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August 16, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
A San Bernardino County judge ordered an inquiry Thursday into allegations that a member of the jury that rejected the "Zoloft defense" of a former Westminster police detective who was convicted of rape failed to disclose that she had used the antidepressant. The defendant, Anthony Orban, claimed to have been in a drug-induced blackout caused by Zoloft when he abducted and sexually assaulted an Ontario Mills mall waitress in 2010. Orban's attorney, James Blatt of Los Angeles, told Superior Court Judge Shahla Sabet that after the verdict in late June one of the jurors contacted his office.
July 3, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
Andy Griffith made his big screen debut in 1957 as a country-boy-turned-manipulator in Elia Kazan's prescient media commentary “A Face in the Crowd.” Fifty years later, the actor, who died Tuesday at the age of 86, took on another small-town part. This time he was Old Joe, a gruff-but-good-hearted regular at a Southern diner, in the feel-good dramedy “Waitress.” Starring Keri Russell and directed by the late Adrienne Shelley, the movie was an art-house sleeper when it came out in the spring of 2007.
June 27, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
A former Westminster police detective may face life in prison after a San Bernardino County jury Tuesday rejected his defense that he was in an antidepressant-induced blackout, and legally insane, when he kidnapped and raped a waitress. Anthony Orban testified that he had no memory of the 2010 attack and blamed his psychotic break on a powerful dose of the popular antidepressant Zoloft, which he said had triggered hallucinations and suicidal and homicidal fantasies in the days before the abduction.
June 25, 2012
The track record of adapting hit films into TV series has been spotty at best. For every small screen success such as CBS' "MASH," there have been such turkeys as the recent NBC series "The Firm. " The stars aligned for CBS in 1976 with the sitcom "Alice," a warmly funny adaptation of Martin Scorsese's 1974 "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," for which Ellen Burstyn won the Oscar as a widower with a young son who ends up working at a greasy spoon named Mel's. Warner Archive just released the first season on DVD. Linda Lavin was perfectly cast as Alice, as were Polly Holliday and Beth Howland as waitresses Flo and Vera.
May 12, 2011
Self-conscious genre moves are probably inevitable in a film billed as "neo-noir. " "The Big Bang" lines up the usual suspects, from the world-weary gumshoe and unwholesome cops to the femme fatale and big, lovelorn galoot. Even with Antonio Banderas leading a cast of familiar faces, the movie never rises above a style-over-substance exercise. Screenwriter Erik Jendresen attempts to update the borrowed elements with a heavy dose of quantum physics and atomic science, and director Tony Krantz uses saturated candy colors to cast the proceedings in a surreal glow.
April 24, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
My New American Life A Novel Francine Prose Harper: 306 pp., $25.99 Early in her writing life, Francine Prose developed an unmistakable voice: sharp, ironic, intelligent, uncompromising. Using this voice the way a miner uses a headlamp, she has crawled her way into the darkest corners of American life — suburbia, academia, post-Columbine public schools, society and culture post-9/11. Prose turns the American mind inside out, revealing all the fear, greed, paranoia, charisma and bullying within it. Her characters are often the people we read about in the news or hear about through six degrees (give or take a few)
December 29, 2010 | By David Wharton
At some point after Ed Muransky had consumed three or four slabs of prime rib, along with vegetables and Yorkshire pudding, a waitress mentioned that he was halfway to the record. An offensive lineman of suitable proportions -- 6 feet 7 and 280 pounds -- Muransky had room for more. He glanced across the table at his pal, Bubba Paris. "We should try for it," he said. It was December 1978 and the Michigan football team had gone to Lawry's the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills for the "Beef Bowl," an annual dinner for players competing in the Rose Bowl game.
November 20, 2010 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Two Rialto police officers have quit and four others have been severely disciplined after an internal investigation was completed into allegations that they had sex with strip club workers at police union headquarters, the chief said Friday. The announcement is the latest chapter in a scandal that has sullied the image of the Police Department in Rialto, near San Bernardino, since a waitress at the strip club made allegations of group sex, on-duty sex and other liaisons inside union headquarters and the agency's narcotics office.
November 3, 2010 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Sylvia Mesa's knees ache and stiffen after hours of serving plates of drumsticks and mashed potatoes at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant in Buena Park. Then after spending most of the day on her feet, the veteran waitress gets on her bike and rides two miles to the apartment she shares with her daughter and granddaughter. The bike is one of several money-saving tactics she uses to make ends meet on the modest salary she has collected at the restaurant for the last 35 years.
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