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Apr 16, 2015

Alleged mistress of ex-NBA owner ordered to repay $2.6 million

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The wife of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has won a court decision ordering repayment of $2.6 million in real estate and cash he furnished to his alleged mistress, V. Stiviano, the woman behind his racially charged downfall.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin ruled that Shelly Sterling was entitled to recover those assets from Stiviano because they came from marital community property that her 80-year-old husband gave away without her consent.

Apr 15, 2015

California drought renews thirst for desalination plants

LOS ANGELES, April 14 (Reuters) – California’s 3-year-old
drought has thrust seawater desalination into the spotlight as
San Diego County, Santa Barbara and other cities push ahead with
treatment plants that will soon turn the Pacific Ocean into a
source of drinking water.

Desalination has emerged as a newly promising technology in
California in the face of a record dry spell that has forced
tough new conservation measures, depleted reservoirs and raised
the costs of importing fresh water from elsewhere.

Apr 11, 2015

Californian sheriff suspends 10 officers over beating of horseman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Californian sheriff has suspended 10 officers involved in the videotaped beating of a suspect who appeared to have surrendered and was lying on the ground after making a failed getaway attempt on horseback.

John McMahon, sheriff of San Bernardino County, said at a news conference on Friday he was “disturbed and troubled” by what he saw in the footage, shot from a KNBC-TV news helipcopter on Thursday near the town of Apple Valley, east of Los Angeles.

Apr 10, 2015

Dry, warm winter leaves Western U.S. snowpack at record low levels

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Meager precipitation and a premature spring thaw caused by unusually mild temperatures last month have left the U.S. Western mountain snowpack, a key source of fresh surface water for the region, at record low levels, the government reported on Friday.

Melting of winter snows began much earlier than usual this year, from the Sierra Nevada range in California to the lower elevations of Colorado’s Rockies, leaving much of the Western snowpack greatly diminished or gone by early April, when it is typically at its peak.

Apr 10, 2015

California sheriff calls videotaped beating of suspect ‘disturbing’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The sheriff of San Bernardino County, California, has ordered an investigation sparked by “disturbing” video footage of several deputies repeatedly punching and kicking a suspect who appeared to have surrendered as he lay face down on the ground.

Beating of the suspect, who made a failed getaway attempt on horseback, gained wide attention on television and the Internet after footage of Thursday’s confrontation was caught by a KNBC-TV news helicopter near the town of Apple Valley, east of Los Angeles.

Apr 7, 2015

Imperiled Gulf of Mexico whales eyed for federal protection

April 6 (Reuters) – The only resident group of whales in the
Gulf of Mexico, a population numbering fewer than 50 animals off
the Florida panhandle, has moved one step closer to possible
federal protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The National Marine Fisheries Service said on Monday there
is sufficient scientific evidence to consider granting protected
status to the Byrde’s (pronounced BROO-dus) whales, which
environmentalists say are threatened by ship traffic and energy
exploration in the Gulf.

Apr 6, 2015

Record California sea lion strandings top 2,250 so far this year

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – At least 2,250 California sea lions, mostly pups, have turned up starving and stranded on beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego so far this year, more than half of them last month alone, marking the worst such crisis yet documented for the marine mammals.

The tally, reported on Monday by the National Marine Fisheries Service, is nearly 10 times higher than the number of strandings during the first three months of last year and more than twice the number recorded in 2013, the sea lions’ previous worst season on record.

Apr 2, 2015

U.S. televangelist, megachurch leader Robert Schuller dies at 88

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Televangelist and Crystal Cathedral megachurch founder Robert Schuller, known worldwide for his weekly “Hour of Power” broadcasts, died in Southern California on Thursday, his grandson said. He was 88.

The death of Schuller, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2013, marked a closing chapter for a congregation he began in 1955 when he started holding services in a rented drive-in movie theater and built into a worldwide following.

Apr 2, 2015

Autopsy in Getty oil heir’s death expected on Thursday

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Andrew Getty, the grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, died from what appear to have been accidental or natural causes, but an autopsy is not expected to be performed before Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.

The 47-year-old heir to the Getty oil fortune was found dead on Tuesday at his Hollywood Hills home, his parents said in a statement in which they requested privacy. Police said there was no immediate sign of foul play.

Apr 1, 2015

Cargo traffic congestion slowly easing at West Coast ports

LOS ANGELES, April 1 (Reuters) – Cargo congestion at the two
busiest U.S. container ports has eased considerably in the six
weeks since West Coast dockworkers and shippers reached a
tentative labor deal, but port officials said it would take
several more weeks for freight traffic to return to normal.

The most obvious sign of improved cargo flow through the
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is a sharp decline in the
number of inbound freighters kept waiting at anchor for dock
space to open, Los Angeles port spokesman Paul Sanfield said on

    • 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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