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California wind, and fire danger, hits unprecedented high

VENTURA, Calif.—Southern California has felt yellow wind, orange wind, and red wind. But never purple wind. Until now. The colour-coded system showing the expected strength of the winds driving the region’s fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory, pushing past red, which means “high” into the colour that means “extreme.” “The forecast for tomorrow is purple,” …

Husband wife team uses hawks to scare off ‘pest’ birds in LA

LOS ANGELES — A hawk named Riley soars between high-rises in downtown Los Angeles. Smaller birds take notice. And take flight. Riley lands on a branch, surveys the concrete jungle below and swoops down to land on the gloved hand of her owner. Blazer-clad professionals on their way to lunch do double-takes. Husband-and-wife falconers Alyssa …

‘I wasn’t ready to die,’ says Vegas victim from hospital bed

LAS VEGAS — Tubes connecting to veins in her arms, Natalie Vanderstay clutches a pillow to her stomach, over the spot where a bullet entered her body. Blankets cover the leg that was ripped apart, doctors believe by shrapnel. The 43-year-old Los Angeles nurse can hardly believe she’s alive. In the past 48 hours, she …

Complicated recovery awaits victims injured in Vegas attack

LAS VEGAS — Their concert turned into a siege, and now their lives may become a battle. The staggering count of people injured in the shooting at a Las Vegas music festival means their recoveries are likely to be as varied as the victims themselves. Some injuries are as simple as broken bones, others gunshot …

Gunman from hotel perch kills 59, wounds 527 in Las Vegas

Embed from Getty Images LAS VEGAS—The victims just kept coming. In private cars, in ambulances waiting four or five deep, from the walking wounded to the barely alive, they arrived in droves. “I have no idea who I operated on,” said Dr. Jay Coates, a trauma surgeon whose hospital took in many of the wounded …

Harvey’s dead mourned as search for missing gets desperate

HOUSTON — Benito Juarez Cavazos had come to Texas illegally from Mexico on his own as a young teen and was in the process 28 years later of getting his green card when he was swept away in the flood waters left by Hurricane Harvey. Cavazos, 42, had recently received a work permit and social …

‘Need help’: Harvey victims use social media when 911 fails

Desperate for help and unsure whether traditional rescue efforts will come through, Harvey victims are using social media to share maps of their location and photos of themselves trapped on rooftops and inside buildings. “Need help in NE Houston! Baby here and sick elderly!” one user posted on Twitter along with her address late Sunday. …

Homeless California war veteran gets place to call home

MIDWAY CITY, Calif. — Vernon Poling was 44 years old when he got a home of his own. The Iraq war veteran was medically discharged from the Army in 2014, had to quit his trucking job for medical reasons, and found himself living out of his pickup last year in Orange County, a sprawling area …

Afghan family detained in Los Angeles are asking for release

LOS ANGELES –An Afghan family of five who obtained special visas to relocate to the U.S. were detained by immigration officials when they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday and have been in custody ever since, according to court records and their attorneys. The mother, father and their three children, including a baby, …

As thousands become citizens in Los Angeles, some talk Trump

LOS ANGELES –Some wiping tears from their eyes, thousands of people became U.S. citizens Wednesday during a Los Angeles ceremony where President Donald Trump wasn’t far from many of the immigrants’ thoughts. Shortly after posing in front of a massive American flag, 21-year-old Iranian immigrant Erik Danialian said he was relieved to become a U.S. …