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April 15, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Police are investigating a shallow grave discovered off a freeway embankment in Downey as a homicide, authorities said Monday. The grave was found about 4:45 p.m. Sunday off the 105 Freeway near Bellflower Boulevard, authorities said. A California Highway Patrol deputy found the grave and notified local police. Downey Police Department homicide detectives have taken over the investigation, authorities said. The identity and description of the remains were not immediately available.
April 12, 2014 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Gregory White Smith, a Harvard-trained lawyer, businessman, philanthropist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who raised hackles in the art world with an intensely psychological examination of the life and work of Jackson Pollock, has died. He was 62. Smith died Thursday at his home in Aiken, S.C., of a rare brain tumor diagnosed nearly 40 years ago, said his spouse and co-author Steven Naifeh. Naifeh and Smith won the Pulitzer Prize in biography for "Jackson Pollock: An American Saga," which was published in 1990 and spurred the 2000 movie "Pollock" starring Ed Harris.
April 1, 2013 | By Lauren Williams
Authorities continued to search late Monday for two Costa Mesa hikers who called for help from a cellphone before their battery died. About 8:25 p.m. Sunday, Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, notified authorities that they were lost while hiking in Trabuco Canyon, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The two thought they were about a mile from their vehicle, authorities said. Deputies searched for the man and woman on foot but were unable to find them.
April 11, 2014
Van Vlahakis Ecology-minded entrepreneur founded Earth Friendly Products Van Vlahakis, 79, an ecology-minded entrepreneur who manufactured and marketed environmentally safe cleaning products, including the best-selling ECOS laundry detergent, died Sunday at his home in Key Largo, Fla., his family said. The cause of death was not known. The Greek-born Vlahakis founded Venus Laboratories in the garage of his Chicago home in 1967. A decade later he changed the name to Earth Friendly Products and opened a headquarters and factory in Garden Grove.
August 4, 2013 | By Julie Cart
More than 100 firefighters are battling a fierce fire at a large commercial market building in Eagle Rock late Sunday night, authorities said. The fire in the 3300 block of North Verdugo Boulevard was reported at 8:58 p.m., and by the time the first companies arrived, flames were shooting through the building's roof, according to L.A. Fire Department  spokeswoman Katherine Main. The intensity of the fire within the structure caused crews to fall back and attack the blaze with hoses, Main said.
April 5, 2013 | By Kate Mather, Frank Shyong and Matt Stevens
Two teenagers thought to have run away from their homes in Thousand Oaks and described as possibly suicidal have been found "in good health," authorities said Friday. Kaylee Rebert, 14, and Nicholas Marino, 13, were found in Newbury Park about 3 p.m. Friday after someone reported seeing the pair, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department said. Deputies found them a short time later. The teens were not in any danger when they were found, the department said, adding that at this time there was "no crime associated with this incident.
April 21, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos
Authorities began sifting through dirt in a New York City basement Saturday as part of a ongoing search for the remains of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished in 1979. The basement's concrete floor was removed Saturday morning and the area was broken into quadrants, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in a telephone interview with the Times. Authorities dug 1 1/2 feet to 2 feet into the dirt floor, Browne said. The first quadrant had been sifted through and the second was underway at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
March 3, 2011 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A Lomita restaurant owner who was arrested in the slaying of his wife admitted to killing her after initially claiming that she had vanished, authorities said Wednesday. David Viens, 47, said during an interview with detectives Tuesday evening at a hospital that he had killed Dawn Viens, according to authorities. David Viens is recovering from injuries he sustained last week after jumping off a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff as Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies pursued him. "He implicated himself in her killing," said sheriff's Lt. David Coleman.
April 11, 2013 | By Richard Winton, This post has been corrected. See note below for details
A crew of burglars allegedly walked away with at least $6 million by cutting through the rooftops of San Gabriel Valley banks under the cover of darkness, according to law enforcement authorities. On Wednesday, authorities announced five Inland Empire men had been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the unusual bank heists. The arrests came after investigators searched for clues for more than a year and gathered DNA evidence from crime scenes. "It is one of the most elaborate crimes we have seen," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said at a news conference.
April 9, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A man who allegedly brandished a handgun and shot at a deputy was killed in Lynwood when a deputy fired back, authorities said Tuesday night. The suspect was walking in the 4000 block of Agnes Street when he came into contact with at least one deputy shortly after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. The man opened fire, according to the department, prompting a deputy to return fire.  The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
April 10, 2014 | By Hillel Italie
Mary Cheever, an accomplished author and poet best known as the enduring spouse and widow of John Cheever, has died, after surviving by decades a husband who used their lonely but lasting marriage as an inspiration for some of his most memorable stories. She was 95. She had been battling pneumonia and died Monday night at her colonial-style manor in Ossining, N.Y., her daughter, Susan Cheever , said. The home served as a well-publicized backdrop to John Cheever's facade as the gentleman scribe of "The Swimmer" and "The Five-Forty-Eight.
April 6, 2014
ENGLAND Presentation Actress and writer Diz White will discuss how she came to write her travel humor book "Cotswolds Memoir: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. " When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. HIKING Workshop Linda Mulally will share tips on hiking and backpacking with your dog. When, where: 7 p.m. Tuesday at the REI store in Santa Monica, 402 Santa Monica Blvd.
April 5, 2014 | Lily Dayton
Each time health psychologist Kelly McGonigal teaches her Science of Willpower class, she asks students to select a willpower challenge to focus on during the 10-week course. Though students' goals are diverse -- kicking nicotine or getting out of debt, controlling their temper or overcoming alcohol abuse -- there is one goal that is most common among the 200 or 300 students who pack the lecture hall seeking life change: They want to lose weight. "It's important to understand that everyone is struggling with something," says McGonigal, whose experience in the Stanford University course inspired her to write "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. " Beliefs about the role of willpower in weight loss have changed through the decades.
April 5, 2014 | By Hillel Italie
Peter Matthiessen, a rich man's son who rejected a life of ease in favor of physical and spiritual challenges and produced such acclaimed works as "The Snow Leopard" and "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," died Saturday. He was 86. His publisher Geoff Kloske of Riverhead Books said Matthiessen, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, was ill "for some months. " He died at a hospital near his home on Long Island in New York. Matthiessen helped found the Paris Review, one of the most influential literary magazines, and won National Book Awards for "The Snow Leopard," his spiritual account of the Himalayas, and for "Shadow Country.
March 27, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING - The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Friday it had a new "credible lead" that suggested Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 probably crashed 680 miles northeast of the search area where more than a dozen planes and ships have been looking the last 10 days. The location was changed after a new analysis of radar data from the South China Sea and Malacca Strait before contact was lost with the Boeing 777, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew members when it disappeared March 8. "It indicated that the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft traveled south into the Indian Ocean," the Australian agency said Friday.
March 27, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Ten Southern California surgery centers once affiliated with the defunct 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign are suing UnitedHealth Group Inc. to get reimbursed for hundreds of Lap-Band weight-loss procedures. The lawsuit comes amid federal and state investigations into allegations that the surgery centers defrauded UnitedHealth Group and other insurance companies, according to a government affidavit and a demand letter filed in two federal court cases. The 1-800-GET-THIN ads once blanketed Southern California freeway billboards and broadcast airwaves, but the campaign was halted after the Food and Drug Administration said the ads failed to disclose adequately the risks of weight-loss surgery.
June 8, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Chinese police said Saturday that a disgruntled man set a fire that roared through a commuter bus Friday in Xiamen, leaving 47 people dead including himself, Chinese state media reported. The suspect was identified as Chen Shuizong, 59. Police found a suicide note at his home and family members were quoted as saying he had been petitioning the government over the denial of social security benefits. Petitioning is a longrunning Chinese system for addressing grievances by sending letters to government agencies for lack of a well-functioning judicial system.
February 20, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
About 700 people were evacuated at several facilities at Texas A&M University on Wednesday after a bomb threat forced the closing of part of the school and its athletic complex. “The investigation is continuing,” spokesman Lane Stephenson told the Los Angeles Times by telephone. The university in College Station, Texas, issued a Code Maroon emergency warning after receiving the threat about 10:50 a.m. Federal officials have been notified and are aiding in the investigation, the school said.
March 26, 2014 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jonathan Schell, the author, journalist and activist who wrote passionately and cogently about war and politics for more than 40 years, condemning conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq and galvanizing the anti-nuclear movement with his horrifyingly detailed bestseller, "The Fate of the Earth," died Tuesday at his home in New York City. He was 70. The cause was cancer, according to Schell's companion, Irena Gross. With unrelenting rage and idealism, Schell focused on the consequences of violence in essays and books that conveyed a hatred of war rooted in part in his firsthand observations of American military operations in Vietnam.
March 24, 2014 | By Kate Mather
A Los Angeles police officer was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the Hollywood Hills, officials said. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed via Twitter that an officer was taken to an area hospital following an officer-involved shooting in the 8100 block of Gould Avenue. Officer Rosario Herrera said police were called to the area shortly after 8 a.m. for a reported domestic-violence incident. Sources said the officer was hit by shrapnel in the arm and face. Paramedics responded to the area shortly after 9 a.m., L.A. Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.
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