May 18, 2010 - Today was a big day for some new Americans here in Southern California. More than 4,000 immigrants from at least 33 countries became U.S. citizens this morning at a naturalization ceremony in downtown Los Angeles.
Many of them had waited for years to take the oath of allegiance, but Army Second Lieutenant Armen Paclibar's application process took just a few months. Hear how he feels about being a new citizen:
41-year old Paclibar is from the Philippines. He moved to Loma Linda on a student visa 10 years ago. Armed with multiple nursing degrees, he's serving in the medical support unit at March Air Force Base in Moreno Valley. A federal program that fast-tracks naturalization for active duty military expedited his citizenship.
Congratulations to all the new citizens!
Bad news for Andre Ethier! The Los Angeles Dodgers put their star right fielder on the 15-day disabled list today because of a broken right pinkie. Ethier is leading the majors with a .392 batting average and is tops with 38 RBIs.
This is the first time Ethier has been on the disabled list. He hurt his pinkie during a batting practice swing in the indoor cage at San Diego. But what makes it really painful -- the Dodgers made the move before their game against Houston, which happened to be Andre Ethier Bobblehead Night.
And in other sporting news... a one-time NASCAR driver admitted today that he led authorities on a high-speed chase from Orange County to San Diego and was sentenced to a month in jail and three years probation.
James Edward Neal pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of evading while driving recklessly in his initial court appearance at the Central Jail in Santa Ana.
Sheriff's deputies tried to pull Neal over about 3 yesterday morning on Avenida Pico in San Clemente for not having a front license plate, a minor infraction he could have settled without even a fine. But Neal took off, appearing to pull over a few times but then speeding off again - at speeds as high as 140 mph.
Neal was eventually caught because his engine blew up, forcing him to stop on the side of the road in San Diego County, near La Jolla. Karma, man. ... Gets you every time.