California rolls out new driver’s licenses — and those who fly will want them

By Michael Cabanatuan Updated 12:24 pm, Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Photo: Courtesy DMV Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 A facsimile of California's Real ID driver license A facsimile of California's Real ID driver license Photo: Courtesy DMV California rolls out new driver’s licenses — and those who fly will want them 1 / 1 Back to Gallery As if the specter of standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles for that driver’s license renewal didn’t produce enough angst for Californians, there is now another need to queue up — especially for those who travel by air. On Monday, a new driver’s license, with a revised look and fancier security features, became available. The so-called Real ID licenses look pretty much the same as the standard versions, though they contain features to make them tougher to counterfeit. But there’s a big difference, or at least there will be, beginning Oct. 1, 2020. As of that date, Californians won’t be allowed to board a commercial flight in the U.S. without the new federally compliant Real ID license, or a passport or other federally accepted ID. But the state is getting a head start. “We want to make sure Californians are prepared to apply for a Real ID license, if they choose,” said Jean Shiomoto, DMV director. To obtain one, she said, customers will need to visit a DMV field office and bring a variety of identity-verifying documents with them. Although most California drivers have grown accustomed renewing their licenses online, Real ID licenses will require an in-person appearance. So far, it seems that many people aren’t even aware of the new requirement. That was the case Tuesday, when almost none of the people waiting in line at the Daly City DMV for driver's licenses had heard of the Continue Reading

New technology solves wildlife mysteries in California

By Tom Stienstra Updated 12:05 am, Sunday, January 21, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-8', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 8', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Tom Stienstra, Steve Yeager / Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation Image 1of/8 CaptionClose Image 1 of 8 Female Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep lead yearlings and a lamb across a rocky slope in the front country of the Eastern Sierra near Bishop Female Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep lead yearlings and a lamb across a rocky slope in the front country of the Eastern Sierra near Bishop Photo: Tom Stienstra, Steve Yeager / Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation Image 2 of 8 A big male Sierra bighorn sheep treks across a ledge for a perch in the Eastern Sierra near Bishop, California. A big male Sierra bighorn sheep treks across a ledge for a perch in the Eastern Sierra near Bishop, California. Photo: Tom Stienstra, Steve Yeager / Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation Image 3 of 8 Shortly after house cat walked past on game trail, this largely, well-fed coyote arrived, apparently attracted by the scent. Shortly after house cat walked past on game trail, this largely, well-fed coyote arrived, apparently attracted by the scent. Photo: Tom Stienstra, Tom Stienstra / The Chronicle Image 4 of 8 Another coyote was documented walking down a street in San Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Family of California man who hanged himself in prison following car crash that killed friend say GM ignition switch scandal to blame for accident

Denis Herndon thought the defective ignition switch that caused his deadly crash would get him out of prison. Instead, it drove him to suicide. Herndon’s nightmarish ordeal stands out among the scores of terrifying stories to emerge from the General Motors ignition switch scandal — a defect in which cars simply turn off on the road, disabling the air bags. Following the accident on July 16, 2012, Herndon had told anyone who would listen that his 2003 Saturn Ion had just shut off, disabling the brakes before it careened off the road in Big Bear Lake, Calif. and flipped into a pond. His passenger drowned, and Herndon, who was drunk, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter. He was sentenced to six years behind bars. Suffering from seizures as a result of his near-drowning and enduring long stints in solitary due to fears inmates would attack him, Herndon was astonished when his family received one of over 5 million recall notices sent to owners of General Motors automobiles revealing their rides had a potentially deadly defect that could cause a car to unexpectedly shut off. Herndon, deeply depressed behind bars, expected the recall notice to be his get out of jail free card. When he realized his sentence would not be so easily vacated, he hanged himself. "He didn't die in the crash, but it definitely killed him," Herndon's fiancé, Catherine Corona, 36, said. "He had difficultly not replaying it over and over again because he thought there was something he could have done - thinking he could have had control over it when in fact he couldn't." The family's suit against GM is one of 100 against the automaker filed in St. Louis. “We don't yet know many details about this accident beyond what's contained in court documents and media reports, since discovery has just begun and the vehicle was destroyed before the lawsuit was filed,” General Motors spokesman James Cain said. Continue Reading

‘Grizzly Adams’ star Dan Haggerty dead of cancer at 74

Actor Dan Haggerty, better known to a generation raised on ‘70s television as Grizzly Adams, died early Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 74. Haggerty had been undergoing hospital treatment, sources told TMZ, but friends and family made the grim pilgrimage to say their goodbyes in recent days. Born in Wisconsin, Haggerty got an appropriate start, helping his family run a wildlife attraction. Feeling the call of the wild from Hollywood, he found work in the movie business as a hulking extra, animal trainer and stuntman. ALAN RICKMAN RECALLED BY PLAYWRIGHT THERESA REBECK With his trademark bushy beard and rugged frame, Haggerty rose to fame with the 1974 film, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” loosely based on a real life California mountain man who trained grizzly bears a century earlier. Part of his casting came from the actor’s comfort with trained bears from his childhood. The flick proved a sizeable box office hit at the time — foraging $45 million — and inspired an NBC television series that ran from 1977-78. The ensuing decades hadn’t been as kind to Haggerty. In 1984, he was arrested for cocaine possession and served 90 days in jail, according to the LA Times, with an effect on his career lasting much, much longer. He haunted the direct-to-video horror genre and hawked products in informercials. Haggerty’s last movie credit, appropriately enough, was a cameo in the 2013 flick about a different mountain man, “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan.” His wife, Samantha, died after in a motorcycle accident in 2008. In recent days, cancer has claimed the lives of actor Alan Rickman, Celine Dion's husband, Rene Angelil and music legend David Bowie. Continue Reading

‘This is how I’m going to die’: woman recalls moment grizzly attacked her in Alaska woods

A 25-year-old mother who was attacked by a grizzly bear after she was separated from her husband during a run through the Alaska woods said she didn't believe she would survive. Jessica Gamboa, the wife of a soldier stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, recalled the horrifying moment when the bear, which was protecting her two cubs, knocked her to the ground May 18. Gamboa told military officials that the bear picked her up by her backside and dragged her across the road, where it flung her to the ground again and slashed her two more times before walking away. “I paused then for a few minutes ... maybe two, laying there and telling myself, ‘I think pretty much this is how I’m going to die,” she said in the interview, which was recorded and posted to the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. She said she played dead until the grizzly disappeared into the woods with her cubs. Once Gamboa found herself alone, she managed to pull herself up and yell for help. “I could see blood just everywhere,” she said. “I could feel pulsing out of my neck. I knew I was in bad shape.” Her husband, Jacob, had already turned back in search for his wife, but he was too far to hear her cries. Nursing an injury to her left leg, Gamboa limped two miles through the woods before Sgt. Collin Gillikin spotted her while driving through the area. Gillikin, an Army medic, put the bleeding Gamboa into his truck and drove her to the base hospital. During the drive, Gamboa, mother of a 4-year-old boy, told him she was attacked by a bear. “I was in pure amazement this woman was still talking,” Gillikin said in another interview posted by military authorities. “I saw a massive amount of blood on her chest.” She was later transferred to the Alaska Native Medical Center, where she was treated for a neck Continue Reading

Elderly man attacked by bear in California

This grizzly almost mauled grandpa. An elderly couple came face to face with a young bear on Thursday and narrowly escaped a far more vicious attack at the hands of the burly beast, according to reports. Bob McKeown, of Scotland, who was visiting relatives in Pasadena with his wife Irene, was scratched by the bounding bruin, who was roaming right outside their door. “I closed the door and I looked…. a bear!” the man told KTLA after the animal encounter. ”You don’t know how scared you are, you just see a bear. I’ve never encountered a bear.” McKeown sustained a scratch on his leg from the cub’s claw and was released from an area hospital. “I'm very lucky,” McKeown told NBC Los Angeles. “I've never had so much excitement.” A pack of the hungry bears have been terrorizing Pasadena, Calif., as officials try to move the beasts away from heavily populated areas, according to reports. A black bear was spotted on camera roaming around the Eaton Canyon Park Golf Course — to the shock and horror of some residents. “It was scary because it was right up there,” little boy Jayden Tucker told KTLA as his eyes welled up with tears. Others seemed to be unfazed with the ringside seat to a zoo exhibit. One man recorded a YouTube video of a grizzy tugging on a tree branch in a nearby yard. “He's been at the house several times before and has been super friendly,” the man wrote of the bear. The Pasadena Humane Society took to Twitter to warn residents to avoid the bears and stay indoors. The group dispatched one of its officers to the scene. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Black bear hunter, Steve Stevenson, 39, dies after distracting rampaging grizzly from mauling pal

A black bear hunter was mauled to death by a 400-pound grizzly during a hunting trek through the remote wilderness of the Montana-Idaho border, authorities said. Steve Stevenson, 39, died a hero on Friday after he yelled out to distract the rampaging grizzly from attacking his hunting buddy, Ty Bell, 20, who had shot and wounded the animal, authorities and family members said.  "They both shot it and it kept coming," Stevenson's mom, Janet Price, told The Associated Press. "Steve yelled at it to try and distract it, and it swung around and took him down. "It's what my son would have done automatically, for anybody," she said. Stevenson and Bell were hunting black bears in the mountainous, heavily forested region near the Canadian border with two other men from their hometown of Winnemucca, Nev., the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said. Authorities said Bell thought the animal was a black bear when he wounded it – grizzly bears are a protected species in the U.S. – and the two hunters waited until they thought the bear had died before tracking it into some thick cover.  Bell shot the bear several times and killed it – but only after it mortally wounded Stevenson, authorities said. The shaken hunter managed to use his cell phone to call for help after the attack, and Montana wildlife officials were flown in by helicopter to recover the body. The sheriff's office said Stevenson's body was taken to the Montana State Crime lab for an autopsy. Described as an avid outdoorsman, Stevenson worked for a mining company in Nevada and had two daughters. Price told authorities that her son and Bell were licensed to shoot black bears and were aware that there were grizzly in the area. Police said hunters often confuse the two species. "Anytime you have a wounded animal it can be dangerous," said Fraley. "But usually, grizzlies are considered more aggressive than black bears." It was not clear if Bell would face charges for Continue Reading

Michigan man, John Wallace, 2nd person killed by grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park

A Michigan man has become the second person so far this summer to be killed at Yellowstone National Park by a grizzly bear.John Wallace, whose body was discovered last week, was killed by a grizzly on Wednesday or Thursday, an autopsy revealed Monday.Dan Wenk said. Wallace's body was found by two hikers on Friday along Mary Mountain Trail, a 21-mile path that starts just south of Canyon Junction.Hayden Valley west of Yellowstone's Grand Loop Road are now closed to hikers, according to The Associated Press. Park officials asked hikers elsewhere in the park to stay on the trails, to hike in groups of three or more and carry bear spray.California man who was also savagely killed by a grizzly.Diane Shober, director of Wyoming's Travel and Tourism agency, said in July. "At the same time, the likelihood of this happening again is small." With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Evanoff: Grizzlies owner Robert Pera faces questions over Ubiquiti’s quick rise

When California entrepreneur Robert Pera set out to buy the Memphis Grizzlies, he looked like a young go-getter taking control of the city’s premier sports franchise.Now a lawsuit filed in New York rekindles questions about business practices at Ubiquiti Networks Inc., the wellspring of Pera’s considerable wealth.You might remember this summer’s war of words led by Citron Research, a kind of pit bull in the financial world.Citron's attack on Ubiquiti fell short, but the echo continues.Citron accusations are at the center of a lawsuit that asks a federal judge in New York to impanel a jury and weigh allegations Ubiquiti made up information in its financial reports in violation of U.S. law. Class-action caseLots of lawyers troll the country for supposed victims of securities fraud.And this looks like one of those.Class-action lawsuit attorneys Gardy & Notis LP reeled in a small investor named Richard Gericke.Gericke owns 75 Ubiquiti shares, the lawsuit contends, and he bought the stock at prices artificially inflated by Ubiquiti.Wall Street pit bulls, class-action trolls and a victim out a few hundred bucks are hardly worth mention.Except Pera’s handling of this bears watching. Too good to be true?If this lawsuit goes to trial, Ubiquiti could wind up explaining some actions that may not be unlawful, but as Citron’s report claims, don’t really add up.The report questions how a company with only 725 employees and so little spending on innovation could make so much money.All this could touch on the lingering question behind the reclusive electrical engineer’s fabulous wealth.Is his story too good to be true?Turns out a Manhattan jury may put the question to rest. FedExForumWhether some distant tech firm erred or not isn’t a Memphis concern.But Robert Pera is our concern.Memphis needs a Grizzlies owner able to keep the franchise stable. For the city, this comes down to a tax base Continue Reading

Movie star grizzly bear kills trainer with bite to the neck

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — When friends Linda Carter and Cherrie Giles booked a three-day retreat in a remote cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains, the proprietor told them not to be startled by the roar of lions and bears from the exotic-animal training center nearby. The women fell asleep to the roars the first night, but on Tuesday they were startled by a different sound — an urgent yell. About 30 minutes later, sirens wailed as paramedics rushed to an animal trainer who had been bitten on the neck by a 700-pound, 7 1/2-foot-tall grizzly bear. Stephan Miller, 39, died at the scene. On Wednesday, friends and neighbors tried to make sense of the attack, which from all accounts involved a well-trained and gentle bear and an experienced animal trainer. “We heard a man yell; it was like he was yelling for help,” Giles said of the attack. “We knew something was going on, but we didn’t know what it was. Our dogs were going crazy.” Harry Morse, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game, said Miller was killed by the 5-year-old bear during the making of a promotional video for Randy Miller’s Predators in Action center. The bear’s fate has not been decided. The bear, named Rocky, recently appeared in the Will Ferrell sports comedy “Semi-Pro.” Center owner Randy Miller, the victim’s cousin, was a stunt double for Ferrell in a wrestling match with the bear. The center’s animals have appeared in many other movies, documentaries and TV shows, including “Gladiator” and “The Last Samurai.” Ferrell’s publicist, Matt Labov, said the actor was working on a film and was unavailable for comment. In a call to The Associated Press late Wednesday, Randy Miller would not talk in detail about what happened but said the bite occurred during “playful” wrestling behavior by a “loving, affectionate, friendly, safe bear.” “It Continue Reading