Southern California breaking news and trends

Pasadena power outage leaves city in the dark

Courtesy Luis Gomez

The view (or lack thereof) from East Villa Street and North Altadena Drive in Pasadena. A power outage let a large section of Pasadena darkened Monday night.

A large power outage left city streets and homes in the dark in Pasadena Monday night.

A Pasadena Water and Power spokeswoman said a couple thousand homes in southeast Pasadena were affected. 

Update 8:54 p.m.: PWP: Power will be back within the hour

Pasadena Water and Power says power for the southeast areas of the city will be restored within the hour. 

They say they've determined the cause to have been a mylar balloon that got caught in the city's wires.

8:44 p.m.: Pasadena power outage leaves city in the dark

PWP spokeswoman Wendy De Leon said the lights went out at around 7:30 p.m.. Initial reports suggest the outage was caused by a mylar balloon getting tangled in the utility's wires.

"Unfortunately because mylar balloons have metal in them, when they hit our wires, they cause outages. That's why it's really important for people to dispose of their balloons when they're done with them," she said. 


Officer is released from hospital after fatal Beverly Hills crash

Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Getty Images/Getty Images

A female officer who was critically injured in a crash Friday that killed her partner in Beverly Hills was released late Saturday, LAPD confirmed. 

The officer, a trainee who had recently joined the force, left Cedars Sinai Hospital late Saturday, Los Angeles police told CBS2. LAPD declined to release her name. 

An investigation is still underway in the deadly crash, with police not sure what caused a truck to slam into the police cruiser on Robert Lane and Loma Vista Drive. LAPD Chief Beck said preliminary findings indicated that the accident may have been caused by a brake failure on the part of the truck.

The neighborhood was known by residents to have very steep streets, and it is a difficult area for truck drivers to drive in, Beck said. 

A 16-year veteran, Nicholas Choung Lee, 40, was killed in the accident. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.


Calderon investigation: State Sen. Ron Calderon arraigned on corruption, money laundering charges (Updated)

Mark Geragos

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Mark Geragos, attorney for State Senator Ron Calderon, says his client "is in relatively good spirits, given the situation. It's obviously a very trying situation for him."

Mack Jenkins

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mack Jenkins said Ron Calderon's indictment is "the first step in a long process of seeking out justice for corrupt politicians."

Early Primary

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, left, smiles as he walks through the Capitol with his brother, then-Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier., Tuesday, March 6, 2007.

Timeline | Key players | Read the indictment

State Sen. Ron Calderon was arraigned in federal court Monday afternoon on charges that were outlined in an indictment announced last Friday by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. The public corruption charges include bribery and money laundering.

Calderon, handcuffed and shackled at the waist, pleaded not guilty. He will be released on a $50,000 bond, which was signed by his wife. 

The trial date was set for April 22.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mack Jenkins, who is leading Calderon's  prosecution, said this is "the first step in a long process of seeking out justice for corrupt politicians." When the indictment was announced last Friday, federal officials said their investigation is continuing.

Meanwhile, Calderon's senate colleagues continued to consider his fate Monday afternoon in Sacramento. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Calderon would be given a week to resign or take a leave of absence before the senate moves ahead with a suspension vote.


Oscars 2014: Hollywood street, sidewalk closures go into effect Sunday

Oscar street closures


By the end of the week, closures will go into effect on many of the streets surrounding the annual event.

Road closures and detours for next week's 86th Academy Awards will begin to go into effect in Hollywood Sunday night. 

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation says that some sidewalks and alleyways have already been closed. More will be blocked off starting at 10 p.m. Sunday, and Hollywood Boulevard will be closed between Orange Drive and Highland Ave. The agency says it will begin aggressively ticketing and towing once the restrictions go into effect.

Here's a list of Sunday's planned closures: 

  • The south sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard between Orange and Highland
  • will close at 6 p.m., with the exception of an 8-foot pedestrian access.
  • The north sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard directly in front of the
  • Dolby Theatre portal will close at 10 p.m.
  • The north sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard from Highland to Orange,
  • with the exception of an 8-foot pedestrian access, will close at 10 p.m.
  • The pedestrian mid-block crosswalk on Hollywood Boulevard between
  • Highland and Orange will close at 10 p.m.


Calderon corruption charges: Who's who in the investigation of California state Sen. Ron Calderon

ron calderon photo

Alice Walton/KPCC

California state Sen. Ron Calderon — a Democrat who represents several L.A. County communities including Montebello — was indicted, as was his brother Tom, on public corruption charges on Friday, Feb. 21.

Who are the people involved in this ongoing story? Here are short profiles of the key individuals so far, which will be updated as we get more information.

Ronald CalderonCA state Sen. For California's 58th District

  • Served as assemblyman representing California's District 58 from 2002-2008, succeeding his brother Tom and preceding his other brother Charles
  • Offices were raided by FBI June 4, 2013
  • From Montebello, CA
  • Attended Montebello High School
  • Graduated from UCLA in 1980 with B.A. in Psychology [Vote Smart]
  • Attended Western State University of Law
  • Work history:
  • -- Mortgage banker
  • -- Real estate agent
  • -- Manufacturing manager []
  • Calif. State Senator from Los Angeles County (D-Montebello) representing 30th Senate District including cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Montebello, Whittier
  • Calderon chairs multiple Senate committees and panels on:
  • -- Insurance
  • -- Film and television
  • -- International business
  • -- Economy development
  • A member of:
  • -- Banking and Financial Institutions
  • -- The California Wine Industry
  • -- The Joint Committee on the Arts
  • -- The Environmental Quality Committee
  • -- The Governmental Organization Committee
  • -- The California Film Commission []
  • Previously under scrutiny for a legal defense fund that:
  • -- Was created to cover costs stemming from a 2006 vote recount
  • -- Was spent on golf, a fundraiser and private airplane service [L.A. Times]
  • -- Prompted new rules limiting use of such funds to attorneys’ fees and legal costs
  • Calderon family called  "a political dynasty," spanning three decades. [L.A. Times]
  • Family members have held seats in Calif. legislature since 1983 [L.A. Times]
  • -- 2006: Ron joins Calif. State Senate; (replaced in Assembly by brother Charles)
  • -- 2012: Ian Calderon (son of Charles; nephew of Ron) elected to Calif. Assembly
  • -- Relatives and future relatives found on campaign payrolls [L.A. Times
  • Since 2000, Calderon took more than twice the gifts of other legislators [Sac Bee]
  • -- Calderon took approximately $40,000 in lobbyists gifts
  • -- His wife took approximately $6,000 in gifts
  • -- Chief deputy/spokesperson Rocky Rushing took approximately $5,000 in gifts
  • Since 2000, the largest gifts came from:
  • -- The California Correctional Peace Officers Association
  • -- The Association Of California Life & Health Insurance
  • -- The California Independent Petroleum Association
  • -- Applied Materials, Inc.