Dream houses with dramatic views and designer touches — destroyed in minutes by Santa Rosa firestorm

In Santa Rosa almost everybody knows somebody who lost his or her house.

At a synagogue in the southeast part of the city about 30 families out of the congregation’s 460 lost their homes. A former president of the synagogue lost her life, the rabbi said.

At Santa Rosa High School, where the newspaper…

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Santa Rosa mayor surveys his devastated city: ‘The fire did not discriminate’

Things were looking up for Santa Rosa. The city finished a $10-million effort to revitalize its downtown square and anchor new development, and a new commuter train started running to the Bay Area.

When Mayor Chris Coursey spoke about building more housing at a conference in Santa Fe, N.M., a member…

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California declares state of emergency over deadly hepatitis A outbreak

California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency Friday because of the state’s hepatitis A outbreak that has killed at least 18 people.

“Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis A infection during an outbreak,” said California…

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Killer in robbery at L.A. Bob’s Big Boy loses appeal

A federal court on Friday rejected an appeal by a man sentenced to death for killing four people and seriously injuring several others during a 1980 robbery at a Los Angeles Bob’s Big Boy.

Ricardo Rene Sanders, convicted of four first-degree murders, challenged his conviction and sentence on various…

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Train derails in Lincoln Heights

Five Union Pacific rail cars derailed early Friday morning in Lincoln Heights, authorities said.

Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the derailment near 740 S. Lamar St., but all freight train cars remained upright and there were no injuries, no fire and no products or hazardous materials…

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Crews make slow progress against Northern California wildfires, as families wonder when they can go home

Firefighters continued to gain control of some fires scorching Northern California on Thursday night, thanks in part to continued calm winds in some parts of the region.

Altogether, the fires have burned more than 180,000 acres and caused at least 31 deaths. Officials expect the death toll to rise…

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Earthquake: 3.0 quake strikes near Gilroy

A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Friday morning four miles from Gilroy, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 4:13 a.m. PDT at a depth of 3.1 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was eight miles from Watsonville, 10 miles from Morgan Hil…

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Horrific toll of firestorms comes into focus as firefighters make progress

Calistoga was a ghost town Thursday. Thick smoke hung in the air like fog. Motorcycle cops in masks circled deserted streets. Everything downtown was closed — the art galleries, the cafes, the wine-tasting rooms.

But the fact that this Napa County wine country town was still standing was seen as…

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California firestorm took deadly toll on elderly; average age of victims identified so far is 79

As authorities begin to identify those killed in the wildfires raging across Northern California, a grim pattern is emerging.

Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest…

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