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    The Democratic drive to take control of the U.S. House in November might rise or fall on the California coast. As part of its strategy, the party is targeting four Republican-held seats in Orange County, southeast of Los Angeles, which Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, the county, a one-time Republican stronghold, has gradually grown more diverse and Democratic in its politics.

    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    File photoFile photo

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    In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published Tuesday (Oct. 16) by Bantam Books, the Cambridge professor begins a series of 10 intergalactic essays by addressing life's oldest and most religiously fraught question of all: Is there a God? 

    Hawking's answer — compiled from decades of prior interviews, essays and speeches with the help of his family, colleagues and the Steven Hawking Estate — should come as no surprise to readers who have followed his work, er, religiously, NBC News' MACH reported

    "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science," Hawking, who died in March, wrote. "If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn't take long to ask: What role is there for God?"

    In life, Hawking was a vocal champion of the Big Bang theory — the idea that the universe began by exploding suddenly out of an ultradense singularity smaller than an atom. From this speck emerged all the matter, energy and empty space that the universe would ever contain, and all that raw material evolved into the cosmos we perceive today by following a strict set of scientific laws. To Hawking and many like-minded scientists, the combined laws of gravity, relativity, quantum physics and a few other rules could explain everything that ever happened or ever will happen in our known universe.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    In this Jan. 14, 2010, file photo, Stephen Hawking speaks via satellite in Pasadena, California.In this Jan. 14, 2010, file photo, Stephen Hawking speaks via satellite in Pasadena, California.

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    Click here to see how fans are celebrating their team's run to the postseason.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Los Angeles Dodgers fans cheer during the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Los Angeles Dodgers fans cheer during the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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    Combining the yuletide with Halloweentime has become quite the quirky pursuit in recent decades, with "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" serving as a sparkly and squash-scented centerpiece to the genial genre.

    And, indeed, there's even a spooky Christmas pop-up shop headed for Hollywood, on the first day of December.

    It is, as they say, a thing.

    But for a pumpkin party with a dose of ho, ho, ho, and one that is set in an area that's currently reach peak in the fall foliage department, look to SkyPark at Santa's Village, which will be throwing its annual Pumpkins in the Pines bash over the last two weekends of October 2018.

    Dubbed "A Fall Family Festival," Pumpkins in the Pines will offer a few festive to-dos that are just right for the season. This means that, in addition to the attraction's cute pumpkin patch, there's a scavenger hunt, an artisanal vendor fair, and pumpkin painting, too, at the Lake Arrowhead-close location.

    And each evening during the festival, from 4 to 6 p.m.? Look for trick-or-treating, which has to be some of the Halloween-meets-Christmas-iest trick-or-treating around.

    Further delivering on the fa, la, la end of things? Santa Claus will be holding visiting hours at his cottage during Pumpkins in the Pines, and the storybook-style Northwoods characters seen around the property will be ready to delight.

    And, of course, when you buy your ticket to SkyPark at Santa's Village, you also have access to all of the to-dos, from archery to pedal cars to the train. Find prices here, pumpkin people, or, should we say, pumpkin/peppermint people.

    After all, enjoying Halloween and Christmas? A lot of us do, and some of us enjoy them together at the very same time.

    Photo Credit: SkyPark at Santa's Village

    Enjoy Pumpkins in the Pines: A Fall Family Festival at SkyPark at Santa's Village near Lake Arrowhead on the final two weekends of October 2018.Enjoy Pumpkins in the Pines: A Fall Family Festival at SkyPark at Santa's Village near Lake Arrowhead on the final two weekends of October 2018.

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    U.S. intelligence agencies investigating the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi believe it's inconceivable that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had no connection to his death, but still have no "smoking gun" evidence that he ordered Khashoggi killed, multiple government officials tell NBC News.

    Although President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remain tight-lipped about what they know, Trump finally acknowledged Thursday that Khashoggi is likely dead.

    Behind the scenes, U.S. spy agencies are trying to determine whether the killing was pre-planned or resulted from either an interrogation that went awry or a botched operation to bring him to Saudi Arabia, officials say — and how directly Crown Prince Mohammed was involved.

    Photo Credit: Hasan Jamali/AP (File)

    Journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, on Dec. 15, 2014.Journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, on Dec. 15, 2014.

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    Let's be real: Sometimes perfecting your otherworldly moan or wail or shamble takes a bit of practice, some finesse, and a good amount of time.

    Which means you may not polish your whole undead act on the first groan. Er... we mean "go," of course.

    Or, if it has been awhile since you've walked the streets while portraying someone who was formerly alive, you might need a few minutes to get back up to scary speed.

    So the fact that there's not one, not two, but three Infamous Zombie Walks shambling around Long Beach's Shoreline Village and The Pike over the penultimate weekend of October 2018 should be enough to make zombie cosplayers moan with happiness.

    But that's Southern California for you: Where other cities might do one zombie-inspired walk over a weekend, we're sizable enough, and spooky enough, too, for a full-on terrifying trio of undead treks.

    The walks will happen during Long Beach Zombie Fest, a three-day, dead-fun to-do at Rainbow Lagoon that will include gobs of ghoulish goings-on, in addition to the nightly walks.

    So what are the highlights of the fest? Or the highshadows, as the case may be?

    Find your inner fortitude and enter the Zombification Zone, where you might be transformed into a terrifying character, or call upon the Zombie Apocalype scavenger hunt, a "Thriller" workshop, a costume contest, and moan.

    We mean "more," that is.

    The Infamous Zombie Walk is groaning on a bit later on Friday, Oct. 19 — prepare to shamble at 8:15 — while the from-beyond force will be out at 7:30 p.m., around The Pike Shoreline Village, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21, too.

    The whole walk will take around a half hour to 45 minutes, which is not really much time, all told, given that undeadness is a lifestyle with a rather longer time commitment.

    To fill your braaaaain with more details regarding the Long Beach Zombie Fest, hold your arms straight out in front and move, moaningly, in this direction.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Put on your undead-iest cosmetics and costumes and join the Infamous Zombie Walk, near The Pike and Shoreline Village in Long Beach, on the evenings of Oct. 19, 20, and 21. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)Put on your undead-iest cosmetics and costumes and join the Infamous Zombie Walk, near The Pike and Shoreline Village in Long Beach, on the evenings of Oct. 19, 20, and 21. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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    Spirit Halloween threw its annual Halloween party on Oct. 17 for pediatric patients and families at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

    Photo Credit: UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital

    A patient poses during the Spirit Halloween party at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.A patient poses during the Spirit Halloween party at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

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    The famous Baby Trump balloon will fly through the sky in downtown Los Angeles Friday morning ahead of Politicon, an unconventional political gathering this weekend. 

    The balloon will take to the skies over the 110 and 10 interchange outside the LA Convention Center beginning around 8 a.m. 

    This will be the Baby Trump balloon's West Coast debut. It was first released into the air at a protest in London this past summer.

    Baby Trump depicts President Donald Trump wearing a diaper, holding a phone in his hand, with an angry look on his face. 

    Politicon will be held this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Convention Center and feature politicians and big names in entertainment, including Adam Carolla, Alyssa Milano, Ana Navarro, Ann Coulter, former Governor Chris Christie, Clay Aiken, Dennis Rodman, Henry Winkler, Kathy Griffin, Tomi Lahren, and more.

    For more information on Politicon, including who will be in attendance, click here.

    Photo Credit: Sunshine Sachs

    A Baby Trump balloon, once spotted flying high over London, will be in the air over downtown LA Friday, Oct. 18, 2018.A Baby Trump balloon, once spotted flying high over London, will be in the air over downtown LA Friday, Oct. 18, 2018.

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    In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, not only has Citadel Outlets in Commerce donned a giant bow atop the building, but it will also be the place where anyone can obtain a free mammogram starting Friday.

    Susan G. Komen Los Angeles will be conducting free screenings through mobile units in the Citadel Outlets starting Friday Oct. 19 through Sunday Sept. 21, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

    In honor of National Mammography Day, Susan G. Komen Los Angeles will partner up with Citadel Outlets where they’ll host a variety of events to raise awareness and provide support for breast cancer survivors.

    Although they will be offering free of charge examinations to anyone, it is best to register for it.

    Representatives of Susan G. Komen will be on-site to provide education, support and ongoing services for all participants. There will be a designated area for those who wait while their loved ones undergo the test.

    On Saturday Oct. 20, Citadel Outlets will start off with a 7 a.m. 5K run and will have a Pancake breakfast hosted by Ruby’s Diner. This will be followed by a health and wellness fair with interactive stations, games, entertainment and educational posts to promote health and overall well-being

    Photo Credit: Citadel Outlets

    Citadel Outlets will be hosting mobile mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness month the weekend of Oct. 19, 2018.Citadel Outlets will be hosting mobile mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness month the weekend of Oct. 19, 2018.

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    A man is suing the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles, alleging he and his friend were discriminated against for being gay in July of 2017.  

    Angel De Los Santos claims he and his male friend were attempting to enjoy their time at the hotel pool when a female staff member working at the pool approached the two men and criticized them for their sexual lifestyle, their clothing and made comments such as, "you don't belong here," and "you couldn't afford a room at [the] Ritz-Carlton."

    De Los Santos claims the employee accused the men of entering the hotel illegally and when the two men spoke with a manager of the hotel, they claim the manager turned a blind eye to the mistreatment.

    The hotel confirmed that he was indeed a guest, but De Los Santos says the damage was done. De Los Santos said he is suing the Ritz-Carlton for discrimination, claiming the employees comments left him humiliated.

    The civil suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges discriminatory violations by the Ritz-Carlton of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence in the hiring and supervision of its staff members. The lawsuit claims the humiliating experience exacerbated the pre-existing medical conditions of Angel De Los Santos, which includes the need for weekly dialysis for kidney failure, and high blood pressure.

    It’s not the first time the Ritz Carlton has been accused of discrimination. Last year, Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones accused the hotel of discrimination against African Americans.

    De Los Santos’ lawyer says what happened is what the Me Too movement is fighting to change: any place where harassment is tolerated.

    Photo Credit: Ted Chen

    An employee of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is accused of sexual harassment for an incident involving two men at the hotels pool in July, 2017.An employee of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is accused of sexual harassment for an incident involving two men at the hotels pool in July, 2017.

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    Politicon: Regardless of what side of the aisle you stand on, or whether you're somewhere in the aisle, or you're way outside of the building, this much is true: You want to be heard. We'll also surmise that you'd like to listen, and understand, and learn, which is where the non-partisan "Unusual Political Convention" comes in. A whole caboodle of thinkers, writers, podcasters, performers, and political satirists will talk and get very, very topical at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Oct. 20 and 21.

    AIDS Walk 2018: Whether you've joined a team or are walking as an individual or supporting someone you love, you can play a part in this venerable show of community, understanding, and acceptance. Be at Grand Park, for the start and finish of the 10K walk, on Sunday, Oct. 21. Can't make it? There are ways to give. Do so now, and help APLA Health, an organization that seeks to "... achieve health care equity and promote the well-being of the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV." Here's where to start.

    Los Angeles Archives Bazaar: Even if you were to travel a long road into our city's past, you can't know every story, every character, and every "why/how" that LA is built upon. But? You can try, or at least make a good go of knowing a few local corners of the LA story very well. This free annual happening at USC's Doheny Memorial Library gathers together a host of history-minded groups for a day of research, workshops, panels, and more, all with a single focus: Sharing the backstory of our behemoth-big, utterly fascinating megalopolis. Be there on Oct. 20.

    Long Beach Zombie Festival: Are you super-into shambling about, while uttering monstrous moans, while in public? There are others out there who share your otherworldly vibe. Join them at Shoreline Village, and The Pike, for three spooky zombie walks on the nights of Oct. 19, 20, and 21. The walks are all part of the larger festival, which is lurking around Rainbow Lagoon on those same dastardly dates. Want to learn more about zombie make-up, join a zombie scavenger hunt, and revel in the eerie universe of undead fandom? Shamble over here for tickets.

    EastSide Food Festival: Hopping around dozens of restaurants and bars, even those found in the same general neck o' the woods? That's going to take time, but visiting over 35 of them, in one storied spot, on a Sunday afternoon/evening? Rather quicker, if you like to get to know cuisine-mastering favorites in one tasty swath. There shall be beverages, too, at the party, which is spreading out at Mack Sennett Studios. There's a VIP Happy Hour, too, if you want to go in that drink-fancy direction. Details on the Oct. 21 food-tacular? Tuck in your napkin now and read on.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Politicos of all stripes, outlooks, and affiliations will gather to gab, connect, laugh (fingers crossed), and get serious about the issues at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Oct. 20 and 21, 2018.Politicos of all stripes, outlooks, and affiliations will gather to gab, connect, laugh (fingers crossed), and get serious about the issues at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Oct. 20 and 21, 2018.

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    As investigators searched for clues Thursday into the cause of a fire at a metal processing plant in Santa Fe Springs, officials said they had to assume a defensive stance due to titanium burning inside.

    The fire was reported about 4:35 p.m. Wednesday at United Alloys and Metals, in the 9600 block of John Street. The company processes scrap titanium and the fire began in a room where titanium is kept, said Tom Hall, the director of environmental & fire prevention at Santa Fe Spring Fire-Rescue.

    A special system and room inside was built to help suppress the fire, Hall said. The fire recalled a similar blaze at a metal recycling plant in Maywood in 2016 when the NBC4 I-Team found challenges in dealing with fires like these. The fire in Maywood caused hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and led to major changes in state requirements.

    Businesses are required to do enhanced annual reporting and disclose metals that are reactive under fire conditions.

    "It is so hot it can break apart the water and generate hydrogen and cause that to burn," Hall said. "So the more water you put on it the more it can react."

    He said firefighters knew of the titanium inside because of prior inspections. That was not the case when firefighters came upon a fire at a metal recycling plant in Maywood in 2016. An NBC4 investigation found that certain metals were not on the list of hazardous materials that business had to report to the state.

    That changed last year when Gov. Jerry Brown approved additions to the state health and safety code. Now combustible metals, including magnesium and titanium, must be disclosed to various agencies, changes that came, in part, because of the NBC4 investigation.

    Hall said such businesses have to recertify annually with their business plans. Santa Fe Springs is having owners include such metals as part of their business plans and the department is working closer with fire departments across the region as part of a statewide effort to better monitor scrap metal businesses, Hill said.

    A fire cut through the roof of a metal recycling plant in Santa Fe Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.A fire cut through the roof of a metal recycling plant in Santa Fe Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

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    A husband mourning his wife killed in a hit-and-run crash in Encino pleaded for public help Thursday to find the killer, who police said was behind the wheel of a silver Toyota 4 Runner.

    Yana Lavrentev, 30, was struck Saturday night as she and two friends were crossing Ventura Boulevard in a midblock crosswalk with a signal.

    The mother of two young children was taken off life support and died Monday.

    The vehicle that struck Lavrentev was described a possible silver 1996 to early 2000 Toyota, 4-Runner.

    Lavrentev and her husband were among seven couples of friends, all parents enjoying a grown-ups' night out to celebrate a birthday.

    Anyone with information is being asked to contact Det. Lisset Fuentes at 818-644-8021 or Det. Dan Menesez at 818-644-8028.

    Photo Credit: KNBC

    Yana Lavrentev, 30Yana Lavrentev, 30

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    Does a shark like cinema?

    Do seahorses prefer sad films or the sorts of movies that deliver mirth? And if you were to ask a crab what he likes from Cannes, could he rattle off a few titles, directors, genres?

    Well... let's give the ocean, and its denizens, wide berth. We don't expect our damper friends to pursue the sorts of things we like to do, but we're awfully grateful when they let us sidle up alongside their salty home, all to have a free night of free film fun.

    Yep, we said "free" there, twice, and we meant it, for it is Front Porch Cinema we speak of here.

    If you know your low-cost Santa Monica Pier pastimes, you know this series, which pops up and spreads the cinematic goodness without asking anyone to show any cash. 

    And it is rolling out, with all of the elegance of a foamy wave, over the second-to-last weekend in October 2018.

    Coming up on the outdoor screen?

    "Clueless," that oh-so-LA-y '90s bon bon, screens on Oct. 19, "The Addams Family" vamps on Oct. 20, and the tender-hearted "Coco" completes the picture on Oct. 21.

    Again, this is all free to see, but do bring money for the food trucks, for those'll be around and sizzling up tum-filling fare.

    Also? There are "old-timey" lawn chairs for rent, if that's your preference.

    A Candy Corn photo booth complete with props that summon the spirit of each film, coloring stations, characters rocking costumes, and more after-sundown sweetness is afoot.

    And, a bonus: While we're certainly experiencing some October chills, the daytime weather is staying fairly fine, which means it won't be too brrr-y, out by the beach. (Okay, a bit, so do bundle up accordingly.)

    Eager to see a movie at Santa Monica Pier?

    You probably can't bring a shark or seahorse as your plus-one — they'll want to stick to the nearby H2O, after all — but you can round up your kids or co-film fans for a fun and free night out.

    Photo Credit: Front Porch Cinema

    "Clueless," "The Addams Family," and "Coco" are just ahead, as is a Candy Corn photo booth, food trucks, and more lively night-out haps.

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    LeBron James was electric early but eventually suffered a defeat, 128-119, in his Los Angeles Lakers' regular season debut at the hands of Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night.

    James eventually finished the night with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and a steal, while Lillard led all scorers with 28 points, six rebounds and four assists. James also had six turnovers, a couple of which featured passes that rolled out of bounds with no teammates close by--clear signs that James and the Lakers are far from a finished product.

    With the win, the Blazers extended their home opener winning streak to 18 games, while their head-to-head streak against the Lakers extended to 16 straight wins.

    The Portland crowd played its role with "Beat LA" chants sounding out at tip-off, but once the ball was in play, James didn't take long to make his presence felt. Rajon Rondo may have recorded the Lakers' first points of the season, but James made his first basket far more memorable.

    James' first basket as a Laker arrived after a steal by the Akron native led to a breakaway slam dunk. James followed up that slam with another emphatic dunk moments later. Both dunks featured emotional outbursts by the 33-year-old.

    Riding James' energy, the Lakers jumped out to an early double-digit lead, 25-15.

    However, the Blazers refused to get caught up in the sideshow and finished the quarter on a 19-6 run to take a 34-31 lead at the end of the first quarter. James finished his first quarter as a Laker with 13 points on 5-6 shooting, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in nine minutes.

    In the second quarter, Nik Stauskas served a reminder that this game was also his debut with a new team. Stauskas made his first six shots, including four three-pointers to launch up to 16 points in the blink of an eye. The no. 8 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft eventually finished the night with 24 points, which only trailed James and Lillard in the game.

    Five minutes into the second quarter, the Blazers had jumped out to their own 10-point lead.

    Moments later, James picked up his third foul. Trailing by double digits, the $164 million man waved off Lakers coach Luke Walton and stayed on the court in a roll of the dice. Over the following two minutes, before James went to the bench, the Lakers managed to trim an 11-point Blazers' advantage to only four points.

    At halftime, the Blazers held a two-point edge with JaVale McGee and Rondo providing necessary offense in the painted area. From three-point land, the Lakers entered the break without a single make from distance in 12 attempts.

    In the third quarter, James deferred to his teammates, and Brandon Ingram took the early aggressive offensive lead out of the locker room. Ingram would eventually finish the quarter with 14 points on 7-14 shooting. Notably, Ingram only attempted one shot in the fouth quarter and ended his night with 16 points in 28 minutes.

    The Lakers as a whole, meanwhile, continued to struggle from distance until Josh Hart stepped up and finally ended the drought. In the latter stages of the third stanza, Hart finally broke the Lakers' duck from distance.

    The Lakers had missed their first 15 three-pointers on the night, but Hart's make gave the Lakers their first lead of the second half at 85-83. The Blazers proceeded to regain the advantage opened up a six-point advantage until Rondo and Hart made back-to-back three-pointers to close the quarter.

    Hart's second three-pointer beat the third quarter buzzer and gave the second string sophomore 15 points on 6-9 shooting from the field, along with three steals in 21 meaningful minutes. Hart's third quarter laid the groundwork for more minutes in the fourth quarter, as the second year guard finished the game with 20 points on 8-12 shooting, along with four rebounds, three steals, two blocks and an assist in 27 minutes.

    Entering the fourth and final quarter, the Blazers led, 93-91.

    Though Lonzo Ball made his first three-pointer of the season in the first half of the fourth quarter, Stauskas continued his hot shooting and helped the Blazers hold a seven-point at the halfway point of the final quarter.

    A minute later, the "Beat LA" chants returned and CJ McCollum made only his fourth field goal of the night to open up a 10-point advantage with 5:01 remaining in the game.

    At that point, Stauskas led the Blazers with 22 points, while James led all scorers with 24 points. However, James had cooled off after making five of his first six field goal attempts and had only managed three makes in his subsequent nine attempts.

    Staring at a 10-point deficit and a charged up crowd at the Moda Center, James and the Lakers were facing an uphill climb to sneak a debut victory.

    A minute later, the Lakers trailed by 11 points at the 4:00 mark. Moments beyond the 3:00 mark, the Blazers had opened up a 13-point lead, and time seemed to be running out on a possible comeback.

    Kyle Kuzma and Hart provided a glimmer of hope when their back-to-back three-pointers cut the Blazers' advantage to seven points with 2:06 remaining in the game. The Blazers gave the Lakers a couple opportunities to get closer, but Hart's three-point attempt missed and Lillard stepped up to make a clutch bucket and pressure free throws down the stretch.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a late three-pointer to bring the Lakers as close as five points with 30.7 seconds remaining, but Lillard didn't have any trouble putting the game to bed from the foul line.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on in the first quarter of their game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on October 18, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on in the first quarter of their game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on October 18, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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    Everyone knows about Black Friday, but do you know about UPS Brown Friday?

    UPS, the multinational package delivery company, is holding its one-day hiring fair on Friday, Oct. 19 across the country.

    In efforts to hire about 100,000 seasonal employees for its annual holiday shipping rush, UPS’s Brown Friday will hire thousands of candidates on the spot.

    “Just about everyone has heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but for anyone looking for a great seasonal job this holiday season, UPS Brown Friday promises the first good deal of the season,” said Vice President of Human Resources Stefond Harris. “Many of those who come to one of our job fairs this Friday could be signed up for a seasonal role by Monday.”

    There are full and part-time positions available for package handlers, drivers and driver helpers and all positions could possibly lead to permanent employment.

    These are the locations and times for the hiring events in Los Angeles:


    • 22 Brookline Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
    • 13233 Moore St., Cerritos, CA 90703; 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
    • 4700 Eastern Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90040; 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • 2925 E. Jurupa St., Ontario, CA 91761; 10:00 am- 2:00 pm


    If you’re unable to attend a hiring fair, you can still apply online at

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Warner Workman has met his Virginia congresswoman several times at local events and says he's "always dumbfounded when she actually remembers my name."

    Rep. Barbara Comstock's social media pages are filled with photos of her thanking local first responders at 9/11 memorials, posing with families at county fairs, attending Boy Scout events and opening new police stations in Virginia's 10th Congressional District.

    The Republican congresswoman is "always out there … getting to know people," Workman said.

    Her approach worked in 2016, when she won re-election even as the district voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10 percentage points. But the 2018 midterm election could spell the end of Comstock's tenure in Congress and nearly four decades of Republican control of the district, which stretches along Virginia's northern border from the progressive suburbs of Washington, D.C., into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Comstock is running against Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, a former prosecutor from Loudoun County, which experts see as a crucial part of the district. The wealthy and increasingly diverse county has started swinging toward Democrats, as has the state overall. 

    Comstock, who lives closer to D.C. in neighboring Fairfax County, faces two strong headwinds: the district's burgeoning Democratic bent and those voters' opposition to the leader of her party, President Donald Trump.

    Experts say people are looking beyond the boundaries of their own district to inform how they vote in this election, and that makes Comstock one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for re-election.

    After the two contentious years that followed Trump becoming president, "the Trump agenda is very important to voters," George Mason University political science professor Toni-Michelle Travis said.

    This article, part 3 in a series, examines one of the key battleground races for control of the House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Carried by grassroots momentum, Democrats must take 23 seats from Republicans to win the balance of power. They are contending with Republicans' experience and organization, and an outspoken but polarizing president.

    Comstock has distanced herself from Trump on some key issues like health care — she voted against the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed "Obamacare" — and imposing sanctions on Russia. At a televised roundtable with Trump in February, she told Trump a government shutdown was a bad idea for her constituents, some of whom work for the federal government.

    "This election is about results versus the resistance," Comstock said at a late-September debate with Wexton, where she touted her support of the Republican tax cut plan and "a booming economy."

    But she's voted in line with Trump's agenda 97.8 percent of the time, putting her among the most consistently pro-Trump members of Congress, according to a tally kept by news outlet FiveThirtyEight. (By contrast, only a few Democrats voted along with Trump 50 percent of the time or more.)

    Wexton's campaign has zeroed in on Comstock's voting record, recently running attack ads that call her "Barbara Trumpstock." This week, The Washington Post endorsed Wexton after backing Comstock in 2016, calling the Republican an "often unquestioning foot soldier in the president's ranks of Republican loyalists."

    In the debate, Wexton hit back at Comstock's resistance remark, saying the Trump administration "is constantly assaulting many of the values that Americans hold dear."

    Travis, the George Mason University professor, said Trump's agenda has been "so disheartening" that many voters don't see a candidate with Comstock's voting record as the best person to represent them in Congress.

    "Comstock's cred has just gone down," Travis said.

    Comstock campaign manager Susan Falconer argued in an email that Comstock is a bipartisan and independent leader who's deeply engaged in the district and "will stand up for what's right for the district, regardless of party." She pushed back on the reliability of the Trump agenda tracker, contending that 82 percent of votes Comstock took had support from some Democrats.

    "She trusts the independent minded men and women of her district who know how important it is to have bipartisan leadership for the region in order to get these important victories," Falconer wrote, referring to the congressional delegation representing the D.C. area — all the others are Democrats.

    But public polling indicates that Wexton is running ahead of Comstock. One poll from the Post this month put Wexton's lead at 12 points. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as lean Democrat. Travis argued it would be "very hard" for Comstock to pull ahead, unless something "weird" happens.

    "But Wexton needs to still work at it," Travis added, saying the other party "can always win if you underestimate your opponent."

    Think Nationally, Act Locally
    Tina Stevens-Culbreath, a Democrat from the city of Winchester, west of D.C. in the Shenandoah Valley, is concerned about a "culture of hate" in the country that stems from the 2016 election.

    People "feel they are allowed to do and say basically anything that they want without consequence," Stevens-Culbreath said.

    She and her husband are looking to Wexton to be a unifier, someone "we're going to need to bring this country together," as Rodney Culbreath put it. The couple founded the I'm Just Me Movement, a mentorship nonprofit that aims to promote diversity and inclusion among kids in the area. 

    To win, Wexton may need a strong performance in suburbs like Winchester that are further from D.C., as well as in crucial Loudon County, which is more diverse and more likely to vote Democrat, according to John J. McGlennon, a government and public policy professor at The College of William & Mary.

    Voters in the area are especially attuned to national issues, he said, partly because of their proximity to D.C., which affects their livelihood.

    Seventeen-year-old Ainsley Rucker said that it's become a "moral obligation" to vote in the midterms to "put the Trump administration on check," even if she can't yet cast her own ballot.

    Women's rights, LGBTQ rights and education are among the issues fueling Rucker's political passion. She is the president of the Winchester Young Democrats coalition, which has expanded to every local high school since its inception earlier this year, Rucker said.

    "Since we can't have our voices directly heard through voting, we feel like the only thing we can do to make ourselves heard is ... get other people to understand what we think as young people and influence the people around us," Rucker said.

    Casey Turben, a longtime Winchester resident and local historian, said that Trump's election has sparked local-level activism, and it will be "the lasting story of 2016."

    Rucker also pushed back on the notion that Comstock is deeply involved in the district, saying she was "refusing to answer questions" from her constituents by not holding formal town hall meetings.

    Asked by NBC, Comstock's campaign manager didn't say when Comstock last held a town hall meeting. But Falconer said the congresswoman attended a recent forum on the opioid crisis in Loudon County and emphasized her many visits with local civic, religious and ethnic organizations.

    Workman, the Comstock supporter, argued she just "does things a little differently" in regards to meeting with her voters, saying "she goes to the people instead of having the people come to her."

    Comstock still has support in Winchester, too, a city that was nearly evenly split between Clinton and Trump in 2016.

    Robert Starkey, a local electrician, said she "just seems to care for Virginia and supports guns."

    And as a small business owner, Starkey said he wants a representative who will help him be successful and keep the economy strong.

    "I think Comstock is for helping us with taxes," he said. 

    'Common-Sense Gun Laws'
    Gun rights is one national issue that animates the supporters of both candidates who spoke to NBC.

    Workman, the Comstock supporter, said he's looking to her to protect his Second Amendment rights. A retired CIA technical intelligence officer who owns Minuteman Arms in Lovettsville, in Loudon County, Workman said he respects people who don't want to carry guns or have them on their property.

    He said always will "respect the private property rights of others" and leave his gun in his car, for example, if a person or private business doesn't want firearms on their property.

    Workman worries that so-called "common-sense gun laws" could lead to it becoming more difficult overall to purchase firearms, a right he deeply believes in and which he depends on to keep his shop running. Workman said he donates his store profits to veterans groups and Little League baseball in the area.

    Comstock has an "A" rating from the NRA and is one of the top recipients of the group's political contributions. She has supported bills that address mental illness treatment, which she has said is one of the issues at the heart of gun violence, along with increased funding for school safety and security and strengthening the national gun background check system.

    According to her campaign, she also supports banning "bump stocks," a device used in last year's Las Vegas massacre that increases the rate of fire on semi-automatic rifles, and "red flag" laws that provide a way to take weapons from people who are a harm to themselves or others.

    Rucker and Winchester Young Democrats vice president Niko Christen, 15, are looking to Wexton for her plans to take on gun violence. They were in high school during a year that saw mass shootings at several U.S. schools, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people died, and Santa Fe High School in Texas, where 10 died.

    The students said they want "common-sense gun laws that could prevent people who shouldn't have them from getting them," which could include "red flag" laws and a slower process for purchasing firearms.

    Wexton spokesman Ray Rieling said "common-sense" gun legislation is one of the candidate's top priorities, along with affordable and accessible health care and fighting political corruption.

    Wexton most strongly supports universal background checks, a "great first step for tightening up our gun violence prevention measures," Rieling said. The Democrat also supports banning military-style assault weapons and allowing the federal government to study gun violence as a public health issue, according to her campaign website.

    "We may not be able to stop all the school shootings, but shouldn't we at least try to stop some?" Wexton asked the state's General Assembly in February.

    The district has a large population of the kind of voters who recently have turned away from the NRA — college-educated, white-collar workers — and the issue could be what helps tip the balance for Wexton. According to a recent NBC News poll, Americans in suburbs who had a negative view of the NRA increased from 36 percent in April 2017 to 40 percent after the Parkland shooting.

    Can Comstock Come Back?
    Comstock's campaign manager said that the Republican "has never lost a race and always overperforms expectations," noting that Comstock's district was rated as a "toss-up" in 2016 before she won by 6 percentage points.

    While recent public polls put Wexton in front by at least 6 percentage points, a recent internal poll gives Comstock a slight lead, though within the margin of error.

    But Turben, the Winchester historian, said the tides are changing in Virginia's 10th District. He said a Wexton victory would come with "a slump of sure GOP votes in the western boundaries of the district," adding that it would be a "loud and clear" message to Congress that the expectations rural voters have for Washington are shifting.

    William & Mary professor McGlennon said that educated, affluent Loudon County represents a political shift happening in suburbs across the country.

    "Suburbia has become a lot more diverse, and suburban voters have been moving strongly towards Democrats, and that has the potential to transform not just the politics of Virginia, but much of the country," he said.

    While Comstock appears to be "in a very deep hole," McGlennon said, she could still win by finding a way to convince voters that she won't regularly support Trump, that "she will be an independent voice" and more attuned to her voters on social issues than a typical Republican.

    "And I think that's a very tall order," he added.

    It's an issue that the Wexton campaign is latching on to.

    Trump is "certainly part of the conversation about everything," Rieling said, and Wexton's plans for "holding this administration accountable is an enormous issue for voters."

    NBC's Sierra Jackson contributed to this report.

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    On Oct. 19, 1991, a small brush fire in the hills above Oakland that appeared to be under control turned into one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history just hours later.

    Photo Credit: California Department of Water Resources

    This aerial view looks onto the heavily populated Hiller Highlands neighborhood and the Highland Country Club in Oakland in the aftermath of the deadly 1991 Oakland Hills fire.This aerial view looks onto the heavily populated Hiller Highlands neighborhood and the Highland Country Club in Oakland in the aftermath of the deadly 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

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    The CDC says it is investigating a drug-resistant salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken that has sickened 92 people in 29 states, including one person in California. 

    Twenty-one of the infected people have been hospitalized, though no deaths have been reported, the CDC said. Next to Pennsylvania (11), New York has seen the most cases (10), followed by New Jersey (9).

    According to the agency, it does not appear that outbreak is linked to a particular kind of raw chicken. The CDC said "many types of raw chicken products from a variety of sources" are thought to be contaminated. People who have gotten sick reported eating different types and brands of chicken bought in many different locations, the CDC said. 

    The agency also tested antibiotics on bacteria culled from some of the people who got sick and found the bacteria resistant to multiple drugs. Given all the factors, the CDC says it may be a widespread industry outbreak -- and it's working with industry reps to get the situation under control. 

    In the meantime, the CDC says it is not suggesting people stop eating properly cooked chicken or that retailers stop selling raw chicken products. It does, though, have a number of suggestions for avoiding infection. Among them: wash your hands, cook raw chicken thoroughly, don't feed raw chicken to pets and keep prep areas clean. 

    Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts less than a week, and most people get better with no treatment. In severe cases, though, people may need to be hospitalized. And in rare cases, salmonella infection can cause death.

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      At least 15 people were injured due to "severe intense turbulence" on an Aerolíneas Argentinas flight Thursday from Miami to Buenos Aires, the airline said in a statement.

      Aerolineas described the injuries as "minor." 

      Flight 1303 departed Miami just after 9 a.m. Thursday with 192 passengers onboard. According to the airline, the incident occurred during the so-called "cruise" phase of the flight. 

      Photos and videos shared on social media appear to show the cabin in disarray, with oxygen masks hanging, damage to the cabin's interior and passengers' items strewn across the floor. 

      "Once the turbulence zone was crossed, the crew in charge of the flight was dedicated to assist the injured passengers and to relieve the general state of the 192 passengers," Aerolineas Argentinas said. 

      The airline said it arranged to have a medical team on hand upon arrival at Ezeiza airport on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.  Eight of the passengers were taken in for a second check-up. 

      Turbulence, which can occur when two air masses of different temperature or speed collide, can generate sudden, forceful movements to an aircraft.

      Photo Credit: Aerolíneas Argentinas
      This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

      Aerolineas Argentinas says 15 passengers aboard a flight from Miami to Buenos Aires suffered minor injuries after their plane hit turbulence.Aerolineas Argentinas says 15 passengers aboard a flight from Miami to Buenos Aires suffered minor injuries after their plane hit turbulence.

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