Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Historic winter storm in California

Snow flurries fall while tractor trailers and automobiles travel along Interstate 5 at the Tejon Pass along the Grapevine.
Snow flurries fall while tractor trailers and automobiles travel along Interstate 5 at the Tejon Pass along the Grapevine on Thursday.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Feb. 25.

Here’s a look at the top stories of the last week

Rare weather conditions are fueling California’s ‘major and unusual’ snow, blizzard warning. The powerful winter storm moving through California is expected to drop heaps of rain, sleet and snow across much of the state, including Southern California, where several feet of fresh powder could fall in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties at elevations as low as 1,500 feet.

More on the California storm

Housekeeper’s husband is arrested in slaying of L.A. Bishop David G. O’Connell. Authorities suspect Carlos Medina, 61, of fatally shooting O’Connell at the bishop’s home, sources said.

See the photos behind this week’s biggest stories: California marks a somber toll, a powerful snowmaker storm blankets its mountains and one woman survives a 200-foot hiking fall.

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Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison for Los Angeles rape. The sentence all but ensures that the disgraced Hollywood kingmaker will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Crips gang member sentenced to 60 years in prison in murder of Nipsey Hussle. A Crips gang member was sentenced to at least 60 years in prison for killing beloved rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his Crenshaw clothing store in 2019.

An Orange County coastal city banned balloons. Laguna Beach adopts an ordinance prohibiting the sale, public use and distribution of balloons. Here’s why.

Amid well-drilling and pumping, calls grow for stronger California water regulation. With more wells at risk of running dry, activists are urging the state to intervene in five Central Valley areas where they say plans are inadequate to combat chronic overpumping.

COVID-19 deaths top 100,000 in California. Even in a time of plentiful vaccines and therapeutics, California is still tallying more than 20 COVID-19 deaths every day, on average.

Hollywood studios plan for a writers’ strike — even before negotiations have started. Studios and producers are preparing for a possible writers’ strike, a month before negotiations are set to begin with the Writers Guild of America.


L.A. wants to evict families living in a luxury hotel since a botched 2021 fireworks detonation. L.A. officials told families displaced by the botched 2021 fireworks detonation they have to move out by March 31, leaving some worried about shelter.

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ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

An asteroid will just miss us in 2029. Scientists are making the most of a rare opportunity. A huge asteroid will fly by Earth in April 2029. It won’t be close enough to hit us, but it will be close enough to study, so scientists are getting ready. Here’s how.

Best coffee city in the world? Los Angeles. Find the best cafes, freshest brews and your favorite beans in the coffee-shop capital of the world.

Canyon Country Store preserves Laurel Canyon’s music history. Tommy Bina, who owns the Canyon Country Store — part grocery store, part homespun museum — is on a mission “to bring back the spirit of Laurel Canyon.”

Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Kenya Romero. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to


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