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May 14, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - In the last century, Californians have said yes to every request for money to help veterans buy homes. Since 2000, they have signed off on $1.4 billion in bonds for that purpose. But most of that money remains untapped. In fact, the state's home loan program for veterans, run by the agency known as Cal-Vet, is doing less and less each year to help servicemen and women returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Yet there's more money available for the program than in the agency's annual operating budget.
May 13, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
California's lax rules governing who can work as substance abuse counselors have allowed sex offenders and other felons to treat addicts with little to no scrutiny by the state, according to a report by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes released Monday. California does not require a criminal background check for drug and alcohol counselors, nor does it ask applicants to report their criminal histories, according to the report, which found that at least 23 sex offenders have been permitted to work as counselors since 2005.
May 12, 2013 | Doyle McManus
There are two things you can do for your mother on Mother's Day. One is to say "thank you. " (Over lunch, with flowers.) The other is to ask her for advice - even if she's not convinced you really want it. "I don't think kids take any advice from their parents after they're 12," my mother told me last week. "But maybe they'll consider it. If they consider it, that's all you can ask. " Lois Doyle McManus is 87, and arthritis is getting in the way of her piano career. Her most recent performance, a concert with a community college orchestra, was last month.
April 16, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Rampant piracy, government censorship and foreign quotas can make China a highly unpredictable and frustrating market for Hollywood. But one of China's top entertainment executives has some homespun advice: Make friends and be patient. "To succeed in China, it's like the old the Chinese saying: Before business, make friends," said Jerry Ye, chief executive of Wanda Cinemas, at an international panel on the opening day of Cinemacon, the annual convention for the theater industry held in Las Vegas.
April 13, 2013 | By a Times Staff Writer
Workers at a West Covina Home Depot were offered grief counseling Friday after a man tried to cut off his arms with a saw Wednesday. Surgeons managed to save the arms of the man, whom West Covina police described as being in his 50s. He was in critical condition Thursday at a hospital, said Cpl. Rudy Lopez. West Covina police say the man calmly and quietly walked into the Home Depot shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday and headed to the hardware section where the saws were. “He walked into the saw area and began cutting both of his arms,” Lopez said earlier.
March 18, 2013 | By Stephen B. Bright and Sia Sanneh
In a Georgia courtroom last year, a poor, 17-year-old high school freshman, charged as an adult with stealing a go-cart, entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of theft. It was his first time in court, and he was startled and confused when the judge asked if he was satisfied with his lawyer. "I don't have one," he answered. He had not spoken to a lawyer. A public defender's investigator had told him what the charges against him were and suggested he plead guilty. A public defender quickly spoke up and asserted that he was representing the youth.
February 12, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
After an angry outburst led him to toss a beer at the NHRA's black-tie awards banquet last fall, drag racer Spencer Massey was fired by team owner Don Schumacher. But Massey has started anger-management counseling and Schumacher has given him a second chance, rehiring the driver to race in the top-fuel division of the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Massey is the defending winner of the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, which starts Thursday and kicks off a new NHRA season.
February 11, 2013 | By David S. Cloud, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has agreed to expand benefits for gay and lesbian couples serving in the military, but officials continued to withhold equal access to base housing, healthcare and educational services. Leon E. Panetta, the outgoing secretary of Defense, signed an order Monday that permits same-sex partners and their dependents to use numerous family-oriented facilities and services on U.S. military bases, including recreation areas, counseling programs, school buses, child care and shopping exchanges.
February 6, 2013 | By David Wharton
An independent counsel has completed his review of the NCAA enforcement program and is expected to submit a report late next week. The college governing body called upon Kenneth L. Wainstein, former homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush, after the recent announcement of potentially severe misconduct by investigators in the long-standing University of Miami case. NCAA staff members allegedly paid the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro - a former booster at the center of the Miami scandal - to improperly obtain information for an investigation.
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