“This Is Our New Tradition”: LA’s Most Sought After Santa Spreads Christmas Cheer Through Virtual Holiday Visits

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Despite the pandemic, Santa Claus is still coming to town. Virtually, at least. This year, Ed Taylor — who is known as Santa by many small children in the SoCal area  — will be spreading holiday cheer by doing video chats from the North Pole. “I have been so pleasantly surprised these virtual visits have been so much fun,” Taylor said. “Santa has so much more information about the child, knows so many more things and we get to visit longer.” Taylor is one of L.A.’s most sought after Santas, hosting a number of community events like the annual tree lighting at the Children’s Hospital. Before the pandemic, Taylor booked about 100 in-person visits during the holiday. This Christmas, he’s booked more than 500 virtual ones. Rates start at about $100 for 12 minutes and can go up to $750 on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Spreading cheer, not COVID, is certainly at the top of his list. And he’ll be doing so from the comfort of his own home. Even after the virus is contained, he expects holiday video chats…

Ventura County DA Releases New Video Of Borderline Bar Shooting

THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Thursday released new video of the deadly mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Thursday released new video of the deadly mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. (Ventura County District Attorney’s Office/YouTube) The heartbreaking video shows what Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was up against when he entered the popular bar the night of Nov. 7, 2018. In the video, Helus can be seen shining a light on his gun behind the counter when the shooter comes out of the dark and opens fire. After being shot several times by the suspect, Helus scrambles out of the door. Another responding officer, aiming for the shooter, strikes Helus instead. Helus ultimately died from that gunshot wound, but not before continuing to fire on the shooter in a last-ditch effort to save as many lives as he could. “He did save mine,” Brian Hynes, the owner of the bar, said. “But he saved so many lives by going in the way…

Report: Slain sergeant tripped, was trying to retreat when he was struck during Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks

A sheriff’s sergeant accidentally shot by a fellow police officer as they responded to a mass shooting at a California bar had tripped and fallen during the chaos and was struck by the fatal bullet when he stood up and tried to retreat, according to a prosecutors’ report Thursday that finds both officers acted lawfully when they fired their weapons. The report by the Ventura County District Attorney’s office provides the most detailed timeline of events yet of the massacre that unfolded Nov. 7, 2018, when Ian David Long attacked country-music lovers at the Borderline Bar and Grill in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, killing 11. Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus had returned Long’s fire from inside the dark and smoky bar and was moving back out the front door when his feet got tangled in a rope and he tumbled to the ground, according to an investigation by the county district attorney’s office. California Highway Patrol Officer Todd Barrett had already exited and was firing at Long, who was still inside, when one of the officer’s rounds hit Helus, who had…

Sen. Feinstein, 87, says she hasn’t considered leaving Senate before her term ends in 2024

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said this week she hasn’t thought about retiring before her term ends in 2024 and defended herself against criticism of her job performance and questions about her age. “I don’t feel my cognitive abilities have diminished,” Feinstein told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Thursday. “Do I forget something sometimes? Quite possibly.” At 87, Feinstein is the Senate’s oldest member. She won reelection for another six-year term in 2018, defeating Democratic challenger Kevin de Leon, who ran on a more liberal platform. The debate over Feinstein’s approach to politics renewed this fall during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Several news outlets have also reported on questions about Feinstein’s memory and mental faculty given her age. Her term runs through 2024, but some observers have raised the possibility of her retiring early, giving Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom a chance to appoint a successor. He’s currently weighing who to appoint to fill the rest of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ term, which runs through 2022. She said she hasn’t considered retiring early. “We do get things done…

Coca-Cola laying off 2,200 workers worldwide as part of company’s restructuring plan

The Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it’s laying off 2,200 workers, or 17% of its global workforce, as part of a larger restructuring aimed at paring down its business units and brands. The Atlanta-based company said around half of the layoffs will occur in the U.S., where Coke employs around 10,400 people. Coke employed 86,200 people worldwide at the end of 2019. The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Coke’s business, as sales at places like stadiums and movie theaters dried up due to lockdowns. Its revenue fell 9% to $8.7 billion in the July-September period. The downturn forced the company to accelerate a restructuring that was already underway. “We’ve been challenging legacy ways of doing business and the pandemic helped us realize we could be bolder in our efforts,” Coke Chairman and CEO James Quincey said during an earnings call in October. Coke is reducing its brands by half to 200. It shed multiple slow-selling brands this year, including Tab, Zico coconut water, Diet Coke Fiesty Cherry and Odwalla juices. The company said it will use the savings to invest in growing brands like Minute Maid and…

San Francisco imposes 10-day mandatory quarantine for travelers from outside Bay Area

San Francisco issued a travel order effective Friday requiring anyone visiting the city from outside the Bay Area to quarantine for 10 days. The order, announced during a virtual news conference by Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s public health director, takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Violating the order is a misdemeanor. Medical workers, first responders and essential workers are exempt. Colfax described the rise in coronavirus cases in the Bay Area as “staggering,” but added that catastrophe could still be avoided if residents remain with their households during the holidays and refrain from traveling. “While cases remain far too high, the rate of increase of this virus has slowed just a bit, and this indicates we still have time to turn this dire situation around, and as a result, save hundreds of lives,” Colfax said. Read the full story at LATimes.com.

San Bernardino Adds 9K New COVID-19 Cases, Riverside Reports 8K

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties all reported additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus Thursday. Healthcare workers wear personal protective equipment Thursday at a COVID-19 testing site outside Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center in Riverside. (Photo by: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Riverside County health officials reported 8,205 newly confirmed cases and 42 additional fatalities, bringing countywide totals to 132,818 cases and 1,708 deaths. Of those who contracted the illness, 71,539 had recovered. There were a reported 1,054 coronavirus patients hospitalized Thursday, 216 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. San Bernardino County health officials reported 9,383 newly confirmed cases and 19 additional fatalities, bringing the countywide total to 144,455 cases and 1,323 deaths. Of those who contracted the illness, 120,570 had recovered. There were 1,458 coronavirus patients hospitalized as of Wednesday, 285 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. Ventura County health officials reported 731 newly confirmed cases and three additional fatalities, bringing countywide totals to 28,643 cases and 207 deaths. Of those who had contracted the illness, 25,254 had recovered and 3,182 were under…

‘This Is What I Was Born To Do’: Local Nonprofit Aims To Eradicate Veteran Homelessness

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — From post-traumatic stress disorder and poverty to hunger and homelessness, far too many veterans are in need of help in the greater Los Angeles area — help that local nonprofit Village for Vets is hoping to provide. Local nonprofit Village for Vets is aiming high as it works to eradicate veteran homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area. (Village for Vets) “Village for Vets is 100% dedicated to eradicating veteran homelessness,” Marcie Swartz, the organization’s founder and chief executive officer, said. “And we do that by filling gaps in critical services for homeless and at-risk veterans in greater Los Angeles on their journey to stability and independence.” Swartz said that while there were systems in place to help veterans, they often become overwhelmed by the need, which is when she and her organization step in. “We’re like the oil in the wheel,” she said. “We fill the gaps so that the programs can help the greatest number of at-risk and homeless veterans.” In one recent example, Swartz said the VA started a program to move homeless veterans off the streets and…

UCLA Football Players Decide To Opt Out Of Potential Bowl Invitation

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — UCLA announced Thursday it will decline a potential bowl invitation, a decision led by its football players and fully supported by coach Chip Kelly and athletic director Martin Jarmond. “We are a player-led team, and we listened to our players when it came to making this decision,” Kelly said. The decision means the Bruins will not play in a bowl game for the third time in Kelly’s three seasons as coach. UCLA is currently in its longest streak of missing bowls since the nine-season streak from 1966-74 when the Pac-8 Conference’s bowl participation was limited to the conference champion playing in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins had qualified for bowls in six of the seven seasons before Kelly’s hiring. It was not immediately clear whether UCLA would receive a bowl invitation. To date, 11 bowls have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. UCLA’s decision marks the 11th team to decline a bowl invitation this season. (© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Garcetti Says Daughter Tested Positive For COVID-19, Will Quarantine 10 Days

Share this article:Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that his 9-year-old daughter, Maya, tested positive for COVID-19, and although he and his wife have tested negative, he will quarantine for 10 days. “Maya is doing fine and her symptoms are mild, and my wife and I have both been tested and our test results have come back negative,” he said. Garcetti gave his COVID-19 update Thursday evening from his home instead of at City Hall, and he repeated his frustrations with the delay in the federal government’s allocation of coronavirus relief funds to cities. Garcetti said hospital officials are telling him and his staff that if Los Angeles continues on its upward trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations through Christmas, the medical facilities will “go under,” meaning they won’t be able to adequately service coronavirus patients or patients of other ailments. He also said a countywide emergency order could be issued if hospitals are inundated with patients. “Some hospitals can convert non-(intensive care unit) spaces into ICU spaces, but other hospitals can’t,” Garcetti said, adding ambulances have to be rerouted at times if a hospital is at capacity.…

GPS Tracker Leads Arcadia Police To Suspected Package Thieves

Share this article:Three suspected porch pirates were arrested in Duarte Thursday with allegedly stolen packages, including one that had a GPS tracker placed by the Arcadia Police Department. The suspects allegedly stole mail and packages from Arcadia and surrounding cities, according to Sgt. Ernest Lopez of the Arcadia Police Department. The department placed packages throughout the city with GPS trackers in them in an attempt to catch people stealing packages during the holiday season, Lopez said. This GPS-tracked package was taken from the area of South Sixth Avenue and led officers to the intersection of East Duarte Road and Buena Vista Street, where the suspects were in possession of other packages reported stolen, according to Lopez. With families celebrating Hanukkah through Friday, and Christmas coming up in just over a week, the Arcadia Police Department reminded residents to protect their packages by: — having packages rescheduled or delivered to a trusted neighbor, friend or family member in the event that no one will be home when the package is scheduled to arrive; — adding locks to mailboxes; and — bringing packages inside immediately after they’re…

3 arrested in Halloween strip club shooting that wounded 4 in Anaheim

Three men were arrested Thursday following months of investigation into a drive-by shooting that left four people wounded inside an Anaheim strip club on Halloween, officials said. The gunfire erupted after security removed the suspects from the Sahara Theatre, at 1210 State College Blvd., in the early hours of Oct. 31, Anaheim police said in a news release. Authorities say the men were removed over their refusal to wear face masks. From left, Juan Jose Acosta-Soto, Edgar Nava-Ayala and Daniel Ocampo Nava are seen in undated photos released Dec. 17, 2020, by the Anaheim Police Department. Juan Jose Acosta-Soto, 20, is suspected of driving a red Toyota Camry with the two other suspects inside past the club. Edgar Nava-Ayala, 34, fired an AK-47-style rifle indiscriminately from the car into the establishment, according to investigators. There were about 30 people inside the club at the time, and the four people shot suffered wounds ranging from minor to moderate in severity, police said. The third suspect involved was identified as 22-year-old Daniel Ocampo Nava. The three men, all residents of Anaheim, were taken into custody Thursday morning…

Vanessa Bryant says her mother’s lawsuit claiming she’s owed back pay is an attempt to ‘extort a financial windfall’ from family

Vanessa Bryant on Thursday accused her mother of seeking to “extort a financial windfall” from her in the wake of her husband Kobe Bryant’s death by filing a lawsuit claiming she is owed years of back pay for working as an unpaid assistant. The family feud ratcheted up after Sofia Urbieta Laine sued her 38-year-old daughter for financial support alleging she worked for years as unpaid “longtime personal assistant and nanny” to the couple and that the Lakers legend had “promised to take care” of his mother-in-law for the rest of her days before his death in a helicopter crash Jan 26. “Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant’s promise did not see the light of day as he is now deceased and Vanessa Bryant took each and every step she could to void and cancel all of Kobe’s promises,” the 48-page lawsuit alleges, saying Vanessa Bryant never intended to honor her late husband’s wishes. That was the final straw for Bryant, who also lost her 13-year daughter Gianna in the Calabasas helicopter crash that killed nine people and remains the subject of a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.…

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