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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.


Suspected gunman who caused panic at Century City mall has been arrested, police say

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-18 00:40

A suspected gunman who caused a panic among shoppers and forced the closure of the Westfield Century City Mall on Friday has been arrested, police said.

Nicholas K. Oates, 25, was arrested Saturday night after officers saw him at the Venice Beach boardwalk, Los Angeles police said. He was taken...

News of a death penalty moratorium elicits a muted reaction at San Quentin

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 23:05

Douglas “Chief” Stankewitz got up Wednesday in the early morning darkness. That’s when he meditates and exercises and reads. He turned on the television and caught the Channel 7 news. It was around 5:30. And he heard.

Gov. Gavin Newsom planned to declare a moratorium on the death penalty that day,...

‘Virtual kidnapping’ scammers seek ransom from affluent Southern California families

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 22:05

Two Laguna Beach families were the recent targets of a “virtual kidnapping” scam in which they were told one of their children had been abducted and would be killed unless they paid a ransom, police said.

As implausible as the scenario may seem on its face, Laguna Beach police said in one of the...

San Diego considers cannabis lounges. San Francisco set the standard

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 21:15

San Diego is considering allowing cannabis businesses to open lounges where customers can smoke or eat the product on site. The city will take a look at what’s happening elsewhere, including in San Francisco, where such lounges already are part of the cultural landscape.

Not surprisingly, the City...

TV host Tom Hatten, who kept generations of L.A. kids company, dies at 92

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 19:55

Tom Hatten, the longtime Los Angeles television personality who kept generation of kids — and adults — company as host of the “KTLA Family Film Festival,” has died. He was 92.

Hatten was a fixture of local TV since the 1950s, mostly at KTLA Channel 5, which announced his death Saturday.

He worked...

Tanker truck catches fire and triggers explosions in South L.A., injuring 2 people

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 18:35

A 9,000-gallon tanker truck leaking gasoline caught fire and triggered multiple explosions in South Los Angeles early Sunday, igniting surrounding structures and sending a huge column of black smoke into the air, authorities said.

L.A. fire officials arrived at the scene in the 200 block of West...

College admissions scandal: Alleged ruse included a pole vaulter photo and $475,000

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 18:25

Elisabeth Kimmel, an attorney turned media executive, and her husband, a former San Diego County prosecutor, both attended elite universities. She, Stanford and Yale; he, the Université de Toulouse in the South of France and the University of Southern California.

Years later, it was determined...

Fallout from college admissions scandal worsening for accused parents, schools

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 18:10

The college admissions cheating scandal that was revealed this week is shaping up to have long-term ramifications for both the parents accused in the scheme and the large world of getting into college.

• Some of the parents who are accused of cheating to get their children into elite schools are...

Admissions scandal reinforces stereotypes but elite colleges admitting more low-income students

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 13:00

Far from the California epicenter of the massive college cheating scandal, Matt McGann has followed the news with more than casual concern.

McGann is dean of admission and financial aid at Amherst College, which has a $2 billion endowment and a 13% admission rate. The western Massachusetts campus,...

Women were missing from school history lessons. An effort in California would change that

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 12:00

The year was 1972. In a high school classroom in Northern California, a student asked his teacher a timely question: What is the women’s movement?

Shirley Chisholm had just made history as the first African American to seek a presidential nomination from a major party. Title IX, the federal law...

Southern California Muslims host candlelight vigil for New Zealand shooting victims

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 03:15

Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith leaders gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night in Pasadena to remember the victims of the mass shootings in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The event, co-sponsored by the Islamic Center of Southern California and the Muslim Public Affairs Council,...

Search for Camp Pendleton Marine, missing on Sierra Nevada hike, is scaled back

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-17 02:55

Authorities who have searched since March 4 for a Camp Pendleton Marine missing on a Sierra Nevada trek announced Saturday that they are curtailing their efforts.

Inyo County sheriff’s officials said they will transition to a “limited continuous search status” until 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, 24, from...

Six years after overcharging fiasco, DWP's lawyer accused of double-dealing

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 22:35

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's reputation hit a low six years ago when the agency’s new billing system sent out wildly inaccurate bills, overcharging hundreds of thousands of customers.

The chaos prompted widespread outrage and promises by the DWP to fix the problems and reimburse...

‘Unreliable’ data threatening reforms at L.A. County’s juvenile detention centers

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 22:10

The recent controversy over a spike in pepper spray use at Los Angeles County’s juvenile detention facilities has sent officials scrambling to compile and release a cache of internal use-of-force data to satisfy calls for transparency.

That finally happened last week. The nation’s largest juvenile...

One dead in small plane crash in Riverside neighborhood

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 21:50

One person was killed Saturday when a small plane crashed in a residential neighborhood in Riverside, authorities said.

The twin-engine Beechcraft BE50 crashed about 11:50 a.m. Saturday in the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue after the pilot reported engine trouble, according to the Federal Aviation...

Oceanside man who abused neighbors’ dogs, maiming one, sentenced to nearly 10 years

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 16:35

An Iraq war veteran convicted of abusing his neighbors' dogs — including poisoning them and gouging out the eye of a Siberian husky — was sentenced Friday to more than nine years in prison.

Former Navy corpsman David C. Herbert, 37, was also fined $10,000 for his conviction last year of charges...

Harvard-Westlake students were vaccinated. Dozens caught whooping cough anyway

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 12:00

Nearly 50 students at Harvard-Westlake School have been recently diagnosed with whooping cough, in an outbreak that has forced school officials to send students home at the first sign of illness.

But all of the sick students had been vaccinated against the disease, according to school officials....

Trump’s move to end humanitarian program exposes Liberian UCLA student to deportation

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 11:00

After the end of this month, Yatta Kiazolu will be eligible for deportation to a country where she never has lived.

The 28-year-old PhD candidate in history at UCLA was born in Botswana to Liberian parents. She has lived in the U.S. since she was 7 and since 2002 has maintained legal authorization...

Charles Manson, Rose Bird, Caryl Chessman and California’s wrenching death penalty debate

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 10:00

One of Elisabeth Semel’s earliest memories of the death penalty in California was the 1960 execution of Caryl Chessman. She remembers seeing her father upset.

She became a criminal defense lawyer and went on to defend inmates convicted of capital crimes, running a death penalty clinic at UC Berkeley.


Firefighters knock down blaze at Carson oil refinery

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 05:20

A fire erupted Friday night at an oil refinery in Carson but was knocked down after about three hours.

Television footage showed a section of the Phillips 66 refinery in the 1500 block of East Sepulveda Boulevard engulfed in large flames and plumes of black smoke spewing into the sky.

After almost...

Southern California Muslims react to New Zealand massacre: ‘It could have been us’

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 02:50

The worshipers sat in rows inside the mosque, the men in the front and women behind. Dozens of believers of other faiths settled in between.

Hundreds of Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sikhs gathered at the Islamic Center of Southern California on Friday for prayers, some hoping to find the guidance...

GOP-backed Irvine mayor claims victory over Loretta Sanchez in special election for O.C. supervisor

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 02:05

Irvine’s mayor has claimed victory in this week’s special election for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, saying he’s “grateful and honored to have a chance to serve the people” of the 3rd District.

In results released Friday, Don Wagner emerged with more than 41% of the votes over...

Century City mall reopened after LAPD finds no evidence of shooting or explosive device

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 01:55

Westfield Century City Mall was reopened Friday evening after police found no evidence of a shooting and determined that a suspicious device was not an explosive, authorities said.

“There was no evidence of a shooting & Bomb Squad determined the suspicious device was not an explosive. We truly...

Palos Verdes Estates man denies juvenile charges of armed carjacking and robbery

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 01:15

A college student from Palos Verdes Estates who was acquitted last year in a South Los Angeles killing has been charged with armed carjacking and robbery in juvenile court, authorities said.

Cameron Terrell, 19, appeared in court Friday and denied the charges, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County...

L.A. wants to track your scooter trips. Is it a dangerous precedent?

Permalink - Posted on 2019-03-16 00:40

The abrupt arrival of thousands of electric scooters in Los Angeles last year has already forced public, sometimes ugly, disagreements about how the city’s street and sidewalk space should be used.

As Los Angeles prepares to launch a one-year program legalizing the vehicles, they’re now sparking...