SFGATE: Exploding wildfires in US West derail holiday plans

Exploding wildfires in US West derail holiday plans
Published on July 04, 2018 at 09:06AM by By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — A growing wildfire destroyed more than 100 homes in the Colorado mountains, while other blazes across the parched U.S. West kept hundreds of other homes under evacuation orders and derailed holiday plans.
Authorities announced late Monday that a fire near Fort Garland, about 205 miles (330 kilometers) southwest of Denver, had destroyed 104 homes in a mountain housing development started by multimillionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes in the 1970s. The damage toll could rise because the burn area is still being surveyed.
Tamara Estes’ family cabin, which her parents had built in 1963 using wood and rocks from the land, was among the homes destroyed.
“I think it’s sinking in more now. But we’re just crying,” she said.

SFGATE: ‘Abolish ICE’ banner hung from Statue of Liberty

‘Abolish ICE’ banner hung from Statue of Liberty
Published on July 05, 2018 at 12:08AM by By JENNIFER PELTZ and JAKE PEARSON, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Liberty Island has been evacuated because of a climber at the Statue of Liberty.
A person climbed the statue’s base on the Fourth of July shortly after several people were arrested after hanging a banner from the statue’s pedestal calling for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
News helicopter video showed the climber sitting Wednesday by the bottom of the statue’s robes, about 100 feet (30 meters) aboveground. Police nearby tried to persuade the climber to descend.
Earlier, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said at least six people were taken into custody for the banner, which read “Abolish I.C.E.,” referring to part of the Department of Homeland Security.

SFGATE: Lady Liberty stamp flub to cost USPS $3.5M

Lady Liberty stamp flub to cost USPS $3.5M
Published on July 04, 2018 at 11:23PM by
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to pay $3.5 million to the sculptor of a Statue of Liberty replica at the New-York-New York casino-resort in Las Vegas after an image of the replica was mistakenly used on a stamp.
Sculptor Robert Davidson sued the Postal Service for copyright infringement over the “forever” stamp design released in 2011 that featured the face of his Lady Liberty. The Postal Service had been releasing the stamps for at least three months before discovering it was not an image of the New York statue.
Postal Service attorneys argued Davidson’s design was too similar for him to claim copyright.

SFGATE: New details of Pruitt’s management at EPA revealed

New details of Pruitt’s management at EPA revealed
Published on July 03, 2018 at 02:04AM by Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post
WASHINGTON – Two of Scott Pruitt’s top aides provided fresh details to congressional investigators in recent days about some of his most controversial spending and management decisions, including his push to find a six-figure job for his wife at a politically connected group, enlist staffers in performing personal tasks and seek high-end travel despite aides’ objections.
The Trump administration appointees described an administrator who sought a salary that topped $200,000 for his wife and accepted help from a subordinate in the job search, requested aid from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington, D.C., landlord and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel.

SFGATE: Trump orders US flags lowered to honor 5 slain at newspaper

Trump orders US flags lowered to honor 5 slain at newspaper
Published on July 03, 2018 at 05:48PM by
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. flags on federal property be flown at half-staff through sunset Tuesday to honor five people slain at a newspaper in Maryland’s capital.
The order comes after Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said Monday that Trump had declined his request to lower the flags.
Trump issued a proclamation Tuesday ordering the flags to half-staff through sundown.
Four Capital Gazette journalists and a staffer were killed Thursday when a gunman holding a grudge against the publication shot them in the newsroom.
Trump has repeatedly called journalists the “enemy of the people.” He said the day after the shooting journalists shouldn’t fear being violently attacked while doing their job.

SFGATE: 6 and 9 years expected in pending Ghost Ship plea deals

6 and 9 years expected in pending Ghost Ship plea deals
Published on July 03, 2018 at 12:38AM by By Kimberly Veklerov
Two men accused of manslaughter in the deaths of 36 people in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire are poised to accept a plea deal Tuesday with prosecutors in which one would serve six years in jail and the other nine, minus time already served.
The artist collective’s primary tenant, Derick Almena, 48, would take the longer of the two sentences. He and his co-defendant, Max Harris, 28, the collective’s creative director, would not have to serve the full terms because they would each get credit for the months they have spent in jail since the conflagration on Dec. 2, 2016.