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January 13, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Two mothers pleaded not guilty Monday to charges they vandalized a classroom at a Mojave Desert school after losing a battle to keep it from being transformed into a charter campus under the controversial parent trigger law. Lori Yuan and Chrissy Guzman were leaders against the effort to convert the low-performing Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto to a charter last fall in the state's first successful use of the 2010 parent trigger law....
January 13, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
From many corners of the United States -- Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Mississippi -- recent years have brought heartening news about the relentless rise in obesity among American children: Several years into a campaign to get kids to eat better and exercise more, child obesity rates have appeared to stabilize, and might be poised for a reversal. But a study published Monday in the journal PNAS suggests that among adolescents, the hopeful signs are limited to those from better-educated, more affluent families.
January 13, 2014
Sam Berns, a spunky teenager who was proud to call himself a "band geek" and was at the heart of a 2013 documentary about a genetic condition that accelerates aging, has died. He was 17. Berns, a Massachusetts high school junior and Eagle Scout who was bald, bespectacled and weighed only 50 pounds, died Friday from complications of progeria, the Progeria Research Foundation announced. An avid fan of Boston sports teams, Berns also was passionate about playing the snare drum and marching in full uniform with Foxborough High School's marching band.
January 8, 2014 | By David Wharton
More and more Olympic athletes have turned to crowd-funding to help finance their training. Now an American speed skater has used the Internet phenomenon to bring her parents along when she races at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Sugar Todd went on GoFundMe to ask for donations and quickly gathered $5,864 before closing the page. "WOW, you are all absolutely remarkable," she wrote to contributors on the website. "In less than 24 hours we met our fund-raising goal and then some.
January 6, 2014 | By Paresh Dave, This post has been corrected and updated. See the note below for details.
A mother and father of a 4-month-old girl who died New Year's Eve in Downey were charged Monday with child abuse and murder, prosecutors said. The baby, identified only as Savanah L., died of blunt-force trauma and showed signs of abuse, authorities said.  Her parents, Ashley Debra Jones and Johnathan Lucero, both 23, were being held on $2-million bail. If convicted, they face maximum sentences of life in prison. A 911 call from a family member tipped police to the situation, a Los Angeles County district attorney's office spokeswoman said.
January 3, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
In the new Lifetime original movie "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax," the protagonist's name is uttered in full many times throughout the film's 87 minutes. She isn't called "Lizzie" or "Miss Borden" but "Lizzie Borden. " The notorious name strikes tactical blows on the viewer's psyche, conjuring bits of legend, myth and contested story lines about the accused murderess' storied life. The movie, which airs Jan. 25, stars Christina Ricci, last seen on TV in the short-lived ABC series "Pan Am," a 1960s period piece.
January 2, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
I don't speak a word of Russian. But I've come to believe some sort of strange symbiosis exists between the language of Tolstoy and the language of Shakespeare. Russia gave birth to that master of English-language prose named Vladimir Nabokov. Half a century later, another writer who grew up with Cyrillic characters is gleefully writing American English as vivid, original and funny as any that contemporary U.S. literature has to offer. That writer is Gary Shteyngart, who wrote three excellent novels propelled by his ecstatic voice.
January 2, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Some traumas end up borne privately, but this was not one of them. At her memorial service in Denver on Wednesday, Araphahoe High School shooting victim Claire Davis' father stepped to the stage, and in a gentle voice, with cameras and a large audience watching, ended up thanking everybody in increments. A thanks for coming to this celebration of Claire's life. A thanks to an Arapahoe County sheriff's deputy -- the one who found Davis' daughter Dec. 13 in the hallway at the Centennial, Colo., school where she'd been shot by a classmate with a shotgun.
January 1, 2014 | By Frank Shyong
I have a confession to make. I am a 25-year-old living with his mother, the walking stereotype of a millennial. Raised on unearned parental affirmation, equipped with elevated self-esteem, we graduated from college only to face the most dismal economy since the Great Depression. One result, according to a 2012 Pew study, was that 36% of the nation's 18- to 31-year-olds were bunking in their parents' homes. They call us basement kids and nest dwellers. But it doesn't always happen that way. My millennial story began about a year and a half ago, when I landed a reporting job in Los Angeles.
December 26, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The title of Elizabeth Spencer's eighth book of short fiction, "Starting Over," carries a double meaning: It refers both to the characters in the collection and to the author herself. Ninety-two years old, winner of a PEN/Malamud Award and five O. Henry prizes as well as nine novels, she last released a book, "The Southern Women," in 2001. Spencer, however, has been far from inactive, publishing in literary journals and seeing her best-known work, the 1960 novella "The Light in the Piazza," adapted as a Tony Award-winning musical in 2005.
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