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Cal Fire warns of severe fire season

Cal Fire warns of severe fire season


AUBURN, Calif. - Cal Fire is warning of what may be a very long and very difficult fire season ahead.

"Over the next couple of months almost all of Northern California's gonna be at an above average potential for large and damaging wildfires," said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

The state has already seen 950 fires, triple the number in an average year. And the state is in the grip of the worst drought in recorded history.

"A lot of the green hillsides up and down the state are really just masking the dead grass that's been sitting there all winter long," Berlant points out.

At the Cal Fire station in Auburn, seasonal firefighters have been in place since the end of January, nearly three months earlier than usual.

Forensic accountants dig up the dirt in embezzlement cases

Forensic accountants dig up the dirt in embezzlement cases

Richard Gordon is an expert in forensics. No, not the kind you might expect to see on an episode of C.S.I.

Instead of blood and fingerprints, this Lodi accountant specializes in numbers and paper trails.

Gordon is a forensic accountant.

Police release photos of man wanted in Stockton armed bank robbery

STOCKTON, CA - Bank security cameras captured four images of a man who held up the Rabobank on the 1800 block of W. March Lane just before 5 p.m. Monday, according to police.

Stockton Police Department Officer Joe Silva said the man came into the bank, started filling out an employment application and then pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at employees.

The robber ordered employees to turn over money, which they did, and then he ran out of the bank, Silva said.

The man was described as black, 27 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing 160 pounds. He had a teardrop-shaped tattoo below his eye. He wore a beige, multi-colored sweatshirt, teal green shirt and a black baseball cap with the letters "FFF" embroidered in white thread.

Grandfather: Slain granddaughter loved musical instruments

STOCKTON, CA - The grandfather of Leila Fowler said Tuesday his granddaughter loved visiting his Stockton home, for all his musical instruments.

"As soon as she comes over, she runs into the back room, and says, 'grandpa, grandpa.' And I get [ the guitar] hooked up for her. She plays it without any encouragement. She wants to do it on her own," Dennis Fowler said.

On Saturday, Leila, 8, and her 12-year-old brother were home alone when someone broke into their home on Rippon Road, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department said. The boy called his parents, who then called 911. The boy then ran into another room where he found his sister with severe injuries.

Leila was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died, the sheriff's department said; her brother was not injured.

Fowler said his family is struggling to understand how deadly violence could take such a young and innocent life, in a town that's seemingly safe.

Group suspected in 3 Stockton beatings in 1 night

STOCKTON, Calif. - Stockton police believe a group of men are responsible for several attacks that happened around Delta College Friday night.

Police said the first male victim was beaten unconscious by a large group of men after accidentally bumping into a woman at a Pacific Avenue and W. Yokuts bus stop. 

"All of us at one point or another have bumped into someone on accident, but what the suspects did after that and the chain of events that occurred afterwards, was totally unacceptable," Officer Joe Silva said.

A short time later, the same group of men attacked a bicyclist near Robinhood Drive before running onto the Delta College Campus and attacking another person, said police.

The group fled the area before police arrived at the scene.

Search continues for suspect wanted in connection to child's murder

Search continues for suspect wanted in connection to child's murder

VALLEY SPRINGS, CA - Authorities search for a man wanted in connection to the death of a 9-year-old girl.

A homicide investigation is underway by the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office after a young girl was killed at a home on Rippon Road, the sheriff's office said.

Sheriff deputies responded to the home after a 12-year-old boy called his parents saying there was an intruder in the home. The parents called 911 and deputies responded to the call.

The boy, who was home alone with his 9-year-old sister, tells investigators that he then went into another room in the home where he discovered his sister with severe injuries.

The girl was transported to a hospital where she later died.  The boy was not injured.

Investigators have not released the type of injuries the girl sustained, but do say that it does not appear that she was shot.

Fight between Stockton high school teacher, student under investigation

STOCKTON, CA - A wild fight that erupted between a freshman student and her teacher at Stockton's Cesar Chavez High School has left the student facing an assault charge and the teacher facing an investigation of her actions.

The fight broke out Monday at 12:30 p.m. when Marlina Martinez, 15, began applying makeup at the end of her math class.

Martinez said her female teacher, who is not being identified because she is not yet facing any charges, confiscated her makeup. Martinez then called her mother on her cellphone to have her demand that her teacher give her back the makeup.

When Martinez gave her teacher the phone to talk to her mother, the teacher confiscated the phone.