Southern California breaking news and trends

Coachella 2012 tickets on-sale Friday morning, aka: How fast can you type?

Mercer 17064

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Musician Zach Ernst of Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears performs during the first day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011 held at the Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2011 in Indio.

Coachella 2012 tickets, or rather, what's left of them, go on sale Friday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Though Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival organizers did not reveal how many passes were sold in the summer pre-sale, they did issue a statement about limited availability noting, "There are not many left for Weekend 1, and those must be purchased with a shuttle pass.''

The festival, slated for April 13-15 and April 20-22 in Indio, CA, features headliners the Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg.

As of Thursday, first tier general admission tickets ($285), VIP passes ($665), VIP parking ($100), and tent camping spots were all sold out for the first weekend. Remaining Weekend 1 tickets will need to be purchased with an accompanying shuttle pass. Tent camping spots were also sold out for the second weekend.  

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Highway 18 closed: Hundreds of firefighters jump on fire near Crestline

About 400 firefighters in San Bernardino County are battling a 15-acre fire that erupted Thursday night when a pickup truck plunged off Highway 18 near Crestline and burst into flames.

San Bernardino National Forest spokesman John Miller says the driver escaped with only minor injuries. One firefighter suffered an apparently broken ankle.

No homes are threatened but Highway 18 remains closed.

The blaze is being pushed by 30-mph winds and the National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings for extreme fire conditions in the mountains, valleys and coastal slopes. The warning continues until this evening because of a high-pressure ridge will keep things hot, dry and gusty.

UPDATE 9:28 a.m. Highway 18 is scheduled to re-open at 10 a.m. The number of firefighters there does not necessarily reflect the seriousness of the fire, but concern about the conditions.

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Heroin burrito was smuggled into LA jail, suspected deputy 'wasn't one of our best,' said LASD

bean and cheese burrito

Muy Yum via Flickr Creative Commons

Heroin was the secret ingredient in a bean and cheese burrito that was smuggled into a Los Angeles courthouse jail allegedly by a sheriff's deputy. Ths suspected deputy at one time starred on the Fox reality show "The Academy," and was kicked off for poor performance.

Charged with bringing drugs into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime, 27-year-old deputy Henry Marin surrendered to fellow deputies at the South Los Angeles station on Wednesday. Marin pleaded not guilty to charges related to the contraband nosh and was relieved of duty. He was released from custody on Wednesday on $25,000 bail.

"We take this very seriously," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore, reports the L.A. Times. "This kind of behavior is absolutely inexcusable for anybody, especially a law enforcement representative. Of Marin's performance on "The Academy," Whitmore said, "He certainly wasn't one of our best."

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Clark Gable III sentenced to jail for laser pointer vs. helicopter incident

Clark Gable's grandson sentenced to jail

Image via Facebook

Clark Gable III, grandson of legendary Hollywood icon, Clark Gable, was sentenced to jail today for pointing a laser at a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter above Hollywood Boulevard on July 28.

Gable, apologetic in court, told the judge he was sorry, and that he'd learned a good lesson, says KTLA. The 23-year-old Canoga Park resident was ordered to 200 hours on a Caltrans work crew and ten days in jail. He will be on formal probation for three years and has already paid $570 in restitution. 

The King of Hollywood's kin claimed he was attempting to point the beam at the Hollywood sign and missed. Authorities said light obstructed the vision of the two officers briefly.

The "aspiring reality star" was previously in news when he was stabbed in the torso at a 2009 Calabasas party.

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California high-speed rail chief Roelof Van Ark quits

Krissy Clark/KQED

Roelof Van Ark, CEO of California High Speed Rail Authority, addressing the board after announcing that he's stepping down.

Roelof van Ark, the 59-year-old head of the California high-speed rail agency, announced his resignation Thursday from the controversial and publicly scrutinized near $100 billion proposed project. It takes effect in two months.

His departure was announced at the rail authority's meeting today in Los Angeles.

Van Ark had only served since June of 2010. Van Ark has a long history of experience in high-speed rail, with 30 years of transportation experience. His resignation comes as the fate of the proposed high-speed line is being battled in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

"Clearly this project is a challenging one," van Ark told the California High Speed Rail Authority board in annoucing his resignation. "I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to play a part in the future transportation of California."

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