Suspect in fatal attack of Ventura restaurant patron was reported to police hours earlier, authorities say

A homeless man who randomly stabbed a patron in a crowded Ventura restaurant to death as his 5-year-old daughter sat on his lap was reported hours earlier for disruptive behavior, but police determined he was not a threat, authorities said Saturday. Jamal Jackson, 49, is facing a first-degree murder…

Bakersfield brothers found in Burbank car were shot to death, coroner says

Two brothers who were found dead in an abandoned car in Burbank earlier this week were shot and killed, coroner’s officials determined Saturday. Jan Carlos Amiama, 21, and his 23-year-old brother Lucas Josh Amiama died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Los Angeles County…

Compton shooting leaves woman dead, child in critical condition

An argument turned deadly in Compton early Saturday after a man shot and killed his girlfriend and wounded the couple’s young daughter, investigators said. Juan Rodriguez, 29, of Compton, was arrested on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon after gunfire broke out in the 12400 block…

Inmate found dead in San Diego County jail

An inmate was found dead in San Diego County’s Central Jail on Saturday, officials said. There was no initial evidence of foul play or suicide, said Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Blevins. Homicide detectives were investigating. The inmate’s name, age and the charges on which he was being held were not…

Salk Institute places a star geneticist on leave over allegations about his conduct

The Salk Institute in La Jolla said Saturday that it placed star cancer scientist Inder Verma on leave due to unspecified allegations, further rocking a center that was earlier accused of gender discrimination by three of its female professors. The Institute did not say whether the allegations…

First day of Los Angeles Times Festival of Books offers a little something for everyone

President Trump’s immigration policies, L.A.’s homeless crisis, the women’s movement and the culture of food were just a few of the topics covered during the first day of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the USC campus. The 23rd annual festival, which celebrates reading and storytelling,…

Metro L.A. offering free bus and train rides on Sunday to commemorate Earth Day

Angelenos interested in helping cut down pollution can do so on the cheap this Sunday. In honor of Earth Day, Metro Los Angeles will be offering free rides on all bus and rail lines on April 22, the official date of the annual event. The transit service announced the free…

El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills wins the 2018 U.S. Academic Decathlon

El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills has won the 2018 U.S. Academic Decathlon in Frisco, Texas, officials said. The winner was announced at a ceremony earlier Saturday. “Congratulations to El Camino Real Charter High School for another impressive victory,” said Vivian Ekchian, interim…

Tens of thousands expected to attend annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which kicks off today

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend this weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest event of its kind in the country. The 23rd annual festival, which celebrates reading and storytelling, got underway at 10 a.m. Saturday at the USC campus near downtown L.A. Authors…

City councilman calls for marijuana ‘amnesty boxes’ at LAX

A Los Angeles City Council member wants to give travelers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport with marijuana in their possession the option to dump the legal drug in a so-called “amnesty box” before going through security. The effort by Councilman Mitch Englander touches on a sort of…

Child porn found at San Diego elementary school teacher’s home

A San Diego elementary school teacher was arrested this week on suspicion of distributing child pornography, authorities said. David Gordon Weaks, 59, a fifth-grade teacher at Rosa Park Elementary School in City Heights, has worked for the San Diego Unified School District for 21 years, according…

Los Angeles Times book prizes awarded to literary veterans, emerging authors

Abortion, gun violence, the global refugee crisis and the degradation of the Great Lakes were among the subjects of books honored Friday at the 38th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. The awards were presented at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on the eve of the two-day L.A. Times Festival of Books,…

Once more, L.A. school board decision on new leader seems to stall

After more than five hours in closed session, the Los Angeles Board of Education recessed its meeting Friday without announcing a new superintendent for the nation’s second-largest school system. The board is scheduled to resume deliberations May 1. Most of the speculation has centered on former…

Federal judge delays ruling in Stormy Daniels lawsuit against Trump and his personal lawyer

A federal judge postponed a ruling on a request by President Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a 90-day delay of a lawsuit filed against them by porn star Stormy Daniels, noting that Cohen is now the subject of a federal investigation. U.S. District Court Judge S. James…

LAPD officer arrested on 3 counts of murder in suspected DUI crash in Whittier

A Los Angeles police officer was arrested Friday and charged with three counts of murder in connection with a suspected DUI crash in Whittier last fall, authorities said. Edgar Verduzco, 26, was taken into custody at a friend’s home about 7:30 a.m. Friday and will be booked on suspicion of…

Essential California: The new joints in town

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, April 20, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES West Hollywood is poised to allow cannabis lounges where people can consume the once-taboo product in a social setting. The city will join San Francisco,…

At UC Berkeley, a squirrel ran for student Senate and won — driving some people nuts

The candidate for a seat in the UC Berkeley student Senate promised safe spaces for squirrels, better access to acorns and support groups for those experiencing habitat loss. His name was Furry Boi, he campaigned in a squirrel suit and he attracted immediate attention. “omg i love him he’s so…

Some California cities want Amsterdam-style pot lounges, push limits of marijuana legalization

West Hollywood likes to party. For decades, it has embraced its gay and lesbian bars and the rock ’n’ roll debauchery of the Sunset Strip. It runs a free nightlife trolley called The PickUp, with a jar of free condoms by the door. Now, it’s embracing a different type of…

L.A. sheriff’s narcotics detective accused of involvement in drug-trafficking operation can’t be fired, court says

Carlos Arellano was a narcotics detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department when the agency received a disturbing tip that he was fraternizing with criminals. After months of investigating, the department accused him of being involved with a drug-trafficking organization, cultivating…

He charged tuition for help getting student visas in ‘pay-to-stay’ scheme. A judge gave him 15 months in prison

The four schools enrolled hundreds of foreign nationals and gave them immigration documents that helped them secure student visas. Students paid thousands in tuition, federal prosecutors said, but many of them rarely, or never, showed up to class. The discrepancy led investigators to uncover a…

Montebello woman faces 112 counts after scamming immigrants out of $630,000, prosecutors say

From her Montebello home, Romina Aida Zadorian told her immigrant clients she could help them quickly process their visa applications and help their families petition to immigrate to the U.S. She said she had special government connections, prosecutors said. Some thought she was an attorney. Los…

In recorded jail call, Robert Durst tells friend he regrets doing ‘The Jinx’

In a jail call recorded in 2015, Robert Durst told a friend he regretted giving interviews to the producers of “The Jinx,” saying he realized while watching the six-part HBO documentary that he “definitely had a problem.” The New York real estate scion was arrested in connection with the slaying…

Irvine man charged in threats to kill prominent Jews

A 26-year-old Irvine man who prosecutors say threatened to kill prominent Jews was charged Thursday on suspicion of attempted hate crime threats, officials said. Investigators found Nicholas Rose in possession of “kill lists” of Jewish people, a list of steps titled “killing my first Jew,” and…

Soka University grad convicted of threatening violence in YouTube videos: ‘Am I gonna have to go on a killing spree?’

In the video, David Kenneth Smith is in a bathtub, shirtless, a black semiautomatic handgun resting on his chest. He gripes about his alma mater, Soka University, in a video he titled “Stories From College.” On Halloween of last year, he began an email exchange with a university staffer he…

Long-awaited plan for San Gabriel Mountains National Monument limits new mining and energy development

New oil, gas and mineral exploration and development will be barred in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument under a long-awaited management plan, released Thursday, governing the largest wilderness in Los Angeles County. The U.S. Forest Service plan prioritizes environmental protection over…

State audit calls for more funding and statewide agency to address nation’s worst homelessness problem

California’s top auditor Thursday sharply criticized the state’s response to homelessness, recommending more spending and a stronger state role. “California should do more to address homelessness,” the audit concluded. “California has more people experiencing homelessness than any other state in…

Cal State Fresno professor under fire for tweets attacking Barbara Bush

A series of controversial tweets a Cal State Fresno English professor posted Tuesday evening mocking the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush has sparked intense backlash online as well as a university inquiry. Randa Jarrar, an author and associate professor who teaches creative writing at the…

Wind-driven brush fire closes Highway 395 in Inyo County

A wind-driven brush fire in Inyo County has shut down Highway 395 between Manzanar and Lone Pine, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday. The Spillway fire began before noon and has spread across 120 acres east of the highway, pushed by 20 mph winds, the California Department of Forestry and…

Brother of Stephon Clark jailed on suspicion of making threats, harassing 911 call

The brother of a man who was shot to death by Sacramento police — an episode that sparked widespread community protest — has been arrested on suspicion of making threats and annoying or harassing calls to 911, according to county jail records. Stevante Ralonzo Clark, 25, was arrested by Sacramento…

16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of stabbing and killing South El Monte teen

Homicide investigators have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of stabbing and killing another teen whose body was found by the San Gabriel River, authorities said. L.A. County coroner’s officials identified the victim as Jeremy Sanchez, 17, of South El Monte. Coroner’s investigators are still…