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City News Service

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Woman awarded $417 million in Johnson & Johnson suit

Talcum powder products linked to cancer

A Los Angeles jury this week awarded $417 million to an ovarian cancer patient who alleged her disease was caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder.

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Changing Columbus Day

The Los Angeles City Council will discuss and vote on replacing Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples Day” as an official Los Angeles holiday at an upcoming meeting, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced on Aug. 17. O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation, called on supporters to attend the City Council meeting on Aug. 30 when the vote will be held.

Lee Baca will not remain free on bond

An appeals court this week rejected former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's bid to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction for conspiring to derail an FBI probe into corruption in the jail system.

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Deputy D’Andre Lampkin sues county

A veteran sheriff's deputy is suing Los Angeles County, alleging he was suspended without pay for reporting that he saw a retired deputy receiving oral sex in a car parked on county property in an area known for prostitution. D'Andre Lampkin's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges whistleblower retaliation and seeks unspecified damages.

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State court will not review Inglewood attack case

The California Supreme Court refused this week to review the case against a felon convicted of opening fire on Inglewood police, holing up inside a home with his off-and-on girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter for more than eight hours and raping the teen during the standoff.

Teen fatally injured after allegedly being furnished alcohol

The parents of an 18-year-old Glendora man who was fatally injured when he fell from the side of a Jeep in the Angeles National Forest sued a man and his wife today, alleging the couple furnished alcohol to their son and other underage guests at a graduation party at the defendants’ home before the accident.

Supervisors approve Fair Chance Employment program

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved forward this week with proposals to develop policies aimed at opening more employment doors both at the county and in the private sector for people with criminal records. The board approved a pair of motions asking for reports in 90 days with recommendations for amending hiring processes to give people with criminal records a “fair chance” at being hired. The rules would apply not only to county jobs, but to businesses operating in unincorporated areas or doing business with the county.

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DA says insufficient evidence found in LAPD inmate death case

The District Attorney’s Office has determined there is insufficient evidence to prove that Los Angeles Police Department personnel were criminally liable for the March 2016 death of a woman who authorities say committed suicide in her jail cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Katt Williams lawsuit dismissed

A judge this week dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged she was owed money for developing a marketing and touring plan for comedian Katt Williams.

Gay former LAPD officer gets cased dismissed by judge

A judge dismissed a lawsuit by a gay former Los Angeles police officer who alleged she was forced to retire after about 30 years on the job because of discriminatory and retaliatory conduct by her superiors.

Business owner shoots three alleged robbers

The owner of a Downey car audio shop shot three men—two fatally—when they tried to rob the business at gunpoint, police said today. The shooting occurred about 8:15 p.m. Monday at First Class Car Audio, 8856 Rosecrans Ave., the Downey Police Department reported.

Long Beach woman wins lottery

A woman named Claudia Williams is California's newest millionaire, thanks to a Super Ticket she bought in Long Beach on May 11, the California lottery said today.

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L.A. continues to bid for 2024 Olympics

Los Angeles’ Olympic bid chairman this week gave his most conciliatory comments to date suggesting the city is open to the possibility of a “dual award” decision that could make Paris the host of the 2024 Summer Games while awarding Los Angeles the 2028 Games.

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Olympian Danny Harris charged with sexual misconduct

Olympic silver medalist Danny Harris was charged this week with six criminal counts for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a female student at Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel, where he was an assistant track coach.

Koreatown shooting

The coroner's office today released the name of a man killed when an altercation turned into a shooting in Koreatown.

Man shot in Vermont Square

A man was shot and wounded in the Vermont Square area of South Los Angeles, authorities said today.

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Man’s conviction upheld for opening fire on Inglewood police

Convict also held girlfriend hostage and raped her daughter

An appellate panel this week upheld the conviction of a felon who fired on Inglewood police and holed up inside a home with his off-and-on girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter for more than eight hours, raping the teen during the standoff.

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Bike sharing program expands to Port of Los Angeles

Metro’s bike share program will expand to Pasadena on July 14 and the Port of Los Angeles on July 31, the agency announced this week.

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UCLA to offer scholarships in honor of Jackie Robinson

Thanks to a series of donations and a university matching fund, UCLA announced this week the creation of the Jackie R. Robinson Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarships that will support students participating in the four sports Robinson played while attending the school.

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Former Cal State LA employee faces countersuit from university

A former Cal State Los Angeles administrator who filed a sexual harassment case against the university and ex-athletic director Mike Garrett is herself being sued by the CSU Board of Trustees and three CSULA employees, who allege she secretly recorded conversations with them in 2016.

Acquitted deputies file civil rights suit against former Undersheriff Tanaka

Attorneys for two sheriff’s deputies acquitted of perjury and conspiracy charges filed a civil rights lawsuit today against the department’s now-jailed former undersheriff, among others, alleging they were the victims of a politically motivated prosecution.

L.A’s park ranking continues to drop

Many residents do not live walking distance from a public park

Irvine ranked among the top 10 big cities in the country when it comes to availability and access to parks, while Los Angeles tumbled to 74th in the nation, according to a study released this week by The Trust for Public Land.

Man killed in Trinity Park shooting

A man was shot to death today in Trinity Park in South Los Angeles, authorities said.

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Two newcomers join LAUSD board

Charter school advocates use heavy hands in race

A pair of candidates heavily backed by charter-school proponents will be taking over seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District board, potentially signaling a major policy shift in the nation’s second-largest school district. Despite topping a four-candidate field in the March primary, LAUSD board president Steve Zimmer couldn’t repeat that success in Tuesday’s runoff, and he was soundly defeated by teacher/attorney Nick Melvoin.

Measure C will give LAPD officers choices in disciplinary hearings

Los Angeles police officers facing disciplinary hearings will have a choice of appearing before an all-civilian review board or a panel that includes two command-level officers, thanks to voters’ approval of a ballot measure condemned by critics as a weakening of the LAPD’s disciplinary system.

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L.A. County launches study of tenant rights to establish stability

The Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to explore policies aimed at expanding affordable housing options and protecting renters, calling it “part and parcel” of the fight against homelessness. Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended the study.

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LAX on the MOVE sees completion

Five airlines completed their moves to new gates at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, wrapping up the largest airport shake-up of its kind in U.S. aviation history, LAX officials said.

Children’s Trust under fire

Toys for foster youth were never distributed, donations mismanaged

A county child welfare unit responsible for managing private funding never distributed $70,000 worth of donated toys and mismanaged more than $30,000 in other donations and free event tickets, according to an audit released this week. In a letter to the Board of Supervisors dated Monday, Auditor-Controller John Naimo said the Department of Children and Family Services—which requested the audit—should consider disbanding the Children’s Trust Fund Unit.

Suspect identified in teen’s assault

Authorities this week identified a 20-year-old man as a suspect in the severe beating of a 15-year-old boy who was attacked while walking home from a high school baseball game in late March near San Pedro. Jaymel Williams of San Pedro was already in custody in a neighboring county in an unrelated matter, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Top executives fired from Molina

In a surprise shake-up, Molina Healthcare Inc.—a major player in the Obamacare health insurance markets—ousted its two top executives, both sons of the firm’s founder, on grounds of poor financial results, it was reported on Wednesday.

Two injured in Chatsworth car crash

Two people were injured today when two vehicles collided head-on in Chatsworth, authorities said.

Chargers, Rams ready to meet

It’ll only be preseason, but Los Angeles’ two NFL teams will go head-to-head in a nationally televised game on Aug. 26. The NFL released its preseason schedule Monday, with the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers scheduled to meet in week three at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Disruptive speakers at City Hall meetings could be charged with trespassing

Gadflies who like to antagonize elected officials at public meetings and often get kicked out as a result may soon be facing criminal citations for trespassing as a result of a City Council motion passed Wednesday. “Oftentimes we have a lot of disruptions during the meetings where we have to remove particular speakers. These are the same people over and over that come in each and every day, in every committee meeting, to disrupt the meeting in the same form and fashion,” City Councilman Mitchell Englander told City News Service.

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Will.i.am settles suit against production company

Will.i.am and a production company settled a lawsuit in which the Black Eyed Peas singer alleged the company reneged on repaying a $300,000 loan.

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CSU Board votes to raise tuition

The finance committee of the California State University Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to raise tuition by 5 percent for the 2017-18 school year to address a shortfall in funding from the state in the face of increased demand for programs. The committee approved the proposal on a 7-2 vote, with amendments to rescind the hike if sufficient state funding comes through, and calling for reports over the next two years detailing how the additional dollars are spent. The full board heard public comment before taking a final vote.

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Plans released for Queen Mary Island

The city’s iconic Queen Mary would become the centerpiece of “Queen Mary Island,” a 65-acre entertainment complex that would include California’s first indoor ice climbing wall, surfing, canyoning, skydiving, zip lining, and a trampoline park, according to plans released this week.

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Ex-Sheriff Lee Baca convicted in federal corruption retrial

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of three federal charges for orchestrating a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate mistreatment in the jails he ran and of lying to the bureau. Jurors reached the verdict during their second full day of deliberations in Baca’s retrial. The eight-man, four-woman jury got the case Monday afternoon after hearing nine days of testimony involving more than a dozen witnesses.

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Incumbents reign in city council races

Six members of the Los Angeles City Council were celebrating re-election victories today, while Councilman Curren Price appeared to have won as well, but by a tenuous margin over activist/businessman Joe Bray-Ali. With all precincts reporting from Tuesday’s election, Price finished with 50.98 percent of the vote, appearing to win re-election outright. But it was unclear early Wednesday how many provisional or questioned ballots in the district remain to be tallied, and whether the final count might land the incumbent under the 50 percent threshold to avoid a May 16 runoff. Cedillo has a 1,952-vote lead over Bray-Ali, a bike activist and former bike shop owner.

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Measure S defeated at the polls

Despite a defeat at the ballot box, backers of a hotly debated initiative aimed at limiting development in the city of Los Angeles in part by blocking General Plan amendments for two years said today they were happy that their campaign has prompted change at City Hall. “We not only exposed corruption but we began a process of reform,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which largely bankrolled the campaign in support of Measure S. “We built a citywide movement, and we planted the seeds of change. Los Angeles will be a better place to live as a result of the Yes on S campaign.” Measure S was handily defeated by voters in Tuesday’s election. The initiative was the most expensive—and in many ways the most bitter—campaign in the Los Angeles city election.

Homeless tax emerges victorious

A quarter-cent Los Angeles County sales tax to fund anti-homelessness programs appeared to emerge victorious today by a thin margin, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many provisional, questioned or late ballots still needed to be tallied. With all precincts reporting, Measure H had 67.44 percent of the vote, just ahead of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. The measure was short of the threshold much of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, but it steadily gained ground as vote-counting continued, and it passed the two-thirds mark only when the final precincts reported.

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Eric Garcetti easily defeats challengers in mayors race

Mayor Eric Garcetti was preparing for another term this week, after easily outpacing a field of 10 challengers and avoiding a May runoff to keep his job. The mayor proclaimed victory Tuesday night—when early returns had already given him about 80 percent of the vote—greeting supporters at a campaign party in downtown Los Angeles, touting his achievements over the past four years and vowing that more is to come.

Local officials participate in Women’s Day

Demonstrations in recognition of International Women’s Day were led by elected leaders at both the Los Angeles City Council meeting and the County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday. Four of five members of the Board of Supervisors, the county’s chief executive officer, its lead attorney and several other women walked out at the start of today’s board hearing to show solidarity with women rallying and protesting on International Women’s Day.

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Woman charged with attempting to smuggle cocaine through LAX

A 28-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport and charged with trying to smuggle at least a 2.2 pounds of cocaine to her hometown of Detroit. Kennsha Mason was taken into custody by special agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after boarding a Spirit Airlines flight, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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City Council decriminalizes street vending

The City Council on Wednesday approved two ordinances decriminalizing street vending in Los Angeles. The practice is still outlawed but will be enforced through citations as the council continues to work on a permitting system for the industry. The ordinances, which were approved on a 13-0 vote, replace criminal misdemeanor charges with citations and remove criminal penalties against a person who fails to pay an administrative citation.

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LA County extends marijuana ban

Moves to shut down dispensaries

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to extend a ban on the cultivation, manufacture, processing, testing, transportation and retail sale of medical and non-medical marijuana in unincorporated areas until a comprehensive regulatory framework can be put in place.

$15,000 homicide reward for killer of Andrew Fierro

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Board of Supervisors approved a $15,000 reward today for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a gunman who fatally shot a 31-year-old father of two while he was sitting in a car in East Los Angeles.

Disney Chief Executive may extend tenure a third time

BURBANK (CNS) - With 16 months until his planned retirement and no successor in sight, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger may extend his tenure for a third time, The Wall Street Journal reported today, quoting people close to the company.

Telemundo performers to hold union vote

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Performers at the Spanish-language network Telemundo will begin voting today on whether to join SAG-AFTRA. A simple majority is needed to approve representation by the union, which represents approximately 160,000 actors, broadcast journalists and other media professionals. Voting will be conducted by mail through March 8.

Man goes missing in Canyon Country

CANYON COUNTRY (CNS) - Authorities are asking for the public's help today in finding a missing Canyon Country man. Tomas Sanchez Figueroa, 40, was last seen at his home at 10 p.m. Sunday in the 18000 block of Soledad Canyon Road, said Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

Buena park police make arrest from high-speed pursuit

BUENA PARK (CNS) - Buena Park police today chased a suspected stolen vehicle from their city to Lynwood at high speeds, authorities said. The pursuit started about 12:30 a.m. at Valley View Street and Orangethorpe Avenue, said Buena Park police Sgt. Michael Galos. Officers attempted to stop the suspected stolen vehicle but the driver sped away.