College admissions scandal: Rick Singer’s employee to plead guilty

Matthew Ormseth 2020-08-08 02:13:45 A woman employed by William “Rick” Singer, the Newport Beach consultant at the heart of the college admissions scandal, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering.In a deal with the government unsealed on Friday, the woman, Mikaela Sanford, acknowledged that she helped fabricate profiles that depicted the children of Singer’s wealthy clients as...

Attorney general denounces murder charge over stillborn baby

Alex Wigglesworth 2020-08-08 01:18:12 California’s top prosecutor has intervened in the case of a Central Valley woman who was charged with murder after she gave birth to a stillborn baby and authorities alleged her methamphetamine use was to blame.Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday filed an amicus brief in support of ending the prosecution of Chelsea Becker, saying his office...

L.A. County nears 5,000 COVID deaths

Colleen Shalby 2020-08-07 23:52:14 Six months after California lost its first victim to COVID-19, the state has recorded more than 10,000 deaths — a grim milestone, with nearly half of those deaths occurring in Los Angeles County.Officials recorded 48 more deaths in the county — bringing the total to 4,869 — and another 3,290 infections on Thursday, according to the...

L.A. could cancel real estate projects tied to corruption

Emily Alpert Reyes, David Zahniser 2020-08-07 21:08:45 Los Angeles could revoke city permits and approvals for real estate projects if the City Council finds that developers or their representatives engaged in corruption, under a new ordinance proposed by City Atty. Mike Feuer.In a letter to council members, Feuer said the city needs an effective tool to address development decisions “tainted...

If eviction cliff hits California, mass homelessness is next

Erika D. Smith 2020-08-07 17:30:55 Things weren’t great before COVID-19, but at least only about 570 families, hungry, broke and on the brink of homelessness, needed help from the volunteers at St. Joseph Center in Los Angeles. Today, that number is about 860. A month from now, it could be in the thousands — or even more. California is rapidly...

Assessing California rent relief as eviction protections end

Liam Dillon 2020-08-07 17:30:27 Almost 40 million renters across the country could be at risk of eviction over the next several months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the nation’s economy.In California, tenants have largely been protected so far by a combination of federal, state and local eviction moratoriums and financial assistance programs. But many of those programs are...

Ventura County firefighters rescue several chickens

Andrew J. Campa 2020-08-07 10:38:14 Some ingenuity, a set of children’s oxygen masks and a little empathy helped Ventura County firefighters make the best of a fowl situation as about 18 members rescued seven chickens from a garage fire in Camarillo on Thursday afternoon. Capt. Brian McGrath, a department spokesman, said firefighters arrived at a detached garage on fire in...

California colleges scramble to open lacking state rules

Teresa Watanabe, Nina Agrawal, Phil Willon 2020-08-07 09:19:16 Just days before the fall semester is set to begin, California colleges and universities are scrambling to finalize reopening plans that affect thousands of students as top leaders say the state’s lack of guidance for weeks has frustrated efforts to bring back limited in-person learning and dorm living.Many campuses, including USC and...

Ventura sues church for no-mask, no-distance indoor services

Jake Sheridan 2020-08-07 09:04:30 Worshipers at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks have been celebrating their faith for months in open violation of state and local health orders in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Singing, hugging, no masks,” Senior Pastor Rob McCoy said, describing the services.Now the church and Ventura County are facing off in court....

Grand jury charges UC Davis researcher with visa fraud and concealing membership in Chinese military

Matthew Ormseth 2020-08-07 08:54:12 A federal grand jury in Sacramento has charged that a cancer researcher at UC Davis committed visa fraud when she concealed her alleged membership in the Chinese military in seeking permission to live and study in the United States.The indictment returned Thursday also alleges that the researcher, Juan Tang, lied to the FBI. Tang is among...