Fire comes close to landmark tourist spots

A brush fire broke out in California’s Hollywood Hills, burning a 34-acre area close to Los Angeles tourist spots such as the Universal Studios and Griffith Park.

“The forward progress of the fire has been stopped,” Brian Humphrey, a spokesman with the Los Angeles Fire Department, said in a post on the organization’s website. “Ground and aircrews will continue to battle the perimeter of the still active wildfire, for which the containment goal remains.”

The wildfire was 15 percent contained as of Sunday evening, the fire department said. No structures were damaged.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.


— Bloomberg News


Girl charged in beating death of cat rescuer

Authorities say a 14-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the beating death of a well-known animal rescuer in his Philadelphia home.


Court documents indicate that the teenager is also charged with robbery, evidence tampering and other counts in the Nov. 4 death of Albert Chernoff, 59.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Chernoff was pronounced dead at the scene after he was found partly tied to a bed, with a head wound and slashing injuries on his chest.

Chernoff, a longtime city employee, went by the nickname of “Alley Cat” and used that name for his one-man cat rescue operation, which was featured on the NATGeoTV reality show “Rescue Ink.”


The Defender Association of Philadelphia, which represents the girl, couldn’t be reached.

— Associated Press

Airman believed dead in parachute exercise: An airman who is presumed dead in a parachute training exercise off Florida's Panhandle has been identified. According to a military news release, Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, of Dallas was a special tactics combat controller with the 24th Special Operations Wing, part of the Air Force Special Operations Command. On Tuesday morning, Condiff fell into the Gulf of Mexico south of Hurlburt Field while performing a static-line jump from a C-130 aircraft. A military news release described what happened as an "unplanned parachute departure." Coast Guard air and boat crews spent more than 130 hours on scene and searched more than 4,909 square nautical miles but were unable to locate him.


Coast Guard rescues 3 from capsized boat in Calif.: Coast Guard crews have rescued three people and are searching for a man who went missing after a fishing boat capsized off Northern California. The Coast Guard said it received a distress call from the 54-foot vessel named Miss Hailee about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. When a helicopter crew reached an area about 30 miles north of Bodega Bay, they located two men and a woman in the water and hoisted them aboard the aircraft. Crews were told a fourth man thought to be wearing a life jacket was missing. They stayed in the area to search for him and received assistance from people aboard a tugboat named Cochise.

Driver, passenger killed when their car hits building: Police say a Porsche Boxster convertible traveling at high speed went airborne and crashed into the second floor of a commercial building in Toms River, N.J., just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday, killing both of the car's occupants. Braden DeMartin, 22, and Daniel Foley, 23, both of Toms River, were dead when emergency responders arrived.

— From news services