California

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Fist-Sized Gold Nugget Goes Up for Sale

Unidentified owner selling nugget found in Butte County in July

(Newser) - Is $11 million in rare gold coins too much for your pocketbook? Perhaps dealer Don Kagin can interest you in his newest treasure up for sale: a giant, 6.07-pound gold nugget. Found on public land in California's Butte County mountains this summer, the "Butte Nugget" is believed... More »

Lawyer: Slain Mayor Abused His Wife for Years

Pics, voicemail show Levette Crespo endured violent marriage: lawyer

(Newser) - The wife accused of murdering the mayor of an LA County town last month is beginning to fill in some of the blanks in the fatal shooting of Daniel Crespo: Levette Crespo's attorney has given NBC4 photos that show Levette "about two years ago" with lacerated lips and... More »

Django Actress Charged With Lewd Conduct

Daniele Watts and boyfriend Brian James Lucas could face $1K fine, 6 months in jail

(Newser) - Daniele Watts said racism drove LA police to handcuff her after she was caught "showing affection" toward her boyfriend in a car last month; one of the officers has said that was a lie and that the Django Unchained actress and Brian James Lucas were reported for having full-on... More »

Archaeologists Uncover Giant Sphinx in Calif. Dunes

Cecil B. DeMille buried 'Ten Commandments' set in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

(Newser) - Archaeologists parted the sands in California to excavate one of the last remnants of old-time Hollywood: a giant plaster sphinx from the set of Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. The director buried props from the epic movie (the 1923 silent black-and-white version, not the 1956 Charlton Heston blockbuster)... More »

Weak iPad Password May Have Saved Woman's Life

'Tech geek' cop guessed it, allowing him to track Melissa Vasquez's iPhone

(Newser) - A California woman can credit her iPhone and a police force's "tech geek" with saving her life after a car crash left her stuck hundreds of feet down a ravine. Though OnStar alerted police that Melissa Vasquez's car was involved in a rollover accident Monday afternoon, the... More »

87-Year-Old Who Doesn't Drive Gets $1.5K in Tickets

California's Joyce Silva doesn't even own the Acura that got ticketed

(Newser) - Joyce S. Silva of Manteca, Calif., doesn't drive, nor does she own a white Acura. So it's understandable why the 87-year-old woman with arthritis was scratching her head after receiving a total of 18 traffic tickets costing $1,475 for a white Acura, CBS Sacramento reports. For the... More »

California Drought Perk: Better Wine

A vintage 'for the ages': winemaker

(Newser) - The long drought in California is, of course, bad news for most in the agriculture business—but winemakers are seeing some real benefits. The lack of rain is actually leading to some of the best wine Napa and Sonoma counties have seen in a while, the Wall Street Journal reports.... More »

Hot Air Balloon Proposal Goes Quite Awry

Balloon ends up in the ocean

(Newser) - A romantic ride in a hot air balloon turned into a rescue operation, with lifeguards and surfers saving three people after the basket dipped into the ocean off a Southern California beach. A man was proposing to his girlfriend during their sunset ride yesterday when the balloon drifted off course... More »

California Gets Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Bag-makers say they want a referendum

(Newser) - After some will-he-or-won't-he speculation, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed America's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags into law . "This bill is a step in the right direction—it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks, and even the vast ocean itself," the... More »

California Spells Out When 'Yes Means Yes'

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill about sexual consent

(Newser) - A busy weekend for California Gov. Jerry Brown culminated in several signed bills designed to assist students across his state. Chief among the legislation is SB-967 , which seeks to combat sexual assault on campus by flipping the traditional "no means no" mantra on its head: Colleges and universities will... More »

Grandmother Beaten by Cop Gets $1.5M

California Highway Patrol officer 'elects to resign'

(Newser) - A 51-year-old grandmother punched repeatedly by a California Highway Patrol officer on the side of a freeway in an incident caught on video will receive $1.5 million under a settlement, and the officer has agreed to resign. The punching occurred after motorists' 911 calls reported that Marlene Pinnock, who... More »

Woman's Dramatic Roof Escape Caught on Camera

Homeless man, Christian Hicks, 29, charged with burlgary

(Newser) - As Melora Rivera hid on her roof, half-naked, from an intruder Wednesday morning, neighbors snapped pictures and posted them to Twitter . The California woman had fled from a second-story window when a homeless man broke into her house as she slept, CBS2 reports. "The drop is, I would guess,... More »

New Photos Reveal Prison's Toll on Phil Spector

Music producer shifted to facility for sick inmates

(Newser) - Two newly released photos of Phil Spector show the toll of age and prison on the once flamboyant music legend. The most recent photo shows a bald, somber-looking 73-year-old Spector staring straight into the camera on Oct. 28, 2013. An earlier photo of a smiling Spector is dated July 24,... More »

How a State With Little Rain Suffered a Huge Mudslide

Mt. Shasta lacked the snow that would have protected glacier from sun

(Newser) - The US Forest Service thinks it knows what caused the boulder-filled mudslide that surged down Northern California's Mt. Shasta on Saturday: the Golden State’s extreme drought conditions . According to the LA Times , scientists think water gushed down from the Konwakiton Glacier, causing a mudslide that picked up increasing... More »

Woman Surprised to Find Dead Body in Her Trunk

Police say she's not a suspect

(Newser) - A California woman says she has no idea how a dead body wound up in the trunk of her Lexus. The Riverside woman says she'd thought the car smelled funny as she left work yesterday, but she stopped at Walmart thinking nothing of it. When she opened the trunk... More »

Plan to Split California Fails to Make Ballot

But millionaire backer is challenging that ruling

(Newser) - California looks destined to remain one big state instead of six smaller ones. A Silicon Valley venture capitalist failed to collect enough signatures to qualify his "Six Californias" plan as a ballot initiative in November 2016, reports the LA Times . Tim Draper, who poured more than $5 million of... More »

100 Airlifted Away From Yosemite Wildfire

Hikers taken out by helicopter as blaze spreads

(Newser) - About 100 Yosemite National Park visitors were evacuated by helicopter yesterday when a wildfire that started weeks ago in the park's backcountry grew unexpectedly to at least 700 acres, officials say. Some of the evacuees included hikers who had climbed the park's iconic Half Dome peak, rising nearly... More »

Don't Feel Guilty for Eating These 21 Fish

Sustainability watchdog gives the OK to chow down on flounder, other species

(Newser) - If you've been plagued by guilt every time you scarf down that fried flounder, rest easy: A California sustainability-monitoring group has given a thumbs-up to that species, as well as 20 other West Coast varieties such as sole and snapper, after deciding there's enough available to catch without... More »

Calif. High School Drops Arab Mascot

But school's replacement is also an Arab

(Newser) - Mascot makeover: California's Coachella Valley High School has retired its football team's hook-nosed Arab mascot and his bellydancing genie sidekick after complaints about "Orientalist stereotyping" from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. But the school district plans to keep the team's "Arabs" nickname and has come up... More »

Parks Ranger Found Passed Out With a Beer

Tyson Young was noticed by a passerby

(Newser) - Nothing like cracking open a brew and falling asleep ... at the wheel of your patrol car. That's apparently why California State Parks Ranger Tyson Young was found dozing in his parked vehicle on Aug. 15 in Northern California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A passerby (who's staying anonymous)... More »

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