Southern California breaking news and trends

'KISS' robber rolls all nite, hides out every day

KISS robber juggalo

Screenshot via Fox 40

KISS robber was made for robbin' you, baby.

Masked and menacing, a tribute bandit has taken center stage in the Sacramento area as the so-called KISS robber, despite looking quite a bit like an Insane Clown Posse devotee "juggalo." 

Thought to be responsible in a string of convenience store and other robberies, the suspect met face to face with retired, 80-year-old Indian policeman Baldev Singh earlier this week, who was not a fan.  

Singh told Fox 40 Sacramento he had been an officer in Punjubi, India, and was not scared when the man fired off a shot. Instead, he ripped the mask off the poseur. No one was injured in the incident.

The mask is now in the hands of authorities, and police are hoping to retrieve DNA and find a match.

Goodnight Sacramento!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Not the day to play with matches: Santa Ana winds close school, create fire weather danger

Uprooted tree near Griffith Park

Tony Pierce / KPCC

A large tree near Los Feliz Blvd. was uprooted by strong winds near Griffith Park last year.

Santa Ana winds, true to Steely Dan prediction, are here again. A significant and dangerous wind event with conditions conducive to rapid fire growth, is expected across Ventura and Los Angeles from Friday to Saturday afternoon.

Gusty winds will increase throughout the morning, with the strongest blows expected to reach 60-70 mph across the mountain regions, the National Weather Service warns. In valley and coastal areas, north to northeast winds and gusts should reach about 35-55 mph.

Potential hazards include the usual suspects: downed trees, destroyed power lines, and dangerous cross-winds for high vehicles.

Additionally, the extremely dry air (with relative humidity dropping into the single digits and teens) combined with the strong offshore winds, will produce critical fire weather conditions across a majority of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.


Manhattan Beach travel and surfing journalist kidnapped by Somali pirates

michael scott moore kidnapped by somali pirates book sweetness and blood

Screenshot via

Travel and surfing journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped by Somali pirates on Saturday. His book "Sweetness and Blood" was named a book of the year by the Economist in 2010.

Manhattan Beach surfing and travel journalist Michael Scott Moore was taken hostage in Somalia on Saturday while researching a book about Somali pirates.

The writer, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany, was kidnapped days before two aid worker hostages, including 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan, were rescued in a midnight raid by Navy SEAL Team 6, the L.A. Times details.

The U.S. State Department is concerned, and issued a statement saying as much: "We are aware of news reports that a U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in northern Somalia and we are concerned about the individual's safety and well-being."

Moore, a 1987 graduate of Mira Costa High School who had recently been living in Berlin, previously traveled to Africa to research a seriers of articles on the same subject, KTLA reported


How could Glendale not want this artistic masterpiece?

glendale public art donation denied

Courtesy of the City of Glendale

Anita Garouni's painting "Home" was rejected as a public art donation by the City of Glendale.

Noses are up and thumbs are down in Glendale where officials have rejected a donated public art piece for the first time in more than ten years.

The colorful piece, featuring Armenian figures floating near the Statue of Liberty and Turkey's Mt. Ararat, was praised for its "beautiful theme" but considered not culturally inclusive enough. It also "wasn’t of the highest aesthetic quality," according to a report that appraised the 18-by-24 inch oil painting at $1,800. 

Robbed of this diamond in the rough, residents of The Jewel City will have to look elsewhere for their daily recommended allowances of floating heads, Armenian princesses and Noah's Arks once destined for a city-owned office wall.

A 15-year resident of Glendale, artist Anita Garouni said of her creative tour de force, it is "an expression of deep gratitude for America, my country, who accepts all…and gives safe haven for the immigrants of the world," explains the Glendale News Press.


Pioneering Caltech DNA researcher Roy Britten dies at 92

roy britten caltech dna pioneer

Photo of Roy Britten via

Roy John Britten, a pioneering Caltech DNA researcher and Princeton Ph.D nuclear physicist who switched fields to biophysics after working on the Manhattan Project, has died at age 92, Caltech officials announced Thursday.

A Caltech Distinguished Carnegie Senior Research Associate, Emeritus, and one-time adjunct professor at UC Irvine, Roy Britten continued to publish papers into his 90s, remaining active in the scientific community until his death on Jan. 21.

Beginning his academic career as a physicist, the "committed pacifist" who worked on the Manhattan Project in World War II was "always pleased to say that his particular project was a complete failure," his son said in a statement, notes the Pasadena Sun.

Interested in the fundamental characteristics of animal DNA, the Washington D.C. native arrived at Caltech's Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar in 1971 to study genomes.