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O.C. Murder case puts scrutiny on jailhouse informants

DEKRAAI

Prosecutors won’t use the testimony of a jailhouse informant in the trial of a man charged with the worst mass killing in Orange County history. That testimony was expected to play a key role in their attempt to send Scott Dekraai to Death Row. But Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy has conceded a defense motion that claimed tapes of conversations between Dekraai and the …

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Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

O.C. Murder case puts scrutiny on jailhouse informants

DEKRAAI

Prosecutors won’t use the testimony of a jailhouse informant in the trial of a man charged with the worst mass killing in Orange County history. That testimony was expected to play a key role in their attempt to send Scott Dekraai to Death Row. But Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy has conceded a defense motion that claimed tapes of conversations between Dekraai and the …

Headline, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics, Power and Water »

Pipeline to the past: Workers dig up L.A. water history

ZANJAMADRE-1863

Local history buffs know that much of the story of L.A. is about finding and exploiting water. Now an early and important piece of the city’s water history has been discovered. Construction workers in Chinatown have uncovered what is believed to be a roughly 100-foot section of the city’s first municipal water system. It’s a 19th Century brick and wooden pipe that connected the …

Arts & Culture, Headline, News »

Is virtual reality the future of entertainment?

OCrift_goggles

When USC film student Cosmo Scharf proposed a meetup group for Angelenos interested in Virtual Reality (or VR) a few months ago, he was picturing something casual — like some guys sitting around on folding chairs.
But that was before Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced he was spending $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR, a fledgling company whose sole product is a virtual reality headset …

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Getting into top U.C. schools is tougher than ever

Bruin Walk welcome

The University of California has accepted a record number of students for the fall – but at most U.C. campuses it was harder than ever for in-state students to make the cut. U.C. officials say nearly 87,000 freshman were accepted – up 4.8 percent from last year. But most of the increase comes from out-of-state and international students. Admission rates for those students were …

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Mixer: Crumbling sidewalks and rising gas prices

friday mixer square

Emily Alpert Reyes is a reporter with the Los Angeles Times and Kevin Smith is business editor for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. Both joined us for the Mixer.
We got word this week that money for sidewalk repairs in Los Angeles has gone unspent by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration – and City Hall still wants a new tax to pay for sidewalks.
In many …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News »

From Hancock Park to the Galapagos: An unsolved murder mystery and its connection to LA

Galapagos_photo9

San Francisco based filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller have long wanted to make a documentary about an unsolved murder mystery that took place seventy years ago in a Utopian community in the exotic Galapagos Islands.
But it wasn’t until they discovered a treasure trove of film in a USC archive that they were able to accomplish their goal.  The archival material was footage gathered by …

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At Coachella, spotlight on safety after apparent overdose

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Coachella has marked several ‘firsts’ throughout its 15 years history, and now the acclaimed music and arts festival is grappling with its first apparent fatality.
A Coachella attendee who was hospitalized after last week’s festivities died Thursday due to an suspected drug overdose, the Riverside County Sheriff coroner’s office told KCRW on Friday. The 24-year-old woman, identified as Kimchi Truong of Oakland, CA, reportedly collapsed …

Arts & Culture, Featured, News, Politics, Sonic Trace »

Tracing Points: 5 immigration stories you missed this week

Tijuana/Mexico. Flickr photo: Nathan Gibbs.

Each week, we put you on the map with immigration and transnational culture stories you might have missed throughout the week. And if you’ve come across any articles worth mentioning, write to us sonic.trace@kcrw.org or tweet us @SonicTrace_KCRW.
Republicans are moderate about immigration policy
GOP voters may not be as conservative as you think — when it comes to immigration.
About 37 percent of Republicans support a pathway …

Education, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Vape away L.A: New E-Cigarette rules start tomorrow

VAPING

If you’re an e-cigarette user in L.A., today’s the day to vape with abandon. Starting tomorrow, the smokeless cigarettes will be under the same restrictions in the city as traditional cigarettes with tobacco. That means no vaping in bars, restaurants, workplaces, parks, beaches and outdoor dining areas. The City Council approved the new rules about a month ago in response to a big rise …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Interviews, News »

Housing prices cause many to flee big cities

Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan Vaarsi via Flickr/CC.

We got official word earlier this month about something most of us in LA already knew. Housing is ridiculously expensive here.
A new study by the listing site Redfin found middle class families in the area can only afford about 12 percent of homes on the market. Housing prices are up, while incomes in the area are stagnant. And that’s leading a lot of folks …

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