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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
A citywide coalition of community groups and civil rights leaders unveiled a comprehensive new measure Monday ranking L.A. Unified's neediest schools and urged more targeted spending on students there. The "student need index," which analyzed test scores, dropout rates, gun violence, asthma and eight other factors that affect learning, found that the neediest schools were concentrated in southern and eastern Los Angeles, along with the Pacoima area in the San Fernando Valley. The schools included Fremont and Jordan high schools, Bethune and Drew middle schools and Griffith Joyner and Woodcrest elementary schools.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
Los Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty, according to records and interviews. An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other top officials learned of the problem last summer but chose not to investigate which officers were responsible.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Stephen Ceasar
Bryan Mejia has some advice for the Los Angeles Board of Education. He isn't a gadfly or political consultant. He isn't running for office - he can't even vote. Mejia is a high school student. And he wants to help fix what he and other students see as the board's fundamental flaw: It is missing a voice it purports to represent. "We should have representation where the decisions affecting our education are made," the 17-year-old said. "The school board. " The board is expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal to allow a student advisory member on the board.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Tim Logan
Dozens of people shared only three showers in the building that Patricia McDowell called home for the last 2 1/2 years. Roaches skittered across the floor, she said, and lights went out and stayed out. In recent months, McDowell said she had to run an extension cord to another room to keep electricity going. But when the Los Angeles Fire Department told McDowell and dozens of other tenants that they had to clear out of the building at 5700 S. Hoover St., citing dangerous conditions, she panicked.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
More than 100 people were arrested and dozens hurt Saturday during a daylong party in UC Santa Barbara's Isla Vista neighborhood, including 18 for their alleged roles in a violent clash between police and spring-break revelers, authorities said. Many of the arrests were for public intoxication. It was unclear how many of those arrested were UCSB students. About 15,000 people attended the event known as Deltopia, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said. The nighttime disturbance began when a UCSB police officer was struck in the head with a backpack containing large bottles of alcohol.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Julie Cart
SHAFTER, Calif. - A bustling city is sprouting on five acres here, carved out of a vast almond grove. Tanker trucks and heavy equipment come and go, a row of office trailers runs the length of the site and an imposing 150-foot drilling rig illuminated by football-field-like lights rises over the trees. It's all been hustled into service to solve a tantalizing riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States. Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction - primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization - can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Gale Holland
It was billed as a guided tour for downtown residents, church and business groups and elected officials to see skid row for themselves. As the group headed out on foot from L.A.'s Midnight Mission, it was confronted by demonstrators whistling, drumming and chanting: "You're not welcome here!" and "You're the problem!" That was in June 2011. A year later, Deborah Burton, a community organizer who was once homeless, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery on two tour leaders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Michael Finnegan, David Zahniser and Doug Smith
In January, President Obama announced a block-by-block approach to relieving poverty in Los Angeles. Federal money, he said, would pour into a newly created Promise Zone. The boundaries encompassed crowded immigrant communities around MacArthur Park and Koreatown, as well as upscale areas of Hollywood and Los Feliz. Left out was South L.A., where the poverty rate is higher. The exclusion stunned many South L.A. leaders. The strategy, presidential aides said, was to concentrate resources in communities where nonprofits or public agencies had already received one of the Obama administration's signature urban renewal grants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - The most shameful habit of California legislators arguably is their annual summer shakedown of lobbyists. But it finally may be ending, at least in the Senate. Senate leaders - rocked by the corruption scandals of two fellow Democrats - are hoping to quash the unsavory practice of coercing campaign contributions from special interests while high-stakes bills are pending in the Capitol. Outgoing leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and his designated replacement, Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
SPORTS
April 5, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
Saturday's Santa Anita Derby is an eight-horse race, but the kind of buzz that has accompanied California Chrome, ever since he blew the field away in the March 8 San Felipe, makes it difficult for the other contenders to get any attention. California Chrome not only runs like the wind -- he has won his last three races by a total of 19 lengths -- but he and his connections present several stories that are hard to ignore. There is much talk that he would become only the fourth-ever Cal-bred to do so if he won the Kentucky Derby.
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