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Essential California: Parents arrested after children are found shackled and malnourished in Perris

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Jan. 16, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Nightmarish scene A husband and wife are in custody on suspicion of torture and child endangerment after police say they found several of the couple’s...

California hospitals face a 'war zone' of flu patients — and are setting up tents to treat them

California hospitals have had to scramble for more space and staff to keep up with the high numbers of patients showing up in the ER sick with a deadly strain of the flu.

LA Observed Notes: Joe Frank RIP, Tara Finestone upped at CBS LA, more newspaper turmoil

Frank, the KCRW legend, died at 79. LA Times heads for another big disruption and loses a reporter. Layoffs coming in LA media.

Temporary trailers for homeless people planned on downtown city lot

Los Angeles city leaders are planning to house dozens of homeless people in trailers on a city-owned downtown lot as a possible model for citywide temporary shelters. A proposal that will be submitted to the City Council on Tuesday calls for installing five trailers on a parking lot at Arcadia...

Hundreds gather at Orange County synagogue to mourn slain college student Blaze Bernstein

Blaze Bernstein was on winter break and visiting his parents in Lake Forest when they proudly explained that his namesake was Blaise Pascal, the 17th-century child prodigy who went on to become a mathematician, inventor and master of prose. The 19-year-old pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania...

Man shot dead in Pico Rivera; multiple rounds came from sedan, police say

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a homicide in Pico Rivera, where a man was shot dead Monday after being approached by up to four other men in a light-colored sedan, authorities said. The shooting happened around 4 p.m. in the 9500 block of Banta Road, the Sheriff’s Department...

Border wall security cost San Diego County sheriff nearly $900,000

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department incurred nearly $900,000 in added costs to provide patrols and security during the month-long construction of eight border wall prototypes by the federal government on Otay Mesa, records show. Those costs pushed the total law enforcement expenses for the...

Victims in Palmdale triple homicide include married couple and a son, officials say

Three people who were found dead inside a Palmdale house on Saturday have been identified, but there was still no information about how or why they were killed in what detectives said was a triple homicide. The victims were identified as Richard Gardner II, 78; his wife, Pepper Gardner, 56; and...

Edwin Hawkins, gospel star known for ‘Oh Happy Day,' dies at 74

Edwin Hawkins, the gospel star best known for the crossover hit “Oh Happy Day” and as a major force for contemporary inspirational music, died Monday at age 74. Hawkins died at his home in Pleasanton, Calif. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to publicist Bill Carpenter. Along...

101 Freeway is expected to reopen in a week, Caltrans says

The 101 Freeway, miles of which were transformed into a muddy, debris-filled river by the deadly Montecito mudslides, is expected to reopen next Monday, officials said. “We’ve made tremendous progress over the last 48 hours,” Jim Shivers, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation,...

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies at 46

Dolores O'Riordan, whose urgent, powerful voice helped make the Irish rock band the Cranberries a global success in the 1990s, died suddenly on Monday at a London hotel. She was 46. The singer's publicist, Lindsey Holmes, confirmed she died in London, where she was recording, "No further details...

2-year-old girl among those still missing in Montecito mudslides; 20 confirmed dead

At least four people remain missing Monday as the grim effort to find bodies under tons of mud and debris continued in Montecito. The death toll now stands at 20, nearly a week after the most destructive mudslide in California in decades. On Sunday, searchers had found the body of the latest victim:...

Volunteers arrested for giving food to homeless people at an El Cajon park

El Cajon police arrested about a dozen people for feeding the homeless at a city park Sunday afternoon. The event was organized by a group called Break the Ban, which formed after the El Cajon City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance in October prohibiting the distribution of food...

Passengers on party bus beat up and robbed store clerk in Seal Beach, police say

About 50 people inside a large party bus were detained and questioned one by one, after a few of them beat up and robbed a store clerk in Seal Beach, a police sergeant said. The victim reported that while he was inside the CVS pharmacy at 921 Pacific Coast Highway, he saw several people exit the...

Buried in mud, Montecito faces a daunting cleanup with no end in sight

The cobbled parking lots outside boutiques are empty. The Italian trattoria known as Oprah Winfrey’s favorite haunt is shuttered, as is the Four Seasons resort owned by Ty Warner, the Beanie Babies tycoon. A place famous for coastal affluence and extravagance is now unlivable and grappling with...

Racing legend Dan Gurney dies of complications from pneumonia

Dan Gurney, the first driver to win in Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. He was 86. His wife, Evi, announced his death in a statement distributed by All American Racers Inc. “With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just...

Escaped prison inmate is captured in North Hollywood

A prison inmate serving the last year of his sentence in a community program in Los Angeles has been captured after tampering with his GPS monitor and walking off, state corrections officials said. Joshua Cortez, 30, who was serving time for possessing or receiving forged papers, was found Sunday...

Pastor of First AME Church asks congregants to pray for Trump after vulgar remarks about immigrants

At First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles on Sunday morning, Senior Minister J. Edgar Boyd was met with murmurs of disapproval when he urged his mostly African American congregation to pray for the president of the United States. When Boyd asked God to hold Trump accountable for...

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrested on suspicion of DUI in Newport Beach

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman was released from jail early Sunday following his overnight arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to Newport Beach police. Rodman, 56, was stopped about 11:10 p.m. Saturday in the 4500 block of West Coast Highway on a vehicle violation, said...

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