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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Victoria Kim
More than 100 aftershocks have been reported since a magnitude 5.1 earthquake rattled Southern California on Friday night. Most of the aftershocks have been small, but some were strong enough to be felt in the areas around the epicenter in northwestern Orange County. Meanwhile, officials surveyed the damage, which for the most part was considered minor. Fullerton police said early Saturday that as many as 50 people had been displaced by the quake. Several buildings are being investigated for possible structural damage, including some apartment buildings.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Emily Foxhall
In a drive to go cashless, construction crews have begun to remove the old-school tollbooths planted along Orange County's vast network of toll lanes. A metal-and-glass tollbooth on the San Joaquin Hills toll road, which winds along coastal Orange County, was symbolically plucked from the highway's toll plaza Thursday, the first step in switching the pay-to-drive highway to a cashless system. Come May, at a specific date still to be determined, traffic on all Orange County toll roads will be routed through automated lanes, where customers can make payments with the existing FasTrak transponders or the new ExpressAccounts, which can be pre-paid, hooked to a credit card or generate monthly bills that are mailed to motorists.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Anh Do
Orange County health officials met in an emergency session this week after the latest measles tally showed the number of cases in the county had rocketed in the last few weeks. There are now 21 confirmed cases of measles in Orange County, the most of any county in California and nearly five times the number of cases in the entire state at this time last year, health officials said. Across the state, the numbers also moved forward, climbing to 49 cases by Friday. Last year, at this time, there were only four reported in the entire state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A soccer coach in southern Orange County has been arrested on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a girl, authorities said Thursday.  Ronnie Gamez, 27, was taken into custody Wednesday by the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Detail. Gamez, of Laguna Niguel, coached for several southern Orange County club organizations. "This involved a south Orange County club team," said Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock, who declined to give more details to protect the identity of the minor.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Tim Logan and Andrew Khouri
Southern California is home to some of the most overpriced housing markets in the country. And that's taking the wind out of the recovery. Three Southland regions ranked among the five most overvalued markets in the U.S. in a new report by real estate website Trulia. These are places where the housing costs have far outpaced growth in income. Separately Tuesday, the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index reported that Los Angeles home prices inched down in January - the first monthly decline in two years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Jill Cowan
The staggering backlog of applications for concealed weapons permits in Orange County has grown to almost 3,000 and some applicants said they've been told it may be years before their paperwork is fully processed. The flood of applications was triggered by a pro-gun appeals court ruling that relaxed the restrictions on who could carry weapons. Most counties in the state have opted to wait for a likely appeal, but Orange County has gone the other way - taking applications from those who claim they need to carry a weapon for their own protection or safety.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Adina Jones has spent years immersed in logistics such as financial tracking, transportation organization, nutritional direction and healthcare supervision. In other words, Jones is a mom. And until shortly before her 14-year marriage ended last year, Jones was a full-time caregiver for her three daughters. "I wanted to give them the best start I could," Jones, 40, said of her career hiatus, which began in 2006. "I wanted to be there for them in all ways. " Now, Jones is trying to reenter the traditional workforce and finding it tough.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Anh Do
A man known as the "Snowboarder Bandit" was sentenced Friday to two years in state prison for robbing nine Orange County banks -- adding to the time he received last month of seven years and eight months in Riverside County. Michael Brandon Franks of Riverside will serve the terms consecutively. He pleaded guilty last year in Orange County to a court offer to 10 felony counts of second-degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second-degree robbery. Then in February, Franks, 31, also pleaded guilty in Riverside County to four felony counts of burglary, three felony counts of robbery and two felony counts of attempted robbery.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Income inequality is rising all over the country. But it's rising faster in some places than others -- almost nowhere faster than Orange County. That's according to a report this week from real estate website Trulia , which crunched income figures over the last 22 years and found that a household in the 90th percentile of income in Orange County in 2012 earned 11.7 times as much as a household in the 10th percentile. That's up from 7.5 times as much in 1990. Only three metro areas in the country -- San Francisco, hedge-fund capital Fairfield County, Conn., and San Jose -- saw the disparity grow faster in that time.
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