Articles by Brian Melley

Associated Press

$120M Settlement Reached Over 2015 Southern California Methane Gas Leak

A Southern California utility reached a nearly $120 million settlement over a massive blowout at a natural gas storage field that became the nation’s largest known release of climate-changing methane and forced thousands to flee their Los Angeles homes almost …

California Marijuana Retailers Cut Prices Ahead of New Testing Rules

Bargain basement bud is on the menu in California, but you need to act fast to cash in on the cheap weed. Regulations being phased in six months after the state broadly legalized marijuana require that pot sold after Saturday …

Poizner, Lara Advance in California Insurance Commissioner Race

Republican-turned-independent Steve Poizner and Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election, advancing to the November election. Poizner, the former insurance commissioner, would be the first independent to win such an election and Lara would be …

California Insurance Commissioner Race Features Diverse Field

One way or another, California’s next insurance commissioner will be the first of his kind. The June 5 primary features Democrats Dr. Asif Mahmood and Sen. Ricardo Lara against former commissioner Steve Poizner. Mahmood would be the first Muslim to …

Evidence of Massive California Oil Spill Was Obvious, But Was It A Crime?

An acrid stink of petroleum three years ago sent Santa Barbara County firefighters scrambling in a search for a possible spill. When they arrived at Refugio State Beach they witnessed oil staining the pristine sands and seeping into the surf. …

California Oil Company Slapped With $12.5M Fine

A California oil company with a long history of safety violations and regulatory lapses was hit with a record $12.5 million fine by state regulators for nearly 1,500 violations in the past year at an oil field in Orange County. …

Coffee Sold in California Will Require Cancer Warning, Judge Rules

Coffee sellers will have to post ominous warnings in California because each cup contains a chemical linked to cancer, a judge ruled. The culprit is a byproduct of the bean roasting process that is a known carcinogen and has been …

California Law Preventing Actor Ages from Being Posted Struck Down

A California law that sought to prevent age discrimination in the entertainment industry by blocking a popular Hollywood website from posting the ages of actors was struck down Tuesday as unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco …

California Mudslide Victims ID’d as Crews Continue Survivor Search

The oldest victim swept away in a California mudslide was Jim Mitchell, who had celebrated his 89th birthday the day before. He died with his wife of more than 50 years, Alice. The youngest, 3-year-old Kailly Benitez, was one of …

New Year Brings Pot Legalization to California

The arrival of the new year in California brought with it broad legalization of marijuana, a much-anticipated change that comes two decades after the state was the first to allow pot for medical use. The nation’s most populous state joins …