Tag Archive: California

Bear Drives Car

A family vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Calif., awoke to the sound of their car horn only to find a bear trapped inside their Toyota Prius.

The bear, reportedly stuck inside the car, began thrashing in an attempt to free itself and moved the gear shift from park to neutral, the Contra Costa Times reports.

The family seemed to sympathize with the large animal, though.

“By the time he got that car in gear he was desperate,” Cece McCarthy told KABC-TV.

“He was probably thinking, “Why can’t I get out of here? What’s happening?'” Brian McCarthy said to Denver’s NBC 9.

The car rolled down the driveway and crashed into some boulders in a neighbor’s lawn, causing some damage to the exterior.

But damage to the interior was far worse.


The bear had ripped out the back seats, clawed through the fabric and destroyed the paneling, NBC 9 reports.

The animal managed to free itself and ran away, but the police were surprised by the call.

“Normally, you’ll get reports of the Dumpster divers and trash divers, but bears breaking into cars is different,” Lt. Stevenson of the South Lake Tahoe department, told the New York Daily News.

The owners claim there was not any food in the vehicle.

Apparently bears have a knack for getting into Toyotas.

brown bear in Colorado reportedly broke into a Corolla last summer and also got stuck.

The car rolled downhill before hitting some trees, according to Denver’s ABC 7 News. The car’s owner said he thought the bear might have been attracted to a sandwich that was left in the car.

San Diego utility says power restored to all customers after blackout

[Updated at 8:02 a.m ET] San Diego Gas and Electric Company says it has restored power to all 1.4 million customers in its service area affected by  a massive power outage that began Thursday afternoon.

[Updated at 6:56 a.m. ET] By early Friday morning, power had been restored to 710,000 consumers in San Diego County, the utility said. Power was back on late Thursday for consumers in Arizona and California’s Orange and Imperial counties.

Millions, though, were still without power.

[Posted at 5:42 a.m. ET] The California ISO, the state’s power grid operator, says nearly 5 million people in San Diego, Orange and Imperial counties may have been affected by the power outage.

The number is an estimate of the average number of people living in households in the region that were without power at the height of the blackout.

The total includes San Diego Gas & Electric’s estimated 1.4 million customers, or 3.5 million people, who were without power at the height of the outage.

About 20,000 consumers, or  60,000 people, in Orange County and another 150,000 consumers, or 450,000 people, in Imperial County were without power.

The total does not include those in Arizona or Mexico who were without power.


A man browses pictures of Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa on a websitePornography dealers can start registering on the industry‘s own exclusive .xxx web domain on Wednesday following its approval by an international regulatory body earlier this



The Florida-based ICM Registry, which provides the management and supporting infrastructure for the domain name, has touted its benefits for the industry, customers and those who prefer to avoid online adult content.

“.xxx registrations begin with a 50 day Sunrise period that gives businesses both inside and outside of the adult industry an exclusive timeframe to register or exempt themselves,” it said.

“Running concurrently, Sunrise A registers interest from the sponsored adult community, while Sunrise B has been specifically designed for companies outside the adult industry” to protect their intellectual property, it said.

The domain, approved by the California-based  () earlier this year, will take its place alongside the better-known .com, .gov, .edu and .net.

ICM Registry said the McAfee  will scan the domain for  on a daily basis, making the websites safer for users, and that having pornography sites concentrated in one place will allow people to more easily chose whether to visit them.

year, the domain operator said.

A man fell Monday off Half Dome, Yosemite National Park's renowned granite formation in the Sierra Nevada.

A 17th person has died in Yosemite National Park, which has been experiencing a higher than usual number of fatalities this year, authorities said.

Authorities have identified a man who fell Monday evening off Half Dome, the park’s renowned soaring granite formation in the Sierra Nevada, park officials said Wednesday.

The person, whose body was recovered Tuesday at the base of Half Dome by rangers, was identified as Ryan Leeder, 23, of Los Gatos, California, park officials said.

The incident appears to be accidental and remains under investigation, park spokesmen said Wednesday.

The 17 deaths are about twice the usual rate at Yosemite, officials said.

Authorities are searching for answers to explain the recent rash of deaths at the national park in California.

In July, near Yosemite’s beautiful Mist Trail, a young man lost his footing, slipping close to the edge of a waterfall. A female companion frantically grabbed for him but stumbled.

Another hiker followed and the three were swept over the powerful 317-foot Vernal Fall. Authorities at Yosemite National Park are still searching for two of the bodies.

That month was the busiest July for the park since 1985, with 730,487 visitors, park officials said. Last year, the park recorded 4,047,880 visitors, according to a statistical chart provided by park spokesmen.

While five visitors have died this year from natural causes, the others were accidental and often preventable, officials said.

Rangers say some visitors partake in dangerous practices such as hiking treacherous trails in flip-flops, climbing over safety rails to take better pictures or swimming perilously close to waterfalls.

Witnesses told park authorities that the three hikers who were swept over the waterfall in July had climbed over a safety rail.

“We don’t station a ranger in every possible dangerous place that’s out there,” said Kari Cobb, a park ranger. “People have to come here and realize that Yosemite is nature, and it is a very wild place.”

Bill Ott, a hiker, said he has seen people swimming in dangerous waters.

“We saw a number of people wading just steps from going into the faster water. It’s crazy. Just crazy,” he said.

Visitor Tim Timmerman said he has a plan to keep his family safe.

“We aren’t worried because we think if you stay where you’re supposed to stay, you’re safe and it’s exciting,” Timmerman said. “It’ll be a little scary for them, but it’s not dangerous if you do what you’re supposed to do.”

FOLSOM, Calif.  — Thermal imaging cameras recorded a parolee sneaking back into New Folsom State Prison at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, prison officials said.

“We quickly determined we did not have an escape. We found the suspect hiding in bushes near the Prison Industry Authority area,” prison spokesman Tony Quinn said.

Marvin Lane Ussery, 48, was arrested on suspicion of being a felon on prison grounds.Hoof it over to Facebook to join the weird news herd.

Ussery served time behind bars at New Folsom Prison, also known as California State Prison Sacramento, for robbery before he was granted parole in June 2009.

The prison houses mostly maximum-security inmates serving long sentences, or inmates who have been difficult to control at lower-security institutions.

Ussery’s bicycle was parked near where he hopped the prison fence, prison officials said. Thirty corrections officers combed the prison yard for hidden contraband that the ex-inmate may have been trying to sneak in.

“We don’t have any evidence of this in this case, but we have had incidents where former prisoners have snuck back onto the property to hide backpacks filled with drugs, alcohol or phones,” Quinn said.

Minimum-security prisoners then find those backpacks and try to smuggle the contraband into the prison,” he said. Officers had not found smuggled contraband by Thursday afternoon.

DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) is shown in this undated artist's conception, released August 11, 2011. REUTERS/DARPA/Handout

An unmanned experimental aircraft designed to glide down from the upper atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound lost contact with ground control on its second test flight on Thursday, a Pentagon agency said.

The Falcon HTV-2 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a rocket and successfully separated from the launch vehicle, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said.

The arrowhead-shaped plane was expected to separate from the rocket near the peak of its ascent and glide back to earth, reaching hypersonic speed before rolling and plunging into the Pacific ocean, according to a test diagram posted online.

About 10 minutes after the flight began, DARPA tweeted that the mission was “on track, entering glide phase.” But about 26 minutes later, DARPA tweeted that its monitoring stations had lost contact with the glider.

“Downrange assets did not reacquire tracking or telemetry,” DARPA tweeted about an hour later. “HTV-2 has an autonomous flight termination capacity.”

The loss of communications in the final stages of the test flight was a failure for the agency. During the initial flight test in April, researchers lost contact with the vehicle about nine minutes into the flight.

The Falcon HTV-2 glider is part of the Defense Department‘s effort to build what it calls a “prompt global strike” capability that would enable it to hit targets worldwide within an hour with conventional or nuclear warheads.

Roosters fighting in Compton.

In an effort to deter the illegal sport of cockfighting, San Diego County officials are moving to limit the number of roosters that can be kept on a parcel of property.

More than 100 persons in the county have been arrested for cockfighting in the past decade, and thousands of injured birds have been euthanized, officials said. Raising birds for fighting is a misdemeanor in California.

By 4-1, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors this week endorsed a limit on roosters to one on a half-acre parcel, four on an acre-parcel, six on a parcel between one and five acres, and 20 on a parcel of more than 20 acres. The restrictions are in addition to zoning laws that ban farm animals in many residential areas.

The ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, also requires humane treatment for roosters, including access to water and shade, “and sufficient room to spread both wings fully and to be able to turn in a complete circle.”

The new rules do not restrict commercial poultry ranches and school projects such as Future Farmers of America and 4-H.

The restrictions, once final adoption occurs — which is expected in September — will apply to the unincorporated areas of the county, particularly rural areas where cockfighting arrests have taken place.

The supervisors have also asked the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach — which contract with the county Department of Animal Services — to adopt similar ordinances.

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man stuck a butter knife into his belly in a failed bid at self-surgery to remove a painful hernia, police said Tuesday.

The wife of the 63-year-old Glendale man called 911 on Sunday night and told the emergency operator her husband was using a knife to remove a protruding hernia, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

“She said he had impaled himself with a knife,” Lorenz said.

A hernia occurs when all or part of an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a hole or a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue. While the man said he was trying to remove a hernia, hernias are normally repaired by doctors in a hospital or medical setting involving some type of procedure to push the organ back in.

Officers found the man naked on a patio lounge chair outside his apartment with a 6-inch butter knife sticking out of his stomach. The man’s wife told officers that her husband was upset about the hernia and wanted to take it out.

While waiting for paramedics, the sergeant said, the man pulled out the knife and stuffed a cigarette he was smoking into the bleeding, open wound.

“What he was thinking, I don’t know. I don’t know if he was cauterizing it (the wound),” Lorenz said.

The man wasn’t screaming or showing any signs of pain, the sergeant said.

Based on his actions and statements from the wife, Lorenz said the man was placed on psychiatric hold and taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Because he’s on psychiatric hold for up to 72 hours under the state Welfare and Institutions Code, Lorenz said the man’s name and condition cannot be released.

“You just never know what to expect,” said Lorenz, who has been on the police force for 29 years. “I’ve seen self-mutilation, but not a maneuver like this.”

A car stolen at knife-point hits a fire hydrant spraying water 100 feet into the air in a suburb of Los Angeles, California

Two homes in the El Sereno area of Los Angeles had to be evacuated after the black sedan hit a white truck and spun into the hydrant, shearing off the top.

Other residents found themselves trapped in their homes by the river of water which cascaded from the broken hydrant, flooding the surrounding streets.

Fire crews alongside officials from the Department of Food and Power had to battle for two hours to bring the geyser under control.

Prosecutor Warns Of ATM Scam

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Four people accused of using a skimming device to steal ATM card information were back in a Sacramento courtroom Monday afternoon.


Armen Babayan, Norik Hovhannisyan, Asmik Abramyan, and Vartanian Zorik are all accused of attempting to use a skimming device to steal ATM card information from a bank in Elk Grove on July 3.


Babayan and Hovannisyan are also accused of attempting the same thing at a bank in Citrus Heights just days later while out on bail.


“These people had the means to steal hundreds or thousands of names and card information,” said deputy District Attorney Joy Smiley.


The judge increased bail for Babayan and Hovannisyan to $100,000 because of they were rearrested on similar criminal charges.


However, a southern California defense attorney who spoke for the defendants said that he believes this is a case of vandalism, not identity theft.


“The people’s case is very weak,” said Glendale-based attorney Raffi Naljian.

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