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City News Service

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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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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.

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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.

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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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.

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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.

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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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.

Arson arrests in Westlake apartment deaths

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Authorities today planned to announce arrests in connection with a 1993 fire at a Westlake apartment building that killed 10 people, including seven children. Details of the arrests were expected to be released by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck at a news conference in police headquarters later this morning.

Shooting death in West Los Angeles area

WEST LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Police today sought the public's help to find a suspect who shot two men, one fatally, in the West Los Angeles area.

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Blacks well represented in Oscars

The musical romance “La La Land” scored a record-tying 14 nominations this week for the 89th Academy Awards, including nods for best picture, best actor and actress, best director and best original screenplay.

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DA's office declines to charge LAPD officers in Ezell Ford's shooting death

The District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that no charges will be filed against two Los Angeles police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford,

Chargers to introduce new coach

CARSON (CNS) - The Los Angeles Chargers will introduce Anthony Lynn as their coach today, four days after his hiring was announced. Lynn succeeds Mike McCoy, who was fired Jan. 1 less than two hours after the Chargers concluded a 5-11 season with a 37-27 loss to Kansas City.

Chevron clerk fatally shot in robbery

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A clerk at a Chevron gas station in the Los Feliz area was shot and killed today during a robbery attempt, authorities said.

Jim Carrey discredits his former girlfriend's mother

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The mother of the former girlfriend of Jim Carrey says that contrary to the actor's assertions, she was not estranged from her daughter at the time of her offspring's suicide. "I find Mr. Carrey's efforts to discredit me and the relationship I had with my daughter nothing short of desperate and disgusting,'' Brigid Sweetman says in a sworn declaration filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by City News Service.

Heavy rain causes traffic issues

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Heavy rain caused flooding, mudslides and other traffic issues today, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Metro to be possibly crowded from fallout

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Trains on Metro's Blue and Expo lines could be very crowded this morning due to fallout from a mishap at the Blue Line rail yard, officials said.

U.S. Customs computers back to normal

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Things were back to normal today at Los Angeles International Airport in the aftermath of a problem with U.S. Customs and Border Protection computers on Monday that delayed airline passengers nationwide.

Standoff in Alhambra

ALHAMBRA (CNS) - A sleeping overnight shift worker's gun-like cell phone case prompted a scare today at an Alhambra shopping center parking lot. A shopping center patron who saw the man conked out in his SUV about 12:30 p.m. at the center at Fremont and Commonwealth avenues called authorities thinking he might be the victim of a medical emergency, according to Alhambra police.

Kidnapping scam

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A mother in Santa Ana who received a telephone call today from someone demanding ransom for her kidnapped daughter wired money to the suspect only to learn her loved one was safe all along and she was the victim of a scam.

Dog confronts burglar in El Sereno home

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Authorities today were seeking to identify a burglar who forced his way into an El Sereno home and pointed a gun at a dog that confronted him inside the residence.

Yorba Linda man pleads guilty to broker fraud

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 40-year-old Yorba Linda man pleaded guilty today in a real estate fraud scheme and was immediately sentenced to four years in prison.

Man convicted of sexually assaulting underage females

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 36-year-old man was convicted today of sexually assaulting two underage female relatives multiple times over several years in Anaheim.

Anaheim fire sparked by firework, no one injured

ANAHEIM (CNS) - Fire caused by an errant firework destroyed a car and damaged a wooden fence and eaves of an Anaheim house, but no one was injured, authorities said today.

Palmdale motorist dies in fatal car crash

PALMDALE (CNS) - A 26-year-old motorist was fatally injured when he lost control of his car while possibly racing another driver on Avenue 2, west of Sierra Highway, and crashed into two light poles, the California Highway Patrol said today.

Methane off-gassing in Aliso Canyon

There are possible new concerns for Porter Ranch residents near the Aliso Canyon underground gas field today as methane was detected seeping out of soil near a gas well plugged earlier this year following a four-month leak.

Man dies in fatal crash during CHP pursuit

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A man was killed today when he crashed his four-door Chevrolet into a pole and a tree within two blocks of the start of a California Highway Patrol pursuit, authorities said.

Southland prices on the rise again

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose for the fourth consecutive day today, increasing six-tenths of a cent to $2.743.

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Denzel Washington being awarded at ASC Awards

Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington is adding another honor to his distinguished career.

Supervisors hold first session with two new members

Board now has a female super-majority

With two new members aboard, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors convened its first meeting with a super-majority of female members Tuesday, and the panel prepared to address a host of big-ticket issues, including a proposed tax hike to fund programs to combat homelessness.

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Reputed gang member charged with quadruple murder

A reputed gang member—who was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted fugitives—was set to be arraigned this week on capital murder charges for his alleged involvement in a shootout that left four men dead in South Los Angeles. Marlon Jones, 41, is charged with four counts of murder stemming from the Oct. 15 shooting, along with the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

Star Wars film to cause traffic problems

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - The newest "Star Wars" film will be causing traffic problems long before it hits theaters.

Tarzana shooting death

TARZANA (CNS) - A man was arrested today for allegedly fatally shooting a woman in Tarzana after driving her to a dirt trail to test-fire his handgun, police said.

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Darren Sharper sentenced to 20 years for drugging and raping two women

Former pro football safety Darren Sharper was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women he met in a West Hollywood nightclub, completing the legal downfall of the one-time Super Bowl champion and NFL Network analyst.

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Council approves route of street car

A proposed streetcar project in downtown Los Angeles cleared a hurdle this week with the Los Angeles City Council signing off on a preferred route for the line and the findings of an environmental impact study.

Colleges reach out to president-elect on behalf of undocumented students

The leaders of the California State University, University of California and California Community College systems sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump recently, asking that he maintain a program sparing people who were brought to the country illegally as minors from deportation, so they can pursue higher education.

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Rams break ground on new Inglewood stadium

The Los Angeles Rams have formally broken ground on its future $2.6 billion stadium and surrounding entertainment district in Inglewood, where the team is expected to begin playing in 2019. Rams owners Stan Kroenke said the project will create out of the former site of Hollywood Park racetrack the “most unique and fan-friendly stadium in the world.”

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Students protest prospect of tuition hike

A group of California State University students carried out a protest this week as the CSU Board of Trustees began two days of meetings, during which it will review a financial report that includes the possibility of a roughly 5 percent tuition increase. Although the board is not scheduled to take any action on a tuition hike during its meetings this week, the issue is raised in a presentation on the CSU system’s 2017-18 Support Budget Request to the state.

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LA seeks to bring olympics in 2024

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The committee seeking to bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles will make its first official candidate city presentation to International Olympic Committee members today at the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Doha, Qatar.

Gasoline prices drop again in Southland

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County dropped today for the eighth consecutive day and 10th time in 11 days, decreasing 1.3 cents to $2.838.

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Capitol Records 75th anniversary

Capitol Records will begin a year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary Tuesday with the unveiling of a "Star of Recognition" and a proclamation declaring Nov. 15 Capitol Records Day in the city of Los Angeles.

LAUSD students protest Trump with walkout

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Hundreds of students from a series of East Los Angeles-area high schools walked out of class today and took part in a so-far peaceful march in protest of Donald Trump’s election as president.

Pedestrian killed in Sun Valley

SUN VALLEY (CNS)—Authorities today sought possible witnesses to the fatal injury of a Van Nuys man who was hit by a pickup truck in the Sun Valley area.

Armed Halloween robbery near USC

Police were looking today for three masked robbers who held up a grocery store near the USC campus.