Local News Roundup – Oct. 29, 2008

The following stories are being watched and covered by The Channel 4 News:

PROTESTERS BLOCK VIEW OF PALIN EFFIGY DISPLAY
Protesters took to the street in West Hollywood today...blocking the view of a controversial Halloween display.  The display features a life-size doll in the likeness of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging in a noose.  Protesters used sheets attached to tall poles to effectively block the view of the display from passersby.  The West Hollywood mayor asked that the display be taken down…and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI both investigated but decided the display does not break any laws. The residents who put up the display told Channel 4 that they are only excercising their free speech rights...and respect the protesters for doing the same thing.  (NBCLA.com)

HUGE BUDGET CUTS COULD MEAN L.A. SCHOOL CLOSURES
L.A. school district's chief says some schools may be forced to close as a result of massive budget shortfalls.  Superintendent David Brewer says California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest budget plan would cut $440 million dollars from the budget of LA schools...and that would lead to school closures.  The Governor told educators yesterday that he is looking for tax hikes and major budget cuts in education to balance the state budget.  (LA Times)


FAKE CHECK SCAM
Senior citizens across Southern California have lost thousands of dollars through a fake check scam.  It’s essentially the same scam that has made the rounds before: Victims receive an official looking letter telling them they’ve won a lottery in Canada.  Them they receive are then sent what looks like a County of Los Angeles check, and told to deposit it into their checking account and wire some of the money back to Canada.  Of course after the money has been wired, the “County” check bounces…and the money the victim sent to Canada is gone.  (LA County DA's office)

OPENING STATEMENTS IN SPECTOR RETRIAL
Opening statements are underway this morning in the murder retrial of music producer Phil Spector.  He is being tried again for the death of Actress and Hostess Lana Clarkson inside his Alhambra mansion in 2003.  Spector’s first trial ended in a mistrial when jurors deadlocked.

CHILD PREDATOR ARRESTED IN LONG BEACH
A man who allegedly tried repeatedly to lure children into alleys by showing them pornographic material has been arrested.  Long Beach Police will hold a press conference later this morning to announce the suspect’s name and details of his arrest.  (Long Beach Press Telegram)

IN FATAL POLICE SHOOTING
Police in Anaheim say three separate investigations will be conducted after a man was shot and killed in his front yard by an Anaheim Police officer Tuesday morning.  The 20-year-old man came out of his house to investigate a commotion in his yard as police were chasing burglary suspects in the area.  The officer shot and killed the man after mistaking him for one of the suspects.  The man was a newlywed whose wife is pregnant with their first child.  (NBCLA.com)

CORRUPTION TRIAL OF FORMER ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF
Opening statements are underway in Orange County corruption trial of the man once known as “America’s Sheriff.”  Former Sheriff Michael Carona, and attorney Debra Hoffman are accused of a conspiracy to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts.  The trial is expected to last up to eight weeks.  (Orange County Register)

ORANGE COUNTY SEWAGE SPILL FOULS MILES OF BEACH
A broken joint in a sewage line in Laguna Beach dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage onto streets...and eventually into the ocean.  A spill began about 2am, sending 250,000 gallons of sewage onto a street and into a stormdrain that dumps into the ocean near Bluebird Beach.  The break has been repaired...but the Orange County Health Care Agency has closed the beach to swimmers between Crescent Bay Drive and Camel Point.  It could take days for bacteria levels to return to safe levels.  (NBCLA.com)

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