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California: This just in
'Supermoon' burns bright, puts on quite a show

The "supermoon" is gone for now, but not before putting on a show Saturday night.

Social media lit up last night with photos of the moon in different parts of Southern California.

One showed the moon at Century City, another over downtown Los Angeles and a third at Mt. Wilson.

Here is a list of other supermoon photos from the Southland.

The scientific phenomenon known as "perigee moon" will next appear Aug. 10 and Sept. 9, according to NASA.

Last year's supermoon was 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon, prompting many Southern California residents to pick up a camera and observe the spectacle.

Aug. 10th's "supermoon" should be especially large because it will become full at the same hour of perigee.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.


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Teen dies after hitting 405 overpass while standing on tour bus

A 16-year-old boy died Saturday, two days after he struck a freeway bridge while standing on the top section of a double-decker tour bus, authorities said.

The boy was standing on the "open roof" section of the bus as the vehicle drove under the Arbor Vitae Street bridge on the 405 freeway in Inglewood, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.

He was transported to UCLA Harbor General Hospital after the accident, which occurred about 7:45 p.m. Thursday.

He died Saturday at 5:23 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Officials are still determining his cause of death.

The coroner's office identified the boy as Mason Zisette of Manhattan Beach.

The bus, operated by Star Line Tours, had about 45 passengers, according to the CHP report. Most of the passengers were under 18 years old, and a few were adult chaperones.

Follow @RosannaXia for more California news.

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Three people killed in Pasadena shooting; 'horrific day,' police chief says

A rifle-wielding gunman shot and killed three people in a residential neighborhood of Pasadena on Saturday and opened fire at police before eventually surrendering, authorities said.

At one point, the gunman chased two people down the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue, fatally shooting one and wounding the other, said Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez.

A neighbor, whom police called a “good Samaritan,” also was shot and died in a driveway.

“It appeared that he approached the house to see what was going on. He turned around and ran and was struck by gunfire,” said Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls.

After the shooting, the gunman barricaded himself inside a home on the street. He called the police department's communications center and was persuaded to surrender, police said. Police identified him as John Izeal Smith, 35, of Pasadena.

Two men and a woman were killed. Another man and a woman suffered minor to moderate injuries, police said. One was treated at the scene and the other was...

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Police looking for three suspects in CSUN carjacking

Authorities are searching for three armed suspects who stole a vehicle at gunpoint on campus at Cal State Northridge, police said Saturday.

The suspects, two men and a woman, approached the victim about 11:35 p.m. Friday in a campus parking lot south of Lassen Street, university police officials said.

One of the men started talking to the victim and produced a semiautomatic handgun, according to a campus police statement. He demanded the victim's car keys and got in the victim's vehicle with the other two suspects and fled the lot. The car was later found abandoned in the surrounding neighborhood.

The man who was armed was described as 5 foot 9, slender, black and 19 or 20 years old, police said. He was wearing a dark hooded sweater, a blue flat rim hat, blue jeans and was carrying a blue-steel handgun.

The second suspect was described as 6 feet, slender, black and in his late teens or early 20s. He had a mustache, police said. He was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, dark Dickies...

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti rallies teachers at convention

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rallied thousands of teachers Saturday morning at a downtown teachers union convention, voicing his support for controversial job protections, praising their efforts and pledging his political support going forward.

“I’m sick and tired of hearing our teachers get beat up on by political leaders in this country,” he told the crowd, to cheers.

Garcetti, speaking at the American Federation of Teachers convention, did not specifically mention Vergara vs. California, a recent case in which the court found teacher job protections violate the equal education rights of the state’s poor and minority children. But the mayor did express support for tenure laws.

“We know that seniority issues are complicated and the layoff process has unfairly impacted poor communities, but we don’t have to demolish the importance of tenure, we can find a collaborative way forward to say that poor schools matter, and that we can reform in a positive way ... instead of just suing one...

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Lotus Festival returns to Echo Park Lake

The Lotus Festival is back at newly restored Echo Park Lake.

Festivities kicked off Friday night with music and a movie premiere of a 24-minute film on the history of Echo Park, which lies just west of downtown Los Angeles.

The celebration continues Saturday and Sunday, beginning at noon and runs until 9 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.

The event is sponsored by the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks and includes food, music and boat races. But the real star of the festivities are the lotus flower beds, which are in full bloom.

The festival made its debut in 1975 and is held in July to coincide with the blooming of the flowers that are cultivated on the lake beds by city park crews. The celebration was designed to promote awareness of the contributions of Asian Americans in the community, and this year will honor the culture and traditions of the Filipino community, city officials said.

Echo Park Lake began as a man-made reservoir, and city fathers added the park more than a...

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Two men wounded by police in separate incidents in Orange County

Two men were hospitalized on Saturday after being shot by police officers in separate incidents in Orange County, authorities said.

Officers responded to reports of gunfire at a Newport Beach home about 9:30 p.m. Friday and saw Scott Jay Abraham, 43, walk out onto a patio holding a weapon, according to a statement from the Newport Beach Police Department.

Abraham fired a shot and officers returned fire, wounding Abraham, according to the statement. He was transported to a hospital and was in critical condition, the police department said. No officers were injured.

Early Saturday, Ahaheim police officers pulled over a Honda Civic in the 900 block of North Anaheim Boulevard, authorities said.

During the traffic stop, an officer who believed the driver to be in possession of a handgun, shot the driver during an altercation, police said.

The suspect, who was not named, was hospitalized but was expected to survive. A handgun was found at the scene, according to the department.

The names of...

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Setting Times stories to music: from Bobby Womack to Spiritualized

Vulnerability was a motif in this week’s Great Reads – and some of their soundtracks.

One of the last surviving newsstands in Los Angeles. A Christian woman living under the Boko Haram militants in Nigeria. A horse cast adrift after a family tragedy.

In different ways, my heart lurched for all of them as they faced threats to their existence. I longed for happy endings, but fear that only one of them -- the horse -- will get one.

The singers for two of the story soundtracks have always moved me with their vulnerability: Gram Parsons and Spiritualized's Jason Pierce.

Parsons might have the most vulnerable voice in rock (matched, possibly, by Neil Young). Even without knowing how it all ended in that Joshua Tree motel, you feel the brokenness of him in that sadly beautiful voice. I never fail to get goosebumps at the moment his voice trembles when he sings “I’m your toy, I’m your old boy/But I don’t want no one but you to love me” in “Hot Burrito #1.”

Pierce gets to me the same way....

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'Supermoon' bringing more high tides to Southland beaches

This weekend's "supermoon" is having people looking to the skies, but weather experts warn the big moon is also bringing high tides to local beaches.

The  National Weather Service said high tides of up to 7 feet can be expected at some Southern California beaches by 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

No damage was reported from high tides on Friday night.

 "Due to the complex bathymetry along the California Coast, rip currents are always possible. Always swim near a lifeguard," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

The scientific phenomenon known as "perigee moon" will appear not only once, but three times this summer -- on July 12,  Aug. 10 and Sept. 9 -- all on days that full moons are expected, according to NASA.

Last year's "supermoon" was 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon, prompting many Southern California residents to pick up a camera and observe the spectacle.

Saturday's "supermoon" appeared at 4:25 a.m., so far making it the closest and largest full moon...

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Soledad prison inmate slips handcuffs, stabs prison guard in the head

A state prison guard in Soledad was stabbed in the back of the head Friday by an inmate who allegedly slipped out of his handcuffs and went at him with a handmade shank, a spokesman said.

The attack happened just before 1 p.m. as two guards took 48-year-old David Gomez out of a disciplinary isolation cell for an interview at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, southeast of Monterey, Salinas Valley State Prison Lt. Darren Chamberlain said. 

The guard was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but his current condition is unknown, Chamberlain said.

Gomez, who has a history of mental illness, was transferred from Sacramento to Monterey County for pretrial proceedings in the 2004 murder of his cellmate at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Gomez is serving a life sentence in a 1998 Los Angeles County case for rape, oral copulation on a minor under age 14 and burglary.

Chamberlain said the proceedings concern Gomez's attempts to fire his defense attorney.

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Suspect in hit-and-run death of 4-year-old in Florence surrenders

A man suspected in the hit-and-run death of a 4-year-old boy in Florence late Thursday surrendered to Bell Gardens police Friday afternoon, KTLA-TV Channel 5 reported

Police turned the unidentified man over to the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating the incident, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said Friday evening. 

Evan Butterfield was riding in a wagon when the driver of a red Toyota SUV struck him and the woman pushing him in the crosswalk near the intersection of Firestone Boulevard and Holmes Avenue, police said. She remains hospitalized with major injuries.

Witnesses said the Toyota ran a red light and hit the pedestrians, turned the corner and stopped. A man and a woman got out and ran away. The woman was chased and held by bystanders until authorities arrived, but the driver escaped.

 

For breaking news, follow me at @geholland

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California's drought triggers state park bathroom, shower closures

California's drought is drying up water supplies at some of the state parks system's most popular sites, forcing closure of showers and bathrooms.

Restrooms with flush toilets at D.L. Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe, the Hearst Castle visitor's center and Hearst San Simeon State Park have been closed and replaced with portable toilets and hand sanitizers, park system spokeswoman Vicky Waters said Friday.

Water shortages also shut down showers at D.L. Bliss, San Simeon and Portola Redwoods State Park, Waters said. 

The sanitation facilities are being sacrificed to preserve potable water for drinking at campgrounds and for firefighting, District Supt. Marilyn Linkem said. 

These parks, and others in the state system, get their water from creeks and springs. The spring at D.L. Bliss, which sees more than 12,000 campers a year, dropped just before the Fourth of July weekend. Campers were notified before they arrived of the closures and were understanding, Linkem said.

"It's pretty cold, but...

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