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5 things to know this weekend


Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3:50 a.m. ET Oct. 12, 2019


Wildfire dangers persist as deadly blazes rage in Southern California

A red flag warning remains in effect in Southern California Saturday as deadly wildfires whipped by the treacherous Santa Ana winds have damaged at least 31 homes and forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 people. Red flag warnings are issued when warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger. Authorities said the Saddleridge blaze started as a brush fire in Sylmar, the northernmost neighborhood of Los Angeles, and quickly spread, driven by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that sweep down from the deserts and across the region. In Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, the Sandalwood fire swept through a hilltop mobile home park and destroyed 74 structures and damaged 16 others in Calimesa. At least two people have died, according to authorities.


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Louisianians head to ballot box in gubernatorial election after Trump visit

Louisiana voters will have three candidates to choose from for governor — the incumbent Democrat and two Republicans – when they go the ballot on Saturday. Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, won four years ago after voters soured on his Republican opponent due to a sex scandal. Edwards’ opponents are Congressman Ralph Abraham, who is a three-term U.S. congressman, a farmer and a veterinarian, and businessman Eddie Rispone who has amassed a big fortune and financed his own campaign. In an effort to turn over the governor’s mansion back to the GOP, President Donald Trump held a rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Friday and he urged residents to “fire” Edwards and replace him with one of the two Republicans. Edwards is leading in the polls, but if he doesn’t get at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters would be forced into a future runoff.

Yankees and Astros collide in epic ALCS clash

The American League Championship Series kicks off Saturday night as the Astros welcome the New York Yankees to Houston (live, 8:08 p.m. ET). The showdown between the two 100-plus-win teams is a rematch of their thrilling seven-game series in 2017, which Houston won en route to its first title. Meanwhile, in the National League, the Nationals took Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals behind Anibal Sanchez’s gem. He took a no-hitter into the eighth before it was broken up and he turned the ball over to Sean Doolittle, who got the final four outs. The teams get right back after it Saturday with Game 2 in St. Louis set for a 4:08 p.m. ET first pitch.


SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Steve Gardner tells us everything we need to know for the monstrous ALCS showdown between the Yankees and Astros.

Empire State Building: Renovated 102nd-floor observatory opens

The Empire State Building is opening its newly renovated 102nd floor observatory to the public on Saturday. Tony Malkin, chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, calls the observatory the “jewel box” of Manhattan. Visitors can see Manhattan at a vantage point of 1,250 feet from the 102nd floor. The observatory windows used to be obstructed by waist-high air conditioning units but now feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows for stunning views. The Empire State Building is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. 365 days a year. A standard ticket costs $38 for adults, $32 for children and $36 for seniors, while an extra $20 can take guests to the 102nd-floor observatory.

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Funeral for opera great Jessye Norman

The late Jessye Norman, renowned international opera star whose passionate soprano voice won her four Grammys, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor, will be remembered Saturday. The funeral for Norman, who died September 30 at age 74, will be held in Augusta, Georgia, where she was born. Among those set to give tributes at the service are another city native, actor Laurence Fishburne, and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, according to The Augusta Chronicle. Norman was one of the rare black singers to attain worldwide stardom in the opera world, performing at such revered houses as La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, and singing title roles in works such as “Carmen,” ”Aida” and more.

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