NURSING HOME SHOOTING
Los Angeles police: Man shoots ailing wife, sister
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police say a 60-year-old man has been booked for investigation of murder in the shootings of his dementia-stricken wife and his sister, who was in a vegetative state at a nursing home.
Detective Andrea Moore says Lance Holger Anderson of suburban Santa Clarita was booked Wednesday.
Lt. Paul Vernon says the man surrendered to officers at the Country Villa Sheraton nursing facility in the North Hills area of Los Angeles.
He says the sister, who was shot in the head, was identified as 58-year-old Lisa Nave, who'd been in a vegetative state for several years.
Deputies found the wife's body at a home in the Canyon Country area of Santa Clarita.
Vernon characterized the shootings as "apparent mercy killings."
MANSION PARTY-SNOW LEOPARD
Dead leopard, other swag snagged at mansion party
LA HABRA HEIGHTS, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have recovered a huge haul of high-end swag that thieves snagged during a party at an empty mansion - including armor, shields and a stuffed snow leopard worth $250,000.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says 15 teenagers were arrested Wednesday in connection with last month's party in La Habra Heights. Officials say it was planned on social media and held without the homeowner's knowledge.
According to investigators, partygoers entered through a window that was pried open, then trashed the place and stole several pricey items including designer suits and jewelry. The combined theft and damages totaled more than $1 million.
Sheriff's Lt. Arthur Scott tells the Los Angeles Times that the suspected leopard thief had no idea how valuable the mounted cat was and grabbed it "because all the good stuff was gone."
AP Exclusive: Feds shut 52 unsafe bus companies
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 companies in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown.
Among the violations that inspectors discovered were drivers whose licenses were suspended or who drove more than 800 miles without rest.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Thursday that in April it started checking out 250 companies with poor safety records.
Of the 52 that were shut down, three have made changes that allowed them to reopen.
Agency administrator Anne S. Ferro says the companies aren't just low-cost, fly-by-night carriers - some have transported school bands, Boy Scouts or senior citizens.
Ferro says that while most of the nation's approximately 4,000 interstate bus companies are safe, others "put safety by the wayside in order to compete in a very tight market."
VIETNAMESE PARADE-GAY RIGHTS
California city OKs parade despite gay exclusion
WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California city has granted a private group a permit to hold a Vietnamese new year's parade over objections that it will exclude the community's gay and lesbian residents.
Members of a gay and lesbian group pleaded with the Westminster City Council to deny the permit to the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California at a meeting Wednesday night, but the vote to grant it was unanimous.
Council members criticized the exclusion and some said the controversy makes the city look bad, but said they have no legal choice but to grant the permit for the Tet Parade that has been held in the city for two decades.
HOT SAUCE CONTROVERSY
Sriracha maker: California halting sauce shipments
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Southern California-based maker of Sriracha says it can't ship any more of its popular hot sauces to food distributors until next month because the state Department of Public Health is now enforcing stricter guidelines.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Huy Fong Foods says the regulations require the sauces be held for 35 days before they are shipped.
The action is the company's second setback in recent weeks. It's being sued by the Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale for filling its air with eye-burning odors from its pepper-grinding sauce operation.
Last month, a judge ordered Huy Fong to stop producing the odors until air-quality experts can determine how to mitigate them.
Pepper grinding operations at the plant have concluded until next year.
EX-SAN DIEGO MAYOR
Ex-San Diego mayor sued again for sex harassment
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A day after he was sentenced to home confinement for the unwanted groping of women, former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been sued by another city employee.
City parks employee Stacy McKenzie had already come forward with allegations against Filner, but on Wednesday she became the second city worker to file a lawsuit.
In allegations similar to those of nearly 20 other women, McKenzie says Filner grabbed her from behind, put her in a headlock and rubbed her breasts at a spring event at Mission Bay park.
U-T San Diego has posted a computer-animated video illustrating the incident that McKenzie's attorney Dan Gilleon commissioned
Filner's attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Filner left office Aug. 30. He begins his sentence of three months home confinement in January.
CONGRESSWOMAN'S AIDE-FATAL CRASH
Woman hit by Calif. Congresswoman's aide dies
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - A woman who was struck by a car driven by a congresswoman's aide in Santa Barbara has died.
The Santa Maria Times says 27-year-old Mallory Rae Dies was removed from life support and died Wednesday, five days after she was struck by an allegedly drunken driver while crossing a street.
The driver, 32-year-old Raymond Morua, was a field representative to Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps. He was fired Monday.
Authorities say Morua was leaving a party Friday when he hit Dies, who wasn't in a crosswalk but was crossing legally.
Morua, who has previous drunken-driving arrests, is charged with murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.
He remains jailed. It wasn't clear whether he's hired an attorney and a phone listing for him couldn't be found.
Woman, 83, to stand trial in jewelry store theft
INDIO, Calif. (AP) - An 83-year-old woman who says she's a career jewel thief will stand trial for allegedly swiping a $22,000 ring from a Southern California jewelry store.
The Palm Springs Desert Sun says Doris Payne was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for the October theft in Palm Desert.
Payne pleaded not guilty last month to felony grand theft and burglary. She remains jailed.
The ring has been recovered.
Over more than five decades, Payne claims to have swiped millions of dollars' worth of jewels in the U.S. and Europe by posing as a well-to-do buyer. A movie of her life reportedly is in the works.
Payne has had several theft convictions in Southern California since 2009 and was on probation at the time of her latest arrest.
COAST GUARD-DRUG SEIZURE
Coast Guard shoots out engines of drug-laden boat
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says its crews shot out the engines of a small Mexican boat before seizing more than 7,000 pounds of marijuana and detaining three suspected smugglers.
The Coast Guard said in a news release Wednesday that the incident happened in international waters about 155 miles southwest of San Diego on Tuesday.
Coast Guard authorities flying overhead detected the 30-foot skiff and alerted its crews on nearby vessels.
Officials say authorities fired warning shots and then shot out the boat's engine when it refused to stop.
Coast Guard crews on Dec. 2 interdicted a similar boat with 201 bales of marijuana and two suspected smugglers aboard about 140 miles southwest of San Diego.
COLD SNAP-WINTER CROPS
Citrus growers stop packing to check freeze damage
EXETER, Calif. (AP) - California citrus growers have agreed to hold off packing fruit for two days to let state and county inspectors survey crop damage caused by a seven-day cold spell.
California Citrus Mutual says growers will wait to pack fruit harvested on or after Wednesday to facilitate inspections at 81 packinghouses in the Central Valley.
The association of growers says inspectors will also evaluate the effects of a week of freezing temperatures on more than 200,000 acres of groves, and that fruit unfit for the fresh market will be juiced.
Citrus Mutual president Joel Nelsen says the return on juiced fruit only covers harvesting costs.
The association says it is too soon to know if the damage was caused by the freeze but the worst appears to be over for now.
Actor Christopher Evan Welch dies at age 48
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - Christopher Evan Welch, the actor whose roles on New York stages led to a series of film and television parts, including a regular spot on AMC's "Rubicon," has died in Southern California.
His family said in a statement Wednesday that Welch died Dec. 2 in Santa Monica. He was 48 and had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
The Dallas-born actor won an Obie Award in 2000 for his performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the New York Theatre Workshop.
On television, Welch had roles in "The Sopranos" and "The Good Wife," in addition to the conspiracy-themed drama "Rubicon."
Last year he played a clerk in the House of Representatives in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
Welch is survived by his wife, Emma, their daughter June Harper, his parents, a brother and a sister.
O'Neal describes fondness for disputed Warhol art
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ryan O'Neal says an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett still represents one of his strongest connections to his longtime partner.
The Oscar-nominated actor told a jury Wednesday that he talks to the portrait and he feels Fawcett's presence by having it in his house.
The University of Texas at Austin is suing O'Neal to try to gain possession of the portrait. Fawcett left all her artwork to the school and it claims O'Neal improperly took it from her condo days after her death.
O'Neal has testified Warhol gave him the portrait and he wants to pass it on to his son with Fawcett, Redmond.
Testimony in the case is winding down, with O'Neal and his son expected to be among the case's final witnesses.
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