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January 16, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A rapidly growing fire in the foothills of Glendora showered a wide area of Los Angeles County with smoke and ash Thursday, prompting air quality alerts across the region. As hundreds of firefighters raced to the Angeles National Forest to battle the Colby fire, the South Coast Air Quality Management District warned that air quality was forecast to quickly plummet to unhealthy levels across the region. They urged residents from the San Gabriel Valley to the Pomona Valley to stay indoors, with the towering plume visible to residents from West Los Angeles to Orange County.
January 13, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
San Bernardino law enforcement officials on Monday were advising residents in a Highland neighborhood to beware of an aggressive mountain lion that has attacked two small domestic animals. Mountain lion tracks were found over the weekend in the backyard of a home in the 6700 block of Grove Avenue, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. "The tracks are consistent with that of a large mountain lion," department officials said in a statement. In November, a mountain lion attacked the two domestic animals at the same home and "became aggressive toward the home owner as deputies arrived," officials said.
January 12, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Federal officials kicked up their campaign against discriminatory school discipline policies last week, issuing first-ever guidelines for school districts on how to avoid racial disparities in student punishment. In a 23-page letter, officials with the U.S. departments of justice and education said they recognized that schools must use discipline to promote a "safe and orderly" environment but that federal data and investigations showed that African Americans were punished more harshly and frequently than whites in similar situations.
January 9, 2014 | By Jason Wells
Gusty winds Thursday and Friday could pose a hazard for high-profile vehicles, such as big rigs and RVs, as they traverse the Grapevine and other mountain areas, weather forecasters say. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are expected through Thursday evening for mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, while gusts of up to 45 mph could hit over the same period in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, the National Weather Service warned....
January 3, 2014 | By Melissa Rohlin
Sparks Chairwoman Paula Williams Madison said Friday that her family-owned company realized in December that it could no longer afford to be the primary investor in the WNBA team because of continuing losses. Madison told The Times that since their family firm, Williams Group Holdings, began investing in the Sparks in 2007, the firm had lost nearly $12 million on the team and was projected to lose more than $1 million in the 2014 season. "You kind of get to a point where you say how much more can I afford to invest," Madison said.
January 2, 2014 | By Marisa Gerber, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Thick flames raced through a lumberyard in Pacoima on Thursday evening, prompting fire officials to ask for the shutdown of a nearby Metrolink station. The Los Angeles Fire Department got a call just before 8 p.m. and classified the blaze in the  11100 block of Sutter Avenue  as a greater alarm fire, according to department spokesman Brian Humphrey. Although no injuries or evacuations have been reported, Humphrey said the “greater alarm” description was triggered because of the number of firefighters deployed to the blaze: 87. The department asked Metrolink to stop the trains coming in and out of the Antelope Valley station, he said, because there were fire hoses crossing over the tracks.
January 2, 2014 | By Maria La Ganga and W.J. Hennigan
SEATTLE - Waving angry signs and clenched fists, several hundred union members rallied Thursday afternoon for a vote against a contract that would cut their benefits but guarantee that Boeing Co. builds its latest wide-body jet in the Puget Sound area. "This is the fight of our lives," said local union leader Wilson Ferguson of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as the raucous crowd in the union's hall cheered. "This is the front line of the labor movement right now. Thank you for coming out and supporting us. " The machinists union, which represents more than 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington state, is planning to vote Friday on a contract aimed at keeping the aerospace giant's 777X project in the region.
January 2, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
A federal safety alert Thursday warned that crude oil flowing out of new fields in North Dakota may be more flammable than expected, a caution that comes several days after a train carrying about 3.5 million gallons of the same oil crashed in the state and set off a massive explosion. The accident on the BNSF Railway, the fourth such explosion in North America involving crude oil trains, has fed mounting concerns over public safety as the rail industry sharply increases the use of rail to transport surging crude production in North Dakota, Texas and Colorado.
December 30, 2013 | By Matt Pearce and Ralph Vartabedian
A small community in North Dakota was evacuated Monday evening after a train carrying crude oil collided with another train, setting off a large fire and explosions, according to the local sheriff's department. No injuries have been reported, Sgt. Tara Morris of the Cass County Sheriff's Office said. Officials received a report at 2:12 p.m. of a train derailing about a mile west of Casselton, a city of 2,432 people about 20 miles west of Fargo, Morris said. Steven Forsberg, a spokeswoman for BNSF Railway, said the accident occurred when a grain train derailed and hit a crude oil train on a second main track, causing it to derail as well.
December 15, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
Santa Ana winds, low humidity and dry conditions prompted authorities to issue a red-flag warning of increased fire danger for much of Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside counties Sunday. The alert was expected to remain in effect until 6 p.m., the National Weather Service in Oxnard reported. Temperatures in many coastal and valley areas were expected to climb into the lower- to mid-80s, with highs of 84 at the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, 83 in Malibu Canyon and 81 in Whittier Hills already recorded, according to meteorologist David Sweet.
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