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California wildfires threaten towns, wineries ahead of dangerous weekend

California wildfires threaten towns, wineriesCalifornia fire crews deploying water-dropping helicopters made a defensive stand on Friday against flames raging in the foothills of the Napa Valley wine region as forecasts called for a return of dangerous high winds and hot weather this weekend.

More than 2,500 firefighters were battling the Glass Fire, which broke out last Sunday near the resort community of Calistoga, some 75 miles (120 km) north of San Francisco, and has already destroyed 248 homes or other structures.

Among them were the stately Chateau Boswell Winery north of Napa, and a farmhouse at the landmark Castello di Amorosa winery, where the castle-like main building survived.


Breonna Taylor case: Grand jury recordings released a week after no officers were charged in her death

Breonna TaylorRoughly 20 hours of grand jury recordings in the controversial Breonna Taylor decision were released Friday, allowing the public to see what evidence was presented by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office in the high-profile case.

The recordings reveal exactly who the Kentucky grand jury heard from and what they said that led to the decision to charge a former Louisville detective with felony wanton endangerment in the March 13 shooting — but not for Taylor's death.

The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, will be reviewing the recordings.


'Thought we were going to burn alive': California wine country wildfire rages; another could merge into mega-inferno of 1M acres

California wildfiresCrews kept a wary eye Thursday on potentially turbulent winds that could whip up two fierce wildfires in northern California amid fears one could merge with a third blaze into a mega-inferno of more than 1 million acres.

Weather forecasts called for high heat and gusty winds in the wine country north of San Francisco, which may further fuel the Glass Fire as it continues to torch the hills above the town of Calistoga.

Similar conditions may prompt the Zogg Fire, which has burned through 55,303 acres near Redding and left four people dead, to fuse with the August Complex – which has already incinerated 949,672 acres.


New York diocese becomes largest in US to file for bankruptcy over sex abuse lawsuits

NYC DioceseA Roman Catholic diocese in New York City’s suburbs has become the largest in the U.S. to declare bankruptcy to protect itself from a wave of lawsuits filed over past sexual abuse by clergy members.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. It is the eighth largest diocese or archdiocese in the U.S., serving more than 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island.

“The financial burden of the litigation has been severe and only compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bishop John Barres, the spiritual leader of the diocese that serves 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island, said in a video posted on the diocese’s website. “Our goal is to make sure that all clergy sexual abuse survivors and not just a few who were first to file lawsuits are afforded just and equitable compensation.”


'I am woman' singer Helen Reddy has died

HelenRedy dies at 78Helen Reddy, singer of the 70's feminist anthem "I Am Woman," died Tuesday, according to a statement on her Facebook fan page. She was 78.

"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles. She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman," said a statement attributed to her children Traci and Jordan.
The Australian singer was also known for "Delta Dawn" and "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady."
A film biography of Reddy's rise from single mother in New York City to hit artist -- titled "I Am Woman" -- premiered last month. The film stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Reddy and features a new song by Reddy's granddaughter Lily Donat.

Release Breonna Taylor grand jury files by Friday, state attorney general told

Daniel Cameron, Kentucky AG

Kentucky’s attorney general has been given until noon on Friday to release the secret grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case, after a delay was sought by the official on Wednesday just as audio recordings were set

A court in Louisville had been expected to release the audio recordings on Wednesday by noon but, after the request, a judge gave Cameron two more days.

The attorney general’s filing said the delay was necessary “in the interest of protection of witnesses, and in particular private citizens to be released to the public.

The office of the attorney general, Daniel Cameron, filed a motion on Wednesday morning asking for a week’s delay to enable the redaction of names and personal information.




3 dead, 1 hospitalized in Salem, Oregon hostage situation; deputy on leave after firing shots

Oregon hostage situation leaves 3 deadThree people are dead, including an 11-year-old boy and a 24-year-old, following a hostage situation Monday in an east Salem home.

A Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy was also placed on leave after firing a "yet to be determined number of rounds," Oregon State Police officials said. Authorities have declined to say if any of those dead were shot by the involved-deputy.

Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a "possible hostage situation" at about 12:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Juneva Place SE, near Mahrt Avenue SE, officials said.


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