Ongoing drought conditions have cost rice farmer Mike DeWit 30 percent of his crop. He's not alone. This year, California's rice farmers will leave nearly 100,000 acres unplanted due to lack of water.

Of Rice and Men

On the Cover: Parched by years of drought, thousands of California’s rice fields lie barren

In the Sacramento Valley, where 97 percent of the state’s rice crop is grown, family farmers have been forced to fallow cropland they have worked for generations. The economic hit has been hard and true, affecting not just farmers, but seed distributors, equipment dealers and anyone else with a thumb in the rice business. The drought could cost Central Valley farmers and communities $1.7 billion this year and may lead to more than 14,500 layoffs.

Aug 19, 2014 Russell Nichols
Eric Richards, 35, with two-year-old son, Cole

Daddy Issues

Why aren't more men taking paternity leave?

On opening day of the 2014 baseball season, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was noticeably absent. He wasn’t benched. He didn’t have the flu. He simply took advantage of Major League Baseball’s paternity leave policy, which grants 72 hours off, to attend the birth of his son.

And all hell broke loose.

Jun 30, 2014 Jeff Wilser
Cindy Garcia of the UC Davis Meat Lab

Killer Instincts

Butchery is finding a passionate female following

On a warm afternoon, soft spring winds are blowing across the campus at UC Davis. In a building on the university’s west corner, Cindy Garcia is hosing pools of blood down a drain. She places a pig skull on an inspection table, washes her hands and steps into the sunlight just as the parking lot is beginning to fill with shoppers toting grocery bags.

May 31, 2014 Michelle Locke

Hurts So Good

Yoga is good for you, but be careful boys

I’ve always snickered at yoga.It just seemed ridiculous. But men are flocking to yoga the way we once, in the ’80s, took to this thing called “jogging.” We’re learning that yoga bestows a slew of health benefits — physical, mental, even sexual. But new research also points to increased health risks for men, and this muddies the decision.

Feb 1, 2014 Jeff Wilser

The Conductor

The California High-Speed Rail Authority replaced an engineer with a political operative to lead the nation’s biggest public works project. Jeff Morales instantly charmed his opponents but made technical decisions that placed high-speed rail at the mercy of the courts. Can Morales save his runaway train?

Jan 2, 2014 Allen Young

Styles to Strut

Fashion designer Richard Hallmarq

It’s been an extraordinary couple of years for Richard Hallmarq, the 41-year-old Sacramento native who last year made his fashion debut on national television and is now gearing up for New York Fashion Week from his design studio inside the Sacramento Art Complex on K Street.

Dec 1, 2013 Kibkabe Araya