Friday, August 10, 2018


Holy Fire

Aircraft turned hillsides red with retardant as homeowners wet their houses with garden hoses in a battle to contain an arson wildfire, which prompted evacuation orders for more than 20,000 people threatened by the Holy Fire in Riverside County. The fire has charred more than 10-thousand acres of brush and has burned at least 12 cabins. It’s five percent contained.

Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency last night for Orange and Riverside counties as the four-day-old fire carved its way along ridges and hillsides of the Cleveland National Forest.

Brown's proclamation said thousands of homes were threatened by the fire in the foothills above Lake Elsinore and nearby communities and ordered state agencies to help local governments.

A resident of Holy Jim Canyon in the forest was scheduled for a court hearing today charges that he deliberately set the fire.

Fifty-one-year-old Forrest Clark is charged with arson and other crimes and could face life in prison if convicted.

Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Milligan has told the Orange County Register that Clark had a decade-long feud with neighbors and sent him threatening emails last week, including one that said, "This place will burn." The newspaper reported ironically, his cabin was the only one in the canyon to survive the flames.


Bear cub burned in California wildfire gets 'fish-skin'

A bear cub is recovering after receiving fish skin bandages to its paws that were burned in the California wildfires.

A contractor found the yearling female lying in ash and unable to walk on Aug. 2. The bear was taken to the California Fish and Wildlife's lab in Rancho Cordova, where video shows sterilized tilapia skins were placed on its injured paws. The cub also received antibiotics, laser treatments and acupuncture to manage pain.

The fish-skin therapy was used to treat two bears in 2017, and they were released into the wild in January.

Officials are optimistic the bear will recover.


Orange County reports First Human West Nile Virus Infection of 2018

The OC Health Care Agency says a Tustin woman in her 70’s was diagnosed this week with West Nile Virus encephalitis. She’s the first human West Nile Virus infection identified in Orange County this season.

Last year, there were 38 reported human infections of the virus and four virus related deaths in Orange County.

Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus don’t experience symptoms, but about 20 percent will develop fever and may have a headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes a skin rash.


Man sentenced for attacking 5 women in California

A 36-year-old Buena Park man convicted of attacking five women in an Orange County crime spree has been sentenced to more than 100 years in state prison.

Ulises De la Torre was sentenced for crimes ranging from burglary to torture, kidnapping and attempted murder.

Prosecutors say he intended to commit sex crimes when he attacked five women over the course of several hours on Jan. 16, 2014 in Anaheim and Garden Grove.

Authorities say De La Torre beat up and tried to kidnap one woman as she walked home from work, stabbed another woman after entering her home and attacked and stabbed two other women in an Anaheim hotel.

A fifth woman was punched and knocked down while jogging in Garden Grove.


Billionaire drops quest to split California into 3 parts

The billionaire behind a measure to split California in three says he's giving up on the effort after the state Supreme Court knocked it off the November ballot.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper wrote in a letter to the court dated Aug. 2 and made public by his opponents yesterday, "The political environment for radical change is right now. The removal of Proposition 9 from the November ballot has effectively put an end to this movement."

The court struck Draper's measure in July in response to a lawsuit but didn't rule on the merits of the case, allowing Draper the opportunity to fight to put it on future ballots. He's not moving forward with the case.

Draper spent more than $1.7 million to qualify his initiative for the ballot, which requires gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures.

It's not his first effort to break up California — his plan to split the state into six didn't qualify for past ballots. He's argued California has become ungovernable due to its size and diversity, politically and geographically.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9

These days it seems we're well past the days where the release of a new smartphone draws the kind of attention it used to. Samsung will be hoping to buck that trend toward ho-hum-ness when it releases its newest product, the Galaxy Note 9. The new device will be faster and go longer without needing to be recharged. Those are nice features. But the question is how many people would be willing to shell out $1,000 for those features. The tech industry will be watching the release closely — to see whether a lack of major upgrades from year to year will keep people from continuing to pay increasingly steeper prices for the latest model.