CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 |
VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. - On any given day, this is a quiet, rural town surrounded by miles of hills stacked with golden hay bales. But on Sunday, the sun was hot and weeks of fear had pivoted into confirmation of a sickening suspicion: the brother of a slain 8-year-old girl, Leila Fowler, was now the suspect in the April 27 stabbing death. The community of 7,500 southeast of Sacramento let out a collective breath now that a suspect was in custody. Longing for normalcy, most people took their children to the nearby lake.
May 4, 2013 |
MONTE RIO, Calif. - On the redwood-lined banks of the Russian River, dozens of local residents and tourists gathered in a grassy field on a hot Sunday afternoon, lining up to buy raffle tickets and $10 plates of barbecued chicken as a bluegrass group rehearsed a number for a Ramble at the Rio concert. It might have been a church social or a school fundraising picnic. But this event was to raise money to save a centerpiece of the community: the Rio Theater. VIDEO: Upcoming summer films Built from a World War II Quonset hut and adorned with murals from local artists, the Rio has been screening films in this town of about 1,200 people since 1950.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 |
VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. - In this rural town southeast of Sacramento, small-town neighborliness and distance from urban life made many of its 7,500 residents feel safe. Locals say many residents still don't lock their doors. But feelings of security have been shattered by the killing of an 8-year-old girl over the weekend. Authorities have revealed few details about the crime, but local media have reported that the girl's older brother told detectives an intruder got into the home while their parents were away and fatally stabbed her. Leila Fowler's slaying prompted a sweeping manhunt across the rugged terrain of Calaveras County and left residents searching for answers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2013 |
Closing down a large section of Venice Boulevard for CicLAvia was a welcome reprieve for some seeking a little solace from big city life. "They should do his every weekend," said Celina Fowler, 61, who lives near the intersection of Venice and La Cienega boulevards. Her neighbor Elizabeth Wang, 41, agreed. She said the event made the neighborhood feel smaller, and gave her 2-year-old son Marcus a chance to experience what she had growing up in pedestrian-friendly Boston. "The event is good for the small town feel," Wang said.
April 18, 2013 |
WEST, Texas -- Officials confirmed Thursday that 11 first responders were among the dead in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant that injured at least 160 and devastated a section of this small town. State public safety officials have declined to specify how many people were killed in the explosion. Tom Muska, mayor of West, said early in the day that he feared the death toll could be as high as 35 to 40, “because they are unaccounted for and still missing.” Later in the evening Muska revised his estimate to about 14 after crews had searched 80% of the damaged homes and 75% of the apartments. "It's still hard to tell.
April 14, 2013 |
Pleasanton, Calif., is - no surprise here - a pleasant small city east of San Francisco Bay that was off the beaten track for much of the 20th century and avoided the redevelopment that destroyed the cores of many older cities. Its downtown - filled with tree-lined streets, vintage architecture, restaurants and boutiques - evokes a small town in New England. My good friend Laura, who used to live there, was my guide on our trip. The tab: We spent about $450, including $220 for two nights at the Sheraton and $230 for food and drinks.
April 10, 2013 |
So if you were Daft Punk, arguably the world's most cultishly adored, purposefully mysterious EDM duo, where would you want to unveil your new album, "Random Access Memories," to your global worshipers? From the top of the Petronas Towers? Or maybe the dark side of the moon? Naw, too predictable. Instead, the French twosome of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have announced that they'll be taking their act to Wee Waa, Australia (population 2,000, give or take a few marsupials)
March 9, 2013 |
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - The allegations are inarguably revolting: A falling-down-drunk 16-year-old girl is molested and sexually assaulted by two fellow high school students, once in a car and again at a friend's house, while other teens tweet and text videos, photographs and gleeful descriptions of the incidents. On Wednesday, two high school boys will stand trial on charges of raping the girl in August, but more is at stake than the futures of the defendants. Steubenville, once famous for steel, Dean Martin and football trophies, is also on trial, and it is fighting to clear itself of accusations that a small-town fixation on high school athletes allowed a hideous crime to occur in front of witnesses who didn't report it. "The actions of a few have basically condemned our whole city," City Manager Cathy Davison said.
March 8, 2013 |
It remains to be seen whether "Spring Breakers" turns out to be one of the movies of the year, but it is without question a movie of its moment. It has been a source of intense interest since shooting first started around St. Pete Beach in Florida last spring, as images began to surface via paparazzi and social media of young starlets Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. Seeming to be a part of raunchy spring break shenanigans, they were seen riding scooters, frolicking on the beach and being marched around in bikinis and handcuffs.
March 7, 2013 |
It feels like the end times are coming to little Brewster, R.I., one of those anonymous towns that used to have an economic purpose - fishing, quarry mining, farming, textiles - but now pretty much just holds beds for commuters who work in other places. First, a newborn baby disappears from its crib in the local hospital, replaced by a large yellow snake. Then a stranger in town is stabbed and scalped in his car out by the Great Swamp, the site of historical atrocities during the Colonial era and local legends ever since.