Vicious winds to test crews battling California wildfire

Vicious winds to test crews battling California wildfireBy Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters in California will be tested by vicious winds on Friday morning as they battle a huge wildfire that has claimed the life of one of their colleagues and torched more than 700 homes. Cory Iverson, 32, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer, was killed on Thursday while tackling the so-called Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. "Cory Iverson ... made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others," said Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean during a community meeting on Thursday night.



Pennsylvania grand jury to report on fraternity hazing death

Pennsylvania grand jury to report on fraternity hazing deathA long-awaited grand jury report about fraternity hazing at Pennsylvania State University was set to be unveiled on Friday, 10 months after the death of Timothy Piazza, 19, during an alcohol-fueled initiation ritual. The grand jury at Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania investigated safety issues at Penn State after the Feb. 4 death of Piazza, a college sophomore from Lebanon, New Jersey.



No place like 'Om': Ojai retreats keep their zen in California fire

No place like 'Om': Ojai retreats keep their zen in California fireThe Thomas Fire that has raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for more than a week destroyed more than half of Meditation Mount's gardens and a two-story residence and knocked out the electricity, he said. "It's kind of a miracle that it didn't all go up in smoke," Hall said of the center atop a hill in the picturesque Southern California city. "We also feel tremendous gratitude for what we have left because a lot of people have nothing left," added Hall, who said the center may not reopen for another three weeks.



Firefighter killed battling massive California blaze

Firefighter killed battling massive California blazeBy Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A firefighter was killed on Thursday while battling a mammoth California wildfire as crews sought to protect coastal cities and towns in the path of flames that have destroyed more than 700 homes. The flag-draped remains of firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, were driven out of the fire zone in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, in a hearse as his comrades saluted from roadsides and overpasses. "Anne and I are saddened by Engineer Cory Iverson’s tragic death.



U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loom

U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loomBy David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape. The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal in a 3-2 vote marked a victory for internet service providers such as AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access. Democrats, Hollywood and companies such as Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc had urged Pai, a Republican appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.





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