(Newser) - Barbara McWilliams told her caretaker she didn't want to leave her home near Middletown, Calif., despite a nearby wildfire . The world traveler and sharp-minded woman with advanced multiple sclerosis said she would be fine. The decision ended up costing the 72-year-old her life . Her body was found late Sunday... More »

Dead Autistic Teen Left on Hot Bus for 9 Hours: Family

Hun Joon Lee died on one of S. California's hottest days of the summer

(Newser) - The family of a severely autistic teen found dead on a school bus says he may have been left there for up to nine hours on Friday, one of Southern California's hottest days of the summer, Fox News reports. The mother of Hun Joon Lee, a 19-year-old special needs... More »

'Mind-Boggling' Calif. Wildfire Turns Deadly

One dead, at least 400 homes destroyed in Lake, Napa counties

(Newser) - Fire officials say one person is dead as California's fastest wildfire in recent history continues to race across the north end of the state. It's the blaze experts had feared all summer: At least 400 homes have been destroyed in Lake and Napa counties, with flames initially ripping... More »

Access to Assisted Suicide May Soon Triple in US

'Death with dignity' bill headed to Calif. governor's desk

(Newser) - A bill to legalize assisted suicide has made it through California's legislature and will become law unless Gov. Jerry Brown decides to pull the plug on it. The bill passed the state Senate 23-14 after emotional testimony from "death with dignity" advocates including state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson. She... More »

Couple's Outdoorsy First Date Ends in Death

His date watched as he was swept away in California

(Newser) - A couple's first date in California's San Bernardino National Forest turned out to be anything but romantic yesterday as the remains of Hurricane Linda sent a storm of heavy rain and hail over the area. While hiking in Forest Falls, east of Los Angeles, the pair became trapped... More »

Tiger Cub Found ... in California Neighborhood

Little guy was wandering the streets of Hemet

(Newser) - On the list of "Things You Don't Expect to Find Roaming Around a California Neighborhood," tiger cub is probably pretty near the top. Yet that is exactly what one woman in Hemet found yesterday, CBS Los Angeles reports. She brought the 3-month-old, 25-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger to a... More »

Death Row Inmate Dies, but Not via Execution

California has only executed 13 out of hundreds of death row inmates since 1978

(Newser) - Ronald Seaton had been on death row at San Quentin State Prison for 26 years following a 1986 conviction for murder, robbery, and burglary. On Friday, he died of natural causes while awaiting execution, NBC Bay Area reports. Seaton became the 69th death row inmate to die of natural causes... More »

California to End Unlimited Solitary Confinement

Thousands of inmates to be moved out of isolation

(Newser) - Thousands of inmates will soon be moved out of solitary confinement in California, after years of court battles and hunger strikes against the controversial practice. The state's decision was revealed in a legal settlement filed today—which still must be accepted by the court—with a group of inmates... More »

Guy Finds $20 on Street, Ends Up With $1M

Uses money he found to buy winning lottery scratcher

(Newser) - A San Francisco Bay Area man won $1 million in the California Lottery after buying a winning ticket with money he found at the airport. Hubert Tang had not bought a lottery ticket in 10 years, but when he found a $20 bill on the street outside San Francisco International... More »

Surfer Escapes After Shark Chomps Board

Close call for 54-year-old Californian Elinor Dempsey

(Newser) - A surfer escaped injury yesterday after a great white shark bit her board off California's central coast. Elinor Dempsey, 54, of Los Osos, California, said she was surfing at Morro Strand State Beach, just north of Morro Bay, around 10am when a shark swam under her board and chomped... More »

Hiker Found After 9 Days in Calif. Wilderness

62-year-old Miyuki Harwood was injured without food

(Newser) - Miyuki Harwood went hiking on a day trip in California's Sierra National Forest on Aug. 20. The 62-year-old was pulled out yesterday—after nine days and at what the local sheriff calls "the end of the time period that we thought she could survive," reports NBC News... More »

Group to Calif. Water Bottling Plant: See You in Court

Nonprofit wants an environmental impact report from Crystal Geyser

(Newser) - Complaints about a planned bottled water plant in Mount Shasta, Calif., have been cemented in a lawsuit. Nonprofit group We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER) claims Crystal Geyser doesn't have the proper permits and is violating land-use provisions in getting the plant up and running in a drought, reports... More »

Wine Train Sorry for Kicking Black Women Off Tour

They're not the first 'noisy' group to have had problems

(Newser) - Rarely has a train gone into reverse as abruptly as the Napa Valley Wine Train. After initially defending its decision to kick a mostly black women's book club off the train mid-journey for being too noisy, the company has issued a statement saying it was "100% wrong in... More »

WWII Tank Crushes Man at Jelly Belly Chief's Home

Herman Rowland's son-in-law had permission to drive tank

(Newser) - A 54-year-old man was killed after being run over by a World War II-era tank over the weekend, but he wasn't on any kind of battlefield. Kevin Wright was attending a family reunion at the Fairfield, Calif., home of Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland Sr. on Saturday when he... More »

Book Club: Racism Got Us Kicked Off Wine Train

Book club members say they had to do 'walk of shame' off the train in 'racist attack'

(Newser) - Members of a book club out for a ride through California wine country say they endured a "humiliating" experience Saturday when they were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The women from the Sistahs on the Reading Edge club—10 of them black,... More »

California 'Amazed' to Find Wolf Pack in State

Wolves are returning home after being hunted nearly to extinction

(Newser) - It's the summer of the wolf pack in California, and no we're not talking about another Hangover sequel. A family of gray wolves—two adults and five pups—were yesterday confirmed to be living in the state. The last time the state hosted a pack was the early... More »

Drought Is Causing California to Sink Fast

Some areas of Central Valley dropping 2 inches a month

(Newser) - Vast areas of California's Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past as massive amounts of groundwater are pumped during the historic drought, state officials say, citing new research by NASA scientists. The data shows the ground is sinking nearly 2 inches each month in some places, putting... More »

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