Southern California

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Told to Cover Up, Beauty Queen Turns in Her Crown

Sierra Leyde says tattoos are the new normal

(Newser) - A beauty queen in the Southern California desert community of Phelan has given up her crown rather than cover up her tattoos, the AP reports. Sierra Leyde didn't have tattoos when she was named Miss Phelan at age 17. But she celebrated her 18th birthday with tattoos of flowers... More »

Serial Robbers Might Be Targeting Trader Joe's

California police investigating several recent cases

(Newser) - A series of armed robberies targeting Trader Joe's locations in Southern California has police suspecting serial assailants. At least seven armed robberies have occurred at Trader Joe's stores in the region in recent months, including four in Los Angeles, per the Los Angeles Times . Stores in Long Beach,... More »

13 Are Now Dead in California Mudslides

But rescuers save a 14-year-old girl

(Newser) - At least 13 people were killed and homes were torn from their foundations Tuesday as downpours sent mud and boulders roaring down hills stripped of vegetation by a gigantic wildfire that raged in Southern California last month. Rescue crews used helicopters to pluck people from rooftops because debris blocked roads,... More »

They Were Dying by the Millions. Now, a Creature Comeback

Starfish are popping up again on the West Coast

(Newser) - Starfish are making a comeback on the West Coast, four years after a mysterious syndrome killed millions of them. From 2013 to 2014, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome hit sea stars from British Columbia to Mexico. The starfish would develop lesions, then disintegrate, their arms turning into blobs of goo. The... More »

1K Bicycles, Hidden Bunker Found in Homeless Camp

'I’ve been doing this job for 20 years and even I was stunned'

(Newser) - “It’s nothing I’ve ever seen before," Lt. Jeff Puckett of the Orange County Sheriff's Department tells the Orange County Register . Having removed between 150 and 200 homeless people from an encampment along the Santa Ana River in Southern California earlier this month, officials were... More »

Teen Heroes: 'They're Going to Die If We Don't Do Something'

Calif. 16-year-olds Alex Schrier, Jeffrey Bounds help rescue passengers in burning car

(Newser) - Two quick-acting teens and a third Good Samaritan are being hailed as heroes for rushing to save a man and woman trapped in a burning car that crashed in Southern California. Alex Schrier and Jeffrey Bounds, both 16 and teammates on their high school baseball team, spotted the vehicle on... More »

Man Murdered Urologist Over 21-Year-Old Grudge

Stanwood Elkus gets life in prison

(Newser) - A retired barber who murdered a urologist inside his Southern California office in 2013 over a 21-year-old grudge was sentenced Friday to life in prison plus 10 years without the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles Times reports. In 1992, Ronald Gilbert—then a medical resident at the veterans hospital... More »

With Dad Charged With Murder, Body of Missing Boy, 5, Found

Aramazd Andressian Jr. had gone missing in April; father has been extradited to Calif.

(Newser) - Homicide detectives have found the body of a missing 5-year-old boy whose father is charged with his murder . Based on additional leads, detectives returned Friday to an area near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County and found the remains of Aramazd Andressian Jr., per the Los Angeles County Sheriff's... More »

San Andreas Fault 'Locked, Loaded, Ready to Roll': Scientist

Meaning Southern California is due for a major quake

(Newser) - It's the most well-known US fault, but the San Andreas Fault's southern section hasn't been behind a major earthquake since a 7.9-magnitude temblor in 1857—and that's got Thomas Jordan worried, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The springs on the San Andreas system have... More »

Plane Hits Car on California Freeway, Killing 1, Injuring 5

The deceased victim was in the car

(Newser) - A small plane crashed on a Southern California freeway Saturday and struck a car, killing one person and injuring five others, the AP reports. Witnesses told dispatchers that the plane landed on a vehicle on Interstate 15, about 50 miles north of San Diego. Photos on Twitter showed the nose... More »

Charges: Father Murdered Son for Being Gay

And police are investigating the death of his wife, as well

(Newser) - A 69-year-old Southern California man has been charged with murdering his 29-year-old son for being gay, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police say Shehada Issa killed his son Amir Issa with a shotgun outside their home on Tuesday. The district attorney says Shehada had threatened to kill Amir for being... More »

California's 'Big One' Could Be Caused by 2 Faults Combining

A 'grim seismic scenario'

(Newser) - When we think about building-leveling earthquakes in California, it can seem like the San Andreas fault is the only game in town. Heck, The Rock even made a movie about it. But a study published last week in Science Advances finds the San Andreas could have an equally dangerous partner... More »

Doc Sentenced for Murdering 3 Patients by Drug Overdose

Hsiu-Ying 'Lisa' Tseng gets 30 years to life for recklessly prescribing meds

(Newser) - On Friday, Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, convicted of murdering three of her patients by drug overdose, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, making her the only US doctor ever convicted of murder for recklessly prescribing meds, the lead prosecutor said. Although her defense team portrayed the Southern... More »

440-Pound Teen May Be Biggest Football Player Ever

Like in the NFL and the world, not just in high school

(Newser) - When he was in sixth grade, John Krahn was 6 feet tall, and by the time he started high school, he had sprouted up to 6-foot-5. Now the senior football player for Southern California's Martin Luther King High School is a tremendous 7 feet tall and weighs 440 pounds,... 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 »

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 »

Epic Surf Wows California

Hurricane Marie's waves pound coast

(Newser) - Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders, and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave off damage from the ocean onslaught. A third day of waves spawned by the... More »

Wasting Water in California Will Cost You $500

So get a nozzle on your hose if you plan to wash your car come August

(Newser) - If you live in California, now may be the time to stop using drinking water in non-recirculating ornamental fountains. That's one of the practices—along with things like allowing runoff from your sprinklers, hosing down your driveway or sidewalk, or washing your car without a nozzle on the hose—... More »

School District Drops Holocaust-Denial Lesson Plan

Educators wanted to promote 'critical thinking skills'

(Newser) - A California school district is scrapping a lesson plan that allowed middle school students to deny the existence of the Holocaust, Fox News reports. After a wave of criticism and a reported death threat, Southern California's Rialto Unified School District backpedaled on its unusual method of teaching eighth-graders about... More »

Strong Aftershock Rattles Southern California

Dozens evacuated following yesterday's quake

(Newser) - More than 100 aftershocks have followed yesterday's magnitude-5.1 earthquake in southern California, including a magnitude-4.1 rumble this afternoon. The moderate earthquake yesterday forced several dozen people in one community out of their homes after firefighters discovered foundation problems that made the buildings unsafe to enter, authorities said... More »

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