Southern California breaking news and trends

Stormy weather: Lights out for some, snow days for others

palm trees ventura snow mountains

Photo by ...-Wink-... via Flickr Creative Commons

Southern California Edison says nearly 150,000 people were affected by electricity outages during last weekend's storm, and that more than 10,000 homes are still without electricity. 

High winds knocked down service lines and one death was reported near Sacramento when a tree fell onto a house killing a little girl.  Several school districts and sections of freeway in San Bernardino and San Diego counties closed Monday because of snow and ice.

Temps are expected to rise this week, according to the National Weather Service. Monday should hit a high of 60 degrees and continue to rise to just under 70 degrees at least until Friday. There's a small chance a small storm may stop by for a sprinkle.


Brutal attack leaves employee dead outside Malibu restaurant

malibu sign

Photo by Robert Garcia via Flickr Creative Commons

An employee of a Malibu restaurant died after an attack in the parking lot minutes before closing on Sunday night, say authorities. 

Initially reported as a shooting, authorities now say the man suffered a brutal beating by multiple suspects.

The man, whose identity was not released, was described as mid-20s, and worked in the kitchen of Guido's restaurant off PCH on Cross Creek Road, NBC LA explains. 

Tony Waldrop, the manager of the restaurant, said "He was taking out the trash and never came back," reports the L.A. Times.

Authorities say the victim was confronted and attacked by several subjects in a parking lot behind the restaurant. The victim reportedly escaped and staggered to the front of the shopping center where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead on the scene.


Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales named as suspect in Afghan civilian massacre

robert bales

Photo credit: Spc. Ryan Hallock, 28th Public Affairs/U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was named Friday as the suspect in a nighttime shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead, including nine children, a U.S. official confirmed.

A spokesperson for Bales' attorney said the 38-year-old father of two was being taken to a maximum-security military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, the L.A. Times reports.

Bales, who has been in the Army for 11 years and was deployed to Iraq three times prior to this deployment, is attached to the 2nd Infantry Division’s 3rd Stryker Brigade, based in Washington state's Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

According to his attorney, John Henry Browne, the suspect's family was shocked by the news. "He's never said anything antagonistic about Muslims, he's never said anything about Middle Eastern individuals. He has in general been very mild-mannered," said Browne, adding, "He received almost every award you can get as a combat veteran." 


Authorities accused of ignoring calls, using county aircraft

lasd sheriff helicopter

Photo by Thomas Hart via Flickr Creative Commons

Lt. Edison Cook has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department air support division intentionally missed calls for support, the L.A. Times reports.

Deputies were instructed by supervisors, he said, to "slow down on service calls in order to miss calls for service." Cook claimed he was told by a supervisor not to "field too many ships because then it would look like we could get along without overtime." 

At the time of the alleged directives, Sheriff Lee Baca was regularly citing "missed calls" to the Board of Supervisors as a negative consequence of budget cuts, the Times notes.

In 2010 Cook received an email from an Aero Bureau sergeant that read, "If we go short and calls are missed we need to record the missed calls and provide our executives with the proper records so they can fight the fight," the lawsuit alleges.


NSFW 2012: Anti-Kony activist Jason Russell detained for public masturbation, vandalism

Jason Russell of Invisible Children

Photo by sean dreilinger via Flickr Creative Commons

Jason Russell of Invisible Children speaks at TEDxSanDiego in December 2011

Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell was detained in Pacific Beach in San Diego on Thursday night for allegedly being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department, reports NBC San Diego.

The 33-year-old other face of KONY 2012 was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing automobiles and was believed to be under the influence of something, according to authorities.

The incident reportedly occurred at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m. Police said Russell was cooperative when they arrived, and they took him to a hospital. NBC San Diego also had the statement from Invisible Children on what it called a personal health issue:

Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.