Southern California breaking news and trends

Eddie Van Halen gifts guitars to LA schools

Van Halen Press Conference To Announce Their New Tour

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: David Lee Roth (L) recieves a kiss from guitar player Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen donated 75 brand-new electric guitars to a number of Los Angeles schools that had recently been singing the blues.

Tricia Steel of the non-profit Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation says the Van Halen lead-guitarist dontated instruments this week.

Meant to inspire music in local children, the rocker asked that the educational axes be used in classrooms, and not sold. As a result, dozens of newly empassioned rock prodigies are realizing that in time their band will be most triumphant, but will never be a super group unless they have Eddie Van Halen. 

The guitars were gifted to seven schools serving mostly low-income students. Some will be distributed to replace broken instruments and others to build music enrollment efforts. 

Administrators, advised to keep the shiny 6-strings under tight lock and key, were not told where the guitars came from until they arrived.

Van Halen announced a tour for 2012, and details about their first studio album in 14 years. A Different Kind of Truth, due for release February 7, will be  Van Halen's first original studio album with singer David Lee Roth since the Los Angeles band’s multi-platinum album "1984". 

The first single "Tattoo" was released on Tuesday. The tour kicks off February 18.  

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Sheriff Baca on the deputy who hit woman in the face

NBC4

Screenshot via NBC of cellphone footage from the night Army veteran Julie Nelson was being detained by two law enforcement officials. Nelson admits cursing during the altercation, but denies acting out with physical violence.

Sheriff Lee Baca had nothing nice to say about the deputy who struck 42-year-old bus rider Julie Nelson in the face Monday night.

"If the individual deputy who swung an elbow at the lady is looking at that as a sensible solution, we need to retrain that individual," Baca told KNX-AM (1070).

According to City News Service, Sheriff's Captain Mike Parker said Nelson has four convictions for assaulting peace officers. Baca confirmed her records of aggression, telling KNX that she "has been in jail many times."

The Army veteran was "ready to pick a fight with anybody," the 911 caller told the Los Angeles Times. Jermaine Green, who captured the footage, told NBC Wednesday that Nelson was polite, but officers ordered her off the bus she began cursing at them.

Nelson told KCAL9 Wednesday that "cops know that I am mentally ill, more than normal people, so they know about me that way." 

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El Camino Real High School soccer player a victim of 'targeted' killing

Francisco Rodriguez fatally shot in Winnetka

Screenshot via NBC LA

Witnesses say a teenage girl is responsible for the fatal shooting of an El Camino Real High School soccer player that occurred Wednesday night outside the victim's home in Winnetka, according to AP.

17-year-old Francisco Javier Rodriguez Jr. received a knock at the door around 6:10 p.m. and walked outside where he was shot three times by a teenage girl, say witnesses. 

The killing was not a random act, according to investigators, though no possible motive or official suspect description has been released.

"This was not a random shooting. This was definitely targeted toward a specific individual," said LAPD Det. Dave Peteque, reports KTLA.

Rodriguez, who went by the nickname "Pancho," was a varsity soccer team goalkeeper, and had just returned home from a game against Taft High School. The match ended in a tie, and no altercations were reported by students.

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Bald Barbie? Group petitions Mattel to create doll to support children with cancer

bald barbie

Image via Facebook

Ken you dig it? A movement called "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" launched a Facebook page just before Christmas in support of kids with cancer.

The group, with already more than 31,000 fans, is petitioning toy-manufacturer Mattel to build a Barbie that's undergone treatment and lost her hair.

The idea was created by friends Rebecca Sypin, a special ed. teacher's aide in Lancaster, Calif., and Jane Bingham, a photographer from New Jersey. Both have been affected by the disease.

We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania. Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother's hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald.

Accessories such as scarves and hats could be included. This would be a great coping mechanism for young girls dealing with hair loss themselves or a loved one. We would love to see a portion of proceeds go to childhood cancer research and treatment. Let's get Mattell's attention!

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Sheriffs will investigate video of deputies striking female bus rider

LASD woman bus elbow

Screenshot via NBC

A Monday night confrontation on a Bellflower bus involving L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and a woman with a violent history, was recorded by a passenger, and has led to a "use of force" investigation.

Passenger Jermaine Green, who filmed the incident on his cell phone, said deputies boarding the vehicle called the woman by name and instructed her to get off the bus before becoming "combative," NBC reported

"They said get off the bus. She then started cursing at her you could tell she had special needs. After that, they grab her, she curses him out, calls him a big shot, next thing you know, he gives her a big shot," said Green.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KPCC, "We got a 911 call indicating that there was violent woman on the bus who was about to, or tried to, attack an elderly man. She was violent and out of control," he stated.

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