Friday, July 25 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:13:27 GMT
U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent - and unusual - request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't...More >>
U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent - and unusual - request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:13:24 GMT
An 80-year-old man who came home to find two burglars said he shot and killed one of them despite her pleas that she was pregnant, but it's the woman's alleged accomplice who has been arrested on suspicion...More >>
Police planned Friday to give prosecutors the results of their investigation into an 80-year-old man's fatal shooting of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:09:41 GMT
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.More >>
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures. They're grocery store owners.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:15:18 GMT
Authorities hope to learn if a psychiatrist had concerns about a patient who allegedly killed a case worker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital before the doctor pulled out his own gun to protect himself.More >>
Authorities are attempting to determine why a man identified as a patient fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex in a Philadelphia suburb and whether a psychiatrist who pulled out his own gun and wounded the...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 7:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:12:49 GMT
The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director: A day after he was fired, the band is performing with the Columbus Symphony in what is often considered its unofficial season kickoff.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 5:23 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:23:31 GMT
Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a tornado ripped through a campground...More >>
Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a tornado ripped through a campground on the...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:25 AM EDT2014-07-25 07:25:11 GMT
A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was...More >>
A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was vastly...More >>
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California water regulators voted Tuesday to approve fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing, as a report showed that consumption throughout the state has actually risen amid the worst drought in nearly four decades.
The action by the State Water Resources Control Board came after its own survey showed that conservation measures to date have failed to achieve the 20 percent reduction in water use sought by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Survey results released before the 4-0 vote showed water consumption throughout California had actually jumped by 1 percent this past May compared with the same month in previous years.
The fines will apply only to wasteful outdoor watering, including watering landscaping to the point that runoff flows onto sidewalks, washing a vehicle without a nozzle on the hose, or hosing down sidewalks and driveways.
"Our goal here is to light a fire under those who aren't yet taking the drought seriously," water board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said in an interview after the vote.
She called the vote historic, not only because the steps are unprecedented in California but because the board is trying to spread the burden of the drought beyond farmers and agencies that are trying to protect wildlife.
She said city and suburban residents are not fully aware of the seriousness of the three-year drought - the worst in California since the mid-1970s.
"We're all in this together," Marcus said. "This is our attempt to say ... this is the least that urban Californians can do."
The board estimates the restrictions, which take effect in early August, could save enough water statewide to supply more than 3.5 million people for a year.
Cities and water districts were given wide latitude on how the fines will be implemented. The full $500-a-day fine, considered an infraction, could be reserved for repeat violators, for example. Others might receive warnings or smaller fines based on a sliding scale.
The rules include exemptions for public health and safety, such as allowing cities to power-wash alleyways to get rid of human waste left by homeless people, to scrub away graffiti, and to remove oil and grease from parking structure floors.
If fines fail to promote conservation, Marcus said the board would consider other steps such as requiring water districts to stop leaks in their pipes, which account for an estimated 10 percent of water use, stricter landscape restrictions and encouraging water agencies to boost rates for consumers who use more than their share of water.
Even with the leeway granted to local governments and water districts, some managers were unhappy with the board's action.
Mark Madison, general manager of the Elk Grove Water District south of Sacramento, said the steps will unnecessarily punish customers who already have reduced consumption. Residents in his district have cut water use by more than 18 percent since last year.
"What you're asking me to do right now is to thank them with a sledgehammer," he told the board.
The increased usage noted in the report is attributable to two regions of the state: Southern California coastal communities and the far northeastern slice of the state. It was not immediately clear why consumption had increased in those areas.
No region of California met Brown's request for a 20 percent reduction, but some came closer than others. Communities that draw from the Sacramento River reduced consumption the most, by 13 percent, while those along the North Coast reduced consumption by 12 percent.
San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California cities that draw from the Colorado River decreased water use by 5 percent.
Cities and suburbs use about 20 percent of the state's water, with about half going outdoors. Agriculture is by far the greatest water user, accounting for 75 percent of consumption in the state.
California farmers are just as guilty of using too much water as their urban neighbors, according to a separate report released Tuesday. The study by the University of California, Davis, found that some farmers could see their wells run dry next year unless the state sees a wet winter.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, July 25 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:23:17 GMT
French officials say that the wreckage of an Air Algeria plane which crashed with 116 people aboard has been found in Mali.More >>
French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the...More >>
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