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Vote to decide if Golden Gate Bridge gets suicide nets

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Bay Area officials will vote today on a $76 million plan to install suicide prevention nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. The agency that operates the bridge has previously rejected the idea of raising the railings to prevent suicides – arguing that it would drastically change the character of the 77-year-old landmark. But the suicides continue to add up. A record 46 people jumped …

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L.A. moves to impose $15 wage for hotel workers

HOTELWORKER

Activists have cleared a major hurdle in their effort to boost the wages of non-unionized L.A. hotel workers. Despite warnings from business groups that the move could cost jobs, a City Council committee signed off on a plan to increase hotel worker pay to more than $15 an hour, nearly twice the state’s $8-an-hour minimum wage. Labor groups say L.A. hotels have been raking …

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Griffith Park mountain lion sickened by rat poison

cougar-hollywood

A mountain known as P-22 that’s been making its home in Griffith Park is suffering from mange, which biologists attribute to exposure to rat poison. The cat appeared strong and healthy when it was photographed by a National Geographic photographer a few months ago. But remote cameras recently captured images of the animal looking sickly. Scientists sedated the big cat and drew blood samples. …

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Garcetti to give first State of the City speech tonight

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Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver his first State of the City speech tonight, offering a preview of how Los Angeles will deal will projected $242 million budget deficit and laying out his spending priorities for the next fiscal year. (Listen at kcrw.com/news24 at 5pm).
His speech comes one day after the release of a report that makes a number of recommendations for improving what its authors …

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Officers faulted for shooting during Dorner manhunt

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More than half a dozen LAPD officers who mistakenly shot at two women delivering newspapers during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner are facing discipline that could range from a slap on the wrist to dismissal. The department’s oversight panel says the officers violated LAPD policy when they collectively fired their weapons more than 100 times. One of the women was shot twice in the …

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Scientists attack ‘false’ reports of Fukushima radiation

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There is no risk on the West Coast from radiation released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago – and there never was. That’s the word from state scientists in California. They’ve released a strongly-worded statement to dispel worries stemming from new on-line videos that claim California beaches are being inundated with radiation from the Japanese nuclear accident. State officials say radiation levels …

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L.A. County due hundreds of millions in lead paint suit

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Three paint companies have been ordered to pay $1.1 billion to California cities and counties for selling lead-based products they knew were harmful to children. After a five-week trial in Santa Clara County, a judge found that Sherman Williams Conagra Grocery Products and NL Industries left a toxic legacy by knowingly marketing products that caused serious health problems. The money would be paid into …

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It’s checkup time for state’s new healthcare exchange

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Californians will get their most detailed look today at how the state’s new health insurance marketplace is shaping up. Covered California is set to release data about the kinds of plans people are buying, their age and income, and other demographic information. Insurers say it’s crucial that the pool includes a wide range of people. Younger, healthier policy holders are needed to offset the …

Education, Featured, Food, Issues, News, Politics »

Miramonte teacher agrees to 25-year prison term

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Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt repeated the phrase “no contest” 23 times in an L.A. courtroom this morning, agreeing to a plea deal that will send him to prison for 25 years. Berndt, who is 62, fed children his semen in a scandal that rocked the school district.  LAUSD has already agreed to pay nearly $30 million to settle lawsuits and claims …

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Deasy may walk away from LAUSD early next year

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Will he stay or will he go? L.A. School Superintendent won’t confirm an L.A. Times report that he plans to leave his job in February – but he’s not denying it either. Deasy promises he’ll have more to say after his job evaluation, which is scheduled for Tuesday. Deasy was hired to head the nation’s second largest school district in 2011. He had threatened …

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L.A. County can’t find thousands of probationers

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County probation officials say they’ve lost track of almost 2,000 people on probation. The L.A. Daily News reports that the unaccounted offenders have warrants out for their arrests and make up more than 20 percent of those in the county taking part in Governor Jerry Brown’s prison realignment plan. The probation department says law enforcement teams are searching for the missing probationers…Meanwhile, California is …

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Two L.A. pols fighting sexual harassment allegations

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L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar is being sued by a former staffer for sexual harassment. Francine Godoy was hired by Huizar in 2006, a year after he was elected to represent an area stretching from downtown to Eagle Rock. She says Huizar retaliated against her after she refused his sexual advances. Huizar has admitted to having an affair, but says the claims are false …

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Governor and Senate Democrats reach prison accord; Broadway streetcar line loses traction; School testing

n 2006, California prisons were forced to house inmates using double and triple bunking in gyms and day rooms. Since then, overcrowding has been reduced by 43,000 inmates, from 200 to 150 percent of capacity. Photo: California Department of Corrections

Prison plan. There’s agreement in Sacramento on how California will respond to the federal court order requiring the state to reduce prison overcrowding. The deal comes between Governor Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders, who have been at odds over how to proceed.
Brown’s original plan was to increase capacity by leasing additional beds.
But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg balked at spending hundreds of …

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Dangerous heat to stick around through the weekend; Hunter started Yosemite blaze; Scully comes up roses

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Hot. If you’re looking for the heat to retreat, you’re out of luck.
The National Weather Service says temperatures in Southern California will stay above average through the weekend, with perhaps some relief beyond that.
Weather officials say a stubborn ridge of high pressure is standing in the way of cooler Pacific air. Instead of average highs topping out in the low 80s in the LA …

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State moving toward computerized student testing; Tsunami threat is real; Council okays new L.A. murals

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School testing. California lawmakers are moving to ditch the state’s standardized exams for public school students and replace them with a new computerized system next spring. Backers say the new tests will help speed the transition to Common Core standards in California, which are designed to develop critical thinking and writing skills.
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla authored the bill. She says it would let teachers see …

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L.A. fast food workers hit the streets for higher pay; Lawmakers reject Brown’s prison fix; Rizzo trial soon

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Fast food strike. A national protest by fast-food workers over low wages arrived in Los Angeles this morning as employees began walking off the job in a one-day strike.
In recent months the fast food industry has become a battleground over the issue of minimum wage, with workers striking to demand a so called “living wage” of up to $15 dollars an hour, plus benefits …

Environment, Featured, Issues, Today's News, Warren Olney »

Race on to shore up overwhelmed foster care system; Rim Fire progress; Perez vows no more early releases

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Foster care. The head of L.A. County’s child welfare agency says his department was caught off-guard by the state’s threat to impose fines over problems in the foster care system.
County officials have faced a huge increase in the number of children entering protective care this summer. That’s led some children to be kept for extended periods in so-called “holding rooms,” where they wait until …

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Leonard: Novelist who skewered Hollywood dies at 87; State can force feed striking prisoners; Tahoe dispute

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Elmore Leonard. Crime novelist Elmore Leonard has died, two weeks after suffering a stroke.
Leonard published more than 40 novels and many were made into Hollywood films. Among them: “Get Shorty” and “3:10 to Yuma.” More recently, he served as executive producer of the TV drama series “Justified” on FX.
Leonard’s works were populated by schemers, con men and casual killers. He was noted for his …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Issues, Today's News, Warren Olney »

CHP sending out text messages in latest Amber Alert; Obama in L.A.; An Imax makeover for Chinese Theatre

AMBERALERT

Missing children. An Amber Alert has been declared and a massive search is underway for a man suspected of killing a San Diego County woman and kidnapping her children. The alert has prompted authorities to send out a slew of emergency text messages to state residents.
Authorities say James Lee DiMaggio killed 44-year-old Christina Anderson in the rural community of Boulevard, near the Mexican border, …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Featured, Sports, Today's News »

Foundation floats plan for big L.A. River water wheel; Prison chief to meet hunger strikers; Tower troubles

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Water works. Imagine gazing upon the Los Angeles River near downtown and seeing a tranquil retreat rather than concrete drainage system surrounded by an an industrialized wasteland.
That’s what Lauren Bon hopes to see.
Bon is a local artist and director of the Annenberg Foundation. She’s seeking permission for the foundation to build a 70-foot water wheel and a lush sanctuary on the west side of …

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