Orange County, California

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Amid Fierce Winds, 100K Ordered to Flee California Fires

2 firefighters critically injured near Irvine

(Newser) - California prepared for another round of dangerous fire weather Tuesday even as crews fought a pair of fast-moving blazes in the south that critically injured two firefighters and left more than 100,000 under evacuation orders. Some of the fiercest winds of the fire season drove fires up and down... More »

Sheriff: Deputy's Crime Was 'Violation of Public Trust'

Calif. officials: Steve Hortz responded to call on elderly man's death, then went back to steal

(Newser) - A Southern California man's work uniform may have initially helped him pull off a crime, but not ultimately. Steve Hortz, a deputy who's been with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for 12 years, was arrested Thursday after being accused of breaking into a home he'd reported... More »

1971 Racist Comments Again Have Airport's Name in Play

John Wayne advocated white supremacy in interview

(Newser) - "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility," actor John Wayne said in a 1971 interview. Those views—and quite a few others—are catching up to him. The Democratic Party of Orange County wants Wayne's name removed from the... More »

Cops: Basketball Legend's Son Stabbed Neighbor

Adam Abdul-Jabbar, son of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, arrested and charged with assault

(Newser) - The 28-year-old son of basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been arrested in Orange County, Calif., after cops there say he stabbed a neighbor earlier this week. Per TMZ Sports , authorities say Adam Abdul-Jabbar was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after officers responded to... More »

Surfers' Grisly Find: 'Like One of Those Dateline Stories'

Woman's body found in California waters; Orange County officials deem death 'suspicious'

(Newser) - A morning in California waters turned gruesome for a bunch of surfers this week when they stumbled across a woman's body—a death now being deemed "suspicious" by local officials. The San Clemente Times reports that the surfers came across the body around 8am Wednesday, in the ocean... More »

Cougar Was Dragging Boy by the Neck. Then, a Distraction

Animal, found with backpack hurled by father, is euthanized

(Newser) - A 3-year-old boy is recovering in Southern California after a mountain lion bit him on the neck. The boy was leading his family—two adults and three other children—on a walk through Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Lake Forest around 4pm Monday when the cougar appeared, seized the boy... More »

California Teens Pictured at Party With Swastika, Giving Nazi Salute

Photograph went viral, led to outcry

(Newser) - A California school district is investigating a social media photograph in which young people are seen giving Nazi salutes while standing around a table on which red cups form a swastika, the AP reports. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District was made aware Sunday of social media postings "involving some... More »

Experts Say Prosecutor Can't Seek Execution in 1973 Killing

After an arrest, district attorney said he could ask for the death penalty

(Newser) - A prosecutor has announced he might seek the death penalty in the case of an 11-year-old girl sexually assaulted and slain more than four decades ago, NBC reports. But Linda O'Keefe was killed in Newport Beach in 1973, in a period when California didn't have the death penalty—... More »

5 Dead After Plane Parts Hit California Homes

Cessna fell apart over Yorba Linda

(Newser) - Five people died and two others were injured after a small plane apparently came apart, dropping parts that scattered across a southern California neighborhood Sunday and ignited a house fire before landing in a backyard, witnesses and authorities say. The crash shook the Yorba Linda neighborhood about 2pm after the... More »

With a 6th Seat Flipped, Calif. Dems Cement a Rout in House

Gil Cisneros defeats Republican in Orange County, Richard Nixon's birthplace

(Newser) - Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held US House seat in Southern California, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state. In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim for the state's 39th District... More »

Warning Issued From Helicopter: You Are Next to 15 Great Whites

Paddle-boarders were advised to leave water calmly in California

(Newser) - A sheriff's helicopter crew warned a group of paddle-boarders to get out of the ocean after spotting more than a dozen great white sharks along the Southern California coast. Video posted online by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows a school of sharks swimming near several people in... More »

Man Documents 8K-Mile 'Ride From Hell' in Prison Van

David Hastings suing company for cruel and unusual punishment

(Newser) - A man accused of violating a protective order for his ex-wife and kids (he admits he and his teen daughter exchanged Facebook messages) was extradited from California to Florida to face those charges—but David Hastings says his 15-day, 8,000-mile ride across 31 states was the "ride from... More »

Harrison Ford's Harrowing 45 Seconds Captured on Video

He mistakenly flies low over airliner

(Newser) - Video released Tuesday shows a plane piloted by Harrison Ford suddenly and mistakenly flying low over an airliner with 110 people aboard at a Southern California airport. The 45 seconds of soundless video show the 74-year-old star's potentially serious mishap at John Wayne Airport in Orange County last week,... More »

5 Arrested in Connection With Orange County Jailbreak

But 3 escaped fugitives remain at large

(Newser) - Police have arrested five suspected gang members in connection with the escape of three prisoners last week from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Calif. The fugitives, however, remain at large. When announcing the arrests Wednesday, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens did not identify the men or say what charges... More »

Judge Who Let Sex Offender Off Easy Asked to Resign

OC community outraged M. Marc Kelly gave convict 10 years for abusing 3-year-old

(Newser) - Calls for the resignation of Superior Judge M. Marc Kelly abound on Facebook ; a Change.org petition has amassed 60,000 signatures; and Orange County, Calif., officials want him out. This after Kelly last Friday sentenced a man convicted of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old to just 10 years in prison... More »

Judge: Sex Offender 'Didn't Intend to Harm' 3-Year-Old

Judge blames convict's 'dysfunctional' childhood, gives him just 10 years

(Newser) - Twenty-five years to life was the least amount of time Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto should have gotten under California law for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. But an Orange County judge decided Friday that punishment was too draconian, instead sentencing the 20-year-old to just 10 years in prison, the Washington Post ... More »

Guy Busted in 10-Year Kidnap Case Faces 19 Years

Isidro Garcia charged with 5 felonies

(Newser) - Prosecutors in Orange County have charged a man with kidnapping his former girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter a decade ago and repeatedly sexually assaulting her. Isidro Medrano Garcia was charged today with five felony counts, including forcible rape, kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, and three counts of lewd acts on... More »

Dead Serial Killer Suspect Ingested Ajax: Lawyer

Itzcoatl Ocampo faced death penalty for 6 murders

(Newser) - A California man believed to have been the serial killer who stalked homeless people in Orange County last year died yesterday after being found vomiting in his prison cell. Itzcoatl Ocampo, a 25-year-old Iraq veteran, had yet to stand trial for the stabbing murders of four homeless men he apparently... More »

Professor Faces Trial for Alleged Rapist's Murder

California says she was accomplice 18 years ago

(Newser) - A psychology professor from a Swiss university is in a California jail, charged with helping murder the man she says raped her in 1995. Patricia Esparza, 39, was arrested last year in the cold case when she returned to the US for an academic conference. Authorities say 18 years ago,... More »

Shootings Reported Along California Freeways

At least 4 dead in Tustin-area incidents, including shooter

(Newser) - At least four people are dead in a series of shootings along two Southern California freeways, including the suspected gunman. Police got their first call at about 4:45am from a home in the Tustin area, where they found one woman's body with multiple gunshot wounds. The suspect, a... More »

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