Los Angeles

Beloved Coaches, Rising Basketball Stars Also Killed When Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter Went Down

CALABASAS (CBSLA) — The seven others killed when Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed in Calabasas Sunday were beloved members of the Orange County community in their own right. Bryant, 41, and his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna, had other coaches, teammates and parents with them in their helicopter when it crashed Sunday morning in the hills of Calabasas. None of the nine people on board survived the crash. John Altobelli who coached baseball at Orange Coast College for 28 years. As head coach, Altobelli led the team to win the 2019 state baseball championship and was named the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association this offseason. “John was a tremendous coach and an even better friend,” OCC Athletics Director Jason Kehler said in a statement. “Beyond that, he was an amazing mentor to all of the students and athletes that he taught and coached. He treated them all like family and his impact will live on forever.” Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and his youngest daughter, Alyssa, were also killed in the crash. Alyssa was a member of the AAU basketball team that Bryant coached.…

Sentencing Monday for Ex-Long Beach Seaport Customs Officer

Share this article:A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection watch commander at the Long Beach Seaport faces federal prison time at sentencing Monday for running an illegal online gun-selling operation, failing to disclose foreign business contacts and cheating on his taxes. Wei Xu, 57, of Santa Fe Springs, pleaded guilty in July to four felonies: unlawfully engaging in the business of dealing in firearms, unlawfully possessing unregistered firearms, lying to a federal agency, and tax evasion. The charges carry up to 25 years behind bars, but prosecutors said in the plea agreement that they would recommend about three and a half years and restitution of $128,407 to the Internal Revenue Service. Xu admitted that he sold at least 99 firearms without the required federal license between the late 1990s and his arrest. To increase the profit margin of his illegal side business, Xu exploited his status as a law enforcement officer to purchase and then transfer “off-roster” handguns that cannot be sold to the general public by a federal firearms license dealer, according to the plea agreement. Xu also sold or transferred firearms within days…

Vigils Held Around Southland in Memory of Kobe Bryant

Share this article:Fans, people who knew basketball great Kobe Bryant and those who were simply crestfallen over his death in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter and seven others held vigils in Los Angeles and Orange counties to share their grief. Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, where Bryant played with the Los Angeles Lakers. “I’m literally in STAPLES Center right now. Everyone has the same look of loss right now. We’re all zombies. Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe what it feels like,” tweeted ESPN Senior Writer Justin Tinsley. A makeshift memorial was also erected at the downtown mural of Bryant in the 1300 block of Lebanon Street. Hundreds of people have written tributes on Post-It notes. A fan named Michael told KABC7: “They don’t make them like that anymore. Everybody wants to take the easy route, but Kobe he was willing to never be satisfied at where he was. He always wanted to push to a higher level. You don’t see that no more. I just appreciate everything you did Kobe, for real.” A sign at the site quoted…

L.A. Landmarks Lit in Purple and Gold to Honor Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles lit up its landmarks in Lakers’ purple and gold Sunday night to honor the legacy of Kobe Bryant. The Intercontinental Hotel at Wilshire Grand Center honors Kobe Bryant by displaying his original number 8 with the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 26, 2020. (Credit: KTLA) Aerial video from Sky5 over downtown showed the U.S. Bank Tower and Los Angeles City Hall both bathed in the Lakers’ colors. The Intercontinental Hotel at Wilshire Grand Center also displayed Kobe’s original number 8 in lights on the side of the building. A purple and gold water show greeted visitors to downtown’s Grand Park and Santa Monica’s ferris wheel displayed a dazzling light show. Even travelers arriving and departing from LAX couldn’t miss the tribute to the basketball legend, as the iconic pylons were illuminated overnight in the Lakers’ colors. The fountain in Grand Park displayed purple and yellow lights in honor of Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26, 2020. (Credit: KTLA) Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. He won five NBA championships with the club, including back-to-back-to-back titles alongside Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, 2001…

In Forthcoming Book, Ex-Adviser John Bolton Appears to Undercut Trump Impeachment Defense

The stakes over witness testimony at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are rising now that a draft of a book from former national security adviser John Bolton appears to undercut a key defense argument — that Trump never tied withholding of aid to Ukraine to a demand the country investigate rival Joe Biden.. Bolton writes in the forthcoming book that Trump told him that he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped him with investigations into Biden. Trump’s legal team has repeatedly insisted otherwise. On Monday, a person familiar with the case said the White House has had Bolton’s manuscript for at least a month, and has challenged his use of certain material it considers classified. The account immediately gave Democrats new fuel in their pursuit of sworn testimony from Bolton and other witnesses, a question expected to be taken up later this week by the Republican-led Senate. The trial resumes Monday afternoon with arguments from Trump’s defense team. Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the House impeachment inquiry, called Bolton’s account a test for the senators sitting as jurors in Trump’s impeachment…

Kobe Bryant Memorials Pop Up All Over Southern California

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Fans of Kobe Bryant are mourning across the Southern California and the world after his death in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. (credit: CBS) The largest gathering for mourning fans was at the Staples Center, where the 41-year-old basketball superstar spent most of his career and had some of his most iconic moments. Thousands of fans wearing purple and gold and every variety of Kobe Bryant’s numbers 8 and 24 gathered together, even as the Grammy Awards went on inside. “It’s like, we gotta go down there,” one fan said. “I’m gonna take that picture, and hopefully everybody will show their love and support.” But other memorials have popped up Monday across Southern California. TOPSHOT – Luis Villanueva lights a candle in front of a Kobe Bryant mural in downtown Los Angeles on January 26, 2020. – Nine people were killed in the helicopter crash which claimed the life of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said eight passengers and the pilot of the aircraft…

Kobe Bryant’s Path to Greatness Always Seemed Assured

From the very start when Kobe Bryant played his first game for the Los Angeles Lakers as an 18-year-old basketball phenom, his path to greatness seemed assured. But it would not be easy. The NBA wasn’t convinced that any player, no matter how sensational or talented, could jump directly from high school to the big leagues. But Bryant was a different sort of athlete, the son of a well-to-do Philadelphia family who spent his formative years in Europe. His unusual upbringing and steely determination — holding himself and those around him to the highest standards — sometimes led to friction with coaches and teammates. None of that could stop the 6-foot-6 shooting guard from becoming one of the greatest in the history of the game, equally dangerous driving to the basket or shooting from outside. None of it could dull the sense of shock that came over Los Angeles, a city that grew to love him, when he died Sunday in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

China Warns Coronavirus Can Spread Before Symptoms Show; 5 U.S. Cases Confirmed

Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed, in Arizona, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday, bringing the total to five cases in the United States. The increase came as a top Chinese health official delivered some worrisome news about efforts to contain the fast-moving virus. Several people have been infected with the Wuhan coronavirus in the US — including a man in his 30s in Washington state; a Chicago woman in her 60s; a man in his 50s in Orange County, California, a patient in Los Angeles County; and a fifth in Arizona. All had recently traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Worried? Here’s how to protect yourself “As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of getting sick from circulating viruses, including coronavirus. This includes remaining home when ill, washing hands with soap and water frequently, and getting vaccinated against flu,” said Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The Orange County victim is in isolation and in “good condition” at a local hospital, the county’s Health Care…

Kobe Bryant’s Death: Fog Grounded Other Helicopters on Morning of Calabasas Crash

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers. The helicopter plunged into a steep hillside at about 9:45 a.m. Sunday with an impact that scattered debris over an area the size of a football field and killed all aboard. The accident unleashed an outpouring of grief from admirers around the world who mourned the sudden loss of the all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Thousands of fans, many wearing Bryant jerseys and chanting his name, gathered outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, home of the Lakers and site of Sunday’s Grammy Awards where Bryant was honored. The 41-year-old Bryant, who perished with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was one of the game’s most popular players and the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers. The cause of the crash was unknown, but conditions at the time were such that the Los Angeles Police Department and the county sheriff’s department grounded their helicopters. The Los Angeles County…

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