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Southern California breaking news and trends

6 things to know before dinner—Real estate rebound, Minecraft math, Miramonte money, Newport Beach protests protesting

Photo by DAVID MELCHOR DIAZ via Flickr Creative Commons

1. 'Minecraft' is blowing up the classroom (KPCC)

At New Los Angeles Charter School last year, seventh graders learned the humanities by founding their own civilizations - and living in them. Educators say the computer game Minecraft can teach kids everything from math to genetics. 

The project required kids to work together in groups to survive without starving or running out of food. Then they built their own society with the aspects of actual civilizations.

2. 8 year high for SoCal home sales (KPCC)

A real estate tracking firm said Wednesday that Southern California home sales hit an eight-year high in July, climbing 26 percent compared to a year ago.

The median price for homes sold in six counties was $385,000. The firm says the number of homes sold is approaching normal levels.

3. LA Unified starts paying alleged sex abuse victims (KPCC)

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Wednesday morning that two alleged victims of sexual abuse at Miramonte Elementary School have received the money promised in settlement offers.

They're among 61 students who reached settlements with the district in March for alleged abuse at the hands of former third grade teacher Mark Berndt. The settlements averaged about $500,000 apiece.

4. Report: Apple TV drops behind Roku (Deadline)

A new report on trends in connected TV finds that In homes with streaming media devices about 37 percent are using Roku compared to the 24 percent primarily using Apple TV.

In all, 14 percent of surveyed households had a streaming media device — that's about double the number from two years ago.

5. The one where the man says the wrong thing about women (NPR)

Bustle.com, a new women's site staffed by editors and writers from traditionally female-oriented organizations, is being led by Bryan Goldberg, a man, whose previous venture was the multimillion-dollar sports site Bleacher Report.

Goldberg, in announcing the launch of his new lady-targeted venture, managed to upset many of his lady targets with the claim that his site is "different" for recognizing the "diverse interests" of women. 

6. Newport Beach in protest of picketing (KPCC)

Prompted in part by a protest outside the home of a doctor who supports abortion rights, Newport Beach has become the latest city to ban picketing in neighborhoods. The city joins three other Orange County areas with similar bans.

City council decided to keep protesters at least 300 feet away from a house. The new rule does not affect protests held in public places. Some residents spoke out against the ban maintaining it violates free speech rights.

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