LOS ANGELES

Winds raise fire danger in Southern California

Southern California is in for a spate of dry, gusty winds that will raise fire danger.

The National Weather Service says red flag warnings will be in effect Wednesday morning through afternoon.

Meteorologists say the winds will rise as a trough of low pressure near Idaho drops south into eastern California, creating moderate to strong offshore flow through Thursday.

Warnings will encompass all of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as well as up the coast through the interiors of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Humidity levels will fall to withering levels below 15 percent.

Forecasters say sustained winds will blow at around 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph, bringing potential for extreme fire behavior if a fire starts. Other parts of the state will have advisory-level winds.

SANTA ANA

Prosecutors: Money not a motive in killing

Prosecutors say money was not a motive for a 19-year-old man charged with shooting his parents to death and trying to kill two of his siblings inside their Orange County home.

Ashton Sachs, wearing an orange jumpsuit, appeared via video for his first court appearance Monday. He barely spoke, except to tell the judge he could not afford a lawyer.


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Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said Sachs was not motivated by money and the crime did not happen in the spur of the moment.

Prosecutors said Sachs made a trip home from Seattle planning to kill his family.

Bradford Sachs and Andra Sachs were found shot to death in February inside their nearly 9,000-square-foot San Juan Capistrano house. Their 8-year-old son was also shot but survived. Two daughters survived.

SANTA CLARITA

Missing hiker found, airlifted out of canyon

A hiker who spent a chilly night huddled under chaparral in a Los Angeles County wilderness area has been airlifted to safety.

Sheriff's officials say 24-year-old Brian Napoli was found Tuesday morning in a hilly area of Towsley Canyon near Santa Clarita.

Napoli called friends Monday evening to say he was lost in the canyon, which has a 5.3-mile trail.

Searchers combed the area until after 1 a.m. and then resumed at daybreak.

A sheriff's helicopter crew brought Napoli out of the canyon to a command post, where his family was waiting.

He told reporters when night fell he stayed put and tried to stay warm by huddling under dry brush. Napoli said he was fine, just very thirsty. He was taken to a hospital for a medical exam.

PLACERVILLE

2 women in burning home shot to death

Sheriff's officials say two women whose bodies were found in a burning Northern California home died of gunshot wounds.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office has identified the women as 62-year-old Carol Hague and 58-year-old Crystal Ann Ward. They were found in the Placerville home on Friday morning after crews responded to a report of a fire.

Sheriff's officials said on Monday the cause of the women's deaths was determined to be gunshot wounds. But what led to the shootings remained under investigation.

Fire officials have said the single-story home was engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene. Firefighters found the two women in a back bedroom.

CRESCENT CITY

Oregon kayaker dies in California river

An Oregon kayaker has died after being pinned underwater while paddling a rain-swollen river in far Northern California.

Del Norte County Search and Rescue coordinator Terry McNamara says crews recovered the body of 30-year-old John D. Wilburn of Grants Pass, Ore., on Monday morning from the South Fork of the Smith River east of Crescent City.

McNamara told The Triplicate that Wilburn was kayaking an expert section of the river Sunday with another kayaker when his companion saw Wilburn's kayak float by upside-down. Unable to find him, his companion went on to where Wilburn's wife was waiting and called authorities.

Crews searched until dark. McNamara says kayakers scouting the river the next morning found Wilburn's body.

DANA POINT

Navy ship comes close to hitting whale pod

It was a close call for the Navy's new combat ship and a pod of gray whales off the Southern California coast.

The captain of a whale watching boat tells the Orange County Register he was tracking the pod near Dana Point on Sunday when he noticed on his radar that the USS Coronado was bearing down. The naval vessel was on its way to San Diego for its christening.

The captain of the Dana Wharf, Todd Mansur, says he quickly got on the radio and contacted the Coronado.

Mansur says the 418-foot ship, designed for near-shore combat operations, immediately stopped, and the whales passed by unharmed.

While the Coronado is capable hitting 50 mph, Mansur estimates it was traveling only around 5 mph when it was approaching Dana Point.

-- Associated Press