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January 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
State laws that make it nearly impossible to fire even the worst teachers make for poor educational policy. The same is true of laws that require teacher layoffs to be decided on the basis of seniority, and that give principals only a year and a half to decide whether a new teacher deserves the extraordinary protections of tenure. It seems pretty obvious: Incompetent or uncaring teachers shouldn't be allowed to keep their jobs. On Monday, a trial will begin in a lawsuit that claims California's teacher protection laws unconstitutionally deprive students of equal access to a quality education.
January 17, 2014 | By Anh Do
Drug charges were dismissed Friday against Nadia Lockyer, the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and a former Bay Area supervisor who was arrested in a high-profile methamphetamine bust in Orange County in 2012. Lockyer had been charged with drug possession , being under the influence of drugs and keeping methamphetamine in the room she shared with her 9-year-old son in Orange. In an interview with KABC -TV Channel 7 late last year, Lockyer said she had conquered her drug problems, attended rehab and had reconciled with her husband.
January 8, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
On a honeymoon trip to Southern California in 1974, Yang-ho Cho and his new bride drove into downtown Los Angeles only to get lost among the dark, empty industrial buildings and shuttered shops. Cho remembers he could find no one on the streets to ask for directions to his hotel. Nearly 40 years later, Cho is heading the development of the tallest building west of the Mississippi, a $1-billion downtown hotel complex that no one will have trouble finding at night. It represents only the latest investment of major South Korean capital that Cho has helped bring to Southern California as chairman of Hanjin Group.
December 30, 2013 | By Kate Mather
A judge dismissed Monday all claims made against the cities of Los Angeles and Riverside by a camp ranger seeking reward money offered during the search for ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White determined that Richard Heltebrake's claims were without merit. Heltebrake was also ordered to pay $15,050 in attorneys' fees to the city of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles city attorney's office. The decision is the latest development regarding the roughly $1 million offered during the February hunt for Dorner, who killed four people and wounded three others after vowing "unconventional and asymmetrial warfare" against police.
December 21, 2013 | By Tony Perry
Another high-ranking U.S. military officer has been dismissed after getting drunk during a goodwill mission to Russia, officials said. Last year, the captain of the San Diego-based frigate Vandegrift was relieved of command for getting drunk during a visit to the port of Vladivostock to review the Russians' Pacific fleet. Three other officers were also punished for "inappropriate behavior" involving alcohol. This week it was revealed that Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was dismissed for getting drunk and insulting his hosts during an official visit to Moscow in July.
December 12, 2013 | By David Zahniser
A Los Angeles employee relations officer delivered a stinging defeat to the city's labor leaders Thursday, saying that they failed to meet a procedural deadline for challenging a hotly contested rollback in public employee pension benefits. Hearing Officer Luella Nelson recommended that the Employee Relations Board, a five-member panel that decides labor disputes at City Hall, dismiss a challenge to the City Council's decision to cut pension pay for employees hired after July 1. Council members voted to scale back pension benefits and increase the retirement age in October 2012.
December 11, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
A former Nevada teacher charged with kidnapping a 16-year-old girl was previously an instructor in the Los Angeles Unified School District - which had moved to fire him and sought to have his teaching credentials revoked after allegations of sexual misconduct with students surfaced. Melvyn Sprowson, 45, appeared in a Las Vegas court this week on charges of kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and obstruction after authorities found a missing teenager living at his home.
December 6, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
A Los Angeles County judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by the former pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, who alleged he suffered emotional distress when he was removed from the helm of Los Angeles' oldest black church. In the lawsuit, the Rev. John J. Hunter said that after he left First AME church in October 2012, church officials "embarked upon a campaign to discredit and defame" him "by asserting maliciously false and inflammatory statements as well as taking steps to publicly humiliate him. " First AME filed its own lawsuit against Hunter, who served as pastor for eight years, shortly after he was removed from the church.
November 25, 2013 | By Robert Faturechi
For the last 18 months, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been investigating allegations that two deputies were involved in a murder-for-hire plot on behalf of a Mexican cartel. A sheriff's spokesman said the probe is wrapping up, and investigators believe the allegations are untrue. "We investigated it and found out it was completely unfounded," spokesman Steve Whitmore said. "People make allegations all the time that are just completely ridiculous. " A sheriff's lieutenant, however, contends that the allegations are being covered up by the department and has gone to the FBI to get the matter investigated thoroughly, her attorney said.
November 22, 2013 | By Lance Pugmire
Manny Pacquiao has been the most dynamic boxer of the last decade, but the most recent image many fans have of the star is of his being knocked out and flat on his face in his most recent fight. Now, less than a month from his 35th birthday, can Pacquiao reverse the story Saturday night when he fights former world lightweight champion Brandon Rios in Macao, China, in an HBO pay-per-view welterweight bout? "I forgot the last fight already and I've moved on," Pacquiao said in a telephone interview from China.
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