News Roundup – Dec. 1, 2008

Here are some of the stories in the Southland on Monday...

Dense Fog Advisory

Passengers on a fog-diverted flight from El Salvador have finally arrived at Los Angeles International Airport after spending nearly nine hours in the aircraft on the tarmac of LA/Ontario International Airport. An Ontario Airport spokeswoman Maria Tesoro-Fermin said Monday the Taca airline flight was diverted to her airport after being unable to land at LAX late the previous night. Tesoro-Fermin didn't know how many passengers are on the aircraft or why they weren't permitted off the plane at Ontario. (

Wild Chase Ends in Hollywood

A man was arrested after allegedly leading police on a wild pursuit that ended with at least four car crashes on Sunday. The chase started in South Los Angeles, when officers tried to pull over a motorist for reckless driving. The driver took off, and the chase ended in Hollywood, where one of the police cars involved in the chase crashed into other vehicles. The driver's Dodge Durango also struck several vehicles before crashing at Santa Monica Boulevard and Virgil Avenue. Five people were hurt, and the suspect was arrested for felony evading.

Woman Found Dead in Ladera Heights Fire

Los Angeles County firefighters found the body of a woman in her 50s after battling a Ladera Heights house fire overnight. Fire Capt. Mike Brown says the body was in an upstairs bedroom of a two-story triplex. The woman's name was withheld.  Firefighters handling an unrelated call smelled smoke and rushed to the burning home just after midnight. It took about 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Drive-By Shooting Critically Injures Two

Two people were critically wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Fire
Department says the shooting occurred outside, in the 800 block of West 97th Street at around 9:50 p.m. Sunday. A man of about 25 suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to a hospital in full cardiac arrest. The other victim was a woman thought to be in her 20s. She was shot once in the abdomen. The Los Angeles Police Department has not yet commented on the shooting.
Three Shot by Cops, Deputies Over Weekend

LA law enforcement officers shot three people over the weekend, including one who died. Salvador Zepeda Alarcon, 18, of East Los Angeles, was fatally shot by sheriff's deputies early Sunday in City Terrace.  Deputies responding to a "shots fired" call said they saw Alarcon pull a handgun from his waistband and point it at them. And on Saturday night, LAPD officers seriously wounded a man at a South Los Angeles liquor store and another in San Pedro, where a suspect allegedly pointed a rifle at officers.

Mark Ridley-Thomas Sworn In as LA Co. Supervisor

Mark Ridley-Thomas will be sworn in Monday as a Los Angeles County supervisor representing the Second District. He has vowed to make healthcare his top priority, specifically the reopening of Martin Luther King-Harbor Hospital. The new supervisor made the reopening of the troubled facility in South Los Angeles a central issue in his campaign. Ridley-Thomas beat City Councilman Bernard Parks to succeed Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who retired.

Box Office

Even a vampire couldn't keep Santa from reaching the top of the weekend box office. The comedy "Four Christmases" opened in first place with $46.7 million in ticket sales. Last week's box office leader, the teen vampire movie "Twilight," slipped to second place, and the animated "Bolt" came in third, followed by the James Bond flick "Quantum of Solace" and, in fifth place, the epic film "Australia," which earned about $20 million on its debut weekend.
Hollywood Santa Parade

A festive but anemic crowd estimated by police at 10,000 people attended the annual Hollywood Santa Parade. Parade organizers used to boast that the event attracted a half million people, but the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ended its long-time sponsorship in March of 2007, citing flagging attendance and financial problems. The city of Los Angeles then agreed to pick up the tab, and last year's crowd estimate was 48,000 people. Sunday night's parade featured the usual marching bands, equestrian units and floats, and, of course, Santa Claus.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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