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March 20, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
Tom Heaton was sitting in his kitchen in Pasadena on Monday morning when an alert went off on his laptop warning him that an earthquake had struck about 40 miles away in Encino. Seconds later, he felt the shaking. "It was fantastic," said Heaton, director of Caltech's Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory. "It was bam bam, then it shook. It was probably about three seconds" between the alert and the shaking. Within a few years, all Californians should have access to those kinds of warnings, a crucial few seconds that could give emergency officials and residents time to brace for a major temblor.
March 19, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
In 1958, Ed Michelson started a motion picture catering company - Michelson Food Services - and made food for the cast and crew on such classic films as "West Side Story" and "Some Like it Hot. " Michelson was one of the first to operate a food service truck on film sets, and for decades business boomed, back when virtually all the big studio movies were filmed in Los Angeles. Today, son Steve Michelson said that's no longer the case. When his father died, Michelson decided to start his own catering company, Sylmar-based Limelight Catering, which employs about 50 people and has been in business for 14 years.
March 18, 2014 | By Shan Li and Abby Sewell
Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams is close to losing a $12-million contract to deliver a fleet of electric buses to Long Beach Transit, a deal the company hoped would jump-start its U.S. operations. Federal transit officials said that BYD violated some regulations that made it ineligible to bid in the first place. Both sides are in talks to determine how to best exit the contract ahead of what is expected to be a new round of bidding. It would mark a big setback for the Chinese company, which outbid four rivals last spring to build 10 electrically powered buses for Long Beach.
March 17, 2014 | By Kim Christensen
Scores of small businesses burned in a payroll-tax scam got some welcome news late last week when an insurance company said it would cover $3 million of their total losses. "We won't get all of our money back, but at least it looks like we will get a good chunk," said Melissa Meltzer, who with her husband, Robert, owns a Los Angeles children's fitness franchise that lost about $55,000. The Meltzers are among about 150 mostly Southern California restaurateurs, dentists, hairstylists and others who learned around Christmas that money they had deposited with LA Payroll for state and federal taxes had disappeared - as had the company's owner, Tovmas Grigoryan.
March 17, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Stolen passports carried by two Iranian men to board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were used last year by two people applying for visas to work as entertainers in China, according to the head of an entertainment company. Xie Zhuoling, the head of a firm that recruits foreign performers for nightclubs and hotels, said that employment contracts had been signed in June for Christian Kozel, an Austrian, and Luigi Maraldi, an Italian, to work as dancers in Ningxia, northern China.
March 14, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
While the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded westward amid concerns of foul play, a satellite company confirmed that signals from the plane were registered by its network. British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat said Friday that signals from the Boeing 777 were “routine” and “automated.” It did not disclose, however, when the communications occurred in relation to the aircraft's March 8 disappearance. Inmarsat said the information was given to SITA, a multinational air transport communications and information technology company, which in turn has shared it with Malaysia Airlines.
March 13, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison and Kim Christensen
A Northern California metal-plating business and its owner were charged Thursday with felony violations of state hazardous waste laws, including storing cyanide near acid in a way that could have triggered a deadly accident. Electro-Forming Co. and Marion Ingrid Patigler face 11 felony counts and 12 misdemeanor charges related to the alleged illegal disposal, storage, treatment and transportation of hazardous waste. The alleged crimes - which include storing cyanide and other toxic substances in an unpermitted, 6,900-gallon tank at the Richmond site - occurred over a two-year period beginning in March 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Contra Costa County district attorney's office.
March 13, 2014 | By Shan Li
Rick Perry is coming back to town. The Texas governor will be in Los Angeles next week to try to persuade local corporations to relocate to the Lone Star State. This is his third swing through the Southland since last year, and Texas this time around comes armed with a $300,000 advertising blitz. He returns with a big victory under his belt: Occidental Petroleum Corp. The Los Angeles oil giant, whose roots in the region go back nearly a century, announced last month it is relocating to Houston.
March 11, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
Tylt Lab, a new Santa Monica venture capital firm, has raised $20 million for early-stage start-ups in Silicon Beach. The fund will support local entrepreneurs through seed to series A investments, Tylt said, estimating that this year it will be making 12 to 15 investments ranging from $50,000 to $2 million. The company said it focuses on "businesses disruptive to their industries," which include lifestyle products, mobile platforms and services, home automation, software-oriented transactions, consumer goods, clean tech, e- healthcare and entertainment.
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday became the fourth client to drop the firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates as its lobbyist in Sacramento since the company was hit by record fines for making improper campaign contributions to dozens of elected state officials. Others who have dropped the firm in the last month include the San Francisco 49ers Football Co., Verizon Communications and Accenture. Together, the four clients represented $734,0000 of the $4.7 million paid to the lobbying firm last year.
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