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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2014 | By Jill Cowan
For years, Orange County has been the contrarian while its neighbors have used distinctive and easy-to-spot letter grades to alert would-be diners what to expect when they swing open the door to a restaurant. Now, Orange County is studying whether it too should move in that direction - but rather than assign letter grades, it's considering using colors. Think traffic lights. The color-coded system advanced by the county grand jury - green, yellow and red - would be similar to those used in Sacramento and Alameda counties.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
A patient whose personal information was stolen in a break-in at a medical billing contractor's office in Torrance has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company and Los Angeles County. Two Los Angeles law firms filed a complaint Friday in Superior Court. The suit was initially filed on behalf of a single patient whose name was not disclosed, but seeks class-action status. An office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, which handles billing and collections for the county's Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health, was burglarized Feb. 5 and computers were stolen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
A woman who was pulled over by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, forced into the back seat of his patrol car and driven into the desert, only to be raped and then followed home, is relieved that he will be spending time behind bars, her attorney said. Jose Rigaberto Sanchez, 29, pleaded no contest Thursday to rape under color of authority and to soliciting a bribe and is expected to be sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. Sanchez pulled over a 24-year-old woman in Palmdale while on duty Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
It appears there's a power struggle brewing in the union for rank-and-file Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. Earlier this week, the union put out a statement announcing that it had removed its president, citing problems with his attendance. According to sources familiar with the union's inner-workings, the supposedly ousted president, Armando Macias, showed up at a meeting Wednesday and insisted on running it. Reached by The Times on Thursday, a union representative declined to say who is now the union's president.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Richard Winton and Kate Mather
Former NFL player Darren Sharper, charged with drugging and raping two women in Hollywood, was ordered Thursday to remain in jail without bail after an Arizona grand jury indicted him on charges of committing two sexual assaults in Arizona. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Renee Korn rejected efforts by Sharper's attorneys, Blair Berk and Larry Levine, to have the Super Bowl-winning safety released from L.A. County custody on house arrest with GPS monitoring. They had asked that he be allowed to surrender to authorities in Arizona, where an indictment was unsealed this week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was convicted Thursday of rape and bribery stemming from two traffic stops, including one in which he pulled a woman over then raped her in the desert, prosecutors said. Jose Rigaberto Sanchez, 29, pleaded no contest to rape under color of authority and to soliciting a bribe and is expected to be sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. Sanchez pulled over a 24-year-old woman in Palmdale while on duty Sept. 22, 2010. He offered not to arrest her on an outstanding warrant in exchange for sex, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Jean Merl
As political frays go, the race to succeed longtime Rep. Henry Waxman is going to be a crowded, eclectic doozy. No fewer than 21 people - most of them lacking any public profile - have applied to appear on the June 3 primary ballot in that contest. The district the Beverly Hills Democrat is giving up after four decades in Congress is one of the state's most politically active, full of wealthy donors and home to many in L.A.'s signature entertainment industry. With no limit on how many terms a representative can serve, an open House seat is relatively rare and likely to draw a crowd - just not usually this big. The hopefuls include 11 Democrats - not surprising in a district with a vivid blue wash - four Republicans, one Libertarian, one Green Party member and four independents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Frank Shyong
Authorities said Tuesday that they had arrested a man suspected of killing his 67-year-old roommate at their shared home in Westmont on Sunday. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies detained Toriano Benford, 43, at 12:20 p.m. on Monday as a suspect in the slaying of Ernest Dewitt Brannon, 67. Benford's bail was set at about $1 million. Authorities said Benford and Brannon, a minister, were both renting a room in a house in Westmont , an unincorporated neighborhood with one of the highest homicide rates in the county.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Kate Mather
An Arizona grand jury has indicted Darren Sharper on five sexual assault and drug-related counts, the latest development in multiple sexual assault investigations against the former NFL star that have kept him in a Los Angeles jail. The indictment on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs involve attacks that occurred in Tempe, Ariz., on Nov. 20, 2013, police said Wednesday. In all, the former New Orleans Saints safety, 38, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting at least eight women in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Tempe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
The mother of two hungry children found wandering the streets of Los Angeles has had six older children removed by county caseworkers into the foster care system. Despite that history, the family was enrolled in a program designed to help the mother keep her children while learning to be a better parent.  The two younger children, boys ages 2 and 3, and their mother, 32-year-old Sidnicka Wilson, had been under the direct supervision of Los Angeles County's child protective services agency.
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