Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Plans Underway for Rose Parade, Rose Bowl

The bands are set, the teams are set, and even the weather appears to be good once again as locals and visitors prepare for tomorrow's 120th annual Tournament of Roses Parade as curbside campers seek the perfect viewing spot along the parade route.

Campers began staking their spots on sidewalk space beginning at noon Wednesday. All people and property such as blankets and chairs must stay on the curb until 11 p.m. At that time, spectators may relocate to the blue honor line.

The parade starts at 8 a.m. Thursday and will last approximately two-and-a-half hours.

The parade kicks off at Ellis Street & Orange Grove, then continues North on Orange Grove, then East on Colorado Blvd. to Sierra Madre Blvd., then north on Sierra Madre Blvd. to Paloma Street -- a total of 5 1/2 miles. Among the things visitors may not bring to the parade are backpacks, coolers and large bags.

A curfew is in effect for those under 18 from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday.

Parade Freeway Closures:

Long Beach (710) Freeway

  • Northbound California Ave. on ramp from 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 10 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Northbound Del Mar Blvd. on ramp from 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 10 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Southbound Del Mar Blvd. off ramp from 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to Noon, Jan. 1

Foothill (210) Freeway

  • Westbound and eastbound Sierra Madre Blvd. off ramp from 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 6:00 p.m., Jan. 1

Ventura (134) Freeway

  • Eastbound Orange Grove Blvd. off ramp from 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Westbound Orange Grove Blvd. on ramp from 2 a.m. to noon, Jan. 1

Street Closures

  • Pasadena Avenue, between Columbia St. and Del Mar Blvd., 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 10 a.m., Jan 1.
  • Orange Grove Blvd. between Colorado Blvd. to Columbia St., 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Colorado Blvd. between Orange Grove Blvd. & Sierra Madre Blvd., 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Sierra Madre Blvd. between Colorado Blvd. & Paloma St., 8 p.m., Dec. 31 to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Green St. between Orange Grove Blvd. & Grand Ave., 7 a.m., Dec. 31 to 1 p.m., Jan. 1
  • Colorado Street Bridge, 2 a.m. to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
  • Northbound Hill Ave. between Del Mar Blvd. & Cordova St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 1
  • Corson St. between Pasadena Ave. to Walnut St., 9 a.m. to Noon, Jan. 1
  • Terrace St. between Colorado Blvd. & Green St., 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., Jan. 1
Police ask anyone who witnesses unusual behavior at the parade to report it to Pasadena police at (626) 744-4241.

At 1:30 p.m. PST, Penn State and USC will meet in the annual gridiron contest at the Rose Bowl.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Former San Diego Teacher Arraigned in Child Porn Case

A former San Diego middle school teacher was arraigned in federal court Monday on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Jay Kylee Bain, 37, was a teacher at La Presa Middle School in Spring Valley. Bain, who currently works at General Dynamics, was placed in federal custody and scheduled to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. Friday, for a bail hearing.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bain possessed several computers containing hundreds of images of minors engaged in sexual activity between 2005 and Aug. 7.

Bain allegedly sent graphic photographs of himself to one of his former seventh-grade students in 2005. He reportedly had sexually based e-mail conversations with the female student between November 2005 and October 2006.

Although the statute of limitations ran out on those alleged actions, a divorce this year between Bain and his wife led to the wife reportedly discovering a number of pornographic images on computer disks at his home. That reported finding led to investigators gathering evidence on Bain to persue him.

If convicted, Bain is looking at up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa Gunman Planned to Flee to Canada

The gunman dressed as Santa Claus who killed nine people Christmas Eve at a family party before turning the gun on himself had reportedly planned to escape to Canada, according to authorities.

Investigators looking into the mass murder at the house on Knollcrest Drive in Covina say that Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, was going to flee to Canada.

Police reported they discovered $17,000 in cash on Pardo and a plane ticket for a Dec. 25 flight departing from LAX to Canada. According to officials, Pardo was severely burned when he set the house on fire. He was found with 3rd degree burns to his arms and legs with the Santa suit burned into his skin. Police found Pardo dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his brother's home in Sylmar.

Police report Pardo apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife's family after a costly divorce that was just finalized in the last week.

Several people who survived the attack were wounded and are in the hospital recovering from their injuries.

Pardo's ex-wife, 43-year-old Sylvia Ortega, and her parents, Joseph and Alicia Ortega, are considered among the dead, but the ensuing fire that Pardo set is making it difficult to identify bodies.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gunman Dressed as Santa Claus Kills 8 in Covina

Police in Covina say the death toll now stands at eight following a shooting rampage and fire at a house Christmas Eve.

According to authorities, the gunman, who showed up at a house party dressed as Santa Claus, opened fire, then set the house ablaze. Police are still searching for the couple who owned the home and the alleged gunman's former wife.

Police report that the primary suspect, 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo (pictured), took his life earlier this morning at his brother's residence in Sylmar. According to police, Pardo reportedly had marital problems and his estranged wife or members of her family may have been in attendance at the party.

Due to the fire, authorities said identifying the bodies was difficult.

Thanking the Troops for All They Do

Many of us take for granted the freedoms we enjoy here at home.

For those of us who are able to celebrate Christmas today with loved ones, we ask that you stop for a moment and remember the many brave men and women in our armed forces.

Stationed in dozens of countries that include Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan, Germany and more, thank you to all of our service personnel who not only keep us safe at home, but offer freedom to millions around the world. For this, we say THANK YOU!

If you have not already, we encourage you to take a moment and send a card, care package, etc. to our troops overseas. Getting a gift from home is a wonderful reminder of all this country has to offer.

Sites such as can direct you to how you can support our troops.

To all troops here at home and abroad.....Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Action Heats Up South of the Border

The saying goes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the case of Laura Zuniga, the beauty is in a jail cell tonight.

Authorities in Mexico reported the arrest of Zuniga, a current Mexican beauty queen from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and seven others late Monday evening. The suspected gang members arrested along with Zuniga were in two vehicles loaded with guns, ammunition, and money.

Miss Sinaloa 2008 Zuniga, 23, was nabbed just before midnight on Monday at a military checkpoint in Zapopan, just outside the colonial city of Guadalajara.

Zuniga was a passenger in one of two trucks, where soldiers discovered a large stash of weapons, including a pair of AR-15 assault rifles, .38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in U.S. currency.

Zuniga is from the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, the base of the drug cartel of the same name. It was not reported whether Zuniga and the men were being investigated for drug ties.
State police identified one of the men captured with her as the brother of an alleged drug trafficker from Ciudad Juarez, a city on the U.S. border. The man taken into custody was reportedly Zuniga's boyfriend.

According to Zuniga, the occupants of the vehicles were planning to travel to Bolivia and Colombia to go shopping.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Alleged Gang Member Has Run-In with Santa Claus

An alleged gang member got more than a lump of coal for flashing gang signs in a photo he took while sitting on Santa's lap.

Uriel Oliva, 18, was arrested recently after visiting with Santa at the Village Mall in Orange.

According to police, Oliva was under a court order not to associate with members of his street gang, engage in gang activity or hang out at the Village Mall when the photo was taken last Tuesday.

The photo showed Oliva and two other members of the Orange County Criminals gang. Oliva's probation officer reportedly noticed the photo on a keychain during a probation check.

Oliva, who will have a pre-trial hearing next month, has pleaded not guilty on three misdemeanor counts of violating court orders. He faces up to 18 months in jail.

Woman Fatally Shot by Police in La Habra

Orange County authorities reported today that a law enforcement officer fatally shot a woman in her 60s late Monday evening who reportedly showed a weapon when he confronted her.

According to authorities in La Habra, the shooting in the 1300 block of Chestnut Street occurred after someone called 911.

Sheriff's deputies and La Habra police went to the address, where they reportedly confronted the woman who brandished a gun. The victim's name was not released.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Californian Allegedly Tosses Toddler from Car

A San Rafael man was arrested for allegedly tossing a two-year-old boy from a moving car early Saturday morning in El Paso, Texas.

According to authorities, Alfonso Israel De Leon 34, allegedly threw the boy from the car and then crashed into a guard rail. The suspect was arrested and was charged with injury to a child.

El Paso police reported that they believe De Leon was driving through El Paso en route to California with two children, the victim and a four-year-old girl.

Witnesses reportedly witnessed what turned out to be the boy, along with other objects being tossed from the car.

De Leon was booked into the El Paso County Jail and was still there on a $100,000 bond.

Hermosa Beach Police Arrest Alleged Delivery Driver

Police in Hermosa Beach arrested a man who reportedly posed as a delivery driver and stole packages from the porches of Hermosa Beach homes.

Christopher Brown Porterfield, 44, was arrested late Saturday evening after a witness reported viewing someone reportedly taking packages from homes on Circle Drive.

The witness reportedly confronted Porterfield, and he said he was a delivery man. Porterfield then took off without taking the package. A witness recorded Porterfield's license number and he was arrested shortly thereafter, reportedly with stolen packages in the vehicle.

Porterfield was booked and released on $20,000 bail.

Woman Pleads No Contest in Stalking Walton

A woman charged with stalking Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton has pleaded no contest and was ordered to stay away from him for three years.

Deputy District Attorney Ann Ambrose with the Stalking Unit said Stacy Elizabeth Beshear, 35 of El Segundo, entered the plea to one count of misdemeanor stalking before Judge Hector Guzman. She was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to attend weekly counseling sessions for one year and ordered to stay away from Walton’s home, where he practices with the Lakers and at Laker games for three years.

Beshear was arrested Sept. 18 after she pulled up to his car and pretended to fire gunshots at him with her hand, officials said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ultimate Fighter, Wife Found Dead in Laguna Niguel

Justin Levens, a mixed martial arts fighter and his wife, Sarah McLean-Levens, were found shot to death in their Laguna Niguel condo on Wednesday, with police saying it appears to be a murder-suicide.

The 28-year-old Levens, who competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and other fighting federations, was found along with his wife in their bedroom. The wife's mother reportedly discovered the bodies.

Autopsies were planned for today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bail Set at $1M for Alleged Drunk Driver

A Santa Ana man who allegedly killed a 20-year-old nursing student with his vehicle Sunday night has had his bail set at $1 million.

Takayuki Saito, 41, surrendered his Japanese passport in a Santa Ana courtroom Tuesday when prosecutors argued he posed a flight risk.

Saito appeared in court to enter a plea stemming from the death of Kaydee Campbell, who had stopped on the freeway to assist a crash victim.

A nursing student at St. Francis University in Indiana, Campbell, the daughter of Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Craig Campbell,
was home for Christmas break when she was struck by the vehicle.

Arraignment on two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing bodily injury was postponed until Jan. 14. Saito also faces a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury.

Campbell, who had attended Rancho Santa Margarita High School, was allegedly struck by a 1992 black Toyota 4-Runner driven by Saito near the Red Hill Avenue off-ramp of the northbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Tustin.

A 16-year-old girl who was involved in a prior crash that Campbell stopped to assist remained in serious condition as of today.

Saito reportedly has several previous citations, including one for evading police, but the majority were for items like driving without lights in the dark and failure to obey traffic signs.

Body Discovered Close to Hiking Trail

Authorities in the Altadena area reported that a male body was discovered early Wednesday in close proximity to the Eaton Canyon Nature Center.

The body was located near a popular hiking trail sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Authorities reportedly were not sure if the man was a hiker. There was also no word on whether the death was by homicide or suicide.

Monday, December 15, 2008

UPDATE: Roof Collapse Injures People in Anaheim

More than a dozen people were injured this morning in Anaheim as a roof collapsed at an adult educational center. The Southern California region is currently under a flood watch as heavy rains and mountain snows are impacting the area.

At least 13 people were injured, and all were transported to area hospitals.

According to authorities on the scene, the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program was holding a medical back-office training class at its Career and Technical Institute located at 1617 East Ball Road when the roof collapsed shortly before 9:30 a.m..

Anaheim Fire Department officials reported that a drain situated above one of the classrooms in the educational center failed. Water then gathered on the roof, causing it to collapse.

Flood Watch Posted for Southern California

Last month it was fires and now it is flooding.

Officials in Southern California are warning residents of the potential for flooding as a cold, wet and windy storm intensified early Monday, threatening flooding in Southern California burn areas and causing slick driving conditions.

The California Highway Patrol had reported more than three dozen traffic collisions on local freeways overnight, while large amounts of snow has forced the closure of Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass. Flooding was also noted along the 105 Freeway near LAX and the 118 Freeway in Chatsworth.

The storm is expected to deposit up nearly three-quarters of an inch to 1 1/2 inches of rain on coastal and valley areas and up to twice that amount on the foothills and mountains.

Areas in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties that were impacted by recent wildfires are also being closely watched.

Homeowners and residents in all recent burn areas were encouraged to prepare their properties ahead of the rainstorms by getting sandbags from Los Angeles City Fire stations. Fire officials note when sandbags are filled and deployed properly, they redirect water and debris flows away from homes and property.

Residents will not be able to rest after Monday's storm, as another storm is possible Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No More Texting and Driving as of Jan. 1

California has a gift for you come Jan. 1. If you are caught texting while driving, be prepared to receive a fine.

CHP officials sent out a reminder Friday to all the media outlets asking them to inform people that texting while driving will be illegal starting the first of the year.

A new state law will go into effect aimed at preventing accidents and collisions, as SB-28 prohibits a person using "an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read text-based messages while operating a motor vehicle."

Drivers are subject to $20 fee for the first offense, and $50 for each subsequent offense.

Unlike SB-33, which focuses on teens, and SB-1613, which allows cell phone usage accompanied by a headset for adults, SB-28 is for all drivers.

For further information on the new cellular phone and text laws, visit California Department of Motor Vehicles' Web site.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

3 KFC Employees Suspended for Prank

Three Kentucky Fried Chicken Employees in Anderson ordered up some trouble with a recent incident.

According to company officials, the trio was suspended for bathing in a deep sink used to clean dishes.

The prank was discovered when one of the young women posted photos on a social networking site of the trio posing and cavorting in the steaming water in their underwear and swim wear.

A manager at the fast-food restaurant south of Redding reports the trio was reprimanded and suspended Tuesday. Company officials said no manager was on site when the incident took place as the restaurant was in the process of closing for the evening.

Los Angeles Man Sentenced in Ax Killing of Dog

A 37-year-old Los Angeles man who pleaded no contest last month to killing his brother’s basset hound with an ax was sentenced this week.

Deputy District Attorney Theresa Mitchell said Rudy Fernandez was sentenced to 294 days in county jail, five years of probation and 120 days in a mental health program. At the time of sentencing, the defendant had already served his jail term.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Anne H. Egerton ordered the defendant to attend a mandatory 48-session animal cruelty program and pay $500 in restitution to the Los Angeles City Department of Animal Services. Additionally, Fernandez may not own, possess, maintain or harbor any animals for the duration of his probation.

Fernandez pleaded no contest to one count of felony animal cruelty on Nov. 4.

On March 13, 2008, the defendant reportedly unsuccessfully attempted to strangle the dog, first with his hands and then by pinning it to the ground with his feet and placing a wood fencepost to its neck, Los Angeles Police Department Animal Cruelty Task Force authorities said.

Fernandez, who was in charge of the animal’s care while his brother was incarcerated, then reportedly used an ax to strike the dog’s head, fracturing its skull and killing the animal. Newton Division patrol officers found the bloodied dog in a trash bin when they responded to an animal cruelty investigation.

If the defendant violates the conditions of his probation, he faces up to three years in state prison with no credit for time spent in custody.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trust Fund in Works for Survivor of Jet Crash

A trust fund is being set up to assist the husband who lost his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law in Mondays's deadly fighter plane crash in San Diego.

Dong Yoon, who was at work at the time of the horrific accident, was the only member of the family to survive, as the fighter jet plowed into the family home and another home.

The pilot, who ejected and survived the crash, was attempting the land the plane at the nearby Miramar air base after he lost both engines on the F/A-18D Hornet. The plane had taken off from the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego during a training mission.

A trust fund is in the process of being established for Dong Yoon, however, until then, donations can be made out and sent to:

Dong Yoon c/o Korean United Methodist Church 3520 Mt. Acadia Blvd. San Diego, CA 92111

See related story at:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Women Allegedly Looted Homes of Fire Victims

Two women have been arrested in Yorba Linda for allegedly looting homes following recent wildfires.

According to authorities, the two were arrested Monday when police reportedly discovered copper pipes in their vehicles. The aree had been ravaged by wildfires a few weeks back, as more than 100 homes were destroyed.

Police were summoned to investigate a suspicious van outside a charred home early Monday and arrested the pair at that time.

Gwendolyn Smith, 36, and Elisha Haas, 19, were booked for investigation of possession of stolen property. Police also reportedly discovered a switchblade and drug paraphernalia inside the van.

The majority of Yorba Linda's destroyed homes have been razed by insurance companies and have fences surrounding them, according to police.

UPDATE: Search on for 4th Victim of Plane Crash

Editor's note: Authorities confirmed this afternoon that a fourth body, that of a baby girl, was discovered in the debris of one of the homes destroyed by the plane crash and fire.

Authorities in San Diego continued this morning searching for the fourth victim of yesterday's deadly F/A-18D plane crash in the city's University City section.

At approximately noon yesterday, a distressed fighter plane that had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln crashed onto a street in the UC community after the pilot reported engine problems. The pilot safely ejected from the plane shortly before it went down.

Three bodies were found in one home, while a second home was apparently empty when it was destroyed by the crash and ensuing fire. The plane crash-landed on a street and plowed into the two homes, setting off a massive fire. Six other homes suffered damages from the crash and fire.

The deceased victims in the home were identified as a 36-year-old Korean woman, her daughter, and the child's grandmother. The fourth victim, a baby girl, had not been found as of this morning.

View home video at:

Monday, December 8, 2008

UPDATE: 2 Dead in Fighter Plane Crash

Two people were confirmed dead Monday afternoon following the crash of an F-18 fighter plane into a San Diego residential neighborhood.

See related story below for more information.

UPDATE: F-18 Crashes in San Diego Neighborhood

An F-18 fighter plane based out of San Diego's Miramar Air Base crashed shortly before noon into a residential neighborhood in San Diego's University City.

According to reports, the pilot ejected safely from the aircraft prior to impact. At least two houses were set on fire by the crash, but as of 1 p.m. there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries to the pilot or those on the ground.

The plane was a two-seat F/A-18 Hornet, from the 3rd Marine Air Wing's training squadron, which was returning from a training mission when it went down.

Friday, December 5, 2008

UPDATE: O.J. Gets Up to 33 Years in Jail

Former NFL great O.J. Simpson was sentenced today to up to 33 years behind bars for armed robbery and kidnapping during a failed attempt in September of 2007 to regain sports memorabilia from two collectibles dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Simpson, 61, who will be eligible for parole after 2017, was led away in handcuffs and shackles following the sentencing before Judge Jackie Glass.

Simpson's co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, was sentenced to at least 15 years behind bars.

Among those in the courtroom to hear the sentencing were Fred and Kim Goldman, the father and sister of murder victim Ron Goldman.

Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were murdered in June of 1994, a crime O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of a year later.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trio Charged in Abuse of Teen Boy in Tracy

A California couple and the one-time guardian of a boy who escaped his captors earlier this week, were charged today with kidnapping and torturing the teen, a boy that authorities describe was sometimes kept shackled inside their home and abused with a baseball bat, belt and knife.

Kelly Layne Lau and husband Michael Schumacher were charged with 13 counts of abuse, and former guardian Caren Ramirez, whom the boy labeled as an aunt, was charged with 10 counts.

According to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office, the trio were also charged with corporal injury to a child, child abuse and aggravated mayhem. The three could receive life sentences if they are convicted.

The boy escaped from the couple's home in Tracy on Monday and fled with a chain still attached to his foot to a nearby fitness center. Employees at the fitness center took him and called authorities, who later arrested the couple at their nearby home. Ramirez was later arrested in the Berkeley area.

Lau, 30, and Schumacher, 34, are being held on $2.2 million bail, while Ramirez, 43, is being held at the county jail.

See related story at:

Nunez, 3 Others Arrested for Alleged Stabbing

The son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is among four young men, who went searching for revenge after being turned away from a fraternity party the night a San Diego Mesa College student was stabbed to death, then tried to destroy evidence, according to an arrest warrant released yesterday.

According to authorities, Esteban Nunez, 19, and three others were brought back to San Diego on Wednesday to face murder charges in the death of a student from Concord. The four suspects were arrested Tuesday in Sacramento.

The four are charged with one count of murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor count of vandalism for the Oct. 2 death and face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of murder. Nunez, Rafael Garcia, Ryan Jett and Leshanor Thomas, all 19, face the same charges.

After reportedly being turned away from a fraternity party near San Diego State University, Esteban Nunez and the others moved on to a friend's apartment, where they drank beer and rum.

The four left the apartment and later encountered a group of men exiting a fraternity party around 2 a.m. Two of the stabbing victims interviewed in the hospital informed police they were challenged to a fight.

A felony complaint filed in San Diego County Superior Court said the defendants used a knife or multiple knives to injure the four men.

Luis Santos, a 22-year-old student at San Diego Mesa College, died at the scene.

Police also say there may have been gang implications in the event, noting in the arrest warrant, that the four defendants belonged to a "close-knit group of friends who call themselves 'THC' aka The Hazard Crew."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hip Hop Artist Charged in Death of Hollywood Man

A Swedish Hip Hop artist was charged with murder Tuesday in the death of a Hollywood pianist who was killed during an alleged road rage incident last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced.

An amended complaint charging 34-year-old David Moses Jassy with one count of murder, along with an additional count of assault with a deadly weapon, was filed prior to the defendant’s scheduled arraignment today.

Jassy originally was charged on Nov. 25 with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident. At the time the case was filed, an autopsy had not been performed on the victim, 55-year-old John Osnes. Prosecutors said at the time that the case remained under investigation.

The murder count alleged that Jassy personally used a “deadly and dangerous weapon, to wit, automobile,” to commit the crime. The additional assault charge also alleged an automobile was the deadly weapon.

Osnes was crossing a street in Hollywood around 1 a.m. on Nov. 23 when a rented vehicle driven by Jassy moved into the crosswalk. Authorities said Osnes, a pedestrian rights advocate, struck Jassy’s car on the hood. Jassy, police said, got out and punched the victim in the face. When Osnes bent down to retrieve his glasses, police said, the defendant kicked him in the head and drove away.

Several witnesses, including an off-duty Anaheim police officer, tried to stop Jassy from driving away, authorities said. The police officer took the license number of the vehicle, which was traced to Jassy. The defendant was arrested several hours later.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail. He faces a possible life-with-parole prison term.

O.J. Could Get 18 Years in Prison for Las Vegas Act

Former NFL great O.J. Simpson could be looking at 18 years in a Nevada prison for his reported role in the gunpoint robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers, according to documents filed yesterday.

A jury back in October convicted Simpson and another man of a dozen charges in the Sept. 13, 2007, encounter with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel room.

Simpson, 61, who claims he went to the room to retrieve personal items, family photos and sports mementos that had been stolen from him years earlier, is currently being held in the Clark County jail in Las Vegas.

Lawyers for the former NFL star and co-defendant Clarence "C.J" Stewart filed briefs asking Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass for minimum prison terms of six years when the pair are sentenced this Friday.

A brief filed by Stewart's lawyer refers to a confidential recommendation by the state Parole and Probation Division that the two men serve sentences totaling 18 years for two counts of kidnapping with a deadly weapon and two counts of armed robbery.

Simpson was acquitted of murder in Los Angeles in the 1994 slaying of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, who were killed in front of Brown's condo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Search Goes on for Individuals After SDSU Attack

Authorites reportedly are continuing to search for six men who allegedly took part in a sexual assault of a woman last month in a frat house at San Diego State University

According to authorities, three men forced a woman inside a bedroom at the Kappa Alpha Fraternity house at approximately 1:30 a.m. Nov. 15 and sexually assaulted her while three other men stood guard. The victim escaped after a seventh man entered the room and interrupted the attack, according to campus police.

One suspect was described as a black male, heavy set and around 5' 10" with a goatee. The other suspects were all described as black males who wore white and black T-shirts.

Anyone with information on the assault should call campus police at (619) 594-1991.

Tip Line Important in Solving Denison Case

One week after police made an arrest in the killing of Santa Barbara City College student Brianna Denison, word is now coming out that a tip line played a key role in catching the alleged killer.

Denison's alleged killer, James Biela, 27, was arrested last week in Reno, Nev.

Denison, 19, was kidnapped from a friend's home last January as she slept on a living room couch. Her body was discovered nearly a month later in a business park in south Reno. Denison had been strangled and her body had been left at the discovery scene for approximately a week.

Three other women were sexually attacked near where Denison was abducted from between October and December of last year.

For more on this story, visit:

Couple Arrested, Charged With Torturing Teen Boy

A Tracy couple were arrested late Monday and charged with torture and other counts after a teenager appeared at the nearby In-Shape Sports Club with a chain locked to his ankle, stating he had just fled his captors.

According to authorities, Kelly Lau Schumacher, 30, and Michael Schumacher, 34, were arrested late Monday.

The husband and wife had been taken into custody for questioning earlier Monday at their home in Tracy, where the emaciated boy was allegedly held against his will. A search of the residence reportedly turned up evidence implicating the couple of torturing the boy, who authorities believe ran away last year from a foster home in Sacramento.

Bail for the husband was set at $1.2 million, while the wife's bail was not disclosed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

$1.43M in Disaster Aid Approved for Fire Victims

The Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that Californians who suffered losses from the wildfires are approved for more than $1.43 million in disaster assistance, so far. Approximately $1.2 million of that amount is in the hands of applicants.

"It's important for homeowners, renters and business owners to call FEMA's toll-free registration number 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or go online at and register for federal-state aid if they had wildfire damages," said Mark Neveau, federal coordinating officer.

The current federal-state disaster aid tally is:

  • 1,419 applicants registered

  • $1,431,640 in grants approved for housing assistance.

  • 655 home inspections completed

  • 1,994 applicant visits to either Local Assistance Centers (LACs) or Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).

Kaiser Doc Faces Charges of Sexual Assault

Authorities say a doctor who practiced part-time as a physician at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Anaheim and La Palma is facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting three female patients under the guise of performing routine medical exams.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, David Hung Do, 38, was arrested late last week at his Garden Grove home. He was released on $100,000 bail and will be arraigned at the North Justice Center in Fullerton on a date to be determined.

Between July 2007 and June 2008, prosecutors allege, Do sexually assaulted three women, ages 28 to 46, at Kaiser hospitals and urgent care facilities, where he was a general practitioner.

Do is accused of touching the victims' breasts and vaginas under their clothing. The touching was unnecessary and unrelated to the medical treatment needed by the women, according to prosecutors.

Friday, November 28, 2008

UPDATE: 2 Dead in Toys R Us Shooting

A shooting at a Toys R Us in Palm Desert late this morning left two people dead.

According to Riverside County authorities, a call came in saying shots were fired inside the store at approximately 11:35 a.m.

One juvenile was reportedly in custody and the store went into immediate lockdown following the shooting.

There was no word on identifications of the two fatally injured.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Did Suspect Murder Brianna Denison?

A press conference has been scheduled for today in Reno, Nevada as police may have caught the man who murdered Santa Barbara City College student Brianna Denison back in January in Reno.

According to authorities, James Biela, 27, was arrested late Tuesday on murder and other charges, including first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault. He was booked into the Washoe County Jail.

Denison, 19, was kidnapped from a friend's home last January as she slept on a living room couch. Her body was discovered nearly a month later in a business park in south Reno. Denison had been strangled and her body had been left at the discovery scene for approximately a week.

Three other women were sexually attacked near where Denison was abducted from between October and December of last year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fire Regions Brace for Possible Mudslides

Southern California residents impacted by last week's wildfires now have another threat on their hands - mudslides.

Heavy rain is forecast over the next few days for the greater Los Angeles area, leading to the possibilities of mudslides.

The heaviest rain is expected Tuesday and Wednesday, then again later in the week. The National Weather Service reports up to two inches of rain is likely in Southern California mountain areas.

Some 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by three wildfires that scorched parts of Southern California last week, resulting in tens of thousands of evacuations.

Wal-Mart to Compensate Overcharged Customers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported it will trim $3 off the price of any item when a California customer is overcharged because of a problem with its price-scanners.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced the move in a settlement with the retailer after authorities found pricing errors throughout the state.

Investigators discovered 164 stores in 30 counties made scanning errors, according to the attorney general's office. On average, customers who were overcharged paid an extra $8.40 at the checkout.

The investigation started nearly three years ago amid allegations that Wal-Mart stores in California were charging prices higher than those advertised on store shelves and signs.

To settle the lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court, Wal-Mart agreed that when an employee becomes aware that a customer is charged above the currently listed price for an item, Wal-Mart will give the customer a $3 price-cut on the item, according to the attorney
general's office. If the item is less than $3.00, the customer will get it for free.

Wal-Mart will also pay $1.4 million in restitution, civil penalties and reimbursement for investigative costs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Former Teacher Gets 2 Years for Filming Girls

A former San Francisco area teacher has been sentenced to two years behind bars after pleading no contest to secretly filming girls in a school bathroom.

David Lista, 36, a former Millbrae teacher, entered the no contest plea back in August on a pair of felony counts related to drug and child porn possession, along with two misdemeanor counts of improper peeping. Lista had taught English at Mills High School for a decade.

Lista was arrested earlier this year after the school discovered images of female students on his computer from pinhole cameras he allegedly installed above bathroom stalls and under classroom desks. Child porn and drugs were reportedly discovered during a search of his home.

Pair of San Diego State Frats Suffer Penalties

A pair of San Diego State fraternities were hit with penalties following their involvement last Spring in a major drug bust on campus.

School officials noted that the Theta Chi fraternity has been expelled for at least three and a half years for its role in the drug-ring scandal, while Phi Kappa Psi was suspended for 18 months.

Members from both fraternities were among more than 100 people taken into custody earlier this year as part of Operation Sudden Fall.

During the drug bust investigation, agents allegedly discovered evidence of widespread drug-dealing among some fraternity members. Drugs reportedly involved included marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy.

HIV Victim Awarded $12.5 Million from Ex-Husband

A man who infected his former wife with the HIV virus while they were married has been ordered to pay her $12.5 million, following a ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

Although the names of the two individuals were not revealed, Judge Rolf Treu awarded the victim $7.5 million in general damages and $5 million for past and future lost earnings. Treu did not award the woman any punitive damages in her case, stating he did not have information on the man's assets to make such a determination.

Prior to the start of the trial, both parties agreed to have the case decided by Treu rather than have it go before a jury.

The former couple, who were both diagnosed with HIV in October of 2000, married in July 2000 and divorced in October 2003.

Aid Available for Wildfire Victims

The federal disaster declaration for the wildfires that began Friday, Nov. 13, opens the door for recovery assistance for residents of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Santa Barbara counties, according to officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES).

Disaster assistance may include:

  • Grants from FEMA for rental payments for temporary housing, if not covered by insurance, if you cannot live in your home or apartment. Initial assistance may be provided for up to two months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Payments may be extended after the initial period based on a review of your needs.

  • Grants from FEMA for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.

  • Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) which can cover uncompensated losses for personal property, including automobiles, up to $40,000 for both homeowners and renters, and up to $200,000 for homeowners for physical damage to their primary residence. SBA loans also may be used to pay for insurance deductibles.

  • Low-interest business loans are also provided by SBA for up to $2 million for uncompensated physical losses suffered by businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations. Additionally, working capital loans are available for economic injuries sustained by small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes in the declared counties and the adjoining counties. The combination of the two business loans cannot exceed $2 million.

  • Grants from FEMA and the State of California to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by your insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.

  • Grants administered by the California Department of Social Services' (CDSS) State Supplemental Grant Program (SSGP) may assist with eligible items not already addressed by the FEMA grant, SBA or insurance. Individuals who receive a maximum FEMA grant will have their applications automatically transferred to SSGP for consideration. Additional information is available by calling 1-800-759-6807.

  • Loans from the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.

  • Tax relief guidance for people and businesses affected by the wildfires is provided by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). California matches the postponement period announced by the Internal Revenue Service giving affected taxpayers an automatic postponement to Feb. 11, 2009, for returns that would have been due between Nov. 13, 2008, and Feb. 11, 2009. Taxpayers who have questions can call FTB toll-free at 1-800-852-5711, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

How to Apply for Assistance:

If you live in one of the declared counties, you can apply for aid from FEMA, SBA and the state by phone from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. To register, call (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or go online at (TTY 800-462-7585). Completing the application takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. You don't have to visit a Local Assistance Center (LAC) to register.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Man Shot Dead at Hollywood Scientology Building

A man who reportedly was wielding a pair of Samurai swords was shot dead today on the grounds of a Scientology building in Hollywood.

According to authorities, the unidentified man came towards three guards at approximately noon in the parking lot of the Scientology Celebrity Centre, when one of the guards shot him. Detectives were questioning the guard to see what the swordsman's motive might have been and determine whether the shooting was justified.

The Celebrity Centre includes a seven-story Norman-revival landmark that towers over the Hollywood freeway and at one time was a residential hotel for movie stars.

Tennis Great Arrested Outside Basketball Arena

Tennis legend Jimmy Connors was arrested outside the campus arena where UC Santa Barbara and top-ranked North Carolina were playing a basketball game Friday evening.

According to authorities, the eight-time Grand Slam champion was taken into custody Friday night after refusing to comply with an order to leave an area near the entrance of the Thunderdome following a confrontation.

A Santa Barbara County jail employee said Connors, who lives in the Santa Barbara area, was booked and released.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Networking Helps Biz Professionals

By Carrie Podber

Social Networking - You’ve heard the term, you know you need to be part of it but what does it really mean and how do you get the most out of it?

Social Networking is about building relationships in an online environment. The concept originated with the dating sites, where people where afforded the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals in the interest of forming personal relationships. Followed by MySpace, which began with bands placing profiles to share their music and Facebook, for students, which allowed for friends to keep in touch and share pictures. These are all Social “Personal” Networking sites so how do you utilize Social Network for “Business”?

Shortly after the inception of MySpace, echain community launched its first prototype and beta test, for the business community to build relationships, collaborate and share knowledge and advice. Several years later when Facebook opened up its community to the masses the term “Social Networking” became widely accepted.

echain is a business social network that differentiates itself from the dozens of other sites out there. Built by an entrepreneur that understands the value of relationships to the success of business, it helps build relationships among its members in all states, that otherwise would not have had an opportunity to meet. The site has community blogs, individual blogs, personal profiles, business profiles, videos, represents trusted products and services and offers group health insurance to all its participating members.

In today’s economy, business people are much more aware of the value of their time and the necessity of meeting the right people. echain facilitates introductions online so that you can maximize your offline time. It functions as a Social Marketing, Social Media and cost effective Public Relations community ranging from entrepreneurs to medium sized companies seeking to showcase and grow their business through the power of relationships.

echain is a monthly membership community and in the process of working with several non profits/charities/causes and will be donating a portion of proceeds to participating organizations. Each month the member chooses which organization their monthly membership fee is allocated to. The mission is to help everyone grow business, build strategic, synergistic and revenue relationships by working together as a community.

Please visit us online at and set your profile up today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

EVENT: Annual Light Festival Kicks Off in L.A. Nov. 25

The 13th Annual Los Angeles Department of Water and Power holiday lights event in Griffith Park kicks off Tuesday night with a display of lights spanning a mile of Crystal Springs Drive. The holiday tradition attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually. The event is committed to offering a green LA holiday, a pedestrian only and vehicle free event goes through Dec. 7 with Bike Night launching. The driving route, walking and shuttles all run Dec. 8-30. Time: 5 to 10 p.m. Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA. Call: (213) 367-1255. or visit

CAR: Orange County 'Starter' Home Incomes Drop

So you really want to live in the OC?

According to a just released report from the California Association of Realtors, the minimum income necessary to purchase an Orange County starter home last summer dipped to $85,800.

A year earlier, the minimum income to purchase a starter home in the OC was more than $120,000 a year, and the minimum income was approximately $170,000 in the fall of 2005, just before the housing slump began.

The estimated price of an Orange County starter home this summer was just below $440,000, according to CAR. The typical starter home cost $604,000 only three summers ago.

CAR also reports that more than half of households statewide can afford the typical California starter home.

Pair of LAX Baggage Handlers Arrested for Thefts

Two baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport were arrested recently for allegedly stealing more than 280 items from passenger suitcases.

The employees were taken into custody for theft of property after the suspected stolen items were discovered at their residences, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to authorities, one of the suspects admitted that he had been stealing from passengers' luggage for nearly one year. It's thought the items for the most part were stolen from luggage checked for outgoing international flights.

The items are expected to be placed on display this Saturday for victims to identify and reclaim.

The items can be found at Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, 5651 West Manchester Ave. in Los Angeles from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Los Angeles Looks to Pay $13M to Finalize Lawsuits

The city of Los Angeles will reportedly pay out some $13 million to finalize lawsuits from the turbulent 2007 May Day demonstration that injured dozens.

The $13 million reportedly does not include claims filed by some journalists who were also injured.

The L.A. City Council will need to approve the $13 million settlement, and the total could increase due to journalists' claims filed at the state level.

Back on May 1, 2007, members of the Los Angeles Police Department attempted to break up a protest in MacArthur Park, but they were using rubber bullets and batons during a mostly peaceful protest.

As a result of the actions that took place, two commanding officers were reassigned, one ended up resigning, and a number of police officers still face a possible termination over what happened on that day.

In response, the police issued a statement, noting, "Through the administrative process, we trust that each of the officers involved will be given a fair review that will evaluate their actions in the context of what they had been ordered to do, the tools and training they were given to accomplish those tasks, and the conditions under which they were operating."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

La Jolla Man Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

La Jolla resident Seth Cravens, 22, has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of surfer Emery Kauanui in May of 2007.

According to authorities, Cravens punched Kauanui in the head during a fight in a residential neighborhood in May of 2007 after Cravens and several friends had a run-in with Kauanui at a neighborhood bar earlier in the evening. Kauanui hit his head on the pavement following the punch and was hospitalized, dying less than a week later at a San Diego hospital.

Cravens was convicted on the jury's sixth day of deliberations. The panel had indicated Monday it was deadlocked 11-1, but the stalemate was broken after several more hours of talks.

Cravens was also convicted of four counts of assault, and one count each of battery and making a criminal threat in connection with violent incidents dating back to 2005 that were unrelated to Kauanui's May 24, 2007, death. Jurors acquitted Cravens of two counts of assault and one count of battery.

Cravens is looking at a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison when sentenced on Jan. 12.

Three other males involved in the altercation pleaded guilty to lesser charges resulting from Kauanui's death and were sentenced to time in local custody.