LOS ANGELES – Ashley Swearengin, the Republican candidate for state controller, came to the California Republican Party’s fall convention Friday, delivered a dinner banquet speech and, on her way to catch a flight out, continued to leave open the possibility she will vote for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown – not Republican Neel Kashkari – in November.

The last weeks of the legislative year are a traditional time for California lawmakers to collect campaign money. With hundreds of bills awaiting final action, breakfast, lunchtime and evening fundraisers crowd a busy end-of-session calendar.

Tim Hudson had another rough start, costing the San Francisco Giants ground in the playoff chase and raising some big questions considering that his next scheduled start is against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jon Lester rediscovered his curveball last year, and it has been a helpful addition to an already impressive repertoire.

A visit from a dog, cat or other pet can make a bad day disappear. That’s especially true if you are a resident in a nursing home or a patient in a hospital. The experience of visiting with a therapy pet can soothe frazzled nerves, revive dormant memories and bring smiles and laughter in places where those things are often in short supply.

Meet Ventus. He’s a year-old domestic shorthair mix and has been looking for a home since Aug. 21.

The third annual Secret Garden’s Fall Garden Faire and Plant Sale.

Broom power for cleaning chores adds up to significant water savings.

Organic matter is key to helping your soil survive the drought and thrive in seasons to come, says expert.

This cold-tolerant trailing variety spreads out the flowers for bees and butterflies.

Cool-season vegetables appreciate warm ground for rapid root growth.

This restored and lively Victorian is part of today’s Sacramento Old City Association tour.

Here is time-lapse photography from Bass Lake Road that captured a spectacularly violent cloud formation from the King fire in El Dorado County on Sept. 17, 2014.

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