Alex's Feed
Nov 5, 2014

California schools chief re-elected in race that became referendum on education reform

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s union-backed schools superintendent has won re-election, defeating a challenger who called for tying teacher pay to student performance and a reshaping of tenure rules in an expensive race that emerged as a referendum on education reform.

According to state election figures, incumbent Tom Torlakson won 52 percent of the vote on Tuesday, compared with 48 percent for Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive who ran as an education reformer and enjoyed support from several wealthy donors.

Nov 3, 2014

Suspected driver arrested in fatal Halloween hit-and-run in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police have arrested a driver suspected of killing three 13-year-old girls in a hit-and-run incident at a Southern California crosswalk as they were trick-or-treating on Halloween, officials said on Monday.

Jaquinn Ramone Bell, 31, was arrested on Sunday at a Motel 6 in Stanton, a short distance from Santa Ana where the hit and run occurred on Friday night, Santa Ana police Chief Carlos Rojas told a news conference.

Nov 2, 2014

Utah National Guard disciplines four servicemen over bikini-model video

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The Utah National Guard is forcing an officer into early retirement for his involvement in a video featuring bikini-clad models riding in a tank, and three other service members face lesser discipline, a guard spokesman said on Saturday.

The non-commissioned officer allowed part of the video, which surfaced on the Internet last month, to be produced at Camp Williams in the Salt Lake Valley, said National Guard spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steve Fairbourn.

Nov 1, 2014

Branson to meet Virgin Galactic space team after crash

, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Richard Branson is set to
meet his Virgin Galactic space team in California’s Mojave
Desert on Saturday following the crash of a passenger spaceship
being developed by his company that killed one pilot and
seriously injured the other.

The entrepreneur has pledged to keep up the drive for space
travel, saying on the company’s web site: “Space is hard – but
worth it. We will persevere and move forward together.”

Nov 1, 2014

Test flight of Virgin Galactic spaceship ends in fatal crash in California

By Alex Dobuzinskis

MOJAVE Calif. (Reuters) – A passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other, officials said.

The crash of the suborbital vehicle, undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles, came days after another private space company, Orbital Sciences Corp, lost a rocket in an explosion moments after liftoff in Virginia.

Oct 31, 2014

Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes during Calif. test flight

By Alex Dobuzinskis

MOJAVE Calif. (Reuters) – A suborbital passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one crew member and seriously injuring the other, officials said.

The crash of the vehicle, undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles, came days after another private space company, Orbital Sciences Corp, lost a rocket in an explosion moments after liftoff in Virginia.

Oct 29, 2014

Group says piece of metal found on Pacific island is from Earhart’s plane

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Researchers probing the 1937 disappearance of famed American aviator Amelia Earhart’s plane said on Wednesday they now believe a slab of aluminum found decades ago on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean came from her aircraft.

The warped piece of metal was uncovered on a 1991 voyage to the island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has spent millions of dollars searching for Earhart’s plane in a project that has involved hundreds of people.

Oct 23, 2014

Massive gold nugget goes on sale for $400,000 in San Francisco

Oct 23 (Reuters) – A 5-pound gold nugget dug up in Northern
California this past summer and believed to be the largest
privately held piece of its kind from the state was offered for
sale at $400,000 on Thursday.

The chunk of gold, which is the size of a misshapen baked
potato and weighs 72 troy ounces, or about 5 pounds (2.3 kg), is
on display at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show from Thursday
through Sunday, said David McCarthy, senior numismatist for
Kagin’s Inc.

Oct 23, 2014

Woman who gouged her eyes in California sues over viral photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nurse at a Los Angeles hospital took a photo of a woman who gouged out her own eyes with pencils, and the patient sued the hospital and its administrators after the picture went viral on the Internet, her attorney said on Wednesday.

The plaintiff, who is not named in the lawsuit, was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after she tried to commit suicide by jamming the pencils through her eyes at another facility and was rushed to the hospital, her lawyer, Douglas Johnson, said.

Oct 17, 2014

Ex-Los Angeles schools chief says resignation came in polarized atmosphere

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Los Angeles public schools Superintendent John Deasy said on Friday, a day after resigning from his post, that his testimony in a landmark case on tenure rules for teachers created a polarizing atmosphere over his leadership.

The former top official of the second-largest school district in the nation, who has been praised by reform groups seeking to hold teachers to more stringent standards, also told reporters in a conference call that he might eventually run for office.