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Two people killed, several injured in Encino apartment fire

Two people have died and several others were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries after an apartment fire in Encino on Thursday night, authorities said.

The blaze in the 5300 block of Lindley Avenue broke out shortly before 9 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took more than 100 firefighters to extinguish the blaze an hour later.

No other information was available about the victims who died or those who were injured. Several people in the complex have been displaced.

Eric Scott, a fire department spokesman, said the blaze at the three-story apartment is believed to have started inside a unit on the second floor.

Some residents were evacuated and others were told to shelter in place. 

For breaking news, follow @AdolfoFlores3.


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At least two injured in blaze at Encino apartment complex

Firefighters were battling a blaze at a three-story apartment complex in Encino on Thursday night that injured at least two people and forced others to evacuate, authorities said.

The fire in the 5300 block of Lindley Avenue started shortly before 9 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire is is believed to have started inside a unit on the second floor.

Two people were being treated for injuries, said Eric Scott, a spokesman for LAPD. Some residents in the complex had to be evacuated.

About 50 firefighters continued to battle the fire late Thursday night.

For the record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the apartment building was in the 5300 block of Newcastle Avenue. The Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire was actually in the 5300 block of Lindley Avenue.

For breaking news, follow @AdolfoFlores3.

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27-year-old surfer almost drowns at Venice Beach

A 27-year-old man vacationing from Chicago almost drowned while he was surfing in Venice Beach on Thursday.

The incident happened about 6 p.m. in the 2100 block of Ocean Boulevard while the man was body surfing with three friends, said Capt. Rex Vilaubi, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

When the unidentified man was pulled from the water by a friend, he did not have a pulse. Lifeguards immediately started CPR, Vilaubi said.

The man was not breathing for more than 10 minutes, Vilaubi said. 

On the way to the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, the man regained a pulse, Vilaubi said.

The man’s current condition is unknown.

Vilaubi commended the lifeguards and others for taking quick action that led to saving the man’s life.   

Follow @theryanparker for breaking news

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Police detain woman in fatal Rossmoor shooting

Orange County investigators said they have detained a suspect in the fatal shooting of a woman at a home in Rossmoor on Thursday afternoon.

Deputies detained the unidentified woman at the residence where the shooting occurred about 4:20 p.m. in the 11200 block of Wallingsford Road, said Lt. Jeff Hallock, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department. No further information was available about the suspect.

The victim, an unidentified woman, was found inside the home with at least one gunshot wound, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities believe no other suspects remain at large and "there is no threat to the community," Hallock said.

Rossmoor is an unincorporated part of the county near Los Alamitos.

For breaking news, follow @AdolfoFlores3.


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Police investigating fatal shooting of woman in Rossmoor

Sheriff's detectives were investigating a shooting in a residential area of Rossmoor in Orange County on Thursday afternoon that left a woman dead, authorities said.

The shooting occurred shortly after 4 p.m. in the 11200 block of Wallingsford Road, according to the Sheriff's Department. Detectives are at the scene.

No further information was available on a suspect or an arrest.

Rossmoor is an unincorporated part of the county near Los Alamitos.

For breaking news, follow @AdolfoFlores3.

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LAPD names officers who fatally shot mentally ill man in South L.A.

More than two weeks after the police shooting of a mentally ill man in South Los Angeles, LAPD officials released Thursday the names of two officers involved in the deadly shooting.

The department identified the officers who shot Ezell Ford on Aug. 11 as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, who are both assigned to the Newton Division gang enforcement detail.

LAPD records show Wampler has been on the force for 12 years and Villegas for eight years.

The decision to release the names came after some South L.A. residents and others who criticized the department for not releasing the names soon after the shooting. Department officials said they were waiting to decide whether to make the names public while investigators conducted a "threat assessment" to evaluate whether any credible threats had been made to the officers’ safety.

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that police departments must generally provide the names of officers involved in shootings, unless they can...

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D.A. rejects charges against sheriff's deputy who killed cyclist

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was typing on a patrol car computer when he hit and killed a bicyclist in Calabasas last year will not be prosecuted, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in a statement Thursday.

In declining to bring criminal charges against Deputy Andrew Francis Wood, prosecutors noted that a state law banning drivers from using wireless electronic devices while driving exempts police officers and other emergency professionals.

Wood, 38, was responding to another deputy's question on his patrol car's computer terminal after leaving a call about a fire at Calabasas High School when the collision occurred, killing Milton Olin Jr., a former Napster executive and noted entertainment attorney.

Olin, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wood initially said that Olin had swerved from the bicycle lane on Mullholland Highway into the path of his patrol car, the statement said.  But the district attorney's office concluded that “evidence examined in...

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Valley business group delays vote on potential L.A. minimum wage hike

Following extended debate, a San Fernando Valley-based business group delayed voting Thursday on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's soon-to-be-unveiled plan to hike the city's minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017.

Stuart Waldman, executive director of Valley Industry & Commerce Assn., said board members had serious misgivings about the mayor's proposal but decided to give him "an opportunity to make his pitch" for wage hikes before taking a position. The mayor is expected to announce his plan on Labor Day.

VICA will invite the mayor to address its 80-member board directly, Waldman said. "Not only about this policy but his comprehensive policy for bringing jobs to the city of Los Angeles and to stimulate the economy."

A spokesman for Garcetti declined to comment on the VICA delay. While the mayor has not officially unveiled his plan for an hourly wage boost the basic outlines have been confirmed by City Hall officials and business leaders who have been briefed.

Under the proposal being...

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Former L.A. schools official Aquino defends conduct over iPads contract

The former Los Angeles schools official at the center of scrutiny over the district's $1.3-billion iPad program said Thursday that he acted properly in his dealings with Pearson, the company that provided the curriculum on the devices.

Former Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino worked for a Pearson subsidiary before joining the L.A. Unified School District. Critics have said that emails he exchanged with Pearson suggest that he was trying to steer the contract toward the multibillion-dollar, international firm. Aquino responded that his comments are being taken out of context.

Separately, the school district said it is looking into whether Aquino volated ethics rules in dealing at all with Pearson less than a year after he joined L.A. Unified.

Aquino, who left L.A. Unified at the end of last year, said that allegation is groundless as well. Aquino's comments to The Times were his first public attempt to address concerns that he may have acted inappropriately. 

“I don't have anything to hide,”...

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Porn filming on hold as another performer tests positive for HIV

An immediate and indefinite moratorium has been placed on all porn filming after another performer may have tested positive for HIV.

“There was a positive test at one of our testing centers. Confirmatory tests are not yet back, but we are taking every precaution to protect performers and to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool,” said Diane Duke, chief executive of the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult film industry. “We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution.”

This is the third such voluntary moratorium announced in the last year prompted by HIV concerns.

Last summer, the Free Speech Coalition called a weeklong filming stoppage after an actress who goes by the screen name Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV. Her boyfriend, adult film actor Rod Daily, later announced that he had also tested positive.

A second moratorium was put in place after a third performer tested positive...

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Lifeguards ramp up for Labor Day crowds as huge swells hit California

With the effects of Hurricane Marie expected to linger through the Labor Day weekend, lifeguard officials say they plan to maintain increased staffing in preparation for a fresh onslaught of beachgoers.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Rick Flores said 435,000 people were on L.A. County's 72 miles of beaches over the last two days as huge swells produced dangerously rough surf and rip currents.

The combination of a rush of surfers and bodyboarders looking to take advantage of 10- to 20-foot waves and thousands of spectators lining the shoreline has kept lifeguards busy.

Los Angeles County lifeguards reported performing 115 ocean rescues on Tuesday and another 177 on Wednesday -- the peak day of swelling caused by Hurricane Marie, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Los Angeles County Coroner’s Lt. David Smith said the surfer who died near Malibu Pier on Tuesday had not been identified as of Thursday afternoon.

The Southland’s massive swells were generated when...

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O.C. reports 2nd West Nile death this year, 8th so far in the state

A 70-year-old Huntington Beach man has become the second person in Orange County to die from West Nile virus this year, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

There now have been eight West Nile deaths in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Aside from the Orange County deaths, all have been in Northern California.

Orange County has seen a sizable jump in West Nile cases this year. There have been 53 cases so far compared with two at this time last year, according to figures from the Health Care Agency and the state Department of Public Health.

Los Angeles County has reported just six cases this year, compared with 27 at this time last year.

Earlier this week, test results revealed that a Seal Beach woman had died from the virus, marking Orange County's first fatality from the mosquito-borne illness since 2012.

The test results indicated that the unidentified woman, who was in her 80s and had underlying medical conditions, had contracted West...

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