California needs more COVID-19 vaccine doses, but L.A. County’s shipments have shrunk

As California looks to ramp up efforts to immunize its millions of residents against COVID-19, health officials say they continue to run into a stubborn hurdle: the inability to secure a sufficient and reliable stream of vaccine doses. The problem is twofold, officials say. First, there’s a limited supply to begin with, and some areas of the state, including Los Angeles County, have actually seen their shipments shrink over the last few weeks. Second, both of the currently available vaccines require two doses taken weeks apart. So, the more initial doses that are doled out, the bigger the need will be for follow-up shots down the line — creating a chokepoint that constrains how many new people can begin the vaccine regimen. Recently, some people seeking a first shot have even had their appointments canceled because vaccines were in short supply or needed for second doses. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Newsom announces special election to fill seat vacated by former Assemblywoman Shirley Weber

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation Tuesday declaring a special election for the 79th Assembly District on June 8 to fill the seat vacated by newly appointed California Secretary of State Shirley Weber. The primary election for the seat will be held April 6, Newsom’s office announced Tuesday. The proclamation comes after the election of Joe Biden as president and former U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as vice president began a domino effect leading to Weber’s open seat. In December, Newsom announced that he would appoint Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the Senate seat Harris vacated after she was elected vice president. He announced he would nominate Weber to succeed Padilla as secretary of State. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz will keep title for now, Huntington Beach City Council decides

Monday night’s Huntington Beach City Council meeting turned into an airing of dirty laundry against Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz. As the clock moved past midnight, however, it became clear that Ortiz would keep that title. In the end, the council agreed to table an agenda item that would have stripped Ortiz of his mayor pro tem position. The item under consideration claimed he had “failed to perform at a level expected for this position and demonstrated little commitment to serving in the role with honor and dignity.” Ortiz, a lifelong Huntington Beach resident who was previously a mixed martial arts fighter and had no prior political experience, was elected in November with the most votes in city history. He has since drawn the ire of many on the City Council for his refusal to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in Ortiz being kicked out of a strategic planning meeting, then involved with a controversy with local chain TK Burgers. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

3 Critically Injured After Reported Explosion On Movie Set In Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — Three people sustained critical burn injuries Tuesday afternoon after a reported explosion on a movie set caused a small brush fire in Santa Clarita, authorities said. Explosive accident on a movie set in Santa Clarita: a pyrotechnic malfunction resulted in 3 people being burned and a small brush fire starting on the hillside. Fire is out but three people suffered serious burns @CBSLA @Patharveynews @JeffVaughn pic.twitter.com/bHr8z9gZba — Desmond Shaw (@RoadSageLA) February 3, 2021 Crews with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the call at about 4:43 p.m. in the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Loop. UPDATE: Forward progress of fire halted at one acre. Three critical burn patients transported by Paramedics after an initial report of a explosion. PIO en route to scene. Initial dispatch @ 16:45. #RyeFire #LACoFD — L.A. County Fire Department (@LACoFDPIO) February 3, 2021 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department asked people to stay clear of the area during the investigation. An active brush fire has been reported on the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Loop in Valencia after reports of a loud explosion. Fire…

Locals Respond With Mixed Reviews To Biden’s Immigration Executive Orders

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Among President Joe Biden’s three executive orders signed on Tuesday was the creation of a task force to reunite families separated under the Trump administration. His plan is getting some mixed reviews from locals. Many non-profits believe there are still about 600 parents that still need to find their children. Even though a court order said those families are entitled to help, they’ve been hard to find because of issues with record-keeping and fear. “People don’t necessarily want to be found because they’re afraid they might be separated again if they’re together or deported,” said Ken Berrick, CEO and Founder of Seneca Family of Agencies The Republican Party of Los Angeles County says the government should work to reunite families but it says the president should work with Congress on Immigration Reform instead of using executive actions. “You’re not going to criticize somebody trying to get kids to their parents. Right, there’s no critique there,” said Eric Early, of the Republican Party of L.A. County. “If the president is intent on trying to take millions of people illegally, and by just the stroke…

OC COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Cases Continue Downward Trend

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County’s COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations continued to improve Tuesday. The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in Orange County declined from 1,362 on Monday to 1,330 on Tuesday, with the number of patients in intensive care dropping from 384 to 370. The county’s state-adjusted ICU bed availability remains at zero, and the unadjusted figure decreased from 10.9% Monday to 10%. “Look at the hospital numbers, that’s a dramatic drop,” said Orange County CEO Frank Kim. “The ICU numbers are on an accelerating downward path, which is good.” Kim said the county’s positivity rate has declined nearly 50% since its peak Jan. 10. Meanwhile Monday, health officials reported 53 additional and fatalities and 768 coronavirus cases, the first time since Dec. 31 that the health department has reported fewer than 1,000 cases. The county’s caseload now stands at 234,162, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Of the fatalities reported Tuesday, nine were skilled nursing facility residents and 10 were assisted living facility residents. Kim said he was encouraged by news from the county’s lobbyist that the federal government…

‘Our Voices Need To Be Heard’: People With Disabilities Speak Out Against COVID Vaccine Priorities

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The change in coronavirus vaccine tiers in California is moving some people with disabilities farther back in the line because they don’t meet the immediate age requirements despite their health vulnerabilities, and that is causing some backlash. Adam Byers, 32, has spinal muscular atrophy, and since last March, he’s only left his house once for non-medical reasons because he doesn’t want to take the chance of contracting coronavirus due to his weak lungs and potential to deteriorate quickly. “The prioritization here, it really matters. It’s really going to matter with people’s lives,” Byers said. Byers is one of many people with disabilities in California who are outraged after Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would be switching to an age-based vaccination plan, which critics argue will de-prioritize high-risk people under 65. “Right now, there’s a limited supply and when you have a limited supply, the way you’re going to save the most lives is vaccinating the riskiest people first. And we’re riskier. Disabled Californians are riskier,” Byers said. Forty-five-year-old Tim Jin has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair and…

LA Passes $5 ‘Hazard Pay’ Raise For Grocery Store Workers

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council passed an emergency hazard pay ordinance that would require large grocery stores and pharmacies to offer employees an additional $5 per hour amid the pandemic. The vote comes just days after Kroger announced it will close two grocery stores in Long Beach because of a similar mandate recently passed there. The California Grocers Association (CGA) says the city mandates are an overreach and will have a ripple effect of unintended consequences. “We think these local ordinances are unprecedented to be honest with you,” said Ron Fong, CGA President and CEO. “We’ve never seen a city council trying and tell businesses what to pay our employees.” When Kroger announced Monday the closures of a Ralph’s and Food 4 Less store, it blamed the city, saying: “This misguided action…oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city… The irreparable harm that will come to employees and local citizens as a direct result…is deeply unfortunate.” Critics of the move said Kroger can afford to pay employees…

Daddy Molests 18-Month-Old Son, Films It All With Girlfriend’s Help In Desert Hot Springs? Pair Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

Share this article:Lady Justice sculpture. Photo via Pixabay A father and a girlfriend accused of molesting the man’s 18-month-old son in Desert Hot Springs and filming their actions re-entered not guilty pleas Tuesday and were ordered to return to court on March 5 for a trial-readiness conference. Michael James Flaherty, 34, of Desert Hot Springs, and Cynthia Fuentes, 24, of Coachella, were arrested in August 2017. Following a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio last month, Riverside County Superior Court Judge James Hawkins found there was sufficient evidence for both defendants to proceed to trial. Both defendants remain behind bars in lieu of $1.5 million bail. Flaherty and Fuentes are each charged with three counts of committing lewd acts with a child under 14 years old using force, two counts of committing sex acts with a child under 10 years old and one count of using a minor for obscene matter. Flaherty faces additional felony charges including willful child cruelty. Desert Hot Springs Police Detective Christopher Tooth, who testified at the preliminary hearing, said a woman who Flaherty met on a dating…

Don’t Dare Disrupt Vaccinations Or Go To Jail! LAPD Chief Moore Warns Anti-Vaxxers After Dodger Stadium Protest

Share this article:LAPD Chief Michel Moore in earlier appearance. Courtesy LAPD Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that if anti-vaccine protesters interfere with people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as some did Saturday at Dodger Stadium, they may be arrested or cited. “Going forward, people that are walking in roadways around or confronting individuals attempting to get a vaccine, it’s my expectation and direction, that enforcement will be swift and certain,” Moore said during Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting. Enforcement may include arrests or citations. “We are working with the fire department to ensure that there’s a designated protest area that protesters can safely gather and express their views and be heard without interfering or having any view of their actions interfering with people who are also lawfully attempting to gain access to such a critical medical resource,” Moore said. Dodger Stadium’s gates were closed from 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Saturday to keep anti-vaccine protesters out. The Los Angeles Police Department estimated there were 50 protesters. When the gates closed, everyone inside received their vaccines, while those locked out got their shots after the…

Long lines create delays on opening day of Fontana Speedway vaccination center

The opening of San Bernardino County’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana Tuesday was met with complaints of hourslong waits and disorganization. Appointments for the one-day vaccination event had quickly filled up almost as soon as they were opened Monday morning. All 3,500 available appointment slots were booked in less than 20 minutes, county Supervisor Janice Rutherford told KTLA. Tuesday’s event kicked off at 9 a.m. and was scheduled to continue through 6 p.m. Everything had gone smoothly until about 11:30 a.m., when a huge line formed outside the speedway, according to David Wert, a public information officer for San Bernardino County. Several people wrote in to KTLA complaining of long lines and delays. At least one person said their family member had to leave without getting a vaccine after waiting for hours. Officials had asked people not to show up more than 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled slot. But authorities believe many people showed up well before their appointment time, creating traffic flow issues, Wert said. “Folks are excited to get their vaccine,” he said. “Despite our…

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