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March 3, 2014 | By Anthony Clark Carpio
A man was sentenced to 33 years to life in state prison for causing an explosion that started a fire in a Santa Ana motel room, according to authorities. In addition to his prison time, Thanh Van Quang, 39, was ordered to pay more than $177,000 in restitution, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. A jury found him guilty last October of arson of an inhabited property and illegal possession of flammable material, the Huntington Beach Independent reported . On Nov. 30, 2012, Quang was arguing with the manager at the Pueblo Motel in Santa Ana about inviting guests into his room, according to prosecutors.
February 26, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
This morning, while taking the dog for a walk, I felt a brief flurry of raindrops, like goose bumps, rise along my arm. We are due for a storm, of course -  two of them, one this evening and another beginning tomorrow night - and we all know how badly California needs the water, in the era of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge . And yet, for me, the drought is just one piece of this equation - and only one reason I am happy for the rain....
February 25, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
The mayor of Santa Ana's vote in favor of offering a local business an exclusive city contract after swapping a piece of property with the owner is troubling, said a UC San Diego professor. "It does raise the question about whether there was a quid pro quo," said political science professor Steven Erie. "It makes you wonder whether the swap predisposed or set him up to support the later vote. " As part of his real estate transaction, Mayor Miguel Pulido also purchased a Westminster home from the auto parts business owner for about $230,000 below fair market value, according to property records.
February 24, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Santa Ana's longtime mayor is under investigation for his relationship with an auto parts business owner, to whom the mayor sold a piece of downtown property and then voted in favor of giving the auto parts store an exclusive city contract. As part of his real estate transaction, Mayor Miguel Pulido also purchased a Westminster home from the auto parts business owner for about $230,000 below fair market value, according to property records. Pulido later sold the home for a $197,000 profit.
February 24, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
As a plume of smoke rose from a one-car garage in Santa Ana on Monday morning, neighbors who knew that a family lived inside rushed to pry open its door. The family of three or four people, some of them children, was able to escape by exiting through the house, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi. The 7:50 a.m. blaze in the 1200 block of South Magnolia Avenue was probably sparked by a cellphone charger that short-circuited, he said. Neighbors who were unaware the family had escaped tried frantically to open the garage's tightly shut doors as they called 911. “The garage was secure, so the neighbors couldn't get in from the outside; and even if the fire started inside the house, they could be trapped because it has no windows,” Concialdi said.
February 18, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Homicide detectives responded to a Santa Ana neighborhood Tuesday night after a man died of a possible gunshot wound. Police said the man was found in the driveway of a home in the 600 block of North Rosita Street.  Officers were called to the scene after a report of shots fired in the area shortly after 8 p.m., said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.  No other details were immediately available....
February 12, 2014 | By Lisa Boone, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Calling all punk enthusiasts: Singer Exene Cervenka is downsizing and shedding more than 40 years of antiques in the process at a four-day estate sale beginning Thursday in Santa Ana. "One hundred years of Americana needs a good home," Cervenka said of the upcoming sale. "Treasured memories of the past can live on in your hands. Like a small inheritance, but without the squabbling with siblings. " Items include what you might expect from the former member of the iconic Los Angeles band X: Electric guitars and old carnival chalk prizes.
February 11, 2014 | By Anh Do and Adolfo Flores
Two women were ordered Tuesday to stand trial for murder in the death of a 23-year-old woman who was beaten during an altercation outside a popular Santa Ana nightspot. The ruling followed a two-day hearing with attorneys dissecting the shaky and sometimes chaotic scene, captured on the cellphones of bystanders. Lawyers for Vanesa Tapia Zavala and Candace Marie Brito, who are accused of killing Kim Pham on Jan. 18, said it was Pham who instigated the brawl by throwing the first punch, then jumping on a woman who had tumbled to the ground.
February 10, 2014 | By Anh Do and Adolfo Flores
A Santa Ana detective testified Monday that she posed as an inmate, going undercover into the jail cell of a defendant in a high-profile beating case after the woman refused to talk with police and demanded an attorney. Det. Patricia Navarro said she never identified herself to Vanesa Tapia Zavala when she secretly recorded their conversation in a jail cell, trying to get her to share details about the fight outside a downtown Santa Ana nightclub that left a recent college graduate comatose, and then dead days later.
February 8, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Kianna Jackson disappeared first. The 20-year-old called her mother on Oct. 2 and told her she was taking the bus to Santa Ana from her home in Las Vegas for a court date. The next day she stopped answering her phone. Twenty days later, Monique Vargas, a 34-year-old mother of three, left her sister's birthday party, telling family she was walking to the market to buy groceries. They haven't seen her since. Another 20 days later, Martha Anaya, 28, asked her boyfriend to pick up their young daughter because she had to work.
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