Merdies Hayes

Staff Writer

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Recent Stories

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Weekend heat wave expected to be precursor to extra dry year

With the mercury again rising throughout the southland this weekend, the ongoing drought will only be exacerbated. That’s the latest assessment from climatologists from U.S. Drought Monitor and other forecasting agencies which reported this week that California is about to enter its driest season without any immediate prospects for rain.

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California Poppy Festival will usher in colorful spring season

Scheduled April 18 and 19 in Lancaster

It’s time again to break out the sun hats, walking shoes, short pants and binoculars to capture the breathtaking beauty of the 2015 California Poppy Festival set for April 18 and 19 at Lancaster City Park, 43011 N. 10th Street West.. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, the annual showcase of multi-colored poppies is said to be one of the nation’s most picturesque events as thousands of visitors are expected flock to the region to catch a glimpse of the brilliant, beautiful blossoms.

New play remembers music impresario John Dolphin

In the late 1940s—a full decade before Motown Records—John Dolphin opened his world-famous record shop at Vernon and Central avenues in South Los Angeles. It was an immediate hit with teenagers of all colors as Rock ’N Roll and Rhythm & Blues began to supplant the Big Band and Jazz sounds once favored at sock hops and record hops that were so popular among the high school set.

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Third annual ‘Stand Down’ will address issue of homeless veterans

Set May 20 throughout L.A. County

Goodwill Southern California, in partnership with a number of cities in Los Angeles County, will host on May 20 its Third Annual Veteran Stand Down for homeless veterans and their families.

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‘Ghettoside’ sheds light on LAPD South Bureau

The screenplay could develop into one of Hollywood’s most provocative and politically-charged films. Lots of cops. Plenty of bad guys. Loaded with pathos and sentimentality for those wishing to find justice. But the aspect of “suspended disbelief” would be too taxing on the audience. The tears too frequent. The neighborhood too close. The reality far too depressing.

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El Nino has arrived but is much weaker

El Nino is here. Rather, “poquito” El Nino is here. It seems the vaunted weather pattern that brings with it coastal showers will be much weaker this year. Climatologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest its influence on weather patterns will likely be diminished. Researchers gave the conditions a 50- to 60-percent chance of lasting through the summer.

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Lancaster continues ambitious push toward ‘Net-Zero’ energy status

Dream rapidly becoming reality

In case you haven’t heard the news, all new single-family homes in Lancaster will be outfitted with solar panels. And energy-efficient plumbing. And gas-saving heaters. And eco-friendly insulation. Even drought-tolerant landscaping is part of the plan to effectively transform the town into one of the world’s most environmentally-concious municipalities.

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Angels great Alex Johnson dies

Alex Johnson, who in 1970 became the first player with the then California Angels to win the American League batting title, died early this month in Southfield, Mich., following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was 72.

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ACA, Covered California note increased enrollment

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday that nearly 11.7 million consumers have either selected or were automatically re-enrolled in Affordable Care Act insurance coverage as of Feb. 22. Of those, 8.84 million persons were in states using the HealthCare.gov platform and another 2.85 million were in the 14 states using their own marketplace platforms, including Covered California.

Covered California extends enrollment

April 30 is new deadline

Covered California is offering a special, extended enrollment opportunity for consumers who did not know there would be a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014, or for those who learned they may face a penalty later this year.

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