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October 25, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
As his Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award attest, Cormac McCarthy has had plenty of success on the page, and several of his novels have also been adapted to the screen with good results, most notably "No Country for Old Men," which won four Academy Awards. But McCarthy's screenwriting debut, the new crime thriller "The Counselor," seems to be another matter. According to film critics, McCarthy's original screenplay is by turns stilted, gruesome and alienating, and neither director Ridley Scott nor his all-star cast - including Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt - can salvage it. The Times' Kenneth Turan writes , "As cold, precise and soulless as the diamonds that figure briefly in its plot, 'The Counselor' is an extremely unpleasant piece of business.
April 21, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
A man who owned a Los Angeles boot camp for troubled youths has accepted a plea deal and will serve jail time after teenagers claimed they were punched, slapped and stomped during the program, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.  Edgar Alvarado, 38, was sentenced Monday to 60 days in county jail, four years of felony probation and 30 days of community labor. In addition, Alvarado is prohibited from ever again engaging in any kind of counseling, training or care of minors, whether or not the position is paid.  Alvarado's sentencing is part of a plea deal that nixed two counts of child abuse, corporal injury to a child, and sexual battery by restraint and assault with a stun gun or Taser, according to a district attorney's office spokeswoman.  Over three years, teens were hospitalized after attending 180 Recon , a boot camp focused on "breaking down" teenagers in order to build them into positive community leaders.
July 4, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
Much separated Adam Rittenberg from his younger sister Annais, who was killed Wednesday at a summer camp near Yosemite National Park. Annais, 21, went to the University of California, Santa Cruz and liked going to the annual desert festival Burning Man. Adam concedes that he's more straightlaced, even cautious. “She was a free spirit,” said Adam, reached by phone Wednesday in Chicago. “But in some ways, she still did live a full life.” Annais' brother described her as popular and friendly.
March 28, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Soumya Karlamangla
Strong consumer interest in Obamacare coverage ahead of Monday's enrollment deadline was leading to long waits and website trouble for some Californians. The Covered California exchange said sign-ups have been building throughout the week with about 80,000 people picking a health plan Monday through Thursday. An additional 150,000 households created an online account and started the shopping process in the last three days, officials said. That heavy volume was creating havoc, confusion and delays for many consumers, enrollment counselors and insurance agents trying to use the exchange's website.
July 5, 2012 | By Danielle Paquette, Los Angeles Times
The call came in mid-December. "We're giving you a full ride," said a man, who introduced himself as the vice president of admissions at Syracuse University. "Room and board, books included. " Lizardo Reyes, 18, froze. He quietly uttered "thank you," pocketed his cellphone and stood dazed in the one-bedroom apartment he shares with his mother, father and brother near Koreatown. "I didn't believe it until the official letter came in the mail," he said. "And it didn't truly hit me until about two weeks ago. " Lizardo, who graduated from Palisades Charter High School in June, said intense studying and volunteer work kept him away from drug use and gang activity, which, he says, were rampant in his neighborhood.
September 23, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
Joy and Andrew Giordano thought they could save their Baltimore home from foreclosure without any help. But in the end, they couldn't. To avoid foreclosure, the Giordanos applied twice to their lender for refinancing under the government's Making Home Affordable program. Twice they were turned down. "We were not getting the right information from our bank," said Joy Giordano, who had to close her advertising specialties business because of the economic downturn. "We did everything we were told to do. But each time, we were not approved because of this or not approved because of that.
December 24, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A former counselor at the Boys Choir of Harlem Academy was sentenced to two years in prison for molesting a student. Frank Jones, 53, was convicted in November. He was accused of abusing the teenager, now 17, from 1998 to 2000. Jones was a counselor for more than 20 years at the academy, which has 500 students in grades four through 12 in academic and music programs.
January 30, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
A counselor at a North Hills middle school pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of sexually molesting a young female relative more than a decade ago, prosecutors said. Herman Delarosa, 51, an employee of Sepulveda Middle School, was charged with 12 counts of forcible rape. Prosecutors said he molested the girl from 1988 to 1991. The alleged victim, now 30, reported the assaults to police this month. She allegedly was molested from ages 12 to 18, but because of a U.S.
March 16, 2012 | By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times
As R&B singer Millie Jackson performed at Hollywood Park Casino on Sunday night, Dwayne Alexander sat at the VIP table. So did singer Norwood Young, whom Jackson had also invited. Alexander had directed a concert documentary for Jackson in 2007. As an executive for Capitol/EMI in the 1980s, he had signed Young to his first record contract, but the men hadn't seen each other for a good while. "We acted like schoolboys all night," said Young in a telephone interview Thursday.
October 24, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As cold, precise and soulless as the diamonds that figure briefly in its plot, "The Counselor" is an extremely unpleasant piece of business. You could call it "Three Beheadings and No Funeral," but even that doesn't give an accurate idea of what you're in for. The film is ably directed by the veteran Ridley Scott and features a high-powered cast headed by Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt, none of whom...
March 13, 2014 | By Wendy Smith
It's almost impossible to put down Jean Hanff Korelitz's riveting new novel for the first 200 pages as it dismantles the comfortable existence of a couples therapist over the course of a few nightmarish weeks. We first meet Grace Reinhart Sachs ensconced in her office, being interviewed by a Vogue writer about her forthcoming book, "You Should Have Known. " This book-within-a-book argues that women get themselves into bad marriages by failing to see the clear signs that were there from the beginning about their spouses' failings.
February 14, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Ridley Scott's recent film "The Counselor" certainly looked on the surface like something that would need no help in becoming a hit, with Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem starring in a high-gloss tale of a drug deal gone wrong directed by Scott from a screenplay by "No Country For Old Men" author Cormac McCarthy. But then the film turned out to be too much its own thing. Rather than a prestige commercial film, it was a moody, melancholy saga prone to philosophical asides.
February 9, 2014 | By Noel Murray
The Armstrong Lie Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99 Available on VOD beginning Tuesday Give credit to Alex Gibney: Even with as many documentaries as he cranks out in any given year, he always finds new ways into stories that audiences may think they already know. For "The Armstrong Lie," Gibney tackles disgraced former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, who after years of denials - including to Gibney, who'd been documenting Armstrong's attempt at a comeback - finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.
February 4, 2014 | By KTLA
A former substance abuse counselor was found guilty Tuesday of murder and other charges after driving for two miles with a 31-year-old man stuck in her windshield, authorities said. Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 52, was charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a 0.08 percent or higher blood-alcohol level in connection with the  November 2012 collision that killed Phillip Moreno A downtown Los Angeles jury reached the guilty verdict, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office  said on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
December 13, 2013 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
For all its success enrolling tens of thousands in health insurance, California is struggling to translate Obamacare into Spanish. The state's enrollment so far among Latinos is anemic - even though they represent more than half of California's 7 million uninsured residents. Only 5% of enrollees, or fewer than 4,500 people, in the first two months of enrollment are primarily Spanish speakers, new data show. The dismal results have drawn sharp criticism from supporters of the healthcare law. They fault the Covered California exchange for strategic missteps, and they fear that missing out on this relatively young and healthy population could threaten the viability of the state exchange.
November 16, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Passport and tax records in hand, Nela Barboza fiddled nervously with a plastic folding fan as she approached Jessie Orozco's desk. "Buenas tardes," she said cordially. "I'm here to sign up for Obamacare. " Orozco, a benefits counselor at St. John's Well Child & Family Center in South Los Angeles, was thrilled. Around her neck, she wore a badge certifying that she was a state-trained enrollment counselor for California's new medical insurance marketplace - touted as one of the better-functioning parts of the Obama administration's healthcare overhaul.
December 10, 1985 | Associated Press
Indian activist Dennis Banks began his 14-month parole from the South Dakota Penitentiary on Monday, working as a counselor at the Lone Man School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, said Warden Herman Solem. Banks was sentenced in October, 1984, on riot and assault charges in connection with a 1973 melee at the courthouse in Custer County, S.D.
April 25, 1989
A resident of a Cerritos mental health clinic held a counselor at knifepoint for more than an hour before releasing her and returning quietly to his room, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said Monday. Ben Levinson, 20, was arrested following the Sunday evening incident in the office of counselor Diane Amneus, 42, at Casa de Amistad, a private clinic that houses up to six patients under contract with the county Health Department. Amneus was not injured. Lt. Dave Rosenberger said the counselor told deputies that Levinson, who weighs 300 pounds, asked to borrow a knife so he could prepare his dinner.
October 30, 2013 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
A month into enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of healthcare workers and insurance agents are still unable to sign up consumers for health coverage through California's new exchange. Despite promises of an army of workers blanketing the state to help, many aren't in place - or they're hitting one state roadblock or another. Critics say training sessions started late, background checks have taken too long and some people are suffering computer log-in problems.
October 27, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
What goes up must come down, and so "Gravity" finally did this weekend, falling to the runner-up position as "Bad Grandpa" ruled the box office. Johnny Knoxville's hidden-camera prank flick was an easy No. 1 this weekend, debuting with a robust $32 million, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. After three weekends atop the charts, "Gravity" came in second with $20.3 million, meaning the 3-D space film is now a stone's throw from another box-office milestone with its overall gross of $199.8 million.
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