L.A. Now California: This just in
Ex-Stanford operating room tech accused of molesting sedated patients

A former operating room technician at Stanford Health Care's outpatient medical center was arrested Monday on suspicion of molesting patients while they were sedated, police said.

Robert Lastinger, 55, is accused of sexually touching four male patients at the Redwood City-based medical center between March 15 and April 2, according to the Redwood City Police Department.

Fellow employees reported that they saw Lastinger “inappropriately touching” some patients, triggering the investigation, police said.

Lastinger, a resident of Fremont, was placed on administrative leave April 2. He is being housed in the San Mateo County Jail, police said.

A representative from Stanford Health Care could not be reached for comment. It is unclear whether Lastinger has retained an attorney.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Redwood City police Det. Dave Cirina at (650) 780-7607 or Det. Glenn Albin at (650) 780-7141.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno...

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Bay Area teen admits killing boy, 9, in jailhouse interview, reports say

A Bay Area teen who was arrested on suspicion of stabbing to death his best friend’s sleeping 9-year-old brother apparently confessed to the crime in a jailhouse interview Monday, according to reports.

William Shultz, 18, told a reporter with the Contra Costa Times that he stabbed Jordon Almgren in the predawn hours on Sunday, saying, “I wanted to see what it was like to take a life before someone tried to take mine.”

Almgren’s family took him from their home in Discovery Bay, about 60 miles east of San Francisco, to a county hospital, where he died.

After inadvertently slashing himself in the wrist during the stabbing, Shultz told the paper, he drove to the hospital for treatment. There, a nurse linked him to news reports about Almgren’s death and alerted authorities, sheriff's officials said.

He was arrested at the hospital and is being held at a Contra Costa County jail on $1-million bail, sheriff's officials said.

In the interview with the paper, Shultz discussed his parents' divorce,...

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California man killed in Everest avalanche was on dream trip, friend says

Michelle Fennessy had been following her old friend’s dream trip from afar.

On Thursday, Vinh Truong shared a video from his journey in Nepal – images of cows, punctuated with his comments about how loud and dusty the surroundings were. He was setting out for the Mt. Everest base camp, he told friends on Facebook.

On Saturday, when news hit that the camp had been devastated by an avalanche, Fennessy rushed to contact Truong.

“Please check in, let us know you’re okay,” she wrote on his Facebook page. But there was no answer.

On Monday, the State Department confirmed that Truong, a Vietnamese-American man who lived in Sunnyvale, Calif., was among the four Americans killed at the hikers’ base camp in Saturday’s avalanche.

The news shocked Fennessy.

“To me, there was just no way he could have died on that mountain,” Fennessy told The Times in an interview. “He is just such a survivor.”

The two met while Truong was working toward a master's in business administration at the University of Chicago,...

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40-acre Granada Hills brush fire contained, caused by power tool

A 40-acre brush fire in Granada Hills was contained in about 90 minutes Monday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

More than 200 firefighters by ground and air responded to the blaze in the 12300 block of Highwater Road, the fire department said on Twitter. The fire briefly threatened 10 homes on a chaparral-covered hillside, but no structures were damaged. Residents of those homes were safely evacuated.

The fire was caused by sparks from a power tool that a homeowner was using to clear brush, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

The homeowner tried to use his jacket to douse the flames, but embers scattered and the fire spread. 

A handful of responders sustained non-life-threatening injuries while battling the fire, with at least two taken to a hospital for evaluation, the Fire Department said. 

Meanwhile, a second fire near the 5 Freeway and Roxford Street in nearby Mission Hills burned two acres of grass before it was knocked down. No homes were threatened, officials said....

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Gunman surrenders after barricading self in home, shooting at deputies

A man who barricaded himself in a Sacramento County home Monday after shooting a woman, then at sheriff's deputies, has surrendered, ending a brief standoff.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the man left the Carmichael home where he was holed up, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Lisa Bowman. The man, whose name was not released, was undergoing a medical evaluation before being booked into jail.

About 9:50 a.m., deputies received a call about a woman being shot in the 6000 block of Madison Avenue, said Sharon Chow, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Witnesses said a male suspect ran through the neighborhood and, as deputies arrived, more shots were heard, Chow said.

At 2:45 p.m., the man had barricaded himself in a residence off Madison Avenue, said Bowman, who was at the scene during the standoff.

A Sheriff’s Department tactical team and a critical incident negotiation team tried to develop a consistent line of communication with the man, but Bowman...

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Official claims bad blood with union boss bred West Coast port crisis

A lawsuit filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court offers a vividly detailed picture of the obscure waterfront politics that brought Pacific Rim commerce to its knees for several tense weeks earlier this year.

The suit, filed by a low-level dock official who says the bad blood between him and a labor leader fueled the dispute that threatened to shut down West Coast ports in February, accuses the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and shipping companies of defaming and failing to pay him.

David Miller, a 64-year-old arbitrator of workplace disputes in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, asserts in his suit that ILWU President Robert "Big Bob" McEllrath tried to pressure him to sign off on an illegal work action by union members during a clandestine meeting at a Starbucks in Long Beach.

Miller's refusal, the suit says, led McEllrath to take revenge by insisting that he be fired as a condition of the new contract that union and shipping officials hammered out. That demand,...

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