Ben Schumin

GM & Lyft Set To Test Self-Driving Taxis Within A Year

It hasn’t taken General Motors long to figure out how to spend its $500 million investment in Lyft. A month after the carmaker said it would use some of those funds to rent SUVs to prospective drivers, the partners unveiled plans to begin testing self-driving taxis on public roads in California.  [More]


California Becomes Second State To Raise Smoking Age To 21

Starting on June 9, California will officially be the second state — after Hawaii — to bar most people under the age of 21 from smoking, buying, or possessing traditional cigarettes.  [More]

At Least 52 People Hospitalized, 13 Dead In California After Overdosing On Counterfeit Painkiller

At Least 52 People Hospitalized, 13 Dead In California After Overdosing On Counterfeit Painkiller

Norco is a brand name for a prescription opioid painkiller that combines acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Unscrupulous jerks are also selling fake Norco that contains the powerful opioid fentanyl, resulting in dozens of hospitalizations and and least 13 deaths from overdoses in California, and that’s only in the last few weeks. [More]

Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors, Will Receive Up To $100M In Settlement

Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors, Will Receive Up To $100M In Settlement

For the better part of three years, Uber drivers have sparred with the ride-sharing company over the status of their employment: are they independent contractor or actual employees? Today, Uber has agreed to settle two lawsuits over the issue, paying up to $100 million to the drivers who will remain independent contractors.  [More]

Shelby Root

Apparently, California Nuts Are The Target Of International Crime Rings

Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios make a great snack, or topper for your salad. But they’re also apparently irresistible to international thieves, who have reportedly pilfered $7.6 million worth of nuts from California over the past four years. Now, the industry and authorities are taking steps to crack up these nutty crime rings. [More]


After Supreme Court Split, Challengers To Public Union Fees Want Case Re-Heard

In March, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court issued a one-sentence non-decision in a controversial case involving compulsory fees for public unions. The challengers in that case have petitioned the court to re-hear arguments — after a ninth justice is eventually appointed. [More]

Brad Clinesmith

New Frontier Customers Get Bad First Impression After Verizon Sale And Switchover

Back in February, Frontier Communications and Verizon announced a massive deal where Verizon sold broadband, cable TV, and voice markets in California, Texas, and Florida to Frontier. Millions of customers came along with the sale, and they were supposed to be switched from Verizon to Frontier on April 1. Considering how well the switch went, that wasn’t a good date to choose. [More]

Sybren Stüvel

Should Cable, Internet Companies Be Required To Let You Cancel Service Online?

Just about any pay-TV or Internet service provider (often one in the same) lets new customers sign up online. You can do the whole process — check your address for availability (even if the company’s database is dreadfully wrong), pick a service tier, schedule an installation appointment, and even have your credit history checked — all without talking to a single human being. But if you need to cancel that same service, you likely have to spend quite a long time talking to someone on the phone, explaining that you simply don’t want to give their company any more money. [More]

Taber Andrew Bain

Wells Fargo To Pay $8.5M For Recording Calls Without Telling Customers

California law requires that, before any party involved in a phone call can record the conversation, all parties must be made aware they are being recorded. Violations of that law can get quite costly; just ask Wells Fargo, which has to ante up $8.5 million to close a state investigation into the bank’s repeated invasions of privacy. [More]


Split Supreme Court Allows Compulsory Public Union Fees To Stand

A high-profile Supreme Court case involving mandatory membership fees paid to public employee unions was expected to result in yet another controversial, narrow 5-4 decision by the nation’s highest court, but today, with only eight justices currently seated, an evenly divided SCOTUS issued a one-sentence non-decision that leaves things unchanged. [More]

Steve Depolo

California, Labor Groups Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Statewide Minimum Wage To $15/Hour

California is poised to become the first state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage. Over the weekend legislators in the state said they had reached a tentative agreement with labor unions that would see the state rollout the wage increase over the next six years. [More]

People Keep Stealing The Sign For Glory Hole Drive For Some Reason

People Keep Stealing The Sign For Glory Hole Drive For Some Reason

When someone keeps stealing your street sign, it’s kind of difficult to give directions to your home. Residents who live on a private road in California have frequently faced this problem: their sign has been stolen five times, twice in the last two years. Named after a former gold mining camp, their street is called Glory Hole Drive. [More]

Failed For-Profit College Operator Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion For Predatory Practices

Failed For-Profit College Operator Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion For Predatory Practices

Corinthian Colleges Inc. — which formerly ran for-profit education chains like Everest University, Heald College, and WyoTech — may have collapsed and had its remnants sold off, but the lawsuits against the failed company continue to loom. This week, a California judge ordered the defunct company to fork over $1.1 billion to the state for lying to students, investors, and regulators. [More]

Corinthian Colleges Allegedly Recruited Homeless Students, Advertised Non-Existent Programs

Corinthian Colleges Allegedly Recruited Homeless Students, Advertised Non-Existent Programs

Just when you think the accusations levied against now-defunct for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges couldn’t get worse — inflating job placement rates, grade manipulation, and questionable marketing practices — they do. The California Attorney General’s office filed thousands of pages of documents and testimony as part of its ongoing lawsuit against the school highlighting an even more egregious practice: allegedly recruiting homeless students and assisting them in taking out thousands of dollars in loans they could never repay.  [More]


California Appeals Court Puts The Kibosh On Medical Marijuana Delivery App

Californians who were hoping to summon medical marijuana to their homes with the tap of a smartphone app will have to find anther way to get their pot, after an appeals court upheld an injunction against a weed delivery app called NestDrop. [More]

Ryan Glenn

California Could Be Second State To Raise Minimum Smoking Age To 21

Just days after the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, the state’s Assembly passed a package of tobacco bills, including a measure that would raise the state smoking age to 21 and ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional smoking is prohibited.  [More]

A deli with no meats. (Nicholas Eckhart)

Here’s A Look Inside The Last Days Of Some Closing Walmarts

We expect that Walmart stores are crammed full of merchandise and people, and they look wrong when they no longer have either. Walmart recently completed a round of store closings, including the entire Walmart Express chain. Naturally, some of our readers were there, and brought their cameras. [More]

Mark Clifton

Sears Hometown Opens Stores Within Other Stores

Sears and JCPenney are two department stores with more space than they need and a need to get more people in the door. They’ve started opening stores within stores, or subdividing their space and leasing part of it to other retailers. Now a member of the Sears family that has gone off on its own is trying this strategy to get a retail foothold: Sears Hometown is opening a store in an Ace Hardware. [More]