Los Angeles

Facing ‘New Era’, LAPD Working To Protect Homeless, Officers From COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As Southern California grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles police are working to address the needs of the city’s homeless population while finding ways to prevent their own from bringing the virus home to their loved ones. In an interview Thursday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said officers have been deployed to shelters citywide to ensure the safety of those currently experiencing homelessness. The plan is to have two LAPD officers at each shelter, along with officers supporting homeless outreach and mental health workers in the transportation of homeless people from various encampments across the city, Moore said. And while officers are well trained on protocols to safeguard themselves when dealing with unsanitary and dangerous conditions – including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – Moore says the LAPD is adapting to what he called a “new era”. “This is a new era, not only for LAPD and for this region, but for the world with this pandemic,” he said. “And it’s an invisible type threat that is and has many unknowns.” In addition to increasing PPE for officers and…

Texas Roadhouse CEO gives up salary, bonus to pay employees during coronavirus pandemic

Texas Roadhouse’s CEO is giving up his salary and bonuses this year to help employees during the coronavirus pandemic. According to MarketWatch, the move affects W. Kent Taylor’s pay from March 18 through Jan. 7, 2021. His base salary and bonus will instead go to front-line workers during that time. Taylor has a base salary of $525,000 and earned total compensation of $1.3 million in 2018, according to Louisville Business First. MarketWatch also reported that Texas Roadhouse will suspend its dividend in an effort to conserve cash during the pandemic. In a message on the chain’s website, Taylor said Texas Roadhouse locations would remain open for to-go and curbside services because “restaurants play a vital role in our nation’s food supply, and we are going to help fill the gap where and how we can.” Texas Roadhouse restaurants are also offering special family packs for order; some have turned their parking lots into drive-thrus in response to prohibitions on offering dine-in meals. The restaurant chain has several locations in Southern California.

Trump says he’s preparing new social distancing guidelines in letter to governors

 President Donald Trump told U.S. governors on Thursday his administration was preparing to issue new social distancing guidelines based on geographic risk factors. In a letter, Trump said new coronavirus testing capabilities would allow his administration to identify “high-risk, medium risk and low-risk” counties. New guidelines will help governors and other state policymakers decide on “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place,” Trump wrote. The President has been itching to loosen the social distancing measures he announced last week in a bid to prevent spread of coronavirus. He said this week he’d like to see the country “raring to go” by Easter, on April 12, a date that many health experts say is unlikely.

Cold storm expected to bring snow, ice to SoCal mountains starting Thursday

A cold storm will bring scattered showers and a dusting of snow to the Southland on Thursday, potentially creating hazardous driving conditions in the mountains. Although it won’t pack near as much moisture as last weekend’s record-breaking affair, the latest storm will drop snow levels to as low as 2,500 feet — potentially bringing a few flurries to the Antelope Valley foothills and as much as 2 inches of powder to the 5 Freeway’s Grapevine corridor in the afternoon and evening. “The main problem is icy roads,” said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. In times of normal traffic on the Grapevine, that could cause travel delays. The chance of snow, combined with wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph, prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory for mountainous areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties that is in effect until 11 p.m. Latest estimates on snow expected today through tonight. Main impacts will be through the I-5 Corridor. However, light accumulations will be possible in Cuyuma and the Antelope Valley foothills today. Winter Weather Advisory…

States seem to have varying standards on what constitutes ‘essential’ businesses

In a third of US states, businesses and services are now divided into two factions: essential and non-essential. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted at least 17 states to issue stay-at-home orders. As a result, some businesses are shuttering while the “essential” ones remain open, though often with restrictions. The lists of essential businesses are mostly the same: Health care services, grocery stores and gas stations make the cut. Malls, gyms and movie theaters do not. But a closer look at state orders shows some inconsistencies: In Delaware, florists can still deliver bouquets. In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana dispensaries are OK but liquor stores aren’t. And in Arizona, golf courses can stay open, too — they’re essential businesses. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) gave states an outline of suggested “essential businesses” to follow. But because it’s up to the states, there are bound to be differences among them — and many lists are shifting as the pandemic does. Liquor stores Liquor stores are considered essential businesses in every state that’s issued stay-at-home orders but one — Pennsylvania. That could pose a major risk to substance-dependent…

‘ACM Presents: Our Country’ To Honor Kenny Rogers; Performances By Sheryl Crow, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert And More

ACM Presents: Our Country, will be an all-new two-hour special featuring intimate conversations and at-home acoustic performances with country music’s biggest stars, along with clips from the Academy of Country Music Awards’ 55-year history set to air in place of the postponed ACM Awards on Sunday, April 5th. Earlier today the Academy of County Music confirmed performers for this unprecedented event will include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown and John Legend, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. ACM Presents: Our Country will also honor 10-time ACM Award winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker. As previously announced, artists will appear from their homes to share heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past. It will be a night filled with entertainment, hope and reflection,…

Coronavirus: REAL ID Deadline Pushed A Full Year To October 2021

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Californians panicked about obtaining a REAL ID can breathe easier after the federal government extended the deadline a full year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that the REAL ID deadline has been pushed to Oct. 1, 2021. The initial deadline had been Oct. 1, 2020. This comes after President Donald Trump indicated Monday that the deadline would be delayed. Once the deadline is hit, REAL ID cards will required to board airplanes or enter federal buildings. U.S. residents who do not have a REAL ID will be required to show an alternative document, like a passport or military ID. The California DMV has faced a surge of customers due to the new federal REAL ID requirements, with some residents having to make appointments several months out because DMV offices are fully booked. Last July, DMV offices for a half-day statewide so employees could be trained on handling REAL ID applications. “The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” Acting…

Coronavirus Cabin Fever Can Be Dangerous, Psychologist Warns: ‘When We’re Stressed & Feel Trapped, Conflict Likely To Increase’

(CBS Local) — In times of crisis — wars, terrorist attacks, recessions and natural disasters — people typically come together. But the COVID-19 pandemic is not a typical crisis and coming together is much more difficult, if not impossible. Mental health professionals say the social distancing and isolation designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus poses a serious threat to people for whom social contact is a key element of support and treatment. But there are things you can do to maintain your overall mental health, says Kita S. Curry, PhD, President and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Curry spoke with CBS Local on Wednesday: CBS Local: What could the consequences of loneliness be during this time? Kita S. Curry: Research indicates that isolation can negatively impact the health of your mind and your body. But, the reverse—feeling connected is not based on how many friends and family you have in your life. It’s based on whether you feel others truly care for you and are there for you. Those who live alone have a special challenge right now, though, because people…

Lizzo Holds Mass Mediations While Playing Flute On Instagram Live To Ease Tensions During Coronavirus Crisis

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Singer Lizzo held a 30-minute meditation session through Instagram Live over the weekend to ease tensions during the coronavirus crisis. The Grammy award winner, with flute in hand, went live on her page saying, “Meditation #2 (for compassion). A practice in connectivity during this social distance. Please enjoy.” View this post on Instagram A practice in connectivity during this social distance. Please enjoy. A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on Mar 21, 2020 at 11:43am PDT Lizzo held another 30-minute meditation session on March 13 “before everything happening with the self-quarantining” captioned, “A meditation and mantra to promote healing during this global crisis. Use at your own pace. Love you!” RELATED: Neil Diamond Shares “Sweet Caroline” Parody As Coronavirus PSA She ended the session saying, “I hope you guys have an incredible day. There’s plenty of people right now doing very entertaining things with their phones. Everyone’s getting very creative. So, I hope you have something that entertains you and don’t feel pressured to do anything more or less than what you’re already doing. You are enough.” Other stars decided to…

Two Drivers Suffer Severe Injuries in Wrong-Way Crash on I-8 in La Mesa

Share this article:Two drivers suffered severe injuries in a head-on crash on Interstate 8 in La Mesa, authorities said Thursday. Dispatchers received multiple calls shortly after 11:55 p.m. Wednesday from people who reported seeing an SUV westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-8 near the El Cajon/La Mesa city limits, said California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow. A few minutes later, more callers reported seeing a two-vehicle crash on I-8 just east of the 70th Street exit, Garrow said. Investigators believe a 28-year-old San Diego man was driving the wrong way in a Ford Expedition SUV when he crashed head-on into a BMW 650i sedan driven by a 45-year-old San Diego man, the officer said. The crash blocked all lanes of eastbound I-8, and paramedics took both drivers to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, Garrow said. Investigators believe the Ford driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the crash, he said. Two Drivers Suffer Severe Injuries in Wrong-Way Crash on I-8 in La Mesa was last modified: March 26th, 2020 by Contributing Editor

Motorist Killed in Crash in Long Beach

Share this article:A young man was killed Thursday when the car he was driving crashed in Long Beach, police said. David Shelton Jr., 24, of Long Beach died at the scene of the crash that occurred about 2 a.m. at Bellflower Boulevard and Seventh Street, the Long Beach Police Department reported. “The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2010 Dodge Charger was traveling at a high rate of speed, southbound on Bellflower Boulevard, when (it) hit a dip in the road as (it) crossed East Seventh Street,” a police statement said. “In doing so … (Shelton) lost control of his vehicle leaving over 225 feet of skid marks before running into a fire hydrant and a shopping center sign,” police said. “Shelton was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and it is unknown if alcohol, drugs or distracted driving was a factor in this collision.” Anyone with information on the crash was urged to call police at 562-570-7355. Motorist Killed in Crash in Long Beach was last modified: March 26th, 2020 by Contributing Editor

Real ID enforcement deadline pushed back 1 year due to coronavirus pandemic

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID, federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, will be extended until October 2021— a year past the current deadline, according to Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. “The federal state and local response to the spread of #coronavirus here in the US necessitates a delay in this deadline,” Wolf announced on Twitter Thursday. Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the US, states were preparing to issue residents “REAL ID-compliant” driver’s licenses or identification by the October 1 deadline. As of last month, only about 35% of US IDs complied with the REAL ID Act, a post-9/11 law that establishes security standards for licenses. Once in effect, travelers flying commercially in the US will need to have a REAL ID, which is marked by a star on the top of the card. Even before the outbreak, it was unlikely that all states would meet the deadline. Last month, Wolf told lawmakers that the prospect of all states being able to issue their constituents a REAL ID by October 2020 was “probably fairly small.” The Department of…

Peeps production to stop for at least 2 weeks, but Easter is taken care of, company says

No more Peeps are being hatched for at least a couple of weeks — but it shouldn’t affect Easter baskets. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based Just Born confections company said its production facilities there and in Philadelphia closed Wednesday through April 7. But the company says it had already produced and shipped the Easter supply of its signature marshmallow confection to outlets. Just Born says the popular Peeps & Company retail store in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, is also closed for now. The store is billed as a Peeps “experience” and features light displays, historical videos and merchandise. The company also makes other candies, including Mike and Ikes and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. Just Born officials say that inventories of those candies had been shipped prior to the production stoppage, but that they might be in short supply at some retailers.

U.S. charges Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro with drug-trafficking charges

Nicolás Maduro effectively converted Venezuela into a criminal enterprise at the service of drug traffickers and terrorist groups as he and his allies stole billions from the South American country, the Justice Department charged in several indictments against the embattled socialist and his inner circle that were made public Thursday. One indictment by prosecutors in New York accused Maduro and socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello of conspiring with Colombian rebels and members of the Venezuelan military “to flood the United States with cocaine” and use the drug trade as a “weapon against America.” As the indictments were unsealed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the State Department would offer cash rewards of up to $55 million for information leading to the arrests or convictions of Maduro and his associates. It offered rewards up to $15 million for Maduro and up to $10 million each for the others. “The Maduro regime is awash in corruption and criminality,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in an online news conference from Washington. “While the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money, and the…

California coronavirus surge on par with New York, threatening to overwhelm hospitals

California’s top medical advisor said Wednesday that coronavirus cases continue to double in the state every three to four days, a fast pace on par with New York‘s, where some hospitals are overwhelmed and the death toll stood at 366 on Wednesday night. If that rate holds, California hospitals could see a surge in patients in one to two weeks, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, during a Facebook news conference. “We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days; we see cases doubling every three to four days,” Ghaly said. “[We’re] watching that trend very, very closely.” Nicholas Jewell, a biostatistics researcher at UC Berkeley who has been tracking the pandemic, said the coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout the U.S., at a rate quicker or on par with countries hit the hardest. Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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