<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California https://www.nbclosangeles.com en-usSat, 19 Jan 2019 09:18:31 -0800Sat, 19 Jan 2019 09:18:31 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Meet Officer Shadow, The Newest Member of the Riverside Police Department]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 18:30:56 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/for-our-heros-shadow-update.jpg

The Riverside Police Department welcomes its very own first bomb squad dog. Shadow is a 3-year-old Labrador trained to identify odors used to make explosives.

Since the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015, Riverside Police created an explosive detection program and added a friendly dog to keep people out of danger.

Detective James Dana has known Shadow since he was 14 months old.

"As soon as he hears the phone ring or sees me get in uniform, he knows he’s going to work so he is bouncing and ready to go," said Dana.

Shadow is a well-trained dog that can complete a search that might take officers three times as long.

"Over the last couple of years he has found 18 different weapons -- three of them were used in homicides," Dana said.

Shadow has earned a law enforcement community service award usually reserved for human officers. His acts have made him a popular dog on social media with his own Instagram account.

Photo Credit: Instagram
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<![CDATA[Just How Much Rain Did We Get This Week?]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 09:24:53 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/AP_190067529866081.jpg Four storms socked Southern California this week, marking the season's first stretch of significant rainfall. So how much rain did we get?

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Attacked by Coyote That Jumped Into Home's Backyard in Valencia]]> Sat, 19 Jan 2019 06:08:33 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Coyote_Attacks_Dog_in_Valencia.jpg

A dog was attacked by a coyote that jumped over the fence into the backyard of a home in Valencia.

Video shows a pair of dogs observing a coyote that was looking over the backyard when he jumps and confronts one Gretchen Humphrey’s pets - Kirin.

The coyote bit Kirin’s face and had to be taken to Valencia Veterinary Center to get treated. Despite stitches, she is expected to be safe.

Humphrey’s home is located in a hillside development where coyote sightings are frequent.

By nature, coyotes don’t tolerate other canines in their territory.

If anyone has concerns about coyotes in their neighborhood, they can call the Department of Agriculture at 626-575-5462 to voice their concerns.

Photo Credit: Jackie Langlois-Steffan ]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Winter Storm Socks SoCal]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 21:58:51 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/01-17-19-Collapse.JPG Winter storm warnings were in effect in parts of SoCal as heavy rain, winds and snow swept across the region.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Last Chance to Spin at a Seasonal Ice Rink]]> Sat, 19 Jan 2019 06:17:36 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/finalwkdpershingicerinkbai1.jpg

Did you ever beg a parent to let you play one more video game, to let you hit one more ball or ride one more ride, or to give you a few minutes for one final lap around the ice rink?

Endings can be hard, regardless of what's wrapping up, but when a Super Amazefun Wow thing ends, and you know you're doing the last fun thing you'll do for awhile at a particular place, well, emotions can be heightened.

And such may be the case for those Southern Californians who wait for most of the calendar for the big seasonal outdoor ice rinks to return.

These are the icy attractions that pop up under the open sky, with special events like theme nights, curling lessons, and silent skate parties.

They begin in early November and have a way of bye-bye-ing come mid-January, a point we've now reached.

So prepare to perform your final axel jump of this run, and to glide mitten-in-mitten with your bestie, for both the Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square and ICE in Santa Monica are in the twilight days of their 2018-2019 calendar.

Both rinks share the same final day — Monday, Jan. 21 — and you could probably skate at both spots on that day, if you plan your time accordingly.

The Pershing Square rink will observe open hours from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. while Santa Monica will keep the vibe chill for twelve hours, beginning at 10 in the morning.

A bright side, though, if you truly dig these delightful, get-exercise, have-some-laughs attractions? You won't have to "wait for next year" to see one again. 

These rinks, and a number of others, have a way of showing up before or around Thanksgiving, which means you'll be triple-lutzing again in, really, just a matter of months.

Photo Credit: Red Apple Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Carlsbad Priest Sentenced to Jail for Groping Seminary Student]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 20:23:10 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Castillo-Trial-Groping-Priest-Carlsbad.jpg

A former associate pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlsbad was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and three years probation after being found guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery last month.

Rev. Juan Garcia Castillo will also be required to register as a sex offender, the District Attorney's office said. He was convicted Dec. 17 of groping a seminary student in a Carlsbad restaurant on Feb. 4, 2018.

An attorney and former U.S. Naval officer who was studying to become a priest accused Castillo of grabbing his genitals after a night of drinking in a Carlsbad restaurant and bar.

Surveillance video showing the three men drinking in the restaurant was submitted as evidence. 

The victim said all the drinking eventually made him sick so he went to the bathroom where he vomited.

"All of the sudden I feel him behind me," the man, identified only as "Brad" in court documents, said. He testified that Castillo began touching him around his thighs and waist as he stood over a toilet.

"All of the sudden the hand very quickly goes directly to my crotch and grabs my [genitals]," he said.

The victim identified himself on the stand as a California attorney who worked as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General. He joined the seminary after converting to Catholicism as an adult. 

Castillo was removed from the parish in March 2018 and criminally charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery in May 2018. 

Castillo was from Honduras and had served as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Carlsbad since 2011.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[NASA Workers Protest Government Shutdown]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 20:12:58 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NASA_Workers_Protest_Government_Shutdown.jpg

As the government shutdown continues, dozens of Bay Area scientists, janitors, and researchers who work at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View organized a march to protest their inability to work Friday.

“I think a lot of us, we have a lot wrapped up in what we do," said Matt Ditzler. "We just want to get back to work." 

Workers received support from politicians as they protest to end the shutdown.

“Their voices need to be heard, we need to open the government, if you have a policy disagreement, you talk about it, you don’t hold a million people hostage,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. 

NASA scientist are not the only ones feeling the effect of the shutdown, NASA’s janitorial crew have also not been able to work. 

“The situation is bad, myself, I don’t have money to pay the rent, electricity,” said Daniel Gitan a NASA Ames employee. 

The Second Harvest Food Bank donated food to the furloughed workers in order to help them feed their families.

In addition to marches and donations, the union representing these NASA workers have been pooling union dues to loan money to workers who need it to pay bills.

<![CDATA[Ramona Mom Jarred by Virtual Kidnapping Case]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 19:57:05 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-sheriff-generic-b.jpg

Deputies were trying to reach a woman Friday afternoon after she received a virtual kidnapping call about her daughter, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Around noon, a man called 911 stating that his wife had received a call from an unknown person who claimed to have kidnapped the couple’s daughter, sheriff’s Lt. Dave Perkins said.

The kidnappers told the wife they have her daughter and demanded a $7,000 ransom but the husband was able to contact the daughter and confirmed she was OK, the lieutenant said.

The husband was asking for deputies to do a welfare check on the wife at a Wells Fargo branch in Ramona because she refused to get off the phone with the supposed kidnappers, Perkins said.

Deputies were able to contact the wife later in the afternoon, Lt. Karen Stubkjaer said.

"No money was exchanged and no one is or was in danger," she said.

There has been a rise in virtual kidnapping cases in San Diego and elsewhere in Southern California. The Chula Vista Police Department told NBC 7 in May, it responded to three cases of virtual kidnappers a month.

Virtual kidnapping is an extortion scam that tricks victims into paying ransom for loved ones who they believe is being threatened with violence or death, the FBI said.

The callers often go to great lengths to keep the victim on the phone to prevent the victim from calling the supposed “kidnapped” victim, according to the FBI.

The FBI said the best course of action if you receive a call demanding a ransom is to hang up the phone and not engage the caller. Also, do not call out your loved one’s name and, if you do engage the caller, ask questions that only the alleged kidnap victim would know, such as name of a pet, or ask the supposed kidnapper to speak to your family member immediately by asking, “How do I know my loved one is OK?”

The most important thing to remember, according to the FBI, is to never agree to pay the ransom by wire or in person.

If you suspect a real kidnapping is taking place, contact the FBI immediately or call your local police department.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Mueller Disputes Buzzfeed Story on Cohen Testimony]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 20:49:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1066356176-Michael-Cohen.jpg

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a rare public statement Friday night that disputes a BuzzFeed News report that President Donald Trump had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, NBC News reported.

BuzzFeed News on Thursday evening reported that Cohen told special counsel Robert Mueller the president personally instructed him to lie to Congressional investigators in order to minimize links between Trump and his Moscow building project, citing two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. The report also alleged that Cohen was directed to give a false impression that the project had ended before it actually did.

NBC News has not independently confirmed this report.

On Friday evening, a full day after the story appeared, the special counsel's office issued a statement.

"BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate," the statement said.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[DTLA Breweries United Spotlights Fresh Foam]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 19:05:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/dtla939292brewers.jpg

It isn't often that you hear that "100% of the proceeds" will go to a great organization, but it does happen, and when it happens, the heart gladdens.

Also gladdening? When a community of craftspeople gathers together, each year, to not only meet their fans, and share what they've been working on, but to also donate 100% of the proceeds from the event to an excellent cause.

And that will happen again, on Sunday, Jan. 20, when nearly a dozen breweries, all centered in or near downtown, meet up at the Triangle Lot at 224 Rose Street, to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

It's the DTLA Breweries United Fest, a hopsy happening that will feature both "limited edition and specialty wood/barrel-aged beers" from the close-by brewhouses, as well as other "local libations."

On the participants roster?

Mumford Brewing, Iron Triangle Brewing, Highland Park Brewery, and several others. If you've been to all of the downtown breweries in your time, cool, but if you haven't, consider this a fine 'n foamy festivity, one that will give you a wider breadth of the DTLA brew scene.

It's 21-and-over, for sure, and for sure you'll want a ticket. Those run $15 to $45.

And on the nibbling/noshing end of the noon to 4 o'clock fundraiser? Pearl's BBQ is making a showing, so come for lunch, or a suds-complementing snack.

Photo Credit: DTLA Breweries United Fest]]>
<![CDATA[Odd Rescue: Horse Trapped in Orange County Dumpster Hoisted to Safety]]> Sat, 19 Jan 2019 01:56:40 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/horse-rescue-oc.jpg

After a horse became trapped in a dumpster in Orange County, California for hours, firefighters successfully hoisted the animal to safety Friday afternoon.

The call came into crews at 2:30 p.m. of a trapped horse at the Golden West Stables, Huntington Beach Fire Department said.

"I was actually in my horse's stall getting ready and then I heard my mother say, 'there's a horse in the dumpster!' And my heart stopped," said Brooke Winger, who owns a horse named Abby at the center.

Winger said the horse who became trapped was being led to the lower arena area when the horse started running.

The horse essentially got loose and stepped on the lid of the dumpster thinking it was a flat surface. 

The horse plunged into the dumpster, with one leg hanging out.

After about two and a half hours of Winger and the horse's owner keeping it calm, the animal was hoisted to safety by fire crews.

A veterinarian checked the horse, but it appeared to have minor scratches and would be just fine, Winger said. 

Photo Credit: Huntington Beach Fire ]]>
<![CDATA[Allegations of Anti-Semitism Cloud 2019 Women's March ]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 16:14:23 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-908570094.jpg

Amid accusations of anti-Semitism surrounding the leaders of the Women’s March on Washington, many Jewish women will be deciding one thing this weekend: to march or not to march?

Joan James, of Lincoln City, Oregon, was very supportive until the allegations of anti-Semitism began to surface.

"The Women’s March is supposed to be an inclusive movement that supports diversity of color and ideas," said James, who is Jewish. "If your leaders are making statements that are less than supportive of a group of people, it tears the movement from the inside."

James is still conflicted on whether or not she will participate this weekend, when thousands of women are expected to take the streets for the third year in a row. The march was sparked by the election of President Donald Trump by women worried about his agenda and offended by comments he made. Many participants wore distinctive "pink pussy hats" as a symbolic way to show resistance.

Now some women are aggravated the anti-Semitic allegations are causing a divide within the women’s movement.

The accusations of anti-Semitism were crystalized in an article written in the Tablet in December. The magazine reported that in an initial planning meeting, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, two of the Women's March Inc. leaders, said that Jewish people had “a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people." Mallory and other leaders deny the statement.

In addition, Perez, Mallory, and Linda Sarsour's association with Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of making anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ comments, led to more criticism. The New York Times reported that Mallory and Perez said, “they work in communities where Mr. Farrakhan is respected for his role in rehabilitating incarcerated men. They attended the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in 2015, which Mr. Farrakhan planned.” 

In an appearance on ABC's "The View" Mallory said, "What I will say to you is that I don't agree with many of Minister Farrakhan's statements." In a later interview with a radio station called Breakfast Club she condemned anti-Semitism. However she and the other leaders did not denounce Farrakhan's rhetoric.

Some advocates are conflicted about whether the allegations are serious enough to keep them from participating.

In response, Women’s March Inc. released a press statement which reads, “It’s become clear, amidst this media storm, that our values and our message have — too often— been lost. That loss caused a lot of harm, and a lot pain. We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. We regret that. Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you.”

While some advocates are frustrated with the controversay over the anti-Semitic allegations, they also recognize the impact of the Women’s March.

Aliza Lifshitz, a Jewish Barnard College student and activist, posted on her Facebook page, “If you’re vocally critical of the women’s march but you do nothing to publicly call out or resist the current administration’s policies, it is very safe to assume that you’re using your concerns about anti-Semitism to tear down a movement you didn’t agree with in the first place.”

"People should acknowledge what they are missing out on when they abandon the women’s march," she said in an interview with NBC.

Lifshitz believes the march has played a significant role is organizing the women’s resistance movement and that the march itself is symbolic of the desire for change. However, she also said she respects anyone who feels uncomfortable marching because of the controversy.

The allegations have resulted in stark differences between competing marches and women abandoning the march altogether over confusion about what each organization stands for.

Women’s March Inc. brought three Jewish women onto their steering committee. Abby Stein, the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community, is one of the women.

“The leaders of the Women’s March are not anti-Semitic," she said. "Louis Farrakhan has no impact on the goals of the Women's March. In fact, the Women’s March is the antithesis to everything he preaches."

Stein said when she was given the opportunity to join the steering committee, she saw it as a way to make sure Jewish women feel included and as a platform to defend the LGBTQ community.

"The question was not how I could join the Women’s March, but how could I not?" she said. "I can accomplish so much when it comes to eradicating anti-Semitism by working with them."

Stein told NBC the Women’s March in 2017 focused on resistance, the march in 2018 guided people to the polls, and this year’s march is about a policy agenda.

“One of the strongest impacts the steering committee has is assisting with the women’s agenda which is a policy agenda that Congress could basically copy and paste and turn it into a bill,” she said.

The Women's March Inc. has released a policy agenda encompassing many different topics including ending violence against women, advocating for reproductive rights, and fighting for racial injustice.

Despite efforts to show the march is inclusive and not anti-Semitic, the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, among others, are no longer sponsoring the Women’s March Inc. event.

“I think it is unfortunate they are no longer supporting the event," said Rabbi Robin Polosuk of Los Angeles, who wrote an article in the Jewish Journal called, “Why I Will Walk With the Women’s March.” "We have to ask ourselves who benefits if our movement fractures and it is not us. At this point, I still feel really firm that it is the grassroots women who have to define the march and not a couple of personalities at the top."

“As a Jewish woman, I think it is important that we reclaim this march and that we stand for this as much as any woman. I see us walking in the same direction, where each of us is heard and empowered," she said.

Many women’s marches planned around the world on Saturday are not associated with Women’s March Inc.

Women’s March Alliance, for example, is a separate organization that plans the march in New York City.

Katherine Siemionko, the alliance's founder and president, told NBC, “We are hoping to roll out a new name brand and face this upcoming March to make it clear that we have no association with Women’s March Inc.”

Siemionko is aware many Jews are contemplating whether or not to march.

“We are working to make sure everyone feels welcome and we are doing a lot of outreach across the board," she said. We have also been speaking at synagogues and making sure to confirm our commitment to the Jewish communities we have worked with in the past.”

During a phone call in October, Siemionko asked Sarsour why Women's March Inc. was planning to hold a competing event in New York City on Saturday. She said Sarsour had told her the separate rally was needed to provide a space for women of color.

Siemionko told NBC many women of color are involved in her organization. She said the volunteer trainings this week averaged 60 percent people of color and the alliance's board has 3 women of color out of 5 members. Siemionko told NBC she thought Sarsour had given her a "lame excuse."

Women's March Inc. did not make Sarsour available for an interview.

With all of the controversy, some people are choosing to stay away from any women’s march this year.

Arielle Kaplan, a 24-year-old Jewish woman from New York City, said “I think it is great that people are going and that Jewish women are trying to make marches that are inclusive for Jews but I am not going because I don't want people to mistake me for supporting Women’s March Inc by going to a women’s march that is unaffiliated.”

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Take a 'Hawaiian Musical Journey' in Redondo Beach]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 16:33:28 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2017SlackKeyFest_SariMakkiPhoto-120.jpg

An airplane? A boat? Another form of transport that might rely upon wheels, rails, or wings?

Spoiler alert: Such conveyances can whisk you from one spot to another, in a matter of minutes, hours, and occasionally days. Meaning that you'll need to plan some time in the getting-there, if you indeed want to alight in a nearby or distant land.

But here's an instantaneous way to make the journey, a truly transportive tunnel that takes you to another location in mere seconds: music.

Put on a song that summons the beauty, history, beaches, and breezes of, say, Hawaii, and you are, in your mind, standing ankle-deep in the waves of Lanikai Beach.

That particular conveyance will be departing, via musical notes and dance movements, on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. For that's the when and where for the yearly Southern California Slack Key Festival and Island Marketplace, a celebration of Hawaiian music, foods, and crafts.

The performer line-up is as lengthy as path wending through a grove of loulu palms. Look for George Kuo, Kawika Kahiapo, and several other slack key greats to be on the performing arts stage, along with a cadre of talented hula dancers.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. and tickets run from $20 to $55.

Happening concurrently, and free to enter? The Island Marketplace, which will feature shaved ice, traditional Hawaiian eats, and several craft vendors, too. Actually, that begins earlier in the day, at 11 a.m., and will wrap up at 5 o'clock.

Ready to be transported, without boarding a plane or boat?

You will need to convey yourself to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, which will be home to the spirit of Hawaiian music for a few felicitous hours on a chilly wintertime Sunday.

Photo Credit: Sari Makki]]>
<![CDATA[Map: What to Know About Saturday's Women's March in Downtown LA]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:15:59 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-908115284.jpg

Heading to downtown Los Angeles Saturday?

You'll have company. A march and walk planned Saturday will mean heavy traffic and street closures in and around the area.   

The third annual Women's March LA is scheduled for Saturday morning, start and Pershing Square and ending at Los Angeles City Hall. Below, you'll find what to know about Saturday's schedule, route and getting there. The events are free, but organizers ask attendees to register in advance.

The fifth annual One Life LA Walk will begin early Saturday afternoon, starting at La Placita/Olvera Street and heading to LA State Historic Park.

Women's March Schedule

  • 8:30 a.m.: Tongva Nationl Blessing at Pershing Square, 532 Olive Street
  • 9 a.m.: Pershing Square Speeches
  • 10 a.m.: March to City Hall
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: City Hall Program

Getting There

  • Blue and Expo Line Trains: Exit at 7th Street/Metro Center Station, use Hope Street exit
  • Red and Purple Line Trains: Exit at Pershing Square Station
  • From West Hollywood: Free Cityline Local Shuttle will drop off at Hollywood & Highland Station for trains downtown
  • Gold Line: Exit at Union State, transfer to Red or Purple line to Pershing Square Station
  • Silver Line Bus: Exit at 7th Street
  • Metrolink: After arrival at Union Station, transfer to Red or Purple line to Pershing Square Station
  • Rideshare: Recommended dropoff is near 7th and Olive streets
  • Parking: Driving is not recommended due to limited parking and street closures

Routes and Street Closures

The Women's March will begin at Pershing Square and head northeast to Los Angeles City Hall. At 12:30 p.m., the OneLife LA Walk will begin at La Placita/Olvera Street and end at LA State Historic Park. Streets will be closed along both routes early Saturday morning.

Click here for a larger map.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Whale That Washed Ashore on Zuma Beach to Be Euthanized]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:38:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/beached-whale-zuma.jpg

A pygmy sperm whale that washed ashore at Zuma Beach in Malibu Friday was to be euthanized, officials said.

The female whale, about 10 feet long and a thousand pounds, was discovered on the shoreline at 7:45 a.m. Friday, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said. 

NewsChopper4 captured footage of beachgoers trying to help push the mammal back into the water, without much luck.

After this, authorities took the whale to a rescue van for treatment, where wildlife experts were called to come help treat the animal. 

Experts said the prognosis for survival did not look good, despite the intensive effort to save it.

After consulting with experts at Sea World in San Diego, the best option for the whale to prevent suffering would be to euthanize it, they said.

"Because of the situation, it's much better to humanely euthanize the animal rather than put it through a long journey to Sea World, put it through all that stress and time out of the water, when it's prognosis is unfortunate very poor," said Stephanie Lewis of the California Wildlife Center.

Beachgoers left with tears in their eyes after learning of the whale's fate.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Puts the Squeeze on High-Speed Pursuit Driver]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:55:35 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/1-18-2019-truck-chase-pursuit-1.JPG

A high-speed pursuit east of Los Angeles came to an end when the car was sandwiched between a box truck and guardrail on an exit ramp.

The pursuit began after a report of possible burglary suspects in a black Honda Accord coupe. The crime was reported earlier Friday at a residence in the 15600 block of Tall Oak Drive in Chino Hills. 

Three people ran from the scene and took off in the Honda when deputies arrived, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The driver of the Accord was traveled speeding west at high speed on the 60 Freeway through Hacienda Heights and other communities east of downtown LA.

They exited in the South El Monte area, where the driver tried to squeeze past a large box truck on its right. The car's driver side door panel was ripped off when it became hopelessly lodged between the Suppose U Drive box truck and guardrail.

The driver and two passengers were taken into custody by sheriff's deputies.

An employee of the truck rental company told NBC4 they watched live coverage of the chase. 

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[For Many Undocumented Women, Reproductive Healthcare Limited]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:03:23 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_18174008864094.jpg

Days after an immigration judge denied Layidua Salazar’s petition to remain in the United States in 2015 because she was not living with her spouse, she learned at an annual visit to Planned Parenthood that she was pregnant.

The possibility that she would not be allowed to stay in the country made her realize "within five minutes" that she couldn’t continue her pregnancy and risk her family being separated at some point, she said.

"I can’t do both. Can’t be in the middle of deportation proceedings and be pregnant," said Salazar, who is now a storyteller with We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds. The organization works to decrease barriers, including financial, to abortion.

Because she had worked with reproductive justice organizations, she knew that her Planned Parenthood clinic in California's Bay Area did not have to disclose that she was undocumented. She had an abortion two days later. Given all that was going on, she said, her "abortion experience was relatively simple.” But, she and other advocates noted, this is not the case for many undocumented women in the U.S.

"Reproductive healthcare for immigrant women is very much a patchwork system," Jessica González-Rojas, executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, told NBC. "It often depends on where you live and the access that you have to reach certain communities."

The undocumented community "has lived in a major state of panic since about 2008," Salazar said.

After the record number of deportations at the border under President Barack Obama, "I remember when the [Trump] election happened many people in my community saying it can't possibly get worse," Salazar said. "And, low and behold, it actually has. It has gotten horrible." 

Efforts across the country to restrict access to reproductive healthcare and the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies have converged to impede undocumented women’s reproductive rights including their decision to have a child, and their right not to, legal and other advocates for immigrants as well as several undocumented women who spoke to NBC say. Access to reproductive health care has been limited by a lack of health insurance, legal obstacles, difficulties in traveling and the fear of deportation and the family separation policies under President Donald Trump.  

'Jane Doe' and a Right to an Abortion
Since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, all women have had a constitutional right to an abortion.

"There's no exception for anyone, including based on their immigration status," Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told NBC. 

But last year, the federal Department of Health and Human Services tried to prevent a 17-year-old unaccompanied Mexican immigrant from ending her pregnancy, by refusing to allow her to leave the detention facility in Brownsville, Texas. They instead brought her to a crisis pregnancy center, a type of non-profit that counsels women against abortions. Such facilities have been accused of disseminating false information. As of March 2017, shelters receiving federal funding cannot take "any action that facilitates" abortion access. 

"What the Trump administration did to Jane Doe was unprecedented,” said Amiri, a lead lawyer on Jane’s case, who knew of no other case where the government held a woman hostage to prevent her from getting an abortion. “It is so extreme and so egregious and a symptom of a larger problem in the Trump administration and its hostility to access and contraception." 

The Supreme Court vacated a court of appeals decision that had allowed her to get the abortion last June; her case will not be precedent for others. 

Doe is not the only young undocumented woman to be obstructed from obtaining an abortion; the ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit with other women affected by similar circumstances. 

Local Laws Impeding Access 
When a woman from Central America who NBC spoke with became pregnant, in 2016, the steps to getting an abortion in Texas were more difficult than she anticipated. She searched for a clinic where she could receive a free ultrasound. She also ended up at a crisis pregnancy center, where she was told her pregnancy was too far along for an abortion. (It is illegal to get an abortion past 20 weeks in Texas, barring severe health issues or fetal abnormality.)

But the woman continued her research, and was able to find a clinic in Dallas. That clinic referred her to a sister one in a nearby state. She’d have to fly out a few days later and it would cost her over $10,000. 

"I’m like, okay, I don’t even have $50," she recalled. In the end, with outside support, she was able to get the abortion in February 2016.

She feared flying because her student visa is expired but thought getting an abortion was worth the risk.  

"That’s something that, at least for me, makes me nervous, because, as you can see on the news, they ask for documents," she said. NBC is not identifying her over her concerns.

Texas, one of the six states that according to Pew Research are home to 58 percent of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., spotlights the difficulties undocumented women face in obtaining reproductive healthcare access. Texas’ reproductive healthcare clinics in particular have been targeted by state policies.

In 2013, Texas passed House Bill 2, imposing new restrictions on abortion clinics, and banned abortions beyond 20 weeks, forcing many clinics to shut down. The Supreme Court overturned the restrictions three years later as placing an undue burden women seeking abortions, though many clinics struggle to reopen.

González-Rojas said the cost of transportation, within and outside of Texas, could be a "de facto ban on abortion for women" and a "matter of reproductive justice."

For instance, in many colonias, unincorporated housing communities composed primarily of Latino immigrants near the Texas border, road infrastructure is "poor" and there is a lack of adequate public transportation.

Then in May 2017, Texas Senate Bill 4 outlawed sanctuary cities. Also called the "show me your papers law," it requires that local governments comply with federal immigration "detainers."

The law created a "wave of panic among the Latinx communities in the state of Texas," said Nancy Cárdenas Peña, associate director for State Policy and Advocacy at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIH). She said it also "made conditions a lot harder."

"We were seeing, even during the implementation and during the passage of SB4, border patrol and ICE … started making their way towards routes that our activists usually took to get to their healthcare appointments," she said.

The undocumented Texas woman told NBC she wanted to speak out about her experience to show others like her that abortions are possible. She mentioned a woman whom she met at the abortion clinic also from her home country, who was surprised there was funding that could help.

"You have the opportunity even if you’re not from this country," she said.

"My Body, My Choice"
Alejandra Pablos, a reproductive and immigrants rights activist in Arizona, had her fourth abortion in March 2017, at 33. It was her first while she was fighting deportation and came at a time when she wanted to start considering having a baby. She had a "great job," and thought of her strong community.

"This was what could have been a beautiful moment for me, but I quickly remembered that I am still facing deportation," said Pablos, who spoke with NBC this fall.

"How am I supposed to take care of another human being?" she asked.

Pablos was detained by ICE in March. 

"It is not only my decision anymore," she said. "I don’t have the privilege to say, 'my choice, my body' when my body basically belongs to ICE."

This December, she appeared in court to apply for political asylum. Her petition was denied and her green card was revoked: The judge has ordered her deportation.

Pablos grew up in California and her parents had citizenship, but she didn’t petition for her legal permanent residency until she was 16. As a legal resident, in 2011, she was arrested in Arizona for possession of drug paraphernalia and a DUI and detained for two years in Eloy Detention Center, a private prison. Because the arrest came within the first five years of her legal permanent residency, she lost the status.

A year after she had her abortion, Pablos was detained again, following an arrest at a protest outside the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia, where she was working at the time. She was released—those charges were dropped— but at an ICE check-in soon after, she was taken back to Eloy for two more months. Pablos lost her work permit and her job at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Just as barriers to accessing care impede undocumented women’s ability to raise children, so can other federal policies.

The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" position towards immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border led to the widely condemned the family separation policy. Children separated from parents facing prosecution were held in "tender age" detention shelters.

The program was ended by an executive order in June but in late November, the Texas Tribune reported the number of children held in private shelters had reached a high: 5,620 children as of Nov. 15.

This is a "major reproductive justice issue," Salazar said.

The Fear Factor
The "fear factor," according to González-Rojas, means many undocumented women "are forgoing care completely."

A study released Nov. 1 from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health found that 1 in 4 of Latino voters “have a close family member or friend who has put off getting health care because of fear around immigration issues.” One in 5 reported the same about reproductive health care. These numbers are for voters; The numbers are likely higher for undocumented immigrants, González-Rojas said.

Planned Parenthood NYC’s Promotores de Salud team — certified Spanish language medical interpreters who provide information for sexual and reproductive healthcare to Latinas — has "noticed that fewer community members were making appointments during outreach sessions," Larissa Vasquez, associate director of adult and professional programs at PPNYC, wrote in an email to NBC. The women were distrustful of accessing care in traditional places like clinics and community-based organizations, she added. 

Through their "Nuestro Texas" report from 2015, a partnership between the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Justice, González-Rojas "heard stories of women who are afraid to take their children to school, are afraid to leave the house," She cited "constant militarization in that community."

"We have heard stories of ICE vehicles parked in clinic parking lots, community health centers." González-Rojas said clinic staff told her.

Salazar, the We Testify storyteller, said she's experienced border patrol presence near Planned Parenthood "regularly," happening around border areas in California.

"It means that people who are undocumented don’t even want to approach [Planned Parenthood] obviously," she told NBC.

For many undocumented women, who lack medical insurance—undocumented immigrants cannot access the Affordable Care Act—clinics that offer free or affordable care can be crucial in obtaining healthcare. But organizations meant to uphold their reproductive rights may not always consider their needs.

In 2017, the Planned Parenthood Great Memphis Region opened 400 feet away from an ICE office. Planned Parenthood told Rewire they were under the impression ICE would move offices. In their statement, PPGMR said: "Our highest priority is our patients, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that they can seek care safely without fear."

González-Rojas called it a "you are not welcome here" sign for immigrants from around the world.

Adding to fears is Trump’s proposed "public charge" rule, which would would revise the 1999 green card rules by making it more difficult for immigrants who use public assistance—health insurance, like Medicaid, or food stamps, for instance—to obtain a green card. The rule hasn’t officially taken hold yet but there are reports that it is being quietly enforced already and many undocumented immigrants have already felt the effects.

González-Rojas said media coverage, especially in Spanish, has caused some undocumented immigrants to already withdraw from care.

"There’s a real chilling effect that these proposed rules are creating" González-Rojas observes, "and the visible climate of fear."

This public charge law is being written and sought to be implemented in a way that, Jiménez said, "affects our ability to raise our children, to make decisions about reproduction."

Looking Forward
The priorities of the Texas branch of the NLIH are always changing, Cárdenas Peña said. "This administration is definitely trying to exhaust all of the activists by making us be in this fight or flight mode 24/7," she said.

When ICE detained Eva Chavez, an immigration and reproductive rights activist who worked with NLIH's Texas Latina Advocacy Network last February, the group was met with an increase in demand for their services. Her case is ongoing.

"I looked at the camera," Cárdenas Peña said, "and told anyone who was watching, “you do not have to do this alone. There is a community behind you and we will be happy to support you. And goddammit, the people listened. My phone started blowing up with calls."

After her green card was revoked this December, Pablos, the Arizona-based reproductive and immigrants rights activist facing deportation, told The Washington Post, "La Lucha Sigue" of her continuing struggle. She plans to appeal by seeking a governor's pardon.

"The reason why I’m doing this and I’m not going back in the shadows, and I’m going to fight this deportation is that I want to be able to make that choice, if I want to start a family or not," she said before her trial.

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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<![CDATA['Volcanoes 3D' Bubbling at the California Science Center IMAX]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:57:41 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Volcanoes_Marum-Crater-Carsten-Peters-and-Chris-Horsley.jpg

Even if your feisty friend is said to have the personality of a volcano, spoiler alert, they're not an actual volcano.

Likewise, if you order a dessert called The Volcano, one that oozes chocolate, it isn't really a lava-spewing cone, nor are any school projects that charmingly replicate what a volcano might do.

Volcanoes, however, are the real volcanic deal, but approaching one, especially if it is doing that whole aforementioned lava-spewing thing, is not quite the same as approaching a dessert or science kit. 

But winging along as adventurers inch to the very edge of an active volcano? All with a camera crew in tow? And you sit in a movie theater seat?

That's lovely, or lava-ly, if you prefer, and still incredibly fascinating, while being much, much less hot.

We'll have the chance to do just that, beginning on Monday, Jan. 21 when "Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation," an epic new work from SK Films, opens at the California Science Center IMAX theater.

Viewers will join "intrepid explorer Carsten Peter... to dodge boulders at the edge of an active volcano in Indonesia, descend to a lava lake in Vanuatu and visit incredible acid ponds, geysers, and mineral deposits fields in Ethiopia."

The cost to go on this bubbling, burbling, molten-tastic journey?

A non-member adult ticket is $8.95. Less than a tenner and you won't even need to step to one side as a trickle of lava streams in your direction.

There will be three showtimes daily, so get the info you need on this truly epic happening made for the big, big, BIG screen.

Bubble bubble, lava-style? We call many things in this world "volcano" or "volcano-like," but only one thing is a volcano: a volcano. That there are "over 500 active volcanoes" on this planet astounds, but so should the fact that we can visit a volcanic landscape from the comfort of our IMAX theater chair.

Volcanoes are ancient, and have been around for eons, but "Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation" clocks in at a pinch over 42 minutes.

Photo Credit: Volcano]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Kringle]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:43:03 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/kringle.JPG

Meet Kringle, the pet of the week for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2018.

Kringle is a 12-year-old neutered male. He's a sweet older dog who just wants to cuddle in your arms. His teeth aren't the greatest and he has arthritis, but that's normal with his age. Kringle is a calm and quiet dog who just needs love and a lap to sit on. 

ID: A1831928

West Valley Center
20655 Plummer Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(818) 756-9325 (center)

Photo Credit: West Valley Animal Shelter]]>
<![CDATA[7 Cars Vandalized With Trump Graffiti in North Hollywood]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 12:03:34 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/trump-01.JPG

Residents at a North Hollywood apartment woke up to find car windows smashed and the letters T-R-U-M-P spray-painted on their vehicles.

Los Angeles police responded to the vandalism report at about 3 a.m. in the 10900 block of Hartsook Street. Seven vehicles parked in an underground garage were vandalized.

Four cars' windows were smashed. Graffiti was painted on the cars and the ground.

No arrests were reported early Friday.

Refresh this page for updates.

Photo Credit: RMG News]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrity Fans in the Stands: Los Angeles Lakers Edition]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 07:43:04 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/1-18-2019-lakers-celebrities-beckinsale-arsenio-kardashian.jpg The seats at Staples Center have a star-studded history when the Lakers are in action. Check out some of the celebrity fans in the stands who have cheered on the Lakers through the years.

Photo Credit: AP]]>