Two Horses Die in Collision at Del Mar Race Track

Two horses died at the Del Mar Fairgrounds race track Thursday morning after colliding during a training session, according to officials with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The accident happened around 6:30 a.m. during a training session, Del Mar Throughbred Club spokesman Dan Smith said. The two horses, 3-year-old Carson Valley and 2-year-old Charge a Bunch, collided after Charge a Bunch unseated jockey Geovanni Franco, then turned sharply and ran in the wrong direction before colliding with Carson Valley, who was training alongside two other horses, according to a statement from the race track. Franco and the other two horses were uninjured in the collision, Smith said. The jockey riding Carson Valley, Assael Espinoza, complained of pain in his lower back and underwent a CAT scan at a local hospital, the Daily Racing Form said. Carson Valley was trained by Bob Baffert and Charge a Bunch was trained by Carla Gaines. “This was a very unfortunate accident and it is a shock to everyone in the barn,” Baffert said in a statement. “We work every day to take the best care of our horses, but…

FBI believed Trump was closely involved in hush-money scheme, unsealed documents show

The FBI believed then-candidate Donald Trump was closely involved in a scheme to hide hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed an affair with Trump, court documents from the closed campaign finance case against former Trump-fixer Michael Cohen show. The documents, released Thursday, describe a “series of calls, text messages, and emails” between Cohen, Trump, Trump campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for the woman, porn star Stormy Daniels — and David Pecker, an executive of the company that published the National Enquirer. “I have learned that in the days following the Access Hollywood video, Cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages and emails with Keith Davidson, who was then Clifford’s attorney, David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media, Inc. (“AMI”), the publisher of the National Enquirer, Trump, and Hope Hicks, who was then press secretary for Trump’s presidential campaign,” an FBI agent investigating the matter wrote in the released documents. “Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned…

Rand Paul blocks bill to boost 9/11 victims fund

Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday blocked a bipartisan bill that would ensure a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money. Paul objected to a request by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to approve the bill by unanimous consent, which would fast-track approval. Paul, R-Ky., questioned the bill’s 70-year time frame and said any new spending should be offset by corresponding cuts. The government already faces a $22 trillion debt, a figure that grows every year, Paul said. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the 9/11 bill would result in about $10.2 billion in additional compensation payments over 10 years, including more than $4 billion for claims already filed. Gillibrand said 9/11 first responders and their families have had “enough of political games.” The legislation has 74 Senate co-sponsors, including Gillibrand, and easily passed the House last week. The bill would extend through 2092 a victims compensation fund created after the 2001 terrorist attacks, essentially making it permanent. The $7.4 billion fund is rapidly being depleted, and administrators recently cut benefit payments by up to 70%. “Our 9/11 first responders…

San Bernardino delays decision on Meadowbrook Park bridge

Meadowbrook Park bridge in San Bernardino will remain as is for at least another three weeks after city leaders on Wednesday, July 17, delayed a decision on what to do with the shuttered span. The demolition, design and construction of a new bridge would cost about $500,000 of the nearly $813,000 the city received in insurance money after the overpass was damaged two years ago in a fire set beneath it by homeless people. While balking at a decision Wednesday, city leaders appeared unwilling to spend half a million dollars on a replacement. Councilman Theodore Sanchez, who represents the area, suggested putting the insurance money toward rehabilitating the soccer field and northernmost parking lot at Nunez Park, off West Fifth Street. “This money should go to a park in an underserved part of the city,” Sanchez said. “This bridge … was serving a park in an underserved community, and this money needs to reflect the same.” Councilwoman Bessine Richard said a local carpenters union has proposed repairing the bridge for free if the city pays for supplies. City leaders and union officials are expected to discuss…

Carl Love: A-d-u-l-t-s battle in inaugural Temecula spelling bee

Terry Salazar reads a book every two to three days, so she’s got to be good at this. Jesse Maldonado’s four little kids were watching, so he had incentive to do well. Hannah Daneschmand practiced with an app, so she was sure to be tough. The Adult Spelling Bee at the Ronald H. Roberts Temecula Public Library drew all types. You read that right — it was for adults. Eleven people competed. The audience of about 25 was so big that organizers had to bring in more chairs. “We’re so excited,” reference librarian Jenna Rohrssen said of the turnout. The pressure was on. Many participants readily admitted they were nervous. When the definition for the second word, “anxious,” was read to one speller, another chimed in to say that it also applies, “if you’re in a spelling bee.” And you thought being in a presidential debate was nerve racking. Good sportsmanship was apparent every time someone spelled a word correctly and the crowd applauded. But when participants pondered how to spell a word after it was given to them, the room was totally quiet. When…

San Bernardino will pay new city manager at least $260,000 a year

San Bernardino City Manager Teri Ledoux will make at least $260,000 per year in salary during her 18-month contract, a $50,000 raise from her previous role as assistant city manager. And she could receive a 3.5% pay bump Aug. 1. Mayor John Valdivia and council members Theodore Sanchez, Juan Figueroa, Henry Nickel and Bessine Richard voted for the agreement Wednesday, July 17. Council members Sandra Ibarra, Fred Shorett and Jim Mulvihill voted no. “We have had a lot of issues in the city of potholes not being fixed, streets not being fixed, street lights being out, and we’re being told there’s no money to fix the city,” Ibarra said. “But here we’re offering a higher salary and a promotion that frankly, right now, when we’ve made budget cuts, is not being fiscally responsible.” The San Bernardino City Council approved an 18-month employment agreement with new City Manager Teri Ledoux on Wednesday, July 17. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) An agreement with new San Bernardino City Manager Teri Ledoux was approved Wednesday, July 17. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds…

Women Accused of Killing Pregnant Chicago Teen Face 2nd Murder Charge After Baby Cut From Womb Dies

Clarisa Figueroa, left, and Desire Figueroa, right are seen in booking photos released by Chicago police and obtained by KTLA sister station WGN. A mother and daughter accused of cutting the baby from a Chicago woman’s womb are now also charged with murder in the baby’s death. Marlen Ochoa-Lopez is seen in a photo released by Chicago police. Cook County prosecutors announced in a Thursday email the latest charge against 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and 26-year-old Desire Figueroa. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The women were already charged with first-degree murder in the April killing of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, whose body was discovered days after Clarisa Figueroa went to a hospital with the gravely ill newborn, claiming it was hers. Authorities say the two women strangled Ochoa-Lopez and then cut the baby boy from her womb. When the brain-damaged infant died in June, police said they expected to bring additional murder charges against the defendants.

Tensions Rise Between LAPD and ICE Over Immigration Raids

Tensions between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Los Angeles police have ramped up over the last month amid the Trump administration’s loud threats to unleash immigration sweeps. As word spread about a national ICE operation expected to result in thousands of arrests, local officials tried to reassure immigrants in L.A. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said that ICE would target about 140 people in Southern California. In a video shared last week, Moore also stood beside Mayor Eric Garcetti as he told residents they did not have to open their doors for an ICE agent who does not have a warrant signed by a judge. The LAPD chief’s actions have provoked anger among ICE officials. Read the full story on LATimes.com. 

Santa Monica Mountain Trail Reopens 8 Months After Woolsey Fire

All 67 miles (108 kilometers) of a popular trail in a sprawling wilderness park in Southern California have been reopened, eight months after the largest fire to ever hit the park. The final 6 miles of the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area reopened Thursday after remaining closed since the November Woolsey Fire burned 88% of the National Park Service land. The fire destroyed 120 feet of retaining wall and littered the trail with dangerous tree limbs. The Backbone Trail, running through the coastal mountain range west of Los Angeles, was completed in 2016 after a 40-year effort to acquire the land. Only small park sites remain closed. Visitors are being asked to stay on the newly restored trails for risk of causing more damage.

Bodies of 2 San Bernardino Teens, 2 Young Men Recovered From Kern River; 11-Year-Old Girl Missing

San Joaquin Valley authorities have recovered and identified the bodies of four of the five people who have gone missing in the southern Sierra Nevada’s Kern River so far this year. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is still looking for an 11-year old girl from Bakersfield who fell into the river June 22. Recovered bodies include those of 16-year-old Ivan Esquivel and 19-year-old Hugo Esquivel, cousins who went missing on June 16, both of San Bernardino. Two others lost in the river on July 4 have also been recovered. They were 22-year-old Allan Aurelio Ramirez of Placentia and 20-year-old Jesus Alberto Perez Bautista of Sylmar. The Kern River has a long history of danger. A warning sign that tallies the number of people who have died attributes 294 deaths to the river from 1968 to May 2018.

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