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Obama's motorcade hinders woman in labor, witnesses say

A pregnant woman in labor Wednesday afternoon reportedly was not allowed to cross the street to get to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by authorities in Los Angeles because President Obama's motorcade was going to come through the area.  Some in the crowd took to social media to show pictures and video of the unidentified woman while she sat on a bus bench, waiting to get to the hospital. The story was first reported by the Blaze website "This woman is in labor but can't get to Cedars cuz of Obama!!!" witness Carrie Clifford tweeted, along with a picture of the woman. Obama's L.A. visit, which started Wednesday afternoon, led to street closures in West Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire, Exposition Park, Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, among other areas.  Medical staff from the hospital came to help the pregnant woman, witnesses said. "A few people in scrubs are there now. Still no baby. Still no #Obama." Clifford tweeted with a picture.  The hashtag #ObamaBabyWatch started...

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80-year-old man says he shot, killed pregnant woman trying to rob him

An 80-year-old man told NBC Channel 4 Wednesday that he shot and killed a pregnant woman who tried to rob him at his Long Beach home. "She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant -- I'm going to have a baby,'" the man, who was identified as Tom Greer, told the TV station. He said he fired two rounds and that a man who was with her fled the scene. "I shot her twice. She best be dead," Greer said. He said the couple tackled him and tried to ransack his home and take money from a safe. He said he shot the woman with a small .22-caliber revolver during the incident, which happened on Tuesday. Earlier Wednesday, Long Beach police said they were investigating the fatal shooting. The man "possibly interrupted a crime in progress" and used a firearm to shoot and kill the suspect, Long Beach Deputy Police Chief David Hendricks told reporters at a news conference. A neighbor told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that the man had been robbed previously. "They literally tore down the front door," the neighbor said. ...

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2-year-old girl abducted by parents at court hearing, LAPD says

Los Angeles police officials Wednesday night were looking for a 2-year-old girl who they say was abducted by her parents during a Superior Court custody hearing. The grandmother of Mariah Salguero was granted temporary custody of the child at the court proceeding Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. "The child's parents then took the child out of the courtroom," LAPD officials said in a statement. Police said the parents may be heading to Arizona. The father was identified by police as Christopher Salguero. He is 25 years old, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds.  Police said the mother is Rosa Chavez and has red hair and brown eyes. She is about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. Mariah has brown hair and brown eyes, police said. She is 2 feet tall and weighs 25 pounds. Anyone with information with is asked to call detectives at (213) 833-3750.   Follow @LAJourno for breaking news

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Bell City Council to discuss temporary shelter of immigrant detainees

The Bell City Council will consider approving a letter Wednesday night that supports the Salvation’s Army request for federal funding to create a temporary shelter for immigrant detainees from Central America. Nearly two weeks ago, Bell officials said the nonprofit was planning on using a vacant shipping warehouse to provide transitional housing for more than 100 immigrants, some of whom are children. The warehouse is owned by the Salvation Army and is in the northern section of the two-square-mile town, officials say. “I think the community of Bell is a compassionate community, full of kindness and understanding,” Bell Mayor Nestor Enrique Valencia said. "While not wealthy, we can come together in this humanitarian effort and be a fine example of ‘America the Beautiful.’ ” City officials say they would help the nonprofit’s efforts by approving city permits without delay. And now they want to send a letter in support of the organization's request for federal funding to create the...

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State alert system would target drivers in hit-and-run collisions

The driver of the minivan that hit bicyclist Damian Kevitt in Griffith Park last year never slowed down, even as Kevitt's leg was crushed and he was dragged 600 feet down a highway onramp.  The van sped off onto the 5 Freeway and hasn't been seen again.  It is the type of aftermath that Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) hopes to prevent with a new system of alerts that would notify the public when authorities are searching for a vehicle suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run that results in serious injury or death. Kevitt joined Gatto and bike advocates Wednesday in front of City Hall to support Assembly Bill 47, which would allow the California Highway Patrol to use the existing Emergency Alert System to send localized messages to highway billboards that now carry Amber Alerts when a child is thought to have been abducted. "[The alert system] could have been the difference between that individual being caught or not," Kevitt said, referring to his collision. "But more...

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Triple-digit heat bakes L.A. County; records set or tied in desert

Triple-digit heat scorched inland areas of Southern California on Wednesday as forecasters predicted that above-normal temperatures would continue into the weekend. In the desert, Thermal hit 119 degrees, breaking a daily record of 118 degrees that was set in 2006.  Palm Springs reached 116 degrees, tying a daily record that also was set in 2006, according to the National Weather Service. As of 4 p.m. in Los Angeles County, Northridge, Saugus and Van Nuys each had hit 100 degrees. Acton and Lancaster topped out at 102, according to the weather service. San Gabriel reached 91 degrees, Long Beach Airport was 89 and downtown Los Angeles recorded a high of 88. Closer to the coast, Torrance was 80 degrees, Santa Monica Airport was 83 and Oxnard in Ventura County was 81. Temperatures were even hotter in the Inland Empire, where Lake Elsinore reached 107 degrees, according to the weather service. Hemet hit 103 and Riverside recorded a high of 100.  The hot weather was being caused by high...

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Demolition of famed Beverly Hills department store begins

With its floor-to-ceiling windows, striking marble exterior and seemingly endless displays of fine imported crystal, Robinson’s stood at the entrance to Beverly Hills for years as a symbol of elegance. But on Wednesday, the once-grand department store was missing its bold, blocky “R.” Chunks of concrete and curled metal hung limply off the cracked side of the dilapidated building. More than 62 years after the store’s 1,100-space parking lot first welcomed shoppers into four spacious levels, Robinsons-May is finally being demolished. “It’s sad. None of us know what’s going to be there,” said Dorothy Salkin, 78, a longtime Westwood resident who shopped at Robinson’s countless times. “It was the most beautiful store I’ve ever seen. Not like any other.” Although it sits on one of the most desirable pieces of real estate in the country, the building has been unoccupied for nearly a decade. Its demolition has loomed since the property went back on the market this spring. It has yet to be...

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Man tore off woman's hijab in Long Beach hate crime; suspect sought

The Long Beach Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the man who committed a hate crime against a Muslim woman in the Bixby Knolls area.  Authorities said the incident occurred around 4:30 p.m.  July 2 in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 4000 block of Atlantic Avenue.  Police say the assailant approached the woman from behind as she was loading items into the trunk of her car. The man grabbed the woman's black hijab and began cursing at her as he forcefully pulled and twisted it off, police said. The man then fled with the hijab in his hand into an alley that runs parallel to the shopping center. The victim was taken to a hospital for scratches and abrasions to her neck shortly after the attack, police said. “This incident occurred during the day in a busy shopping center and we are hoping that someone may have witnessed the encounter or saw the suspect leaving the area and can provide us with additional information,” said Police Chief Jim McDonnell. ...

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Kobe Bryant to set his firm's headquarters in Newport Beach

Kobe Bryant's new company is setting up shop in the famed basketball player's hometown. Council members authorized the sale Tuesday of a city-owned property in Newport Beach to Kobe Inc. for use as its headquarters. The roughly one-acre site, at 1499 Monrovia Ave., includes a 16,550-square-foot office building, where Road and Track Magazine used to operate. It was sold for $5.8 million, according to Times Community News. "I am thrilled Mr. Bryant chose Newport Beach," Councilman Keith Curry said. The office building will be refurbished and remodeled, said Kobe Inc. President Andrea Fairchild, who now also lives in Newport Beach. "We look to be a very vibrant member of the community," she added. In addition to its business operations, the company expects to support physical health and wellness in the community, Fairchild said. Bryant said there could be opportunities for international sports stars to interact with young people in the community, Curry said. Kobe Inc. was set up in 2013,...

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Alarcon jurors were split, argued for days over criminal charges

The jurors in the voter fraud and perjury trial of former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon argued for days, with opposing sides initially arguing for convictions and acquittals on all counts, according to interviews. After five days of deliberations, the five-man, seven-woman jury found Alarcon and his wife guilty of several counts of perjury and voter fraud Wednesday for lying about where they lived so Alarcon could run for city office. Juror James Mandujano said the verdict for Alarcon came down to "common sense." "He hasn't gotten this far because he's naive, or misinterpreted a word in a form," said Mandujano, 32, referring to arguments in the case over the meaning of legal residency requirements for politicians. Mark Overland, an attorney representing Alarcon's wife, said "the verdicts just make no sense." He said the Alarcons would appeal the decision. Prosecutors alleged the couple lied about living in Panorama City in the council's 7th District, so Alarcon could run...

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Alameda County coroner's employees become ill after body bag opened

More than a dozen people became ill Wednesday after an employee opened a body bag containing a badly decomposed body at the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau. One of the 15 employees who complained of eye and throat irritation was taken to a hospital for further evaluation, said Battalion Chief Emon Usher of the Oakland Fire Department. A funeral home had dropped off the man's body this week at the Coroner's Bureau. His decomposing body was discovered July 16, Usher said, adding that he did not know the details about the man's death. An employee opened the bag just before noon Wednesday, exposing the man's body, which had been covered in powder known as Smelleze. The powder is an eco-friendly corpse deodorizer, Usher said. Soon after, employees began complaining of irritation, and fire officials were called to the scene. The Fire Department's Hazmat team took a sample of the powder, which Usher said was found to be safe. For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow ...

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Former rival endorses Bobby Shriver for L.A. County supervisor

Former Malibu mayor Pamela Conley Ulich on Wednesday endorsed Bobby Shriver, her former rival, to replace Zev Yaroslavsky on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In the June 3 field of eight candidates, Conley Ulich finished fourth, receiving 6% of the vote. Shriver, a Santa Monica attorney, finished second behind former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl. Shriver would be "the kind of supervisor who will engage, encourage and empower all people in L.A. County to use their voice and their vote to make L.A. County not just good, but great," the Malibu real estate broker said. Conley Ulich ran a low-key campaign, focusing on the corrupting influence of money in politics. Shriver has also been endorsed by John Duran, a West Hollywood City Council member who placed third, picking up 16% of the primary vote. In the Nov. 3 runoff, Shriver faces Kuehl for the Westside and San Fernando Valley seat being vacated by Yaroslavsky due to term limits.   ...

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