Los Angeles

Trump Team Reassigns Yosemite National Park Superintendent; Timing Raises Questions

In a move that is raising questions about the future of Yosemite National Park, the National Park Service announced Wednesday that it was reassigning park Supt. Mike Reynolds, a 34-year park service veteran who grew up in Yosemite. Reynolds will become regional director of the agency’s Lower Colorado Basin, Upper Colorado Basin and Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf regions. He is expected to begin his new assignment by the end of the year, park service officials said. Reynolds’ departure comes amid controversial proposals for increasing recreation and tourism in the park, reportedly put forward by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. They include a proposal that would for the first time allow boats on the park’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Cicely Muldoon, superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore since 2010, will serve as acting superintendent at Yosemite after Reynolds departs and until a permanent superintendent is named, officials said. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Bullying Ruled Out in 10-Year-Old Santa Ana Girl’s Suicide: Police

Detectives have ruled out bullying as the cause behind the suicide of a 10-year-old Santa Ana girl, police said Wednesday. Authorities first announced an investigation into Allison Wendel’s death last Tuesday, two days after the girl was found dead in her Santa Ana home on Oct. 13. Relatives said they were shocked by the news, and Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told KTLA that, as far as he knew, Wendel did not leave a note. Wendel was a student at Hazard Elementary School in Garden Grove, and police began investigating rumors that she had been bullied by other students there. Detectives interviewed over 50 students at the school, along with more than 30 adults including school staff, family members and friends, according to a news release the department issued Wednesday. Investigators said they also combed through more than 2,500 videos and social media posts from Wendel’s classmates. While several police uncovered posts they describe as mean-spirited, officials say none of them rose to the level of bullying or criminal conduct. Detectives say they haven’t been able to identify a triggering event that led Wendel…

SoCal Edison Could Cut Power to Over 300,000 Customers Due to Wildfire Risk

Southern California Edison is warning it could cut power to 308,000 customers in seven counties to prevent winds from damaging electrical equipment and starting wildfires. The utility nearly doubled its estimate of the number of homes and businesses that might lose electricity as a pre-emptive measure. The following areas could have their service turned off: Los Angeles County (over 66,000 customers): Azusa Covina Glendale Glendora La Canada-Flintridge Lancaster Palmdale San Dimas San Fernando Santa Clarita Simi Valley Unincorporated areas including Rowland Heights, Canyon Country, Lakeview Terrace, Chatsworth, Acton, Castaic, Santa Susana and others (full list here) Orange County (over 26,000 customers): Irvine  Orange Villa Park Unincorporated areas including El Modena, Trabuco Canyon, Robinson Ranch, Panorama Heights and others (full list here) Riverside County (over 40,000 customers): Banning Beaumont Desert Hot Springs Palm Springs Hemet (map 1, map 2) San Jacinto (map 1, map 2, map 3) Menifee Perris  Unincorporated areas including Lake Elsinore, Temecula, Lakeview Hot Springs, Juniper Flats and others (full list here) San Bernardino County (over 63,000 customers) Big Bear Lake Fontana Highland (map 1, map 2) Rancho Cucamonga San Bernardino Rialto Upland…

Man Accused of Making Threats Detained Outside Northridge Target After Pursuit: LAPD

A man accused of making criminal threats was in custody following a police chase that ended at a Target in Northridge Wednesday, officials said. The incident began around 11:15 a.m. in Reseda, when another person reported the suspect had threatened them the 7300 block of Beckford Avenue, according to Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Im. At some point, the suspect got into a car, and a pursuit ensued, Im said. The chase ended outside the shopping center at the intersection of Balboa Boulevard and Nordhoff Street. Aerial video showed the suspect being taken into custody around 12:15 p.m. Im said a suspicious item was found in the man’s car, prompting a bomb squad to respond out of an abundance of caution. But by 2:40 p.m., police said the scene had been cleared and their investigation there was complete. No further details were available. The Investigation at the intersection of Nordhoff and Balboa Blvd is completed and Officers have cleared the area. — LAPD Devonshire (@LAPDDevonshire) October 23, 2019

Handling Overpopulation of Wild Horses in Western U.S. Will Take $5 Billion and 15 Years, Official Says

It will take $5 billion and 15 years to get an overpopulation of wild horses under control on federal lands across the West, the acting head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday, adding that several developments have made him more optimistic about his agency’s ability to get the job done. William Perry Pendley announced the agency adopted out more than 7,000 mustangs and burros captured last year — the most in 15 years and a 54% increase from the previous year. He said that helps clear space in government holding pens so they can accelerate roundups while scientists develop new fertility-control drugs to eventually shrink the size of the herds from 88,000 to the 27,000 he says the range can sustain. He said a new coalition of animal welfare advocates and ranchers is helping promote solutions and Congress appears willing to help. Pendley, who is awaiting Senate confirmation as director, said the agency is in the process of hiring additional staff to speed roundups in Nevada, the state with the most horses. “I’m not going to speculate on what Congress is going…

Driver Dead After McLaren Crashes Into Light Pole, Catches Fire in Laguna Hills

A driver was killed when a luxury sports vehicle slammed into a light pole and caught fire in Laguna Hills on Wednesday morning, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Crews responded to a report of a fiery crash at Alicia Parkway and Paseo De Valencia around 10:30 a.m., the agency tweeted. When they arrived at the scene, firefighters found the McLaren had crashed into a light stand and burst into flames. The driver died at the scene. Authorities have not released the person’s gender, age or name. No one else appeared to have been involved in the collision. OCFA tweeted photos of the wreckage, which showed the car mostly incinerated. Two tires and a small portion of the front end were all that remained of the red car, the pictures showed. Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are trying to determine what caused the crash. No additional information was immediately released. Laguna Hills: 10:30 this morning OCFA responded to a TC W/fire @ Alicia & PDV. Upon arrival units found a single vehicle that had crashed into a light stand and caught fire.…

2 Dozen GOP Lawmakers Storm Into Secure Impeachment Hearing Room, Delaying Closed-Door Deposition

Roughly two-dozen House Republicans on Wednesday stormed a closed-door deposition in secure House Intelligence Committee spaces to rail against the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, a political stunt ratcheting up the GOP complaints about the process that delayed Wednesday’s scheduled deposition for five hours. The conservative lawmakers, led by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, barged into the deposition and demanded they be allowed to see the closed-door proceedings where members of three committees planned to interview Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper as part of the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump. The chaotic scene, with Republicans flouting House rules to make a political point, represented a new and more confrontational phase of the Republican attack on House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and the Democratic impeachment investigation. LIVE UPDATES: The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry By early afternoon, pizza and snacks were being brought into the committee area. The Republicans in the committee SCIF — short for a sensitive compartmented information facility — left around 2 p.m. ET to attend House votes, apparently ending the protest. The deposition then began around 3 p.m. ET, lawmakers said, a roughly…

Firefighter Rescues Newborn Puppy From Bakersfield Brush Fire

BAKERSFIELD (CBSLA) — A firefighter rescued a newborn puppy trapped underneath burning brush in Bakersfield. The firefighter said he couldn’t see the animal at first but could hear its cries for help. He was eventually able to get the small dog to safety. A veterinarian said the pup is under a week old and suffered some burns in the fire. A local animal rescue sprung into action to help the puppy. “He’s very little, he’s got his eyes closed still,” said Pet Matchmaker Rescue’s Morgan Sokolow. “We think that mom was able to get the other babies out and took off with them but was unable to reach this one because he was underneath the fire. The puppy, named Fuego, will spend roughly two months in a foster home before being available for adoption.

Displaced Tenants in Hollywood Get Rare Right to Return But They Say There’s a Catch

When Los Angeles leaders gave the green light for Crossroads Hollywood — a new development with a hotel, shops and more than 900 units of housing — they got the real estate developer to make an unusual pledge. Tenants whose buildings would be torn down to make way for the soaring towers in Hollywood would have a chance to return and live in the new buildings. And they would pay no more than they would have if their existing apartments, which fall under city rules that limit rent hikes, were still standing. L.A. leaders approved the $1-billion development over the vehement objections of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sued the city over the project. In the meantime, scores of tenants still living at the apartment buildings started negotiating over their “right to return.” Now, with a deadline looming, many tenants say that Harridge Development Group is offering them a deal they do not want to accept. Among the conditions that worry them: They must agree not to make any “derogatory, critical, diminuitive, deprecating, or discrediting comments” about the building owner — or even about the…

3 Children Found Living in Trash-Filled Florida Home With 245 Animals, Including Over 80 Rats: Police

Three young girls — all under the age of 10 — were found living in a house with 245 animals, police said. Among them were four dogs, 10 sugar gliders, a hedge hog, 14 birds and 60 adult rats with 23 babies. You couldn’t walk anywhere without stepping on debris, or animal urine or feces, wrote Officer Anthony Binz, of the Edgewater Police Department in Florida, in his affidavit. There were flies everywhere, and the children’s bedroom was covered in ankle-deep trash, he wrote. They lived in the residence with their parents and their father’s girlfriend, police said. The father, Gregg Nelson, called a wellness check on the home on Sunday, after he decided to end his relationship with both his wife, Susan Nelson, and girlfriend, Melissa Hamilton, according to the police affidavit. He wanted to take the children with him, but their mother wouldn’t let him, he told police. He “believed the residence was uninhabitable for the children,” according to the affidavit. Some of the animals were caged, while others roamed freely, Binz wrote. Some of the caged animals were lying in their own…

Police: Teen Gunman, Victim in Shooting Near Santa Rosa School Tied to Gangs

Police say a gun used in a shooting just outside a Northern California high school has been found and that both the wounded victim and the suspect are affiliated with street gangs. A Santa Rosa police statement said Wednesday that detectives determined a student drove away with the gun used in the shooting outside Ridgway High School. It was found discarded in some bushes. Police say the 17-year-old suspect and the 16-year-old victim were involved in a dispute that culminated in the shooting Tuesday. It led to a lockdown for thousands of students and staffers at three schools. The suspect went into a classroom for the lockdown and was later arrested. The gun contained two spent cartridges and four live rounds of ammunition. It had been reported stolen in 2016.

Rose McGowan Sues Harvey Weinstein, Lisa Bloom Over Alleged Racketeering to Silence Her

Actress Rose McGowan has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Harvey Weinstein and two of his former attorneys engaged in racketeering to silence her and shut down her career before she accused him of rape. The suit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday names as defendants Weinstein, attorneys David Boies and Lisa Bloom, and others. McGowan’s attorneys say in a statement that the defendants used unlawful tactics in “a sprawling smear campaign to defraud, malign, and marginalize McGowan.” Bloom’s attorney says there is no basis for McGowan’s claims. Emails seeking comment from the other defendants were not immediately returned. McGowan was one of the earliest and one of the most prominent of dozens of women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The former movie mogul has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Harvey Weinstein and two of his former attorneys engaged in racketeering to silence her and shut down her career before she accused him of rape. The suit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday names as defendants Weinstein, attorneys David Boies and Lisa Bloom, and others. McGowan’s…

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