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When Armando Melendez was a 5-year-old boy growing up in El Salvador, he fell under the sway of a crazy uncle who had futbol on the brain. Instead of taking Armando to school in the mornings, Uncle Oscar would secretly spirit the boy off to a park for soccer practice. Long before he could read or write much, Armando knew how to caress a leather ball with his instep, how to make the bouncing sphere obey his will.
April 27, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
The gig: Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz, 61, is president and a director of the LA84 Foundation, the charitable organization that runs off an endowment of surplus funds from the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In the three decades since those games, LA84 has donated more than $214 million to more than 1,100 Southern California youth sports programs, providing opportunities for more than 3 million children. DeFrantz has spent nearly half her life with the organization, formerly known as the Amateur Athletic Foundation.
February 7, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An autopsy Sunday concluded that a 14-year-old who died in a fistfight had a heart condition, officials said. The unidentified boy went to a park Saturday where he met Joshua Kang, 18, said Buena Park Police Lt. Terry Branum. The pair started a "fun boxing match," Branum said, but the boy went into cardiac arrest after Kang punched him in the chest. Prosecutors will decide this week whether to charge Kang, who was held on $250,000 bail.
April 21, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
A man who owned a Los Angeles boot camp for troubled youths has accepted a plea deal and will serve jail time after teenagers claimed they were punched, slapped and stomped during the program, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.  Edgar Alvarado, 38, was sentenced Monday to 60 days in county jail, four years of felony probation and 30 days of community labor. In addition, Alvarado is prohibited from ever again engaging in any kind of counseling, training or care of minors, whether or not the position is paid.  Alvarado's sentencing is part of a plea deal that nixed two counts of child abuse, corporal injury to a child, and sexual battery by restraint and assault with a stun gun or Taser, according to a district attorney's office spokeswoman.  Over three years, teens were hospitalized after attending 180 Recon , a boot camp focused on "breaking down" teenagers in order to build them into positive community leaders.
Inspired by Tiger Woods, city parks officials announced Wednesday that they will open a golf academy for city youths next month in Griffith Park. The Tregnan Golf Academy at Coolidge is set to open July 10, providing city children with the chance to take lessons on three practice holes and a driving range.
As the wind propelled the Robert C. Seamans toward Santa Catalina Island, Rudy Vigil controlled the helm of the 135-foot, $8.1-million ship. Rudy is 17, with a ring in his eyebrow and a stud in his nose. The last thing the high school senior from Wilmington steered was a Honda Civic. Rudy was seasick for most of the 10 days he and 20 other students cruised the California coast with the Sea Education Assn.
June 25, 1991 | Associated Press
A 12-year-old boy whose father died climbing Mt. Everest has become the youngest person to conquer Mt. McKinley, North America's tallest peak. Taras Genet of Talkeetna, Alaska, reached the 20,320-foot summit on Friday with six members of his expedition, the National Park Service said Monday. Genet is a son of Ray Genet, a mountain-climbing guide who died in October, 1979, trying to climb the world's tallest peak.
Mastering classical music within the Hsieh family means practice--and lots of it. The two Hsieh children--Tiffany, 14, and Timothy, 10--spend hours every day practicing, just as each has done since before their fifth birthdays. But they have a lot further to go to catch up with their mother, Shirley Hsieh, who studied piano with top-ranking teachers for 25 years and is now a teacher herself.
June 24, 2008 | SANDY BANKS
It could be the rhinestone stud in her cheek, her thin resume, or her unwillingness to interview before noon, lest job-seeking disrupt her gym routine or interrupt her beauty sleep. Or it could be that this is the weakest job market for teenagers looking for summer work in more than half a century. But two weeks of pounding the pavement -- or at least occasionally scrolling through "help wanted" ads on Craigslist -- have produced not a single employment offer for my 17-year-old daughter . . .
July 11, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
MICHIGAN * A teenager who survived a suicide pact that killed her husband was sentenced to prison for her role in the rape of a teenage girl. In a Lansing courtroom, Circuit Judge Thomas Brown sentenced Jennifer Holey, 19, to four to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said. Holey had pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct. Prosecutors accused Holey of helping in her husband's April 1 rape of the 14-year-old.
April 17, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
California and other states are largely failing to adequately educate most of the 70,000 youth locked up at any given time in juvenile detention facilities, according to a national report released Thursday. Most youth fail to earn any course credits or complete their high school diploma or equivalency degree while in custody, the report by the Southern Education Foundation found. Yet these young inmates are highly troubled - usually struggling with drug abuse, anger and lagging academic achievement - and urgently need effective education to help them get back on track, the report said.
April 14, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
INDIO - As a giant impenetrable scrum of attendees waited for New Zealand singer Lorde, 17, to take the Outdoor stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Nearby, MGMT played the main stage, and the chorus of its song "The Youth" gusted in toward Lorde's crowd like a portent. "The youth is starting to change," offered singer Andrew VanWyngarden as the band's psychedelic disco slow jam drifted in. "Are you starting to change? Are you, together?" A few minutes later, as if conjured by MGMT's query, arrived Lorde.
April 4, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
A look at the NCAA tournament semifinal between the second-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (30-7) and eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (28-10). When: Today, 5:49 p.m. TV: TBS Breakdown: Wisconsin is making its fourth Final Four appearance but first since 2000. The Badgers defeated American, Oregon, Baylor and Arizona to reach this year's final weekend. Once known primarily for defense, Wisconsin's "swing" offense has evolved. The Badgers can play multiple tempos and have won games scoring as few as 48 points (Virginia)
April 3, 2014 | By Margaret Wappler
Mimi Pond is the cartoonist that time almost forgot. Her credits should've sealed her in the pantheon of coolness forever: She wrote "The Simpsons'" first episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," as well as episodes of the children's TV show-cum-surrealist theater project "Pee-wee's Playhouse. " In 1982, her cult-classic book, "The Valley Girls' Guide to Life," taught wannabe Vals how to dress in a, like, totally tubular style. She wrote and illustrated four other humorous books on fashion, including 1985's "Shoes Never Lie," which tapped the stiletto obsession long before "Sex and the City," as well as comics for many publications, including this newspaper.
April 3, 2014 | By Richie Duchon
A fugitive inmate who walked out of downtown Los Angeles' Twin Towers Correctional Facility three weeks ago was captured Wednesday night near a youth and family center in Santa Monica, authorities said. Christopher Lee Brown, 37, was arrested "without incident" by Santa Monica police after a witness reported seeing a man who fit the escapee's description outside the Pico Youth and Family Center near Pico and Lincoln boulevards, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Quiana Birckbeck said.
April 2, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Pele is widely recognized as the greatest soccer player of all time. He developed his unparalleled skills playing against other shoeless kids on the dirt streets of Brazil with a ball made from old socks and newspapers. But now Pele says the best grass-roots soccer programs in the world are not in Brazil, but in the U.S., where he is on tour publicizing his new book "Why Soccer Matters. " “People should be careful," Pele warned in a short phone interview. "Because I think here in the United States today, they play more soccer than they play in Brazil.
January 8, 2010
Recap: "Youth in Revolt" starring Michael Sera captures the misdeeds of a dweeb and his alter-ego in an effort to win the heart of his first love. Review: "There's not much here, but at least Michael Cera and company deliver some laughs in this long-on-the-shelf comedy." -- Michael Phillips, Los Angeles Times film critic
May 10, 2013 | By Ingy Hassieb
CAIRO -- Prominent youth activist Ahmed Maher was arrested on Friday as he sought to leave the Cairo international airport, members of his April 6 youth movement said. Maher, who helped lead the revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak, will be held for four days pending investigations into charges of resisting authority, insulting the police, and disturbing traffic, the Middle East News Agency reported. He was arrested only minutes after returning from the United State.
March 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Congress recognized 40 years ago that it was counterproductive and just plain wrong to incarcerate juveniles for trivial misbehavior such as truancy, breaking curfew, smoking or drinking. These acts, known as status offenses, are illegal only because the person committing them is a minor. Federal law passed at that time prohibited states from locking away most status offenders, but in 1980 the law was amended to allow incarceration when a court order had been violated. In other words, if a truant teenager was ordered by a court to attend school, and then cut class, incarceration was allowed.
March 28, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK - Cable-television shows about baseball are as common this time of year as a slow-footed first baseman or a hard-throwing leftie. But what about a series in which studio hosts drool over the big numbers a player puts up on…Twitter? Or cite an All-Star hitter's unexpected approach to… walk-up music? That's the premise of "Off the Bat From the MLB Fan Cave," a pop culture-infused look at America's pastime backed by Major League Baseball and produced and aired by MTV2.
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