Southern California breaking news and trends

San Onofre worker falls into reactor pool at nuclear plant

san onofre nuclear power plant atomic

Jason Hickey/Flickr Creative Commons

A veteran worker lost his balance at the San Onofre nuclear plant last week and fell into the Unit 2 reactor pool while trying to retrieve a flashlight. The pool, more than 20 feet deep, contains water that continually circulates through the reactor core.

The worker did not suffer significant radiation exposure in the incident, and was "wearing all of the appropriate safety equipment, including a life preserver vest," said Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander told the L.A. Times.

Highly radioactive uranium fuel normally sits at the bottom of the pool, but it had been removed by workers, according to officials. Stray fuel particles may have been floating in the water and could have been swallowed. They would have been the most likely source of radiation, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks.

Read More...

Martin Springer arrested: Second Miramonte Elementary School teacher arrested for lewd acts

Miramonte Elementary

José Martinez/OnCentral

A second Miramonte Elementary School teacher, Martin Bernard Springer, has been arrested for investigation of sexual misconduct.

Download

Los Angeles County arrested a second Miramonte Elementary teacher, 49-year-old Martin Bernard Springer, for investigation of sexual misconduct with two girls who were 7-years-old at the time.

L.A. County sheriff's officials confirmed that Springer, an Alhambra resident, was arrested at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. He is being held on $2 million bail. 

This arrest comes less than one week after another Miramonte Elementary School teacher, Mark Berndt, was charged with lewd acts involving 23 children. 

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Springer was removed from the Miramonte campus yesterday when he first learned of the allegations. Early next week he will be asking the Board of Education to immediately terminate Springer’s employment.  

Some alarmed parents have pulled their children out of the school, citing safety concerns, AP reports. Deasy said today in a statement that he was "appalled and sickened" at news of the arrest and that LAUSD is working closely with the Miramonte community "to deal with the terrible trauma."

Read More...

Susan G Komen reversal of Planned Parenthood funding finds mixed reviews on Twitter

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

In the wake of sharp criticism and widespread backlash over the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for clinic breast-health programs, earlier today the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation reversed its decision on Friday to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

CEO Nancy Brinker released a statement saying the controversial move was not meant to penalize or single out Planned Parenthood, however many believe the situation has been was influenced by abortion-related politics and pressure:

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.  The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen.  We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.  They were not.

 

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation.  We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

 

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer.  Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process.  We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

 

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.  We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue.  We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.

 

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work.  We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

 

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

Read More...

2nd teacher arrested at Miramonte Elementary

Teacher Classroom Bondage

Damian Dovarganes/AP

A second Miramonte Elementary School teacher has been arrested.

Download

A second teacher removed from Miramonte Elementary has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The Friday arrest comes days after longtime teacher Mark Brandt was charged with 23 lewd acts against children. 

KTLA's David Begnaud has been reporting on Twitter that there will soon be new disturbing details in the Brandt case.

A press conference is scheduled for noon. We will have more information then. 

Read More...

Susan G. Komen cures backlash with Planned Parenthood policy reversal?

Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood

therawstory.com

Download

Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation announced Friday it would reverse its controversial decision to cut financial support for Planned Parenthood breast exams.

The policy flop comes after days of widespread backlash over the loss of more than $600,000 in grant money for clinic breast health programs.

Many questioned if Komen caved to political pressure, and the unpopular decision even prompted the resignation of a top SGK official, The Atlantic reported Thursday.

Today, Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker said in a statement that the research advocacy group's decision to end funding for providers under investigation was not politically motivated, explains the L.A. Times.

Brinker said the policy was not meant to single out Planned Parenthood, an organization currently under congressional investigation by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to determine if federal funding was used for abortion services.

Read More...