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April 18, 2014 | By David Zahniser
Nearly a decade ago, lawmakers in Los Angeles took an aggressive step to boost the city's languishing Convention Center, granting tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to spark construction of a 54-story hotel nearby. The strategy worked, bringing 1,000 new rooms to the sleepy neighborhood. Within a few years, hotel developers in the area had secured as much as $508 million in tax benefits over the coming decades. But as downtown continues to boom, some inside and outside City Hall say Los Angeles should be much more selective in giving out tax breaks to lure new hotels.
April 18, 2014 | By John M. Glionna and Paresh Dave
Police on Friday identified a suspect in a string of at least a dozen random vehicle shootings on Kansas City, Mo., highways that since early March have wounded three motorists and caused driver angst on the freeways of the Midwestern city. In a midday news conference attended by local, state and federal officials, authorities named Mohammed Pedro Whitaker as the elusive shooter. The man has been charged with 18 felonies involving nine separate shootings. He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail.
April 17, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins
John Claerhout, a former Boy Scouts of America executive known for his finesse at fundraising and his promotion of scouting programs for thousands of inner-city Los Angeles teenagers, has died in a Northridge hospital. He was 85. Claerhout underwent quadruple bypass surgery two weeks before his April 4 death from complications of pneumonia, said his son Kevyn Claerhout. Claerhout was a masterful networker who recruited a stream of local and national celebrities for gala dinners benefiting the Scouts.
April 17, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Since the bullets began to fly on freeways here, Taylor Stevens has stuck to the back roads. Rikki Rohret keeps her eyes on the overpasses. Behind the wheel, Joe Miller tries not to think about being an anonymous gunman's next victim. Somebody has been firing at vehicles, a serial triggerman who police warned seemed to be randomly targeting motorists, declaring his own misguided war against his fellow drivers. Since the shootings began in March, police have linked at least a dozen incidents along the network of freeways that connect this Midwestern city, which sees itself as a genteel cousin of Rome for its fountains, or Paris for its boulevards, not as some hulking U.S. city where an armed man could run amok.
April 17, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Police have arrested a man linked to a series of apparently random highway shootings that have terrorized drivers in the Kansas City area, officials said Thursday evening. Officers swarmed a home in Grandview, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City, and towed away a green Dodge Neon with Illinois plates after apprehending the suspect Thursday. Police Chief Darryl Forte would not confirm the man's name or whether he was the only one suspected of carrying out a least a dozen shootings near a tangle of freeway interchanges known to local residents as the "Grandview Triangle.
April 16, 2014 | Broderick Turner
Right about the time the Clippers tip off tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, they'll probably know if they have a chance at moving up in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers are scheduled to start their game at 7:30 p.m., PST and Oklahoma City is scheduled to starts its game against the Detroit Pistons at 5 p.m., PST. That means the Thunder game could be concluded right the time when Los Angeles is ready to play its regular-season finale in Portland. If the Thunder lose to the Pistons, all the Clippers would have to do is beat the Trail Blazers to become the second seed in the West and push Oklahoma City to the third seed.
April 16, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
Los Angeles officials are starting to get serious about freeing up $7.5 million or more in city government funds that are earmarked for visual art, performances or other cultural events, but have been wrapped tightly for years in legal red tape. The unspent funds were rendered all but useless in 2007 when then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo ruled that the fees developers are required to pay to fund public art had to be spent within a one-block radius of the construction project that generated the fees.
April 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
After several years during which they provided no money for sidewalk repairs, the City Council and then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last year set aside $10 million to begin addressing the backlog of busted sidewalks in Los Angeles, especially those that have led to trip-and-fall claims. But today, the $10 million hasn't been touched. In January, the city's Bureau of Street Services proposed using one-third of the money to repair broken sidewalks associated with injury claims, one-third to fix those with heavy pedestrian traffic and the final third for a 50/50 program in which property owners would cover half the cost.
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Corina Knoll and Christopher Goffard
Four years after he became the face of municipal greed, Robert Rizzo broke his long silence Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom and asked a judge for mercy. The former Bell administrator was pale and baggy-eyed, and his thinning hair had turned gray. For many, there was hope that he would finally reveal how he engineered a brazen scheme to boost the salaries of top officials that left the working-class city tumbling toward bankruptcy. But in a small, halting, scratchy voice, Rizzo offered only the vaguest of apologies, and no details.
April 15, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Miley Cyrus has been hospitalized and has canceled her Tuesday night show in Kansas City, Mo., after a "severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. " The announcement came in a statement on the website of the Sprint Center, where the "Wrecking Ball" singer was to hit the stage for a 7 p.m. show. Her rep told the Associated Press that Miley was on "medical rest" per doctors' advice.  "Kansas I promise Im as [heartbroken] as you are," Cyrus said on Twitter. "I wanted so badly 2 b there 2night.
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