All Things Considered with Alex Cohen

Daily Dose - Buying California properties, prize-winning pumpkin, Cat and Dog of the Year

October 11, 2010 -- California has a buyer! Today the state announced that a partnership led by a Texas real estate firm and an Irvine-based private equity firm will buy 11 state properties for a whopping $2.3 billion.

California First LLC will buy 11 parcels which contain 24 buildings including the Ronald Reagan building in L.A. and the San Francisco Civic Center.

The offer will allegedly generate more than $1.2 billion bucks for the state's general fun. About a billion dollars will be used to pay off bonds on the building.

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Prize-winning pumpkinHalloween is just a few weeks away... Which means it's time for pumpkin contests! The mother of all pumpkin growing contests takes place each year in Half Moon Bay, in Northern California.

This year's winner is Ron Root and his prize-winning pumpkin weighed 1,535 pounds. It wasn't a record-breaking number but it was good enough to beat out the 59 other entries. Root hails from Citrus Heights and this was his fourth time entering the contest.  This was the first time in 11 years that a California grower dominated the competition.

Root grew his ginormous gourd from seeds provided by a previous year's winner. His winning pumpkin will earn him nearly $10,000. He'll get six bucks per pound plus another grand for winning the competition.

If you feel like taking a road trip, you'll be able to see the prize-winning pumpkin this weekend at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival.

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Pearl in Haiti

Two rescued animals who once resided in the Golden State have won this years dog and cat of the year awards from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A four-year-old Labrador retriever named Pearl is the canine winner. Pearl was abandoned at a shelter and was later trained and sent to Haiti. Pearl went with a rescue team from the L.A. County Fire Department. The Department's seven rescue teams helped rescue 12 people.

The feline honors went to a stray, injured kitten found near San Diego six years ago. After Henry was amputated, he inspired a series of books for kids that have raised more than $50,000 for animal causes.

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