Brian Watt Business and Economics Reporter

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Brian Watt is a Business and Economics Reporter for KPCC. He joined the KPCC news team in 2007. Prior to that, he worked as a producer at "Marketplace," where he filed a number of his own stories and even filled in some mornings as host.

Brian holds degrees in Theater from Yale University and the Sorbonne, and has worked as an actor in France, Italy, Brazil, Hungary and Hollywood. He appeared in a few television shows, including "The West Wing," "Judging Amy," and "The District."

Stories by Brian Watt

Two years after Chatsworth crash, Metrolink tries to look forward

Sunday marks two years since a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth. The crash killed 25 people and injured 135. The deadliest crash in the 18 years since Metrolink trains have been running has led to a lot of changes at the commuter rail service. One of them is new Chief Executive Officer John Fenton.

HempCon attendees split on Proposition 19

HempCon got underway today at the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center. The medical marijuana expo features more than a hundred vendors of hemp products, fancy pipes and bongs, and in home pot-cultivation systems.

Salvation Army helps students pay for back-to-school clothing

On 16-year-old Khalfani Jones' back-to-school clothes list - cargo shorts, sweaters, socks and underwear. Jones, who has lived in the Westwood Transitional Village since February, is going back to school in style, thanks to the Salvation Army's back-to-school clothes program. Jones was one of 12,000 homeless kids nationwide who got an $80 gift card for clothes at Target under the program.

LA sheriff downplays cash cut, response time link

Response times to 911 emergency calls have lengthened for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Lee Baca is monitoring the effects of recent budget cuts at the department.

ABM Industries settles sexual harassment suit with female janitorial workers

Maintenance contractor ABM Industries has agreed to pay a settlement of close to $6 million to 21 Latina janitorial workers in California. The workers had filed a class action lawsuit against the company for what they described as egregious sexual harassment.

Suspect in West Hollywood triple homicide confesses to murder

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives say Harold Yong Park has confessed to fatally shooting three men in West Hollywood last Thursday night after a drug deal gone bad.

Calif. lawmaker questions liability cap on Metrolink train crash

A group of victims and relatives of victims from Metrolink’s Chatsworth crash two years ago met privately today in Simi Valley with Congressman Elton Gallegly to discuss the proposed $200 million settlement from Metrolink and Connex.

Rave promoter Insomniac sues Los Angeles over Tiesto concert cancelation

Insomniac, Inc. – the promoter for raves and other music shows - is suing the city of Los Angeles for cancelling an October concert at the L.A. Convention Center. Insomniac staged the Electric Daisy Carnival rave event at the Coliseum in June where a 15-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose.

Residents pushing for overnight parking restrictions in Venice

People who live in Venice have long complained about the recreational vehicles, campers and other big vehicles often parked in front of their homes. Now, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl is offering an opportunity for some relief.

Rave promoter sues LA over cancellation of October concert

The promoter of a rave event in June that ended with the death of a 15-year-old girl is suing the city of Los Angeles over the cancellation of a concert scheduled in October at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Santa Monica bus increases fares, introduces new deals

For years, 75 cents has gotten riders pretty far on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus. For a quarter of a century, seniors have only paid a quarter. Starting Sunday, everyone will need an extra quarter.

California college leaders speak out on budget delays, cutbacks

The heads of higher education in California today pressured the governor and state legislature to approve a long-awaited budget so they could relieve a bottleneck to allow more students through classroom doors.

Most Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries ineligible to remain open

The Los Angeles City Clerk’s office has determined that about 75 percent of the medical marijuana dispensaries that want to stay open under the city’s new ordinance will have to shut down. The city clerk surveyed the paperwork from 169 dispensaries that already operated under the city’s interim ordinance. Only 41 of them met the requirements of the new ordinance.

Authorities arrest dozens in investigation of Pueblo Bishops Bloods street gang [Updated]

Federal and local authorities arrested dozens of people Wednesday morning in the culmination of an investigation into the Pueblo Bishops Bloods street gang.

Possible pipe bomb found at South LA's Manual Arts High School [Updated]

A possible pipe bomb was found today on the campus of Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles, and about 2,000 students and staff were evacuated to an athletic field while a bomb squad worked to remove the item.