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July 8, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - They waited for a week. Then, on Monday, they waited a little longer, until authorities cleared them to go through. Residents who wanted to see their town and the damage wrought by the Yarnell Hill fire could finally go home.  “I had butterflies,” said Dianne Stitt, 47, recounting the moments when she reentered Yarnell, about 30 miles southwest of Prescott. “But I'm glad to be home. I'm grateful to have a home to go back to.” Stitt was among the fortunate.
June 25, 2013 | By Nardine Saad, This post has been corrected, as detailed below.
Holly Madison is engaged, and she has a gargantuan ring that says so. Madison, 31, one of Playboy editor Hugh Hefner's many ex-girlfriends, who had their relationship chronicled in the E! reality show "The Girls Next Door," announced the big news on her blog late Monday. "I got engaged on Sunday!" Madison wrote. "My fiancé was so wonderful in creating such a romantic night!" PHOTOS: Oddly fantastic celebrity baby names Pasquale Rotella proposed to her Sunday while riding the Ferris wheel at Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival.
June 18, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn
Saks Fifth Avenue has partnered with men's accessory brand of the moment, Hook + Albert, on a collection of colorful lapel flowers for the benefit of an LGBT nonprofit group Live Out Loud. The limited-edition multi-color "Pride" boutonnieres , which are handmade in New York City, will sell for $30 each, with proceeds going to benefit Live Out Loud , dedicated to inspiring and empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The 1.5-inch in diameter fabric lapel flowers (they aren't technically "pins" since they have a shell button backing that buttons into a jacket lapel's buttonhole)
June 5, 2013 | By Marisa Gerber, Los Angeles Times
Randy McDonald darted his eyes between the lotus bed and a pack of police officers, wondering if he could get away with it. He figured it was worth a try and walked from Echo Park Lake back to his car. After opening the glove compartment, he pulled out a hacksaw blade and stuck it into his back pocket. He tugged his T-shirt to cover it and returned to the lake. He worked his way through the thick crowd of revelers gathered for the 28th annual Lotus Festival and then crouched down at the water's edge.
June 3, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Opera, in our parts, has embarked upon an exceptional period of expansion. Up and down the California coast, the staging of new and recent work possibly outnumbers old. This year, moving from south to north, UC San Diego in La Jolla has had two major world premieres; Long Beach Opera has given us three regional or U.S. premieres; Santa Monica's Broad Stage is offering the world premiere of Lee Holdridge's "Dolce Rosa"; the Los Angeles Philharmonic has...
June 2, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Imagine you are heading east on Wilshire Boulevard, in a car or on foot. As you approach Wilshire and Fairfax Avenue, you see the rounded, gilded corner of the former May Co. building and Renzo Piano's travertine-wrapped Broad Contemporary Art Museum, with its wide shoulders and careful posture. Then, just past the huddled lampposts that make up Chris Burden's "Urban Light" installation, something entirely different heaves into view: an undulating building of glass and dark-gray concrete, its single story lifted more than 30 feet into the air atop seven separate legs, each containing a staircase.
May 24, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
"Bloom," a compact show of eight recent painted sculptures by Christopher Miles, takes its name seriously. The flowering at hand is excitement over the extreme, hybrid nature of contemporary experience. These artistic mutts celebrate incongruity, heterogeneity and multiplicity -- even if irradiated with a certain creepiness, which certainly feels right for our time. The works are on view in the rear project-room at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in a show organized by artist Constance Mallinson.
May 22, 2013
  Total time: 2 minutes Servings: Makes 1 cocktail Note: From Vincenzo Marianella 1/2 ounce good-quality reposado tequila, preferably 4 Copas 3/4 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur 1 ounce ruby grapefruit juice 2 to 2 1/2 ounces Champagne or prosecco Combine the tequila, St-Germain and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail flute. Top with Champagne. Quickly stir; then serve immediately. Each serving: 167 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 mg. sodium.
May 21, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
A tempest in a flowerpot over whether a Washington state florist should have to provide bouquets to a same-sex wedding has taken a new turn with a countersuit filed by the shop owner claiming her religious freedoms gave her the right to refuse. In an action filed late last week , the owner of Arlene's Flowers fought back against earlier suits filed by the Washington attorney general and the American Civil Liberties Union, saying in a new counterclaim that she for years has served the gay man at the center of the legal maelstrom as a customer but doesn't have to provide flowers for his wedding.
May 19, 2013 | By Diana Marcum, Paul Pringle and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
BAKERSFIELD - After the last twisting drop of the Grapevine pass, the road stretches flat out past fields, fast-food restaurants and tractor lots to this Central Valley city that likes to emphasize that it's different from the rest of California. It's only 100 miles north of Los Angeles and less than three hours from the coast, yet many people here say, "Well, that's how we do it in Kern County. " This distinctive insularity has perhaps never been more evident than now. Across the state, public outcry is growing over sheriff's deputies who beat David Sal Silva, an unarmed man who died less than an hour after his screams for help fell silent.
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