California

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For 12 Hours, Teen Clung to Tree in Freezing Water

'I thought I was going to die'

(Newser) - As Natalie Griffin clung to a branch as a river swelled below her, she imagined that her friend—who was dead—was speaking to her. "She said, 'It's OK, you can't think you are going to die,'" Griffin tells People . The thought helped calm... More »

Book Returned to Library 100 Years Late

Man's great-grandmother had checked out 'Forty Minutes Late' (no joke) in 1917

(Newser) - A book of short stories titled Forty Minutes Late has been returned to the San Francisco Public Library—100 years late, the AP reports. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bay Area resident Webb Johnson returned the book Friday. There was no fine. Johnson's great-grandmother had checked it out... More »

An End to California's 5-Year Drought? It's on Mother Nature

If storms keep raining precipitation down, Cali could be sitting pretty

(Newser) - Sorry, Lena Horne, but stormy weather may be just what California's been looking for. The Golden State has been getting bombarded with precipitation—rain, snow, hail, sleet—making even Los Angeles feel "more like London than Southern California," the Los Angeles Times notes. But for a parched... More »

In 'Diabolical Scheme,' She Allegedly Framed Hubby's Ex

Michelle Hadley, 30, was framed by her ex-fiance's new wife

(Newser) - It's a convoluted story and, it turns out, a "diabolical" one. A California woman arrested over the summer and charged with posting "rape fantasy" ads on Craigslist that invited men to violate her ex-fiance's new wife has been cleared. It turns out the wife was allegedly... More »

'Hollyweed' Prankster Gives Himself Up

Surrenders to police on trespassing charge

(Newser) - The alleged Hollyweed prankster has been apprehended. Zachary Cole Fernandez, 30, turned himself in to Los Angeles Police Department detectives Monday on suspicion of trespassing in the wee hours of New Year's Day in order to alter the iconic Hollywood sign to read "Hollyweed," reports the Los ... More »

Storm Takes Out Famous Calif. 'Tunnel Tree'

Pioneer Cabin sequoia toppled in Calaveras Big Trees State Park after heavy rains, flooding

(Newser) - Thunderstorms wreaked havoc throughout northern Nevada and California over the weekend, causing heavy rain, mudslides, and the demise of one of the region's most famous giant sequoias. The Pioneer Cabin tree, described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of Calaveras County's oldest residents," fell... More »

Calif. Storm Could Be Biggest in a Decade

Pioneer Cabin tree is among the casualties

(Newser) - Hundreds of homes were evacuated in northern Nevada and stranded motorists were pulled from cars stuck on flooded Northern California roads Sunday as thunderstorms arrived as part of a massive winter storm that could be the biggest to slam the region in more than a decade. Crews in California cleared... More »

California Funds 1st US Inmate Sex Reassignment

Convicted murderer Shiloh Heavenly Quine will be moved to women's prison post-surgery

(Newser) - A 57-year-old convicted killer serving a life sentence in California became the first US inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery, the prisoner's attorneys confirmed Friday. The AP reports prison officials agreed in 2015 to pay for the surgery for Shiloh Heavenly Quine, who was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping,... More »

Charles Manson Is Behind Bars Once Again

The mass murderer was taken to the hospital earlier this week

(Newser) - Charles Manson is back behind bars, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Friday. "He is at the prison," Terry Thornton says. "I don't know how much plainer it can be." Manson, currently serving a life sentence,... More »

Bank Robber Used His Own Debit Card

Before warning the teller, 'Don't make a mistake'

(Newser) - A man entered a San Diego bank on May 13 and demanded money from a teller, saying, "You're being robbed. Don't make a mistake." He's probably kicking himself over his own gaffe, which helped send him to prison for three years and 10 months as... More »

Eye on Trump, California Lawyers Up —Big Time

Legislature hires Eric Holder to head legal battles against incoming president

(Newser) - California is gearing up to fight Donald Trump's administration—and President Obama's former attorney general will lead the charge. Democratic leaders of the California Legislature announced Wednesday that they've hired Eric Holder, now a partner at law firm Covington & Burling, to head a team of lawyers... More »

Charles Manson 'Seriously Ill,' Taken to Hospital

It's unclear what's wrong with the 82-year-old

(Newser) - Despite currently serving nine life sentences, the infamous Charles Manson left prison Tuesday, TMZ reports. Sources say Manson was taken from Corcoran State Prison in California to a hospital an hour away in Bakersfield for treatment. According to the Los Angeles Times , it's unclear what's wrong with Manson,... More »

'Hollyweed' Prankster Elusive as Stunt Inspires More Security

Hollywood Sign Trust worries future trespassers will injure themselves

(Newser) - The nonprofit that cares for the Hollywood sign says it will be "deploying additional technology to tighten up surveillance" after the sign was altered to read "Hollyweed" on Sunday. The black and white tarps that transformed the sign had been removed by mid-morning on New Year's Day... More »

Ride Traps 21 People 125 Feet in the Air for Nearly 8 Hours

They eventually had to rappel to safety

(Newser) - Twenty visitors—including children—to Knott's Berry Farm in California spent nearly eight hours Friday trapped 125 feet off the ground, the Orange County Register reports. According to CBS Los Angeles , 20 guests and a ride operator were aboard the Sky Cabin ride when it stalled around 2pm. It'... More »

DUI Charge Dropped Against Caffeinated California Driver

DA's office still insists it's 'highly likely' Joseph Schwab was on another drug, despite tests indicating otherwise

(Newser) - He was busted for driving while intoxicated , and now, 16 months later, Joseph Schwab has had his DUI charge dropped. The California man had been pulled over in Solano County in August 2015 after it was reported he was driving erratically, and he was arrested for DUI, although later tests... More »

Man Fatally Shot Near Memorial to Slain Son, Grandson

Oakland resident had spoken out against gun violence

(Newser) - A man who urged an end to violence in Oakland after gunfire killed his son and grandson as they slept three years ago became a victim himself this week as he drove near a street memorial for his slain family. Melvin Johnson, 39, was shot and killed Tuesday on the... More »

Teen Runaway Saved From Prostitution —by Uber Driver

He got suspicious after picking her up along with 2 women

(Newser) - A California Uber driver played a big part in a holiday miracle Monday night after picking up a 16-year-old girl and two women in Elk Grove. He got suspicious after the women, who cops say are pimps, started telling the scantily-clad teen what would happen when they got to their... More »

App Leads Woman to Grisly Discovery: Her Husband's Body

He had been crushed when his car fell off the highway

(Newser) - A California woman's phone led her to her missing husband's body before the authorities could find him. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the unnamed woman reported her husband, 49-year-old Jayesh Patel, missing when he didn't come home Friday. Using a find-my-phone app, Patel's wife traced him... More »

Man Charged With DUI Has Only Caffeine in System

Joseph Schwab's lawyer says it's 'absurd'

(Newser) - “I’ve never seen this before,” California attorney Stacey Barrett tells the Guardian . “I’ve never even heard of it.” Barrett's client, 36-year-old Joseph Schwab, is facing a misdemeanor DUI charge—apparently over caffeine. Schwab was pulled over in August 2015 in Solano County while... More »

Obama Freeway Coming Soon?

Calif. state senator sure hopes so

(Newser) - Barack Obama may soon have more in common with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln than his soon-to-be former residence. If Resolution SCR8 is passed by the California Senate and Assembly, Obama—like his aforementioned predecessors—will have a road named after him in Los Angeles, specifically a section of the... More »

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