The state of California appears to be backing off legal threats against the California Republican Party over its use of unauthorized ballot drop boxes.

On Monday, California's secretary of state and attorney general sent a cease-and-desist order to the California GOP and several county party offices, ordering they remove unauthorized boxes to collect ballots, some of which were labeled "official."

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

In a reversal, the White House has approved California's request for federal disaster relief for wildfire recovery, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

California is dealing with the damage caused by wildfires that have burned through nearly 3,000 square miles, killing at least three people and destroying nearly 1,000 homes.

Marc Albert

Devastating wildfires in the North State set the backdrop for last night’s 1st Congressional District forum. It was the one and only scheduled square-off between Republican Doug LaMalfa and Democratic challenger Audrey Denney. LaMalfa says he supports increasing the pace and scale of forest management efforts, but that environmental regulations are a barrier.

“So, what do we have to do? We have to acknowledge the conditions we have," he said. "We have overcrowded forests — overcrowded with trees, brush. This material needs to be removed and done something positive with. Whether it can be turned into a byproduct, or, my big thing, is we need to move much more strongly forward with biomass being used to produce electricity. It’s not going to be cheap, but then neither is solar and wind.” 

Noah Berger

Meteorologist Emily Heller says the weather lately reminds her of what Northern California saw in 2018 just before the Camp Fire set the town of Paradise ablaze. For weeks, there was no rain, excessive heat, and dry winds. 

“The Camp Fire started November 8, and we hadn't gotten any rain to that point,” said Heller, who works with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. She said the first rains typically come in October. But for the rest of this October, rain isn’t in the forecast. Fire season won’t end until rain storms fully soak the region, she says, and until then fires could spread easier because of wind, so people should do whatever they can to prevent fires from igniting. 

Anne Wernikoff / CalMatters

An Oct. 15 state deadline to restore $11 billion in funding for education, housing and state workers looks likely to pass with no more financial help from Washington. Is there still hope for a reprieve, and could deeper cuts follow?

Last week, as federal stimulus talks crumbled and California’s unemployment system faltered again, Tracy Greer packed her car with recyclables and hoped the cash would pay for groceries.

The state of California says it is “strongly discouraging” trick-or-treating this Halloween as it tries to contain and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

At a news conference Tuesday, State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that trick-or-treating brings a risk of virus exposure and makes contact tracing extremely difficult.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

A group of University of California researchers have devised a training that teaches physicians how to broach the topic of firearms with patients. That curriculum, which is funded by nearly $4 million in state money, was released recently, and its creators say it’s crucial to preventing suicides, accidents and gun violence down the line.

The UC Firearm Violence Research Center, which launched with state funding in 2017, aims to investigate injuries and deaths from guns in California and nationally, and analyze the potential impact of firearm policies that could prevent those incidents. So far, their work has included reports on mass shootings, gun violence restraining orders, and suicide methods in urban versus rural areas.

Gregory Bull / AP Photo

California’s secretary of state and attorney general are demanding the state Republican Party remove unauthorized ballot drop boxes that appeared in at least three counties over the weekend. 

Secretary of State Alex Padilla received reports of unofficial ballot boxes at churches, gas stations and gun stores in Orange, Fresno and Los Angeles counties. In a cease and desist order, Padilla identified more than a dozen potential unauthorized boxes, though the total number remains unclear.

File Photo, 2015 / Cal Fire PIO Berlant / Twitter

Updated Oct. 15 at 6 a.m.

Due to high fire risk weather, PG&E shut off power to about 53,000 customers in portions of 24 counties Wednesday evening, with outages likely lasting into Friday night.

Vote-By-Mail Fail: When A Ballot Arrives That Isn’t For You

Oct 12, 2020

When the ballots arrived in Susan Lambert’s mailbox earlier this week, everyone in the house was accounted for. There was one for her, one for her husband, and two for her adult step-sons.

And then there was the one for George.

Lambert, a playwright, producer and writer who lives in Pasadena, didn’t recognize the name. There wasn’t a George among her neighbors, nor was it the name of the prior owner of the home, which she bought 13 years ago.

Lambert’s husband shrugged and chucked the extra ballot in the recycling.