Southern California breaking news and trends

Death of Malibu kitchen worker labeled 'upper respiratory infection'

malibu sign

Photo by Robert Garcia via Flickr Creative Commons

Investigators say the mysterious death of a Malibu kitchen worker outside of Guido's restaurant was not crime-related. Carlos Ivan Rodas died of an upper respiratory infection, according to homicide detectives.

Authorities say 32-year-old Rodas left the restaurant to take out the trash on Sunday night and staggered to the parking lot in front of the business where he collapsed and died.

The announcement raises questions, however, as multiple reports noted the presense of an overwhelming amount of blood at the scene. 

Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter told the L.A. Times he could not discuss the case because it was placed on a security hold Wednesday morning. The reason for the hold was unclear. 

Conflicting information initially circulated about the cause of the dishwasher's death. 

Early indications suggested to authorities he may have been a shooting victim. Some time after, it was reported he had been beaten to death by multiple assailants. Later, there was cause to consider it a death by natural causes.

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Carlos Ivan Rodas ID'd in bloody Malibu mystery death

malibu sign

Photo by Robert Garcia via Flickr Creative Commons

Carlos Ivan Rodas of Los Angeles has been identified as the 32-year-old dishwasher who died mysteriously on Sunday in front of Guido's restaurant in Malibu, where he worked.

Coroner’s officials say an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, and results will likely end speculation about the cause of death. Reports are not expected before Thursday, say officials. 

Conflicting information circulated about the circumstances leading up to the victim being found in a pool of blood in the shopping center at Cross Creek Road and Pacific Coast Highway. 

Early Sheriff's Department indications suggested the man has been shot. Some time after, it was reported he had been beaten brutally by multiple assailants. Later, there was cause to believe he may have died of natural causes.

LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore told KPCC it was not unusual for details to change significantly during the initial stages of an investigation. All possibilities are being considered, he said.

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Two Harbor-UCLA medical negligence cases settled for $4 million

blood pressure emergency room hospital

Photo by hobvias sudoneighm via Flickr Creative Commons

Two Harbor-UCLA Medical Center negligence cases from 2008 and 2009 have been settled for a sum of $4 million.

A deal approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gives $3.5-million to former patient Juana Montoya who suffered a stroke after giving birth, and $650,000 to Brandon Gill who sought medical attention after a head injury at work, reports the L.A. Times.

Montoya delivered a baby at the Torrance-area facility in November 2008. She returned one day after being discharged with bleeding in her brain, and subsequently suffered brain damage. She alleged the hospital did not provide her adequate medical care.

Gill, 27, received medication when he was admitted with a head injury in 2009, and was monitored by hospital staff before ultimately undergoing surgery to reduce pressure inside his skull. He suffered neurological injuries and said the procedure should have happened sooner.

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Life's like a movie: The Muppets get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Muppets Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 20: The Muppets who were honored with 2,466th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theatre on March 20, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Muppets Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 20: The 2,466th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring The Muppets in front of the El Capitan Theatre on March 20, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Rich Ross (L), Walt Disney Studios Presi

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Rich Ross (L), Walt Disney Studios President, and Leron Gubler (2nd L), President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, join Sweetums (R) at the unveiling the Muppets Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood on March 20, 2012 in California. Since "The Muppet Show" began in 1976, they have been embraced by audiences worldwide and several Muppets were on hand for the ceremony including Kermit the frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Sweetums and the newest Muppet, Walter. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

A Kermit the frog tie is worn by Leron G

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A Kermit the frog tie is worn by Leron Gubler, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, as the Muppets Star is unveiled on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood on March 20, 2012 in California. Since "The Muppet Show" began in 1976, they have been embraced by audiences worldwide and several Muppets were on hand for the ceremony including Kermit the frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Sweetums and the newest Muppet, Walter. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Muppets Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 20: The Muppets who were honored with 2,466th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theatre on March 20, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Muppets Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 20: (L-R) Walt Disney Studios President Rich Ross, Jim Henson Company CEO, Lisa Henson and Sean Henson attend the star unveiling for The Muppets who were honored with 2,466th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theatre on March 20, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat -- Hollywood.

1n 1979, Orson Welles, in the role of Lew Lord, told his assistant to prepare the standard "Rich and Famous" contract for Kermit the Frog and company. Today, 33 years later, the Muppets received their collective star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Star no. 2,466 was inducted Tuesday into the sidewalk universe during an official, confetti-filled ceremony at 6834 Hollywood Blvd., in front of the El Capitan Theatre. 

"I want to say on behalf of the Muppets that we are really happy to be here today and join some of the greatest names in show business," Kermit said during the event. Mr. the Frog, with Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Sweetums and newbie Walter, attended the momentous occasion.

CEO of The Jim Henson Co., executive producer of the 2011 film "The Muppets," and daughter of creator Jim Henson, Lisa Henson, addressed the crowd. Walt Disney Studios President Rich Ross also attended, as did Jason Segel, who wrote and starred in the latest flick (which was released today on DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Download and On-Demand).

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Former student and current student arrested in connection with Alhambra school bomb threats

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One current Alhambra High School student and one former student were arrested last Friday in connection with bomb threats made against the school. Their names have not been released.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is preparing to hear a case by detectives, and the Alhambra Unified School District will be proceededing with disciplinary action.

The school received at least six phoned-in bomb threats since the beginning of the year. The most recent call occurred March 15.

No explosives were reported to have been found.

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