Southern California breaking news and trends

Whitney Houston death updates: Jennifer Hudson tribute planned, autopsy not yet scheduled

Obit Whitney Houston

Jae C. Hong/AP

Annika Sillemon, 8, fan of Whitney Houston, is seen outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday Feb. 11, 2012 in Beverly Hills Calif. Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She was 48.

Jennifer Hudson will pay tribute to her idol, Whitney Houston, at Sunday's Grammy Awards. Houston died Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel as she was preparing for Clive Owen's traditional pre-Grammy party.

Hudson will be featured in a musical tribute to Houston. Prior to the news of Houston's death, Hudson attended a pre-Grammy event where she discussed the impact Houston had on her career.

Meanwhile, a coroner's official says Whitney Houston's body has been transported from the Beverly Hills hotel where the singer died and is awaiting an autopsy to try to determine a cause of death.

Capt. Brian Elias of the L.A. County coroner's office says the examination has not been scheduled and that investigators are awaiting various reports before an autopsy can be conducted.

He said he could not release any information about how Houston's body was found at the Beverly Hills Hilton, though there have been a few anonymously sourced reports about that.

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Whitney Houston dead at 48

Whitney

Mark J. Terrill / AP

Whitney Houston performs at the pre-Grammy gala on Feb. 13, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Whitney Houston, the multi-Grammy winning singer, has died, according to the Associated Press. 

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the pop star of the '80s and '90s had died, however the cause or her location were unclear.

Houston, who was married to pop singer Bobby Brown, reeled off a collection of hits in the '80s like "How Will I Know," and  ''Saving All My Love for You". One of her biggest sellers was in the '90s the Dolly Parton penned  "I Will Always Love You." from the film "The Bodyguard," in which she starred.

In 1991 before Super Bowl XXV, Houston sang the "Star Spangled Banner", a rendition that was hugely popular and was a hit single. Ten years later after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the single was re-released and skyrocketed to number 6 on the pop charts.

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What happened in Koreatown today?

A major street in Koreatown was temporarily closed to traffic, and 1,421 businesses and residential accounts were blacked out, when an underground power vault exploded today, firefighters said.  

Firefighters were dispatched to a manhole on Western Avenue just south of Eight Street at 9:14 a.m., said Matt Spence of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.  Spence said no injuries or above-ground damage were reported.

Department of Water and Power crews were working on a nearby project and were brought in to see what went wrong. An hour after the apparent short-circuit, power was cut to businesses, apartment buildings and traffic signals in the immediate area while repair crews went to work.

DWP crews said they expected the power to be restored to all accounts by 1 p.m.

 

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory anticipating major cuts in NASA budget

NASA Shows Off New Mars Rovers

David McNew/Getty Images

Workers put final touches to the two new Mars exploration rovers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2003.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada is preparing for bad news during an announcement about NASA's budget. The lab is anticipating major cuts, the Pasadena Star-News reports

The space agency's 2013 budget and planetary exploration operations are expected to take a hit.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of Pasadena says he had a tense meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Thursday. Though he's vowing to fight the cuts, Schiff says planetary science and the Mars program are expected to face "absolutely devastating" cuts. And Schiff says if joint missions with the European Space Agency are scrapped, JPL will likely be deeply affected.

JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor says the company has already laid off about 240 employees between 2010 and 2011 because of previous budget cuts.

 

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15-year-old jumps to death on high school campus in apparent suicide

crescenta valley high school

Screenshot: Crescenta Valley High School via Google Maps

The death of a 15-year-old male student at Crescenta Valley High School on Friday is thought to be a suicide, Los Angeles sheriff's officials said at a news conference. 

The student reportedly got a running start before leaping from the ledge of a building in the central quad area of campus. Other students converged on the scene before being evacuated to an athletic field where they waited to be picked up, noted Glendale News-Press.

A statement was posted on the Glendale Unified school district's website with a message from Supt. Sheehan expressing condolences and support.

 

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