Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST PM (Oct. 8)—Rain, snow, physics, corruption, pitbulls, burning church and the return of the 840-pound emerald

1. Cooler than usual: Rain, snow possible mid-week (NBC LA)

As a storm system pushes into Southern California, NWS says to expect measurable rainfall for most of L.A. County, with L.A. County mountains possibly seeing light snowfall at higher elevations on Wednesday night.

"The first cold storm of the season will bring light rain during the middle of this week as day-time high temperatures in mountain areas dip to 15 to 25 degrees below normal," reports NBC LA.

2. Mandatory pit bull spaying/neutering ordinance unanimously passed (KPCC)

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance to mandate spaying/neutering of pit bulls county-wide. The supervisors heard from the public before the vote who called into question whether the legislation unfairly singles pit bulls out as a dangerous breed.

The ordinance is set to go into effect in about a month – but only in unincorporated areas of Riverside County. There are certain exemptions, including pit bulls owned by licensed breeders or law enforcement.

3. Historically significant South LA church burns (KPCC)

Two firefighters were trapped inside a burning church on Tuesday when the roof collapsed at Crouch Memorial Church of God and Christ in South L.A. They were rescued from the century-old wood frame church and taken to a hospital in stable condition.

The church has historical significance to Los Angeles and the African-American community. “It’s certainly a centerpiece and an anchor to the 27th Street Historic District,” said Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy at the L.A. Conservancy.

4. 'Modest recovery' reported in LA's on-location film production (KPCC)

On-location film shoots in Los Angeles increased 9.5 percent in the third quarter of 2013 over the same period last year, according to FilmLA. The city's official film office calls the increase a sign of 'modest recovery' but says television production shoots lagged.

From July through September, there were 11,792 production days compared to 10,773 in the same period of 2012. Television production days fell 3.6 percent, with double-digit drops in on-location reality, sitcom and Web-Based production sectors. 

5. Romancing the 840-pound stone (CBS LA)

Officials are again trying to determine the rightful owner of a 840-pound Bahia Emerald worth $372 million currently being held by LASD.

Three feet tall with roughly 180,000 carats of emerald crystals, the rock was unearthed in 2001 in Brazil. Since, it's storied to have been in a New Orleans vault that flooded during Hurricane Katrina, stolen from a warehouse in El Monte, and briefly sighted in Idaho. The gem was seized in Las Vegas in 2008.

6. Obama: 'Stop the excuses. Let's take a vote' (NPR)

In a press conference that lasted more than an hour, President Obama said he was willing to talk about anything, as long as Republicans open the government and raise the debt ceiling, even if its for a short period of time.

Obama: "Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown, right now; let's put people back to work...We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy...we're not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills."

7. Higgs boson 'God particle' researchers awarded Nobel Prize in physics (KPCC)

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

8. Judge refuses inquiry into Rizzo's Bell corruption plea (KPCC)

A judge refused to order a hearing disclosing details of her decision last week allowing former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo to plead no contest to 69 corruption charges.

An attorney for Rizzo's co-defendant, Angela Spaccia, said Tuesday that Judge Kathleen Kennedy violated his client's rights by personally negotiating a plea bargain that requires Rizzo to testify for the prosecution in Spaccia's trial. Prosecutors were also accused of conspiring with Rizzo's lawyer to keep the press from finding out about the plea hearing.

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