California

There are no cardboard boxes or bubble wrap or heavy duty packing tape in Tim Stokes' 1,600-square-foot Sacramento, Calif., home. But, according to the 36-year-old, he and his pregnant wife, their three kids and their two 100-pound mastiffs are on the verge of selling the house they bought just over a year ago.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

OK. It's August, so here's a safe bet.

GREG SPOTTS: Well, I suspect that if you live on an asphalt street in Oklahoma, in the summer afternoon, it's pretty darn hot on your street.

Spectators around the country are gearing up, eclipse glasses at the ready, for the solar eclipse on Monday. But another group — perhaps more anxious than eager — is preparing as well: the people who run California's electric grid.

California is home to almost half of all the solar power in the country. So even a partial loss of the sun will mean a major dip in the energy supply.

Nipton, Calif., 60 miles south of Las Vegas, isn't convenient to much.

Los Angeles, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984, will be home to the Games again — in 2028.

The organizers of LA's Olympics bid had originally been pursuing the 2024 games. But they ceded those games to Paris, and agreed to wait for the next round.

The decision will be officially announced on Monday afternoon. NPR's Tom Goldman has confirmed the successful bid with an LA 2024 official.

LA will be only the second city to host the modern Olympics three times. London became the first three-time Olympic City in 2012.

A wildfire in the foothills near Yosemite National Park has consumed eight structures — and is threatening 1,500 more in tiny Mariposa, Calif.

The town's 2,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate because of the blaze known as the Detwiler Fire, and Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for Mariposa County.

Hot and dry conditions in the West are feeding wildfires in the U.S. and Canada, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of people. In California, some 5,000 firefighters are battling 14 large wildfires, state officials say.

"The Whittier Fire, which is burning in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, is especially concerning for firefighters because it's near hundreds of homes," reports Debra Greene from member station KCLU. "It has already destroyed some structures, and mandatory evacuations are in place."

Seventy-one million. That's the number of bees Max Nikolaychuk tends in the rolling hills east of Fresno, Calif. Each is worth a fraction of a cent, but together, they make up a large part of his livelihood.

Nikolaychuk makes most of his money during almond pollination season, renting out the bees to California's almond orchards. This year, a thief stole four stacks of his hives.

"He knew about the bees, because he went through every bee colony I had and only took the good ones," he says. "But, you know, the bee yards — I don't have no security there, no fences."

Summer officially began at 12:24 a.m. ET Wednesday, but as the Southwestern United States bakes in a heat wave, the season may already feel like a long and sweltering slog there.

The mercury hit 119 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix on Tuesday, 117 in Las Vegas and 121 degrees in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced on Tuesday that it had confiscated 7,000 birds in the largest-ever seizure of fowl used for illegal cockfighting.

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