SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HEAT
Heat wave sends power demand soaring in California
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A heat wave has sent Californians to their air conditioners and driven up power usage to its highest peak of the year.
The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state's electrical grid, says demand hit 45,090 megawatts Monday afternoon - beating a record for the year that was set on July 30.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says demand peaked at 6,196 megawatts, surpassing the all-time record set about four years ago.
Temperatures in Southern California hit triple digits in many areas. Woodland Hills had 107 degrees, breaking a 1989 record for the date. Riverside's 108 tied a record set in 1917.
The heat wave's expected to continue through Tuesday and it's bringing extreme fire danger with it.
State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State Sen. Rod Wright has resigned after he was sentenced last week to three months in jail for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg accepted Wright's resignation, which is effective Sept. 22. Jennifer Hanson, a spokeswoman for Wright, confirmed the senator submitted his resignation letter on Monday.
He was convicted of perjury in January for lying about his residence and later was suspended with pay from the Senate. Wright's was the first of three unrelated cases against Democratic lawmakers that cost the party its supermajority in the Senate.
Wright said he listed an Inglewood property as his residence so he could run in 2008 to represent the 25th Senate District, but jurors found he actually lived outside the district.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE
Sheet metal reflection cause of California fire
CORONA, Calif. (AP) - Southern California fire officials say a wildfire that prompted evacuations over the weekend in the Cleveland National Forest was started by the sun's rays reflecting off sheet metal that edged a homeowner's backyard garden.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi says the 2-foot-tall metal fencing surrounded a vegetable garden and was intended to keep small rodents out.
Concialdi says the reflection off the sheet metal ignited a wooden border and nearby grass and then spread into Silverado Canyon.
Authorities lifted evacuation orders for 200 homes late Sunday and the fire is 80 percent contained Monday.
The fire started Friday and grew to 1½ square miles.
He says the homeowner will not be charged or fined for the accidental blaze.
Police: Protocol followed in detention of actress
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police say they followed proper protocol when they demanded identification from an actress and her boyfriend while investigating a 911 call alleging lewd conduct.
Actress Daniele Watts, who appeared in "Django Unchained," says she was unjustly handcuffed and detained Thursday after refusing to provide identification to officers responding to a report of lewd conduct in a car parked along Ventura Boulevard.
Watts and her boyfriend, Brian Lucas, wrote about the incident on Facebook and posted photos of a crying Watts in handcuffs.
Lucas said he suspects that onlookers assumed Watts to be a prostitute and him a client because she is black and he is white.
Los Angeles police Lt. Andrew Neiman said Monday that citizens are required to identify themselves if requested to do so by an officer who has reasonable suspicion to believe an offense may have been committed.
Watts was detained until police determined no crime was committed.
PARTY BUS DEATH
Owner charged in Los Angeles party bus death
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The owner of a party bus has been charged with operating an unsafe vehicle in Los Angeles after the death of a passenger who fell out of a defective door.
The city attorney's office announced Monday that it's filed two dozen misdemeanor counts against Hyros Corporation of Los Angeles and its owner, Ayrapet Kasabyan.
Los Angeles County prosecutors earlier declined to file felony manslaughter charges over the death of Christopher Saraceno.
The 24-year-old was killed last fall when he leaned on the bus door during a birthday celebration trip and it flew open, dumping him into traffic on Interstate 101. The CHP says the door didn't lock properly.
Kasabyan faces more than 4 1/2 years in jail if convicted.
A call seeking comment from Kasabyan wasn't immediately returned Monday.
BANK ROBBERY-BOMB THREAT
Suspect in bank robbery threatens explosives
STANTON, Calif. (AP) - The Orange County Sheriff's Department bomb squad is checking the car of a bank robbery suspect after the man said during his arrest that he has explosives in his car.
Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock says the man was arrested Monday and is believed to have robbed a Bank of the West in Stanton earlier in the day.
Hallock says the suspect in the bank robbery fled and when deputies caught up with him, he made a bomb threat as he was arrested.
Hallock says the man made off with some cash from the bank but he didn't know how much.
Investigators haven't determined yet if there are actually explosives in the suspect's vehicle.
USC breaks ground on $650 million campus village
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The University of Southern California has brought out the Trojan Marching Band to beat the drum for a $650 million expansion that school officials say will transform both the Los Angeles campus and the surrounding neighborhood.
The band played at Monday's official groundbreaking for USC Village.
When completed in 2017, officials say the 15-acre village will contain on-campus housing for 2,700 students and numerous other amenities.
Those other amenities include a grocery store, fitness center, salons, boutiques, restaurants and other facilities open to students and the public. There will also be walkways and plazas and other campus facilities.
They are all going on a site that was once was an aging shopping center adjacent to campus.
Officials say the project is the most ambitious expansion in USC's 134-year history.
Clooney to receive HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille Award
LOS ANGELES (AP) - George Clooney is sure to take home a trophy at next year's Golden Globe Awards.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Monday that the 53-year-old entertainer and activist will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the ceremony on Jan. 11, 2015.
The award is presented annually to an individual who's made "an incredible impact on the world of entertainment."
Association president Theo Kingma cited Clooney's achievements on both sides of the camera and his humanitarian efforts around the world.
Clooney has won two Oscars and four Golden Globes. He's also been recognized for his efforts to bring attention to atrocities in Darfur and for producing the "Help Haiti Now" telethon to raise money after the devastating earthquake there in 2010.
Street gangs tone down use of colors, tattoos
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Law enforcement officials from coast to coast say street gangs are shying away from wearing their colors and are covering up or even altering their tattoos to avoid detection by police.
Hartford, Connecticut, Police Sgt. Johnmichael O'Hare says gone are the days when the Bloods wore red from head to toe. All you'll see now, he says, is maybe a red handkerchief sticking out of a back pocket.
Police say gangs have learned from past mistakes and are responding to stronger laws. Authorities say gang members also want to avoid more restrictive prison conditions imposed on gang members.
Los Angeles Detective William Nunn says there's another reason gangs aren't so flashy these days - they're committing more credit card and identity theft crimes and don't want to be easily identified.
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