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L.A. Now - Los Angeles Times

Breaking news blog covering Southern California. Keep up to date with information, photos and real-time reporting.

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Ghost Ship fire defendant says no one was in charge: ‘There was a lot of shared understanding’

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-18 03:15

The Bay Area warehouse where a fire killed 36 people more than two years ago was an artist enclave where nobody was fully in charge, one of two men accused in for the blaze testified Monday.

Max Harris told a packed Oakland courtroom that people treated one another as friends in the shared space...


New claims about perks for inspector, perils for neighbors in Bel-Air mega-mansion case

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-18 03:10

The mammoth, unfinished mansion on Strada Vecchia Road in Bel-Air has long been at the center of controversy, investigations and legal battles.

Its developer, Mohamed Hadid, pleaded no contest to criminal charges after prosecutors accused him of building a house far bigger than allowed. He has ...


Middle school educator dies while rock climbing in Yosemite

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-18 02:45

A California middle school special education paraprofessional died this month while climbing in Yosemite National Park, authorities said.

Originally from Detroit, Patricia “Trish” Stoops, 57, died June 8 in a rappelling accident at the Central Pillar of Frenzy, one of the popular rock-climbing...


Costco shooting: LAPD officer was knocked out by attacker before opening fire, attorney says

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-18 01:35

The attorney for an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who fatally shot a man described by his family as having an intellectual disability and two others at a Costco store in Corona said he was defending himself and 1-year-old child.

The attorney, David Winslow, said the officer was getting a...


Living near marijuana dispensaries makes youth more likely to use it, study finds

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-18 00:10

Young adults who live in neighborhoods with a higher number of medical marijuana dispensaries use pot more frequently than their peers and have more positive views about the drug, according to a study released by the Rand Corp.

The results were strongest among young adults who lived near dispensaries...


Who is willing to defend Harvey Weinstein? A third high-powered lawyer wants off case

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 22:55

Jose Baez, the lawyer who famously won an acquittal for Casey Anthony, no longer wants to defend Harvey Weinstein against sexual assault allegations in New York City, a representative for the disgraced mogul said Monday.

If Baez were to depart, he would be the third high-powered defense attorney...


Shooting in Costco parking lot in Chula Vista leaves 3 wounded

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 22:25

Three people were wounded during a shooting in the parking lot of a Costco in Chula Vista.

Authorities said two men and a woman were taken to the hospital and that detectives were trying to figure out the motive for the violence.

The shooting came three days after one person was killed and three...


Dr. Seuss ‘Lorax’ tree falls in San Diego park; it had appeared healthy, from leaf to bark

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 19:20

“I speak for the trees,” Dr. Seuss’ Lorax cried, to the tree-chopping Once-ler’s immense surprise.

Now the tree thought to have inspired the beloved Truffulas is no more. The Monterey cypress has fallen, closing the chapter on its famous lore.

The lone tree stood in San Diego’s Ellen Browning Scripps...


Teenage girl still missing after man wanted in Carson killing is arrested in Mexico

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 19:00

A man suspected in a Carson homicide was arrested last week in Mexico after a months-long search, but the woman and teenage girl he was believed to be traveling with are still missing, authorities said.

Roman Cerratos, 39, was extradited to Los Angeles on Friday, but charges against him have not...


YouTube rapper arrested in human trafficking case as police seek more victims

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 18:15

Officials are seeking victims of human trafficking linked to a YouTube rapper from Los Angeles who was arrested last week on charges of pimping and pandering an Orange County woman.

Angel Ortiz Diamond, 31, was charged with one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering. Diamond,...


AR-15, Nazi literature found inside home of man who threatened mass shooting, police say

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 16:10

A Bay Area man was arrested after authorities said he posted anti-Semitic threats in an online chat room and threatened to commit a mass shooting at a synagogue.

Ross Farca, 23, of Concord is charged with making criminal threats, possession of an illegal assault rifle and manufacturing an assault...


TV news chopper spotted O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco, and the chase was on

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 15:40

O.J. Simpson was a fugitive, and it seemed the whole world was looking for him.

It was June 17, 1994, and Simpson was supposed to turn himself in to Los Angeles police in connection with the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

Zoey Tur was piloting a helicopter...


Costco shooting: Man killed by off-duty officer had an intellectual disability, cousin says

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 13:55

The 32-year-old man shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in a Costco store on Friday night in Corona was nonverbal and had an intellectual disability, according to a family member.

Kenneth French of Riverside lived with his parents and had the mental capacity of a teenager, said his cousin,...


‘The Juice is loose’: How the O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase mesmerized the world

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 13:00

Here is how the O.J. Simpson chase unfolded 25 years ago:

MORNING

8:30 a.m.: Robert Shapiro, lawyer for O.J. Simpson, receives a call from Los Angeles Police Department officials telling him to surrender his client.

9:30 a.m.: Shapiro goes to an undisclosed home in the San Fernando Valley and informs...


She worked for L.A.’s building department. Then her name came up in an FBI warrant

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 12:00

It was a bombshell at Los Angeles City Hall when the news broke in January: The FBI was hunting for evidence of bribery, money laundering and other possible crimes involving some of the most powerful politicians in the city, according to a federal warrant.

Among the names on the warrant were City...


Essential California: Facebook’s coming cryptocurrency and a Slack IPO in the week ahead

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 10:30

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, June 17, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

Tuesday: Facebook is rumored to be unveiling details of its new cryptocurrency (code name: Libra) in a white paper.

Wednesday is Juneteenth, America’s other Independence...


West Hollywood’s original marijuana dispensaries fear city will leave them behind

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 00:25

Jason Beck has waited longer than most other California dispensary owners for a chance to sell recreational cannabis.

First invited to open Alternative Herbal Health Services by then-West Hollywood Mayor John Duran in 2004, Beck proudly claims to own California’s “longest continuous retail” marijuana...


Earthquake: 3.0 quake strikes near Fontana, Calif.

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-17 00:25

A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Sunday afternoon two miles from Glen Avon, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 5:12 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 1.9 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was four miles from Jurupa Valley, four miles...


Guatemalans vote in L.A. for their country’s presidential election, a historic first

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 23:10

After traveling six hours by bus from Oakland, Mynor Hernandez arrived in Los Angeles late Saturday with his wife, 6-month-old baby and 7-year-old son. His aim: to vote in Guatemala’s national elections without having to go back to his homeland.

Hernandez cast his ballot shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday,...


Costco shooting: Police say officer holding child was attacked and opened fire

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 20:20

Police agencies in Los Angeles and Corona are investigating the circumstance of a shooting inside a Costco Friday night by an off-duty LAPD officer who said he was assaulted while holding his young child.

The shooting — which sent scores of panicked shoppers running and prompted a huge police response...


Three men killed in separate shootings Saturday in Willowbrook and Compton

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 18:45

Three men were killed in separate shootings Saturday in Willowbrook and Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The first incident occurred early Saturday morning in the 13000 block of South San Pedro Street in the unincorporated area of Willowbrook.

Shortly after 1 a.m.,...


South L.A. post office renamed in honor of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 17:55

A post office in South Los Angeles has been rededicated in honor of the late Grammy-winning soul singer Marvin Gaye.

“Marvin Gaye's music has transcended generations and gave the ’70s and ’80s a sound,'' said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who introduced legislation to name the post office at...


With its apostle accused of rape and sexual abuse, La Luz del Mundo comes out fighting

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 16:35

For its faithful, the leader of La Luz del Mundo is “the apostle” of Jesus Christ. God made it so.

Hundreds of thousands of parishioners gathered in Guadalajara last month to celebrate their leader’s 50th birthday. They filled the streets around the organization’s towering, wedding cake-like temple...


Off-duty LAPD officer opened fire at Costco, killing 1, after being assaulted, police say

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 03:45

An off-duty LAPD officer fatally shot a man and wounded two others Friday night at a Costco store in Corona after the officer was assaulted while holding his young child, authorities said.

The attack on the officer, which was called unprovoked, resulted in him firing his weapon, striking the suspected...


UCLA failed to warn the public about gynecologist accused of sexual battery

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-16 00:05

In June 2017, a married mother of four experiencing severe pelvic pain went to see a UCLA gynecologist. Dr. James Mason Heaps, she alleged, improperly touched her genitals, fondled her breast and buttock and made sexual remarks during the exam. She reported the conduct to UCLA in December of that...