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Former L.A. charter school leader fined for conflict of interest

A former local charter school operator has agreed to pay a $16,000 fine for misconduct that includes using public education funds to lease her own buildings. Under a tentative settlement with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, Kendra Okonkwo acknowledges that she improperly used her...

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  • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

    Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

    The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia. ...

  • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

    Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

    Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt. Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

  • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

    The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

    In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix. 800 Degrees Neapolitan...

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  • LAPD union blasts police commissioners over Ezell Ford decision

    LAPD union blasts police commissioners over Ezell Ford decision

    Tensions over last week's decision in the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford continued to simmer Tuesday as Los Angeles police union officials blasted police commissioners, saying their ruling threatened the safety of officers and the public. Craig Lally, the president of the union that represents...

  • After Ezell Ford ruling, LAPD chief's video upsets Police Commission

    After Ezell Ford ruling, LAPD chief's video upsets Police Commission

    Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck stared into a camera Tuesday shortly after the Police Commission condemned an officer's fatal shooting of a mentally ill black man to offer words of encouragement to his rank-and-file cops. “You have my support,” he said in the video message. “You have the...

  • Ezell Ford's mother says decision shows 'what happened to Ezell was wrong'

    Ezell Ford's mother says decision shows 'what happened to Ezell was wrong'

    When Ezell Ford's mother learned Tuesday afternoon that L.A. police commissioners had faulted one of the officers who fatally shot her son, her first reaction, she said, was: "Hallelujah!" Speaking to reporters at South L.A.'s First AME Church hours later, Tritobia Ford said although she was "a...

  • Police Commission to weigh fatal LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford

    Police Commission to weigh fatal LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford

    The civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department will decide Tuesday whether two officers violated department policy when they shot and killed Ezell Ford last summer in South L.A. The Police Commission’s decision will punctuate a nearly 10-month review of the fatal shooting of...

  • Ezell Ford shooting: Mayor says commission's review will be 'impartial'

    Ezell Ford shooting: Mayor says commission's review will be 'impartial'

    A day before the Police Commission is scheduled to decide whether two LAPD officers acted within policy in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was confident that commissioners would "conduct an impartial and fair-minded review." Garcetti's statement came as about a dozen...

  • Police Commission to discuss LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford next week

    Police Commission to discuss LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford next week

    The civilian commission that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department is expected to decide Tuesday whether last summer's fatal shooting of Ezell Ford was within department policy, sources said. The Police Commission is scheduled to discuss the shooting in closed session after its weekly public...

  • Six arrested during South L.A. protest against police brutality
    Six arrested during South L.A. protest against police brutality

    Protests against police brutality in South L.A. led to six arrests Monday night, the same day riots broke out in Baltimore, after demonstrators refused to obey police orders to disperse, LAPD officials said.

    The L.A. demonstrations involved up to 50 people and started outside the LAPD’s 77th Division...

  • Can South L.A. re-brand again? How does 'SOLA' sound?
    Can South L.A. re-brand again? How does 'SOLA' sound?

    Twelve years ago, residents on Los Angeles’ south side complained that their neighborhood had become synonymous in popular culture with gangs, murder, drugs and despair.So they got the Los Angeles City Council to re-christen South-Central as South Los Angeles, hoping the change would remove the...

  • Three released in connection with shooting of two LAPD officers
    Three released in connection with shooting of two LAPD officers

    Three people who were detained after gunmen opened fire on two plainclothes Los Angeles police officers were released Monday afternoon and police officials pledged to continue investigating the shooting.

    The three people -- who were not identified -- were released at 2:41 p.m., Officer Sara Faden...

  • Two LAPD officers shot in Florence believe they were targeted
    Two LAPD officers shot in Florence believe they were targeted

    Two plainclothes Los Angeles police officers were shot at Sunday evening while driving through a South L.A. neighborhood, prompting an exchange of gunfire that caused several suspects to scatter, authorities said.

    The officers were fired upon near 65th Street and Broadway in the Florence neighborhood...

  • LAPD searches for two suspects in shooting of officers in South L.A.
    LAPD searches for two suspects in shooting of officers in South L.A.

    Two Los Angeles police officers were wounded by gunfire Sunday afternoon, spawning a massive manhunt for the shooters that shut down several blocks in South Los Angeles, authorities said.

    The officers were wearing plainclothes and driving on Broadway near 65th Street around 5:45 p.m. when they...

  • Ezell Ford's parents sue LAPD, this time in state court, over son's death
    Ezell Ford's parents sue LAPD, this time in state court, over son's death

    The parents of a mentally ill man fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers last summer in South L.A. filed a new wrongful death lawsuit Friday, this time in state court.

    The allegations outlined in Friday's lawsuit mirror those Edsell and Tritobia Ford made in a federal lawsuit they filed last...

  • Autopsy: Omar Abrego died of cocaine effects and 'duress' from arrest
    Autopsy: Omar Abrego died of cocaine effects and 'duress' from arrest

    Los Angeles County coroner’s officials determined that a man who died last year after struggling with two LAPD sergeants during an arrest in South L.A. died from the effects of cocaine but also suffered “physical and emotional duress while taken under custody,” according to an autopsy report issued...

  • Activists demand charges in Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego shootings
    Activists demand charges in Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego shootings

    Days after the long-awaited release of an autopsy report for a South Los Angeles man killed in a police shooting, activists plan to gather at the place of his death to demand charges against the officers who shot him.

    The Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, a grass-roots group, wants...

  • Four people, including 2 children, injured in Florence fire
    Four people, including 2 children, injured in Florence fire

    Four people were injured Wednesday evening in a fire at a commercial structure in the Florence neighborhood of Los Angeles, authorities said. 

    More than 100 firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene at about 6 p.m. They extinguished the fire in 31 minutes and rescued...

  • Protesters briefly shut down 110 Freeway after release of Ezell Ford's autopsy
    Protesters briefly shut down 110 Freeway after release of Ezell Ford's autopsy

    Protesters angry about the death of Ezell Ford and other recent police shootings rushed onto the 110 Freeway at one point Monday night, briefly stopping traffic.

    At first, three people holding hands walked into the southbound lanes from an on-ramp at Gage Avenue. Then a group of 30 or so others...

  • LAPD investigating officer's use of baton during protest
    LAPD investigating officer's use of baton during protest

    Los Angeles Police internal affairs investigators are looking into an officer's use of a baton during a protest last week in South Los Angeles, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

    Cmdr. Andrew Smith said a personnel complaint investigation was initiated after a protester showed Smith video of...

  • LAPD chief: No new witnesses in police shooting of Ezell Ford
    LAPD chief: No new witnesses in police shooting of Ezell Ford

    Despite public appeals by the city's mayor, the county district attorney and others, no new witnesses to the fatal Los Angeles police shooting of a mentally ill black man have come forward to help investigators, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

    Beck told reporters that the department is continuing...

  • Prosecutors decline to charge man allegedly beaten by LAPD
    Prosecutors decline to charge man allegedly beaten by LAPD

    Los Angeles County prosecutors have declined to pursue a case against a man who was allegedly beaten by police while being held down by officers last month. 

    In an earlier interview with The Times, Clinton Alford, 22, said he was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk along Avalon Boulevard near 55th...

  • Ezell Ford shooting: Mayor orders autopsy report to be released soon
    Ezell Ford shooting: Mayor orders autopsy report to be released soon

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that he had ordered police to allow the release soon of an autopsy report on a mentally ill man fatally shot by officers three months ago.

    Garcetti made a surprise appearance Thursday at an LAPD news conference, telling reporters the autopsy on...

  • Driver who hit Gordo the dog during police chase pleads guilty
    Driver who hit Gordo the dog during police chase pleads guilty

    Justice was swift for Gordo the dog.

    Two days after a driver in a stolen Chevy Astro hit a Maltese mix during a televised police chase through South Los Angeles, the man pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to two years in prison.

    Los Angeles County prosecutors said Yovani Rodriguez, 21, of...

  • Gordo, the dog hit by van during wild police chase, may lose a leg
    Gordo, the dog hit by van during wild police chase, may lose a leg

    Gordo, the little white dog who was run over on live TV during a wild police pursuit Wednesday night in South Los Angeles, may lose one of his legs. The poodle mix was struck by a white box van at about 9 p.m. during a chase that lasted over an hour and wound through side streets. The van lost...

  • Dog named Gordo hit during police chase, raced to hospital
    Dog named Gordo hit during police chase, raced to hospital

    A dog named Gordo was hit by the driver of stolen van who led police on a wild chase through South Los Angeles.

    TV chopper footage showed the small white dog being struck by the van during the police pursuit Wednesday night.

    The owner of the dog told KABC-TV Channel 7 that Gordo arrived back at...

  • Wild police chase in South L.A. ends with two in custody
    Wild police chase in South L.A. ends with two in custody

    A man and a woman inside a stolen van were taken into custody Wednesday night after a wild police chase in South L.A.

    The pursuit ended about 9:10 p.m. after a police cruiser struck the vehicle, forcing it to lose control and stop. Officers attempted to use the PIT maneuver at least two times before...

  • Ezell Ford's family plans to sue LAPD over his fatal shooting
    Ezell Ford's family plans to sue LAPD over his fatal shooting

    A lawyer representing the family of a mentally ill man who was shot and killed by two Los Angeles police officers in South L.A. last month said he plans to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the LAPD.

    Attorney Steven Lerman said he plans to release details about the lawsuit during a news conference...

  • Ezell Ford: LAPD watchdog urges shooting witnesses to come forward
    Ezell Ford: LAPD watchdog urges shooting witnesses to come forward

    The LAPD’s civilian watchdog Tuesday publicly urged anyone who saw last month's fatal police shooting of a mentally ill man in South Los Angeles to come forward, saying he was “helpless” in his investigation without witnesses' accounts.

    Alex Bustmante, who works independently of the LAPD and reports...

  • Civil rights leaders seek witnesses in Ezell Ford shooting
    Civil rights leaders seek witnesses in Ezell Ford shooting

    Civil rights leaders will be handing out fliers Saturday near the South Los Angeles intersection where police shot and killed an unarmed black man earlier this month, imploring eyewitnesses to come forward.

    Conflicting accounts have emerged about the Aug. 11 shooting of Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old...

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

  • L.A. councilman to hold forum to ease tensions over LAPD shooting
    L.A. councilman to hold forum to ease tensions over LAPD shooting

    A Los Angeles city councilman has organized a public meeting for Tuesday evening to ease tensions over the controversial shooting of a mentally ill man in South Los Angeles last week.

    Councilman Curren Price said he organized the 7 p.m. meeting at Paradise Baptist Church in South Los Angeles to...

  • Rally set to protest fatal police shooting of unarmed, mentally ill man
    Rally set to protest fatal police shooting of unarmed, mentally ill man

    Community members and activists plan to hold a rally Sunday afternoon in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown to protest the fatal police shooting of an unarmed, mentally ill man.

    The rally is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the intersection of Main and First streets. Activists...

  • Community members march, demand answers in Ezell Ford's fatal shooting
    Community members march, demand answers in Ezell Ford's fatal shooting

    Dozens of community members and activists marched in South Los Angeles on Thursday night demanding answers and justice for the unarmed mentally ill man fatally shot by LAPD officers Monday in the Florence area.

    The crowd marched from South Broadway and West 65th Street to the Los Angeles Police...

  • LAPD, community leaders to meet over fatal shooting of Ezell Ford
    LAPD, community leaders to meet over fatal shooting of Ezell Ford

    Los Angeles police officials will meet with community leaders Thursday evening to discuss the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man in South Los Angeles, a death that has sparked anger, but differing accounts of what happened.

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable,...

  • Family of man killed by LAPD officers hires Rodney King's ex-attorney
    Family of man killed by LAPD officers hires Rodney King's ex-attorney

    The family of the mentally ill man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers earlier this week has hired Rodney King’s former attorney, who said Thursday that he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the department.

    Attorney Steven A. Lerman said the family of Ezell Ford is in...

  • Amid protests, LAPD explains fatal shooting of South L.A. man
    Amid protests, LAPD explains fatal shooting of South L.A. man

    Los Angeles police on Wednesday defended an officer-involved shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead, saying he tackled one of two officers, forcing him to use a backup gun.

    The account differs from what family members of the man, Ezell Ford, told KTLA-TV. They said he was complying with police...

  • LAPD fatally shoots man; family calls it unjustified
    LAPD fatally shoots man; family calls it unjustified

    An unidentified person shot Monday night by a Los Angeles police officer in the Florence neighborhood has died, authorities said Tuesday.

    An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Division conducted "an investigative stop" in the 200 block of West 65th Street about 8:20 p.m. Monday,...

  • LAPD probing man's death after struggle with sergeants during arrest

    Los Angeles police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old motorist after a physical altercation with two LAPD sergeants who were arresting him.

    Omar Abrego, 37, was declared dead Aug. 3 about 12 hours after he was arrested by the two gang-unit sergeants, according to officials. The sergeants...

  • Boys' basketball: Jason Crowe is new coach at Verbum Dei

    Jason Crowe, a former Cal State Northridge basketball player and former professional player overseas, has been named basketball coach at Verbum Dei.

     

    Twitter:@LATSondheimer

     

  • Argument ends in fatal shooting in South L.A.

    An argument ended Saturday night in South Los Angeles with one person pulling out a gun and fatally shooting another, according to the LAPD.

    The victim, Derrick Hill, who was about 30 years old, died at a hospital after he was shot in the face, said Det. Miguel Gutierrez.

    The shooting occurred...

  • Feelings mixed after Donald Sterling attends South L.A. church
    Feelings mixed after Donald Sterling attends South L.A. church

    James Murray, 49, didn't give the idea of disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attending his church, Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, a second thought. 

    That is, until Sterling actually came to the South L.A. church Sunday. KCAL-TV Channel 9 reported that Sterling asked...

  • ACLU, others sue over gap in instructional time in state schools
    ACLU, others sue over gap in instructional time in state schools

    The state Education Department has ignored its obligation to ensure that all California students receive a minimum level of instructional time, predominantly affecting those who are minorities and from low-income families, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

    The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County...

  • Woman arrested in alleged hit-and-run that left a pedestrian dead

    A Los Angeles woman was apprehended Sunday in connection with an alleged hit-and-run hours earlier that left a pedestrian dead in South Los Angeles, police said.

    Vernice Taylor, 56, was arrested about 5 a.m. on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, said Sgt. Gregory Hoyte of the LAPD’s Central Traffic...

  • Football: Former Verbum Dei QB Caylin Moore receives Fulbright summer scholarship

     Caylin Moore, a former Los Angeles Verbum Dei quarterback attending Marist College, has received a Fulbright Summer Institute scholarship to study for four weeks this summer at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

    He'll explore the role Bristol has played in U.S. history and understand...

  • Featured reader comment: 'He is remembered every day'
    Featured reader comment: 'He is remembered every day'

  • LAPD probes links between kidnapping, killings in South L.A.
    LAPD probes links between kidnapping, killings in South L.A.

    Los Angeles police are investigating potential links between the kidnapping of a teenage girl who was doused with flammable liquid and two other South L.A. attacks that left two women and a 1-year-old boy dead.

    The suspect, Robert Ransom Jr., 30, has been charged with nine felony counts related...

  • Suspect may have wheeled woman's body miles in trash bin, police say

    Police are searching for a man they believe killed a woman, stuffed her body in a trash bin and wheeled it for miles to his ex-girlfriend’s house.

    The ex-girlfriend discovered the body around 10 p.m. Friday and walked to the LAPD’s 77th Street station to report it, said watch Cmdr. Rudy Alaniz.

    ...

  • Police search for parents of two toddlers found wandering South L.A.
    Police search for parents of two toddlers found wandering South L.A.

    Investigators on Tuesday continued to look for the parents of two toddlers found wandering alone near a South L.A. liquor store.

    The two boys, believed to be about 3 years and 18 months old, were first spotted Monday morning alone inside the liquor store near the 600 block of East 85th Street,...

  • Man fatally shot on front porch of South L.A. home, cops say
    Man fatally shot on front porch of South L.A. home, cops say

    A 43-year-old South L.A. man was fatally shot on his porch Monday night after an argument, police said.

    Corey Norflin was standing on his front porch in the 700 block of East 76th Place in Florence at about 8 p.m. when he got into an argument with someone and was shot, said Los Angeles Police Department...

  • Man accused of killing store clerk is due in court Tuesday
    Man accused of killing store clerk is due in court Tuesday

    The 31-year-old man suspected of killing a mother of five while she worked at an L.A. discount store Sept. 17 is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday.

    Eric William Atkinson faces one count of murder tied to robbery and personal use of a firearm in the slaying of 39-year-old Martha Sanchez. Atkinson...

  • LAPD seeks public's help in identifying discount store clerk's killer
    LAPD seeks public's help in identifying discount store clerk's killer

    Los Angeles police detectives Wednesday released surveillance video of the man believed to have shot and killed a discount store worker last month and asked for the public's help in identifying him.

    Martha Sanchez, a 39-year-old mother of five, was working at a South L.A. Happy Bargain discount...

  • Boy found on South L.A. street is reunited with family, police say
    Boy found on South L.A. street is reunited with family, police say

    A 5-year-old boy found on a South Los Angeles street has been reunited with his family, police said Monday night.

    Los Angeles police said that the boy's mother apparently had a medical emergency and that the child may have wandered from his home. Family members saw the boy's picture on television...

  • 5-year-old boy found on South L.A. street; police seek parents
    5-year-old boy found on South L.A. street; police seek parents

    Law enforcement authorities on Monday evening were looking for the parents of a 5-year-old boy who was found wandering the streets of South Los Angeles.

    The child was found about 6 a.m. near 73rd Street and Avalon Boulevard, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

    Police said the boy told workers...

  • Relatives of slain woman plead for help in catching killer
    Relatives of slain woman plead for help in catching killer

    Relatives of a 39-year-old mother who was slain in a robbery in South Los Angeles pleaded for the public's help on Wednesday afternoon in catching the killer.

    Martha Sanchez, who has five children, was working at a discount store about 8:50 p.m Tuesday when a man walked in, robbed the store and...

  • Friends mourn store clerk killed just two blocks from LAPD station
    Friends mourn store clerk killed just two blocks from LAPD station

    Votive candles and flowers sat Wednesday outside the South L.A. discount store where Martha Sanchez was shot to death the night before, just two blocks away from a police station. "RIP Martha," a small wreath read.

    Authorities said Sanchez, a 39-year-old mother of five, was working at the Happy...

  • Discount store clerk, a mother of five, fatally shot during robbery
    Discount store clerk, a mother of five, fatally shot during robbery

    Police are investigating the shooting death of a clerk at a discount store in Florence two blocks from the LAPD's 77th Street station.

    Martha Sanchez, a 39-year-old mother of five, was killed about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday at the Happy Bargain store in the 7400 block of Broadway by a man "who walked into...

  • Woman shot and killed in South L.A. robbery, police say
    Woman shot and killed in South L.A. robbery, police say

    A woman in her 20s was shot and killed during a robbery in South Los Angeles, police said Tuesday night.

    The incident was reported around 9 p.m. near Broadway and 74th Street in the Florence neighborhood, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

    The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, where she...

  • Nine people injured in two-car crash in South L.A.
    Nine people injured in two-car crash in South L.A.

    A two-vehicle crash in South Los Angeles on Wednesday night left nine people injured.

    Five victims were taken to hospitals, including one person in grave condition, and four others were treated at the scene and released, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

    Thirty firefighters and eight ambulances...

  • Cold case arrest: 9-year-old girl hid while father fatally shot
    Cold case arrest: 9-year-old girl hid while father fatally shot

    As a 9-year-old girl, Esmeralda Pena hid behind a refrigerator at the family's small grocery store as a man shot and killed her father during a botched robbery attempt.

    Twenty-three years later, the memories of her father's lifeless body still haunt her.

    "I can still see ... my dad lying down on...

  • Dog orphaned in South L.A. fire gets new home in Santa Barbara
    Dog orphaned in South L.A. fire gets new home in Santa Barbara

    A Rottweiler mix, the sole survivor of a South Los Angeles fire that killed its owner and canine "siblings," has found a new home, animal rescue groups said Wednesday.

    Genie -- renamed Gina by one of her rescuers -- lost her first family early June 16 when fire swept through the small auto repair...

  • Man dies in fire in makeshift home in South Los Angeles
    Man dies in fire in makeshift home in South Los Angeles

    A man died early Sunday when he was unable to escape a fire in his makeshift home in an auto repair shop in South Los Angeles, authorities said

    Los Angeles firefighters were summoned to the 8000 block of S. San Pedro Street at 1:36 a.m. when a passerby noticed smoke pouring from the one-story building,...

  • Bicyclist killed by driver fleeing shooting in Florence, police say
    Bicyclist killed by driver fleeing shooting in Florence, police say

    A bicyclist was killed Wednesday night when he was struck by a car fleeing police after a shooting incident in Florence, authorities said.

    The victim was a 34-year-old Latino man, police said. He was hit about 10:45 p.m. at East 84th Street and South Central Avenue in Florence and was pronounced...

  • Police: Vehicle involved in deadly crash may have fled shooting
    Police: Vehicle involved in deadly crash may have fled shooting

    A vehicle believed to be involved in a fatal South L.A. crash may have been fleeing the scene of a nearby shooting, Los Angeles police said Tuesday. 

    LAPD Officer Christopher No said that shots were fired and that police believe a car leaving the area ran through a red light and subsequently crashed,...

  • Fiery South L.A. vehicle crash kills 1; up to 4 injured

    A fiery vehicle crash in South L.A. killed at least one person and left as many as four others critically injured, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

    Spokesman Brian Humphrey said multiple cars collided near 261 West Manchester Ave. on Tuesday night. The crash caused one car to catch fire, and...

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