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Feb 5, 2013

Two California students lose fingers in tug-of-war

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Los Angeles-area high school students had fingers severed while taking part in a “spirit week” group tug-of-war contest, authorities said on Tuesday.

A boy and a girl from South El Monte High School were rushed to a local trauma center on Monday afternoon after their fingers were cut off during the tug-of-war at lunchtime, fire and school district officials said.

Feb 5, 2013

Los Angeles school district severs ties with priest accused of molestation

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Unified School District has severed its ties with a priest accused in files released by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles of molesting a teenage girl, a district spokesman said on Monday.

Father Joseph Pina, one of dozens of priests named in 12,000 pages of records made public by the archdiocese last week after years of legal battles, was hired as a community outreach organizer by the school district in 2002, said Tom Waldman, director of media relations for the LAUSD.

Feb 1, 2013

Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese releases priest abuse files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, after years of legal battles, released files on Thursday of priests accused of molesting children and removed a top clergyman who had been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.

Archbishop Jose Gomez said he had stripped his predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all public and administrative duties. Mahony’s former top aide, Thomas Curry, stepped down as bishop of Santa Barbara.

Feb 1, 2013

Ancient petroglyphs stolen from California site recovered

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four ancient petroglyphs that were stolen from a historic site in Northern California last year have been recovered, but no suspects have been identified in the brazen theft, federal authorities said on Thursday.

The petroglyphs, which were carved into volcanic rock more than 3,500 years ago, were discovered missing in October from the site in the Volcanic Tablelands, east of Yosemite, near California’s border with Nevada.

Jan 30, 2013

Los Angeles official seeks to shut hotels for maternity tourists

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles official moved on Tuesday to crack down on so-called maternity hotels he said have sprung up across parts of Southern California as pregnant women travel to the United States in a growing “birthing tourism” trend.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe asked colleagues to approve a series of steps designed to ultimately close the hotels – typically single-family homes carved into bedrooms where visiting women pay to stay in anticipation of giving birth to a child who will be born a U.S. citizen.

Jan 24, 2013

Family of ex-football star Junior Seau sues NFL over suicide

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The family of former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau, who killed himself last year, sued the National Football League on Wednesday, saying that brain damage he suffered during his 20 years in the league led to his suicide.

Seau’s children and ex-wife, along with the trustee of his estate, also claim in the San Diego Superior Court lawsuit that the NFL has long concealed from its players and the public the risks of neurological injury in the sport.

Jan 23, 2013

Family of former Chargers star Junior Seau sues NFL over suicide

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The family of former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau, who killed himself last year, sued the National Football League on Wednesday, claiming that his suicide resulted from brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head during his football career.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in San Diego Superior Court by Seau’s children and ex-wife, as well as the trustee of his estate, also claims that the NFL concealed the risks of brain damage in the sport, court documents showed.

Jan 19, 2013

California woman pleads guilty in assisted suicide of veteran

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California woman was sentenced to probation on Friday for helping an 86-year-old World War Two veteran kill himself by mixing a lethal dose of Oxycontin into his yogurt even though he was not terminally ill or bedridden.

Elizabeth Barrett, 66, pleaded guilty and was given three years of probation instead of jail time based on her lack of a criminal record, her own illness and the wishes of the man’s family, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Jan 18, 2013

California woman pleads guilty in assisted suicide of WW II veteran

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California woman accused of helping an 86-year-old World War II veteran kill himself by mixing a lethal dose of Oxycontin into his yogurt pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of assisted suicide and was sentenced to probation.

Elizabeth Barrett, 66, was given three years formal probation instead of jail time based on her lack of a criminal record, the wishes of the victim’s family and other factors, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Jan 16, 2013

Sacramento mayor says working to keep basketball’s Kings in town

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – Sacramento’s mayor has won consent from the NBA to submit a proposal that would keep the Sacramento Kings from leaving town, a spokesman said on Tuesday, amid reports that an investor group was looking to buy the team and move it to Seattle.

Kevin Johnson, speaking at his annual State of Downtown Breakfast on Tuesday, said National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern had approved his request to present a counteroffer to the league from a group of investors who would keep the Kings in the California state capital, spokesman Daniel Conway said.