<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California https://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usTue, 22 May 2018 18:32:09 -0700Tue, 22 May 2018 18:32:09 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sinkhole Opens on White House Lawn, Spawns Twitter Memes]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 17:51:31 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/052218+north+side+of+white+house.jpg

A sinkhole has opened up on the White House grounds and is "growing larger by the day," according to reporters who first spotted the sunken turf.

The sinkhole was found Sunday on the North Lawn of the White House, near the entrance to the press briefing room, a National Park Service spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

Photos from reporters who first spotted the sinkhole show that it's no more than a few feet wide. But White House reporter Steve Herman, of Voice of America, tweeted that it had grown since he first spotted it over the weekend, and another sinkhole has opened next to it. 

Sinkholes are common in the D.C. area after heavy rain, as the area has had in the past week, NPS spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said. The National Park Service, which oversees the White House grounds, said it is monitoring the sinkhole and evaluating how to respond.

"We do not believe it poses any risk to the White House or is representative of a larger problem," Anzelmo-Sarles said.

Known to swallow cars and homes, sinkholes are generally formed when water erodes the earth's surface layer.

One year ago, a sinkhole also opened up in front of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Palm Beach officials said a water main caused that sinkhole.

The coincidence set social media alight with wisecracks about what the sinkhole means and by Tuesday afternoon the sinkhole had a parody Twitter account.

"Can neither confirm nor deny I am the hole dug from China #sinkhole #WhiteHouse #whitehousesinkhole," The White House Sinkhole wrote in a tweet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Boy Threatens to Kill Teacher, Police Find Shotgun in Home]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 18:30:28 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/lagenerics+classroom.jpg

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday morning for allegedly threatening to kill a teacher at Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead, and a search of the boy's home found a weapon and ammunition.

According to students that knew the boy, the 16-year-old had become more withdrawn in recent months.

"When I would see him, he would appear really depressed," Elijah Kiter, a fellow student who claims to know the boy, says. "He wouldn't say 'Hi' to me or anything."

School administrators say that at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the boy threatened to kill a teacher. Rather than drag their feet or brush off the words, the school took action by immediately detaining the boy and calling the San Bernardindo County Sheriff's Department.

"We have to act immediately," says Todd Beal, who is the superintendent of the school district. "We take safety as our priority and make sure everyone is safe."

San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies searched the boy and did not find any weapon at the school. However, when they went to the boy's home with a guardian and searched his room, they say that they found a firearm.

"They did locate a 12-gauge shot gun, as well as ammunition," Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says.

Investigators say the boy's guardian did not know about the shotgun, and they believe it may have been stolen because the serial numbers were altered. They also say that the boy made threats of violence against other students.

The boy was being held in juvenile hall and faces several charges including criminal threats.

In the shadow of a school shooting that claimed 10 lives in Texas, Tuesday's quick action may have averted a potential tragedy, even if parents and teachers are left wondering what can be done to stop the disturbing trend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hop to The Grove for Free Blue Bunny Ice Cream]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 17:51:55 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BB_elevator1+%281%29.jpg

Spying a bunny in the springtime?

Totally the most squeeable, snapshotable sight, if you're lucky enough to witness such wittle-bitty adorableness.

Spying Blue Bunny in the springtime at The Grove?

A highly flavorful event, and one you won't have to pay any money for, not when the historic ice cream company is handing out complimentary ice cream as part of its mondo, on-the-road promotion.

That promotion is called "Give In To The Bunny," and it will include bringing an "Insta-worthy, limited-edition space" to the mid-city shopping destination, as well as, yes, free treats.

The space to seek out once you're there?

This is nicely quirky, and befitting an outfit that has a blue bunny as its cheery mascot: "Throughout the month of May, Blue Bunny will be transforming everyday elevators and unexpected places... with eye-catching, limited-time ice cream take-overs," take-overs happening in a few cities.

Los Angeles is one such city, The Grove Parking Garage (third floor) is the spot, the dates to score your pay-nothing-for-it Mini Swirl, Load'd Sundae, or Bunny Snack are Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24, and this is definitely a "while supplies last" sort of deal.

Like a real bunny can hop, hop, hop away before you know it, so can creamy treats, when a lot of Blue Bunny buffs show up to queue up for something dessert-y and delish on a lovely spring day.

Photo Credit: Blue Bunny]]>
<![CDATA[The Dramatic Landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 06:39:23 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/221*120/lassen-peak-california-then-now-1.jpg Northern California is home to stunning scenery, none more otherworldly than that of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Jagged rocks, crystal clear mountain lakes, fields of wildflowers and volcanoes -- yes, volcanoes -- are part of the eye-popping landscape you'll find on a visit to this California treasure.

Photo Credit: NPS]]>
<![CDATA[Interactive Pizza Museum to Roll for LA]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 11:07:44 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Pizza+Experience+-+Pizza+Sight.jpg Break out the cameras for a whimsical walk-through exhibition devoted to the gooey, saucy foodstuff.

Photo Credit: The Pizza Experience]]>
<![CDATA[Accounts Linked to Lawyer in Viral Rant Posts Apology: 'I'm Not Racist']]> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:55:42 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/aaron+schlossberg+2.jpg

A full paragraph apology has been posted to Twitter and LinkedIn accounts linked to the Manhattan lawyer whose racist rant in a midtown cafe became viral international fodder last week, though it couldn't immediately be verified if he was the one who posted the messages.

The statement, which began simply, "To the people I insulted, I apologize," landed on @ASchlossbergLaw's Twitter feed at 12:01 p.m. Tuesday. The same statement was also posted to his LinkedIn page at that time. 

The lawyer, Aaron Schlossberg, has been excoriated in the court of public opinion since a cafe patron captured video of him threatening to call immigration enforcement on workers when he heard them speaking in Spanish.

The statement said the online backlash has "opened my eyes -- the manner in which I expressed myself is unacceptable and is not the person I am. I see my words and actions hurt people, and for that I am deeply sorry."

"While people should be able to express themselves freely, they should do so calmly and respectfully," the statement continued. "What the video did not convey is the real me. I am not racist." 

The Twitter account is not verified, but does show a history of posts about Schlossberg's legal work, many of which link directly to his LinkedIn page, where the apology was listed at the top of "Aaron's Articles & Activity." 

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Schlossberg's rant was recorded last Tuesday at sandwich shop Fresh Kitchen on Madison Avenue between 39th and 40th. Emily Serrano said she was speaking with her server — who speaks both Spanish and English — in Spanish, when she heard a man yelling next to her. 

"He's screaming at the guy serving him, 'Give me my f------ sandwich, you shouldn't be speaking Spanish, I feel disrespected, go back to your country,'" Serrano said. NBC 4 cannot independently verify what happened before or after the video Serrano shot. 

"Your staff are speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English... every person I listen to... this is America!" he says in the video.

Schlossberg was kicked out of his midtown office as backlash brewed -- and he even tried to flee the controversy on foot, running from an NBC News reporter who confronted him near his apartment building on the street last week. The reporter asked him at the time if he wanted to apologize; he said nothing. 

Schlossberg's rant, caught on video by a fellow customer, had more than 5 million views online in two days, and fallout for the lawyer hasn't stopped.

The midtown building where Schlossberg had a part-time office evicted him, citing his "offensive" comments. Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. have sent a letter to the disciplinary committee that oversees lawyers in New York state to file a formal complaint against Schlossberg. 

There's also a Change.org petition to have him disbarred, an action the discipline committee of the New York State Unified Court System will not likely take. According to Jessica A. Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School and president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, Schlossberg can't be stripped of his license to practice law in New York for the disparaging remarks because he did not invoke his law firm in order to intimidate the employees and did not engage in racism within his practice. His diatribe alone, though, likely does not violate ethics rules, Levinson noted. 

Fury against Schlossberg manifested online in classically snarky ways, too: his law office was inundated with one-star reviews on Yelp, forcing the site to suspend reviews for the business; a Google listing for his business briefly turned up a sly one-line description reading "Spanish restaurant"; and a GoFundMe page was set up to send a mariachi band to Schlossberg's office ("We are requesting the band to sing the famous, endearing and warm Spanish children's song La Cucaracha," declared the organizer of the fundraiser, called Mariachis for Aaron; it raised $1,000 of its $500 goal in less than a day). 

Schlossberg appears to have a documented history of xenophobic and racist behavior. At a May 2017 protest of Linda Sarsour -- an American Muslim political activist who was speaking at a CUNY graduation ceremony -- Schlossberg can be heard screaming "Fake Jews" and "You are not a Jew" at counterprotesters who were Haredi Jews, according to witness Isaac Saul. 

In October 2016, New York City tech consultant and video blogger Willie Morris posted a YouTube video recounting a disturbing run-in with Schlossberg. Morris said Schlossberg, a complete stranger, beelined straight into him on the sidewalk and started yelling at him: "What country are you from? I'm going to call the police. You don't run into me. I'm a citizen here, you're not. You're an ugly f-----g foreigner. F--- you." 

Another video from a Latinos for Trump rally in New York City -- of which the date is unclear -- shows Schlossberg taunting counterprotesters. And VICE News obtained video showing him outside Trump Tower wearing a MAGA hat and unleashing profanities at people protesting Trump.

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<![CDATA['Star Wars' Fans Ready for Hollywood 'Solo' Line]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:53:18 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/tclchinesetheatreGettyImages1-629991696.jpg

Queues and the "Star Wars" universe?

It's a tricky topic, since so many planets and moonscapes and ship berths are so gloriously empty and dramatically barren, from Hoth to Tatooine.

How can people line up in places with, well, very few people?

But crowds do bunch up, even in the "Star Wars" films. Take the Cantina in Mos Eisley, which famously has a bit of a wait at the bar. Swaggering up to place your drink order, and cutting in front of the other waiting aliens, would have been a major no-no of galactic proportions.

There is, though, another "Star Wars" queue you can hang out in, for a full two days, if you've got your Greedo costume at the ready and your desire to chat with other fans of Lucasian lines.

It's the famous LiningUp.net line that pops up outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre, in Hollywood, whenever a major new flick zooms in from the "Star Wars" universe.

As "Solo: A Star Wars Story," the latest movie, is doing on in matter of days. And devotees of Chewbacca, Han, and their rollicking adventures will queue up, at the the landmark cinema, from 7 o'clock on Tuesday, May 22 through 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, when they enter the theater for the first showing of the movie.

That's sold out, but if you want to swing by and hang out with your fellow Star-Warsies, and don your Bantha outfit, and most importantly, help out the Starlight Children's Foundation, the event's beneficiary, you can and should.

Also, sometimes other non-line fans deliver impromptu treats to those in line, which is as sweet as as Hoth is cold.

And if you can't make to the TCL Chinese Theatre from May 22-24, you can donate to the Starlight Children's Foundation online, all in honor of those who are waiting in the line over two give-back days.

Starlight "... creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families."

It's a wonderful organization with a wonderful purpose worth our support. Stop by, if you're near Tinseltown, and feel free to don your Chewy-iest costume, or lend some love from a distance to those joining the cosmic queue.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBA All-Rookie Teams: 20 NBA Writers Say Lonzo Ball Wasn't Top 10 Rookie]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 16:03:01 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Kuzma-Lakers-vs-Grizzlies.jpg

The NBA announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, and Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball both earned honors, with the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft making the first team, while the no. 2 pick made the second team.

Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Utah's Donovan Mitchell, who are the two clear front runners for Rookie of the Year, were both unanimous selections to the first team. Boston's Jayson Tatum received 99 out of 100 first team votes to finish third in the voting.

Kuzma comfortably made the first team and received 93 first team votes and seven second team votes, meaning he was on every ballot. Ball, who missed 30 out of 82 games due to injury, understandably only received seven first team votes and 73 second team votes.

The former UCLA Bruin was a polarizing figure even before he made his NBA debut. Ball fell off the ballots of 20 of the 100 voters, comprised of NBA writers and broadcasters, despite becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double and earning high praise from stars around the league, including LeBron James and Paul George.

Ball struggled with streaky shooting throughout the season and finished averaging 10.2 points per game on 30.5 percent shooting on three-pointers, 36.0 percent shooting from the field and 45.1 percent shooting from the foul line.

Ball's supporters pointed to the point guard's strong defense as an overlooked factor in the voting, but 20 NBA writers not counting Ball as one of the top 10 rookies seemed to raise eyebrows considering he still averaged 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

Kuzma, meanwhile, didn't need an argument of support after his historic season. Kuzma became the first rookie in NBA history to score over 1,000+ points, make 150+ three-pointers and grab 400+ rebounds in a debut NBA season. He embodied the modern court stretching power forward.

Kuzma eventually finished the year with 1,242 points, 159 made three-pointers and 483 rebounds in 77 games played. Kuzma recorded 17 double-doubles, shot 36.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc, 45.0 percent from the field and 70.7 percent from the foul line.

Another notable Lakers' rookie that curiously did not receive a single vote was Josh Hart. The rookie out of Villanova proved to be one of the Lakers' best defenders, rebounders and three-point shooters. Hart finished with eight double-doubles despite only averaging 23.2 minutes per game in his rookie year. The 23-year-old also shot 39.6 percent from beyond the three-point line, which was good enough for team-high honors, excluding the Andre Ingram miracle cameo at the end of the season.

Though these postseason awards don't mean all that much in the grand scheme of player development, they are sure to provide more trash talking material for Hart, Ball and Kuzma, all three of whom are notorious for ribbing one another on social media.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bus Driver, 77, in Deadly Crash Had 14 License Suspensions]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 15:11:20 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NJ+Bus+Accident+5+USE+THIS.png

The 77-year-old school bus driver from the deadly May 17 highway crash in New Jersey had a lengthy history of license suspensions and moving violations, a spokeswoman for the Motor Vehicle Commission told News 4.

Investigators are still probing the cause of the crash, which killed a 10-year-old student and a teacher after the full-size school bus collided with a dump truck on Route 80 near exit 25 in Mount Olive Township. Video from a Department of Transportation camera shows the school bus filled with fifth-graders making a sudden U-turn in a median, sources have told News 4.

The bus, which was carrying 38 students and seven adults from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, was heading to a class field trip to Waterloo Village, a historic site in Stanhope.

The driver, identified as Hudy Mulrow Sr. first got his license in 1975. He had a total of 14 license suspensions, eight speeding tickets, a careless driving ticket and a ticket for an improper turn in 2010, the MVC spokeswoman said Tuesday. 

Mulrow remains in the hospital and was unavailable for comment. 

The most recent suspension was from Dec. 20 of last year to Jan. 3 of this year for unpaid parking tickets. It was not clear if Paramus officials knew of that suspension; the district was not immediately available for comment. 

The driver had a commercial driver's license issued in 2012 and got the school bus endorsement on his commercial driver's license in 2013, the MVC said. 

The lawyer representing the family of 10-year-old Miranda Vargas, who was laid to rest Monday, sent a notice of tort claim to the Borough of Paramus and the Paramus school board Tuesday, indicating the family plans to sue. The lawyer is questioning whether the Paramus Board of Education did proper diligence in hiring a driver with his record. 

Funeral services for the teacher killed in the crash, Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, will be held Thursday morning. 

Photo Credit: Christopher Thiele]]>
<![CDATA[WH Under Fire for Coin With 'Supreme Leader' Kim Jong Un]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 10:17:17 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/trump-un-coin.jpg

The White House is under criticism for issuing a coin commemorating the planned meeting between President Donald Trump and the North Korea leader, Kim Jong Un, just as the meeting seems in doubt with even Trump suggesting it might be delayed.

North Korea has threatened to walk away from the June 12 meeting in Singapore over fears that it will be forced to give up its nuclear arsenal without receiving significant concessions in return.

Last week it canceled high-level talks with South Korea amid military exercises involving the United States, a surprise move that came just hours before the talks were to take place. North Korea claimed the joint exercises were a rehearsal for an invasion.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that the summit might not take place on schedule.

“You never really know,” he said. “It may not work out for June 12.”

Trump was meeting with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming summit. A national security adviser to Moon had earlier downplayed suggestions that Trump had become nervous about meeting with Kim and said the summit was “99.9 percent done deal,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. 

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate minority leader, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, chided the White House over including Kim’s face on the coin.

“I urge the White House to take Kim off the coin,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “Challenge coins are a time honored tradition and certainly appropriate in this situation, but Kim Jong Un’s face has no place on this coin. He is a brutal dictator and something like the Peace House would be much more appropriate.”

The coins, dated 2018, show profiles of Trump and "Supreme Leader" Kim facing each other, with the two leaders' names, their countries and the words, “Peace Talks.”

The Peace House, which is within the demilitarized zone on the border between the two Koreas, is where Trump originally suggested he meet Kim.

The White House’s principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, responded that since 2003, members of the White House Communications Agency have ordered a limited number of commercially designed and manufactured souvenir travel coins for purchase.

“These coins are designed, manufactured and made by an American coin manufacturer,” Shah said in his statement. “These souvenir coins are only ordered after a trip has been publicly announced. The White House did not have any input into the design and manufacture of the coin.”

The White House Communications Agency is a military unit that provides communications support for the president and his staff.

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<![CDATA[Law Aims to Ban Mile-Long Fishing Nets that Kill Sea Life]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 16:21:33 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/154.png

New legislation aims to phase out mile-long fishing nets off the California coast that have entangled and killed sea life, including endangered species, by the thousands over the past few decades. The gear, known as drift gillnets, are mainly used to catch swordfish but often net far more than what fisherman are actually targeting, according to an analysis by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. While tougher restrictions and new regulations are credited for reducing the number of marine mammals unintentionally caught in the nets, state and federal lawmakers insist the impact to the environment is still detrimental.

‘It’s Strangling Them’

“They’re wound up tight in this net and it's strangling them,” said one man who spent nearly 30 days at sea on three different drift gillnet fishing trips in December 2016, September 2017 and December 2017. He spoke to the Investigative Unit about what he observed on the condition he remain anonymous. 

Sea animals “were drowning to death in these nets,” he said. “That's why these nets have to be banned for good — it's the only way to protect sea mammals in the ocean.”

He shot over 100 hours of video while on board two different boats off the California coast. He told the Investigative Unit he managed to get permission from crews to be on board. However, what they didn’t realize is that the he is an undercover cameraman working for animal rights groups.

“The crews and captains were so casual in telling me how many dead sea mammals would come up in the nets,” he said. “Part of what's at stake is our dignity — do we want to kill intelligent mammals that share the ocean and increase its biodiversity so that we can have swordfish on their plate?”

Animal Advocacy Groups Release Undercover and Underwater Videos

His undercover videos, as well as underwater clips showing marine life entangled in the nets, were recently released by a coalition of animal advocacy groups in an effort to get the nets banned. Those groups include Mercy for Animals, Sharkwater, Sea Legacy and the Turtle Island Restoration Network.

“It’s extraordinarily damaging, deadly, inhumane gear,” said Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, who proposed state legislation to phase out drift gillnets. “California is a global environmental leader … I can't quite believe that we haven't closed this loop yet.”

Allen’s plan would offer to buy back permits from fisherman. Those who chose not participate, however, would be subject to more expensive permit fees each year. The current price of $330 would increase to $3,000 by April 1, 2020.

“The damage caused by this equipment is so high that if there are a couple of people who lose their job, you know, I think that that is a cost worth paying,” he said. “We're hopeful that this will be a very humane way of transitioning them out, moving them toward other types of fishing that are much less damaging.”

Allen said: “How much are we going to allow this really small group of fishermen with this one particular type of gear to cause this amount of damage off of our coast when there are other alternatives … that can still get good fish on people's plates but do so in a much less damaging way.”

Bipartisan federal legislation has also been introduced to ban drift gillnets by 2020. Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-California; Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia; and Kamala Harris, D-California, authored the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, which tasks NOAA to develop a program to help fisherman transition to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Mile-Long Fishing Nets Face ‘Great Deal of Scrutiny’

Drift gillnets can stretch up to a mile long, or roughly the entire span of the Golden Gate Bridge. The gear is typically 100 feet tall and must remain attached to a boat, and can only be dropped into the ocean from about sunset to sunrise. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regulates the use of drift gillnets.

“Clearly this fishery has long been subject to a great deal of scrutiny,” said Michael Milstein, a NOAA spokesperson who provided a statement to the Investigative Unit.

“We understand this fishery and its impacts well,” said Milstein, who points to decades of data collected by NOAA. 

Since 1990, the agency has randomly placed government employees aboard fishing vessels to document how often marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and fish are caught and killed in drift gillnets. The Investigative Unit obtained and analyzed those records — nearly three decades worth — and discovered fisherman only kept about 23 percent of what their drift gillnets caught over the past 28 years. The rest was tossed back into the ocean — either alive, injured, or dead. The Investigative Unit first began reporting on the impact of drift gillnets two years ago.

More Than 4,000 Dolphins Killed in Drift Gillnets

Observers board about 20 percent of all fishing trips that use the nets. So in order to determine the rate for entire fleet of boats using the nets, the federal government calculates estimated totals each year. Using those figures, the Investigative Unit calculated totals for specific species and found drift gillnets have killed 87,929 sharks, 4,135 dolphins and 1,218 sea lions over the past 28 years. The nets also killed an estimated 456 whales and 136 sea turtles, which include endangered and threatened species.

“We have worked with fishermen over the last few decades, and we have also added controls and restrictions to reduce unintended impacts on protected species such as dolphins and whales,” Milstein said.

Tougher Standards, New Regulations

Holes in the netting are now larger and must be at least 14 inches wide. Additionally, noise making devices have to be attached all along the net to scare away unintended victims such as dolphins and whales. Since the federal government started requiring those acoustic pingers in 1997, the number of entangled marine mammals has been cut in half, according to a government report. NOAA is also considering installing cameras on fishing boats to keep a closer watch on what is caught.

“The result is that the fishery is now much safer, although it is also much smaller in terms of the number of vessels than it used to be,” Milstein said. Nearly 30 years ago, 141 fisherman used drift gillnets. Today, only about 20 fisherman regularly rely on the gear.

Fisherman Fear Jobs on Chopping Block

Environmental groups are pushing for fisherman to a use an alternative type of gear known as deep set buoy gear, which uses buoys to drop fishing lines 1,000 feet below the surface in order to better target swordfish and avoid marine mammals that prefer warmer waters closer the surface. In contrast, drift gillnets are set just 36 feet below water.

“Everybody is going to lose their livelihoods,” said Gary Burke, a fisherman opposed to the phase-out legislation. He has used drift gillnets off the California coast since the practice began in the 1970s. 

“They’re pigeonholing [fisherman] in a corner with this bill – ‘take what little money we're offering you or we'll put you out of business through regulations and restrictions and economically force you to do things that will cost you so much you can't afford to go fishing,’” Burke said.

Burke says tougher standards and new regulations regarding drift gillnets have already lessened the impact on marine mammals. Over the past five years, the nets haven’t snagged a single sea turtle, according to government records. The nets, however, did entangle and kill 15 whales during that same time period. While the gear is also used to net certain types of sharks, half the sharks pulled aboard last weren’t the right catch so they were tossed back into the ocean, most of them already dead.

The drift gillnet fishery along the West Coast only accounts for less than one percent of the swordfish consumed across the country. About 76 percent of the nation’s swordfish is imported from other countries, according to NOAA, many of which use drift gillnets and have even fewer regulations than the United States. Burke believes banning the gear in the U.S. will undoubtedly lead to more imports of swordfish that have been caught using questionable practices abroad.

“You're going to get imports from countries that have zero regulations,” he said. “If we don't produce it, we're going to import it — that's just the way it is.”

Photo Credit: Howard Hall and Mercy for Animals
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Knock Down Blaze at Twice-Burned Strip Mall]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 08:09:47 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/052218+mar+vista+fire.jpg

Firefighters responded to a blaze that ripped through a strip mall eary Tuseday in Mar Vista.

The building had burned just a year prior.

Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the blaze at 4:59 a.m. on the 3500 block of Centinela Avenue. After a 27-minute struggle, fire crews declared the flames knocked down.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

<![CDATA[Driver of Stolen Camry in Tri-County Pursuit Stops, Runs From Car]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 17:11:51 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/purusit-ram-pit-05218.PNG

An hourslong tri-county pursuit came to a bizarre end in Riverside County Monday after the driver traveled on the wrong side of the road and drove recklessly on freeways and streets before running from the Camry, with authorities chasing another sedan leaving the parking lot.

The chase began in Orange County on the 91 Freeway when license plates on the 2002 black Toyota Camry came back as stolen, kicking off a pursuit that reached speeds from 85 to 100 mph.

The chase continued on for hours, heading eastbound to Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

At one point, the driver threw objects from the window -- one of which hit a patrol SUV -- as the chase continued on the 10 Freeway in the Rancho Cucamonga area. From there, the hourslong chase continued east from Riverside County into San Bernardino County.

The driver was on a street in Riverside when a trailing officer attempted back-to-back PIT maneuvers that failed to stop the Camry. 

Despite stopping at least twice on streets, the driver continued on. 

Two hours into the chase, the driver stopped and ran from the Camry. A woman riding in the passenger seat also ran. The driver ran into a building at 3463 Grapevine in the Riverside community of Glen Avon, but was taken into custody. He managed to change his blue shirt to a black one while inside the building but officers still got him. 

The woman then hopped into another black sedan that had a couple and a baby inside. The sedan had pulled away from the same parking lot, which started the second chase. The second black sedan was eventually stopped in the Colton area. The couple said they were just giving her a ride because she asked. A news photographer told her to give herself up and get out of the car, and she did. Police took her into custody.

Police later confirmed the identity of the driver as Christian Beltran and the woman as Cecelia Martinez. Beltran was charged with felony evading, driving a stolen car and possession of stolen property. 

It wasn't clear if the family knew the pursuit driver or passenger. 

<![CDATA[Election Deadline: Register to Vote in the June 5 Gubernatorial Primary]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 09:57:07 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/vote+sign+generic.jpg

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in next month's California primary election.

California residents must register Monday before the midnight deadline. Seventy-five percent of eligible residents are registered to vote -- the highest percentage entering a gubernatorial primary in the last 64 years, accoding to state elections officials.

How to Register

  • Call: 800-481-8683
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<![CDATA[Most Docs Say Emergency Rooms Not Prepared for Disaster: Survey]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 18:20:06 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/emergency+waiting+room+composite.jpg

Ninety-three percent of doctors say their emergency departments are not fully prepared for a surge of patients in the event of a disaster, according to a new poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

The poll released Tuesday also revealed that less than 50 percent of emergency physicians believed they were even somewhat prepared for an emergency that require drastically increased patient capacity, whether due to a natural disaster or man-made event like a mass shooting.

The study polled more than 1,300 emergency physicians from both urban and suburban hospitals from April 25 to May 6. The survey had a response rate of 18.6 percent and a 2.7 percent margin of error. 

Only six percent of respondents answered that their emergency departments were fully prepared and, on the other end of the spectrum, 17 percent said their departments were not at all prepared.

"Emergency physicians are concerned that our system cannot even meet daily demands, let alone during a medical surge for a natural or man-made disaster," said ACEP President Dr. Paul Kivela in a release.

In another striking finding, 90 percent of about 250 doctors polled said there was a shortage or absence of critical medication in their emergency rooms and that over the last year those shortages have increased, according to the poll.

Dr. Karl Marzec, an emergency medicine specialist with Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, said he is often prompted to use a different medication, which may not be his first line of treatment, due to the shortage. 

"Over the last six months, there's been prolonged shortage of critical medications that we use on a daily basis, so we've been having to go to alternative medications," Marzec said. "Some of them work just as effectively but we are also in shortage of these backup alternative medications that we're using."

Marzec said pain medication, nausea treatments and saline — all of which help patients recover — are in short supply and that could slow down patient care in a mass casualty event. 

The respondents were also asked whether their hospital re-evaluated procedures in light of recent events. Thirty percent of physicians said they had not really or not at all re-evaluated, while 44 percent of emergency rooms did somewhat evaluate their procedures. 

Marzec said his hospitals do prepare by thinking about what type of emergencies could occur in San Diego County, like fires, earthquakes and shootings. 

"If there's large fires throughout the county, we'd be thinking, 'What are our burn facility capabilities,'" Marzec said. 

ACEP said a coordinated approach to preparedness, including a region-wide data management system and tracking of resources, is key to ensuring preparedness in a mass emergency.

The organization is working to get a bill approved by Congress that could increase oversight of medical resources, allowing for better tracking and ensuring supplies are there when needed, Marzec said. 

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA['Sweet, Gentle' Officer Rescues Young Owl From Backyard Pool]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 11:07:21 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/052218+barn+owl+pool+temecula+6.jpg An owl was saved by a Riverside County Animal Services officer after it got stuck in a pool.

Photo Credit: Department of Animal Services, County of Riverside]]>
<![CDATA[Man Jumps Off Freeway Overpass Following Pursuit in Corona]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 05:32:21 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Man-jumps-off-Freeway.PNG

A man died when he jumped off a freeway overpass Monday night following the end of a police chase in Corona, according to police.

Details about what led to the chase, which ended at the interchange of the 91 and 15 freeways, were not immediately available.

Traffic was stopped on the freeway with multiple lanes closed on the connectors between both freeways during the police investigation. The overpass with the abandoned car also remained closed at the westbound 91 Freeway transition to the southbound 15 Freeway.

Multiple lanes and transition roads were closed due to the incident, which Newschopper4 Bravo was able to capture. Corona police ruled the incident a suicide.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Chopper Bravo]]>
<![CDATA[Bullpen Blows Buehler's Strong Start]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 22:41:15 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-961191874.jpg

There's no place like home…or is there?

Max Muncy homered, but the Los Angeles Dodgers lost their fifth consecutive game at home, 2-1, to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Following a weekend sweep of the red-hot Washington Nationals, the Dodgers offense disappeared upon their return to the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine.

Los Angeles recorded just three hits against the Rockies, one of which was a home run by Muncy.

Muncy crushed a first-pitch fastball from German Marquez in the bottom of the fourth inning into the seats in right-center to give the Dodgers the early, 1-0 lead.

Muncy now has five home runs in 19 starts this season and is 10-for-29 (.345) with three runs, four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI since May 10.

Walker Buehler was perfect through the first four innings, before allowing a leadoff home run to Gerardo Parra in the top of the fifth that tied the game.

The 23-year-old wunderkind allowed just one run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven strong innings, but his start was wasted after the bullpen surrendered the lead an inning later. 

"I feel like I did a pretty good job of trying to locate tonight," said Buehler of his start. "I just tried to keep them off balance, but Parra got a hold of one fastball."

Pedro Baez entered the game in the eighth inning and issued a one-out walk to Colorado catcher Tony Wolters who is batting .134 on the season.

"That can't happen," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of the walk to Wolters. "He got ahead of Wolters and then lost him. He'll be the first to tell you that that can't happen."

Two pitches later, Wolters stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by Yasmani Grandal.

After a pitching change, Wolters scored the go-ahead run on a grounder to second base by Carlos Gonzalez that Chase Utley was unable to make the throw on for the second error of the inning. 

"I knew it was going to be a tough play," said Utley after the game. "I didn't get a whole lot on the throw and I knew there was a runner at third so I had to get rid of it. We weren't able to make the play."

Utley had a rough night at work as he committed two of the team's three errors in the game. 

"Unfortunately, Chase mishandled a couple of balls," said Roberts. "That's very uncharacteristic of Chase."

Marquez (3-5) allowed one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

Marquez entered the game with a 5.15 ERA and the Dodgers are now 2-12 in games they face an opposing starting pitcher with an ERA of 5.00 or higher.

Baez took the loss, snapping the Dodgers four-game winning streak as former Kansas City Royal and Chicago Cub, Wade Davis, shut the door earning his 17th save of the season. 

The loss was the fifth consecutive defeat by the Dodgers against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Right off the Ribs

Buehler was hit in the ribcage by a line drive off the bat of Trevor Story in the top of the fifth inning that put the rookie flamethrower on his hands and knees in pain. After a few minutes, Buehler stayed in the game.

Up Next:

Brock Stewart is expected to be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and start for the Dodgers on Tuesday opposite RHP Chad Bettis for the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

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Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates: Rich Hill Returns to DL]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 20:52:34 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-960254270.jpg

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

The Dodgers set the record for the most players on the disabled list in 2016, and backed it up with an MLB-high 38 total DL stints in 2017.

That trend has continued in 2018 as the Dodgers have already placed eleven different players on the DL in the first six weeks of the season.

As of today's date, injuries have made eleven different players miss a total of 288 days on the DL.

The biggest blow of course was the announcement on April 30 that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Days later, the Dodgers were dealt another huge blow as three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 National League MVP Clayton Kershaw went on the DL with bicep tendinitis.

However, as is often the case in the ebbs and flows of a MLB season, the Dodgers received some good news last week as Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, and Logan Forsythe all returned from the DL to provide the team with reinforcements and a much needed boost.

Here's the updates:

Clayton Kershaw (bicep tendintis): Kershaw has been on the disabled list since May 6, and has missed a total of 16 days so far. An MRI with Dr. Neal El Attrache brought with hit good news that his injury was tendinitis and nothing worse. Kershaw has continued to play catch since going on the DL and Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and a simulated game on Saturday. If all goes well, he could feasibly return to the rotation, but the team might opt for him to make one rehab start first.

Rich Hill (Finger): Hill is the latest to return to the disabled list after an earlier stint on the DL in April with a cracked finger. This time, Hill heads to the DL with the same nagging injury that has plagued his last few big league seasons: blisters. As a curveball pitcher, Hill is no stranger to dealing with a blister on his left middle finger, but on Saturday night in Washington D.C. the skin ripped completely off after making just two pitches. The team believes Hill's stint on the DL this time could be more like his 38-day stint back in the summer of 2016.

Tom Koehler (Shoulder): Originally believed to be a bicep injury, Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. Koehler has began playing catch from a distance and could go on a throwing program soon. His return is still a ways away as he will need to ramp back up his arm strength and make a string of rehab assignments despite being eligible to come off the DL on Sunday.

Julio Urias (Shoulder): The Mexican native underwent shoulder surgery last summer and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Urias' traveled with the team to Monterrey, Mexico as part of baseball's international series, and threw off a mound for the first time last weekend. Urias can now begin a throwing program and could return to the minor leagues in July. H

Corey Seager (Elbow): The biggest blow of all for the boys in blue was announced on Monday, April 30 when the team reported that Seager was diagnosed with a right UCL sprain in his throwing elbow and have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Seager's surgery took place in Los Angeles on Friday, May 4, performed by Dr. Neal El Atrtache. El Attrache told the team that the surgery was a "success," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Seager would rehab at home in North Carolina for the remainder of the season. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin): Ryu is the most recent of devastating injuries to befell the boys in blue. The Korean pitcher left his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning on Wednesday May 2, with a groin injury. An MRI revealed that it was a grade 2 strain and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts described the injury in graphic detail saying that the "muscle tore off the bone," and that Ryu would be out until well after the All-Star break.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  

Photo Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Streamer-Flowing Artwork Debuts in Marina del Rey]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 17:15:20 -0700 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Sunset-Vestige-1-low.jpg "Sunset Vestige" is from the same collective who created "Liquid Shard" in DTLA.

Photo Credit: Poetic Kinetics]]>