Southern California breaking news and trends

Ed Hardy swimsuit model Simone Farrow arrested, accused of running international drug ring from Hollywood

After skipping bail about a month ago, Simone Farrow, a former Ed Hardy swimsuit model accused of heading an international drug ring from an apartment in Hollywood, has been arrested in Australia, ABC News reports.

The the 37-year-old is accused of trafficking high-grade crystal meth around the world from 19 different aliases via FedEx and the postal service, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Australian authorities. She allegedly hid the methamphetamine in shipments of bath salts.

Farrow, who denied the charges, was arrested in Queensland and extradited to Sydney last week, saying she was on the run from people who were trying to kill her.

The only reason I've done this is because someone was trying to murder me," Farrow told Australia's Sunday Telegraph. "I've been in ... relationships with numerous underworld figures or whatever you want to call them and I feel that maybe they feel threatened by my situation."


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.