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August 9, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Members of the Los Angeles wartime veterans group never thought they would end up in a home-front fight. That's what is happening at Patriotic Hall, however, as American Legion leaders battle to stay in the place they have called home for 87 years. Los Angeles County is wrapping up a $45.4-million renovation of the 10-story neo-Italian Renaissance landmark at 1816 S. Figueroa St. and is preparing to reopen it for use by veterans' organizations. But the American Legion and a dozen other veterans' groups worry that they won't be getting their old office space back.
June 12, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
The man whose complaints led to the child sexual abuse investigation of Jerry Sandusky tearfully told a Pennsylvania jury Tuesday that the former Penn State assistant football coach kissed, fondled and engaged in oral sex with him in the basement of the adult's home. On the second day of testimony in the case against Sandusky, the second witness -- known in court documents as Victim One -- said that when he was a boy the former coach would give him gifts and make him feel special.
May 14, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
Dear graduates: It's that time of year again: graduation season.  Across the country, the Adults are scrambling to their lecterns and op-ed columns for one last chance to tell you what to do, despite ample evidence over the last couple of years that the Adults have no idea what they're doing. (Full disclosure: This reporter is a Young Person.) Some of this advice will be useful. Some of it - such as in 2005, with Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University ( “Connect the dots” )
April 20, 2012 | By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Police and FBI agents began hauling chunks of concrete from a Manhattan basement on Friday and planned to sift through dirt from the subterranean room's torn-up floor in search of the remains of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who vanished 33 years ago. The search, underway at a building on Prince Street in Manhattan's tourist-choked SoHo district, began Thursday and is expected to last several days. Officials have refused to say what precisely led them to the site, down the block from where Etan Patz lived, but they have questioned at least one person who knew the boy and who has spoken to law enforcement authorities in the past.
April 20, 2012 | By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Gone are the quiet streets and the loading docks, replaced with hordes of shoppers ducking into stores selling scented body butter, premium denim and high-end furniture. But one thing remains unchanged on the narrow stretch of Prince Street in SoHo: the haunting memory of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who left for school one morning in 1979 and never came back. It is one of this city's — and the nation's — most chilling unsolved mysteries, a case many had forgotten or never knew about until Thursday, when police and FBI agents began searching the basement of a building on the same block as the little boy's apartment.
March 11, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
If only these stage sorcerers could reach into a black top hat and pull out a home for their magical paraphernalia. Short of cash and abracadabra moments, the Society of American Magicians is struggling to find a public venue for its vast collection of antique stage illusions. After a freak accident forced the closure of the group's Hall of Fame and Magic Museum in Hollywood, the society moved its trove of tricks into a Pico Rivera self-storage center. "We'd love to reopen the museum.
February 16, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
For his first feature as writer and director, longtime casting director Markus Schleinzer has created the Austrian entry "Michael," a strange and troubling little film, a hermetically sealed creep-fest that seems to have no desire to be anything more than just that. The title character, played by Michael Fuith, is a quiet dweeb who works in an insurance office. He eats his lunches alone and keeps to himself. He also has a 10-year-old boy named Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) imprisoned in his basement, part pet, part plaything, part emotional substitute for everything Michael cannot himself be or feel.
December 13, 2011 | By Nasir Khan and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Pakistani police rescued about 68 students from an Islamic seminary in Karachi, several of whom were reportedly chained in a basement, denied food and pressured to join the Taliban, officials said Tuesday. It wasn't immediately clear why the students, some as young as 12 and some in their 40s, were subjected to such treatment. But police, who conducted the raid late Monday after a tip from neighbors, told local news media that some of the students were drug addicts sent there by parents or other relatives unaware of the horrible conditions.
November 17, 2011 | By Lisa Dillman
And then, the Kings-Ducks rivalry descended into darkness … Sort of. If seven rounds of a shootout weren't enough of a jump start to this season series, there was an odd turn one night later when the Kings scored once on the power play and added two shorthanded goals in their 5-3 victory over the Ducks: The night (some) of the lights went out in Anaheim. There was a 17-minute delay to the start of the third period when some of the lights did not go back on at Honda Center on Thursday night.
November 13, 2011 | Ken Van Vechten
The story of Seattle's ascent out of the tidal flats of Puget Sound is a tad bawdy -- with tales of vice and 2,500 of the city's women whose registered occupation was "seamstress" -- but most of all it's about bad plumbing and engineering ingenuity. "You've just walked through a second-floor window," Tug, our tour guide, tells the group. It's July, and like all good tourists, we're partaking of Bill Speidel's Underground Tour of old Seattle. Tug was obviously delusional -- I know I had stepped through a doorway, from the street.
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