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Miley Cyrus bus crash: bus driver dead, singer was not on board | | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

ASSOCIATED PRESSA bus driver had died in a bus crash for Miley Cyrus's tour, reports the Associated Press. Cyrus is pictured in an October photo a...

Perez Called "Talentless Dope"

Advocate. | Advocate | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

After a morning TV scheduling mixup, a Los Angeles TV anchor goes on a rant against blogger Perez Hilton. ...

Buick Regal To Receive Second-Gen Mild Hybrid Powertrain in 2011

AllAboutElectric | AllCarsElectric | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

General Motors displayed the all new 2011 Buick Regal just days ago in Los Angeles.  The vehicle will be one of the first GM products to be propelle...

AP Impact: Toxic metal in kids' jewelry from China

Journal Advocate. | Journal Advocate | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Barred from using lead in children’s jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting...

Michael Jackson earns American Music Awards nod

AP | DAVID BAUDER | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

NEW YORK — Michael Jackson has a chance to win artist of the year posthumously at the American Music Awards.

The pop superstar, who died on June 25, was among a diverse group of artists nominated Tuesday for the top honor. Country star Taylor Swift, rapper Eminem, breakthrough rockers Kings of Leon and flamboyant pop star Lady Gaga were the other nominees.

Swift topped all artists with six nominations. She drew inadvertent attention at the MTV Video Music Awards last month when rapper Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech to say Beyonce deserved the award instead.

Jackson followed Swift with five nominations and Eminem received four.

Winners are determined by an online vote of fans and will be announced at a Los Angeles ceremony televised by ABC on Nov. 22. The nominees were selected through a measurement combining sales and radio airplay.

Hyundai: No More V6s For Midsize Cars or Compact Crossovers

GreenCar Reports | GreenCar | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

One of the standouts among the global carmakers at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show was Hyundai. The Korean company has seen its market share rise from...

A Fundamental Secret to Happiness? Get Enough Sleep.

The Happiness Project | The Happiness Project | Posted 11.17.2011 | Home

I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit...

Toxicology tests ordered on heiress Casey Johnson

Fox 31 | Fox 31 | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES -- An autopsy has been completed on Casey Johnson, the 30 year old heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, who was found dead in Los Ang...

In Focus: Majority Of Parents Abuse Children, Children Report

The Onion | The Onion | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES—"My parents force me to finish my math homework before letting me watch TV," admitted "Derek," 10, a study participant and abuse vic...

Spotting Terrorists: What To Watch For And Where

CBS4Denver | CBS 4 Denver | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

A new anti-terrorism community watch program, iWATCH, beginning this weekend in Los Angeles, advises the public that these nine suspicious signs shoul...

Letterman Admits to Sex with Show Staffers

Fox 31 | Fox 31 | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- David Letterman acknowledged on Thursday's show that he had sexual relationships with female employees and that someone tried to e...

'Hills' star Patridge gets restraining order

AP | ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES — A judge has granted a three-year restraining order against a man accused of stalking Audrina Patridge.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III issued the order Wednesday prohibiting any contact by Zachary Loring with "The Hills" star. Patridge sought protection from Loring after he showed up at her house several times. He was arrested on Aug. 30 after Patridge spotted him outside her home.

The 24-year-old actress testified during Wednesday's hearing, calmly recounting how Loring presented her with beer, wine, poetry and drawings.

Patridge said she was afraid of Loring, who was not in court.

A Los Angeles police detective testified that the 24-year-old Northern California man was exhibiting stalking behavior.

Bankruptcy judge rejects both bids to buy Coyotes

AP | BOB BAUM | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

PHOENIX — A bankruptcy judge has rejected both bids to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.

Judge Redfield T. Baum turned down the offers of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and the NHL in a 31-page ruling on Wednesday.

However, he left the door open for the NHL to buy the team if it amends its offer.

The ruling comes on the eve of the start of the NHL season after nearly five months of often bitter legal wrangling between Balsillie and the league.

Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes took the team into Chapter 11 on May 5 with a plan to sell to Balsillie, contingent on moving the franchise to Hamilton, Ontario, over the NHL's vehement objections.

Broomfield racers win crowd`s heart in LA

Broomfield Enterprise. | Broomfield Enterprise | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Team Speed Racer won the People`s Choice Award on Saturday at the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Los Angeles....

Treasury: 2 firms can start buying toxic assets

AP | MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department says two large investment funds have raised the minimum amounts needed to begin purchasing toxic assets from banks, finally launching this part of the government's financial rescue effort.

Treasury says Invesco Ltd. and the TCW Group Inc. both cleared the $500 million target to begin operations to purchase toxic assets.

They are among nine firms that received initial approval to participate in the program earlier this year. Treasury said it expected more firms would be cleared to begin operations soon.

The goal of the program is to rid banks of bad loans so they can resume more normal lending, which is key for sustaining any economic recovery.

LA County beaches reopen following tsunami fears

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

LOS ANGELES — Lifeguards have given the all-clear for visitors to return to Los Angeles County beaches following a magnitude-8 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa that prompted a tsunami advisory.

Los Angeles County lifeguard Capt. Terry Harvey said Wednesday morning that crews found no dangerous currents or other hazards during their night patrols.

The National Weather Service allowed its tsunami warning to expire early Wednesday.

Harvey says the tide was not higher than normal and a few Boogie boarders and surfers at Venice Beach disregarded the advisory. There were no injuries.

The massive tsunami flattened Samoan villages and swept cars and people out to sea, killing at least 99 people.

Kidnapped Calif. girl's mom: 'Miracles can happen'

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The mother of a Northern California woman found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped says people should never stop looking for missing children.

Terry Probyn was reunited with her daughter Jaycee Dugard last month.

Probyn said in a statement Wednesday that she hopes her family's story will focus attention on all missing children. She said her daughter's story proves that "miracles can happen."

Dugard was 11 when police say Phillip and Nancy Garrido kidnapped her, then allegedly held her captive. Police say the couple raped Dugard, now 29, and Phillip Garrido fathered her two children. They have pleaded not guilty.

Probyn has been in seclusion with Dugard and Dugard's daughters since their reunification Aug. 27. She says they are doing very well under the circumstances.

A Russian owner in NBA: Tycoon buying NJ Nets

AP | TOM CANAVAN | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Could the New Jersey Nets become the Nyets?

The basketball team once known as the New Jersey Americans is a step closer to being owned by Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, who on Wednesday said he has a deal to buy 80 percent of the NBA team and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets' current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA's first non-North American owner.

It would mean the Nets really do seem headed to Brooklyn, a New York City borough without a major pro sports franchise since baseball's Dodgers decamped for Los Angeles in 1957.

Winds, heat stoke Southern California wildfire

AP | JEFF WILSON | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

An 8,500-acre wildfire continues to churn through rugged hills and mountains of Southern California's Ventura County, but some areas are experiencing a lull in winds.

Firefighters guarded ranch and agricultural properties on the active west flank of the fire Wednesday morning. None appeared in imminent danger.

Firefighters expect winds to pick up again and consider 1,000 homes and 20 commercial buildings threatened.

A DC-10 jumbo jet converted into an air tanker has returned to the blaze and dropped an enormous load of fire retardant on vegetation.

The fire erupted Tuesday between the cities of Fillmore and Moorpark as hot, dry and gusty Santa Ana winds pushed through Southern California.

Russian tycoon to buy Nets, move team to Brooklyn

AP | TOM CANAVAN | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The NBA has truly gone global.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached an agreement Wednesday to buy 80 percent of the financially strapped New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The only thing that stands in the way is a nyet from the league's board of governors, and that doesn't seem likely with NBA commissioner David Stern already giving the deal his initial blessing.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets' current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA's first non-North American owner.

Celebrity birthdays for Sept. 27-Oct. 3

AP | The Associated Press | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3:

Sept. 27: Director Arthur Penn is 87. Actress Sada Thompson is 80. Actress Kathleen Nolan is 76. Actor Wilford Brimley is 75. Producer Don Cornelius ("Soul Train") is 73. Singer-guitarist Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive is 66. Singer-actor Meat Loaf is 62. Actress Liz Torres is 62. Actor A Martinez ("LA Law," "Santa Barbara") is 61. Sax player Greg Ham of Men at Work is 56. Singer-actor-director Shaun Cassidy is 51. Singer-guitarist Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind is 45. Actor Patrick Muldoon ("Melrose Place") is 41. Singer Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd is 39. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 37. Singer Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down is 31. Bassist Grant Brandell of Underoath is 28. Rapper Lil' Wayne is 27. Singer Avril Lavigne is 25.

Sept. 28: Actor William Windom ("Murder, She Wrote") is 86. Actor Arnold Stang is 84. Actress Brigitte Bardot is 75. Singer Ben E. King is 71. Actor Joel Higgins ("Silver Spoons") is 66. Actor Jeffrey Jones is 63. Writer-director-actor John Sayles is 59. Actress Sylvia Kristel ("Emmanuelle," "Private Lessons") is 57. Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo is 45. Country singer Matt King is 43. Actress Mira Sorvino is 42. TV personality Moon Zappa is 42. Actress Naomi Watts is 41. Country singer Mandy Barnett is 34. Rapper Young Jeezy is 32. Actor Peter Cambor ("NCIS: Los Angeles") is 31. TV personality Bam Margera ("Jackass") is 30. Actress Hilary Duff is 22.

Sept. 29: Actor Steve Forrest is 85. Actress Anita Ekberg is 78. Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 74. Actor Ian McShane is 67. Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty is 67. TV theme composer Mike Post is 65. Actress Patricia Hodge is 63. Guitarist Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly is 61. Singer-guitarist Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad is 61. TV personality Bryant Gumbel is 61. Country singer Alvin Crow is 59. Actor Drake Hogestyn ("Days of Our Lives") is 56. PBS newswoman Gwen Ifill is 54. Child actor Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley on "The Addams Family") is 54. Singer Suzzy Roche of The Roches is 53. Comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay is 52. Singer-bassist Les Claypool of Primus is 46. Actress Jill Whelan ("Love Boat") is 43. Bassist Brad Smith of Blind Melon is 41. Singer Devante Swing of Jodeci is 40. Actress Emily Lloyd is 39. Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner is 39. Actress Rachel Cronin ("Ed") is 38. Guitarist Josh Farro of Paramore is 22.

Sept. 30: Actress Angie Dickinson is 78. Singer Cissy Houston is 76. Singer Johnny Mathis is 74. Actor Len Cariou ("The Four Seasons") is 70. Singer Marilyn McCoo is 66. Singer Sylvia Peterson of The Chiffons is 63. Actor John Finn ("Cold Case") is 57. Guitarist John Lombardo (10,000 Maniacs) is 57. Country singer Deborah Allen is 56. Jazz singer Patrice Rushen is 55. Actor Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch") is 55. Actress Fran Drescher is 52. Country singer Marty Stuart is 51. Actress Crystal Bernard ("Wings") is 48. Actor Eric Stoltz is 48. Rapper-producer Marley Marl is 47. Country singer Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry is 46. Singer Trey Anastasio of Phish is 45. Bassist Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls is 45. Actress Monica Bellucci ("The Passion of the Christ," "The Matrix Reloaded") is 45. Actor Tony Hale ("Arrested Development") is 39. Actress Jenna Elfman ("Dharma and Greg") is 38. Actor Ashley Hamilton is 35. Actress Lacey Chabert ("Mean Girls," "Party of Five") is 27. Actor Kieran Culkin is 27. Rapper T-Pain is 25.

Suspected LA serial killer charged with 5 killings

AP | THOMAS WATKINS | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Prosecutors have filed five more murder charges against an accused serial killer police say may be responsible for the deaths of as many as 30 women in Los Angeles.

District attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison says 73-year-old John Floyd Thomas was charged Wednesday with the murder of five women in the 1970s and '80s.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Thomas was already in custody, charged with murdering two other women. Cold case detectives believe him responsible for the deaths of as many as 30 women, which would make him the most prolific killer in city history.

Calls to his court-appointed lawyers were not immediately returned.

Report: Citigroup to scale back US footprint

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Citigroup Inc., one of the biggest recipients of government bailout funds, is looking to scale back its U.S. retail footprint to just six major metropolitan areas and limit most lending to wealthy customers, according to a published report.

Citi's management is looking to reduce the bank's U.S. consumer lending to mainly credit cards and "jumbo" mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.

The New York-based bank's executives are expected in October to present plans to the board of directors to pare Citi's retail branch network and concentrate mainly on the New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, the paper said.

Most of Citi's branch locations are located internationally. Citi currently operates about 1,000 U.S. branches, much fewer than the 5,000-plus run by Bank of America Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co., which expanded its network with the takeover of Washington Mutual last year. While the moves would be designed to help the bank work "smaller-but-smarter," the paper said some Citi executives are concerned that the U.S. government, which owns a 34 percent stake in Citi, could balk at branch closings.

Citi is looking to sell its 120 branches in Texas and is mulling whether it should continue to maintain a large footprint in cities like Boston and Philadelphia, the paper said. Citi holds few deposits in those locations compared with competitors.

National Lampoon CEO pleads guilty to conspiracy

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The CEO of National Lampoon Inc. has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say CEO Daniel Laikin was part of a plot to artificially inflate the company's stock price by paying people to buy shares. The 47-year-old man, who lives in Indianapolis and Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to conspiracy Wednesday. Prosecutors dropped a count of securities fraud in exchange.

Prosecutors say Laikin and others hoped to push the price of the shares from $2 to $5 to boost its attractiveness in a strategic partnership or acquisition. The shares were trading on the American Stock Exchange at the time but prosecutors say they've since become an over-the-counter penny stock.

Defense lawyer Joseph Poluka did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Plea deal ends 'Girls Gone Wild' founder tax case

AP | ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Court records show Joe Francis has agreed to plead guilty to filing false tax returns and will avoid further jail time.

Records filed Wednesday in Los Angeles show the "Girls Gone Wild" founder will plead guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of bribing Nevada jail workers in exchange for food.

The plea agreement states Francis will pay $250,000 in restitution and receive credit for jail time served. Francis was indicted by a federal grand jury on tax evasion charges in 2007 and has spent 301 days in jail.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon. A trial had been scheduled for October.

The agreement calls for any tax liabilities of Francis or his companies from 2002 to 2008 to be handled in civil or administrative arenas.