Southern California breaking news and trends

Another brick in the 'membership program': L.A. Times readers cry 'paywall'

Kevork Djansezian/AP

The Los Angeles Times building.

The L.A. Times is charging ahead with a fee-based model for its online content beginning March 5. 

A trend in reaction shows readers seemingly dissatisfied with the terminology of calling the pricing structure a "membership program" instead of the straightforward use of the word "paywall."

The newspaper attempts to explain the label distinction by saying, "although digital payment plans are commonly known as 'paywalls,' The Times is billing its plan as a 'membership program' that will include retail discounts, deals and giveaways, as well as access to digital news."

Are you planning to pay for Times "membership?"


Los Angeles Times to introduce an online paywall

la times building

Photo by Calvin Fleming via Flickr Creative Commons

Hello paywall, goodbye unlimited free Web news. The L.A. Times will be charging people who don't subscribe to its daily print edition for unlimited online content starting March 5, it was announced on Friday. The cost of the L.A. Times "membership program" will vary based on whether a reader subscribes to the Sunday edition, or chooses digital-only access. Up to 15 articles about every month will be free for anyone. More information and community reaction to follow.


Unfed for weeks, 50,000 hens found dead or dying on CA egg farm


Photo by Steven Lilley via Flickr Creative Commons

Animal neglect charges may be filed against the operator of a Central Valley chicken farm where authorities found about 50,000 dead or starving hens. The animals has not been fed in more than two weeks, according to officials, said the L.A. Times.

The hens were found on a property rented to A&L Poultry, following a citizen complaint about the business on Tuesday, the Modesto Bee reported. Company owner Andy Keung Cheung declined to comment when reached by phone by the newspaper.

The birds did not show signs of disease in initial veterinary testing. Annette Patton, executive director of the Stanislaus Animal Services agency, said one-third of the animals died of starvation and the others are in such poor health they will be euthanized.

The rising cost of feed may have contributed to the inhumane situation, said Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation. No information was immediately available about where A&L eggs were being sold. 


Security breach at juvenile hall, teens found having sex

juvenile hall corridor

Photo by Richard Johnstone via Flickr Creative Commons

Security questions have been raised and two investigations have been launched after a girl and boy, both 17-years-old, both charged with violent crimes, were found having sex in a co-ed unit at Orange County Juvenile Hall on Feb. 12.

OC Sheriff's Department officials are investigating if the sex was consensual, and an internal investigation by the Probation Department is looking into the safety at the institution. It is unknown how the boy gained access to the girl's room where the two were found.

According to court records, both teenagers have been charged as adults in what are believed to be gang-related violent crimes, the OC Register reports.

The girl has been charged with attempted murder, second-degree robbery, attempting to dissuade a witness, firing a weapon into a home and other charges. She was taken into custody in January.


Helicopter collision kills seven Marines, six were from Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra

Photo by United States Marine Corps Official Page via Flickr Creative Commons

Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra

The Marine Corps announced Thursday that six of the seven Marines killed in last night's midair helicopter collision near Yuma, Arizona, were from Camp Pendleton. Both helicopters were from also from the San Diego base.

The exact location of the crash has not been identified, but it is believed to have occurred on the California side of the Yuma Training Range Complex, according to the L.A. Times.

Situated near the Chocolate Mountains, the training area offers helicopter crews a terrain and temperature similar to what they might experience in Afganistan. Officials said the seven were training for possible deployment.

Names of the deceased and squadron information will not be released for at least 24 hours per standard Marine policy. The attack helicopters involved in the crash were identified as a AH-1W Super Cobra and a UH-1Y Super Huey and were part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, whose headquarters is at the Miramar Marine Corps Base.