SACRAMENTO (AP) - A high-ranking official at the California Department of Parks and Recreation carried out a secret vacation buyout program last year for himself and other employees at the department's headquarters, just as the agency was planning to close 70 state parks due to budget cuts.
CALIFORNIA TOBACCO TAX SUPPORTERS CALL FOR RECOUNT: SACRAMENTO (AP) - Tobacco tax supporters want a recount of ballots in parts of Los Angeles County to see if California's barely-defeated Proposition 29 might swing the other way.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco, the city that regulated Happy Meal toys and banned plastic grocery bags, has a new target in its health-conscious, eco-friendly crosshairs: plastic water bottles.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Scientists studying the carcass of a 47-foot fin whale that washed up on a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore last month found the creature's spine and ribs severed, likely from the propeller of one of the huge cargo ships that sail those waters.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Nearly two-thirds of California voters cast their vote by mail in the June election, a record for the state, but fewer than a third of registered voters turned out, Secretary of State Debra Bowen reported Friday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The space weather forecast for Earth looks a bit stormy this weekend, but scientists said not to worry.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Film producer Richard Zanuck, who won the best picture Oscar for "Driving Miss Daisy" and was involved in such blockbuster films as "Jaws" and "The Sting" after his father, Hollywood mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, fired him from 20th Century Fox, died Friday. He was 77.
FORESTHILL (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday called in more firefighters and the California National Guard to help battle a Placer County wildfire that has forced the evacuation of 300 people.
2 infants contract salmonella in Modesto
NEW SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT USED COPS AS CHAUFFEURS: MCCLELLAN, (AP) - A newly-elected Northern California school board president reportedly used police officers to chauffeur him on personal trips and errands.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's teacher pension fund earned just a 1.8 percent return from investments this year, a rate that fell well short of expectations and could add to the system's shortfall, officials revealed Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three former employees of Wet Seal Inc. have filed a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against the teen clothing store operator, claiming management set out to fire African-American employees because they didn't fit the retailer's "brand image."
FORESTHILL (AP) - About 300 people in Placer County remained under evacuation orders as a fire burning in a steep, heavily wooded area grew in size and intensity Thursday, fueled by hot weather and wind.
ATTORNEY HIRED IN FIGHT OVER 49ERS STADIUM FUNDS: SANTA CLARA (AP) - A Santa Clara County board has hired a lawyer to defend its decision to pull $30 million in taxpayer funds from the San Francisco 49ers stadium project.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California added the threat of fires and flooding to its misery on Thursday as forecasters predicted continued hot, muggy weather coupled with the chance of thunderstorms.
VALLEJO (AP) - A major Northern California earthquake that caused an estimated $400 million in damage also unloosed torrents of groundwater that may help ease the region's drought.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Cirilo Flores was an attorney when he had a midlife change of heart and became a Roman Catholic priest, leading to a brief tenure as the first Hispanic bishop of San Diego.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The Governator is back.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California conservation groups took advantage of depressed property values during the nation's recession to snap up vast swaths of land for public use in the Sierra Nevada region.
MARIPOSA (AP) - A new wildfire that broke out Friday on the edge of Yosemite National Park has forced the evacuation of about 700 homes, officials said.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Authorities say a pair of deer on the Golden Gate bridge snarled traffic in and out of San Francisco during the evening commute.
SAN BRUNO (AP) - The biggest beneficiary of the record $1.4 billion fine levied against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a gas line explosion that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in suburban San Francisco is the state of California, which stands to gain $950 million to spend any way it wants.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - City council and school board members gathering for dinners, parties or other social affairs must guard their words or notify the public beforehand if a majority will attend and talk policy.
ORINDA (AP) - A U.S. Army officer who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq was celebrated as a hero for his actions off the battlefield.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hazing was involved in the death of a California State University, Northridge, student who collapsed during an 18-mile fraternity pledge hike, the school's president announced Friday.
QUAKE QUIRK: WATER FLOWING IN CREEKS: NAPA (AP) - Last month's earthquake in California's wine country has residents marveling at the sight and sound of water running in some local creeks again.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Emerging data on last month's 6.0 magnitude earthquake shows it directed most of its force north toward Napa and the Napa Valley, hitting hard enough to move one side of the West Napa Fault north by 18 inches, the head of the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Science Center said Thursday.
FRESNO (AP) - Environmentalists filed a lawsuit Thursday against a federal agency, saying it aims to protect the California spotted owl living in the burned forests marked for logging after the third-largest wildfire in state history.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police have arrested demonstrators who blocked a downtown street near a McDonald's restaurant to protest low wages for fast-food workers.
THOUSAND OAKS (AP) - A deadly albino cobra that ran loose for days in a Southern California neighborhood was captured Thursday.