Articles by Brian Melley

Associated Press

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 …

Lawyers Handling Marijuana Business Operate in Hazy Legal Zone

Just as entrepreneurs getting into the retail pot industry need a good lawyer, some of those lawyers might be wise to consult an attorney of their own. Lawyers in the burgeoning business are entering a legal gray zone where the …

Federal Investigators Say Fatigue, Poor Safety Cause of Deadly California Bus Crash

Federal safety investigators say a sleep-deprived driver and a bus company with a poor safety record were causes of an August 2016 crash in California’s Central Valley that killed four passengers and injured 20 others, including the driver. The National …