State briefs: Resorts delay openings; big waves expected near San Francisco |

State briefs: Resorts delay openings; big waves expected near San Francisco

RENO, Nev. ” A storm dropped a few inches of snow around Lake Tahoe, but it was not enough to allow skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes in full force.

Like most Sierra resorts, Kirkwood had hoped to open by Thanksgiving. But even an opening this weekend appeared doubtful after Wednesday’s scant snowfall, Kirkwood spokesman Daniel Pistoresi said.

“It would take a pretty miraculous change for that to happen,” Pistoresi told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Now, we’ve got to play catch-up a little. The target is as soon as possible.”

At Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, where the resort’s bunny run has been open since Nov. 13, operators are waiting for Mother Nature to deliver enough snow for full operations.

“We always shoot for Thanksgiving if we can get it. Historically, it can go either way,” resort spokesman Mike Pierce said, adding the past three seasons failed to produce conditions to allow for such an early start.

Resort operators prefer to open by Thanksgiving to gear up for the all-important peak Christmas holiday skiing period.

Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry Association, said Sierra resorts were fully open only 21 percent of the time on Thanksgiving in the past decade, 39 percent not at all and 40 percent partially.

Alpine Meadows, which had initially planned to open the day before Thanksgiving, now is shooting for a tentative opening date of Dec. 6.

“It’s always one of our main goals to open with a mountain people are going to enjoy,” Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Rachael Woods said. “If it takes an extra week, we’re going to do that.”

The Mt. Rose and Boreal resorts have been open on a limited basis since earlier this month, while Heavenly joined them on Friday with the same status.

“We always try to get open a little before the holidays,” Heavenly spokesman Russ Pecoraro said. “But if we don’t hit Thanksgiving, it’s by no means an indicator of how the season is going to work out.”

Wednesday’s storm ushered in cooler temperatures that allowed resorts to fire up snowmaking machines again.

The National Weather Service doesn’t foresee a chance of snow around Tahoe through the next week.

EUREKA, Calif. ” There have been no reports of injury or damage after a moderate underwater quake struck off the coast of Humboldt County.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor had a magnitude of 5.8. It revised its estimate after initially saying it had a magnitude of 5.4. The quake hit at 5:42 a.m. Friday about 147 miles west of Eureka.

A police dispatcher in Eureka said she didn’t feel the quake, and the department had not received any calls for service.

SAN FRANCISCO ” Authorities are urging beachgoers and boaters to use caution as a storm over the Pacific brings high surf to area beaches.

Forecasters say a storm moving across the Gulf of Alaska will generate a large northwest swell along Northern California beaches over the weekend.

The National Weather Service says waves of 18 to 20 feet are expected to start hitting area beaches Saturday afternoon.

The waves are expected to hit their maximum heights Sunday morning before subsiding.

Authorities say people heading to the beaches should be extra careful if walking along rocks or jetties this weekend.

2 dead after shots fired in Palm Desert toy store

PALM DESERT, Calif. ” A shooting took place inside a toy store Friday and two people were killed, authorities said.

The violence erupted on Black Friday, the traditional post-Thanksgiving start of the holiday shopping surge, but accounts of what occurred inside the store were fragmentary or second hand and it was not clear whether it involved any shopping frenzy.

The Palm Desert Police Department received calls of shots fired around 11:35 a.m., Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez said.

“We have two dead individuals inside the store,” he said. “The events of why the shots were fired is still ongoing.”

Toys ‘R’ Us officials did not immediately return calls for comment.

Palm Desert is about 120 miles east of Los Angeles. The Toys ‘R’ Us store is located at Fred Waring Road and Highway 111.

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