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November 2, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
In a move that could ignite a legal battle, the Florida city where Trayvon Martin was killed will discourage neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying firearms, part of an effort to overhaul its police department and improve the city's tarnished reputation. George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was walking home from a convenience store, in February 2012. The case became a symbol of the country's racial tensions and divisions over gun laws, and thrust Sanford, a central Florida city near Orlando, into the national spotlight.
October 30, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
The police chief in Sanford, Fla., the city made famous by the confrontation between George Zimmerman and an unarmed teenager, is moving to disarm neighborhood watch volunteers, ban them from pursuing suspects and conduct background checks as part of a major overhaul of the program.  Zimmerman, who was a neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted in July of second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. The case roiled racial tensions and prompted questions about the role of guns.
October 30, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
An Irvine mother accused of planting drugs in the car of a PTA volunteer at her son's school pleaded guilty Wednesday to a false imprisonment charge, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Jill Bjorkholm Easter, 40, was sentenced to one year in county jail and three years of formal probation, the office said. [Updated 4:34 p.m. Oct. 30: Easter was ordered to serve 120 days in jail, with 245 days of her term stayed, pending the completion of 100 hours of community service, said Paul S. Meyer, her attorney.
October 29, 2013 | By Mark Gonzales
Even with a resurgent John Lackey starting Wednesday night in hopes of leading the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series-clinching victory at Fenway Park in 95 years, their bullpen could be crowded. "They know the urgency," pitching coach Juan Nieves said. "They know what's at stake. It's wonderful that guys are stepping up. " Lackey, with plenty of support from his teammates, could fully celebrate his comeback from reconstructive right elbow surgery with a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series.
October 28, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
When advocates for the president's healthcare law strategized about how to reach the uninsured, they knew exactly whom to tap: mothers who could spread the word about the law's benefits, sign up their younger children and nudge their twentysomethings to take part. But beyond the widely publicized problems with the federal website, low-tech challenges also are complicating that part of the drive to sell the program - even in California, where the state website is running more smoothly and officials are fully behind the push.
October 24, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
If in general it's better to give than receive, the rule ought to hold true for books -- and giving is the basis of World Book Night, in which millions of books are distributed, for free, by willing volunteers. World Book Night launched in Britain and Ireland in 2011 and came to the U.S. (and Germany) for the first time in 2012. It's on April 23, which is known as Shakespeare's birthday, the day both he and Miguel de Cervantes died, and UNESCO's International Day of the Book.
October 18, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A longtime volunteer coach at a Long Beach middle school has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused two young children for about a decade, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. Christopher Anthony Gray, 35, of Long Beach was charged Thursday with six counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of continuous sexual abuse and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. Prosecutors allege the crimes involved two victims and occurred between September 2003 and October 2013.
October 17, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A 35-year-old longtime volunteer coach at Hughes Middle School in Long Beach was charged Thursday with sexually abusing two children under 14, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Christopher Anthony Gray of Long Beach, who was arrested Tuesday, was charged with six counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of continuous sexual abuse and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. His bail was set at $200,000. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.
October 2, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Greg Reese knows that the work he does trying to convince prostitutes to get out of the life is hard and sometimes thankless. He went on more than 60 missions, or undercover stings, to try to convince women to leave prostitution before one decided to take him up on his offer . A few months later, the group helped to convince a 17-year-old woman in Kentucky not to fly to Las Vegas to work as a prostitute, all via telephone. IN-DEPTH: Volunteers try to get prostitutes off streets  Over the last few months, he and the other volunteers he works with as a part of Safe Passage OC have also set up what he calls an “after-care” program with a nonprofit in the area.
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