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.
RARE WHALE FOSSIL PULLED FROM BACKYARD: RANCHO PALOS VERDES (AP) - A search-and-rescue team pulled a rare half-ton whale fossil from a Southern California backyard Friday, a feat that the team agreed to take on as a makeshift training mission.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A state appellate court ruling has given new momentum to Gov. Jerry Brown's $68 billion high-speed rail project by providing the state with a substantial funding source and lifting one cloud over a plan that has been widely criticized for its cost, route, construction plans and environmental reviews.
STOCKTON (AP) - The attorney for the family of a woman who was killed after being taken hostage during a Northern California bank robbery said he wants to know whether police made mistakes or suffered a communication breakdown, a newspaper reported.
SAN BERNARDINO . (AP) - A 76-year-old Fontana man has won a $60 million Powerball jackpot - the largest Lotto award in San Bernardino County history.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco transit bus and a commuter train crashed into trucks minutes apart Friday, injuring 40 people and sending more than 20 of them to the hospital, authorities said.
ALTURAS (AP) - Firefighters in Northern California were battling several lightning-sparked wildfires Friday, including a blaze in rural Modoc County that forced about 120 people to evacuate.
FRESNO (AP) - A Fresno man who told detectives he strangled his 78-year-old grandmother will be tried on a murder charge.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus.
DENVER (AP) - Water providers from four western states and the federal government announced an $11 million agreement Thursday to fund projects meant to counteract critically low water levels in the Colorado River basin, which supplies water to about 40 million people in seven states.