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Rotary Success Scholars gather in Fairfield for contracts, computers

FAIRFIELD — An idea that began during a car trip to a San Jose conference brought scores of people to the Police Activities League center Tuesday to celebrate Rotary Success Scholars, an effort called the greatest cause local members of the service club have ever supported. Students signed contracts and received computers to use at […]

Solano sizzles as mercury hits triple digits

FAIRFIELD — A warm front hit Solano County this week, pushing temperatures into triple digits and contributing to air quality issues. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a Spare the Air alert for Wednesday, as did the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District. The temperature in Vacaville hit 104 degrees Tuesday afternoon and was […]

Wragg Fire flares up, forces more evacuations

VACAVILLE — Mandatory evacuations were ordered after the south side of the Wragg Fire flared up at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and grew to nearly 7,000 acres.

The fire was 80 percent contained at 1 p.m. when it “slopped over” the first and secondary fire lines on Pleasants Ridge just north of Miller Canyon, according to Rick Vogt of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Judge declares mistrial in penalty phase of Smith murder trial

FAIRFIELD — A second, new jury will decide if a Fairfield man who killed a police officer will receive the death penalty after a mistrial was declared Tuesday. The guilty verdicts reached last week for murder and robbery charges and related special circumstances will stand for Henry A. Smith Jr., who shot and killed Vallejo […]

Rising temperatures challenge California firefighters

FRESNO — Rising temperatures on Tuesday made the fight difficult for crews struggling to make headway against a wildfire threatening about 450 homes and other buildings in the rugged foothills of Central California, fire officials said. The fire burning near the tiny wooded communities of Bass Lake and Cascadel Woods north of Fresno is just […]

Cal Fire hopes for full containment of Wragg Fire by Tuesday

FAIRFIELD — State fire officials reported Sunday that the Wragg Fire, burning in portions of Solano, Yolo and Napa counties, has been 65 percent contained. Fire crews were able to complete and damage inspection and have revised some previously reported figures. The fire’s overall scope has been adjusted down from 6,900 acres as was previously […]

Chinese exchange students, host families meet

SUISUN VALLEY — China and the United States are two of the largest economies – both in terms of production and consumption – in the world.

Given the different societal identities of each country, and with a long history of strained political relations, reconciling the cultural overlap that is destined to happen between the two nations in the future is a difficult task.

A group of Chinese students arrived Sunday afternoon at the Solano Community College campus to meet their local host families . . .

State health insurance markets struggle with cost challenges

WASHINGTON — State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal […]

25 years on, disabilities act has changed lives of millions

NEW YORK — Five days before he was to start college, Fred Maahs’ world turned upside down. Off the Delaware coast in 1980, on the last day of summer vacation, the 18-year-old took a dive from his family’s boat into an unseen sandbar barely a foot below the surface, sustaining injuries that paralyzed him from the […]

Anti-bias suits filed under Americans with Disabilities Act

Since its enactment in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been the legal foundation for a vast array of lawsuits filed on behalf of disabled people alleging they were discriminated against. Among the many cases that have surfaced or been resolved just in the past year: • The mother of a 6-year-old Ohio boy with […]

Cal Fire, allied agencies gaining upper hand on Wragg Fire

WINTERS — State and regional fire officials stopped short of a victory dance Saturday during a town hall meeting as firefighters from across the state gained the upper hand on a massive wildfire. Instead they took the opportunity to address a group made up primarily of people evacuated as a result of the Wragg Fire to explain […]

CHP works to put crimp in cellular use while driving

FAIRFIELD — The first person that California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parker stopped knew that using a cellphone while driving was wrong and he did it anyway.

The retired prosecutor, who declined to be interviewed, got off with a warning after he apologized. He said he was listening to a voice mail message when he pulled into the left turn lane to get from Highway 12 to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Quail Canyon water once again safe to drink

FAIRFIELD — The Solano Irrigation District has tested the water in Quail Canyon and deemed it to be safe to drink. The district had previously issued a warning to residents of Quail Canyon urging them not use water for cooking or drinking after the Wragg Fire knocked out power to their water treatment system. Power was […]

Police: Theater gunman killed with handgun he bought legally

LAFAYETTE, La. — A man who lost his family, home and businesses as he spent years angrily espousing right-wing extremism on television, the Internet and to anyone else who would listen did not say a word as he opened fire on strangers in a darkened movie theater, authorities said Friday. John Russell Houser, 59, stood […]

Jury convicts Fairfield man of killing Vallejo police officer

FAIRFIELD — Henry A. Smith Jr. at the very least faces life in prison without possibility of parole after being found guilty Friday afternoon of premeditated murder and three special circumstances that make him eligible for the death penalty.

Smith, 41, who has been in trial since April, is set to be back in court Monday morning when his defense team, prosecutor Karen Jensen and Judge Peter B. Foor will decide how to move forward in a penalty phase in which jurors will decide whether Smith will receive the death penalty.

The guilty verdict for the murder charge was accompanied by guilty verdicts for charges of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The special circumstances include murder during a robbery, murder to avoid arrest and murdering a peace officer.

Motives behind ‘sanctuary cities’ vary; some fear lawsuits

HUNTINGTON BEACH — The term “sanctuary city” has become a rallying cry for conservative Republicans seeking stiffer immigration laws. They characterize such places as havens where those in the country illegally are protected from immigration authorities. The reality behind the phrase is that while some cities actively thumb their noses at federal immigration policies, many […]

Crews shift focus to contain Wragg Fire

VACAVILLE — Highway 128 reopened to traffic around noon Friday as firefighters continued work to contain a massive wildfire that started Wednesday afternoon and has since charred 6,900 acres across three counties and prompted mandatory evacuations, some of which remain in effect. Meanwhile an army of firefighters from across the region – 1,936 strong – were […]

Kyburz Fire affects traffic on Highway 50

Crews battling a blaze in the Sierra Nevada had reopened one lane of a freeway linking Sacramento and Reno and the California Highway Patrol was escorting people through in both directions. The Kyburz Fire was reported at a little before 2 p.m. Thursday. The fire, southwest of Lake Tahoe, has charred more than 100 acres in […]

Swath of Wragg Fire grows as firefighters make gains

VACAVILLE — Firefighters gained ground on a raging wildfire that pushed into Solano County overnight Wednesday as it spread to 6,900 acres across three counties and led to road closures and evacuations.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the region worked through the night Wednesday to secure containment lines and to protect structures endangered by the Wragg Fire, which started shortly before 2:30 p.m. that day near Lake Berryessa. The fire quickly spread, driven by high but erratic winds through rugged and steep brush-covered terrain that offered difficult access for firefighters.

Taxpayers’ bids to repeal rate increases are invalid, judge rules

FAIRFIELD — Taxpayer initiatives to repeal a sewer rate increase in Dixon are invalid because the city’s efforts are administrative acts rather than legislative, Solano County Superior Judge Paul Beeman said in an order that also notes, “The option exists for voters to boot out the representatives whose votes enacted the rate increase.” Initiatives can […]

Fairfield police arrest 2 after parking lot shooting

FAIRFIELD — Two suspected gang members were arrested after detectives investigating the Wednesday afternoon shooting at a Fairfield apartment parking lot along Phoenix Drive served a search warrant at a Vacaville home, Fairfield police said. Police said Leonel Garcia Flores was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide and Jaime Ponce Hernandez was arrested on suspicion […]

Kids Day of Fishing cancels camp due to wildfire

WINTERS — The Wragg Fire that started Wednesday afternoon near Lake Berryessa and raced into northern Solano County that night prompted cancellation Thursday of the 10th Annual Kids Day of Fishing two-day camp that was scheduled this weekend at Lake Solano Park near Winters. Lake Solano Park was evacuated Wednesday as the wildfire approached. It remained […]

House passes bill to crack down on ‘sanctuary cities’

WASHINGTON — House Republicans approved legislation Thursday cracking down on “sanctuary cities” that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. Angry Democrats accused Republicans of aligning themselves with Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant views, and the White House threatened a veto. “The Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party is clearly ascendant here today,” Rep. Lloyd […]

Western wildfire disrupting tourism

HELENA, Mont. — Firefighters on Thursday braced for a fresh run by a wildfire that sent tourists fleeing from hotels and campgrounds in Montana’s Glacier National Park. The state is ravaged by drought, and rising temperatures and strengthening winds greeted newly arrived crews taking aim at the blaze in the Northern Rocky Mountains. It has burned more than […]

Scientists find closest thing yet to Earth-sun twin system

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Scientists have identified a “close cousin” to Earth that’s orbiting a sun-like star and might harbor life. “It is the closest thing that we have to another place that somebody else might call home,” said Jon Jenkins from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. The researchers announced their discovery Thursday based […]

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