Southern California breaking news and trends

A beard is a wish your face makes: Disney revises facial hair policy

Photo by Rishi Menon via Flickr Creative Commons

Disney, for the first time in its fixed and fastidious history, is allowing theme park workers in California and Florida to grow beards and goatees beginning Feb. 3. Princesses, beware of stubble burn.

"Here you leave clean-shaven and enter world of wooly, rough, and whiskered." 

The park personnel prohibition on cultivating facial fuzz began when Disneyland opened in the 1950s, and the policy went unchanged for decades. In 2000, a tweak to allow for mustaches was made, but only if the lip-loungers tufted up over a vacation, and were not developed on Walt's time.

Company officials decided now was a good time to give the hair policy a healthy trim, according to a Disney spokeswoman. 

Follicle fun aside, a new crop of rule changes has also introduced "casual Fridays" to employees that do not interact with park visitors. 

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Westfield at LAX - $331 million contract approved for restaurants and shopping

Photo by Jeff Kramer via Flickr Creative Commons

Time for some new concessions at LAX.

While some union workers at Los Angeles International Airport were busy today protesting a contractor’s plan to terminate their healthcare benefits, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners was busy approving a $331 million contract for the management of restaurants and shopping in two terminals, and the Theme Building.

Westfield Concession Management, a subsidiary of the Australia-based developer Westfield Group, was awarded the 17-year contract in a unanimous vote that guarantees Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) a minimum of $17.7 million in revenue the first year concessionaires are operational, and a $331 million payday over the life of the contract. 

The agreement stipulates that Westfield, a company already running concessions at nine other airports, will develop, lease and manage stores and restaurants at the Theme Building (with restrictions because of its historical landmark designation), in Terminal 2, and at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, including the "Bradley West" addition that's being built. 

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CHP officer convicted of killing husband, collapses in court

SCREENSHOT via NBC LA

Former California Highway Patrol officer Tomiekia Johnson was convicted today of first-degree murder for shooting her husband. She collapsed in the courtroom following the verdict.

Paramedics were called to a Los Angeles courtroom today when ex-CHP officer, Tomiekia Johnson, collapsed after being found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of her husband.

Johnson, 32, had testified that her gun accidentally went off on the night of  Feb. 21, 2009 as she and her husband, Marcus Lemons, struggled over the firearm during an argument in the car after a night of drinking, notes the L.A. times.

"I was not trying to kill Marcus. I would never try to hurt him," she said in court, weeping. "He always hit me." She said she pulled off the 91 Freeway and told him to walk home. He "snatched" the keys out of the ignition, she said, and a struggle over her purse ensued.

During the trial, Johnson was portrayed as a wife with an aggressive personality, and as an excessive drinker. Her husband, a popular barber, was described as a peaceful man. Prosecutors argued that the slaying was not an accident, and that forensic evidence indicated Johnson fired an intentional shot.

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MundoFox and Ruperteazer: News Corp. slinks into Spanish-language broadcast network

Screenshot: MundoFox.com

Say hola to MundoFox, a new News Corp. endeavor launching this fall as Rupert Murdoch's first Fox-flavored foray into a Spanish-language broadcast network.

Univision and Comcast's Telemundo currently top the Spanish-language market, and MundoFox hopes to hook Hispanic audiences by partnering with Colombia-based RCN Television Group, the organization announced Monday. RCN already produces popular programs like "El Capo" and "Yo soy Betty la Fea." 

Available to anyone with a digital antenna, the launch of the broadcast network would see MundoFox carried on stations in 75 percent of U.S. households.

Pending affiliate deals with top Hispanic markets are awaiting finalization, reports the AP.

 

Will you laugh, will you cry, will it be better than Cats?  Tell us in the comments.

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    Supreme Court on GPS tracking: Police will now need a warrant

    Mercer 12806

    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    The heyday of hidden, high-tech tracking came to a screeching halt Monday as the Su­preme Court ruled un­an­im­ously that authorities must obtain a search war­rant be­fore employing GPS tech­no­logy in pursuit of crim­in­al sus­pects.

    In the case of United States v. Jones, the court found that the FBI and police violated the 4th Amendment "by attaching a GPS device to a Jeep owned by a drug suspect," explains the L.A. Times.

    The GPS device helped au­thor­it­ies link Wash­ing­ton, D.C., nightclub own­er Ant­oine Jones to a sub­urb­an house used to stash money and drugs. He was sen­tenced to life in pris­on be­fore the ap­peals court over­turned the con­vic­tion.

    Although justices were in agreement that a search warrant is required, they were divided on what constitutes "tracking." 

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