Worst Ever: California’s drought crisis hits record level

(Photo: NBC News file)

The newest U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that more than half of the state is under an “exceptional drought” level.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

More than 500 firefighters battle rapid Yosemite wildfire

(Photo: Stuart Palley / EPA)

Several campsites and roads have been closed after the El Portal wildfire spread over four square miles.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

'Free' and 'I need a home' written on abandoned dog

(Photo via NBC Bay Area)

An abandoned dog was found with the words “free” and “I need a home” written on it in permanent marker in a California community.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Elderly couple poses for photo after car flips

(Photo: RMG News)

A rollover crash in Bel-Air, California, last week didn’t seem to faze the elderly couple involved.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Not Again: Isla Vista grieves over second tragedy

(Photo: Michael Nelson / EPA)

For the second time in 13 years, Isla Vista, Calif., is struggling to cope with the senseless killing of young college students.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Nanny: Alleged kidnapper, victim seemed a ‘perfect couple’

(Photo: Santa Ana Police Department)

A nanny who cared for the daughter of a woman who police said was kidnapped, raped and held for 10 years had no clue she was a victim.

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Hero cat ‘throws’ first pitch at Bakersfield Blaze game

(GIF: Sarah Coffey / NBC News)

The cat who saved a California toddler from a neighborhood dog threw out the ceremonial first pitch — well, sort of — at a minor league baseball game Tuesday.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Hero cat who saved boy will ‘throw’ first pitch at baseball game

(Photo via TODAY)

Sure, she can hit — but how’s her curveball?

Fans of Tara the hero cat will find out when she “throws” out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday’s home game of the Bakersfield Blaze, a minor league baseball team in California.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

California in Flames: Crews battle nine blazes as thousands flee

(Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Zuma Press)

Nine fires have been ravaging San Diego County since Tuesday, damaging homes and sending tens of thousands of residents fleeing to safety.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Hero cat saves boy from dog attack

(Photo: Roger Triantafilo via YouTube)

This California toddler is certainly going to be a cat person for the rest of his life.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Tenth victim confirmed dead in California tour bus crash

(Photo: Jeremy Lockett / AP)

As flames swallowed their charter bus and smoke choked the aisle, the college hopefuls trapped inside smashed windows in a desperate attempt to flee the inferno.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Spontaneous tribute to WWII veteran goes viral

(Photo via San Jose Mercury News)

The San Jose, Calif., runners participating in an annual race to benefit military veterans were already giving back to the community — but then they did something even more remarkable: they paused in the middle of their event to shake a veteran’s hand.

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Landslides feared as heavy rain pours down on parched California

(Photo: Beck Diefenbach / Reuters)

The first of back-to-back rain storms swept the length of California on Wednesday, canceling flights and threatening floods and deadly landslides.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Dried up: California declares emergency

(Photo: Gene Blevins / Reuters)

Gov. Jerry Brown urged Californians to cut water use as river and reservoir levels hit record lows amid the worst drought in more than 100 years.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

California Little Leaguer sued by own coach for ‘carelessly’ celebrating

(Photo: NBC News)

A California Little Leaguer and his parents are being sued by his own coach for allegedly injuring the man when the boy threw his batting helmet in joy after his team scored the winning run in a game.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)