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Mar 19, 2015

Student engineer was operating train in California crash

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A student engineer was operating a Los Angeles-bound commuter train when it slammed into a pickup truck that had taken a wrong turn onto the tracks last month, killing one person and injuring 50, federal safety investigators said on Thursday.

The commuter train struck the Ford F-450 as it sat on the tracks in the community of Oxnard, about 45 miles west of Los Angeles, shortly before dawn on Feb. 24.

Mar 19, 2015

California governor, lawmakers announce $1 billion drought package

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers on Thursday announced a $1 billion emergency legislative package to deal with the state’s devastating multi-year drought.

The proposed legislation would appropriate more than $1 billion in voter-approved bond funds to speed up water projects and programs and provide aid to struggling California cities and communities.

Mar 12, 2015

Judge removes local prosecutors from California shooting rampage case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California judge on Thursday removed local prosecutors from the case against a former tugboat worker who killed eight people in a 2011 rampage at a hair salon, citing discovery violations and accusations of misconduct.

But Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals declined to remove the death penalty as a punishment option for Scott Dekraai, who pleaded guilty last year to first degree murder in the shooting spree at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, according to his written ruling.

Mar 11, 2015

Los Angeles men accused of running ‘pay-to-stay’ student visa scheme

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Three Los Angeles-area men who prosecutors say ran a “pay-to-stay” scheme in which hundreds of foreign nationals paid to use their schools as cover for U.S. student visas were arrested on Wednesday on a federal grand jury indictment.

According to the indictment the defendants, who operated four Southern California schools, are accused of taking in as much as $6 million in phony “tuition” payments from the foreign nationals and creating false student records and transcripts to fool immigration authorities.

Mar 11, 2015

‘Suge’ Knight’s lawyer says rap mogul blind in one eye

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A lawyer for Marion “Suge” Knight, who is accused of running down two men with his pick-up truck at a Los Angeles area burger stand, killing one of them, says the rap mogul is blind in his left eye and may not have seen clearly during the incident.

Attorney Matthew Fletcher told celebrity news website TMZ that Knight, who suffers from glaucoma, did not have a clear view of his left side and so was forced to drive forward through the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton following fisticuffs with one of the men in January.

Mar 10, 2015

Authorities search for missing California woman amid campus attacks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Authorities were searching on Tuesday for a 22-year-old woman reported missing near a Southern California university, saying concerns for her well-being were heightened by a string of recent campus crimes that included an attempted kidnapping.

Sahray Astina Barber was last seen after leaving her apartment across the street from Cal State San Bernardino at about 6 a.m. on her way to work on another school campus, according to police, but she never arrived at her job.

Mar 9, 2015

Parents of man shot by LAPD officers sue again, charging racism

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The parents of an unarmed black man shot to death by two Los Angeles police officers have filed a second lawsuit against the police department and city, alleging their son was targeted for excessive force because of his skin color.

Los Angeles Police Department officials say two of its officers shot Ezell Ford, who was 25 and described by family attorneys as mentally challenged, on Aug. 11 last year after he struggled with one of them and tried to grab the policeman’s holstered service revolver.

Mar 9, 2015

Newly released video shows Suge Knight running over two men

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A videotape posted on celebrity news website TMZ on Monday shows Marion “Suge” Knight running over two men with his pick-up truck at a Los Angeles area burger stand, killing one of them, in an incident that led to hit-and-run charges against the rap mogul.

The graphic video appears to support prosecutors’ contention that Knight deliberately struck Cle “Bone” Sloan and Terry Carter with his red Ford F-150 on Jan. 29 following an altercation in the driveway of Tam’s Burgers in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

Mar 6, 2015

Actor Harrison Ford injured in small-plane crash in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, March 5 (Reuters) – “Star Wars” star Harrison
Ford was seriously injured on Thursday when the actor crashed
his vintage plane on a Los Angeles golf course shortly after
taking off from a local airport, a source told Reuters.

The single-engine plane clipped a tree as it went down
shortly after taking off from Santa Monica Airport, about a mile
(1.6 km) away, and the pilot survived in “fair to moderate”
condition, Assistant Los Angeles Fire Chief Patrick Butler said.

Mar 6, 2015

Actor Harrison Ford injured in small-plane crash in Los Angeles – reports

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Star Wars” star Harrison Ford was seriously injured on Thursday when the actor crashed his vintage plane on a Los Angeles golf course shortly after taking off from a local airport, celebrity website TMZ and local media reported.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the TMZ report, which said Ford, 72, suffered multiple gashes to his head in the crash just over a mile (1.6 km) from Santa Monica Airport and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.