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SPORTS
January 6, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
They started the night with a barrage of pregame fireworks in the Rose Bowl. A few hours later, the rockets really went off. This was not so much a game as a roller coaster. If you are a drama lover, an excitement junkie, you couldn't help but get high on this one. The last 4 1/2 minutes were college football's Space Mountain. There was a 100-yard kickoff return by a Florida State freshman, who is only 5 feet 7, who was a state champion sprinter and who goes by either Kermit Whitfield or Levonte Whitfield.
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NATIONAL
December 27, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
It starts with capturing a possum.  Next, on New Year's Eve, the possum is slowly lowered in a plastic cage, as spectators watch and count down the seconds to midnight.  Then the possum is set free.  Happy New Year! This is the “possum drop,” an annual Brasstown, N.C., tradition that locals liken to the Times Square ball drop in New York City. It's so popular in the North Carolina mountain town that a 30-minute documentary about it, “The Possum Drop,” was released over the summer.  But in 2011, the possum drop got the attention of the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz and Jason Wells
The four mountain bikers who went missing in the Angeles National Forest on Sunday were not familiar with the trail they were on and were ill-equipped for the elements, authorities said. The search began about 7 p.m. when the four cyclists were several hours late returning from their planned ride from Mt. Wilson to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Windsor turnout in Pasadena, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's Deputy Dan Paige told NBC Los Angeles that it appeared it was first time the men - who range in age from 28 to 38 - had taken the trail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Four mountain bikers who went missing Sunday said they took a wrong turn off the trail and, after trying unsuccessfully to find their way out of the forest, hunkered down underneath wooden benches and around a fire. The cyclists, who were missing for about a day, were found "lost but not injured" in the Bear Canyon area by a search helicopter Monday morning, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Angela Shepherd. On Sunday, the four men set out for a trip from Mt. Wilson to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Windsor turnout.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The four mountain bikers who went missing Sunday in Angeles National Forest have been found alive, authorities said. The cyclists were spotted in the Bear Canyon area by a search helicopter "lost but not injured," said L.A. County Sheriff's Lt. Angela Shepherd. "The airship spotted them ... they're on their way to get them out now," she added. The cyclists, who were not immediately identified, were reported missing Sunday after they were late returning from a bike ride. Search-and-rescue teams, aided by a helicopter, had searched for the men until about 4 a.m. Monday.
SPORTS
December 20, 2013 | By Gary Klein
USC returns to the Las Vegas Bowl for the first time since 2001 with hopes of defeating Fresno State and ending its tumultuous season with 10 victories. Staff writer Gary Klein examines the story lines: Bakersfield boys USC quarterback Cody Kessler and Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr both grew up in Bakersfield and are friends. Kessler, a third-year sophomore, has passed for 2,623 yards and 16 touchdowns, with six passes intercepted. Kessler goes against a Fresno State secondary led by safety Derron Smith, who has a team-best six interceptions.
HEALTH
December 20, 2013 | By Roy M. Wallack
In 2005, 41-year-old Wendy Engelberg needed something new in her life. Stressed out by a divorce, bored by her job as an auto parts store manager and with no kids or compelling hobbies, she showed up at Malibu Creek State Park for the Fat Tire Fest. "I always wanted to try mountain biking," she said. "I was fit from aerobics class, so I thought I could do it. I was a little scared. " This would be her first ride on the $419 bike she had just bought. In fact, she hadn't ridden a bike since childhood.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Snow was falling in Southern California mountains Thursday night, but the region was expected to see a warming trend through the weekend, the National Weather Service said. A winter weather advisory was issued across the Los Angeles area because of the snowfall, said Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist with agency's Oxnard office. Snow was falling in Big Bear and the Running Springs areas. Bartling said snow could also fall in the San Gabriel Mountains. Officials in Los Padres National Forest said they would be closing roads because of the potential for snow and rain.
SPORTS
December 18, 2013 | By Steve Dilbeck
CLAYTON KERSHAW , 25, starting pitcher Final 2013 stats: 16-9, 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings, .195 opponent batting average, two shutouts Contract status: Arbitration eligible (last year). The good: Continued to establish himself as the preeminent starting pitcher in the National League. Won his second Cy Young in three years (he came in second in 2012). Let's face it, all his numbers were great, it was just a matter of degree. Some of his better numbers: left-handed hitters batted .165, had a 1.54 ERA at home, did not have one month where his ERA was higher than 2.65, batters hit .180 with runners in scoring position.
SCIENCE
December 17, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
You'll know it's springtime in the Santa Monica Mountains when wildlife biologists start alerting curious visitors to keep their distance from the first red-legged frog reintroduction effort ever attempted in Southern California. Biologists are gearing up to transfer fragile batches of California red-legged frog eggs from a tiny, isolated population in the nearby Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve to separate streams in the Santa Monicas where the species has not been seen in nearly half a century.
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