101 Freeway remains closed as crews scramble to clear debris and mud

A line of government officials spent Tuesday evening reassuring Santa Barbara residents that an army of workers, dump trucks and excavators was working to return their battered community to normal, though it may take some time.

The community meeting at a local junior high school came ahead of possible…

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Unrest breaks out at state psychiatric hospital after crackdown on electronic devices

A California state psychiatric hospital housing mostly sexually violent predators has been locked down and visits canceled after a weekend protest over a crackdown on devices, such as flash drives, that officials say are often used to smuggle child pornography.

The patients at Coalinga State Hospital…

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Former classmate charged in slaying on Blaze Bernstein

Prosecutors charged a former classmate of Ivy League college student Blaze Bernstein with murder on Wednesday.

Samuel Woodward, 20, was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder after DNA evidence at the crime scene in Borrego Park and inside his car tied him to the slaying

Woodward was charged Wednesday…

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200,000 bees die when vandals topple hives, pour gas on them

A Prunedale, Calif., man says vandals toppled 100 beehives and killed hundreds of thousands of bees after dousing them with diesel fuel.

Mike Hickenbottom told KSBW-TV that the Italian and Russian honeybees on his property were attacked Saturday.

Hickenbottom says the bees are stored on his property…

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Surfers take advantage of big waves under gray skies

Orange County surfers grabbed their boards and braved the foggy beach early Tuesday with the hope of catching some sizable waves expected to hit the coast through Wednesday evening.

The larger-than-normal surf is the result of swells caused by a series of storms in the Gulf of Alaska. The National…

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‘New California’ is actually an old-school idea for breaking up the state

Here we go again. The “New California” movement — launched to little fanfare in 2016 — made a splash in the news this week thanks to the issuance of a public “declaration of independence” calling for the formation of a 51st state in the U.S. and headlines on CBS, USA Today and the Drudge Report.

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Program encourages food stamp users to stock up on fruits and vegetables

Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother’s farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border.

When she prepared…

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California bullet train cost surges by $2.8 billion: ‘Worst-case scenario has happened’

The estimated cost of building 119 miles of bullet train track in the Central Valley has jumped to $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the current budget and up from about $6 billion originally.

The new calculation takes into account a number of intractable problems encountered by the…

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Essential California: A house of horrors in Perris

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Jan. 17, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

On the scene

When Riverside County sheriff’s deputies entered the Perris house where a married couple was said to be holding their 13 children captive,…

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