July 10, 2012 |
NEW YORK -- When dozens of little American flags began disappearing from Civil War veterans' graves at a cemetery in Hudson, N.Y., this month, locals fumed. Who could be so callous, especially in the days surrounding Independence Day? Thanks to surveillance cameras, a stepped-up police presence and forensic sleuthing, officials have the answer: woodchucks, also known as groundhogs. The animals apparently were burrowing beneath the ground, then taking the flags into their subterranean homes, where investigators poking cameras into the dirt have spotted some of the missing banners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2012 |
Los Angeles city prosecutors Wednesday took the unusual step of filing criminal charges against the owners of three metal recycling businesses, accusing them of illegally handling hazardous waste and allowing toxic chemicals to be released into storm water. "These facilities pose a significant threat to human health and the environment," said Patty Bilgin, who heads the Los Angeles city attorney's environmental justice unit. "These are toxic chemicals. We don't know where they are going.
March 27, 2012 |
Naomi Wormell is a vicar, not a vigilante. But these days, she finds it hard to choose Christian charity over some swift -- and terrible -- retribution. The centuries-old church she leads in this quiet English village has fallen victim to a plague sweeping across Britain. Like hungry locusts, metal thieves have repeatedly attacked St. Mary's Church, swooping down on its roof in the dead of night and stripping away large sections of its Victorian-era lead cladding. Six times over a four-month period, the heartsick residents of Hatfield Broad Oak awoke to discover yet another piece of their history stolen, most likely to be melted down and sold for scrap.
December 21, 2011
Rebecca Black's infamous "Friday" video has topped all other YouTube videos of 2011 with 180 million views. The Google Inc. video-sharing site announced its most-viewed clips of the year Tuesday. The 14-year-old Black was turned into a viral video celebrity after her parents paid a production company to make the music video for her. "Friday" became an unlikely, off-key global hit. Because of a legal dispute with Ark Music Factory, the video has had two YouTube incarnations, both of which were tabulated in the year-end count.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2011 |
They're stealing this small town's history. The bronze plaques that marked the wheres and noted the whos and whispered the back story of Selma, "raisin capital of the world," are disappearing. Gone are the testaments that an elementary school was a public works project built during the Great Depression and that the women's club has stood since 1911. There are no longer etched letters gracing the town mural in loving memory of Mr. Snodgrow, or a bronzed list of those who donated money to build the church hall at St. Joseph's.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2010 |
At first, Marc Handler ignored the pickup trucks loaded with scrap metal, machine components and other junk parked on the street outside his North Hollywood home. He hoped they would simply go away. But the number of trucks only increased, from three to as many as 15. Sometimes the clanging and banging would stir Handler from his sleep in the wee hours. "I feel that I am now living in a blighted area full of smashed-up vehicles and piles of scrap metal and junk — an industrial area of workmen and industrial materials, not a neighborhood," said Handler, who lives in a house he bought from his grandparents 20 years ago. "This is in my face every day."