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Articles on this Page
- 09/30/18--19:37: _One Dead, One Injur...
- 10/01/18--04:36: _Evidence Doesn't Su...
- 09/30/18--22:35: _Yuca's Tacos Builds...
- 09/30/18--21:57: _Country Music Unite...
- 10/01/18--08:32: _Hip, Hippo, Hooray:...
- 10/01/18--11:13: _WATCH: Flake Attend...
- 10/01/18--09:43: _Teen, 13, Attacked ...
- 10/01/18--11:14: _Preliminary 3.5-Mag...
- 10/01/18--11:18: _Trump on Kavanaugh:...
- 09/27/18--19:37: _Portraits of the 58...
- 10/01/18--10:32: _Woman Accused of Ro...
- 10/01/18--08:48: _One Year After the ...
- 10/01/18--12:16: _Things to Do This W...
- 10/01/18--12:14: _Puerto Rico's Touri...
- 10/01/18--14:26: _Spy Sweet 'n Salty ...
- 10/01/18--14:08: _Rockies' Carlos Gon...
- 10/01/18--15:34: _USPS is Hiring for ...
- 10/01/18--16:34: _Dodgers Win 6th str...
- 10/01/18--17:15: _People's Choice Awa...
- 10/01/18--17:39: _List: Kia, Hyundai ...
- 09/30/18--19:37: One Dead, One Injured in La Verne Plane Crash
- 10/01/18--04:36: Evidence Doesn't Support Claim Against Kavanaugh: Prosecutor
- 09/30/18--22:35: Yuca's Tacos Builds Big Legacy in Los Feliz
- 09/30/18--21:57: Country Music Unites Survivors a Year After Vegas Massacre
- 10/01/18--08:32: Hip, Hippo, Hooray: Boo at the LA Zoo Begins
- 10/01/18--11:13: WATCH: Flake Attends Forbes Event Amid Kavanaugh Scrutiny
- 10/01/18--09:43: Teen, 13, Attacked by Shark Off Southern California Coast
- 10/01/18--11:14: Preliminary 3.5-Magnitude Quake Rattles Riverside County
- 10/01/18--11:18: Trump on Kavanaugh: ‘FBI Should Do What They Have to Do’
- 09/27/18--19:37: Portraits of the 58 Las Vegas Shooting Victims Unveiled
- 10/01/18--08:48: One Year After the Las Vegas Massacre
- 10/01/18--12:16: Things to Do This Week: Union Station Restaurant Peek
- 10/01/18--12:14: Puerto Rico's Tourism Industry Wants Visitors to Come Back
- 10/01/18--14:26: Spy Sweet 'n Salty Surf City Surf Dog Snaps
- 10/01/18--15:34: USPS is Hiring for the Holidays
- 10/01/18--16:34: Dodgers Win 6th straight NL West Title, Advance to NLDS
- 10/01/18--17:15: People's Choice Awards 2018: Best Movie Nominees
- 10/01/18--17:39: List: Kia, Hyundai Models Drivers Say Are Catching Fire
One person was killed and one person was taken to a hospital after a small plane crashed in La Verne Sunday, per the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The single-engine Cessna crashed at approximately 5:45 p.m. on the 1600 block of Puddingstone Drive, per LAFD. The crash occurred close to Brackett Field Airport.
The person killed and the person injured in the crash were not immediately identified.
Photo Credit: Newschopper4 Bravo
A plane crash in La Verne on Sept. 30, 2018.
No reasonable prosecutor would bring sexual assault charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh based on the public evidence, the prosecutor whom Republicans hired to ask the questions during last week's Senate hearing said in a memo to senators, NBC News reported.
In the memo, which was sent to all Republican senators and was obtained Sunday night by NBC News, Rachel Mitchell, the deputy county attorney in charge of the Special Victims Division in Maricopa County, Arizona, said her "bottom line" was that "a 'he said, she said' case is incredibly difficult to prove."
"But this case is even weaker than that," Mitchell wrote. "Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them."
"I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the committee," she wrote.
During her Senate testimony, Christine Blasey Ford said she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegation.
Democrats and other opponents of Kavanaugh argued it was inappropriate to have a prosecutor question Ford in a nonjudicial setting.
The FBI is conducting a one-week supplementary investigation after the Judiciary Committee cleared Kavanaugh's nomination on a party-line vote last week.
Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP
Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell listens to Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.
They say a way to someone's heart is through their stomach. That saying couldn't ring truer for a tiny taco shack in Los Feliz known for their award-winning Yucatan-style burritos.
However, it's something else that keep customers coming back. This little restaurant serves as a window into the family secret of the mother and daughter team that is living the all-American dream.
The only time you won't find "Mama" Socorro Herrera in the kitchen is on Sunday, when the restaurant closed. "Mama" and her daughters, Dora and Margarita, are the humble head honchos of Yuca's, the legendary taco hut on Hillhurst Ave.
For 42 years, "Mama" has greeted customers. On her barstool, she writes customer orders on a paper bag or paper plate and calls out to the kitchen.
It's a familiar sight for Elsa Alvarez, who has been coming to Yuca's since she was a kid.
"It's our heritage, the cochinito pibil," Alvarez says. "If we can't go to the Yucatan, we come here."
Alvarez's mother worked with "Mama" Socorro in a factory decades ago when "Mama" used to take burritos to work and sell them. Then, "Mama" and her husband bought an 8-by-10-foot shoeshine booth and turned into a taco stand that has survived for 42 years and counting.
Today, the world within Yuca's is a snapshot of LA.
Whatever is being served up brings in people from all walks of life. Over the decades, Yuca's has become an LA institution and a destination for celebrities like Katharine Hepburn, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Beastie Boys.
The Herreras' devotion is not just to food, but to their work with non-profits benefitting causes including AIDS, homelessness and community projects like parks and libraries.
"It's been a good ride," Dora says. "It's not over. We've got another 40 years at least."
It was at a country music concert where a gunman opened fire on Oct. 1, 2017, and on the eve of the one year annivesary of that event, a country music concert is precisely what is bringing survivors together.
Inside the largest country music bar in Las Vegas, a benefit concert for children who lost their parents a year ago is sold out. All around the city, one cannot help but marvel at the many ways people have used to heal from the nightmare of Oct. 1, when 58 people died and about 800 others were injured.
For the group of survivors and community members gathered at this bar, closing the emotional wounds of the shooting at a country music festival involves celebrating survival at a country music concert.
Jeff "Toad" Higginbotham, a survivor, shares that he thought the sound of gunfire on that fateful day was fireworks. Higginbotham says he grabbed his girlfriend, and the couple hid in a freezer for 20 minutes before jumping a fence and running for their lives.
"The country is stronger," Higginbotham says on the eve of the one year anniversary. "Vegas is stronger. We're not 'Vegas strong' anymore. We are stronger, and that is the attitude we have towards it all."
"#VegasStronger" is the rallying cry for the city on the one year anniversary of its greatest tragedy. The hashtags will be featured on marquees all over the famous Las Vegas strip starting at 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.
Photo Credit: KNBC
To say that animals have no role in the Halloween season is to claim that you aren't keeping an eye out for your favorite candy bar or lollipop while trick-or-treating: You totally are, so don't fib.
We dress up our pets, and we dress up as critters, and our household decorations are full of bats and cats and mice and other furry icons that have become not-too-terrifying hallmarks of the spookiest holiday.
And at animal parks and preserves across the country?
Eerie events created for families abound, with the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens serving as a lively, education-filled nexus, all month long, for nature-related Halloween fun.
Indeed, we did just say "all month long," for Boo at the LA Zoo is that rare event that runs an impressive 31 days, in all.
True, the weekends are woven with extra happenings, so check the Boo-eautiful to-dos on the zoo page before choosing the day you and your young'uns want to go.
One perennially popular pastime on the weekends?
Watching animals dig into their pumpkin-yummy treats, one messy, seedy bite at a time. Keep in mind that while some of the beasties do love to gobble gourds, carcasses are the preferred cuisine for other zoo residents.
Other haunted happenings include a Spooky Stroll (that's every day of the month), The L.A.I.R. (think snakes and such), and Swazzle's Monster Menagerie Puppet Show (sweet Saturday/Sunday fun).
To enjoy any of the daytime activities? You'll just need to cover zoo admission.
Oh yes, and happy news for kids with creative flair: "Costumes are encouraged!"
So if your tot is thinking of dressing up as a turtle this year, or a flamingo, or even a character that doesn't hail from the world o' wings, fangs, 'n tails, this would be a fine place to try that Halloween outfit out before the school parties and trick-or-treating arrives.
Boo at the LA Zoo 2018 rolls like a pumpkin from Oct. 1 right through to Halloween day.
Photo Credit: Jamie Pham
The month-long celebration includes a Spooky Stroll and Boo Bird Show. Going on a weekend? There are special happenings, so check the schedule.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Boston on Monday ahead of an appearance by Jeff Flake to urge the Arizona senator to vote against confirming Brett Cavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
"We're here to send a message to Senator Flake that if you come to Boston, you're going to hear from us," said Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.
Flake, who upended his GOP colleagues' plans Friday to move quickly to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by saying he wants an FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, will be in Boston Monday for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit.
Flake is scheduled to talk about the future of the Republican party along with Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the event at 1 p.m. at City Hall Plaza.
A rally was held outside City Hall ahead of Flake's appearance to urge him to vote against confirming Kavanaugh. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Democratic Massachusetts congressional candidate and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, Democratic New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with advocacy groups and survivors of sexual assault, all spoke at the event.
The crowd gathered at the rally carried signs with messages like "No, Brett" and "Kava-NAH." They joined in chants of "Love, not hate," and "Hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go!"
Both Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez spoke of their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment.
"There are many parts that make up my identity," Pressley said at the rally. "Chief amongst them, I am black, I am a woman and I am a survivor. I have been asked to not come off as outraged or angry for fear of being labeled as an angry black woman. Well I am angry, and I am outraged, because this is outrageous."
Pressley, quoting activist Deray McKesson, noted that those who are abused or marginalized are not voiceless, "what we are is unheard."
"Senator Flake, Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, can you hear us now?" she added. "Look me in the eye when I'm talking to you. Can you hear us now?"
Ocasio-Cortez shared several personal stories, including how when she was 18 or 19 years old, at a party in Boston, she saw a girl getting flung over someone's shoulder, unconscious, at a fraternity party, and walked upstairs. "Everybody looked, but nobody said anything," she said.
Walsh said Flake should not be receiving praise just for asking for an FBI investigation.
“I want to say to Senator Flake, I guess I want to say thank you for asking the question, but that’s your job," he said. "That’s your job to vet the nominee sitting on that committee."
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey made clear he is opposed to Kavanaugh because his presence on the court would pose a danger to Roe v. Wade. He also noted the state's long-standing history of launching revolutionary changes and leading progressive movements.
"We are Massachusetts. We are the revolutionaries," Markey said. "This is where the abolitionist movement started, this is where the suffragette movement started, this is where the Affordable Care Act movement started, this is where the gay marriage movement started. This is where the revolution starts to say that Brett Kavanaugh will not serve on the Supreme Court of the United States of America."
Olympian Adam Rippon, who was also in town to speak at the Forbes event, attended Monday's rally.
"As soon as I found out Jeff Flake would be here in Boston, I said, 'Where is the rally?'" Rippon said.
"We need to protect safe and legal abortion," he added. "We need to stand up for victims of sexual abuse. And we need to call every single day and say no to Brett Kavanaugh."
Monday's event featuring Flake was originally scheduled to be held at the Colonial Emerson Theatre, but Emerson College pushed to have the event canceled over "safety reasons." Instead, it was moved to City Hall Plaza.
Flake was a central figure in advancing Kavanaugh's nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee with his tie-breaking vote. Flake said he'd vote to advance the bill to the floor, but asked for a one-week investigation into the sexual assault allegations lodged by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh.
On "60 Minutes" Sunday night, Flake talked about his impressions of Kavanaugh’s testimony, saying, "It was anger...but if I were unjustly accused, that's how I would feel as well. As it went on, I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp, but the statement at the beginning I thought was pretty raw, but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused."
Flake is also scheduled to speak Monday night at Saint Anselm College's Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is scheduled to give a speech titled "After the Deluge: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle" at 6 p.m. Granite State Progress and several other groups are planning a rally outside the Institute of Politics at 5 p.m.
It will be Flake's second appearance in New Hampshire this year. He has said a bid for president in 2020 is unlikely, but hasn't ruled one out altogether.
Photo Credit: NBC News
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) speaks at Forbes 30 Under 30 event in Boston on Oct. 1, 2018, days after demanding an investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
An Encinitas beach is expected to reopen Monday after 48 hours without a sighting of the shark that attacked a teenage boy over the weekend.
Keane Hayes, 13 of Encinitas, was lobster fishing when he was bitten by the shark in the ear, shoulder and back, around 6:55 a.m. on Saturday.
He was taken by helicopter to Rady Children's Hospital in La Jolla where he remains in serious condition. The hospital said Hayes was expected to make a full recovery.
Witnesses described hearing screams from the boy before seeing a pool of blood in the water, where about 30 people were lobster fishing in about 9 feet of water off Beacon's Beach.
Chad Hammel realized what was happening when he heard Hayes yell, "I got bit."
"I paddled to him," he said. "And there was a big wake of blood behind him. His entire back was open. The shark hit him in the clavicle. The shark’s top teeth got him in his cheek."
Two other men also helped with the rescue before lifeguards took over on shore.
Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe said the quick response from first responders likely helped save the teen's life.
"Even a small bite from a big shark can do a lot of damage. But, having good first responders nearby has been the difference between people living and not," Lowe said.
His team is using new techniques to help Encinitas lifeguards identify what type of shark bit Hayes.
"We're working very closely with the Encinitas lifeguards to try and sort out what species was involved, the size of the shark and more about the behaviors so we can better advise the public," Lowe said.
So far, the animal has only been described as 11 feet long.
The team is taking swabs of Hayes' wetsuit to identify DNA from the shark. If the shark is spotted again, the water can also be tested for DNA, Lowe said.
"We hope to have some DNA evidence back in the next week that might help us confirm what kind of species it is," he said.
The water from Ponto Beach in Carlsbad to Swamis in Encinitas was closed for 48 hours but expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Monday.
After the attack, the beach was full of signs saying the area was closed to swimmers lifeguards were on wave runners actively warning people to stay out of the water. Encinitas Lifeguards said people were stealing the signs and they had to order about $800 worth of replacements.
Despite the closure, surfers were seen in the water at Swami's Beach Sunday morning.
The shark has not been seen since the attack, though there were non-threatening sharks in the water, Giles said at a 4 p.m. news conference Saturday.
The Carlsbad Police Department is using a drone to check to look for any sharks that may be a threat and Encinitas Lifeguards are scanning the waters on jet skis.
Other agencies helping with the investigation are California State Park Lifeguards, Solana Beach Lifeguards, the San Diego Sheriff's Department, Encinitas and Carlsbad fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard is aware of the incident.
In April 2017, a woman was attacked by a shark in the waters off San Onofre State Beach near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The last time a shark attack has been deadly in San Diego County was in Solana Beach in 2008.
A Go Fund Me page has been created to help with Hayes medical bills.
A 3.5-magnitude earthquake shook the Riverside County area on Monday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The temblor hit shortly before 11 a.m. about 2 and a half miles east northeast of the Calimesa area.
More than 50 people said they felt the quake.
Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
President Donald Trump said he was supportive of FBI agents questioning who they have to in the agency’s expanded background check on allegations of sexual misconduct by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting, Clark County and the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center unveiled an exhibit of the 58 shooting victims. The portraits were created by artists from across the country and around the world. The project was the brainchild of artists Ellen Abramo and Kortney Struempf and organized via Facebook.
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Portraits Project
A community of artists across the globe created portraits to honor those who lost their lives on Oct. 1, 2017. The portraits will be gifted to the families.
A mother from Los Angeles who says she was wrongfully arrested for murder plans to sue the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the city of Rolling Hills Estates.
Cherie Townsend said Monday she and her attorney filed a claim for damages alleging defamation and false arrest. A claim is the first legal step required before a lawsuit can be filed against a government agency in state court.
Townsend first told NBC4's I-Team last week she was desperate to clear her name after Sheriff Jim McDonnell in May publicly accused her of killing retired nurse Susan Leeds at a mall in Rolling Hills Estates.
"I was arrested for a murder I didn't commit," she said. "It's important for my story to be out, because I was wrongly accused."
It was May 3 when Leeds body was found in the driver's seat of her Mercedes SUV inside the first level of the parking structure of the Promenade on the Peninsula shopping center.
Detectives said Leeds' throat had been slashed, she'd been stabbed a dozen times, and things had been stolen. The next day, deputies arrested a homeless man who had been seen at the mall, but quickly released him.
Then Sheriff McDonnell announced that Townsend had been booked for murder and was being held on $1 million bail.
"They all had their guns drawn, like I'm a monster," she said. "They asked me to get out, put my hands up, and at this point, my life kinda flashed …"
Townsend confirms she was at the mall that day, shopping and passing time after dropping her daughter off at a friend's house in nearby Lomita. She says she knows nothing about the murder, and didn't see anything unusual while walking through the parking structure.
She drove out, her car was recorded by a security camera, but Townsend says she didn't realize she'd left something behind until later that day.
"At some point I dropped my phone and my phone was found in the parking lot."
Townsend says that phone is the only thing that connects her with the murder scene, and it's how detectives tracked her down days later.
"They had to blame somebody, and I was it. Because like they explained to me in interrogation, they told me I didn't have any business over there," she says. "I'm not rich enough to be there, or I didn't have the right car, or I didn't look the part."
Townsend was booked, her car seized. Investigators even searched the home of a friend she'd been visiting. She sat in jail for four days. Then prosecutors reviewed the evidence and decided no murder charge could be filed. Cherie was released.
"It was a relief, but a nightmare."
Months have now passed. She says if there was any evidence that connected her with the crime she knows she'd have been charged.
"Like I already knew, I'm innocent, what I said from day one."
Townsend says her daily routine of being immersed in her kids' school and athletic lives ended with the arrest and accusation. She says she's been afraid to be out in public, and can panic when she sees a police car.
"It's fear, fear that I'm going to unjustly be taken from my children."
She says she used to work for the LA County Probation Department and planned to resume working full-time once her kids were in college.
"I still have this dark cloud over my head ... from the moment I was released, they still went on TV and said we think we have the right person. That's damaging to me, my family."
The Sheriff's Department detectives on the case declined to be interviewed. The department would not say if it still considers Townsend a suspect, but her name is not mentioned in a new written statement.
In that statement the department says the case "has proved to be a very complex, active investigation," and says "with the lack of eyewitnesses, the physical and forensic evidence collected is continually being re-evaluated."
"Investigators are still receiving tips from the public and are diligently following up on each and every lead," the statement says.
Susan Leeds' family says it has full confidence in the homicide detectives to find the person responsible for the crime. "We know that the Sheriff's Department is doing its best," Leeds' adult stepson Fred said Thursday. "We believe in the job they are doing, and we believe they're doing everything humanly possible."
"I knew Susie Leeds for 28 years," he said. "She never had a mean word to say to anyone. She showed kindness to everyone, We greatly miss her, especially my father."
Photo Credit: John Locher/AP
Flowers, candles and other items surround the famous Las Vegas sign at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor country music concert killing dozens and injuring hundreds.
Union Station Restaurant Sneak Peek: History mavens have long known about the elegant but defunct Fred Harvey restaurant inside our city's storied train station. Now that eatery has a new name, the Imperial Western Beer Co., and a party to celebrate its stylish start. It's a fundraiser for LA Conservancy, long a champion of the storied space, which also includes a cool cocktail area called The Streamliner. Want to help the preservation group and get an early look at this cool new/old eatery? The party's on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Get ticket info now.
Boo at the LA Zoo opens: Thirty one days of not-at-all-frightful fun, with an educational theme? That's what this annual month-long happening is all about. There are some special events on the weekends, like animal feedings, but the weekdays have delightful doings too, with Animals and Boo serving as just one of the sunshiny events (it's the chance to "(g)et up close with creepy critters," neat). And are costumes welcome? You bet, so tell your tot to dress up ahead of your thrilling/chilling zoo visit. Oct. 1 through 31 are the 2018 dates.
Haunted Little Tokyo opens: A month is a fairly lengthy stretch of time, but when it is packed with tantalizing things to do, a person has to decide what they'll jot down on their calendar. And Little Tokyo has a whole line-up of Halloween-esque events, with a pumpkin patch, a Japanese horror film festival, a Block Party (complete with adult beverages and costume fun), and trick-or-treating on Halloween ahead. Just check the date before going LT, to make sure the thing you want to do is on, and then go, enjoy, and celebrate this terrific neighborhood in all of its autumnal glory.
Live Talks LA: If the start of autumn has you craving books and words and literary-themed evenings and invigorating conversations, look to this series, which pops up at the New Roads School in Santa Monica. Several fascinating nights are just ahead, with Jeff Bridges with Sam Rubin, Kate Atkinson with Susan Orlean, and An Evening with America Ferrera coming up. Tickets, times, and the long list of lit-amazing to-dos? Make for Live Talks LA, one of the most fall-tastic, idea-laden must-dos around.
Ample Hills Creamery debuts: If you know your Brooklyn licks, and your New York noshes, and you've ever enjoyed well-made ice cream in the Big Apple, chances are you've checked out Ample Hills, which has built quite the flavorful reputation. Now Southern California is getting one of these top-notch creamiers, in Los Feliz, complete with a Los Feliz-inspired flavor: Beneath Las Estrellas (think white chocolate pearls and dulce de leche). Be there on Oct. 4, opening day, for all the cool scoops. And neato: The sweet shop's located in an historic Craftsman, adding even more flavor.
Photo Credit: LA Conservancy
Check out the new Imperial Western Beer Co. and The Streamliner at a fundraiser for LA Conservancy on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
A few days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, a group of people stranded in Punta Santiago, a Puerto Rican neighborhood in the eastern coastal town of Humacao, wrote a giant sign in chalk: "S.O.S Necesitamos Agua/Comida" (S.O.S we need water/food). The picture captured from above went viral.
In an effort to promote progress and tourism in August, the residents Punta Santiago wrote a new sign on the street where they once pleaded for aid, "Bienvenidos" (welcome).
It was only a year ago that Maria devastated Puerto Rico, becoming the worst disaster ever recorded on the island. Recovery after the deadly storm has been slow for many, but those in the tourism industry say that Puerto Ricans have worked with great resilience along with first responders to make the island inviting again to travelers.
“We are open and ready,” said Clarissa Jiménez, the president and CEO of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association. In response to what Jiménez described as “a monster” that destroyed the entire island, she said "the best way to help Puerto Rico fully recover is by visiting it."
Before Maria, tourism had grown to an estimated 8.4 percent of GDP in 2017 and was projected to rise to 10.7 percent by 2027, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Hurricane Maria battered the industry: hotels and restaurants were destroyed and entire areas cut off from the rest of the island due to impassable roads. Despite the damage, tourism now represents 10 percent of GDP and still employs over 70,000 people of the more than 3 million who live there.
"We really rolled up our sleeves," said Jiménez, "but we were fortunate to get help from all over."
She said tourism is back after beginning to restabilize in the early this year.
"Our [golf] greens are greener than ever and our beautiful beaches are as perfect as they were before the hurricane,” Jiménez said.
Pamela Martínez, 30, has visited the island from Mexico several times before Maria and returned in July. She noticed a big difference from past trips in Isla Verde, the beachfront area on the border of San Juan where she was staying.
"None of the places I visited were closed," said Martínez, "but I did see a lot of the vegetation destroyed and the street lights were not working. Also power was off for long hours."
Kenneth Rivera-Robles, president of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, said that the government hired the nonprofit marketing group Discover Puerto Rico to change the perception people have of Puerto Rico in the wake of the storm.
"People tend to think we are not ready when in fact if you visit the island today you will get the whole experience," Rivera-Robles said. "Tourism is vital to our economy."
Jennifer Rosa, vice president for communications for Discover Puerto Rico, explained how the welcome sign in Costa Santiago was a turning point to show recovery efforts. Discover Puerto Rico invited people to use the hashtag #covertheprogress on social media to show the changes. "The future of too many people relies on tourism," she said.
Leah Chandler, chief of marketing office for Discover Puerto Rico, added that “it’s time to change the narrative.”
In an alliance with Google, they have created a photo archive of what different attractions looked like after Maria in comparison to now.
“All of the attractions are open and running perfectly. These are all pictures taken after Maria,” Chandler said.
Puerto Rican tourism promoters have made clear, however, that there are still places, including Puerto Rico's mountainous interior, where infrastructure is still weak and more needs to be done.
Tourist-friendly areas that were struggling to recover in the aftermath of Maria, such as Rincón and the island of Culebra, are open to visitors and will benefit from people's visits.
Tourism experts agree that the best way to fix ongoing challenges is by getting people to bring their business.
For all the misery that Maria wrought, it also did bring some new attention to the island.
“Before people couldn't even find Puerto Rico on a map,” Jiménez said. “Now they know where it is, who we are and our relationship with the U.S."
Photo Credit: Discover Puerto Rico
Discover Puerto Rico announced a new initiative to underscore the progress Puerto Rico's tourism has made since Hurricane Maria. As part of this initiative, local members of Humacao, one of the Island's hardest hit communities that became well known for the S.O.S image that went viral in the immediate aftermath of the storm, are encouraging travelers to be a part of Puerto Rico's comeback story.
Woofers rode the waves in one of the dampest and most delightful Fido to-dos of the fall.
Photo Credit: Jori Fentiman
The 10th Annual McKenna Subaru Surf City Surf Dog saw barkers on boards on Saturday, Sept. 29.
"That stupid song."
Carlos Gonzalez became public enemy No. 1 in Los Angeles ahead of the Dodgers and Rockies tiebreaker game to decide the National League West on Monday afternoon.
Gonzalez, told the Denver Post, that he hates the Randy Newman song, "I Love LA," played after each Dodgers win at Dodger Stadium.
"I try to run really fast into the clubhouse whenever they play that stupid song," Gonzalez was quoted as saying. "I don't want to hear it. Nobody wants to hear it."
The Rockies players and their fans have let it be known publicly that they hate LA, and would love more than anything to defeat the Dodgers on Monday and win their first NL West title in franchise history.
However, the LA fans share the same sentiments for Gonzalez and the Rockies.
Dodger fans loudly booed Gonzalez before his first at-bat of the game on Monday, and organist Dieter Ruehle trolled Gonzalez by playing "I Love LA," on the organ after he struck out in his at-bat.
— Tony Ciniglio (@TCiniglio) October 1, 2018
While the Rockies and Dodgers aren't one of the premier rivalries in the NL West, a little trash talking and denouncing of a national treasure like Randy Newman can go a long way to beginning one.
Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies told reporters that he hates the Randy Newman song, "I Love LA," played after every Dodgers home victory.
The United States Postal Service will be hiring in the Los Angeles and Santa Ana areas for the holidays.
USPS representatives will be at a job fair on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Golden West College. They will be talking to anybody interested in applying.
To be considered for the positions, applicants must meet the following requirements:
• Must be 18 years old at the time of appointment or 16 years of age with a high school diploma.
• Must be a United States citizen, or permanent resident.
• Must have recent employment history
• Ability to pass a criminal background check, drug screening, and medical assessment
• Have a safe driving record (if applicable to the position)
Some of the available positions are: rural mail carriers, mail processing clerks, transportation assistants, mail handlers and clerk assistants. Hourly wage ranges from $16-$18.62 per hour.
During the Job Fair, USPS will be providing flyers with information on how to apply online.
Walker Buehler, you're my hero.
Buehler threw six and 2/3 shutout innings in the biggest start of his career as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies, 5-2, in the National League West tiebreaker game at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy each hit two-run homers as the Dodgers won their sixth consecutive NL West title, advancing to the National League Division Series where they will host the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
In just the fourth tiebreaker game in Los Angeles history, and first since 1980, Buehler did not allow a hit through the first five innings before he surrendered a one-out single to Charlie Blackmon in the sixth.
Cody Bellinger gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead when he belted a two-run homer off German Marquez into the right field seats in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Entering the game, Bellinger was 1-for-15 with three strikeouts, and a career .133 OPS against Marquez. Those stats had many fans calling for Chris Taylor to start in centerfield in his place, but thankfully the team went with Bellinger.
One inning later, Muncy hit his team-leading 35th home run of the season when he crushed a 99MPH fastball from Marquez into the opposite field seats in left-center to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
Muncy's 35 homers are three shy of the National League lead and the left-hander leads all of baseball with a home run every 11.3 at-bats this season.
Muncy's homer marked the Dodgers 235th home run of the season, the most in franchise history, and tied with the St. Louis Cardinals (2000), San Francisco Giants (2001), Atlanta Braves (2003) and Chicago Cubs (2004) for sixth most in MLB history.
Buehler helped his own cause with a two-out insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Los Angeles a 5-0 lead.
That would turn out to be all the run support the Boys in Blue would need, as Buehler (8-5) allowed just one hit, with three walks and three strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings.
In his last 11 starts to end the season, Buehler is 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP.
Marquez (14-11), the reigning National League Pitcher of the Month, brought his swing-and-miss stuff, but took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned), on five hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in just 4 and 2/3 innings.
Nolan Arenado led off the ninth inning with a solo shot off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen for his NL-leading 38th homer of the season and Trevor Story belted his 37th home run of the season as the Rockies went back-to-back to begin the ninth.
The Dodgers improved to 50-0 in games where they stake a four-run lead this season. They are the only team in MLB not to have suffered a loss when leading by four or more runs this year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers broke Dodger Stadium franchise record for most attendance in a single season with 3,857,500, surpassing the team's 2007 total.
The Dodgers will host the Atlanta Braves for Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw is expected to start, with first pitch yet to be determined.
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Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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Max Muncy #13 celebrates with Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on October 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
The 2018 E! People's Choice Awards are on Nov. 10, 2018, and we decided to take a quick look at the five nominees for the Best Movie award. "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War," "Incredibles 2," "Fifty Shades Freed" and "A Quiet Place" were five of the biggest box office successes of the year.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
More car owners have come forward demanding car-makers or the federal government take action after Kias and Hyundais have been spontaneously catching fire.
Lorinda Hixon pulled her 2012 Kia Sorento off an LA freeway minutes before she said it spontaneously burst into flames.
"Thank god, I just say thank god. Thank god I got out of the vehicle and I'm here today," she said.
She's not alone. Kia owners across the country say their cars have spontaneously erupted in flames.
After seeing reports, Jason Tellefsen reached out to NBC4, saying his 2012 Hyundai Sonata also caught fire while his young daughters were in the back seat.
"My girls were, you know, hysterical. They were terrified," Tellefsen said.
Both car makers - owned by Hyundai Motor Group - previously recalled more than a million cars for an engine defect. It's these same cars that owners report are now catching fire.
Reps from the nonprofit group Center for Auto Safety believe this is a new issue unrelated to the engine defect. They've counted nearly 400 non-collision "fire-and-near-fire" incidents - data they gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and its own findings.
The center has petitioned the NHTSA to demand a new recall.
"What they should be doing is opening a new investigation into why Kias and Hyundais are catching fire," Jason Levine of the Center for Auto Safety said.
But the NHTSA isn't investigating the issue yet. By law, it's required to respond to the Center's petition, and it has a few more weeks to do that.
As for the car makers, in statements to NBC4, Hyundai said:
If it and the NHTSA "....Finds that additional remedies are warranted...We will take action."
Kia said: "All automobiles contain combustible materials and a vehicle fire may be the result of any number of complex factors....And must be evaluated by a qualified and trained investigator..."
This offers little comfort for the growing number of drivers who feel lucky to be alive.
"So take the responsibility and acknowledge there's an issue with the vehicle so nobody gets hurt or killed," Tellefsen said.
Hyundai told NBC4 that it's inspecting Tellefsen's car and Kia is trying to schedule an inspection of Hixon's.
If you own one of these Kias or Hyundais, safety advocates recommend you carry a fire extinguisher in your car. And if you smell something burning, pull over and get out immediately.
Model and years of the cars affected:
2011-2014 Kia Optima
2012-2014 Kia Sorento
2011-2013 Kia Sportage
2011-2012 Hyundai Sonata
Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
After popular cars have been catching fire randomly, customers want answers or a recall. Advocates are telling them to keep fire extinguishers in their cars in the meantime.