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Merdies Hayes

Staff Writer

323-905-1300 Extension: 1331



Recent Stories

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Climate change may foretell precarious future for LA County

Officials predict more allergens, vector diseases and wildfires

Los Angeles County has been a travel destination point for millions since its founding 165 years ago. The region has experienced unprecedented population growth and attraced new residents from across the country and from numerous nations to comprise the cultural “melting pot” we witness today. Questions arise, however, regarding the relationship between the historic drought the state is currently in and climate change: “Can the county sustain its reputation for growth and prosperity with a dwindling supply of water?”

Poor water policy decisions put ‘green’ community on hot seat

Outside of Mother Nature, who among us is responsible for the drought? A growing body of criticism is spreading up and down the state attesting that the drought is a man-made disaster brought on by misguided environmental policies.

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Top jazz artists will appear May 9 at Lancaster City Park

Presented by Marco and Sandra Johnson Foundation

The best in jazz is on tap May 9 as some of the recording industry’s most popular artists take the stage at the Johnson’s Smooth Jazz Festival. Presented by the Marco and Sandra Johnson Foundation, the festival will take place at Lancaster City Park and is being touted as a “Mother’s Day” event.

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Black church continues mantle of liberation, social justice

From ‘storefronts’ to ‘mega’ sanctuaries, scripture and faith lay path to prosperity

African American voices have always been lifted to Heaven. The infamous plantation fields may yield a valuable clue about why: the old “call and response” that was recited and rejoined to help sustain weary souls during centuries of back-breaking drudgery.

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STEM programs unleash hidden talents among AV students

EXPO set April 15 at Quartz Hill High

Hundreds of local students are preparing for the Quartz Hill High School STEM Expo set April 15 at the campus, 6040 West Avenue L. The event, open to the public, takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (official judging from 3 to 5 p.m.) and will award prizes to the first-, second- and third-place winners in each of seven categories: Environmental and Agricultural Innovation, Invention, Reverse Engineering, Robotics, Rube Goldberg, Science Fiction and Scientific Inquiry. Winners will advance to the district STEM Expo scheduled later this year.

Brown orders mandatory water restrictions, fines up to $10,000

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday announced what had been long expected in parched California: there will be indefinite mandatory water restrictions.

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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.

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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.

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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