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The week ahead

August 25, 2008

A look at upcoming events:

Freeway work: Portions of the 105 Freeway will be closed near Los Angeles International Airport for a construction project, usually during overnight hours, through Friday.



New development: The San Juan Capistrano City Council and Planning Commission hold a meeting to discuss the mixed-use project on the Endevco property at Rancho Viejo Road, which calls for the construction of five healthcare buildings as well as retail and office space.


Oil drilling: The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission holds a public hearing on oil drilling in Baldwin Hills.

Arroyo Seco projects: A ceremony dedicates a restored portion of the Central Arroyo Stream in Pasadena. The $2.5-million project includes islands to filter oil and grease runoff, removal of invasive plant species, native California trees, more than 400 trash capture screens and reconfiguration of the stream to foster reintroduction of the native arroyo chub fish.


Mission: The San Gabriel Mission celebrates its 237th birthday with a three-day fiesta.


Ask a Reporter

If the governor signs a bill against using text messages while driving, what will the penalties be?

Violators of the law will face a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. The bill prohibits driving any motor vehicle while "using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text-based communication," which includes e-mail. If signed into law, the measure takes effect Jan. 1.


Flashback to 1958: a case of murder?

Ralph Atkinson, 28-year-old upholsterer of 6609 Beeman Ave., North Hollywood, left home early one Sunday to buy a newspaper. On the way back, he decided to stop at a bar and have a drink. Or two. Or three.

Charlotte Atkinson, 33-year-old housewife with a 7-month-old son and two daughters from one of her two previous marriages, went looking for him. She found her husband of 18 months at a bar in the early afternoon.

They had a few drinks and returned home. Charlotte went to the grocery store, but when she got back, Ralph had chained the door. She beat on the door until the chain gave way, The Times said. According to testimony by her daughters, Ralph began beating Charlotte and dragged her by the hair. She went into the den and picked up his 16-gauge shotgun.

"I got the gun just to scare him. I didn't know it was loaded," she said. "He'd beaten me before and he was starting to again when I got the gun."

Ralph Atkinson died at Hollywood Receiving Hospital after being shot in the stomach. Charlotte was charged with murder, but the case was dismissed at her preliminary hearing.

-- Larry Harnisch

For more, go to The Times' L.A. history blog at

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