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BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Few regions were hit harder by the Great Recession than the Inland Empire, where foreclosures turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and real estate projects dissolved into weeds and broken dreams. So it's not surprising that four of the five largest banks in the region failed, sunk by risky subprime mortgages and failed construction loans. Citizens Business Bank was the exception. The bank, operated by holding company CVB Financial Corp., limited construction and land development loans to no more than 10% of its portfolio, far less than many of its peers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Rick Rojas
They were teenage girls desperate for something better: They came from group homes or families that were broken. Some already had children of their own and were struggling to provide for them. There were also girls who came from environments that seemed more stable, but still, they were drawn into prostitution by the promise of money and independence. "They knew what to say and do to entice them," prosecutor Ami Sheth said of the sex-trafficking ring that lured girls from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles County, where they had sex for money at motels in Compton and Lynwood and faced verbal and physical abuse if they didn't make enough.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A Lynwood man pleaded guilty this week to recruiting teenage girls from local schools in the Inland Empire and forcing them into prostitution in Los Angeles. Paul Edward Bell, 29, an alleged member of the Rolling 60s Crips gang, pleaded guilty Monday as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that will send him to prison for 30 years. His trial was expected to begin Monday. Bell was one of eight people indicted in 2012 by a grand jury investigating reports of sex trafficking in Riverside County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Southland residents are barred from burning wood or manufactured logs in their fireplaces from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday because of  elevated “fine particulate levels,” air quality regulators said. The no-burn alert does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the High Desert, according to a statement from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Low-income households, homes that rely on wood as their sole source of heat and homes without natural gas service are also exempt.
SPORTS
December 16, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 No. 2 Etiwanda, No. 8 Compton, No. 14 Chino Hills and No. 16 Rancho Cucamonga are among the 24 teams that begin action in the Inland Empire Classic. Etiwanda faces Citrus Valley on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Fontana Miller. Rancho Cucamonga hosts Fontana at 7 p.m. on Monday. Compton begins action on Tuesday against Montclair at 4 p.m. at Colony. Chino Hills plays Lakeside at 5:30 p.m. at Colony.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
BUSINESS
December 5, 2013 | By Shan Li and Andrew Khouri
California continues to be a story of two economies: coastal regions with healthy job growth and inland areas that are still struggling to recover, according to a UCLA report released Thursday. UCLA economists said in their quarterly forecast that coastal counties stretching from Marin to San Diego have enjoyed employment gains that outpaced the U.S. In contrast, inland areas such as the San Joaquin Valley and the East Bay are showing little or even negative growth. Years of economic turmoil have especially been hard on the Inland Empire, which includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Eloise Gomez Reyes' frustration seemed to leap off the pages of her recent complaint letter to the head of the California Democratic Party. She described how she had tried repeatedly to address local party clubs about her candidacy for a hotly contested congressional seat in the Inland Empire, only to learn four of those organizations had endorsed a rival, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. The backing, announced by the Aguilar campaign, "suggests that information needed to participate fully in the Democratic Club endorsement process has intentionally been withheld" from other candidates, Reyes, a Colton attorney and first-time candidate, said in her letter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
The 2014 gubernatorial campaign officially began Tuesday, with tea party favorite Tim Donnelly, a Republican assemblyman from the Inland Empire, announcing that he is running for governor. "I want to let Jerry Brown know that … not only are we coming for him, but the people of the state of California are coming for their freedom back," Donnelly said, flanked by his wife, three of their five children and dozens of supporters at a sawdust-covered furniture factory in Baldwin Park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Democrat Freddie Rodriguez eked out a narrow win in a special election Tuesday to fill a vacant Inland Empire Assembly seat. Rodriguez, a Pomona city councilman, won 51.1% of the vote, according to results posted by the California secretary of State on Wednesday. Ontario Mayor Paul Leon, who ran as an independent, had 48.9%. The election was held to fill the seat vacated by now-state Sen. Norma Torres (D-Pomona). Only 8% of the district's 177,000 registered voters cast a ballot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Hoping to help narrow the field of challengers to a Republican incumbent next year, a Democratic organization in the Inland Empire endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar for Congress. Aguilar won nearly 86% of the endorsement votes cast by members of the Redlands Area Democratic Club over the weekend, club officials said. The rest of the votes were split between attorney Elois Gomez Reyes (11%) and San Bernardino Unified School Board member Danny Tillman (3%).  Former Rep. Joe Baca, who lost his reelection bid in a neighboring district last year, did not receive any votes, the officials said.
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