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Sep 20, 2014

California lawyer faces discipline for phony celebrity photo-ops

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles attorney may have her law license suspended after a state bar investigation found that she had superimposed images of herself into numerous celebrity photographs posted on her website’s “publicity” page.

In an 18-page decision, a state bar court judge recommended Svitlana Sangary be suspended for six months and remain on probation for another 2-1/2 years for deceptive advertising and misconduct stemming from an investigation of the photos.

Sep 17, 2014

Wildfire in California’s Sierra Nevada menaces 1,600 homes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fire crews in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada battled to gain the upper hand on Wednesday against a blaze that threatened 1,600 homes and has displaced 2,100 residents as flames roared for a fifth day through dry timber and brush west of Lake Tahoe.

The so-called King Fire, the most menacing of 11 major wildfires across the drought-parched state, has scorched at least 18,500 acres (7,490 hectares) of the El Dorado National Forest since it erupted Saturday, fire officials said.

Sep 17, 2014

Seventh Los Angeles sheriff’s official found guilty in jail probe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was found guilty on Tuesday of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for his role in trying to thwart a federal probe into prisoner abuse and other misconduct inside the United States’ largest jail system.

A U.S. District Court jury convicted James Sexton of charges he helped hide an inmate informant from federal investigators after the inmate’s cover was blown, altering computer records to make it appear the informant had been released, then re-booking him under false names.

Sep 16, 2014

Los Angeles police try to reassure public on newly acquired drones

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two hand-me-down miniature helicopter drones given away for free by Seattle after a political uproar there are now under lock and key in Los Angeles, where a police commission vows to keep the aircraft grounded until it approves rules for their limited use.

The LAPD says the newly acquired Draganflyer X6 pilotless choppers, equipped to carry video cameras and night-vision lenses, are intended for SWAT-team use against armed suspects who may be barricaded alone or with hostages.

Sep 10, 2014

Los Angeles Fashion District raided in drug money-laundering probe

LOS ANGELES, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Police and federal agents
on Wednesday raided dozens of Los Angeles Fashion District
businesses suspected of operating as part of a major
money-laundering hub for narcotics traffickers in Mexico, law
enforcement officials said.

Nine people were arrested on charges of taking part in the
money laundering through a “black market peso exchange” scheme,
in which bulk amounts of ill-gotten U.S. cash are converted to
Mexican currency, they said.

Sep 10, 2014

Cougar that injured boy in California tracked for third day

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Game wardens and search hounds combed steep, wooded canyons and ravines for a third day near California’s Silicon Valley on Tuesday, looking for a mountain lion that injured a 6-year-old boy, but the cat has so far evaded trackers, wildlife officials said.

The boy was out hiking a trail with family and friends in a densely wooded preserve adjacent to a winery, just west of the town of Cupertino, when a mountain lion pounced on him and tried to drag him away, his parents told officials.

Sep 9, 2014

West Nile virus outbreak hits California’s Orange County

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An outbreak of the West Nile virus in California’s Orange County has infected more than 90 people so far this year, seven times as many as were diagnosed in all of 2013, and public health experts say the region’s prolonged drought may be a factor.

Not only has the number of human infections reported in the Southern California county since January dwarfed the 12 cases documented for all of 2013, but the prevalence of West Nile in birds, which harbor the virus, and in the mosquitoes transmitting it has also spiked.

Sep 8, 2014

Mountain lion attack leaves six-year-old California boy injured

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A mountain lion attacked and injured a 6-year-old boy hiking with family and friends on Sunday along a wooded trail in California’s Silicon Valley before two adults managed to frighten the cat away, a state wildlife official said.

The attack occurred at about 1 p.m. local time in an open-space preserve adjacent to the historic Picchetti Ranch Winery just west of the town of Cupertino, said Lieutenant Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Sep 4, 2014

Escaped albino cobra recaptured in Los Angeles suburb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Animal control officers on Thursday recaptured an albino cobra that mysteriously got loose in a Los Angeles suburb, leaving residents jumpy after the venomous reptile bit a dog earlier this week, authorities said.

Officials at the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control confirmed that the snake had been caught but said he was unable to immediately provide more details.

Sep 3, 2014

Drifter convicted of three cold-case Los Angeles murders

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A drifter and career criminal in his 70s was convicted on Tuesday of strangling three women to death and dumping their bodies in alleys near downtown Los Angeles during the 1980s in a string of cold case serial murders resurrected by DNA evidence.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deliberated just two hours before finding Samuel Little, 74, guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of all three women, who prosecutors described as having been made easy targets by their involvement in drugs and prostitution.

    • 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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