LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Grammy-winning mariachi bandleader Nati Cano, who stirred American audiences with the folk sounds of his native Mexico and played a key role in helping to teach young people how to play the music, has died at age 81, a bandmate said on Saturday.
Cano died on Friday at a hospital in Fillmore, California, after a long battle with cancer, said the bandmate, Sergio Alonso.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The fall season has brought a wave of hot, dry weather to California, with parts of the state baking this weekend in triple-digit temperatures and officials expressing concern the summer-like heat could spark a massive wildfire.
The scorching temperatures came from a high pressure system in the U.S. West and the arrival in Southern California of autumn’s first Santa Ana winds, which carry hot air through mountain passes toward the coast, meteorologists said.
(Reuters) – The parents of an American humanitarian worker held hostage by Islamic State militants appealed for his release on Saturday, speaking in a statement and a video message that highlighted his aid work and mentioned his conversion to Islam.
Ed and Paula Kassig, of Indianapolis, Indiana, urged the release of their son, Peter Kassig, 26. Kassig was threatened in a video issued on Friday by Islamic State militants that purported to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, 47.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is edging closer to court oversight of its jail system after the U.S. Department of Justice found mentally ill inmates were mishandled in vermin-infested facilities where suicides are too common.
Justice Department attorneys warned county officials in a letter last week that they would seek a court-enforced consent decree to resolve problems with the jail system, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Reuters.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California drug dealer whose four pit bulls fatally mauled a woman was sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder, a court clerk said.
Alex Donald Jackson, 31, who used his pit bulls as guard dogs, was sentenced during a hearing at a court in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles. The sentencing came just over a month after his conviction at a trial where jurors heard evidence of past attacks by the dogs that prosecutors said demonstrated Jackson knew they were a menace.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – No charges have been filed so far in the shooting death of the mayor of the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens, a day after his wife opened fire on him during a heated argument at their condominium, authorities said on Wednesday.
Daniel Crespo, 45, and his wife, Levette, 43, were arguing on Tuesday at their home in the city when their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., intervened, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The University of California will designate gender-neutral restrooms at its 10 campuses to accommodate transgender students, in a move that may be the first of its kind for a system of colleges in the United States.
University of California President Janet Napolitano’s office said in a statement on Monday that the action stems from an effort to make the system more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California will spend $3 million to provide legal representation for unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who have arrived in the state, under a bill signed into law on Saturday by Governor Jerry Brown.
With the measure, California becomes the only U.S. state along the Mexican border to provide special funds for the legal representation in federal immigration court of children from an influx of unaccompanied, Central American minors who began crossing the border last year.
(Reuters) – The pilot of a small plane and his 14-year-old passenger died on Saturday when their aircraft struck another plane and crashed during an event in upstate New York to introduce young people to aviation, officials said.
A Cessna 172, single-engine plane, and a Searey amateur-built aircraft collided about 6 miles (10 kms) southeast of Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The Cessna then crashed in a wooded area in Lancaster, police said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California Roman Catholic diocese that bought the Crystal Cathedral, famed for its “Hour of Power” broadcasts, plans a remodel to orient the mega-church’s interior toward an altar and close off some views, a rector said on Thursday.
Rector Christopher Smith said in an interview a day after the redesign was unveiled that the church in Southern California’s Garden Grove is expected to be ready for a dedication in early 2017 following a multimillion dollar renovation.