Orange County

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Chronic Drunk Driver Killed by Drunk Driver

Haitham Gamal was on bicycle, getting his life straight

(Newser) - Haitham Gamal "was on the road to recovery" after three drunk-driving convictions, says his lawyer. Unfortunately, he was also on the road—on his bike, as per a California-mandated license suspension—when a 19-year-old driver who was allegedly drunk and speeding hit and killed the 38-year-old Gamal. "He... 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 »

Grinchy County to Neighborhood: Take Down Your Xmas Lights

Strung across the street, they pose fire hazard: officials

(Newser) - A neighborhood in Orange County, Calif., is brightly decorated with Christmas lights strung across the street—and that hasn't exactly put county officials in the holiday spirit. The lights pose a fire hazard and could prevent emergency vehicles from getting through, officials say, calling the decorations an "unpermitted... More »

Tsunami Study Has Bad News for SoCal

Low-lying areas face disaster; 750K would have to evacuate

(Newser) - The US Geological Survey has simulated the effects of a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Alaska—and for southern California, the results could be disastrous. Some 750,000 would need to evacuate coastal areas within a matter of hours as floods spread in Long Beach and Orange County, the Los Angeles ... More »

Surf Fans Riot in California

7 arrested, one injured

(Newser) - An unruly crowd surged through downtown Huntington Beach in Southern California last night following the US Open of Surfing, brawling, looting a bicycle shop, clashing with police and trashing property before authorities broke up the melee and made arrests, authorities and witnesses say. Police say more than 100 officers from... More »

California Freeway Shooter ID'd as Student, 20

4 dead, including suspect Ali Syed; 2 others wounded

(Newser) - Police have identified the suspect in this morning's shooting spree in California as a 20-year-old Ali Syed, described as an unemployed, part-time student, reports AP . The spree reportedly began when Syed shot and killed a woman in her 20s inside her home, though police haven't said yet whether... More »

Shooter Fires Gun Outside Mall, Sparks Mass Panic

Newport Beach police arrest 42-year-old security guard

(Newser) - Police in Newport Beach, Calif., arrested a man yesterday for allegedly firing off about 50 rounds outside a shopping mall and causing mass panic, the Orange County Register reports. Police say Marcos Gurrola, a 42-year-old licensed security guard, shot his handgun in the air outside Macy's at Fashion Island... More »

Park Ride Again Strands Passengers 300 Feet in Air

Malfunctions for 2nd time this month

(Newser) - Thrill seekers might want to hold off on trying one especially thrilling California theme park ride: The Windseeker at Knott's Berry Farm has malfunctioned twice this month, leaving passengers dangling for hours. Yesterday, 20 riders were stuck for three and a half hours, 300 feet off of the ground,... More »

4.4 Quake Rattles LA

No injuries, damage reported

(Newser) - Surprised Californians got a shake, rattle, and roll last night just before midnight when a magnitude 4.4 earthquake hit northern Orange County. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but the rattler and a 2.7 aftershock a minute later were definitely felt over a broad region,... More »

Bag of Explosives Found Under California Bridge

Backpack contained 6 grenades, and more

(Newser) - Cops in Orange County, California, are trying to find a person who left a backpack full of military-grade explosives in a drainage ditch under a highway bridge in Placentia. Local businesses were evacuated while the bomb squad destroyed the backpack—which contained six grenades along with other explosives and blasting... More »

4 Tons of Marijuana Pulled From Ocean

About 160 bales found floating off California coast

(Newser) - What a find: After receiving a tip yesterday, Harbor Patrol agents in California pulled about 160 bales of marijuana from the ocean off the coast of Orange County. That's more than 7,263 pounds, and agents say the street value is $3.6 million, CBS 2 reports. The marijuana,... More »

Stranded Dolphin May Have Been 'Bullied'

Nearby group of dolphins may have scared him away from open ocean

(Newser) - The dolphin stranded in a shallow wetlands channel in California is still there, and one specialist says he may have been "bullied" into staying put. Rescue crews attempted to help the dolphin back into the open ocean Saturday, but a group of dolphins attacked it and forced it back... More »

Dolphin Stranded in Wetlands

California marine officials will hold off on rescue for now

(Newser) - Marine mammal experts in Southern California have decided to wait and see whether a dolphin that strayed into a shallow wetlands channel can find its way out. The 7-foot-long black-and-white common dolphin made its way into Orange County's Bolsa Chica wetlands and was spotted swimming in tight circles near... More »

Homeless Killer Suspect Accused of 2 More Murders

Itzcoatl Ocampo to be charged with stabbing Raquel Estrada, Juan Herrera

(Newser) - Authorities believe Itzcoatl Ocampo, the 23-year-old Iraq veteran charged with stabbing four homeless men to death in California, also killed two other people—ones that he knew. Ocampo will be charged today with the murders of Raquel Estrada, 53, and her 34-year-old son, Juan Herrera, the mother and brother of... More »

Suspect in Homeless Killings Is Iraq War Vet

Calif. man talked of hallucinations

(Newser) - A suspect detained for killing homeless people in Southern California is a mentally unstable Iraq war veteran who complained of hallucinations, the Los Angeles Times reports. When Itzcoatl Ocampo returned from service in 2010, "he was sick," his uncle says. But Ocampo never went to therapy appointments made... More »

Catholics Win Bid to Buy Crystal Cathedral

Bankruptcy judge, cathedral board choose diocese over Chapman University

(Newser) - The Catholics won this round: A bankruptcy judge ruled yesterday that Crystal Cathedral will be sold to Orange County’s Roman Catholic Diocese for $57.5 million, meaning the iconic Protestant building will likely become a Catholic one soon. Chapman University was competing with the diocese to buy the property,... More »

Catholics Bid $57.5M to Buy Crystal Cathedral

But Chapman University also wants the site for a satellite campus

(Newser) - The Catholic Diocese of Orange County has boosted its bid for the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral to $57.5 million, and hopes to make the gleaming 3,000-seat church its own county-wide cathedral. The other key bidder locked in a battle for the site is Chapman University, which hopes to use... More »

Jail Video of Casey Anthony Released

She is seen reacting to news reports about the discovery of remains

(Newser) - A controversial jailhouse video showing Casey Anthony reacting to news reports about the discovery of remains has been released. Grainy and without audio, it shows Anthony hunching over and rocking while in the waiting room of a medical facility in the jail, and later speaking with her attorney. The remains... More »

Woman Dies After Lap-Band Procedure—5th So Far

Her outpatient center calls story 'premature'

(Newser) - Lap-Band surgery appears to have claimed another victim. A woman in Orange County, Calif., died earlier this month after undergoing the procedure, the fifth to expire since the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign started two years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports. Paula Rojeski, 55, was 5 foot 5 and weighed around... More »

US Muslim Students Guilty in Free-Speech Case

10 at UC Irvine convicted of disrupting Israeli ambassador's talk

(Newser) - Ten Muslim students at UC Irvine have been convicted of misdemeanor counts of disrupting a speech on campus by the Israeli ambassador to the US, reports the Los Angeles Times . They will get probation and community service in the case, which featured freedom-of-speech arguments by both prosecutors and the defense.... More »

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