Los Angeles

West Nile Virus Reemerges In Long Beach, Marking City’s First Human Case Of 2020

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — The West Nile virus reemerged in the Southland on Tuesday, with the city of Long Beach reporting its first human case of the year. The patient is a person in their 60s and is currently in the hospital, according to the city’s health department. This is the second case of West Nile virus reported in California this year. The first occurred in Stanislaus County in the Central Valley. “While the world is focused on COVID-19 prevention and response, this is an important reminder that we continue to see cases of West Nile virus most years in Long Beach,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “We cannot let our guard down against mosquito-borne diseases.” West Nile is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and there are cases found in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. Health officials warned residents to take precautions against the virus, such as disposing of standing water than can attract insects. Symptoms of the virus can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people who become infected have no symptoms,…

Orange County Reports Over 1,000 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Additional Deaths

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported 1,010 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths Tuesday. The county’s total number of cases now stands at 18,892  cases while the total number of fatalities rose to 369. The caseload reported Tuesday reflects specimen collections dating back two weeks, Orange County CEO Frank Kim said. The number of hospitalized patients jumped from 634 on Monday to 659 on Tuesday, with the number of patients in intensive care increasing from 203 to 224. “The numbers are going to stay high for the next seven days,” Kim said. According to Kim, the rise in infections was expected to occur as officials relaxed restrictions. The county is also monitoring a significant rise in infections in the 25 to 34 age group. “They’re number one with a bullet,” Kim said. “They all kind of left the gate at the same time, but (25-to 34-year-olds) are winning the race by a mile now.” On Monday, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said events such as Memorial Day weekend gatherings and protests stemming from the George Floyd killing likely led the increase.…

Southland Universities Weigh Impact Of ICE Directive On International Students

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Universities across the Southland Tuesday said they were reviewing a directive from federal immigration authorities that could force thousands of international students out of the country if schools offer online-only courses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students would not be allowed to remain in the country if the classes they were taking were solely online. “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States,” ICE said in a statement. Many universities, including the University of Southern California and the California State University system, previously announced they would be offering instruction primarily online due to the pandemic. CSU said in a statement that its international students added to the “vibrant diversity of CSU’s 23 campuses.” The statement went on to say: “The new policy guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could immediately lead to slowing or even worse, halting…

LA County Reports Over 4,000 New Coronavirus Cases, 46 More Deaths

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County health officials reported 4,015 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, attributing about half of the cases to a backlog from a single lab from Thursday through Sunday. With another 218 cases reported in Long Beach, the county’s total number of cases sits at 120,757. The county also reported 49 more deaths, including three reported in Long Beach, bringing the county’s death toll to 3,582. The rate of people testing positive for coronavirus continues to climb in L.A. County. Although the average rate of positive tests throughout the pandemic remains at 9%, the average over the past seven days has risen to 11.6%. The number of patients hospitalized rose to 1,969 on Tuesday, nearing levels seen during the pandemic’s peak. Three weeks ago, the hospitalization number was averaging between 1,350 and 1,450, according to the county. MORE: LA County Health Officials Create Text-Based Coronavirus Survey To Help Track Community Impact County health officials also confirmed on Monday that about half of the new confirmed cases are among people between 18 and 40 years old, marking a notable shift in who is…

L.A. County Looks for Ways to Close Downtown Men’s Central Jail in 12 Months

Share this article:A proposal to close Men’s Central Jail within one year drew fire Tuesday from residents worried about the public safety ramifications and cheers from advocates of diversion for people accused of low-level crimes or suffering from mental illness. The board voted unanimously in favor of a proposal co-authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl directing an existing task force to map out what would be required to close a antiquated and dilapidated facility that even Sheriff Alex Villanueva called a dungeon. The original vote was 4-0 because of technical problems that prevented Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas from answering a roll call. However, he later asked to be recorded as an aye vote. Solis noted that the jail population countywide has been reduced by roughly 5,000 people, largely through efforts geared toward reducing the spread of COVID-19. That includes a zero bail schedule for low-level offenses, the release of many pretrial defendants and the early release of inmates with little time left to serve. “We have made … tremendous progress,” Solis said. “This motion before us seeks to open up a serious and committed…

Million-dollar Unemployment Benefits Fraud: Six Family Members Among Eight Nabbed In Three-Year Bogus Businesses Conspiracy

Share this article:Photo from Pixabay. Law enforcement officials arrested six members of the same Southern California family and two others Tuesday on federal charges alleging they claimed more than $1.1 million in unemployment benefits for purported employees of bogus businesses. The nine-count indictment alleges a three-year conspiracy to cheat California’s unemployment insurance program through the creation of bogus cleaning services and boutique stores, sometimes using the names of prison inmates as phony employees to collect the benefits. The indictment charges each of the eight defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Those named in the indictment are: — Donna Givens, 58, of the Gramercy Park area of Los Angeles; — Catrina Gipson, 44, of Moreno Valley, who is Givens’ niece; — Evelyn Taylor, 36, of Gramercy Park, a daughter of Givens; — Laron Taylor, 34, of Buena Park, a son of Givens; — Latrice Taylor, 37, of Buena Park, a daughter of Givens; — Raschell Taylor, 30, of San Bernardino, a daughter of Givens; — Bianka Logie, 45, of Moreno Valley; and — Vernisha Jolivet, 27, of Indianapolis. If convicted of…

Downtown Disney set to reopen Thursday, with coronavirus modifications in place

While Disneyland Resort theme parks remain shuttered indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, Disney is looking to bring some of the magic back when it greets visitors again at Downtown Disney starting Thursday. New health and safety precautions will be in place to mitigate the spread of infection as the phased reopening begins, according to the resort. The measures are based on guidance from health officials and agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the initial phase, guests will have their temperature checked before entering the shopping and entertainment district in Anaheim. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will be turned away, along with all other members of their party. Other measures include: required facial coverings for guests ages 2 years and older; limited capacity and physical barriers to help maintain social distancing; and enhanced sanitation procedures. Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will be added to key areas, according to resort officials. Downtown Disney will be operating from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but individual locations may further reduce hours. In addition, high-touch interactive areas and…

Fontana man arrested after allegedly using Snapchat to contact underage girls for sexual encounters

A Fontana man has been arrested for alleged child pornography and the use of Snapchat to communicate with underage girls to arrange sexual encounters, police said. Detectives said Matthew Schmitt went by the screen name m_smith6130 on Snapchat. He was taken into custody after investigators served a search warrant at his home in the 14600 block of Texas Court on Tuesday, the Fontana Police Department said in a news release. Detectives seized multiple electronic devices and found evidence relating to the possession of child pornography. Schmitt was arrested on suspicion of sending harmful matter to seduce minors and possession of child pornography. Police said Schmitt, 33, was on probation for unrelated offenses and was booked at the West Valley Detention Center.  The Fontana Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Unit is seeking the public’s help with identifying any additional victims. Anyone with information can contact Detective Moyer at 909-356-3310 or at JMOYER@FONTANA.ORG .

Brush fire burns 5 acres in Mission Hills near downed power lines

Firefighters are mopping up after a brush fire charred five acres in Mission Hills on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. The fire was reported at 11:40 a.m. at 15001 W. Mission Hills Road, near Eden Memorial Park Cemetery and Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. An image of a downed power line captured by Sky5 can be seen at the edge of the fire in Mission Hills on July 7, 2020. “This incident was initially called in as an explosion which, at this time, is believed to be a transformer and on scene reports indicate downed power lines,” LAFD said in a statement. Aerial video from Sky5 showed the flames burning trees and brush; one structure was visible nearby. LAFD said crews were able to stop all forward progress on the fire within an hour. No injuries or damage were reported. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

County officials move to close Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A., invest in health care-based responses

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to initiate a plan to close the Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. within the year, officials said. The panel vowed “to reinvest any savings from closing the facility towards health-based responses that improve both health and public safety outcomes for our communities,” said a statement from Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office. “LA County is prioritizing our ‘care first, jails last’ approach to criminal justice to demonstrate our commitment to racial and economic justice,” said Solis, who co-authored the proposal with Sheila Kuehl. “Closing Men’s Central Jail will restore dignity to our communities. … Providing more permanent supportive housing units where individuals can receive community-based mental health care will give people hope for a new beginning.” Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said shutting down the jail, which has more than 1,000 single-occupancy cells for inmates deemed to require high security, would lead to the overpopulation of other county facilities. “There is no other jail facility that we have that can house the most violent, the most dangerous people that will harm the public,” Villanueva said. “We can’t…

Brush Fire Breaks Out In Simi Valley

SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — A brush fire is burning off the 118 Freeway near Rocky Peak in Simi Valley. The California Highway Patrol has shut down at least two westbound lanes of the freeway at Kuehner Drive. #KuehnerIncident firefighters are responding to a brush fire on the side of 118 near rockey peak. Slow down in the area as FF will be working on and near the road way. @VCFD pic.twitter.com/GycL5IxQb1 — VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) July 7, 2020 This is a breaking news story. More information will be added as it comes in.

Man Wanted For Exposing Himself, Sexually Assaulting Woman At Covina Laundromat

COVINA (CBSLA) — Police are searching for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman at a Covina coin laundromat. A woman told police she had seen the man touching himself inside the laundromat, 314 N. Azusa Ave., at about 3:30 p.m. Monday. She said he came up behind her and surprised her, then ejaculated on her leg and clothes, according to Covina police. The man was described as a white man about 5-foot-5 with a thin build, between 25 and 30 years old, with a goatee and brown hair. He wore a light-colored T-shirt with the letters “P E P” on the back, a fisherman-style hat, gray shorts and flip-flop sandals. He was seen driving away in a white, newer-model work truck with rails for holding tools and ladders. Anyone with information about the man or crime can contact Covina police Detective Ramirez at (626) 384-5621.

Levi’s to cut 700 office jobs after coronavirus-related slump

Levi’s said Tuesday that it will cut 700 office jobs, or about 15% of its worldwide corporate workforce, as it deals with a sharp drop in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. The San Francisco-based jeans maker said the layoffs will save it about $100 million a year and won’t affect workers at its stores or factories. Like other clothing companies, Levi’s had to temporarily close its stores due to the virus. Many of the department stores that sell its jeans were also shut. Levi Strauss & Co. said its second quarter revenue sank 62% to $497.5 million. It reported a loss of $363.5 million, after reporting a profit a year ago. Adjusted losses came to 48 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations, according to Zacks Investment Research. The company said most of its stores are now open and seeing sales at about 80% of where they were a year ago.

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