300-year-old oak branch crushes vehicles in Bay Area
PLEASANT HILL ( AP) — Sections of a massive oak tree estimated to be at least 300 years old crashed down and damaged seven parked cars in a San Francisco Bay Area city.
Residents in Pleasant Hill, California, are now asking who’s responsible for the damage.
KGO-TV reports Thursday that overnight, a giant limb snapped off the oak, which the city had named “Emma” and declared a heritage tree.
Homeowner Ashley Cudd said the tree’s protected status meant she couldn’t chop it down and needed approval to trim it, which was granted once but denied several times.
Pleasant Hill city official Mike Nielsen said the tree belongs to the homeowners and damage is their responsibility. He says the homeowners can now remove the tree since it’s an emergency but will have to pay for it. ▶FIREFIGHTERS DECLARE MASSIVE REDDING
BLAZE FULLY CONTAINED: REDDING (AP) — A massive California wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes and claimed eight lives has been fully contained.
State fire officials said Thursday that the Carr Fire is surrounded. However, firefighters will continue to patrol the area for several days and crews are still working on repairing broken fences and other damage caused by firefighters.
The blaze charred nearly 360 square miles (929 square kilometers) in and around Redding, making it the seventh largest in California history.
The fire killed four civilians, including a woman and her two great-grandchildren, along with a Redding fire inspector and a bulldozer operator.
A Pacific Gas & Electric apprentice lineman and a state fire heavy equipment mechanic assigned to the blaze died in vehicle-related accidents. ▶SOUTH PASADENA POLICE SHOOT, KILL WOMAN
BRANDISHING BB GUN: SOUTH PASADENA (AP) — South Pasadena police have killed a woman they say pointed a BB gun at them.
The shooting occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday in the small Los Angeles suburb.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says police went to an apartment to check on a 49-year-old woman with a possible medical condition.
Authorities say she was having seizures and also appeared to have mental health problems.
Paramedics and a mental health clinician were called.
The Sheriff’s Department says authorities talked to the woman for more than 90 minutes, offering her medical care but she was uncooperative.
Officers said the woman finally got what appeared to be a handgun and was shot when she pointed it at them.
It turned out to be a BB gun. The shooting is under investigation. ▶JUDGE TOSSES LAWSUIT AGAINST CALIFORNIA
DRUG PRICE LAW: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a California law requiring pharmaceutical companies to give advance notice before big price increases.
U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr., ruled Thursday in Sacramento that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America failed to show that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. He gave PhRMA 30 days to refile.
The law requires 60 days’ notice to raise national wholesale prices above a certain threshold.
PhRMA says California’s law illegally tries to dictate national health policy. The group also says the bill is unconstitutionally vague and violates the First Amendment by forcing drug companies to justify price increases.
A PhRMA spokeswoman said Thursday the organization still has concerns about the law’s constitutionality. ▶ARTIST HONORS ROBIN WILLIAMS WITH SAN
FRANCISCO MURAL: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An artist is paying tribute to the late Robin Williams with a giant mural in San Francisco that depicts his blue eyes and nose framed by silver hair.
The San Francisco Examiner reports that Argentine muralist Andres Iglesias, who signs his art with the pseudonym Cobre, completed his wall-sized tribute to Williams on Sunday in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood.
The artist says he picked Williams because he inspired him as a kid.
Iglesias says he tried to capture a smiling but sad Williams.
Williams grew up and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, where his stand-up career started. He died by suicide in 2014.
Officials have also honored the comedian by naming a tunnel near the Golden Gate Bridge and a meadow at the Golden Gate Park for him. ▶CALIFORNIANS COULD RIDE SCOOTERS WITH
OUT HELMETS UNDER BILL: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Californians could ride motorized scooters without helmets under legislation headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Lawmakers in the California Assembly passed the bill Wednesday. It would let adults ride the devices without helmets and allow riders to travel on fastermoving streets.
The bill requires Brown’s approval to become law. Scooter company Bird backs the proposal.
Bird is one of several companies that operate popular scooter rental services people can access through mobile apps in Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities throughout the United States.
The rental companies have clashed with local government officials across the country as residents complain about riders rushing past pedestrians on sidewalks, not wearing helmets and parking scooters in walkways.