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February 28, 2014 | By Catharine Hamm
VIERA, Fla. - If the notion of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer appeals, Florida's spring training scene may be just the ticket. It's a chance to see whom the Dodgers might play in the regular season or - dare I say it? - in a playoff series. That and not having to moisturize every 10 minutes pretty much make Florida's Grapefruit League my preferred spring training destination. Not that I'm an expert on spring training or Florida or especially the playoffs, the latter having been an impossibility if you grew up, as I did, as a Washington Senators fan in the '60s.
February 28, 2014 | Sandy Banks
Jill Ellman was only 8, but she remembers military officials heading up the driveway and knocking on her family's door with the news that her father's Air Force bomber had crashed off the coast of Newfoundland. The news had barely sunk in when the telephone rang with an update: Her father was safe. Her mother broke out a bottle of champagne. "Everyone was celebrating," Ellman recalled. But a few hours later the phone rang again, and the celebrating stopped. Only one crew member had been pulled from the ocean, and it wasn't her dad. Searchers discovered an empty life raft, but never found her father.
February 25, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
DENVER - The Kings welcomed back their final four Olympians - Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter from the gold medal-winning Canadian team and Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown from the U.S. - in snowy Denver, where they practiced Tuesday at a university rink ahead of the game Wednesday with the Colorado Avalanche. Slava Voynov of Russia and Anze Kopitar of Slovenia, who also played in Sochi, rejoined the team Monday in Los Angeles. But it may take a few days before any of the six will be able to put their Olympic experiences behind them.
February 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Anthony Navarro worked with solemn purpose and a box of tools, stripping the old discarded bicycle of its gear shifts, brakes and chain. He cut his finger, wiped a drop of blood on his pants and kept going. "It helps me with my anger when I'm doing it," said Navarro. "It brings me some kind of inner peace. " On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Navarro's 6-year-old son, Anthony, was riding his bicycle in front of the family's Oxnard home when he was struck by a pickup truck. "The moment I saw him, I knew he was gone," said Navarro, who reeled under the weight of sudden, unbearable loss.
February 20, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A memorial service has been set for two California Highway Patrol officers who died earlier this week after swerving to avoid the scene of a collision near Fresno and then crashing themselves.  The memorial for Officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, according to CHP spokeswoman Erin Komatsubara. Komatsubara said it still has not been decided if the service is open to the public or if media will be invited to attend.
February 18, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Ft. Hood has demolished the building where Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and injured more than 30 in the worst mass shooting at a military base.  Hasan, a military psychiatrist who considers himself a militant waging war against the U.S., was convicted in August and is awaiting execution. On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan walked into Building 42003, one of five structures at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at the Texas base, and opened fire. His court-martial included dramatic testimony from the survivors.  Ft. Hood's Directorate of Public Works said Tuesday that it had finished tearing down the building.
February 18, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - For decades, former eight-term Bay Area Rep. Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey Jr. has dreamed of a Korean War battle moment he cannot shake: Peering into a trench he sees the terrified faces of his teenage opponents, clutching wicker baskets full of grenades. He empties his weapon. Last week, at 86, he at last had an opportunity for personal reconciliation. As a member of a small delegation led by Donald Gregg, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, McCloskey traveled to Pyongyang with a singular intention.
February 17, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Today's hijacking to Geneva of a Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines jetliner brought back memories for us--not of hijackings of the past, but of this exceptional airline, which we flew all over Africa, often in in rather singular conditions, during the 1980s and early 1990s.  To get the most urgent news out of the way first, today's incident was resolved without injuries to any of the 202 passengers and crew about the Boeing 767. Reports are that ...
February 16, 2014 | By Corina Knoll
It began with fresh flowers, but the bouquets quickly withered. So Graciela Fernandez planted a vine that grew long enough to wrap around a wrought-iron heart staked in the ground. She added ribbons of pink and white to the chain-link fence. One day she arrived to find gifts from a stranger. A birdbath and a bench. The patch of dirt had also been outlined in brick and filled in with wood chips. She sobbed at the gesture. It's been nearly two years since her 9-year-old daughter Xiomara was discovered stabbed in the parking lot of a Long Beach church.
February 14, 2014 | James Barragan
Bob Thompson fondly remembers when Downey was buzzing with pride and payrolls as a major hub for work on the Apollo space program and the construction site for six space shuttles. "Since the beginning of time, we had all these world leaders who looked up at the moon," said Thompson, a 72-year-old local history buff who worked for 34 years on the site where the spacecraft were built. "Here in Downey we built the vehicles that put the first man on the moon, and that is why it's a great source of pride.
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