Local News Roundup – Feb. 5, 2009

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

BACK-TO-BACK STORMS
  
The first of two cold back-to-back storms is expected to hit during the day on Thursday. We could get from three quarters of an inch of rain to an inch-and-a-half in coastal and valley areas and one inch to an inch-and-a-half in the foothills and mountains. A second storm will follow on Friday. The National Weather Service says we could also see whiteout conditions in mountain areas at higher elevations. It has issued a winter weather advisory for the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, excluding the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area. The advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Thursday until at least 10 a.m. Friday. (Track Storms on NBCLA.com Radar) 
 
FIVE KIDS ARRESTED AFTER DANGEROUS, WILD PURSUIT

Five children ranging in age from 12 to 14 were taken into custody after allegedly leading sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers on an hour-long pursuit from Norwalk to the City of Industry in a stolen car. Authorities say a boy of about 13 was driving the red Chevy Corsica, which had been stolen. Highway Patrol officers finally got the car to stop by performing the PIT maneuver, sending the vehicle into a fence in the area of Arenth Avenue and Ajax Avenue. The kids inside the vehicle included three boys and two girls, all on probation for previous offenses. None of them was hurt. (Full Story on NBCLA.com)

LANDLORD CLAIMS WOMAN MURDERED IN COVINA MASSACRE GAVE "INSUFFICIENT NOTICE"

The ex-husband of one of the nine people killed in Covina's Christmas Eve massacre has received demands from a landlord to pay the dead woman's rent. Broadcrest Foothill Apartment Homes claims Alicia Ortiz broke her lease on an Upland apartment when she and her 17-year-old son were killed by her sister's disgruntled ex-husband. The landlord told former husband Carlos Ortiz that she gave "insufficient notice to vacate." The company says it is owed $2,821 in rent and penalties. (Read December 2008 Story on NBCLA.com)

SMALL WORLDS RIDE REOPENS AT DISNEYLAND

Disneyland's "It's A Small World" ride reopens Thursday after a retooling. Disney has mixed characters from its movies like Nemo and Aladdin in with the anonymous small figures representing cultures from around the world. The Anaheim theme park has also woven a few bars of some of its soundtrack hits into the classic "Small World" melody and added a new "America" section that includes Los Angeles' famous Hollywood Bowl, a quaint farm scene and "Toy Story" characters.
  
ANOTHER WEATHER SATELLITE LAUNCH SCRUBBED

Thursday morning's launch of a weather satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base has been scrubbed. It was the second launch postponement in two days. NASA says it will try again Friday at 2:22 a.m. An air conditioning compressor is the problem. The NOAA-N Prime satellite is the last in a series of polar-orbiting satellites that have been observing Earth's weather since 1960.
  
MAMMOTH REMAINS FOUND IN DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO
  
The remains of an 8-foot-long mammoth have been discovered at a construction site for a new downtown San Diego law school. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law says a backhoe operator unearthed the tusk 20 feet below ground level on Wednesday. San Diego Natural History Museum experts have now taken over the excavation and a skull and other bones have also been located.
  
SEARS COMMENTS ON KID'S WASHING MACHINE DEATH
 
Sears Holdings says a front-load washer that killed a 4-year-old Orange County girl this week was the only model that its Kenmore brand sells without a "control lockout" feature that could have saved the girl's life. The feature temporarily disables a machine if a parent hits two keys and holds them down for 10 seconds. Sears' comments came three days after Kayley Ishii was found by her mother in the water-filled washer at their Mission Viejo home. Orange County sheriff's officials say the girl's year-old brother somehow managed to start the device after she climbed in. (Read Story on NBCLA.com) 
 
EPA SUES COMPANIES OVER TOXIC GROUNDWATER

The Environmental Protection Agency is suing Northrop Grumman, the Campbell Soup Company and a host of others for allegedly failing to clean up toxic groundwater in the San Gabriel Valley that feeds into the Southland's drinking water. The lawsuit demands that the defendants take the necessary actions to eliminate the danger of a release of hazardous substances at or from the site. The EPA asks that the companies named be held liable for clean-up costs and damages. There's been no response from the companies.
 

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