general news correspondent
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Jul 30, 2014

Crews clean up, repair flood damage from Los Angeles water main break

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Utility crews working around the clock on Wednesday labored to clean up and repair damage from a major water main break that sparked a 20-foot-tall geyser and flooded part of the University of California campus in drought-stricken Los Angeles.

The late-afternoon rupture on Tuesday beneath Sunset Boulevard, a key thoroughfare on the city’s west side, opened a gaping sinkhole in the street and sent an estimated 8 million to 10 million gallons of water gushing across the north end of the UCLA campus for several hours.

Jul 29, 2014

NASA’s Mars rover sets off-Earth, off-road distance record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NASA’s decade-old Mars rover Opportunity has set a new off-Earth, off-road distance record, logging just over 25 miles (40 km) on the surface of the Red Planet to surpass the benchmark set in 1973 by a Russian probe on the moon.

Opportunity, which arrived on Mars in January 2004, a few weeks after its now-defunct rover twin Spirit, was built to drive only about a single kilometer but has continued to operate far beyond its design capabilities.

Jul 28, 2014

Deadly lightning strike was rare event for Southern California coast

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Lightning storms that killed a 20-year-old beachgoer in Los Angeles and sent eight other people to the hospital stemmed from a combination of atmospheric conditions relatively unusual for coastal Southern California, weather experts said on Monday.

A bolt of lightning, accompanied by what witnesses described as an explosive thunder clap, struck near the shore of Venice Beach on Sunday during a storm that materialized quickly and lasted about 15 minutes.

Jul 26, 2014

California burglary suspect may face murder charge in shooting by homeowner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California burglary suspect faces possible murder charges in the fatal shooting of his alleged accomplice, even though she was gunned down by the elderly man they had just robbed as she pleaded she was pregnant, police said Friday.Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, said on Friday that an autopsy had determined that the woman, Andrea Miller, 28, was not pregnant at the time of her death.

Gus Adams, 26, initially escaped from the scene of Tuesday night’s break-in and shooting in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach after Miller died in her failed getaway attempt, but Adams was arrested the next day, according to police.

Jul 25, 2014

Accused accomplice of California burglar shot dead may face murder charge

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California burglary suspect faces possible murder charges in the fatal shooting of his accused accomplice even though she was actually gunned down by the elderly man they had just robbed as she pleaded she was pregnant, police said on Friday.

Gus Adams, 26, initially escaped from the scene of Tuesday night’s break-in and shooting in Long Beach after his alleged partner died in her failed getaway attempt, but Adams was arrested the next day, according to police.

Jul 25, 2014

Chinese grad student found beaten to death near USC campus

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Chinese graduate student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has been found dead in his off-campus apartment after being assaulted late at night on his way home, police and university officials said.

The body of Xinran Ji, 24, an electrical engineering student who enrolled at USC in the fall of 2013, was discovered at about 7 a.m. local time Thursday morning, a few blocks away from where police say he had been attacked nearly six hours earlier.

Jul 25, 2014

Gillnet fishing halted off California to protect endangered turtles

LOS ANGELES, July 24 (Reuters) – Fresh-caught swordfish will
be off the menu in California restaurants for at least the next
month, due to a federally imposed temporary ban on drift
gillnets in the Pacific to protect endangered sea turtles
starting on Friday.

The closure, to remain in effect through Aug. 31, covers
25,000 square miles (62,160 square km) of ocean waters off
Southern California that constitute the prime West Coast fishing
grounds for swordfish and thresher sharks caught with gillnets.

Jul 23, 2014

Last victim of deadly Washington mudslide believed found

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Search teams in Washington State have found the remains of a person thought to be the last victim of a mudslide that buried an entire community in March and killed 43 people, county authorities said.

The body believed to be that of 44-year-old Molly Kristine “Kris” Regelbrugge was located Tuesday morning on the western edge of the disaster site. Medical examiners expect to confirm identification once the remains are recovered, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Jul 20, 2014

Actor James Garner of “The Rockford Files” dead at 86

LOS ANGELES, July 20 (Reuters) – Actor James Garner, best
known for his prime-time television roles as the wisecracking
frontier gambler on ““Maverick” and as an ex-con turned private
eye on ““The Rockford Files”, has died at age 86, Los Angeles
police confirmed early on Sunday.

Garner, who built a six-decade career playing ruggedly
charming, good-natured anti-heroes and received the highest
honor of the Screen Actors Guild in 2004, was found dead from
natural causes on Saturday night at his Los Angeles home,
according to police.

Jul 17, 2014

Marvel says the next Captain America will be an African American

LOS ANGELES, July 17 (Reuters) – An African American
character will soon strap on the star-emblazoned shield and step
into the red, white and blue uniform of Captain America in the
pages of Marvel Comics.

The character of Captain America first appeared in 1941, as
a super soldier fighting the Nazis. He was revived by Marvel in
the 1960s and became an icon among Marvel’s lineup of heroes.

    • About Steve

      "Joining Reuters in 1994 as a member of the broadcast/online desk in Washington, Steve later moved to Los Angeles, where he spent 10 years covering the entertainment industry, and the past two years as a general news correspondent. Steve began his career at United Press International in Washington. He also spent three years on Capitol Hill as editor of a weekly news journal published by a congressional caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference."
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