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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz and Jason Wells
A fast-growing brush fire that broke out Thursday morning above Glendora started to overrun hillside homes as it grew to more than 125 acres, prompting evacuations, authorities said. The fire, reported  just before 6 a.m. near the intersection of Glendora Mountain Road and Colby Trail Motorway, was sending a huge plume of smoke into the air as it advanced south down the hillside, overtaking at least two homes and other structures, aerial news footage showed. Mandatory evacuations were in place for areas west of Glendora Boulevard to North Sierra Madre Boulevard, according to an alert issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
The investigation into the death of a newborn baby found beaten and burned in a trash dumpster in Oildale has come to a standstill, Kern County Sheriff's Department investigators said Thursday. “I've been working in law enforcement for 25 years and this is the only case that I can recall where the baby was murdered, dumped and abandoned, and we really have no indication who the parents were,” said Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt. “Obviously, this baby was the victim of a violent crime and it's a troubling case," he continued.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
A man suspected of the New Year's Day killing of a well-loved Northern California priest also allegedly attempted to light the body on fire and blow up the rectory at St. Bernard Parish in Eureka, court records reveal. Gary Lee Bullock, 44, allegedly rolled Father Eric Freed's body into blankets and doused him with “several bottles” of 80-proof alcohol. He then attempted to light Freed's body on fire, according to an affidavit filed with the Humboldt County Superior Court. The fire extinguished itself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Southland residents are barred from burning wood or manufactured logs in their fireplaces from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday because of  elevated “fine particulate levels,” air quality regulators said. The no-burn alert does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the High Desert, according to a statement from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Low-income households, homes that rely on wood as their sole source of heat and homes without natural gas service are also exempt.
OPINION
December 27, 2013
Re "Making the Rim fire worse," Editorial, Dec. 24 The emotional need to make the black go away after a wildfire, in addition to financial incentives, lead to counterproductive actions such as salvage logging, massive tree-planting projects and irrational clearance of valuable chaparral, California's distinctive shrubland habitat. Instead, we need patience; The Times' editorial makes this point clear. Salvage logging would only make the Rim fire damage worse by interfering with the natural healing process, encouraging the spread of flammable weeds, and would repeat mistakes the U.S. Forest Service made after a 1987 fire in the same area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By a Times staff writer
Firefighters early Thursday were battling a brush fire near the Santa Susana pass and were urging people to avoid the area. The fire broke out near Lilac Lane and Santa Susana Pass Road, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. Other agencies, including the Los Angeles Fire Department , were helping fight the blaze, which was being fanned by winds, officials said. The fire could been seen from the 118 Freeway. It's unclear whether homes were threatened.
OPINION
December 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The Stanislaus National Forest was a thickly forested wonderland of streams, wildlife and campgrounds until last summer's Rim fire - started by a hunter's illegal campfire - scorched more than 250,000 acres of it and the adjacent Yosemite National Park. To many people, it's a tragic sight now. What was once dense greenery is now scarred, gray and empty looking. But nature takes the long view. From its perspective, fire is about rejuvenation. It reinvigorates the soil and stimulates the growth of a greater variety of healthy new plants.
SPORTS
December 23, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
The Phoenix Suns had a big night from three-point range, defeating the Lakers, 117-90, making 14 of 32 three-point shots. Gerald Green scored 22 points, hitting 6 off 11 from long range.  Marcus Morris contributed 19 points, missing only one of six three-point shots. The Lakers struggled from the field, shooting 37%.  Nick Young scored 19 points and Jodie Meeks added 18 for the Lakers, who were playing from behind almost the entire night. Center Miles Plumlee had a career night for the Suns, finishing with 17 points and 20 rebounds.
SPORTS
December 23, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
  PHOENIX - The Lakers lost another game and generously gave another big man a career night, but Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't want to hear that any Lakers fans were discouraged. "If they're discouraged, then find another team to root for," he said testily after the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns, 117-90. "We're not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That's not even fair to these guys. " He said "Discouraged?" the same way former Indianapolis Colts Coach Jim Mora incredulously exclaimed "Playoffs?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
This post has been updated. See the note at the bottom for details. A 63-year-old woman was in serious condition after she was burned in a vehicle fire on an Orange County freeway, officials said Monday afternoon. The woman was a passenger with her husband traveling south on the 241 toll road in Orange County when the blaze broke out shortly after 2:30 p.m., fire officials said. "The fire went through the firewall" and burned the woman, who sustained second- and third-degree burns on her face, arms, back and legs, said Capt.
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