Penn State fraternity suspended after 17-year-old's mysterious death

iStock(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) -- Officials at Penn State University suspended the Chi Phi fraternity on Tuesday after a teenager was found dead in an off-campus house reportedly occupied by frat members.

The Alpha Delta chapter of the Chi Phi fraternity was placed under an interim suspension as the school investigates the mysterious death of a 17-year-old male who was found dead while visiting the school on Saturday, university officials said.

The teen, identified by the coroner's office as John Schoenig, was discovered unresponsive at an off-campus house in State College, Pennsylvania. The school said the house is reportedly occupied by Chi Phi members, but it's not its official frat house.

"Penn State offers deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this young man," the school said in a statement. "State College Police and the University's Office of Student Conduct are investigating. However, Penn State has issued an interim suspension of the Alpha Delta Chapter of Chi Phi fraternity, a member of the Interfraternity Council, until more information is known."

The interim suspension means the fraternity loses all privileges as a recognized student organization pending the outcome of the investigations, according to the statement. It will also be barred from attending or planning events as an organization.

Officers with the State College Police Department there were no signs of trauma on the victim and several witnesses were present when he began experiencing shallow breathing before losing consciousness, according to police.

He was in "full cardiac arrest" by the time officers arrived, police said in a statement.

"Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene," the statement said. "We are urging anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact the State College Police Department at (814) 234-7150, by email or submit an anonymous tip through our website."

The Cathedral Preparatory School, a private school located in Erie, Pennsylvania, said Schoenig was a senior and hockey player there who went by the name Jack.

"Please pray for the Prep-Villa community as we mourn the passing of our brother, John 'Jack' Schoenig '20," the school said in a statement Monday. "We ask that you please keep Jack's family & friends in your prayers during this difficult time."

Cathedral Prep Varsity Hockey Coach, Alex Luddy, told local reporters that his "lively" and "energetic" personality would be missed dearly.

"He was an energetic and passionate hockey player, on the ice he played aggressively he had the ability to bring a spark to the team whenever he stepped on the ice," Luddy told Erie News Now. "Whatever he would do, he had the ability with one single play to be able to change the game because the players reacted to him, he had a personality that was very lively, very energetic, he was very emotional and passionate, the other guys fed off of him."

Police said the Centre County Coroner's Office is scheduled to conduct an autopsy. It did not provide a timeline.

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New Jersey school district bans students with lunch debt from participating in extracurricular activities 

iStock(CHERRY HILL, N.J.) -- A New Jersey school district is banning students with school lunch debt from attending extracurricular activities, including prom and field trips.

The Cherry Hill school district passed a policy that prohibits high school students who owe $75 or more in meal payments from "participating in extracurricular activities, purchasing tickets for school dances including proms, attending class trips including the Senior Trip, and purchasing a yearbook," according to a detailed outline of the policy.

Middle school students who owe $75 or more in school lunch fees will face the same punishment, while elementary school students will be barred from participating in after-school events and attending class trips.

The policy, which was approved last Tuesday at a board of education meeting, received swift backlash from parents and students.

Video of the board meeting, which was posted to the district's website, showed students, teachers and parents addressing the board to condemn the policy.

Dr. Vibiana Cvetkovic, whose grandchildren attend schools in the district, said at the meeting, "there are many reasons why parents can't pay. It is an elitist assumption on the part of this school board that parents are not paying a bill because they don't want to."

Jacob Graff, a senior at Cherry Hill East, said, "If my mom or dad can't pay for lunch, why should I be restricted from my passions?"

"What are colleges gonna think?" he asked the board, noting how important extracurricular activities are on applications.

The school district had $14,343 in unpaid meal debt in the last school year from more than 300 students who had a debt of more than $10, according to

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche said at the meeting the district's goal is "responsibility with compassion."

He urged those criticizing the policy to take note that it does not include a state statute, which would require meals to be withheld from students who owe lunch money.

"Money is certainly something that we have to deal with. That's our world, but that's not the most important thing that we're addressing in terms of the policy and the work that's being done," Meloche said. "It's about supporting children and supporting families ... sometimes the right thing is not the easy thing to do."

Multiple calls to the school district were not returned.

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Colorado mom accused of murdering 7-year-old daughter whom she claimed was terminally ill

iStock(GLENDALE, Colo.) -- A Colorado woman who claimed her 7-year-old daughter died of a terminal illness two years ago has now been accused of her murder.

Kelly Renee Turner, who also goes by Kelly Renee Gant, was arrested at a hotel in Glendale, Colorado, on Friday after a grand jury returned a 13-count indictment against her for the 2017 death of her daughter, Olivia Gant. Turner is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including first-degree murder, child abuse and charitable fraud, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

Turner, 41, was booked into the Douglas County Detention Facility in Castle Rock, Colorado. She made her first court appearance Monday and is being held without bond pending her next one, which is scheduled for Nov. 1. Turner's public defender declined to comment on the case.

The grand jury indictment was the culmination of a yearlong investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado, which began after Olivia's primary care doctor became suspicious about Turner's claims that her other daughter had been treated for childhood d in Texas. The doctor soon confirmed with Texas hospitals that the child was never diagnosed with nor treated for cancer of any type, which then prompted concerns about Olivia's death and care as well, according to the indictment.

"I am extremely proud and impressed with the determination of all agencies involved, especially my detectives," Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said in a statement on Monday. "While it has been an extremely emotional case, they have investigated all aspects of it with diligence and professionalism."

The investigation was initiated by doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado along with the Jefferson County Department of Human Services. A redacted Human Services report, which was cited in the indictment, expressed concern that Turner "has lied about the children's medical conditions and therefore may have caused harm to the children and or caused them to have significant medical procedures." The report said there was also concern that Turner "may have been benefiting from this attention" and "has a financial and social motivation for her children's medical conditions, both real and fictitious."

A spokesperson for Children's Hospital Colorado declined to comment on the case Tuesday, saying, "At this point we do not want to compromise any active legal matters."

After moving from Texas to Colorado, Turner first took Olivia to Children's Hospital in 2013 with concerns of developmental delays. The little girl, who was just 2 years old at the time, was ultimately diagnosed with autism, according to the indictment.

Olivia then began seeing doctors for constipation, which eventually got worse. When Olivia started getting sick, Turner reported that her daughter was having severe pain related to eating. Olivia was ultimately put on a feeding tube and then an intravenous line known as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), according to the indictment.

Turner was told that her daughter would not be able to sustain feeding on IV nutrition and was given the option to take Olivia home on hospice. The little girl died at Denver Hospice a few weeks later, according to the indictment.

Turner had set up a GoFundMe account to help with some of Olivia's medical expenses that she claimed weren't covered by their family's health insurance nor Medicaid. The crowdfunding campaign raised $22,270 from 161 donors in two years, according to the indictment.

Before she died in August 2017, Olivia was featured on local and national news as she checked off items on her bucket list, which included helping Denver police officers bust "bad guys." Turner had told media outlets covering Olivia's story that her daughter was terminally ill with neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy, a rare disease that the mother claimed had caused her young daughter to suffer intestinal failure.

But multiple doctors who had treated Olivia over the years told detectives that the little girl was not terminally ill, according to court documents.

A general pediatric surgeon, who performed Olivia's feeding tube, ileostomy and central line surgeries, described Turner as a "high maintenance mother" who "wasn't afraid of surgery," according to the indictment.

A pediatric neurologist who treated Olivia for reports of seizures said the little girl didn't have them and told Turner on three separate occasions over two years to stop giving her anti-epileptic drugs, according to the indictment.

A pediatric gastrointestinal doctor and clinician said all of Olivia's medical history and symptoms came from Turner, and that the little girl did not exhibit the symptoms her mother described most of the time. The doctor said he was against "letting Turner take Olivia to hospice care to die," according to the indictment.

Another gastroenterologist, who said he managed Olivia's TPN when she received it, said he and other medical staff members had discussions with Turner about reducing her daughter's dependency on the intravenous line but the mother refused, stating, "We've already tried that," according to the indictment.

A pediatric anesthesiologist said he treated Olivia for the symptoms that Turner reported were causing her daughter "a lot of pain." He said Turner insisted that her daughter's IV nutrition and medical care be withdrawn because she had a life-limiting disease and her quality of life was poor. The clinic's ethics team pushed back but ultimately decided to let Turner withdrawn the TPN line, according to the indictment.

Olivia's remains were exhumed in November 2018 and a complete autopsy was performed by Dr. Kelly Lear, a pathologist who is also Colorado's Arapahoe County Coroner. Lear noted a lack of any anatomical findings that would account for Olivia's stated cause of death, intestinal failure, as well as many of the conditions Turner claimed she suffered from, according to the indictment.

"Based on the lack of anatomic findings to account for her chronic intestinal failure, nonspecific toxicology results, and the inability to exclude caregiver-fabricated illness, the manner of death is best certified as undetermined," Lear stated in a 14-page report, as cited in the indictment.

Last year, a detective spoke with Turner who allegedly admitted to fabricating her other daughter's cancer diagnosis but maintained that Olivia's medical conditions were completely legitimate. Turner allegedly told the detective that doctors had agreed Olivia was only receiving 30% of her daily nutritional requirement via the TPN line and that they signed off on the hospice admission paperwork, according to the indictment.

Turner, unsolicited, also allegedly brought up Munchausen by proxy syndrome, telling the detective, "That has never been my case, like at all, whatsoever. You can talk to anyone that stood by my side," according to the indictment. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a relatively rare psychological disorder in which a caregiver exaggerates or makes up symptoms of the individual in their care.

A caseworker with the Douglas County Department of Human Services conducted a separation test last October to see whether Turner's other daughter would have medical issues when her mother wasn't present. The girl has not had any additional health problems or complaints of pain since then, according to the indictment.

Turner has not yet entered a plea in the case.

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California residents bracing for possibility of more blackouts due to high winds

iStock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Hundreds of thousands of Northern California residents are bracing for another round of widespread, deliberate blackouts after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it may need to proactively shut off power due to high winds.

The power company's emergency operations center has been monitoring a dry, offshore wind event and may turn off power lines starting late Wednesday evening, PG&E said in a statement. About 209,000 customers, in 15 counties in the Sierra Foothills and the North Bay, likely would be affected by the blackouts, expected to extend more than 48 hours.

The announcement drew angry reactions from residents, ABC San Francisco station KGO-AM reported.

"What PG&E is supposed to be doing is taking the billions of dollars we have been giving them and trimming the trees and taking care of the grid so we don't have to do shutoffs in the first place," Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Network, a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy organization, told KGO-AM.

Heavy wind gusts caused more than 100 instances of serious damage and hazard on PG&E's distribution and transmission lines during the last public safety power shutoff, or PSPS, event earlier this month, which afffected more than 2 million people.

The deadly Saddleridge Fire in Los Angeles County ignited on Oct. 10 near an electrical transmission line operated by Southern California Edison in Los Angeles' northernmost neighborhood of Slymar. While the company shut down some of its power lines, the transmission line running through Sylmar had not been de-energized.

"The sole purpose of PSPS is to significantly reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to our customers and communities," PG&E officials said in a statement. "We know that sustained winds above 45 mph are known to cause damage to the lower-voltage distribution system and winds above 50 mph are known to cause damage to higher-voltage transmission equipment."

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian told KGO-AM that the power company is trying to fix the mistakes made in the last blackout by coordinating more efficiently with state and local officials. The company is also installing devices to divide the grid into smaller segments so blackouts will be targeted to smaller areas.

Sonoma County First District Supervisor Susan Gorin told KGO-AM that PG&E should have started undergrounding lines and segmenting the transmission grids, as they have been doing in Southern California, "decades ago."

"Where have they been?" Gorin asked.

On Friday, PG&E President and CEO Bill Johnson said the goal is to eliminate PSPS events within the next 10 years while speaking before the California Public Utilities Commission.

"It will take us some time to do that," Johnson said.

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New 'Varsity Blues' charges affect 11 parents, including Lori Loughlin

iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- A grand jury in Boston on Tuesday returned additional charges against 18 people tied to the "Varsity Blues" college admissions scandal.

The new charges affect 11 of 15 previously charged parents, including actress Lori Loughlin, and seven university officials. Mossimo Giannuli, Loughlin's husband, is also included in those facing additional charges.

The jury in the District of Massachusetts is alleging that 11 defendants -- Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Mossimo Giannulli, Elisabeth Kimmell, Lori Loughlin, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo -- "conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children's admission," according to the Department of Justice statement.

The charges, announced in separate statements by the U.S. Department of Justice, may not have come as much of a surprise after prosecutors had warned parents who didn't plead guilty that they could face additional charges, attorneys involved in the case told ABC News.

Wilson, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, additionally has been charged with two counts of substantive federal programs bribery in connection with efforts to use bribes to get his children into Harvard University and Stanford University.

The indictments also include more charges against McGlashan Jr., Wilson, Zangrillo and Joey Chen, who stand accused of fraud and honest services wire fraud in connection with previous charges.

The new charges apply only to parents like Loughlin who have opted not to plead guilty to the initial indictment. Parents who've already pleaded guilty or agreed to pleas were spared additional charges.

There are no immediate court appearances associated with the new charges. The main effect is to expose the accused parents to additional prison time at sentencing should they be convicted.

"Today's charges are the result of ongoing investigation in the nationwide college admissions case," Andrew E. Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement. "Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The superseding indictments will further that effort."

The seven university officials facing additional charges are: Gordon Ernst, Donna Heinel, Jorge Salcedo, Mikaela Sanford, Jovan Vavic, Niki Williams and William Ferguson.

They're accused of "conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail and wire fraud, in connection with the previously charged scheme to accept bribes and engage in other forms of fraud to facilitate cheating on standardized admissions tests and to secure the admission of students to elite universities by designating them as purported athletic recruits or members of other favored admissions categories," according to the statement.

Ernst, Heinel, Salcedo, Sanford, Vavic and Williams also "face substantive wire and honest services wire fraud charges in connection with the scheme," the DOJ said. Additionally, Ernst, Heinel, and Salcedo are facing new charges of "conspiring to commit federal programs bribery by soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to the universities where they worked: Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, and The University of California -- Los Angeles."

Ernst also has been charged with "substantive counts of federal programs bribery and money laundering," the statement said.

There are no immediate court appearances associated with the new charges, but the main effect is to expose the parents to additional prison time at sentencing should they be convicted.

Those now facing additional charges were arrested earlier this year, or in 2018, for their roles in the $25 million college admissions scandal allegedly masterminded by William "Rick" Singer.

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Teenager allegedly shoots classmate near California high school; suspect in custody

bmcent1/iStock(SANTA ROSA, Calif.) -- One teenager was shot, allegedly by another student, near a Northern California high school Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The sole suspect -- a 17-year-old who was not named -- is in custody, Santa Rosa Police Capt. John Cregan said.

Cregan described the incident as an "isolated act of violence" just outside of Ridgway High School in Santa Rosa.

Multiple witnesses reported a "verbal altercation" between two students at an intersection "on the edge" of campus just before 9 a.m. local time, police said. The suspect then fired multiple rounds from a handgun, said police.

A teenage boy suffered two gunshot wounds and is in stable condition, police said. He is expected to survive, Cregan said.

The relationship between the students is not clear.

After the shooting the suspect returned to the school and was taken into custody in a classroom.

The suspect "handed the gun to another individual and that individual left the school campus" with the weapon in a backpack, possibly without knowing he or she was in possession of the weapon, Cregan said.

"We have no understanding at this point if that kid understood what was in that backpack," Cregan said.

The gun has not been recovered, according to Cregan.

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Journalist Gwen Ifill to be honored with USPS Forever stamp

USPS(WASHINGTON) -- Trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill will be memorialized on a new U.S. Postal Service Forever stamp.

She will be the face of the 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, according to a press release from USPS on Tuesday. The stamp features a photo of her taken in 2008 by photographer Robert Severi.

Ifill, who died in November 2016 after battling cancer, became the first African American woman to host a national political TV talk show with her 1999 host-debut on PBS' Washington Week.

She later became a member of the first female co-anchor team on PBS NewsHour, where she worked for 17 years and covered eight presidential campaigns and moderated two vice-presidential debates.

Sherrilyn Ifill, Gwen Ifill's cousin who serves as the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund, said on Twitter she "literally cannot catch [her] breath!"

"Gwen is deserving of every honor for her contributions to this country. But this one is special," she wrote.

At the time of her death, condolences from fellow journalists, politicians and celebrities poured in. Former President Barack Obama called Ifill "an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, her tenacity and her intellect and for whom she blazed a trail."

The stamps will be issued in 2020.

William Gicker, the postal service's acting executive director, called the stamps "miniature works of art" that honor American history and culture.

“From notable figures such as golf legend Arnold Palmer to esteemed journalist Gwen Ifill to the cultural phenomenon of hip hop and a celebration of the great outdoors, this program is wide-ranging and adds to the history of our great nation as recorded through the U.S. stamp program," Gicker said in a statement.

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Politician 'stunned' by shootings of 2-year-old, 11-month-old looks to combat Philadelphia violence

WPVI(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 2-year-old girl was shot dead in her home one day after an 11-month-old boy was shot and critically injured in a car in two horrific crimes that are rocking Philadelphia this week.

"I was stunned," Pennsylvania State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell told ABC News on Tuesday, calling it "really hard for me to even process."

"Just thinking about what these families are suffering through... I know that pain," she said. "My heart weeps for those families."

Johnson-Harrell's 18-year-old son, Charles, was shot to death in 2011.

"The worst thing in the world you have to do is bury a child. It's unnatural," Johnson-Harrell said.

As police work to solve both shootings, Johnson-Harrell is pushing forward in her work to combat gun violence.

There have been 1,190 shooting victims in Philadelphia so far this year, said police. There have been 280 homicide victims in Philadelphia so far this year, up 4 percent from the same time period last year, according to police.

She is aiming to reinstate a pilot program used from 2013 to 2015 in which positive peer pressure and social services were brought together in a way that she said managed to reduce gun violence in the city.

First, "those who are more likely to kill or be killed" are identified through parole and probation and brought in to be dissuaded from violence, Johnson-Harrell said.

Second, the model addresses social factors, including poverty and a lack of jobs and education, by offering access to drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment, education and job training, she said.

"I worked with some of those young people who put down the guns and changed their lives," Johnson-Harrell said.

She said the state's house and senate have "made a financial commitment" to the new program and now the city must determine how it could be initiated.

The mayor has "issued his commitment to this," said Vanessa Garrett Harley, the city's deputy managing director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. City officials are in the process of meeting with police, prosecutors and the state to determine what this model will look like, she said.

Police are still searching for the gunman who shot an 11-month-old boy while he was in the back of a car in Hunting Park Saturday night.

He was shot four times, including in the head and neck, and is in "very, very critical condition," Capt. Nicholas Brown of the Philadelphia Police Department said Monday.

He has no chance for a full recovery and if he survives he most likely will be a quadriplegic, Brown said.

The next day, 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera was shot dead in her North Philadelphia home.

Nikolette was in her mother's arms when bullets came through the wall and hit her in the head.

A gunman had fired an automatic rifle through the front of the house, leaving six bullet holes, said police.

Her mother and another person in the home were injured, said police.

Authorities said it is "safe to assume" the house was targeted, but a motive is not clear.

No arrests have been made in Nikolette's shooting, either.

He said when he looked at a home next door, he saw a little girl "with her head resting on her hands, staring out the window. Just the look in her eyes will be something I'll always remember."

"When you see kids who have to see this every day who have normalized it to some degree ... it's almost soul crushing," Abernathy told ABC News. "It rips your heart out when you see babies caught up in senseless violence."

Abernathy said he's pleading with the Pennsylvania general assembly and U.S. Congress to pass "common sense gun laws," including red flag laws and waiting periods.

Besides the initiative Johnson-Harrell is pushing for, Abernathy says the city has several major anti-violence programs in effect:

-- In the last year the city launched a community crisis intervention program in which peer specialists intervene on a nightly basis to try to understand what groups are arguing about and keep violence from erupting. Most of the specialists are from those communities, so they "have a level of credibility," said deputy manager Garrett-Harley. "This has begun to be really effective in deescalating situations."

-- The city has also expanded its youth violence reduction program which aims to keep 16 to 25 years old from getting further involved in crime. "You have kids who are picking up guns because they don't expect to live past 20," said Abernathy.

-- Authorities have also improved coordinating intelligence in the most violent areas. The city is using data to identify geographic areas where crime is occurring regularly and to identify people who are known offenders, said Abernathy.

-- Also launched in the last year were targeted community investment grants to provide support for people working on the ground.

A $30,000 reward has been offered for information that helps solve either the little boy's shooting or Nikolette's killing. Anyone with information can call the tip line at 215-686-TIPS.

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Former President Jimmy Carter hospitalized with 'minor pelvic fracture'

pablohart/iStock(AMERICUS, Ga.) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized after falling at his Georgia home on Monday evening, according to a spokesperson.

The Carter Center, which the former president founded in 1982, posted a statement via Twitter on Tuesday morning, saying Carter had been "admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center for observation and treatment of a minor pelvic fracture."

Carter, who is 95, "is in good spirits and is looking forward to recovering at home," the center tweeted.

This is the third fall for the nation's 39th president in recent months. Carter, 95, had to get stitches above his brow after falling at his ranch house in rural Plains, Georgia, earlier this month. And in May, he underwent surgery after falling and breaking his hip while he was leaving to go turkey hunting.

Carter is the oldest living former president in U.S. history. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have been married for more than 73 years, making them the longest-married presidential couple.

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Tornadoes and storms hit East, winds bring fire risk in West

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- There have been 11 reported tornadoes in the last 36 hours in five states from Texas to Tennessee with the latest damage pictures coming in from Memphis area where two tornadoes were reported Monday morning.

This same storm system will move east Tuesday and the East Coast should expect storms with damaging winds later on.

The biggest threat for damaging winds will be from southern Virginia to North Carolina, including Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham, Fayetteville and just north of Wilmington and Charlotte.

There is also a small chance for isolated tornadoes.

Elsewhere, seven fires are currently burning in California and there were a couple of new fires that ignited Monday in southern California around Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

The Palisades brushfire in L.A. had caused a local evacuation but, since Monday, it has been lifted and the fire is 10% contained.

The Little Mountain Fire continues to burn Tuesday morning. It is currently 19 acres big with three homes damaged and 40 more threatened.

On Tuesday, the big story will be the heat in southern California with highs in the mid 90’s in L.A. and near 90 in San Diego.

There is a wind advisory just north of Los Angeles as well where winds could gust Tuesday morning up to 50 mph.

But the big wind event is coming later this week starting on Wednesday in northern California around the San Francisco Bay area and moving into southern California for Thursday and Friday.

A Fire Weather Watch has already been issued for northern and southern California ahead of the offshore wind event.

The National Weather Service is warning that the wind coming up from southern California could rival the Saddle Ridge fire conditions from Oct. 10 to 11.

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