Southern California breaking news and trends

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.


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!


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.


Stress study says Los Angeles levels are 'unhealthy'

sunglasses summer beach pool Malibu ocean

Nic Adler via Flickr Creative Commons

Doesn't this picture taken in Malibu look serene? Soak it up, Angelenos.

We can't stress this enough, Los Angeles. Chill. 

According to a new American Psychological Association study, "Stress in America," 43 percent of LA residents are living with an unhealthy level of stress. 

The report shows the top offending stressors for Angelenos are:   

  • 74% - Money
  • 73% - Work  
  • 64% - Economy

Local residents reported an average stress level of 5.3 on a 10-point scale. The APA puts a healthy stress level at 3.9.

Forty-eight percent of LA residents, however, feel they do an "excellent" or "very good" job of identifying when they're feeling stressed.

And, of those who attempted to make lifestyle changes, a greater number reported success in eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight in Los Angeles, compared to the rest of the country.

Approximately four in 10 people (42 percent, compared to 37 percent nationally) said that stress has a "strong" or "very strong" impact on their bodies or physical health.


LA Sheriff's Department jails chief retiring

Grant Slater/KPCC

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca conducts an inspection of Men's Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles in this photo from December 2011.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department's Chief Dennis Burns announced his retirement today. Burns has been overseeing the department's custody operations while it's been under investigation for allegations of inmate abuse and guard misconduct in the jails.