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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
December 18, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Christmas not complete without film of a burning Yule log playing on your TV? The annual holiday tradition is back this year, but with a few modern variations. The annual Yule log film began in 1966 when New York station WPIX first aired a three-hour film of logs burning in a fireplace on Christmas Eve. Ratings were surprisingly good, so the next year the film was re-aired, and then re-aired again. "The Yule Log" airing became a WPIX tradition in New York, where many apartment dwellers had no fireplace of their own, but eventually ended in 1989.
December 16, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
A fire in Monterey County has burned more than 300 acres of dense, dry vegetation, prompting some evacuations in the Big Sur area, officials said. Dubbed the Pfeiffer fire, the blaze started late Sunday near the intersection of Pfeiffer Ridge Road and Highway 1, said Andrew Madsen, a spokesman for the Los Padres National Forest. At least 50 people have been evacuated from the area, he said. Air tankers, four helicopters and a strike team of engines from the Angeles National Forest were assisting crews on the ground, who are working to put containment lines in place, Madsen said.
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