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Essential California: Doctor sentenced for patients' overdoses

Good morning. It is Saturday, Feb. 6. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

TOP STORIES

Haden out: USC Athletic Director Pat Haden will retire in June, though he will remain with the university an additional year to oversee renovations at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The announcement comes less than four months after the firing of football coach Steve Sarkisian, who is now suing the university over his termination. “Haden had been embroiled in controversy since August, when he allowed Sarkisian to continue coaching after the coach slurred words, demeaned opponents and used an expletive while on stage at the annual Salute to Troy booster event on campus.” Los Angeles Times

Life sentence: A Rowland Heights doctor was sentenced to 30 years to life Friday in the overdose deaths of three of her patients. Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng’s conviction of second-degree murder last year marked the first time a U.S. doctor had been convicted of overprescribing drugs. “Some experts fear that Tseng’s conviction will usher in a precarious new reality — a scenario where doctors fearful of prosecution are hesitant to prescribe potent painkillers to patients who need them.” Los Angeles Times

Presidential visit: President Obama will be in Los Angeles and San Jose next week to raise money for Democrats. The following week he will be at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage to host the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations. Los Angeles Times

Washed ashore: A malnourished sea lion pup cozied up in a booth at the Marine Room in La Jolla on Thursday morning. A SeaWorld rescue team was called into to give the animal fluids and take care of her left eye, which had swollen shut. High tides and warm water associated with El Niño have made it difficult for sea lions to find enough food in the ocean. That’s forced a lot of them to seek out a bite on land. Los Angeles Times

Public service announcement: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti recorded a “slow jam” PSA to tell Angelenos that the 101 Freeway will be shut down for 40 hours this weekend. He’s backed up by students from Roosevelt High School. CityLab

Burger selfies: One man is documenting his every trip to In-N-Out by posting selfies to an Instagram account. It’s best not to look at the photos on an empty stomach. First We Feast

THIS WEEK'S MOST POPULAR STORIES IN ESSENTIAL CALIFORNIA

1. When Long Hoang Ma picked up three men in Garden Grove, he had no way of knowing what would unfold in the coming days. The taxi driver became the hostage of three Orange County inmates on the run. They smoked together, shared a motel room, and then the prisoners argued over whether to kill their prisoner. Los Angeles Times

2. Authorities slowly pieced together what the three inmates did while they while free. “During more than a week on the run, the men traveled through some of California's largest cities undetected, somehow keeping their prisoner hidden and staying one step ahead of law enforcement in spite of an ever-widening dragnet.” Los Angeles Times

3. These photographs show the slow erosion of coastal bluffs in Pacifica. SFGate

4. There’s a Northridge home on the market for $475,000. The owner will only accept an all-cash offer and the new buyer will have a lot of work to do — the place is a total teardown. Daily Mail

5. How did the wife of an Orange County fugitive coax him out of Iran and into a country with U.S.-friendly extradition laws? Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, HERE ARE THIS WEEK'S GREAT READS

Memorable teacher: Remember the Lincoln High School student who got a perfect score on his Advanced Placement calculus exam? Columnist Steve Lopez caught up with his math teacher, Anthony Yom, to find out his secret to motivating students. “This may sound corny, but you really have to love them. You build this trust, and at that point, whatever you ask them to do, they'll go the extra mile. The recipe is love,” Yom said. Los Angeles Times

Snow levels: California’s state snow surveyor takes an old-fashioned approach to measuring the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, writes Robin Abcarian. Frank Gehrke arrives armed with a small-diameter pipe with a jagged end and snowshoes. “Some have called him ‘the don of Sierra snow metrics.’ But I think of him as the Sierra Nevada's Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog whose shadow heralds six more weeks of winter,” Abcarian writes. Los Angeles Times

LOOKING AHEAD

Saturday: The L.A. Zoo will host “Sex and the City Zoo,” which is described as a wild, adults-only Valentine’s Day celebration.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.

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