SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GETS MORE WAVES AS STORM EASES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous rip currents.
Big breakers chewed away at beaches and provided thrills for surfers, body-boarders and shoreline crowds.
However, meteorologists said the conditions had peaked and would gradually subside through Friday, with high surf advisories expected to expire that evening.
Tropical Storm Marie, downgraded from hurricane status, was spinning more than 800 miles west of Punta Eugenia, Mexico, and was expected to be further downgraded to post-tropical cyclone status Thursday night, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The storm was moving toward the northwest at about 15 mph with maximum sustained winds dropping to 45 mph.
Surging surf arrived on the Southern California coast late Tuesday and was wildest on Wednesday. Blocks of oceanfront homes flooded in low-lying Seal Beach south of Los Angeles, pilings were knocked off the Malibu Pier and a boatyard on Santa Catalina Island was battered.
Warnings or advisories were posted for hundreds of miles of coastline. The National Weather Service called it the region’s most significant southerly swell event since July of 1996.
TEEN’S DEATH LEADS TO SAFEGUARDS FOR SOME AIR GUNS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Last year’s fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica weapon has prompted state lawmakers to approve a bill requiring bright markings on certain air guns.
Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa said Thursday that she believes Andy Lopez would still be alive if SB199 had been law. The Santa Rosa boy was killed when a sheriff’s deputy mistook his airsoft BB gun for a real AK-47.
The bill would apply to guns that fire pellets or BBs that are six millimeters or eight millimeters. They would have to have brightly colored surfaces or prominent fluorescent strips.
Several Republicans say criminals could simply paint real guns to confuse police.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE KEEPS GROWING: HAPPY CAMP (AP) — A lightning-sparked wildfire in Klamath National Forest near the small Northern California logging and gold mining town of Happy Camp kept growing Thursday, pushed by westerly winds that sent embers ahead of the main blaze.
The fire has forced the evacuation of people in as many as 250 scattered rural homes and other buildings.
It has grown to about 50 square miles and was 20 percent contained since starting two weeks ago.
Fire spokesman Ken Sandusky said fears that the fire could quickly cover the 10 miles separating it from Scott River Valley prompted the mandatory evacuations ordered Wednesday night by the Siskiyou County sheriff.
An evacuation center has been set up in Yreka, but no one was using it, Sandusky said.
Persistent air inversions trapping smoke in the valley have kept air tankers from dropping retardant in recent days. The fire has taken off at night when the inversion lifts, forcing firefighters to fall back.
BILL WOULD CRACK DOWN ON PAPARAZZI DRONES: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown would crack down on paparazzi deploying drones as they chase celebrities.
The state Assembly passed AB2304 Thursday on a 72-0 vote.
The legislation by Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau of Monterey Park would make drone operators liable for invasion of privacy when they photograph and record celebrities in their backyards and homes. The issue was highlighted recently when pop star Miley Cyrus posted a video of a drone hovering over her home.