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March 7, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Ryan Menezes
Sixteen-year-old Monica buried her face in a pillow, trying to rest for school the next day, as the clock ticked past 11 p.m. Sleep was a battle in the tiny apartment. Hunched at the other end of the family's only mattress, two of her brothers played a video game while a third lounged next to her, watching virtual soccer players skitter on screen. Her 2-year-old niece toddled barefoot near the door, toying with a pile of pennies. In all, seven people live in this wedge of space in Historic South-Central, including Monica's mother and the mother of the little girl - the longtime girlfriend of one of her brothers.
April 24, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A 19-year-old man died Thursday while on a hiking trail near the Mexican border in eastern San Diego County, officials said. The man had called his father on his cellphone to report that he felt ill while on the Pacific Crest Trail. His father alerted emergency personnel. When paramedics arrived, the young man was alert and conscious but soon passed out, Cal-Fire said. Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was declared dead at the scene. The county medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
March 11, 2010 | By Alana Semuels
Unemployment in eight counties in California has topped 20%, according to figures released by the state Wednesday. Joblessness in California has hit a peak -- 12.5% in January -- the highest rates have been since the government began tracking unemployment numbers in 1976. Here are the eight counties in the state where unemployment is more than 20%. (Numbers are not seasonally adjusted. Colusa : 27.4% Imperial : 27.3% Merced: 21.7% Plumas : 22.3% San Benito: 21.1% Sutter: 21% Trinity: 25.8% Yuba: 20.4%
April 23, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
A consultant hired by Los Angeles County to develop a longterm plan for the county's aging jail facilities laid out options for a roughly $2-billion proposed overhaul of the jail system in a report released Wednesday. The county supervisors, concerned about deteriorating facilities and poor living conditions for inmates with mental health issues, want to tear down the aging Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles and replace it. The new facility would be primarily focused on housing inmates with physical and mental health needs and substance abuse issues.
April 2, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday told law enforcement officials from throughout California that he is willing to do more to help them absorb the thousands of felons being sent to county jails rather than prison as part of the realignment program begun in 2011. With county sheriffs and police chiefs in town to lobby state government for money and help, Brown cautioned nearly 300 of them in a speech that the state cannot go on a spending spree if it wants to set aside funds for tougher days ahead.
September 25, 2013 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - Modoc County, in remote northeastern California, has voted to join neighboring Siskiyou County in its bid to withdraw from the state and team with southern Oregon counterparts to go it alone. Tuesday's 4-0 vote by the Modoc County Board of Supervisors - with one supervisor absent - to explore the pursuit of a state of Jefferson came just weeks after Siskiyou County supervisors voted 4-1 on a resolution to back secession. Modoc's board chairman, Geri Byrne, told the Redding Record-Searchlight that she placed the measure on the agenda “because I heard from a number of people in my district that wanted to do such.… We're not saying we're seceding today, we're saying let's look into it.” “This is going to have to be something the people bring forward,” Byrne said.
February 20, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
Orange County has loosened requirements for carrying concealed weapons in public following a pro-gun ruling last week by a federal appeals court, officials said Thursday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that California counties may no longer require residents who want to carry concealed firearms to demonstrate special, individualized needs for protection. The court majority said law-abiding residents have a 2nd Amendment right to bear a gun in public.
March 18, 2013 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has thrown its weight behind Laura's Law - which allows counties to create court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment for the severely ill who have cycled through hospitals or jails and refused voluntary care - saying in a resolution that such programs have been shown to "significantly reduce" homelessness, hospitalization and arrest. The resolution, authored by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, directs the county's chief executive and legislative advocates to get behind five new state bills that would make it easier for counties to create such programs and secure "mental health treatment for those who refuse to get help on their own. " The back story: State lawmakers passed Laura's Law, patterned after New York state's Kendra's Law but which came with no funding, in 2002.
May 29, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has promised to be blunt when tackling the state's problems, and he had a straightforward message for county officials on Wednesday. "Give me $300 million and we'll call it a day," he said. Brown is trying to reduce the amount of money the state sends to counties to fund healthcare for uninsured and poor Californians. He says the counties won't need the funds because more people will be covered by the state and private insurance under the federal healthcare overhaul.
November 6, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
Voters in a half-dozen counties in rural Colorado have rejected a call to break away and create a new state, dealing a serious setback to an effort that always seemed a long shot. Residents of 11 Republican-leaning counties cast ballots in an advisory vote Tuesday, a backlash arising from unhappiness over legislation passed this year by the Democratic-run Legislature, including gun controls, clean-energy requirements and expanded gay rights. The vote was the first of several steps it would take to form a new state, something that has not happened through secession in 150 years.
April 23, 2014 | By Kate Mather
Two former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have been charged with planting guns at a medical marijuana dispensary to arrest two men, one of whom prosecutors said was sentenced to a year in jail before the bad evidence was discovered. Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, face two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice and altering evidence, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced Wednesday. Martinez was charged with two additional felony counts of perjury and one count of filing a false report.
April 23, 2014 | By Angel Jennings, Richard Winton and James Rainey
To the 96,000 residents of Compton, the little Cessna would have looked like scores of other small planes that flew over the city each day. But anyone paying close attention might have noticed the single-engine craft kept circling the city in a continuous loop. What they could not have known was that it packed unusual cargo - a bank of a dozen wide-angle industrial imaging cameras. They recorded low-resolution images of every corner of the 10.1-square-mile city. For nine days in early 2012, the small plane beamed the images to the local Sheriff's Department station, where deputies observed fender benders, necklace snatchings and a shooting.
April 23, 2014 | By Laura J. Nelson
The first comprehensive analysis of Los Angeles County's experimental toll lanes indicates the pay-to-drive routes made some rush-hour commutes faster and less painful, both in the toll lanes and in the free lanes, but made little to no difference for many drivers battling morning traffic. According to an independent report prepared for federal transportation officials, the toll lanes along the 110 and 10 freeways didn't significantly change overall traffic speeds during peak periods for drivers using either the tollway or the general lanes.
April 23, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The percentage of parents opting for the "personal belief exemption" to avoid vaccinations for their children in kindergarten has tripled in a decade, county health officials said Wednesday. The result is that 4.5% of the 43,000-plus kindergartners in San Diego County schools are missing one or more of the recommended vaccinations, said public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. That totals more than 1,900 students. Among the 14 diseases that vaccinations can prevent are measles, mumps, polio, chickenpox and whooping cough, Wooten said.
April 22, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
Los Angeles County supervisors have begun weighing recommendations to dramatically rework the safety net for tens of thousands of abused and neglected children, including what would be the most significant reorganization of county government since 2007. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection has said a linchpin of a proposed package of reforms is the creation of a new child welfare czar. The executive would have broad powers to move money and people across departmental lines to support a more unified and effective approach to the protection of children, the panel said.
April 22, 2014 | By Anne Colby
There's an ecological cost to staying connected and entertained. Computers, printers, televisions, cellphones, stereos, game systems and other electronics may contain lead, copper or other heavy metals or potentially toxic substances. When electronics have outlived their usefulness, it's important to dispose of them properly rather than just toss them in the trash to be placed into landfills. Los Angeles city and county residents may drop off their electronic waste free of charge at S.A.F.E.
July 22, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch Monday for portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. A series of storm cells slowly making their way over Southern California's mountains and the Antelope Valley could bring as much as half an inch of rain in 30 minutes to some areas, said meteorologist Rich Thompson. The storm's markedly slow pace increases the chances of flooding, he said. To boot, the moist air combined with the heat and storm cells could bring some thunder and lightning, too. “There's a lot of moisture in the atmosphere, it has a lot of water to work with,” Thompson said.
October 1, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Although Texas executes far more prisoners than any other state, Los Angeles and three other Southern California counties lead the nation in sentencing convicts to die, according to a report released Wednesday. Los Angeles County had 228 inmates on death row at the start of the year, more than double that of second-place Harris County, Texas. Riverside, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties also ranked in the top 12, as did Alameda and Sacramento counties. In all, seven of the top 12 were in California.
April 21, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The key lines in the final report of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, which was released late Friday and comes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, may be two sentences that don't use the words "foster care," "child death," "Dependency Court" or "early intervention. " They deal instead with the question of just why a government with vast resources at its disposal can't seem to put them together to protect children from abuse and neglect. "The problem is not that county leaders and workers do not care," the report says.
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