Los Angeles

‘They All Went To Heaven Together’: Family Of Teen Boy Killed Along With 2 Best Friends Speaks Out

CORONA (CBSLA) — A family whose one son was killed, along with his two friends, in a car crash involving an enraged driver spoke out Friday after their injured younger son returned home from the hospital. Joshua Hawkins, 13, was the last of the three surviving boys involved in the wreck to return home. His older brother, 16-year-old Daniel Hawkins, was killed in the Sunday night crash on Temescal Canyon Road in Corona along with his two best friends, 16-year-old Jacob Ivascu and 16-year-old Drake Ruiz. (From left to right) Undated photos of Drake Ruiz, Daniel Hawkins and Jacob Ivascu, all age 16, who died after the car they were in slammed into a tree near Corona, Calif., on Jan. 19, 2020. (Family photos) “Just a great person, funny person, he was always a great friend too,” Joshua said of his brother. “I know that all of his friends always loved him and they’d always be excited when they knew that he was coming over to see them or they were going to see him. They all just smiled when they were around him.” The…

Some SoCal Locales Say Conditions Are Lining up for Another Wildflower Superbloom

Last year’s superbloom was epic, from Lake Elsinore’s hillsides of golden poppies to Anza-Borrego’s carpets of desert daisies. Check out #superbloom on Instagram; you’ll be kicking yourself if you missed it. So what will the 2020 wildflower season be like? Right now, it’s too early to say, according to biologists and ecological resource officers who track seasonal shifts. California’s statewide drought officially ended in March, paving the way for the possibility of better blooms this year. But Southern California’s patchwork of microclimates makes it hard to make a universal prediction about wildflower displays throughout the area. Some places report that, so far, conditions are lining up for what could be another amazing show. Take the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve west of Lancaster, which last year exploded into a sea of orange poppies that lasted well into April. The area has received more than 5 inches of snow so far this season, said Chris Hon, a senior environmental scientist whose district includes the reserve. The cold is vital to cracking open poppy seeds and stimulating growth. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Tennessee Gov. Lee Signs Law Allowing Adoption Agencies to Reject LGBTQ Applicants

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Friday signed a bill into law that protects adoption and foster agencies that discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents for religious reasons. The bill “prohibits a private licensed child-placing agency from being required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption that would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions,” according to the website for the state’s General Assembly website. Civil rights groups criticized the bill as not only ostracizing same-sex and LGBTQ couples and families with different religious beliefs, but also called it harmful to foster children awaiting placement in homes. “Turning away good families simply because they don’t satisfy an agency’s religious preferences would deny thousands of Tennessee children access to the families they urgently want and need,” the Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a petition against the bill. Republican sponsors of the bill argued that such a law would codify protections that already exist in Tennessee and protect adoption agencies from being sued, discriminated against and driven out of business because of…

#MeToo Allegations Dimmed Many Stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame, But Efforts to Remove Them Meet Resistance

A woman walks past a gold sculpture of Harvey Weinstein on his infamous casting couch holding an Oscar statue beside Elvis Presley’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on March 1, 2018. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images) At the height of the #MeToo firestorm, a life-sized golden statue of a bathrobe- and slipper-clad Harvey Weinstein sitting on a sofa mysteriously appeared on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Titled “Casting Couch,” the eerie piece of street art was the closest the film producer ever came to having a star on the famed tourist attraction in the heart of Tinseltown — perhaps surprising, given his outsize influence on the industry. But as the Miramax co-founder’s sex assault trial continues this week — more than two years after bombshell reports brought dozens of allegations to the public eye — the Walk of Fame offers an avenue to explore the resulting reckoning that detonated Hollywood’s once-immutable power structure. “I’m sure there are a lot of harassers and abusers on that Walk of Fame,” said Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of the site Women and Hollywood. Weinstein denies all accusations of…

At Least 18 Dead After Preliminary Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Strikes Eastern Turkey

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked a sparsely-populated part of eastern Turkey on Friday, killing at least 18 people, injuring more than 500 and leaving some 30 trapped in the wreckage of toppled buildings, Turkish officials said. Rescue teams from neighboring provinces were dispatched to the affected areas, working in the dark with floodlights in the freezing cold, and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said troops were on standby to help. Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes. TV footage showed rescuers pull out one injured person from the rubble of a collapsed building in the district of Gezin, in the eastern Elazig province. Around 30 were believed to be trapped inside collapsed structures in Elazig province, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who traveled to the afflicted area together with Soylu, said 13 people were killed in Elazig, including two people who suffered heart attacks, and five others died in Malatya. A total of 553 people were hurt, including 11 who were in serious condition. Some 30 buildings had collapsed from the quake in the two provinces, according to Murat Kurum,…

‘It’s A Way For People To Heal’: Borderline Owners Open New Space In Agoura Hills

AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA) — It’s been 14 months since a Marine veteran opened fire at Borderline Bar and Grill killing 12 people, including a sergeant with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. A dozen bar stools line the main bar at the new BL Dancehall and Saloon in Agoura Hills, one for each of the victims of the Borderline massacre. (CBSLA) And now, the owners of the Thousand Oaks bar are embracing a new beginning — not only for them, but for their patrons as well. “I think tonight is going to be a lot of fun,” Troy Hale, one of the owners, said. Friday marks the grand opening of BL Dancehall and Saloon in Agoura Hills. “I think there’s going to be a lot of dancing, a lot of stories, a lot of good times,” Hale said. “A lot of tears, I’m sure, but a good time tonight.” The new spot may be miles from the original Borderline, but inside the owners brought some of Borderline with them. An American flag that hung inside the original place found its way over, as did the pool…

Kaiser Awaiting Final Clearances to Reopen Woodland Hills Hospital

Share this article:Kaiser Permanente officials said Friday they have completed all required testing of repairs to a broken water main that forced the temporary closure of its Woodland Hills hospital, but they are still awaiting state and county approvals before full operations can resume. Kaiser officials said once those approvals come through, “we anticipate that we will be able to implement a gradual reopening of the medical center, possibly beginning Sunday, Jan. 26, with emergency and urgent care services.” The water main break occurred Sunday night, cutting off water to the medical center at 5601 De Soto Ave., near the Ventura (101) Freeway, and forcing staff to cancel surgeries and doctors’ appointments. A temporary water line was installed earlier this week, but the hospital still was not able to resume operations. Urgent care services ceased at 9 p.m. Tuesday and the emergency department was closed as of 11 p.m. “Our commitment to ensure our patients’ safety and well-being remains our highest priority,” according to a Kaiser statement. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our members, patients, physicians, staff and community as a result…

Officer-Involved Shooting Leaves Man Dead in Oak Park

Share this article:At least one officer opened fire Friday on a suspect, fatally wounding him, during a scuffle that broke out following a brief foot chase in Oak Park, authorities reported. The officer-involved shooting at Krenning and 54th streets took place about 3:45 p.m., according to San Diego police. The suspect died at the scene, Officer Tony Martinez said. No other injuries were reported. It was not immediately clear why police were trying to apprehend the man, whose name was unavailable in the late afternoon. Officers closed traffic lanes around the site of the shooting to allow investigators to gather evidence. Officer-Involved Shooting Leaves Man Dead in Oak Park was last modified: January 24th, 2020 by Contributing Editor

Fearing Rising Domain Costs If Firm Buys Dot-Org Universe, Activists Protest Outside L.A. Offices

The company that controls the dot-org universe is trying to sell the online registry to an investment firm for more than $1 billion, drawing opposition from activists who protested Friday and others who fear costs would soar if a for-profit company is in charge of registering the website suffix. About 20 people representing nonprofits rallied outside the Los Angeles building housing the organization that oversees domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is meeting this weekend and is expected to rule by mid-February on plans by private-equity firm Ethos Capital to buy the Public Interest Registry for $1.1 billion. Holding signs saying, “Save Dot Org,” and chanting, “ICANN, you can stop the sale,” opponents said they were concerned that the cost of registering a dot-org website will skyrocket. They also worry about the potential loss of freedoms of speech and expression if the registry is in the wrong hands. “Who is going to stand up when the pressure comes from the owners of this private equity firm to get more money off their investment and to raise domain prices?” said Elliot…

Unswayed by Dems, Republicans No Closer to Calling Impeachment Witnesses Ahead of Critical Vote

Republicans in the Senate appear unmoved by the Democratic push for witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial despite persistent appeals from Rep. Adam Schiff and the other House prosecutors. Over three days of arguments, Democrats warned that the senators will live to regret not delving deeper into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. One of the managers, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, even told them it was “treacherous” to vote against gathering more evidence. Yet there’s no indication the Democrats are moving closer to persuading four Republicans to break with their party in a critical vote expected next week — the minimum needed to reach a majority for subpoenas and extend a trial that seems on track for Trump’s acquittal. “As someone who has enjoyed really fairly strong working relationships with a lot of my colleagues, I’ve been struck by how little outreach and conversation there has been” about calling witnesses, said Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat who has often been at the center of bipartisan negotiations. “I understand that we are in a very partisan and divided environment, but I’m hoping that some…

Audit of California’s High-Speed Rail Finds Inadequate Federal Oversight

Federal regulators were not aggressive enough in reacting to the California bullet train’s problems since 2009 while overseeing a $2.5-billion grant to the troubled project, a federal audit released Friday found. The review by the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general said the Federal Railroad Administration did not adequately oversee the grant to reduce financial risks in the largest and most complex grant in its history. As a result, “the California High-Speed Rail Authority is at increased risk of not achieving the purpose of the agreements,” it said. The Trump administration has threatened to claw back the grant money, asserting that the project has violated the terms of the grant. In February 2018, it terminated a second grant for $927 million on the same basis, an action that is now in legal dispute. Read the full story on LATimes.com. 

Woman Dies After Her Hair and Clothing Get Caught in Raisin-Processing Machine in Fresno County

A worker died after her hair and clothing became stuck in a raisin processing machine while she was trying to clear debris from it on Friday, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. The incident happened at the Del Rey Packing Company’s dehydrator plant near Sanger, KTLA sister station KSEE/KPGE in Fresno reported. Officials say the woman died as a result of the trauma she suffered. She has not yet been identified. Several units responded to the scene, including the Sanger Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will handle the investigation. No additional information was immediately provided.

Suspected Illegal Drug Lab In Mission Viejo Explodes, 3 Injured

MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) — A hazmat team was dispatched to a Mission Viejo home Friday afternoon after reports of an explosion. According to officials, three people were injured when a suspected illegal butane drug lab caused an explosion at about 4:23 p.m. in the 22900 block of Via Cereza. Two people were taken to the hospital with burn injuries, and a third was evaluated at the scene. The Orange County Fire Authority said the lab was located in a garage at a condo complex.

Coroner Releases Names Of 4 People Who Died In Corona Plane Crash

CORONA (CBSLA) — The coroner Friday released the names of the four people killed when a small plane crashed at the Corona Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon. Authorities identified the pilot of the aircraft as 85-year-old Joseph Zingali of Torrance. The three passengers were 61-year-old Paula Mitchell of La Mirada and 70-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and 63-year-old Teresa Rodriguez, both of Whittier. Witnesses said the single-engine Beech B-36 Bonanza crashed after the pilot made several attempts to take off downwind, briefly going airborne a number of times before crashing through a fence and bursting into flames. A spokesperson with the Corona Fire Department said it was possible that the plane was overloaded. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board will likely be published next week.

Closed-Door Grammy Nominating Process Scrutinized After Ousted CEO Alleged Improprieties

Questions have loomed for years around the nominations process for the Grammy Awards, but the doubts reached a new level this week after the Recording Academy’s just-ousted CEO claimed the show is rigged and full of conflicts of interest. The academy, which puts on the 62nd Grammys on Sunday, says nominees are selected from contenders who are voted into the top 20 in each category. But some people view the voting process as less than transparent, since the choice of finalists happens behind closed doors. That has stirred claims that members of key nominating committees promote projects they worked on or projects they favor based on personal relationships. People have become more conscious of the idea that Grammys might be won “through all these nefarious, back-channel kinds of ways,” said Robert Thompson, a trustee professor of television and popular culture at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Deborah Dugan was fired only months into her job as head of the Recording Academy and recently filed an explosive complaint alleging that she was sexually harassed and that the music organization was a “boys club” that…

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