Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
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  • Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?

    Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?

    Five hours, 122 cups of tea and a dimly lit room. That might sound like the beginning of a bad joke or a fraternity hazing ritual. The reason I'm here, pencil in one hand and a matcha brew in the other, may be nearly as ill-advised. I'm judging iced tea at the North American Tea Championship, a...

  • 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...

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  • Homeless man arrested in 200-acre Montebello wildfire

    Homeless man arrested in 200-acre Montebello wildfire

    A brush fire broke out near the Rio Hondo River in Montebello on Sunday afternoon and grew to 200 acres by evening, closing roads, prompting evacuations at a nearby park and scorching an oil field. At Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, the Legg Lake and shooting range areas of the park were evacuated,...

  • Santeria priest claims sexual assault was part of healing ritual, police say

    Santeria priest claims sexual assault was part of healing ritual, police say

    A Santeria priest has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl during what he claimed were healing rituals, Montebello police said Thursday. Police are trying to find Pablo Pinto Mata, 46 — known as a “Santero,” or priest — who often performed healing rituals at his business, Los Angeles Import,...

  • Judge rules office records of ex-Sens. Calderon and Yee must be disclosed

    Judge rules office records of ex-Sens. Calderon and Yee must be disclosed

    A Sacramento County judge has ruled that meeting schedules, office calendars and other official records of former state Sens. Leland Yee and Ronald S. Calderon are public records, despite efforts by the state Legislature to block their release. The leader of the Senate said Friday that he would...

  • Domestic violence suspect turns himself in

    Domestic violence suspect turns himself in

    A domestic violence suspect who escaped from a hospital where he was undergoing psychiatric evalutation has turned himself in, Montebello police said Sunday. Conrado Ferrer, 23, turned himself in about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Family members had talked him into going back to the police, said Lt. Rick...

  • Boys' basketball: Former Cantwell-Sacred Heart guard Joey Covarrubias is on the mend

    Boys' basketball: Former Cantwell-Sacred Heart guard Joey Covarrubias is on the mend

    Former Cantwell-Sacred Heart guard Joey Covarrubias reported good news on Monday after battling Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of pediatric bone cancer. Covarrubias, who graduated last year, said in a tweet, "Met with my doctor today. Got great news. After 11 long crazy hard months of treatment I...

  • Former state Sen. Ronald Calderon preparing for corruption trial

    Former state Sen. Ronald Calderon preparing for corruption trial

    A year after his indictment on federal corruption charges, former state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon awaits his day in court, working as a manager at a real estate firm and helping his attorneys sift thousands of documents that include transcripts from undercover FBI wiretaps. Calderon, a Democrat from...

  • High-speed chase suspect charged, could face nearly 28 years in prison
    High-speed chase suspect charged, could face nearly 28 years in prison

    The man who authorities say led police on a dangerous high-speed chase across southeast Los Angeles and neighboring cities was charged Wednesday with five felonies, including carjacking.

    Aaron Lorta, 29, was charged with one count of carjacking, three counts of attempted carjacking and one count...

  • LAPD books man accused of carjacking, leading police on wild chase
    LAPD books man accused of carjacking, leading police on wild chase

    The man who allegedly led police on a wild freeway chase and carjacked a woman's car at gunpoint has been identified as 29-year-old Aaron Lorta.

    Lorta was arrested after a high-speed chase Monday that included the alleged carjacking caught on cellphone video and police shooting at the suspect on...

  • Boys' basketball: Cantwell-Sacred Heart coach is suspended for holding illegal Sunday practice

    Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart has suspended basketball coach George Zedan for one week and taken away two practices from the team after reporting a violation of Southern Section rules, Principal Robert Fraley confirmed on Tuesday.

    Zedan held an illegal practice session on Sunday. He was not...

  • State's 5 worst bottlenecks are in L.A., Orange counties
    State's 5 worst bottlenecks are in L.A., Orange counties

    During the evening rush hour, a section of Interstate 5 between the 710 and 605 freeways becomes a mosh pit of commuters as tens of thousands of vehicles outbound from L.A. squeeze from five lanes to four.

    The crush can last three hours or more and, by one estimate, wastes a total of 67 years of...

  • Olive Garden employees held at gunpoint during robbery
    Olive Garden employees held at gunpoint during robbery

    Employees at an Olive Garden in Montebello were held at gunpoint Monday by a man who stole cash from the restaurant, authorities said.

    About 8:15 a.m., a man entered the restaurant in the Shops at Montebello in the 1800 block of South Montebello Boulevard, according to a statement from the Los...

  • Amtrak train hits man near Pico Rivera, causing delays

    An Amtrak train en route to San Diego hit a man on the train tracks Friday evening, briefly halting rail service for several hundred Southern California commuters.

    Amtrak's 784 train struck the 25-year-old man about 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of Rivera Road and Serapis Avenue, said Los Angeles...

  • Man suspected of killing wife, abducting 4 sons pleads not guilty
    Man suspected of killing wife, abducting 4 sons pleads not guilty

    A Montebello father suspected of killing his wife and fleeing with his four boys before releasing them in a tense televised standoff with police pleaded not guilty Monday.

    Daniel Perez is charged with murder and four counts of kidnapping, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said....

  • Montebello father accused of kidnapping 4 sons booked on murder charge
    Montebello father accused of kidnapping 4 sons booked on murder charge

    A Montebello father who allegedly abducted his four sons and then engaged in a dramatic standoff with police on a San Diego Freeway has been booked on suspicion of murder and kidnapping, authorities said Friday.

    Daniel Perez is being held at the Montebello city jail and is scheduled to be arraigned...

  • Police ID body found in trunk of car as missing mother Erica Perez
    Police ID body found in trunk of car as missing mother Erica Perez

    The body of a woman found inside the trunk of a car was identified as Erica Perez, the mother of four boys who, along with their father, went missing last week but were found Thursday in San Diego, Montebello police said.

    The cause of her death will be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner’s...

  • After standoff, California man arrested in connection with slain wife, missing children
    After standoff, California man arrested in connection with slain wife, missing children

    The body of a woman found inside the trunk of a car was identified as Erica Perez, the mother of four boys who, along with their father, went missing last week but were found Thursday in San Diego, Montebello police said.

    The cause of her death will be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner’s...

  • Amber Alert: Dramatic scene on freeway as father's car found
    Amber Alert: Dramatic scene on freeway as father's car found

    An Amber Alert for four Montebello children appears to have come to a dramatic end on a San Diego County freeway after California Highway Patrol officers found and stopped the car believed to be carrying the kids.

    The alert was issued after the body of a woman was discovered in the trunk of one...

  • Motorcyclist killed, passenger seriously injured in Montebello crash
    Motorcyclist killed, passenger seriously injured in Montebello crash

    A motorcyclist was killed and his passenger seriously injured Sunday after the bike they were on hit a curb in Montebello, police said.

    The driver lost control of the motorcycle while traveling eastbound on the 400 block of E. Avenida De La Merced about 4:40 a.m., according to Montebello police....

  • Boys' basketball: Gligorije Rakocevic commits to Oregon State

    Gligorije Rakocevic, a 6-foot-10 senior center at Cantwell-Sacred Heart, has committed to Oregon State.

    The native of Serbia averaged 10.6 points as a junior. He had a high game of 22 points against Mayfair.

    He's the second Cantwell-Sacred Heart player to make a college commitment. Balsa Dragovic,...

  • Boys' basketball: Balsa Dragovic commits to Harvard

    Balsa Dragovic, a 6-foot-10 senior at Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart, has committed to Harvard.

    Dragovic arrived from Serbia as a freshman, attending Santa Margarita. He transferred to Cantwell-Sacred Heart. He had 205 rebounds last season and averaged 5.4 points. He has a 4.6 grade-point average.

    ...

  • Woman killed, two children hurt after being struck by truck in Montebello
    Woman killed, two children hurt after being struck by truck in Montebello

    Authorities said a woman was killed and two children were injured Wednesday evening in Montebello after they were struck by a truck.

    The fatal collision occured about 8:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Garfield Avenue, said Montebello Police Department Lt. Michael Bergman.

    It appears as though the woman...

  • Brotherly matchup does not end well for La Cañada High boys' water polo

    Water Polo: Spartans' Christian Flores sees team surrender seven-goal advantage in third quarter of 17-7 defeat to Montebello.

  • Australian mosquito found in L.A. County, first U.S. report of pest

    An Australian mosquito capable of transmitting viruses to humans and heartworm to dogs was found in the San Gabriel Valley, vector-control officials said Monday.

    It’s believed to be the first sighting of the species in North America.

    Aedes notoscriptus, nicknamed Aussie Mozzie, was first found...

  • Cantwell-Sacred Heart to hold Hall of Fame induction dinner

    Cantwell-Sacred Heart is holding its second annual Hall of Fame induction dinner on Saturday night at Steven's Steakhouse in the City of Commerce. It's sold out.

    Here's the names to be inducted: Salvador Reza (1950); William Rohrbacher (1950); Carlos Martinez (1952); Lonnie Davis (1956); Ralph...

  • Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?
    Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?

    Five hours, 122 cups of tea and a dimly lit room. That might sound like the beginning of a bad joke or a fraternity hazing ritual.

    The reason I'm here, pencil in one hand and a matcha brew in the other, may be nearly as ill-advised. I'm judging iced tea at the North American Tea Championship, a...

  • Homicide detectives investigate Montebello shooting death
    Homicide detectives investigate Montebello shooting death

    Homicide detectives late Wednesday were investigating the shooting death of a 25-year-old man in Montebello.

    Police responded to a call of shots fired near Sycamore and South Spruce streets, and found the victim was in a vehicle that had smashed into a telephone pole, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's...

  • Dogs have their day at neighborhood competition in Montebello
    Dogs have their day at neighborhood competition in Montebello

    The competition was going to be stiff. So Ashley Dutka pulled out all the stops.

    She put her dog, Chupacabra, in a spiked harness and groomed his white mohawk. To give his ego an added boost, she played "Eye of the Tiger" from the "Rocky III" soundtrack on repeat all the way to the big show.

    The...

  • Indictments in loan-mod fraud case

    3,500 victims drawn into scheme. Four Orange County people are charged in the scam and could face decades in prison if convicted, officials say.

  • Boys' basketball: Joey Covarrubias is fighting for his life
    Boys' basketball: Joey Covarrubias is fighting for his life

    Joey Covarrubias, a standout guard at Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart, undergoes his first chemotherapy treatment Thursday for a rare bone cancer, Ewing's sarcoma, that was discovered after he complained of shoulder pain. An X-ray found a tumor near his lung.

    He just signed a letter of intent...

  • Montebello councilwoman's husband pleads guilty in drug case
    Montebello councilwoman's husband pleads guilty in drug case

    The husband of a Montebello councilwoman who was charged with selling methamphetamine near a school pleaded guilty Thursday.

    Ruben Guerrero, 44, entered his plea to one count of possession for sale of a controlled substance and admitted to the allegation that the crime took place within 1,000 feet...

  • Sen. Ronald Calderon takes paid leave while fighting corruption charges
    Sen. Ronald Calderon takes paid leave while fighting corruption charges

    His departure will cost Democrats their supermajority in the Senate and could jeopardize policy priorities of the party and Gov. Jerry Brown.

  • Boys' basketball: 16 teams selected for Open Division playoffs

    The Southern Section named the 16 teams on Friday for its new Open Division playoffs. The final seedings and pairings won't be announced until Sunday.

    Nervous coaches waited around their computers until the selections were posted at 1 p.m. on Friday. There were coaches who preferred not to be selected...

  • Montebello hospital accused of dumping homeless patient will pay fine
    Montebello hospital accused of dumping homeless patient will pay fine

    A Montebello hospital accused of dumping a homeless patient on skid row will pay a $250,000 fine and face new protocols rather than face civil and criminal charges, according to the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

    Officials at the 224-bed Beverly Hospital in Montebello last year allegedly had...

  • Crash on 60 Freeway leaves woman dead; DUI suspect arrested
    Crash on 60 Freeway leaves woman dead; DUI suspect arrested

    A 28-year-old Commerce woman was killed early Sunday morning following a collision with a suspected drunk driver on the 60 Freeway near Montebello, authorities said.

    Lidia Ortega, 28, was not “properly restrained” when the 2001 Acura Integra she was riding in was struck by a another vehicle on...

  • Human skeletal remains found in Montebello neighborhood
    Human skeletal remains found in Montebello neighborhood

    Human skeletal remains were found in a neighborhood in Montebello, authorities said Tuesday night.

    The remains were found shortly after 4 p.m. in the 900 block of North Lincoln Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 

    Sheriff's homicide detectives were responding to assist...

  • Montebello mayor's husband pleads not guilty to felony drug charges
    Montebello mayor's husband pleads not guilty to felony drug charges

    The husband of Montebello's mayor pleaded not guilty Monday to six felony drug charges of selling methamphetamine multiple times to an undercover sheriff's detective.

    Ruben Guerrero, 44, allegedly sold drugs to a detective in audio- and video-recorded transactions in a parking lot across from Montebello...

  • Montebello mayor's husband allegedly sold meth to undercover cop
    Montebello mayor's husband allegedly sold meth to undercover cop

    The husband of Montebello's mayor allegedly sold methamphetamine more than once to an undercover sheriff's detective, authorities revealed Thursday, the same day he was charged with six felony drug counts.

    Ruben Guerrero, 44, allegedly sold the meth to an undercover detective who audio- and video-recorded...

  • Drug-dealing charges to be filed against husband of Montebello mayor
    Drug-dealing charges to be filed against husband of Montebello mayor

    The husband of Montebello’s mayor is expected to be charged Monday morning with selling methamphetamine near a school.

    Ruben Guerrero, who is out after posting $60,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on suspicion of operating as a small-time...

  • Montebello mayor 'shocked' by husband's meth arrest
    Montebello mayor 'shocked' by husband's meth arrest

    Montebello Mayor Christina Cortez told The Times on Thursday afternoon that she is "very disappointed and, like everyone else, shocked" by her husband's arrest on suspicion of selling methamphetamine.

    Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives took Ruben Guerrero, 44, into custody as he was leaving...

  • Montebello mayor's husband arrested on suspicion of selling meth
    Montebello mayor's husband arrested on suspicion of selling meth

    The husband of Montebello Mayor Christina Cortez was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    Ruben Guerrero, 44, was booked at the Sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station on suspicion of selling methamphetamine and...

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