CREWS PROGRESSING ON 2 NORCAL WILDFIRES: REDDING (AP) — Officials say firefighters are making steady progress battling two wildfires in Northern California that have been burning for nearly two weeks.
Fire spokeswoman Madonna Lengerich says that evacuation orders remain in effect Thursday for hundreds of residents in northwest Siskiyou County as the Goff Fire continues to threaten about 80 homes in Seiad Valley.
Lengerich says residents may be allowed to return home Friday as crews continue reinforcing containment lines. The fire is 25 percent contained after scorching 27 square miles.
Meanwhile, 2,000 firefighters are putting out hot spots and strengthening control lines in the rugged North Pass Fire northeast of Covelo in Mendocino County.
Spokesman Stanley Bercovitz said Thursday that the fire is threatening 64 homes and another 70 structures as 11 have already been destroyed.
The blaze remains 28 percent contained after burning more than 53 square miles.
REDDING POLICE SAY WOMAN FATALLY SHOT DOG: REDDING (AP) — Redding police say they arrested a woman who fatally shot her dog and fired multiple shots outside her home in the middle of the night.
The Redding Record Searchlight reports that 50-year-old Victoria Taggart was found armed and screaming in her backyard early Thursday. Police say she turned herself in after they surrounded her house.
Sgt. Pete Brindley says Taggart admitted to shooting her dog, which was discovered in a bedroom.
Brindley says she fired 13 rounds outside, several of which struck her home.
Police say Taggart made unfounded claims that an intruder broke into her home. Authorities are investigating whether or not she was on drugs.
Taggart is being held in Shasta County Jail on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm and felony animal cruelty.
DEATH ROW INMATE ACCUSED OF ATTACKING GUARDS: SAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON (AP) — Two prison guards at San Quentin State Prison are recovering from injuries after authorities say a death-row inmate slashed and stabbed them with a weapon.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said 39-year-old inmate Timothy McGhee attacked the guards on Thursday as they attempted to return him to his cell after a shower.
The officers suffered injuries to their head, neck and arms. The prison said the guards' prognosis was good.
McGhee was sentenced to death in Los Angeles County in January 2009 after a first-degree murder conviction. He was convicted of slaying three people between 1997 and 2001, and for the attempted murder of four others, including two Los Angeles Police Department officers.
HOSPITAL WORKER ACCUSED OF SEX ASSAULTS: VISALIA (AP) — A hospital worker in Central California has been accused of sexually assaulting two patients.
Authorities say Timothy Michael Pohl of Tulare was arrested Tuesday and booked into jail on suspicion of five counts of assault with intent to commit rape and two counts each of sexual penetration by foreign object and inflicting bodily harm.
Visalia police say the two female victims — one aged 32, the other 42 — came forward this week, accusing the 29-year-old Pohl of sexually assaulting them while they were patients at a health center affiliated with the Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital in Visalia.
Pohl has apparently been employed at the hospital since April. Hospital officials say they are cooperating with police and have terminated Pohl's employment.
REMAINS OF MISSING SOLDIER FOUND IN VIETNAM: LA HABRA (AP) — Investigators have used DNA to identify the remains of a Southern California solder killed during a Vietnam ambush in 1969.
Sgt. 1st Class William T. Brown of La Habra and two other soldiers had vanished after the Southeast Asia ambush.
The Los Angeles Times says witnesses reported the three Americans were injured, with Brown suffering a gunshot wound to the side. But bad weather and the presence of the Viet Kong prevented rescuers from reaching the site eight days.
The American soldiers were gone when a search team arrived.
In 2007, a Vietnamese man alerted investigators to human remains in the area.
BACON AND HONEY USED TO CAPTURE BEAR: LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE (AP) — Game wardens used bacon and honey to capture a wild bear fond of wandering into neighborhoods north of downtown Los Angeles.
The Sheriff's Department says in a news release that the bear was trapped early Wednesday and was taken to a wildlife sanctuary in northern San Diego County.
The bear had come out of the mountains above Glendale, La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge on several occasions to raid trash cans. In July, he was returned to the wild when found snoozing in a neighborhood tree.
The state Department of Fish and Game prefers to relocate bears in the wild after they show up in urban areas.
But this time, wardens decided it was in the best interest of the bear to send him to a safe and secure facility.
BOMB THREAT FORCES EVAC OF SAN RAFAEL HIGH SCHOOL; SAN RAFAEL (AP) — Students at a Marin County high school that was evacuated after a bomb threat have returned to class.
Authorities searched Terra Linda High School in San Rafael after the threat was called in Thursday morning. The students were evacuated to the football field, but were allowed to return to class later in the morning.
San Rafael police Lt. Alan Piombo says the threat is believed to be a prank. The caller had apparently mentioned one particular campus building.
BILL TARGETS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST UNEMPLOYED: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would end what supporters say is an increasingly prevalent form of discrimination against unemployed job seekers.
The state Assembly on Thursday approved legislation that would prohibit employers from saying in job postings that they will consider only applicants who are already employed.
Labor groups say the long-term unemployed are finding that companies only want to hire those who already have a job. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Allen said he wrote AB1450 to protect vulnerable job seekers from that catch-22.
The California Chamber of Commerce initially placed the bill on its "job killer" list but removed it after the bill was amended to allow employers to inquire into employment status.
The bill passed the Assembly 45-23.
BILL GRANTS UNION-STYLE RULES FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown will consider a bill that would give nannies, housekeepers and other domestic workers an array of rights.
The bill passed the Assembly 42-27 Thursday after a partisan debate over unintended consequences.
Among other things, AB889 would give domestic workers the right to overtime, meal breaks, and, in the case of live-in workers, compensation for interrupted sleep.
Republicans questioned the bill's feasibility and the potential for average families to face legal liabilities. Its author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, said regulatory details would be worked out later by the state Department of Industrial Relations.