general news correspondent
Steve's Feed
Jan 1, 2015

Four slightly hurt by Rose Bowl ‘dust devil’ in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A freak funnel of wind struck a concession area outside the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena during a pregame event on Wednesday, tossing tents and canopies through the air and slightly injuring four people, a fire department official said.

The burst of wind, which a National Weather Service specialist called a “cold dust devil,” was caught in a video clip posted on YouTube showing vendors and bystanders, including a person dressed in a cow costume, yelling and running for cover.

Dec 31, 2014

Cold grips U.S., with snow forecast from Southwest to Rockies

By Steve Gorman and Mark Guarino

(Reuters) – An Arctic air mass over the Great Plains gripped much of the country in below-normal temperatures on Tuesday and ushered in winter storm warnings from the Rockies to the Southwest, with snow forecast even in Las Vegas, before the New Year’s holiday.

The chill extended to Southern California and was expected to persist through New Year’s Day, as the National Weather Service predicted that crowds camped out before dawn on Thursday in Pasadena for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade would likely brave a record freeze.

Dec 30, 2014

Union urges shipping executives to enter West Coast port talks

LOS ANGELES, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Brushing aside calls for
federal mediation in prolonged contact talks with employers at
29 U.S. West Coast ports, the union for 20,000 dockworkers urged
shipping executives on management’s board of directors to take a
more active part in negotiations.

The latest statement from the International Longshore and
Warehouse Union came as the two sides escalated finger-pointing
over chronic cargo backups at ports that handle nearly half of
U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of imports from
Asia.

Dec 29, 2014

Los Angeles police seek second suspect in sniper attack on officers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police in Los Angeles have detained one man as a possible suspect and are searching for a second on Monday in connection with an apparent sniper attack on two officers in their patrol car, police said.

The two officers were answering a radio call in south Los Angeles on Sunday night when they heard gunshots and saw muzzle flashes in their direction, prompting one of the officers to return fire, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

Dec 25, 2014

CDC worker monitored for possible Ebola exposure in lab error

Dec 24 (Reuters) – A laboratory technician for the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been placed under
observation for possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus due
to an apparent mix-up in lab specimens, the Atlanta-based agency
said on Wednesday.

The technician, who was working on Monday with Ebola
specimens that were supposed to have been inactivated but which
may instead have contained live virus, will be monitored for
signs of infection for 21 days, the disease’s incubation period,
CDC officials said.

Dec 23, 2014

U.S. West Coast port employers seek mediation in dockworker talks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Shipping lines and terminal
operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports requested federal
mediation on Monday in their contract talks with the union for
20,000 dockworkers, saying the two sides remain far from a deal
after seven months of negotiations.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has so far
resisted previous calls by the National Retail Federation and
others for President Barack Obama to intervene in the talks
through mediation, saying the parties were making slow but
steady progress.

Dec 19, 2014

Overseas tip led FBI to recover stolen art worth up to $24 million

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An overseas tip investigators received six years after one of the biggest art heists in Los Angeles led to the return of nine stolen paintings, including works by Marc Chagall and Diego Rivera, collectively worth as much as $24 million, police and FBI said on Friday.

The paintings were recovered in an FBI sting operation in which a suspect, Paul Espinoza, 45, was arrested after he tried to sell the stolen artwork to undercover agents at a Los Angeles-area hotel in October for $700,000, authorities said.

Dec 18, 2014

FBI, Los Angeles police recover nine stolen paintings worth $10 million

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Federal agents and police in Los Angeles have recovered nine paintings worth millions of dollars that were stolen from the home of an elderly couple six years ago, including works by Marc Chagall and Diego Rivera, and FBI spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The paintings were recovered in an FBI sting operation in which a suspect identified as Paul Espinoza, 45, was arrested as he tried to sell the stolen artwork to undercover agents, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S. shippers cite wide gap in labor talks with West Coast dockworkers

LOS ANGELES, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Negotiators for shipping
lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports remain
far from a deal with union dockworkers after seven months of
contract talks, the companies said on Wednesday, again blaming
the union for waterfront cargo slowdowns.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) statement came a day
before the companies were slated to resume face-to-face
bargaining with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,
representing 20,000 West Coast dockworkers in the talks.

Dec 17, 2014

Sentencing reform clouds California’s inmate firefighting corps

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Battling one of California’s first major wildfires of the year, Kevin Black suddenly realized the only way to keep from being engulfed by flames roaring up a hillside toward his team was to finish the buffer line they were hacking through drought-parched brush.

“Either we get this line in, or we burn,” Black, 54, recalled shouting as he and his fellow crew members – all prison inmates clad in orange fatigues – hurried to cut a 6-foot-wide (1.8 meter-wide) fire break with hand tools in the thick scrub.

    • 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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