Southern California breaking news and trends

LAX shooting: Rumor control—Sorting fact from fiction after Friday's tragedy

LAX Shooting

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Passengers wait at Terminal 1 after the LAX shooting on Nov. 1, 2013.

News of Friday's terrifying and chaotic shooting at Los Angeles Airport broke rapidly and widely across mainstream media, on the Internet and through social media channels. As in all such fluid situations, misinformation mixed with verified details, and many erroneous or unconfirmed accounts were spread regarding the incident.

 Here are the latest developments as of Monday. Below, KPCC deconstructs some of the biggest rumors and speculation, and tries to find the truth behind them.

1) The rumor: Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden was killed at LAX, and a radical Christian group claimed responsibility.

Perpetuated by: Canada’s Globe and Mail, which falsely published the rumor based on a fake LAPD report, which they attributed to Reuters and the Associated Press. Regarding the fake report, The Wrap points out that "neither the AP nor Reuters included this in their versions of the story, though it was attributed to the agencies in the byline."


Are you wearing a racist Halloween costume? Are you sure?

The Superman costume that was worn by Ch

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The Superman costume that was worn by Christopher Reeve in "Superman: The Movie" on display at Profiles In History in Calabasas, northwest of downtown Los Angeles, on July 19, 2012.

Attention, sexy xenophobes! The official worst Halloween trend of 2013 is having to remind people that dressing in blackface is still not acceptable. Even on Halloween. Even always. Even still. It's not OK.

What not to wear

Contributing to this year's cautionary tale of racist costumes is Julianne Hough. Photos emerged Friday night of the actress in blackface, dressed up as the character "Crazy Eyes," played by Uzo Aduba on the Netflix series "Orange Is The New Black." Twitter's version of a prison riot broke out in response to the images, prompting an apology from Hough.

There's a checklist for that

The Daily Dot lays out some sensitivity guidelines for candy season, namely a flabbergasted condemnation of "white people dressing as Trayvon Martin" — noting the added cruelty of "playing a murdered teen."


Bears gonna bear: 'Troublemakers' may have been falsely accused

Black Bear

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The latest devil-may-care bear to emerge from the San Gabriel Mountains was spotted last week near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The woodland interloper briefly shut down the 210 freeway and hooked in Fish and Wildlife officials after scaling a fence, traversing an underpass and running through a golf course.

(UPDATE: An even more recent bear incident is unfolding Tuesday as a scared bear went on the run after it was found hiding in a tree in Granada Hills.)

Bears are frequent visitors to the foothills, and in late spring, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department issued a "Be Bear Aware" news release reinforcing the message that: "It's Not a Bear Problem, It's a People Problem."

To that end, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife produced some short and offbeat educational videos about how human carelessness is increasing bear encounters, and what can be done to keep black bears safe in their natural habitat.


Angelenos get help with immigration, criminal record problems at LA legal clinic

SusanBroman via Flikr

A line of people snaked out door of the L.A. Law Library Saturday morning in anticipation of a free legal clinic which organizers said was the largest in the West coast.

They came from all over Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley for help with child custody cases, clearing their criminal records and immigration issues, among other problems.

“As you know almost everything in life now has a legal component to it, and most people cannot afford lawyers,” said Sandi Levin, the library's executive director. “So someone has to be in the business of teaching people how to learn what their rights are, how to navigate the judicial process and how to get access to justice.”

More than two dozen providers of free and low-cost legal services staffed booths at the event. Organizers were expecting about two thousand people to attend.


KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 17)—What parents want from LA Unified, what people see in the LA River, what teens can now do on Facebook

coin slot metal toaster

Photo by Gwen Harlow via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Park life: Small investment in outreach, large impact on activity (KPCC)

A  study released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Thursday suggests that small investments by parks in marketing and outreach can increase park visitors' physical activity. Researchers looked at 50 parks across L.A.. Two-thirds of the parks received outreach training and $4,000 apiece to improve communication about their services.

Physical activity performed by patrons at those parks increased by seven to 12 percent when compared to parks that made no changes.

2. Angelenos and the LA River (KPCC)

Fishing, bird watching, biking and kayaking — listeners shared their favorite L.A. River stories and photos.

We encouraged folks to submit responses via our Public Insight Network in the days leading up to  Found LA: Festival of Neighborhoods. The theme this year: “The River of Your Imagination." See our gallery.