Finance, News

Michael Jackson’s ‘Neverland’ Relists for $31 Million

Days before the documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ hits the airwaves, the California property of the late pop star seeks a fraction of its original 2015 asking price.

The onetime “Neverland” ranch of the late pop star Michael Jackson is returning to the market for $31 million, a dramatic discount from its original asking price of $100 million in 2015.

It is the latest development in the yearslong effort to sell the property. In 2017, after nearly two years on the market at the $100 million price tag, the property switched listing agents to Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker, and the price was slashed to $67 million. A few months later it was taken off the market. It is now being relisted at the $31 million price with Suzanne Perkins of Compass, who was one of the original listing agents from the property’s first go on the market in 2015.

Ms. Perkins said the property failed to sell in part because “a price tag of $100 million is not chump change.” Plus the property didn’t show well because of the drought affecting California at the time, said Kyle Forsyth, a colleague of Ms. Perkins who shares the listing.

The property was also held off the market because of the mudslides and wildfires that afflicted the Santa Barbara, Calif. area. “Everyone pulled back for about a year in general,” Mr. Forsyth said, but now “it’s the right time.”

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Saddleridge fire: 2 dead in California wildfires

A wildfire whipped by the treacherous Santa Ana winds jumped two freeways northwest of Los Angeles overnight Friday, consuming more than 11 square miles, damaging at least 31 homes and forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, authorities said.

“This is a very dynamic fire,” Los Angeles Fire chief Ralph Terrazas told reporters Friday, warning that the fire — dubbed the Saddleridge fire — was devouring 800 acres an hour. The blaze erupted late Thursday along the northern tier of the San Fernando Valley.

Terrazas said the fire, as of Friday morning, was “zero” contained. The most immediate task, he said, was to use helicopters and “super scooper,” water-carrying, fixed-wing aircraft to establish some fire lines and stop it from spreading.

Authorities on Friday reported two people have died: A man in his 50s went into cardiac arrest and died near the Saddleridge fire. One person was killed in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, in the Sandalwood fire that earlier swept through a hilltop mobile home park, destroying 74 structures and damaging 16 others in Calimesa.

The chief said some 1,000 area firefighters were battling the Saddleridge fire. “Nobody is going home right away,” he said. “This event is going to take a few days.”

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 coastal Southern California.

“This is an extremely dynamic, high wind driven fire,” the LAFD said in an advisory.
In the Santa Susana Mountains near Porter Ranch, a Los Angeles neighborhood, the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility was evacuated and surrounded by firefighters and engines from both LA county and city departments fighting fires “in and around” the facility, a SoCal Gas update said.

A red flag warning was in effect in Southern California through Saturday evening, with winds expected to reach as high as 60 mph and some gusts hitting 70 mph in the mountains. 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.

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Gilroy shooting: Three killed at California garlic festival

Three people have been killed and 15 injured in a shooting at a food festival in California, local police have confirmed. One gunman has been shot dead by police, although it is unclear whether there is a second suspect at large.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival was about to end for the weekend on Sunday evening, when shots were fired at the site. There was “a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle,” eyewitness Julissa Contreras told NBC.

Video posted on social media showed people running away from the festival, 30 miles (48km) south of San Jose. “What’s going on?” a woman’s voice asks in one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”

Police have said the scene is “still active”.

“This is nothing short of horrific,” tweeted California Governor Gavin Newsom. US President Donald Trump also tweeted about the shooting, urging people to “be careful and safe”.

People run at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, 28 July 2019
Image captionImages posted on social media showed people running as shots rang out

Gilroy City councillor Dion Bracco told several US media outlets that three people had been pronounced dead. At least 11 people, some in a critical condition, were being treated for injuries, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Public Health System said.

The Santa Clara County Medical Center has so far admitted five victims, CBS reports. Two patients are being treated at a medical centre at Stanford University, according to CNN.

The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B. #GilroyActiveshooter— Gilroy Police (@GilroyPD) July 29, 2019


Michael Paz, 72, a hat vendor at the festival, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he saw a gunman armed with a rapid-fire assault rifle. “He came ready to shoot because he was wearing a protective vest,” Paz said. “He was shooting left; he was shooting right without any particular aim.” As police swooped on the gunman and shots were fired, festival attendees dropped to the ground, Mr Paz said.

Dozens of police cars have been deployed to the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Image captionDozens of police cars have been deployed to the Gilroy Garlic Festival

“It was just rapid firing,” Ms Contreras told NBC Bay Area. “I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn’t aiming at anyone specifically.

“It was just left to right, right to left. He definitely was prepared for what he was doing.”

Evenny Reyes, 13, was among those who scattered in confusion when gunfire erupted at around 17:30 local time (00:30 GMT Monday).

“We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,” she told the San Jose Mercury News.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been held annually since 1979. Christmas Hill Park, where the event was taking place, bans weapons of any kind, according to the festival’s website.