Southern California breaking news and trends

Les Paul personal guitars, grand piano, recording gear will go to the highest bidder

gibson les paul guitar

Photo by nickmickolas via Flickr Creative Commons

An auction of rock and roll itself is about to take place in Los Angeles -- Les Paul's personal collection of instruments and gear will go to the highest bidder, with the money benefiting the Les Paul Foundation for historic preservation, music education and medical research.

The grand piano from Paul's home recording studio, a selection of his rare guitars, pedals, consoles and other equipment from the rock pioneer's collection will be sold at auction during three days in June, including what would have been Paul's 97th birthday, says Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.

Recognized and revered as an architect of rock and roll, Paul is honored at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His contributions to evolution of rock can not be overstated in his 1952-released solid-body electric Gibson Les Paul guitar, the technology behind (and experimentation with) multi-track recording, and his inspired playing style and techniques.

Read More...

Lights out around SoCal after wild and stormy weekend

Severe Rain Storms Continue To Threaten The Los Angeles Area

David McNew/Getty Images

As another Monday repents for its wild and stormy weekend, thousands of blacked-out Southern California homes are left wondering what happened to their electricity.

The weekend storm -- that knocked down power lines, patted the mountains with snow, and turned traffic into a multi-lane Slip 'n Slide -- darkened 21,000 homes at its peak.

Downtown Los Angeles splashed through an inch of rain during the weekend downpour, and two to three inches were recorded in Santa Monica Mountains and coastal Malibu.

Southern California Edison reports approximately 2,000 homes are still powerless Monday morning. More than 4,000 San Diego customers lost electricity before Monday 1 a.m. but have since seen the utility restored.

As the storm blows out of town today, another inch or two of snow could be recorded in the mountains.

Read More...

Shaima Alawadi: Hate crime is possibility police are investigating

As police continue to investigate whether the murder of Shaima Alawadi, who lived in San Diego County's El Cajon, was a hate crime, neighbors and family are reeling, KPBS's Adrian Florido reports. Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, was found with a threatening note next to her beaten body. It read, in part, "Go back to your country," friends and family have said.

El Cajon hosts the U.S.'s second largest community of Iraqis, and tensions have occasionally flared there as huge population influx, which began after the first Gulf War, has placed more demand on city services. Hanif Mohebi, director of San Diego's Council on American-Islamic Relations, said disturbing discrimination-related incidents have been on the rise in the area.

"In the past two to three months we have had some level of increase in at least reporting of hate crimes or discrimination and hate incidents within the San Diego County. We're still trying to figure out the reason why that may be," he told Florida.

Read More...

Early spring storm brings floods, snow to SoCal

Rain in Los Angeles

John Rabe/KPCC

The weather service issued flood warnings as the storm headed west through Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

An early spring storm pounded Southern California Sunday, flooding roadways and dumping snow on mountain areas as low as 4,500 feet.

The brunt of the slow-moving system was felt in coastal areas like Malibu, where nearly two inches of rain has fallen since mid-morning, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. More than an inch was reported in Oxnard and Ventura.

The weather service issued flood warnings as the storm headed west through Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. Traffic was snarled on the 110 and 10 freeways in LA because of standing water and mud in lanes.

Snow and strong winds were reported along Interstate 5 at the Grapevine but the CHP said all lanes were open.

The Auto Club 400 NASCAR race at Fontana was terminated after 258 miles because of the wet track.

Read More...

Wernerius inyoensis you like a hurricane: New scorpion discovered in Death Valley

Wernerius inyoensis

Photo via ZooKeys Journal

The new arachnid in town, Wernerius inyoensis.

A new, tiny scorpion species was discovered in Death Valley, and the elusive critter may actually live underground, according to a new report.

Believed to be just over half an inch long, the creature was found by UNLV doctoral candidate Matthew Graham during a nighttime search, notes the L.A. Times.

Ultraviolet light caused the animal glow in the dark, per chemicals in creature's exoskeletons, and Michael Webber, another UNLV doctoral candidate, helped identify the animal as a new species.

Wernerius inyoensis is probably closely related to two other rare scorpions in the desert Southwest: Wernerius spicatus, which is native to Joshua Tree National Park, and Wernerius mumai, which lives along the Colorado River near Parker, Ariz.

Like those animals, Wernerius inyoensis has an unusually shaped spine above its stinger. But differences in the animal’s tail, reproductive organs and pedipalps — its pincers — led Graham and Webber to conclude it was a unique species.

Read More...