Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST PM (Sep. 16)—Lake Tahoe, Shasta Dam, LA River, not a dream for Bob Newhart, nightmarish rampage at Navy Yard

1. LA River revamp plans floated; River watchers think it doesn’t go far enough (KPCC)

The Army Corps of Engineers has chosen a plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The $453-million plan is the second cheapest of four options shortlisted in a feasibility study released late last week.

The plan, known as Alternative 13, would revitalize an 11-mile stretch of the river between Griffith Park and Downtown by removing concrete from the bottom of the river and widening it to create a freshwater marsh by Glassell Park.

2. Navy Yard shooting: Number of confirmed dead continues to rise (KPCC)

By mid-day Monday, officials revised the number killed to 12 in a shooting rampage at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. earlier that morning. The D.C. police chief also confirmed that one gunman, Aaron Alexis, was dead and that officers were searching for other potential shooters.

About 3,000 people are said to work at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters. The system command builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems.

3. Nevada wins in Lake Tahoe struggle against California (KPCC)

The crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe are being clouded by a contentious debate between California and Nevada over how to manage the future of this natural wonder.

Last week, the California legislature voted to give more ground to Nevada in the ongoing dispute. The ruling could have environmental repercussions and consequences for legacy and future development.

4. KJAZZ host Jerry Sharell held hostage, stabbed with machete in Woodland Hills (KPCC)

Authorities say Jerry Sharell, a former music executive and host of "Sundays With Sinatra" on radio station KJAZZ, is in critical condition in L.A. after being allegedly cut on the neck with a machete by his girlfriend's suicidal ex-husband.

Officials said the couple was held hostage for more than five hours Sunday at the woman's Woodland Hills home before she was able to get away and call police. The suspect, who slit his own wrists, and the victim were both hospitalized. The woman was also injured.

5. Monkeys and tigers and ostriches—No way. (KPCC)

 West Hollywood will vote Monday on whether to join Pasadena, Irvine and other SoCal cities in prohibiting exotic animal performances. Monkeys, tigers, elephants and ostriches are some of the wild animals protected under the ban. The proposal applies to circuses and other displays currently legal across the state.

 "Let's say there's a new brand of sneakers called ocelots and they decide to have a kickoff party...and then decide to have a bunch of wild ocelots caged up for people to gawk at," said City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang. "I think that's inappropriate."

6. Who will lead the world economy? (KPCC)

The unexpected defection a small group of Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee led to Lawrence Summers withdrawing from the race for Federal Reserve chief. A top economic advisor of President Obama, Summers says he pulled out in the interest of national economic recovery.

Many lawmakers, economists and academics favor the Fed’s current Vice Chair Janet Yellen for the post. The stock and bond market responded positively to the news on Monday.

7. UN: 'Convincing evidence' of Syria chemical attack (KPCC)

U.N. inspectors said Monday there is "clear and convincing evidence" that chemical weapons were used in a large scale massacre that killed hundreds of people last month in Syria. Inspectors were mandated to report on whether chemical weapons were used, and if so which ones — not on who was responsible.

The report points to surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin used in the Ghouta area of Damascus. The report also mentioned the areas of Ein Tarma, Moadamiyeh and Zamalka.

8. How to improve LA schools? Kids say better food, increased athletics, and a seat on the Board of Education (KPCC)

The future of the L.A. Unified School District is endlessly debated by politicians, parents, teachers and unions. This weekend, 160 high school student leaders got their chance to weigh in, at a daylong forum hosted by United Way.

Held on the 30th floor of a downtown skyscraper, the forum looked more like a management retreat as students considered questions in breakout groups and filled out yellow Post-Its and affixed them to the walls.

9. Same dam water, new dam battle (KPCC)

After a fairly dry year, California's firefighters, farmers, and fisherman are hoping for more rainfall this winter. Meanwhile, debate and controversy continues over Shasta Dam, California's largest reservoir, and whether it should be even larger to stave off water shortages.

The idea of raising the dam's height has been bandied about for a decade. Shasta Dam currently stands at 602 feet. The proposed increase would add about 14 percent to the lake’s existing capacity.

10. Emmys: More than just a dream for Bob Newhart (KPCC)

Bob Newhart, among TV's most enduring stars with shows stretching back more than five decades, wept as he finally captured his first Emmy Award. The 84-year-old was honored Sunday for his guest role on "The Big Bang Theory" as Professor Proton, a down-on-his-luck former host of a children's science show.

"This is my seventh shot at this. ... I just love this very much," he said, gazing tearfully at the trophy in his hand as the audience gave him a standing ovation.

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