The L.A. Unified School District and the teachers union reached a tentative contract settlement Friday night for a three-year deal that includes a 10% salary increase over two years. There also are terms affecting class sizes, the number of counselors at schools and the district’s teacher evaluation system.
The deal could end more than a year of strained relations and organized agitation by United Teachers Los Angeles, whose members have not received a raise for eight years. The pact must be ratified, however, by both the union membership and the Board of Education.
The apparent breakthrough, after a long mediation session on Friday, will halt, at least for now, talk of a possible strike.
“This is an important step in restoring trust and partnership between LAUSD and UTLA,” said school board member Steve Zimmer. “Our message to our teachers is simple: We believe in you. I look forward to the stability and renewed collaboration this agreement will bring and to all us working together to...Read more
Women faculty at UCLA's Alzheimer's disease research center faced "a climate of conflict, tension, hostility and mistrust" for about a decade and were treated in an "unprofessional, demeaning manner," an investigation at the campus medical school has found.
The probe upheld long-pressed complaints from three women faculty that they were discriminated against by some men in the department and faced retaliation for reporting breaches in research protocol, Jonathan Hiatt, the vice dean for faculty, said in a letter sent to staff.
The result was a significantly negative effect on the center and a working environment that "compromises our research, teaching and patient care," Hiatt wrote.
The March letter, which was obtained by The Times, did not identify the women who say they were discriminated against nor the people who they say violated campus rules. Hiatt could not be reached for comment Friday night.
Dale Tate, a spokeswoman for the David Geffen School of Medicine, confirmed the authenticity...Read more
Fourteen people were rushed to the hospital with burns after a major gas line explosion near the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office gun range Friday, a fire official said.
The blast occurred behind the range about 2:30 p.m. when a county worker leading a team of inmates constructing a dirt road accidentally struck the gas line, said Fresno Fire Department spokesman Pete Martinez.
Thirty-five firefighters quickly subdued the blaze, and Pacific Gas & Electric cut off the gas supply to the line, Martinez said.
The county worker leading the team and at least one of the inmates were critically injured in the explosion, which sent a fireball 100 feet into the sky, authorities said. The inmates were part of a work program at the Fresno County Jail, Martinez said.
“I heard a whirring sound like a helicopter, then two booms and fire,” said Mark Price, who witnessed the blast.
Spencer Olson was drilling for water nearby.
“My jaw dropped,” he said. “I saw an enormous fireball.”
The accident forced closure...Read more
A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a tennis umpire against the Los Angeles Police Department and county coroner's office alleging she was falsely arrested and wrongfully accused of bludgeoning her husband to death with a coffee cup.
Lois Goodman claimed in the suit that her arrest as she went to officiate a tennis game at the U.S. Open in New York led her to suffer "public humiliation.”
The lawsuit followed a 2012 decision by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to drop criminal charges against her after a crime scene expert and outside medical examiner advised prosecutors that forensic evidence did not show a crime had been committed.
LAPD officials and prosecutors had accused Goodman of attacking her husband of 49 years, Alan, in April 2012 at their Woodland Hills home and then going out for a manicure. Her attorneys argued that her husband actually fell down the stairs and struck his head on a coffee cup
U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt wrote...Read more
Two aging Asian elephants arrived Friday at the San Diego Zoo after plans to transport them from Seattle to Oklahoma City were disrupted by stormy weather and concerns about the animals' well-being.
Bamboo, 48, and Chai, 36, were in climate-controlled crates on a flatbed truck traveling from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to the Oklahoma City Zoo.
When a storm was predicted for Wyoming and Colorado, animal keepers traveling with the pair contacted the San Diego Zoo to see if the facility could accommodate the elephants until the storm passed.
They changed the route as the truck neared Salt Lake City, Woodland Park Zoo officials said.
The animals are in the Conrad Prebys Elephant Care Center at the San Diego Zoo, where they will remain until the trip resumes. The center specializes in caring for ailing and geriatric elephants.
Martin Ramirez, a mammal curator from the Woodland Park Zoo, said the animals were "tired and showed signs of muscle stress" when they arrived in San Diego.
Firefighters have controlled a brush fire that broke out Friday afternoon in the Malibu area.
The 3-alarm fire was reported near Kanan Dume Road and Pacific Coast Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
More than 200 firefighters battled the blaze, which was sparked by a car accident.
The number of acres burned was not immediately available. No structures were damaged.