West News

Abuse Suits Settled by California Diocese For $3.8M

A Southern California diocese has paid $3.8 million to settle two child-abuse lawsuits brought against a former Catholic priest. The Diocese of San Bernardino announced Sunday that payments settling the two civil cases involving Alejandro Castillo came from a combination …

Early California Wildfires Risk To Homes And Vineyards

California’s worst drought in decades is feeding what may become a devastating wildfire season, one that is starting about five months early. Extremely dry conditions have sparked 487 wildfires so far in 2014, compared with only 2 for the same …

Barney & Barney CEO Speaks Out on MMA Acquisition

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC has acquired San Diego, Calif.-based Barney & Barney LLC, making Barney & Barney MMA’s Western regional hub. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Barney & Barney CEO Paul Hering, who will continue to …

New Mexico Woman Settles Solitary Confinement Suit

A woman who says she was kept in a filthy, isolated New Mexico jail cell for months at a time has reached a $1.6 million settlement with Valencia County, attorneys for both sides confirmed. The settlement came after an attorney …

Alaska City Says No to Schools Insurance Pool

Fairbanks North Star Borough officials have appealed to the Interior delegation to block a bill that would require Alaska school districts to pool employee health insurance plans. Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, has been billed as …

Alaska House Passes Resolution Remembering Quake

The Alaska House has passed a resolution honoring those who came to the aid of Alaskans following the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. HJR23, from Rep. Charisse Millett, would designate this coming March 27 as Good Friday Earthquake Remembrance Day. …

Record Hail Damage In 2013: Montana Farmers

Insurance claims for crop damage due to hail in Montana exceeded $14 million in 2013. The Montana Department of Agriculture told the Great Falls Tribune that’s the most expensive year in the 98-year-history of the state’s crop-hail insurance program. The …

Hole-in-one Insurance Fraudster in Washington Sentenced

Kevin Kolenda, 56, a Connecticut businessman who has been reportedly defrauding golf tournaments and golfers for two decades, was sentenced Friday in King County Superior Court in Washington. Judge Jean Rietschel sentenced Kolenda to 86 days with credit for time …

Judge: Calfire Owes $30M in 2007 Fire Lawsuit

A Northern California judge has found the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection guilty of ‘egregious and reprehensible’ conduct in its response to the 2007 Moonlight Fire and ordered the agency to pay more than $30 million in penalties …

Running of the Bulls Ok’d in California City

A Southern California city has announced plans to host a Pamplona-style bull run, months after a neighboring town nixed the event because of safety concerns. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported the Golden State edition of the Great Bull Run will be …

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