Articles by Ron Harrist and Sudhin Thanawala

Associated Press

Extended Stay Site Near Atlanta Accused of Illegally Evicting Residents in Lawsuit

The owners of an Atlanta area housing site are illegally throwing out residents struggling to make ends meet amid the coronavirus pandemic and have failed to address roaches, bed bugs and other problems in those living accommodations, protesters and a …

Georgia Plant Agrees to Close in Fight Over Gas Emissions

Georgia officials reached an agreement Monday to temporarily shut down a medical sterilization facility that uses a gas that studies have linked to an increased risk of cancer. A Newton County judge signed off on a deal between the state …

Georgia County Ransomware Attack Highlights Cyber Exposures to Local Agencies

On the first Saturday in March, computer screens at the 911 dispatch center in this small town went dark. Staff at the county jail around the same time could no longer open cell doors remotely with electronic controls, and sheriff’s …

PG&E Pushes Back on Judge’s Proposals to Prevent Wildfires

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is pushing back on a U.S. judge’s revised proposals to prevent the utility’s equipment from causing more wildfires, saying it could not “monitor every tree at every moment of every day” to ensure they don’t …

Forest Management After Fires a Focus for California Agency

After successive years of devastating wildfires, California’s fire agency has announced a plan that would dramatically increase the removal of dead trees and other forest management efforts with the help of the National Guard. The California Department of Forestry and …

Prosecutors Say California Fires May Mean PG&E Violated Criminal Sentence

A California utility’s role in igniting wildfires last year could allow a judge to find that it violated terms of its criminal sentence in a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people, federal prosecutors said. In a court filing, …

Restaurants Must Pay Minimum Wage for Work Unrelated to Serving

Restaurants must pay waiters and bartenders minimum wage when they are engaged in tasks such as cleaning toilets that are unrelated to their main jobs and do not offer tips, a divided U.S. appeals court ruled this week. At issue …

Northern California Wildfires Threaten 10,000 Homes

A pair of wildfires tearing through vineyards and brushy hills threatened some 10,000 homes in Northern California on Tuesday. The two fires straddling Mendocino and Lake counties had burned seven homes by Monday night along with some 107 square miles …

California Supreme Court: Starbucks, Others Must Pay Workers for Off Clock Work

Starbucks and other employers in California must pay workers for minutes they routinely spend off the clock on tasks such as locking up or setting the store alarm, the state Supreme Court ruled. The unanimous ruling was a big victory …

Monkey Loses Court Fight Over Selfie Copyright to Human

A U.S. appeals court this week favored humans over animals in a novel copyright lawsuit filed over a series of entertaining selfies taken by a monkey with a toothy grin. U.S. copyright law does not allow lawsuits that seek to …