<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:18:31 -0700 Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:18:31 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Traveler Warning: Guard Your Boarding Pass]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:35:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Boarding_Pass_Security_Warning_1200x675_542079555579.jpg

As many people gear up for the busy holiday traveling season, experts are warning travelers to guard their boarding passes, which could be targets for identity thieves to steal your frequent flier miles or even your return flight.

Somewhere between the lines, the luggage and the landings, it’s not uncommon to simply toss a boarding pass once you’ve used it.

“You think it’s a piece of paper, I already flew, so what’s the point,” said Matthew Klint, a blogger with upgrade.com.

Klint said that if you’re between flights, the boarding pass you trashed is a door for an identity thief to walk through.

“Every airline has a vulnerability,” he said. “All you need is this confirmation number which will appear somewhere on any boarding pass.”

Klint said the flight confirmation number is the key to unlocking any account with a smartphone or laptop.

“It works with United, works with Delta, works with American,” he said.

Klint used confirmation numbers for all three airlines, in each case the six-digit number grants significant access to personal information.

“If you’ve got a return trip, they can cancel it,” Klint said. “If they want to change it, they have access to more of your personal information, telephone numbers, potentially birth dates, frequent flier numbers.”

Klint said if you can’t shred your boarding pass between flights, at the very least, don’t let it out of your sight.

“This advice is simple. Just hold on to your boarding passes.”

There are also free phone apps that allow identity thieves to scan the bar code on a boarding pass and collect your flight data.

NBC4 reached out to American, Delta and United Airlines and all said they have significant levels of security to protect customer information.

American Airlines said its boarding passes meet all federal and international travel standards.

Delta said any alterations to an account automatically trigger an alert for the customer and that changing any flights would require a credit card, which also carries heightened levels of security.

United’s security is similar to Delta’s and doesn’t allow you to access the flight account once booked until 24 hours before the flight, with any changes triggering notifications to the traveler.

Both the airlines and travel experts agree that using an electronic boarding pass on your smartphone is safer, just don’t lose your phone.

<![CDATA[Freeway Construction Accident Causes Injuries]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 10:35:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/corona_construction_accident.PNG

Nine workers were injured, three critically, late Friday night when a freeway ramp under construction in Corona partially collapsed, officials said.

The collapse was reported about 11 p.m. at the Corona (91) Freeway at East Grand Boulevard, according to the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

Part of an on-ramp was being lowered into place when the jacking operation failed, causing the bridge deck to drop about 16 inches and strike the temporary wooden support beams. Those beams hit workers and caused injury, according to a news release from the RCTC.

Kassandra Juarez, who was in the area at the time, said the collapse sounded "like a big boom. Like an earthquake, the ground started shaking."

The injured workers were taken to a hospital. One was released and three were hospitalized in critical condition.

The workers are affiliated with Atkinson Walsh Construction Joint Venture, the prime contractor, officials said.

Engineers inspected the bridge Saturday morning. Officials said the incident did not affect the 91 Freeway.

The on-ramp construction was a part of the 91 Project, which will add regular and toll express lanes, and direct lane connections to the 15 Freeway. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

East Grand Boulevard was closed between 3rd and Joy streets, according to the Corona Police Department.

On Saturday, all lanes on the 91 Freeway were open, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Jason Kandel and Jamie Bankson contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Perfect Storm for Traffic Nightmare Brewing in LA]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 09:20:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/281*120/1340028201.jpg

Anyone planning to be on Southern California roads this weekend should consider planning ahead and leaving early, with a series of potentially traffic-snarling events on tap – highlighted by a 6 1/2-hour visit by President Barack Obama.

Obama is schedule to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 1 p.m. Saturday, and he will attend at least three fundraising events, two at the exclusive homes of key supporters and one concert in Pacific Palisades.

Although the president generally travels by helicopter to and from the actual airport, his motorcade will likely force rolling closures of streets in West Los Angeles, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. Obama is scheduled to depart from LAX about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Click here for a list of road closures during the president's visit.

Meanwhile, JPL will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Pasadena. That’s followed by a Saturday night soccer match between the United States and Mexico, which is expected to draw more than 90,000 fans to the Rose Bowl. The match begins at 6 p.m.

Also beginning around 6 p.m. will be Game 2 of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets at Dodger Stadium.

And at 7 p.m., the Zac Brown Band will perform at the Hollywood Bowl.

The traffic tie-ups continue Sunday when thousands of people take part in AIDS Walk Los Angeles in West Hollywood.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Kills Man Inside McDonald's]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 03:54:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-9-15-McDonalds.JPG

A man was killed Friday night at a McDonald's in Menifee, deputies said.

The shooting happened around 6 p.m. in the 28000 block of Bradley Road near the 215 Freeway, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said the male victim was fatally shot by a woman inside the McDonalds.

The woman was taken into custody at the McDonalds, deputies said.

Deputies did not identify the woman or provide a motive for the murder.

The cause of the shooting was under investigation.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Burglar Hit By Uber Driver]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 06:55:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/suspect_hit_by_driver.PNG

A suspected burglar was injured Friday night after he was accidentally struck by an Uber driver in Hollywood, police said.

The incident was reported around 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocford Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The man was struck after he saw police and began to run into oncoming traffic, according to the LAPD.

The man sustained injuries to his legs and was transported to a hospital where he was expected to survive, according to the LAPD.

Police found about $900 in property taken during a home robbery in Azusa, according to the LAPD.

Police said the suspected burglar would be taken into custody after he is discharged from the hospital.

Photo Credit: ANG]]>
<![CDATA[Blasts at Turkish Peace Rally Kill at Least 86]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:16:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_366162903139.jpg

At least 86 people were killed and 186 injured in twin bomb explosions Saturday outside the main train station in the Turkish capital Ankara where protesters were gathering for a peace march, prosecutors said, NBC News reported.

"I heard one big explosion first and tried to cover myself as the windows broke. Right away there was the second one," said Serdar, 37, who was working at a newspaper stand in the station. "There was shouting and crying and I stayed under the newspapers for a while. I could smell burnt flesh."

In the chaotic aftermath of the blasts, the death toll continued to climb. Health minister Mehmet Muezinoglu said 62 people died at the scene while 24 others died after being taken to the hospital.

The blasts came ahead of a planned political rally by labor unions and aid groups protesting the country's conflict with Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey.

The cause of the blasts was not immediately clear, but a senior Turkish security official told Reuters that they were the result of a suicide bombing.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[LAUSD to Allow Some Filming on Campuses During Review]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:16:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAUSD_Rents_Out_Schools_for_Racy_Entertainment_1200x675_540666435978.jpg

Controversy continued Friday over Hollywood shoots at local public schools, as one day after LA school district leaders suspended film production on all campuses, the filming resumed.

Following an NBC4 I-Team investigation that found filming had interrupted some school activities and had included racy content, including a pornographic movie, Superintendent Ramon Cortines issued a statement late Thursday afternoon saying that he was suspending all filming pending an internal district review of filming policies.

But parents contacted NBC4 Friday, upset to find a shoot for a FOX TV show taking place at John Marshall High School in Los Feliz.

Late Friday afternoon, Cortines issued a statement reversing course on the Thursday ban, saying filming "may be approved on a case-by-case basis" but will not "formally lift the suspension until staff has completed their review."

NBC4’s investigation found racy content being filmed at schools, including a pornographic movie.

Records revealed film shoots have also caused major disruptions: the bell schedule has been delayed, classes moved and athletic practices canceled.

Most schools contacted don't have a policy to notify parents about filming.

Some parents said that when they called Marshall High to find out what was going on today and no one could tell them anything.

“They should let all the parents know when they’re going to film and when, what time and what kind of filming their doing,” one parent said.

<![CDATA[True Blue Dodger Fans]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 05:53:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/150406-opening-day-true-blue-fan-thumbnail2.jpg See photos of fans showing their "True Blue" Dodger pride this 2015 season.

Photo Credit: Kim Baldonado]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Girl Allegedly Kidnapped, Raped on Way to School]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:36:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/adelanto_alleged_rape.PNG

Sheriff's deputies were asking for the public's help in finding two men who kidnapped a 15-year-old girl on her way to school in Adelanto and raped her.

The girl was walking from her home to Adelanto High School about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday when two men in a car pulled up next to her near Jonathan Street and Mojave Drive (map). The passenger got out, grabbed the girl and forced her into the back of the car, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said.

The victim told investigators the men drove her to a nearby location and raped her inside the car. She was dropped off and went to school. She reported the assault the next day.

Investigators said it was unclear why the girl did not report the alleged assault until Thursday.

Parents of students at Adelanto High School said they received a message from the principal about the alleged assault and were taking precautions.

One of the attackers was described as 6 feet 3 inches tall with a heavy build. He had short black hair, facial hair, a large nose and a deep voice. The man also had a tattoo of a tiger head and paw on his left chest.

The other attacker was described as having a medium height and build. He had short hair on the sides with longer dreadlocks or possibly curls on top.

The men were in an older model four-door Toyota. It was teal with a tan interior, and the windows were not tinted.

Investigators said they were hoping to create composite sketches of the alleged attackers.

Anyone with information was urged to contact Sgt. Dan Babel at 760-552-6800.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[D.C. Tex-Mex Restaurant Becomes Lunchtime Seat of House Power]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:12:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/20151009+Tortilla+Coast.jpg

Tortilla Coast has been around for more than 20 years, but in Washington, everyone wants a seat at this table.

The Capitol Hill Tex-Mex restaurant is the chosen hangout for a group of about 40 conservative Republicans called the House Freedom Caucus.

The caucus -- which the White House has dubbed the Tortilla Coast caucus -- meets in the restaurant's private basement dining room every week. Capitol Hill oral history has it that this is where strategy was plotted during the 2013 government shutdown.

And recent reports indicate the caucus has been meeting here as John Boehner announced he is stepping down as House speaker and majority leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to replace him.

Not that the restaurant is going to confirm that. 

"I read that as well. I can't really speak to the veracity of that as I was not involved in any their discussions," said Will Westbrook, an assistant manager at the restaurant, with a neither-confirm-nor-deny aplomb that would stand him well in a congressional hearing.

But the guests are a little more forthcoming. 

"They're down there talking about most things that go before the House," said Matt Fuller, who covers House leadership for Roll Call. "Certainly they're talking about the speaker election and what they want from it."

The location can't be beat -- down the street from the House office buildings and just past the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill.

Plus, chili con queso can be had for less than $6 at lunch.

"This is the place to get away and have some private conversations -- and maybe get something to eat, as well," Clinton Key, a consultant, said.

One more bit of Coast lore: Paul Ryan, who is being encouraged to run for Speaker of the House, was a Tortilla Coast waiter before he held elected office. 

"It would be kind of a full-circle moment if Paul Ryan became the speaker of the house," Fuller said.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Child Care Costs Exceed Rent in Many States]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 03:16:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488834318.jpg

The high cost of sending your child to college weighs heavy on the minds of many parents, but a new study reveals another financial burden many Americans families are facing — unaffordable child care.

Child care costs for families with two children exceed rent in four out of five communities across the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s study “High Quality Child Care Is Out of Reach for Working Families.”

The EPI, a non-profit workers’ advocacy group, found that child care costs for two-child families range from about half as much as rent in San Francisco to nearly three times rent in Binghamton, New York.

The study’s authors, senior economist Elise Gould and research assistant Tanyell Cook, gauge the cost of child care across the country and illustrate the difficulties families have in meeting the costs.

What it takes to get by varies greatly across the country. A family of four living in New York, New York, must earn a median annual income of $98,722 to secure an adequate standard of living, according to the EPI’s calculations of a basic family budget. Yet, with the minimum wage in the state at $8.75 per hour, two full-time working parents only make $36,400 annually — assuming both parents works 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.

In Dallas, Texas, the annual income necessary to ensure a modest standard of living is $61,150 for a family of four. But with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the annual income for two full-time working parents falls short of securing an adequate standard of living by 50 percent.

This reality leaves few options for families, especially single mothers, with sparse financial resources.

The report points out that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that child care cost no more than 10 percent of a family’s income. But according to the EPI analysis, nowhere in the United States does infant care or child care for a 4-year-old cost less than 30 percent of a minimum-wage worker’s annual wages.

In fact, a large share of annual earnings from a full-time, full-year minimum-wage job must be devoted to child care. In California, that share is 63.5 percent for an infant while in Washington, D.C. — the highest in the nation at 102.6 percent — a minimum-wage workers is unable to bear the expense of child care. That percentage drops 8 to 20 points if your child is still is a toddler.

“The fact that child care is such a large part of families’ budgets underscores the need for a government solution,” Gould said in a press release. “It will take bold policy action to make high quality, dependable child care accessible to every family that needs it.”

But lower income families aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch of high-cost care.

The finding, published Tuesday, reveal child care costs for a 4-year-old exceed the average cost of in-state tuition at public 4-year institutions in 24 states, as well the nation’s capital. Infant care expenses, meanwhile, exceed the average in-state tuition for public colleges in 33 states and D.C.

“The high and rising cost of college tuition is well known,” Cooke said in the study’s press release. “But surprisingly, child care is an equally if not more onerous expense. In more than half the states, child care is a bigger expense than even in-state tuition at a 4-year public college.”


<![CDATA[Whale Entangled Off Orange County Coast]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:37:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-9-15-Whale.jpg

An attempt to free a whale entangled in fishing net was called off on Friday night and crews hoped to resume efforts on Saturday.

An adult fin whale was spotted about two miles off the coast of Dana Point Friday afternoon, officials with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center said in a news release.

"It's clearly not in very good health status," said Justin Viezbicke, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It's obviously been entangled for quite some time. The line is starting to cut through into the whale."

Viezbicke and six other rescue workers spent five hours trying to cut the line off the whale.

"We were on top of it," he said. "We were probably 15 or 20 feet away from this whale."

The group used a knife, which has a special safety tip so as not to stab the whale, to hook around the entanglement, but ultimately they were unsuccessful.

"When our rescuer that was operating the knife on a pole touched the whale with the knife blade, the whale spooked quite a bit and he actually flipped his fluke, trying to hit us, so it's very dangerous," said Dana Friedman, a volunteer with the National Marine Fisheries whale rescue team. "It breaks your heart when you can't help an animal."

Captain Dave Anderson, of Capt. Dave's Dana Point Whale Watching, said he's seen this whale up to four times since May, tangled up.

"About a thousand dolphins and whales are dying in nets and fishing gear entanglement every day worldwide," he said. "It's a huge problem. It's very frustrating when we get inches away from helping a whale and we just can't do it."

If you see the whale, call this number: 877-SOS-WHALE.

Photo Credit: CeCe Carson]]>
<![CDATA[UCLA Football Player Accused of Rape]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:12:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-ucla-football-adam-searl.jpg

CORRECTION: An earlier image associated with this article misidentified a member of the UCLA football team. The image has been removed.

A UCLA football player was arrested Thursday on suspicion of raping a female student last year, police said.

On Oct. 19, 2014, the student reported to police that she had met a man at an off-campus house party in Westwood earlier that day. They left to a nearby residence, where she fell asleep and awoke to find him sexually assaulting her, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The alleged victim told police she did not know her attacker.

Investigators used DNA and photos to identify Adam Searl as the suspect, said Officer Jack Richter of the LAPD.

Searl, 20, was taken into custody on campus without incident. He was booked on three counts of rape and was released on $300,000 bail.

Searl, of Irvine, is a sophomore punter for the Bruins, according to the team’s website.

"We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously," UCLA head football coach Jim Mora said in a statement. "Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time."

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.

<![CDATA[JPL Open House: Visit Mars (in Pasadena)]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:14:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jplopenhouse92832.jpg

Timing, in life, is crucial. We catch the right bus and meet our future spouse. We see an ad at the right moment and score the job. And we raise our mitt fast enough to catch the foul ball from our seat in the nosebleeds.

But timing, in space, is absolutely all, as the crew at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will attest. You have to calculate landings and lift-offs and everything in the middle with 100 percent accuracy. 

And JPL has done it again: The Pasadena space institution's annual Open House is on Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11, a weekend that comes hard on the heels of two headline-y happenings: The discovery of flowing water on Mars and the big opening of "The Martian," a fictional blockbuster that pays a visit to the very real, mountain-close, cosmos-loving brain-a-torium.

The short of it? Expect a lot of people to attend the free get-to-know-us open house, which will include "a life-size model of Mars Science Laboratory" and "demonstrations from numerous space missions" and a peek inside the machine shop "where robotic spacecraft parts are built."

Can we get an awwwwesome? Awesome.

It's highly kid-friendly, as you might expect, though anyone with a passion for space and everything that JPL is doing/exploring/trying/achieving above our planet's outer atmosphere is more than invited to swing by and burnish/further their own personal knowledge. 

JPL, which is all about knowledge, has this knowledge to share with us: The "longest lines" of the open house tend to be at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, so if that's top on your list to check out, do it first thing, right away.

There's also an Open House app that'll help you make the most of your trip to Mars -- er, Pasadena. Restrooms and line times and such are listed on the app. (And of course there is an app; this is a place that has raised the computer arts to a stratospheric level.)

Will a lot of the people who attend be fresh off seeing "The Martian" or on their way to an afternoon showing? It has stoked many imaginations, like the book it hails from, but you don't need to imagine the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: It's real and you can go there, no bulky big-helmet spacesuit required.

Photo Credit: JPL]]>
<![CDATA[Student Spared in Oregon Shooting Describes Attack]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 02:51:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_925173610712.jpg

A student whose life was spared during the mass shooting last week at an Oregon community college shared the harrowing details of the attack in a statement released on Friday.

Mathew Downing, 18, says that the gunman inexplicably chose him to bear witness and then deliver a flashdrive to police. 

"He looked directly at me and said hey kid with the glasses you are the lucky one, I will not shoot you if you give this to the cops," Downing said in the statement.

He went on to describe the attack that left nine of his classmates at Umpqua Community College dead and an additional nine wounded. The Oct. 1 mass shooting ended when gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, killed himself after he was wounded by police.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Go Above and Beyond During Distress Call]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:58:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Firefighter_Good_Deed.jpg

With all of the superhero movies showing up on the big screen, it's nice to hear about some local heroes cleaning up our streets. Or in this case, cleaning up our lawns.

Firefighters from Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 94 in Lakewood were called to assist a man in his 60s on Thursday. The man was busy trimming his trees when he fell off the ladder and broke his arm.

"After we took care of him and made sure that his wife was taken care of and she knew what hospital he was going to, we started just cleaning up his yard," said Captain Mark Lepore.

The injured man was barely in the ambulance when the firefighters started finishing the cleanup job.

"I was walking back from the ambulance and saw my captain Mark Lepore raking up the debris and Vince and Ray were setting up the ladder to finish trimming his tree," Firefighter Steve Turner wrote in a Facebook post.

"It's just the little things that we like to do," he said. "It was kind of a no-brainer."

Added Lepore: "We didn't do anything that any other firefighter wouldn't do, or any other person, for that matter."

<![CDATA[Lawsuit Dropped Against Pippen Over Alleged Assault]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:52:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_scottie_pippen_altercado.jpg

A man who accused former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen of assaulting him at a sushi restaurant in 2013 has dropped a civil lawsuit against the basketball star.

Camran Shafighi filed a $4 million lawsuit against Pippen in 2013, alleging that the former basketball star had attacked him outside Nobu in Malibu when he asked for an autograph and photo.

Shafighi said Pippen spit in his face, shoved and punched him.

Prosecutors declined to press charges against Pippen, citing insufficient evidence.

In 2014, Pippen filed a countersuit, alleging Shafighi was aggressive and intoxicated at the time of the incident and asked for unspecified damages.

Witnesses told investigators that the two men had been in an altercation, but it was unclear who had been the aggressor.

"This man was a complete fraud from the get-go. We are delighted that fact has now been demonstrably proven and Scottie and Larsa have been vindicated," attorney Mark Geragos said, on behalf of Pippen and his wife.

The case had been slated to go to trial next month.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Cosby Accusers Speak Out in 'Dateline' Special]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:51:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/150930-bill-cosby-accusers.jpg

Twenty-nine women who accuse comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault spoke out in an NBC "Dateline" special Friday.

The alleged crimes described in an hour-long broadcast spanned decades, beginning in the 1960s. Many accusers said they were introduced to the comedian professionally and believed that he would mentor them in their careers. After establishing trust, many allege that he betrayed them, giving them pills that knocked them out so that he could rape them.

"This drug lasted two to three days so by the time you came out of this state you still are questioning purely yourself," said Beth Ferrier, a woman who says that she was drugged by Cosby in the 1980s.

The interview was timed to coincide with Cosby's scheduled deposition Friday in the case of a woman who accused Cosby of molesting her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15.

Cosby's representatives have denied the allegations against him. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Police Target LA's Dangerous Intersections]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:39:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Police_Target_Dangerous_Intersections_1200x675_542072387956.jpg

The Los Angeles Police Department has identified five of the deadliest intersections in Los Angeles as part of a task force conducted on Friday that aims to reduce the number of traffic collisions.

A Directed Enforcement Task Force will target LA's most dangerous intersections that have the highest number of injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions.

"We're gonna saturate this area with officers doing enforcement and education," said Lt. David Ferry, a LAPD traffic coordinator.

All of the designated intersections are heavily populated.

"I've tried to cross and then people try to turn," said Hicela Rivas, a pedestrian. "And it's just dangerous."

But pedestrians are to blame, too, not just drivers, police said.

Some 198 people in LA were killed in intersections, half of which were pedestrians. More than half of those pedestrians killed were at fault, police said.

The most dangerous intersections, according to the LAPD:

  • Avenue 26 and Figueroa Street on the east side;
  • Wilshire Boulevard and Alvarado Street near MacArthur Park;
  • Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard near the Metro Station;
  • Alvarado Street and Temple Street;
  • Melrose Avenue and Vermont Avenue

<![CDATA[Dodgers Wilt Under Heat in Game 1 of NLDS]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:29:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Clayton+Kershaw+Wilts+in+Postseason+Again.png

In nine career postseason starts, Clayton Kershaw has one win. In one career postseason start, Jacob DeGrom, has one win. That is all you need to know.

DeGrom outdueled Kershaw in one of the best pitching matchups in postseason history and the Los Angeles Dodgers wilted under the pressure, falling to the New York Mets 3-1 in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

"I got outpitched, that's the moral of the story," Kershaw said after the game. "Jacob pitched an amazing game, but he outpitched me, plain and simple."

For those in attendance in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS, it felt like déjà vu all over again.

For six innings, Kershaw looked like his dominant MVP self, only to run out of gas in the seventh and send Dodger fans home with that painfully familiar feeling of a postseason loss.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the seventh, Kershaw walked three batters to load the bases with two outs. It was the first time Kershaw had walked three in one inning since April 23, 2013, and it would be the last batter he'd face in the game.

"In that 7th inning, you obviously can't walk that many guys,"Kershaw said. "I put myself in that situation, so there's not a lot of arguing you can do at that point."

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly opted to pull Kershaw and brought in Pedro Baez to try and blow heat by Mets third baseman David Wright.

For many in Los Angeles, we had seen this story before.

In 2014, with the Dodgers down a run, Mattingly pulled Kershaw in the seventh to give way to Baez who promptly walked a batter before allowing a three-run homer to Matt Holliday.

Needless to say, the results were disastrous again.

Baez gave up a two-run single to Wright who gave the Mets a 3-0 lead, sending the Dodgers to a stinging defeat in Game 1 of a best-of-five series.

Kershaw was strong, allowing three runs on just four hits in 6.2 innings. By the end of the fifth inning, Kershaw had totaled 11 strikeouts, just one shy of his postseason high of 12.

But DeGrom was better, striking out 13 batters in seven shutout innings. He outlasted Kershaw allowing just five scattered hits throughout the game.

"I know what he's doing, but my game plan stays the same," DeGrom said of the battle with Kershaw. "Go put up zeros and keep us in a position to win."

For the first seven innings, it was a classic postseason pitching duel as both starting pitchers struck out at least 11 batters for the first time in MLB Playoff history.

Yet, Kershaw wilted under the heat of the 90-degree October sun and suffered another tragic postseason loss, his fifth consecutive, dropping him to 1-6 in his playoff career.

Daniel Murphy hit a 94MPH fastball off Kershaw into the Mets bullpen in the fourth inning to give New York an early 1-0 lead.

"My first at-bat he chewed me up and spit me out," Murphy said of Kershaw. "He doesn't make a lot of mistakes and I was really fortunate to put a good swing on the ball he threw me on my second at-bat."

The Dodgers got some help in the early innings as left fielder Michael Cuddyer misplayed not one, but two fly balls that lead to doubles. However, LA stranded both runners, unable to get any big hits off DeGrom.

The Dodgers would finally scratch a run across in the eighth inning, after DeGrom had left the game. Howie Kendrick doubled off reliever Tyler Clippard and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single to left field.

Mets manager Terry Collins immediately went to the bullpen, calling for Jeurys Familia for a four-out save. Familia retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth to earn his first career postseason save.

The Mets were playing in their first postseason game since 2006 when they swept the Dodgers in three games. They improved to 3-1 all time in Game 1 of an NLDS, with two of those wins coming against Los Angeles.

Game Notes:
A.J. Ellis went 1-for-3 and extended his postseason hitting streak to a Dodgers franchise record 11 games.

Daniel Murphy joined Carlos Delgado and Edgardo Alfonzo as the only Mets to have homered in their postseason debut.

Since current Wild Card format, team who wins the first game is 11-1 since the Wild Card Game was introduced in 2012.

The Dodgers and Mets combined for 27 strikeouts, one shy of the all-time postseason record.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Mountain Lions Found Dead in Recent Weeks]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:05:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/12-19-14-mountain+lion+sherry+kempster+newbury+park.JPG

Three young mountain lions have been found dead in the Santa Monica Mountains in recent weeks.

The cat known as P-34 died from rat poisoning was on Sept. 30 on a trail in Point Mugu State Park, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

These deaths illustrate the difficulty of carnivores surviving into adulthood in urbanized areas and fragmented landscapes, the statement said.

"If you're a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains, this is just not an easy place to grow up," said Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist for the National Park Service. "From our roads to rat poisons to potentially increased interactions with other mountains lions, it is very difficult for young animals to make it to adulthood, establish their own home range and reproduce."

The National Park Service has documented that wildlife around the Santa Monica Mountains has been exposed to rat poison in the area.

Two other mountain lions and many coyotes have died as a result to rat poisoning, and the poisons have been associated with a severe disease epidemic in bobcats, officials said.

P-34 made headlines last December after she was found walking alongside a woman's backyard wall in Ventura County. Her sibling, P-32, was struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 5 in August.

Photo Credit: Sherry Kempster]]>
<![CDATA[DUI Suspect to Police: 'My Dog Was Driving the Car']]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:57:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Reliford-Cooper.jpg

A Florida man was arrested in Sarasota Wednesday evening after driving into a ditch, twice, hiding in a church bathroom, and telling police that his dog was actually the one driving the car, NBC-affiliate WPTV reports.

Manatee County deputies spotted Reliford Cooper after he was speeding through residential streets. Deputies chased Cooper after he drove through a ditch, crashed his car into a house and fled.

Cooper was tracked down after a K-9 officer found his shirt in front of a nearby church, where he was hiding in the bathroom.

While he was being arrested Cooper reportedly asked deputies "Who was chasing me? You're slow as ***!"

After a deputy claimed to smell alcohol and marijuana on the suspect, Cooper said, "My dog was driving that car. I ran because I wanted to. You ain't gonna find no drugs or guns on me."

Cooper then began vomiting and was transported to the hospital. He was later taken to jail.

Jail records did not indicate attorney information for Cooper.

Photo Credit: Manatee County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Joe Biden's Campaign Delay Could Cost Him in Iowa]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:02:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/biden-GettyImages-467221349.jpg

The caucuses in Iowa are less than four months away, and Vice President Joe Biden’s long will-he-run-won’t-he-run drama may be hurting his chances in the early battleground state as his rivals are progressively solidifying their campaign infrastructures

As Biden mulls whether to jump into the presidential race, the rest of the Democratic field are securing commitments from activists around Iowa, NBC News reported.

"I'm for Hillary because Joe Biden hasn't started raising money, and he hasn't said anything about a platform," Gloria Gardner, 63, a retired Wal-Mart clerk in Council Bluffs, said on Wednesday. "I think it's too late for him if he even tried. And I don't know if his heart is really in it."

The Draft Biden effort has just two paid staffers on the ground compared to Hillary Clinton's 78 and Sanders' 60 organizers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mom's Boyfriend Duct-Taped Kids to Watch 'Mommie Dearest']]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:04:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Mary_Lucas.jpg

When one mommy heard her kids call her "the meanest mommy" in the world, police say she wanted to show them what a real mean mommy is – by allegedly having her boyfriend force her two boys to watch the movie "Mommie Dearest."

And he did when he duct-taped to chairs.

Mary Lucas, 28, told Nebraska City police the movie was "Hollywood's perfect representation of a mean mother," the arrest affidavit obtained by the Smoking Gun said. 

Lucas' boyfriend, Glenn Oliver, 29,  allegedly duct-taped her sons, a 4 year old and a 6 year old, to chairs after the mother instructed him to make the kids watch the movie, police said in the affidavit.

When asked if this was the first time the boys had been duct-taped as punishment, Lucas said no but the boys told police they had been duct-taped by "Daddy Glenn" in the past. Lucas also claimed she was not home when the movie incident took place and the children told the Child Advocacy Center that was also not true, according to the affidavit.

Lucas told police that her mother had made her watch the movie when she was only 4 years old but the affidavit did not state if she had also been duct-taped.

When police knocked on Oliver's door, he allegedly said "I know why you're here," the police arrest said. He told police he had been "playing" with the boys when he duct-taped them to the chairs. Oliver said he was playing at first but realized the boys were calm after he taped them, the arrest affidavit said.

Oliver,was charged with child abuse and false imprisonment, the Smoking Gun reports. Lucas has been charged with child abuse for letting Oliver duct-tape her children. 

It was not clear is Oliver or Lucas had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Nebraska City Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Thief Swipes Beauty Supplies]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:38:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-beauty-bandit.jpg

Swiping teeth whitening strips from a San Pedro store was apparently not enough for a crook with a hankering for beauty products.

Police say minutes later, the man jostled out of another store carrying two shopping baskets full of Rogaine.

The thefts occurred on the night of Aug. 22, and police are hoping surveillance video might jog the memory of someone familiar with the thief.

The man, dressed in sneakers, blue jeans and a black-and-white polo, grabs two shopping baskets on the way in to a Target in San Pedro. Less than five minutes later, he can be seen sprinting through the exit with baskets filled with Crest whitening strips.

The thief then walks into a CVS Pharmacy at 311 W. Pacific Coast Highway within the hour. He again grabs two baskets, then runs away with Rogaine in tow.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[What Next for SeaWorld After Ban?]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:08:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Baby+whale+takes+a+breath.jpg

SeaWorld says denying orcas' their ability to breed is cruel, but it was unclear Friday whether the corporation will fight such a ban at its California park and risk further hurting attendance.

Company officials said they were reviewing their options a day after the California Coastal Commission approved a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego -- but banned breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them. The panel's decision raised an array of questions, including whether the company would proceed with the project or raise a legal challenge, possibly on whether the commission overstepped its authority.

Deciding the next step could be tricky for SeaWorld. The company has been struggling with falling stock prices and park attendance numbers since the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which suggests SeaWorld's treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior.

If SeaWorld abandons its expansion for its orca facility to get around having its breeding program banned, then it risks giving the public the perception that it never intended to build bigger tanks to benefit the park's 11 killer whales and would rather simply breed more in captivity, said Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for The Humane Society of the United States.

The ban on breeding, including through artificial insemination, would apply only to the California park and not SeaWorld facilities in other states. The commission also prohibited the sale, trade or transfer of captive orcas within the state. The amendment does provide a potential exemption for certain whales caught in the wild.

Suing the state over the ruling could be costly and time-consuming. A ruling in its favor would mean the company must return to the commission again to get another permit for its "Blue World" project, set to open in 2018, which would triple the size of existing killer whale enclosures.

SeaWorld should learn from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, Fearing said. That company announced in March that its three touring circuses would phase out elephant acts by 2018 because of a shift in public attitudes.

If SeaWorld moved forward with its plans under the commission's various conditions, it would win back many of its critics, Fearing said.

"It's clear where public opinion is and the unanimous vote from the California Coastal Commission only added to the barrage over the last couple years," she said. "The writing is on the wall and it's time for them to stop fighting and evolve."

Animal rights activists praised the decision as marking the end of the ocean park's use of orcas.

SeaWorld officials expressed concern: "A ban on breeding would sentence these animals to a slow extinction in our care," said John Reilly, president of SeaWorld San Diego, who rushed out of the building after the vote.

"SeaWorld maintains that's not an issue the coastal commission should be dealing with, they should either say can we approve this or can we not, and to put that condition," San Diego State University marketing professor Miro Copic told NBC 7. "I'm sure they there's going to be an appeal process for SeaWorld for that."

While animal rights groups claim victory, don't expect SeaWorld to abandon the future of it's whale shows without a fight. Ultimately it's a public relations battle.

NBC 7 asked a number of local folks if the negative publicity and recent decision has impacted their view of SeaWorld.

Some said no. One woman visiting from Vermont said her view of SeaWorld has been affected by social media, where the resounding word is to stay away.

The company declined to answer questions Friday on the ruling but sent a statement from Joel Manby, SeaWorld's president and chief executive, saying: "Depriving these social animals of the natural and fundamental right to reproduce is inhumane and we do not support this condition."

During Thursday's heated meeting attended by hundreds, SeaWorld attorney David Watson told the panel "the state of California does not have jurisdiction to regulate the management and care of marine mammal collections."

"We believe that federal law expressly pre-empts all state regulation" of the orcas, he said. "All marine mammal exhibits are regulated exclusively by the federal government."

The condition was among several set by the commission that regulates land and water use along the California coast, including that no new whales from the wild will be kept in the new tanks. SeaWorld says it hasn't captured wild orcas in more than 30 years.

Deborah A. Sivas, director of Stanford University's Environmental Law Clinic, said she believes the ruling has a good chance of withstanding a legal challenge.

SeaWorld draws saltwater from Mission Bay for its killer whale pools. That means the facility would use a marine resource for the tanks and therefore the commission has a say over the animals living in them, she said.

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[How to Avoid Traffic During President Obama's LA Visit Saturday]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:18:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_285754319491.jpg

With President Barack Obama scheduled to visit the Los Angeles area for about 6 1/2 hours on Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a list of areas motorists should try to avoid to prevent being stuck in presidential motorcade traffic.

Obama's exact motorcade route is never released to the public.

According to the LAPD, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., motorists should avoid
the areas around:

  • Sunset Boulevard between Rivas Canyon Road and Monaco Drive;
  • Capri Drive between Corsica Drive and Casale Road; and
  • Casale Road between Capri Drive and San Remo Drive.

From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., motorists should avoid:

  • Amalfi Drive between San Remo and Capri drives;
  • Capri Drive between Amalfi Drive and Sunset; and
  • Pavia Place between Sunset Boulevard and Amalfi Drive.

From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., motorists should avoid:

  • Sunset between Westcove and Minorca drives;
  • Allenford Avenue/26th Street between Sunset and San Vicente Boulevard;
  • San Vicente Boulevard between 25th Street and Wilshire Boulevard;
  • Wilshire between Barry and Devon avenues;
  • Beverly Glen Avenue between Ashton Avenue and Charing Cross Road;
  • Mapleton Drive between Club View and Wynton drives.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., motorists should avoid:

  • Beverly Glen Drive between Wynton Drive and Pico Boulevard;
  • Pico Boulevard between Patricia Avenue and Avenue of the Stars; and
  • Motor Avenue between Pico and Monte Mar Drive.

Police said Sepulveda Boulevard will be closed between Lincoln and Century boulevards for a roughly eight-minute period sometime between 12:45 and 1:15 p.m.

Will Rogers State Park will be closed from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., while

Cheviot Hills Recreation Center and Park will be closed until 7:30 p.m.

San Remo Drive in Pacific Palisades will be closed between Casale Road
and Amalfi Drive from about 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Amalfi Drive will be closed between 3 and 5 p.m. between Napoli and Minorca drives, and South Mapleton Drive will be closed from 5 to 7 p.m. between Wyton and Club View drives.

Club View will be closed between South Beverly Glen Boulevard and Comstock Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m. Motor Avenue will be closed from Pico to Monte Mar Drive between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[City Council Approves Seismic Retrofitting Measure]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 10:48:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lafile-san-adreas-fault.jpg

Thousands of buildings across Los Angeles must be beefed up to better resist collapsing during a major earthquake, under a long-awaited ordinance passed Friday by the City Council and quickly signed into law by the mayor.

Officials expressed confidence that remaining issues over how to pay for it can be resolved in the next few months.

"There will be a future earthquake at which we will come back and say nobody died because this city council, this mayor, took action and got rid of the buildings that we know kill people," said Lucy Jones, the seismologist on loan from the US Geological Survey who dedicated a year to help Los Angeles improve seismic safety.

The retrofit law targets some 13,500 apartment buildings with so-called "soft story" ground floors,
and an estimated 1,500 older concrete buildings considered "non-ductile," or brittle,
all constructed before 1980.

It affects, in all, some 185,000 housing units, along with a multitude of major office buildings.

The concrete buildings will be more difficult and costly to reinforce, the expense in some cases expected to exceed $1 million. Under the new retrofitting law, owners of those buildings will have 25 years to comply.

The wood-framed soft-story apartments can be reinforced at a cost of between $5,000 and $10,000 per unit, said Jones. Owners will have seven years to do the work.

The vulnerabilities of both construction methods have been underscored in previous quakes. The Olive View Medical Center — considered to have had non-ductile construction — collapsed during the 1971 Sylmar Quake. The pancaking of the Northridge Meadows apartment building onto the ground floor parking killed 16 people during the 1994 Northridge Quake.

The city of Los Angeles is not making public its list of the buildings identified as in need of retrofitting. The city's building department expects to begin notifying building owners shortly on a priority basis — taller buildings first. Tenants will not be notified by the city.

"The tenants have to be notified by the owner when the work is going to happen," said Frank Bush, general manager of the LA's Department of Building and Safety.

Groups often at odds representing the interests of apartment owners and renters have found common ground in supporting the retrofitting ordinance, but still have differences over how the cost should be allocated.

A bill passed by the legislature would provide tax credits to building owners for up to 30 percent of retrofitting expenses. The bill, by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, is now on Governor Brown's desk. He has until Sunday to veto it, sign it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

"The Governor's not a big fan of tax credits," Garcetti said.

Other government subsidies or discounts are also under consideration to defray the retrofitting expense.

"We're waiting to see if these things will bring the cost down for both sides, and then we'll look at probably a pass-through where the owner and residents would split" the cost, said James Clarke, executive director of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.

It's believed city rental control applies to many of the units in the soft-story apartments affected by the ordinance.

One proposal considered by the City Council would be to divide  the net retrofitting cost evenly between the building owner and tenants, and cap the tenant's share at $38 per month, but that was not part of the ordinance as passed Friday.

"Right now 100 percent could be passed through to the renters," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. "They could see rent increases of $75 a month."

In buildings with lower income tenants, the impact could be devastating, Green said.

"We could see mass displacement — not from an earthquake — but from rent increases,"
Green said.

City Hall will look further at the funding issues, said Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose committee brought the retrofitting bill to the full council.

Garcetti said the city is committed to protecting affordable housing and avoiding the loss of units from quake damage as happened with the Northridge, which he said claimed 49,000 units.

"These proposals are specifically designed to be achievable," Garcetti said.

The retrofitting mandate is part of the Mayor's initiative to address the city's vulnerabilities
from natural disaster, including drought and a major earthquake.

Last December, the Mayor's office released the "Resilience by Design" plan, setting forth recommendations for reducing casualties and protecting the city's water supplies, communications infrastructure and buildings.

The action plan states that future earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault are expected to reach magnitude-7.8 or higher. The devastating Northridge quake was magnitude 6.7, but Los Angeles should "set a higher standard than having recovered" from the 1994 earthquake, according to the report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Military Dad Surprises Daughter]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:45:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/100915+pembroke+pines+soldier+reunited+with+daughter.jpg

An unsuspecting high school senior thought she was attending a school assembly Friday morning but instead walked right into an emotional, surprise reunion with her military father.

Kiana Jones, a senior at Somerset Academy High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, believed her father would be coming home toward the end of October. Her dad, Army Lt. Col. Aaron Jones, said long separations are nothing new for the family.

"Our father-daughter bond is unique," Jones said of his only child just before the surprise reunion. "I've been in the military 18 years, so this is nothing new to her. She's pretty resilient when it comes to this, but I think today her emotions are going to show."

As the band played, students walked in holding a "welcome home" sign bearing Aaron Jones' name. Kiana Jones was in disbelief.

"When I saw his name, I was just like, 'Wait, wait like – Aaron Jones? Like, my dad?'" she told NBC 6. "It didn't make sense to me, but when I saw his boots, then I realized that he was actually here."

As her father entered the gymnasium, Kiana Jones ran to embrace him. The two hugged and cried as the band played, and the gym roared with applause and cheers.

Aaron Jones and school officials planned the reunion well in advance and managed to keep the surprise under wraps for months.

This was Aaron Jones' fifth deployment of his military career. For the past nine months, he's served in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a result, Aaron Jones missed his daughter's entire junior year, making Friday's reunion even more special.

"It's just, it's amazing," Kiana Jones said, wiping away tears of joy. "I'm just happy to have him home safe."

Aaron Jones is on reserve and said he doesn't expect to be heading anywhere anytime soon.

<![CDATA[Suspected Gunman Arrested in Venice Boardwalk Shooting]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:20:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/150830-venice-boardwalk-shooting.jpg

A suspected gunman was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a homeless man on the Venice Boardwalk in August, police announced Friday.

Francisco Guzman was located in Los Angeles by the FBI-LAPD Fugitive Task Force on Monday. He was arrested on a charge of murder and his bail was set at $3 million, the LAPD said in a news release.

Police responded to a call of a shooting around 2 a.m. August 30 at Ocean Front Walk and Dudley Avenue.

Jascent-Jamal Warren, 26, was found not breathing and unresponsive on the boardwalk. The second victim suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

Witnesses said the attack followed a dispute that began after a group of homeless people gathered outside of Cadillac Hotel on Dudley Avenue.

Sris Sinnathamby, the owner of the hotel, was charged with murder Sept. 1 in connection with the shooting. Prosecutors said he didn't kill Warren, but he may have directed the attack.

The incident led to discussion of an ordinance that would not allow people to sleep, sit or lie in a public street or sidewalk during nighttime or overnight hours, to further avoid similar conflicts.

Photo Credit: RMG News/KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Social Worker Facing Child Porn, Human Trafficking Charges]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:34:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-GettyImages-141810855.jpg

A Massachusetts social worker was arrested this week on human trafficking and child porn charges after he allegedly paid three teenage girls to send him naked pictures of themselves.

Rick Hall, 34, of Wakefield - the owner of North Shore Recovery Management in Reading - was arraigned Thursday in Woburn District Court on charges of human trafficking of a child under 18, enticement of a child by electronic communication, posing a child in a state of nudity and possession of child pornography. 

Bail was set at $100,000 cash, and Hall was ordered not to have contact with the victims, not to use the internet, not to work with or volunteer with anyone under the age of 18, and to surrender his passport.

Police said Hall had allegedly been communicating electronically with three 15-year-old girls who live out of state, and enticed them to exchange pornographic images of themselves in exchange for money.

Hall's social worker's license has been suspended by the Division of Professional Licensure pending an investigation and a hearing.

According to its website, North Shore Recovery Management helps manage substance abuse, psyciatric disorders and compulsive sexual behaviors, including the overuse of pornography and sex addiction. A message on the website says new patients are "not currently" being accepted.

"As a social worker, the defendant was mandated by statute to report any form of child abuse," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said. "Instead, the defendant allegedly violated the ethical standards of his position by exploiting minors, and exchanged money for lewd photographs."

Reading Police Chief James Cormier called the allegations "extremely troubling," and urged all parents to closely monitor their children's activities ont he internet, including their social media accounts.

Hall is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 5.

It was not clear whether or not Hall has an attorney.

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Gun Used in Pair of Slayings]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:37:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/audrey-carey-steve-carter.jpg

The gun used to kill both a tantra yoga teacher hiking in Fairfax, California, and a Canadian tourist in San Francisco was stolen from a car parked near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco police revealed in a news conference Friday.

And the motive for both homicides appears to be robbery, Cmdr. Toney Chaplin said — the first time a possible reason for the seemily bizarre and violent deaths on two innocent victims was revleaed.

On Friday, the Marin County District Attorney charged drifters Sean Michael Angold, 24, Morrison Haze Lampley, 23, and Lila Scott Alligood, 18, with the murders of the hiker and Canadian tourist.

Chaplin said the gun was stolen Sept. 30 from a lock box in the car, which had been parked in a residential neighborhood near the wharf. Chaplin said the driver accidentally left the car unlocked. The owner reported it stolen Oct. 1.

Two days later, on Oct. 3, Audrey Carey, 23, who lives near Montreal, Quebec, was found shot in the head in Golden Gate Park as thousands gathered nearby for the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, according to police. She had been on a solo backpacking trip, Chaplin said, "doing what young people do." Her body was found in a wooded area. Carey's mother, through a statement, has asked for privacy. But Chaplin said that Carey's family is glad that suspects are behind bars. "They've endured a great tragedy," he said.

Then, on Monday, tantra yoga teacher Steve Carter, 67, was shot multiple times and killed while hiking with his dog on a popular trail in Fairfax, police said. Carter had recently moved from Middletown, California, to be with his wife, Lokita, as she sought breast cancer treatment at the Marin Cancer Institute. A memorial for Carter is scheduled for Halloween.

Authorities arrested drifters Angold, 24, Lampley, 23, and Alligood, 18, in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday. They were being held Friday morning at the Multnomah County jail without bail. Detectives tracked the three to Portland using the GPS tracking in Carter's stolen Jetta, which he left near the trail head before his hike. And Chaplin said on Friday that they also found some of Carey's personal belongings, including her camping gear, with the suspects, too.

Jail records show the three were booked on a Marin County warrant on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder and robbery. San Francisco police said the trio will also be arrested on charges of robbery and murder in connection with Carey's death. They could be extradited to the Bay Area next week.

The deaths mark the third high-profile homicide in which a stolen gun was used to kill an innocent victim in the Bay Area.

Kate Steinle was killed July 1 on Pier 14 in San Francisco with a gun stolen from the car of a federal Bureau of Land Management agent, whose vehicle was burglarized while the agent was doing business in San Francisco.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Police via Carey Family/Ecstatic Living Institute
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<![CDATA[San Diegan Hurt in NAU Shooting]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:54:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nick-dimo-prato-NAU-Sweatshirt_scene.jpg

A San Diego man was among the three students injured in Friday's shooting at Northern Arizona University, his mother told NBC 7.

One student was killed and three others were wounded after a freshman opened fire during a confrontation between two separate groups of students in Flagstaff, Arizona, police said.

Among the victims was Nicholas Prato of Rancho Penasquitos. He was being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center along with victims Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring.

The deceased student was identified by NAU officials as Colin Brough.

Prato's mother Kimberly Dimo Prato, spoke with NBC 7 briefly as she prepared to travel to Arizona Friday morning.

A 2 a.m. phone call from Flagstaff officials told her Nicholas had been shot in the neck. The bullet went in and out of the neck and her son was able to hold on, she explained.

He even managed to get a brief description of the suspect and give that to authorities before he was transported, she said.

The alleged gunman, who was identified as eighteen-year-old Steven Jones, was take into custody at the scene “without further trouble," campus police chief Greg Fowler said.

The shooting occurred outside Mountain View Hall dormitory, where most of the school's fraternity members live.

A court document says Jones retrieved a gun from his car following a fistfight.

Jones told NAU police that several people approached him and two of his friends as they were outside a residence early Friday. He said a fight ensued and he was punched in the face.

Jones says he was chased by several people as he ran to his car and then he yelled at them that he had a gun.

As two people approached him, Jones says he shot both of them. Witnesses say the victims were about 10 feet away.

Prato was visiting a friend with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting and did not know the alleged gunman, his mother said. 

The young man identified by NAU officials as the one victim killed in the shooting, Colin Brough, was Nicholas' best friend, his mother said.

On his Facebook page, Nicholas Prato identifies himself as a 2013 graduate of West View High School in the Poway Unified School District.

Delta Chi executive director Justin Sherman said in a letter in the aftermath of the shooting that Brough, Prato, Zientek and Piring are members of the fraternity.

The alleged gunman was not a member of the fraternity.

Classes will go on as scheduled on Friday, but “this is not going to be a normal day at NAU," Rita Cheng, the university's president said. "Our hearts are heavy." 

<![CDATA[SD Among Worst Cities in Drone Safety ]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:00:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-483891994.jpg

The City of San Diego was among the California cities with the highest number of drone safety incidents in a look at statewide data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a report released by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office using FAA data, San Diego had the third most drone safety incidents in the state between April 2014 and August 2015. Los Angeles and San Jose were ranked above San Diego.

The City of San Diego had 14 incidents. The county as a whole, including areas like Carlsbad and Ramona, had 23 incidents. And the frequency of incidents has steadily increased since 2014.

When a sandwich shop caught fire in Kearny Mesa in August, firefighters reported a drone distracting their crews on high ladders. San Diego Fire-Rescue officials warned operators of the dangers via a Tweet.


In San Bernardino, flames jumped onto Interstate 15 destroying dozens of cars and trucks. Drones forced firefighting helicopters to pull back, costing first-responders valuable time.

The idea a little drone can't bring down a large aircraft, is a big misconception, according to San Diego Fire Chief of Air Operations Chris Heiser.

“A drone will bring down one of these helicopters,” Heiser said referring to one of the agency’s fire helicopters.

At the very least, but still very detrimental, a drone could stop firefighting and rescuing efforts.

“If we see a drone or someone reports a drone, all the aircraft pull off the incident until that drone is on the ground,” Heiser said.

Treggon Owens, CEO of AERIAL Mob, a San Diego-based drone company and a leader in the industry, wants to see drone users fined in those incidents.

“I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for people to be going interfering with firefighting just to get a YouTube video up,” Owens said.

His company is built on the idea that drone activity be safe and legal, and when operators fail to abide by the rules, he feels it’s the worst thing about the industry.

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would criminalize the operation of drones. The bill proposed giving firefighters immunity for disabling hobbyist drones flying over emergency situations.

According to the data, none of the incidents in the city of San Diego interfered with emergency response operations and there were no collisions.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[5 Fwy Lanes Closed for Brush Fire North of LA]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:59:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/10-09-2015-fire-brush-5-freeway.jpg

At least two lanes are closed for a brush fire burning of the 5 Freeway in northern Los Angeles County.

The 5-acre fire was reported near Templin Highway at midday. No sturctures are threatened, but traffic backed up on the northbound freeway as firefighters responded to the site.

Check here for updates on this story.

Photo Credit: @brennahumphreys]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant Woman Clings to Moving Stolen SUV]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:44:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-558948623.jpg

A man almost ran over his pregnant ex-girlfriend with her SUV that he allegedly stole from her, police said.

The cell phone video shows Jessica Alvarado, who is 32 weeks pregnant,  jump onto the moving SUV as it swerves from side to side.

Anthony Adan Escobedo, 33, was charged with assault after Alvardo clung to the hood of the car while he tried to drive away.

Alvarado was taken to the hospital with scrapes and bruises.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF
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<![CDATA[Bipedal Bear Has Sad Story]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:43:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Bear-Generic.jpg

New Jersey residents and a New York animal rescue are racing to try to help a bear with an injury so severe it can only walk on its hind legs like a human.

The bear, nicknamed "Pedals" by neighbors in Oak Ridge, has been seen wandering near homes upright over the last several months. The bear first gained notoriety after video of him trotting down a neighborhood street was posted on YouTube, but now, a year later, residents are beginning to become concerned that the bear, who appears to have lost weight and is often seen panting or foaming at the mouth, won't make it through the winter. 

"He was exhausted," Sabrina Pugsley, who started an online fundraiser for the bear, told NJ.com. "Seeing the bear on video is one thing but seeing him in person is another. It broke my heart seeing him in person and in that condition."

Some videos posted to social media and YouTube show the bear trotting through backyards without care for humans peering over their fences at the odd sight. Another shows Pedals struggling to walk on three of its four legs before giving up and assuming an upright position. A third video shows him lie down in the middle of a neighborhood street, apparently exhausted from walking in an unnatural position. 

Puglsey has raised more than $18,000 to send Pedals to the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Orange County, New York. The large refuge cares for bears and said in a Facebook post it would cost about that much to build an enclosure for Pedals to safely live in while he recovers.

The center said in another post it is worried about Pedal's weight going into the winter and that it has been talking with state wildlife officials about bringing the bear to their refuge.

"We don't feel this bear is of good enough weight going into winter, and we don't feel that it is a normal or natural situation for him to be coming into residential communities like this. It Is not a good situation for Pedals, or for the local community," the rescue said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, another concerned resident started an online petition calling on the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to allow the rescue to capture Pedals and take him to the Orphaned Wildlife Center

NBC 4 New York has reached out to the Division of Fish and Wildlife about Pedals.

In a Facebook post on Oct. 2, the division said that wildlife officials had been monitoring the bear's movements since the initial video was published last year and that they didn't think moving the animal was the best course of action. 

"Fish and Wildlife bear biologists believe it is best not to intervene or make attempts to capture this bear. If the condition and health of the bear clearly deteriorates, then biologists from the Division of Fish and Wildlife will respond accordingly," the division said in the post. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[October Heat Wave Might Be One for Record Books]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 19:17:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/217*120/10-09-2015-sunset-Gerry-Orz-2.jpg

Southern California's latest heat wave peaked Friday, generating triple-digit temperatures in several communities, while high surf slammed the coast, producing perilous rip currents expected to last through much of the weekend.

National Weather Service forecasters warned that the weather has increased the risk of heat-related illnesses for residents of the region, especially the homeless, senior citizens, infants and people working or playing outdoors.

Hot and dry conditions also created an "elevated fire danger," according to the NWS.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared a heat alert for the Los Angeles basin, Pomona and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The alert is expected to remain in effect through at least Saturday, although it could be extended if the hot weather persists.

New temperature records were recorded throughout Southern California, according to the weather service. Chula Vista reached 98 degrees, topping the previous record of 97 degrees in 1994. El Cajon temperatures were as high as 103 degrees, replacing a record of 98 degrees for this day in 1991.

Escondido heated up to 102 degrees, breaking the previous record of 100 degrees set in 1909. Long Beach reached 102 degrees, tying a record for this day in 1988. Riverside recorded a high of 104 degrees, topping the previous record of 103 degrees in 1991. In Santa Ana, temperatures were a scorching 106, breaking a record of 102 set in 1988.

An NWS forecast indicated temperatures will drop Saturday -- generally three to five degrees -- and a few more degrees Sunday. Downtown Los Angeles is expected to revert to the 80s by Tuesday, then continue cooling down. Woodland Hills also is expected to return to the 90s Sunday and to the 80s Thursday. The NWS issued a heat advisory throughout Orange County today from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

As of Thursday, it had been issued only for inland areas but now includes Orange County beach communities as well. Also issued for Orange County was a beach hazard statement, which is less serious than a high surf advisory. It will be in force from late tonight through Saturday evening.

Forecasters have urged residents to protect themselves and others from the high heat. The weather service's recommendations included drinking plenty of water, wearing light and light-colored clothing, providing shade to livestock and pets, checking on elderly friends and neighbors, and "never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle, even for a short time."

Temperature highs on Thursday, when the heat wave began in earnest as a result of high pressure anchored over the southwestern United States, turned out to be higher than had been forecast. Burbank was the hottest spot in Los Angeles County -- a distinction generally claimed by Woodland Hills -- with the high at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport reaching 102 to tie the Burbank record set on Oct. 8 1996.

Forecasters said the heat wave will begin to retreat Saturday, followed by a drop of five to 10 degrees Sunday. Along the coast, meanwhile, "a moderately long-period swell will bring dangerous rip currents and increased wave activity at area beaches this weekend," an NWS statement said. "If you get caught in a rip current, try to conserve your energy and not swim against the current. Try to swim parallel to shore to get out of the current," it said.

For marathoners preparing for Sunday's JetBlue Long Beach Marathon, the heat means they have to take extra precautions to protect themselves.

Nicolas Tisa, a first time marathoner, has been running for years, but he has been training for this race for months. His training will go for nothing, if he doesn't prepare himself for the heat.

"I have a little belt that has two little extra pouches for gels and water in it," Tisa said. "As far as staying cool, I hope the misters will be good enough."

Marathon organizers have set up an extra 10 misting and ice stations all over the race's route.

Eric Gressett, a marathon runner, found himself in an ambulance the moment he crossed the finish line at the marathon years ago.

"I came across the finish line completely dehydrated and literally woke up in the hospital," he said. "I had no idea where I was, who I was."

That year, the high was in the 70s. This Sunday's forecast, it's expected to be near the 90s, making this year's marathon the hottest on record.

Bob Seagren, CEO of Run Racing, said race organizers are letting the half marathoners, who would normally start at 7:30 a.m., start with the full marathoners at 6 a.m.

Recommendations included drinking plenty of  water, wearing light and light-colored clothing, providing shade to livestock and pets, checking on seniors and neighbors and never leaving a person or pet in a parked vehicle, even for a short time.

Photo Credit: Gerry Orz]]>