Today’s Headlines: U.S. shoots down fourth unidentified object in eight days

U.S. Navy sailors recover a high-altitude surveillance balloon Feb. 5 off the coast of Myrtle Beach, S.C.
(U.S. Navy )

Hello, it’s Monday, Feb. 13, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today.


U.S. shoots downs fourth unidentified object in eight days. President Biden on Sunday ordered U.S. fighter jets to shoot down an unidentified object over Lake Huron — the third in as many days.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that, on his order, a U.S. fighter jet shot down an “unidentified object” flying over the Yukon. The U.S. took similar action against an object over Alaska on Friday. Officials said the objects were flying at altitudes that posed a threat to commercial aircraft.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Sunday that the Alaska and Canada objects were believed to be balloons, though much smaller than the Chinese balloon alleged to be spy aircraft that U.S. authorities shot down Feb. 4 off South Carolina. The source and purpose of the three objects downed over the weekend is not clear.


A Los Angeles County search-and-rescue team joins Turkey’s earthquake response. After a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that jolted southern Turkey and northern Syria left thousands dead or missing, the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team was ready to assist.

Since their deployment, the crew members have engaged in a dozen searches a day and undertaken hours-long tunneling efforts at buildings where they detected strong signs of life. They have consulted with local personnel on rescue attempts, in one case providing an assist with a rescue. They have also surveyed some 2,000 buildings to determine their suitability for habitation.

But first they had to get there.

California’s biggest environmental cleanup leaves contamination and frustration. The state’s largest and most expensive environmental cleanup has failed to properly remove lead pollution from some homes and neighborhoods near a notorious battery recycler in southeast Los Angeles County, leaving residents at continued risk, a Times investigation shows.

The high lead concentrations have raised serious questions about the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s oversight of the $750-million project.


How L.A. became hopelessly devoted to radio dedication shows. Calling into a radio station might seem like a relic from another era — like holding up a boombox beneath a bedroom window or racing through an airport to stop the love of your life from getting on a flight.

But the shows have a hold on listeners, writes The Times’ Julia Carmel. Even in the age of cellphones and Spotify, legions of fans still tune in nightly.

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Vehicles cross a bridge over a large lake
The Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville on Feb. 7 in Oroville, Calif.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Dramatic photos show Lake Oroville’s rise after epic storms. The largest reservoir on the State Water Project looked noticeably fuller in photos taken before and after the wave of storms. State data show the lake was at 68% of its capacity on Friday — up from 28% just two months prior.

Shootings, theft and other crime test Portland’s progressive strain. Long hailed as a model of conscientious urban planning and civic engagement, Portland, Ore., is facing skyrocketing numbers of homeless people, soaring crime and strikingly high levels of public dissatisfaction with what the city is doing about it.


Years of bad blood and violence between warring families led to the Goshen massacre. When authorities arrested a pair of suspects in the deaths of six people — including a woman and her baby — they discovered a simmering feud between two families who lived and hated one another on the same desolate patch of land.


LAUSD bus drivers, food workers and teacher aides authorize a strike. Members of the union that represents most nonteaching employees in Los Angeles schools overwhelmingly voted to allow their leaders to call a strike if negotiations don’t lead to an agreement.

Elliot Blair, the Orange County deputy public defender who died in Mexico, is remembered for his generosity. On Saturday, friends and family gathered at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove to celebrate Blair’s life. The young lawyer died in January under mysterious circumstances at a resort in Rosarito.

Former Dodger Yasiel Puig alleges anti-Black bias behind criminal charges. The former outfielder said he will fight at trial charges that he lied to federal authorities conducting a sports gambling investigation. He pleaded not guilty last week in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

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The deaths of three sisters spurred new thinking about how to save lives at the border. Though hundreds of migrants die each year along the U.S.-Mexico border, the deaths of Juana, Margarita and Paula Santos Arce three years ago struck a raw nerve for those performing humanitarian water and supply drops in San Diego County.


Migrants seeking U.S. sponsors find questionable offers online. An underground market of people demanding money for sponsorship has emerged since the Biden administration announced in January that it would accept 30,000 immigrants each month arriving by air from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.

U.S. State Department warns Americans to avoid parts of Mexico over ongoing violence. Officials renewed warnings as tourists make travel plans for spring break. Six Mexican states received the highest warning from the department.


Rihanna plays the hits in the Super Bowl halftime show. The 34-year-old superstar made her long-awaited return to the stage with a fiery halftime performance, her first in years. After the show, a rep comfirmed that the singer is pregnant with her second child.

Review: Conflict, intrigue and family dysfunction converge in ‘The First Deep Breath.’ A recent addition to the family drama genre by Lee Edward Colston II, the play hews closely to haunted protocol, from a Black cultural perspective. The content is fresh, but the style is exceedingly familiar, writes Times theater critic Charles McNulty.

Julian Wasser, house photographer of L.A.’s icons, dies at 89. A photographer for Time magazine in the 1960s and ’70s, Wasser leaves behind a legacy of images of famous people — Joan Didion, Eve Babitz and Paul McCartney among them — obtained through a combination of timing, savvy and personal charisma.


Crypto sits out the Super Bowl after a miserable year. Less than a year ago, as the Rams and Bengals duked it out on the SoFi Stadium gridiron for Super Bowl LVI, more than 100 million viewers were met with ads promising a chance to hop on the wave of the future. Then the industry hit a decline.


More San Francisco homes are selling below asking price. Could that trend come to L.A.? New data reveal that if not a buyer’s market, the Bay Area is becoming a more buyer-friendly market. And a similar pattern may be manifesting in Southern California.

San Pedro Fish Market to close Ports O’ Call site after more than six decades. The fish market — one of the highest-grossing in the region — announced that the San Pedro location would shutter to make way for a waterfront development, though the market owners hope to expand with a larger space nearby.


Patrick Mahomes overcomes ankle injury to lead Chiefs past Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City quarterback, who hobbled into the halftime locker room wincing in pain, emerged a hero in the second half, hoisting the Chiefs out of a 10-point hole and leading them to a 38-35 victory over the mighty Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on Sunday.

Plaschke: Patrick Mahomes is chasing Tom Brady for GOAT after gutsy Super Bowl win. In arguably the most brilliantly resilient 90 minutes of football in Super Bowl history, Mahomes staggered out for the second half and proceeded to beat the Eagles with one leg tied behind his back.

Lakers star LeBron James questionable for Monday’s game vs. Portland. James, who was listed as questionable for the Golden State game Saturday before he was downgraded to out, has missed the two games since he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record on Tuesday.

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The balloon is gone, but it’s still making U.S.-China relations harder to manage. The incident, and the larger Chinese program it revealed, is a serious obstacle to one of Biden’s top foreign policy goals: stabilizing the prickly U.S. relationship with Beijing.

Skid Row Housing Trust’s downfall is a teachable moment for L.A., not a reason to give up. The financial demise of Skid Row Housing Trust is not a warning to avoid building housing for homeless people. It’s a cautionary tale about what’s involved in maintaining that housing once it’s built.


A woman in red boots and a cowboy hat sits on a stage with a man in brown cowboy boots
Bailey Salisbury and Sean Monaghan, founders of Stud Country.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Hootin’ and hollerin’ at L.A.’s liveliest queer line-dancing party. While catering country and western line dancing to a queer crowd may seem like a novel concept, it’s anything but. In Los Angeles, queer line dancing has a long history rooted in the defunct Studio City bar Oil Can Harry’s.

It’s a legacy that continues with Stud Country — a queer line dancing class that grew out of pandemic Zoom classes and into a popular weekly event.


The final original peanuts comic.
The final original peanuts comic.
(Los Angeles Times)

Charles M. Schulz published the final Peanuts comic on this day in 2000. Incredibly, he died the same day, at the age of 77.

His obituary in the L.A. Times noted, “A master storyteller to the end, Schulz’s goodbye message to more than 355 million daily readers worldwide became his own epitaph.”

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