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April 15, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
When three city officials were arrested trying to shake down a marijuana dispensary owner, Cudahy was branded a town where bribes were routine and elections were rigged. On Tuesday, state officials added one more indignity to Cudahy's battered reputation: a city with a staggering inability to keep an eye on public funds. In a damning audit, the state controller concluded that leaders in the working-class town used city-issued credit cards for excessive travel, meals and entertainment, mismanaged state funds and had virtually no internal controls to prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
April 15, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
 Brandon Ahn, a freshman who lives in Glendale, won  the L.A. City Junior golf championship at the Sepulveda Golf Complex, defeating Samuel Kim of Irvine on the third hole of a playoff. Ahn and Kim each finished with three-round totals of 202. Ahn shot 66, 70 and 66. Daniel Lopez of Los Angeles was next at 204 and Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village shot 206. Elizabeth Wang of San Marino won the girls' flight with a 207. Lydia Choi of Beverly Hills finished second at 208. There were nearly 600 competitors.
April 15, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes
A former Compton Fire Department battalion chief pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges of arson of property and embezzlement by a public official. Marcel Melanson, 38, was accused of stealing valuable city-owned radio equipment, then setting a fire to cover up the theft. He is expected to be sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, a prosecutor said. Melanson must pay restitution, but the amount is still being determined, the prosecutor added. As a result of the plea, authorities dropped the more severe charge of arson of a structure and a second embezzlement count.
April 14, 2014 | By Ben Welsh, David Zahniser, Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's first proposed budget calls for hiring 140 firefighters and the start of a sweeping overhaul of the city's 911 dispatch system, part of a bid to speed the response to hundreds of thousands of calls for help each year. The revamped dispatch operation, outlined Monday by the mayor's office as it presented an $8.1-billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, would unify separate police and fire emergency call centers and gradually replace some uniformed firefighters with lower-paid civilian phone operators.
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The city administrator who ruled the city of Bell during an era of widespread corruption was sentenced Monday to 33 months behind bars for tax fraud, the first of two prison terms he is expected to be handed this week. On Wednesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge is expected to add years more to Robert Rizzo's punishment for plundering the small town's treasury. When Rizzo pleaded no contest in October to 69 corruption-related charges, Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she would sentence Rizzo to 10 to 12 years in prison, a term he would be allowed to serve concurrently with his federal sentence.
April 12, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
LAS VEGAS - Last year, boxing promoter Bob Arum took a Manny Pacquiao fight to China and its rich casinos. Wednesday, he lashed out at the go-to boxing site in Las Vegas, the MGM Grand and its massive Garden Arena, with such vitriol that you might assume Top Rank Promotions and its large stable of name fighters won't be back there. Arum, furious that the bulk of the signage in the MGM Grand was not for his Saturday night headliner between Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, but for the May 3 battle between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marco Maidana, was asked if this was it for him and the MGM. “Never say never,” he said.
April 12, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
If you ask Ian Rush, Sunday's English Premier League match between first-place Liverpool and fast-closing Manchester City is about more than soccer supremacy. Oh, sure, it will be a clash of styles and philosophies, one that will push the winner closer to the Premier League title with less than a month left in the season. But to hear Rush tell it, it will also be a battle of the banks, one matching the haves against the have-mores. "Manchester City, you expect it because of the amount of money they pay for players," says Rush, Liverpool's all-time scoring leader and now an ambassador for the club.
April 12, 2014 | By Corina Knoll
All roads lead back to the Kogi truck. "It's like my 'Sweet Caroline' and I'm Neil Diamond," Roy Choi said. "I'll never be able to outlive Kogi. Kogi is a beast. " The chef was attempting to articulate what spawning that marvel of Korean barbecued ribs enveloped in tortillas has meant to him in front of a crowd at the 19th-annual L.A. Times Festival of Books. The sprawling two-day event at USC features readings, screenings, musical performances and cooking demonstrations. Under an unforgiving sun, hundreds listened as Choi conversed with Times food critic Jonathan Gold about the journey touched upon in his book "L.A.
April 12, 2014 | By Nita Lelyveld, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Brie Fainblit wasn't voted prom queen at the Highland High prom. But the Palmdale senior who made her own dress out of soda can tabs felt like the belle of the ball Friday night. Fainblit lives with her mother, who is disabled, and her aunt, who works two part-time jobs to support them. She began her soda tab project in September, knowing that money was way too tight for a prom dress. After my story about Brie appeared in last Sunday's paper, offers of help poured in. Many readers wanted to do what they could to make prom special for Brie and her boyfriend, James Lawrence, who tutored a student to earn money for prom tickets.
April 11, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
At least 12 highway and roadway shootings that have wounded three people in the past month near Kansas City, Mo., are “positively” connected, a spree of violence that has stirred anxiety in the region and scared some motorists into taking new routes, police said. Bullets have hit two travelers in the leg and another on the arm, all non-life threatening injures, police said. “We've been blessed so far, but it's just a matter of bullet placement where it goes from minor injury to death,” Chief Darryl Forte told the Los Angeles Times.
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