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August 20, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
When he watches a NASCAR race on television, Greg Scott feels his heart sink if smoke suddenly billows from the cars of Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin or some other Toyota drivers. The smoke usually means one of Toyota's engines blew up from the enormous stress placed on the power plants. "I take it hard," Scott says. "I don't feel good at all. " That's because Scott helps build the motors at Toyota's engine plant in Costa Mesa. But when his drivers win "it's exhilarating," said Scott, a 16-year veteran of Toyota Racing Development.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2013 | By Bradley Zint
This post has been corrected. Please see below. Two Costa Mesa city employees who organize special events have been placed on paid administrative leave, city officials confirmed Wednesday. Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce and Christine Cordon, special events coordinator, were put on leave Tuesday, pending the outcome of an outside investigation, said two high-ranking city officials, each of whom requested anonymity. The reasons the employees were placed on leave were not shared with the Daily Pilot . Assistant City Chief Executive Rick Francis and Mayor Jim Righeimer both declined comment, saying the issue was a personnel matter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2013 | By Bradley Zint
When Kathy Anderson graduated from college, she left her parents' house for good. Turns out, though, she didn't move very far. Anderson, 62, has lived the years since in a little house next to her childhood home within her family's 1.24-acre property in the 2100 block of Tustin Avenue in Costa Mesa, land her parents bought in the 1940s. The parcel stood out more for what wasn't there than for what was, in this otherwise long-ago developed plot of Orange County. "Don't you come right here and feel like you're in the country?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2013 | By Jeremiah Dobruck
When longtime Costa Mesa resident Rob Friedmann guards a fireworks stand through the night, he sleeps lightly. He keeps a flashlight and phone nearby in case he hears anything that could prompt him to call police or firefighters. "I've heard horror stories of people's places getting broken into," he said. He's had only one hair-raising experience in his 15 years of overnight volunteering to keep ne'er-do-wells away from the pyrotechnics sold by local nonprofits. He slept in a local church during a shift his first year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2013 | By John Canalis and Bradley Zint
A high rate of speed may have contributed to a fatal car accident that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Orange County resident, Costa Mesa police said Monday. Luis Adrian Torres died when his car struck a tree at 12:36 a.m. Sunday on Susan Street near Sunflower Avenue. Torres was "probably going too fast," CMPD Traffic Investigator Darren Wood said. However, the cause of the wreck remains under investigation. Wood said it was unknown whether alcohol played a role in the single-car accident.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2013 | By Bradley Zint
A onetime Army barracks that was later dedicated to those who served in World War II is slated to be demolished to make room for the expansion of a popular Orange County concert venue. The Memorial Gardens Building is scheduled to be demolished later this year to clear space for a new entrance plaza to the renovated Pacific Amphitheatre at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. "For a lot of us, it's very sad," said Bob Palazzola, president of the Costa Mesa Historical Society.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2013 | By Annie Kim, Los Angeles Times
An animal-rights group has sent letters threatening legal action against two Orange County chefs who continue to serve foie gras at their upscale restaurants. The chefs serve fattened duck liver at Arc in Costa Mesa and at Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, drawing the ire of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. California banned the sale and purchase of fattened duck liver on July 1, but chefs Noah Blom of Arc and Santana have found what they believe are legal ways to continue serving the French delicacy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Kate Mather and Lauren Williams
A man who apparently blew himself up with explosives in his Costa Mesa home wrote a rambling, 17,000-word essay that warned of dangers in his house, according to a person close to the investigation. “I am at 3152 Bermuda Dr., Costa Mesa, CA, USA. You can tell it's me because I am the only one who can get into my house,” reads the document authored by a man who identifies himself as Kevin Harris. “I think it may be dangerous for you to come to my house alone.” The essay, entitled “The Pricker: A True Story of Assassination, Terrorism And High Treason,” includes references to aliens, the O.J. Simpson trial, the U.S. government and “the pricker,” which the author describes as “an assassin's weapon that deposits biological agents into a victim's skin, on contact, without their knowledge.” The document appears to have been first written in 2002 and updated in 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Lauren Williams and Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
Local police and FBI agents looked for answers - and explosives - in a Costa Mesa home Monday after a man apparently blew himself up in a blast that shocked the quiet, suburban neighborhood where he lived alone. Authorities who searched the scene said they found at least two explosive devices in the modest one-story home and detonated them, and they later discovered a rambling and worrisome 17,000-word essay online expressing a deep fear of government. Police said it appears Kevin Harris, 52, intended to kill himself in the Sunday night explosion, which neighbors said sounded like a car crash or a garbage can tipping over.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By KTLA
An investigation is underway in Costa Mesa after a man blew himself up inside his home in an apparent suicide, police said. The incident began Sunday evening, when neighbors said the man who owned the home in the 3100 block of Bermuda Drive was laying down on his front lawn, KTLA reported . An ambulance was called, but the man refused to go to the hospital and instead went back to the house, officials said. About an hour or two later, between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., there was an explosion, police said.
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