FRESNO, Calif. – An out-of-control forest fire threatening about 2,500 structures near Yosemite National Park was one of more than 50 active, large wildfires dotting the western U.S. on Wednesday.
The remote blaze in Stanislaus National Forest west of Yosemite grew to more than 25 square miles and was only 5 percent contained, threatening homes, hotels and camp buildings.
The fire has led to the voluntary evacuation of the private gated summer community of Pine Mountain Lake, which has a population of 2,800, as well as several organized camps, at least two campgrounds and dozens of other private homes. Two residences and seven outbuildings have been destroyed.
The fire also caused the closure of a 4-mile stretch of State Route 120, one of the gateways into Yosemite on the west side.
Fort Hood gunman gives no testimony
The soldier on trial for the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood refused to put up a fight Wednesday, resting his case without calling a single witness or testifying in his own defense.
Maj. Nidal Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Texas military base. But when given the chance to rebut prosecutors’ lengthy case – which included nearly 90 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence – the Army psychiatrist declined.
Victim that lost arm in shark attack dies
A German woman who lost her arm in a shark attack died Wednesday, one week after she was bitten while snorkeling off Maui.
Jana Lutteropp, 20, who had been on life support, died at Maui Memorial Medical Center in Honolulu, hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said.
“Jana fought hard to stay alive,” said a statement from her mother and sister released by Clark. “However, we are sad to say that she lost her fight today.”
Clark said the family was requesting privacy.
Lutteropp was snorkeling up to 100 yards off Palauea Beach at the resort community of Makena when the shark bit off her right arm.
Longtime NPR host of ‘Piano Jazz’ dies
Marian McPartland, the British-born jazz pianist whose broadcasts on National Public Radio for more than three decades brought insights into the music she loved to millions of listeners, has died. She was 95.
She died Tuesday at her home on Long Island, New York, of natural causes, NPR said on its website.
As host of “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” she interviewed and played with pianists, and backed singers and musicians including Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Benny Goodman, Norah Jones and Elvis Costello.
Noted jazz pianist, composer dies
Cedar Walton, a pianist and composer who worked with almost every major jazz performer of his era, including John Coltrane, Art Blakey and Abbey Lincoln, and who was honored as a National Endowment for the Arts jazz master, died Monday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 79.
His record label, HighNote Records, confirmed the death. The cause was not disclosed.
He appeared on more than 400 albums – 60 as a leader.