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    The crash occurred just before the afternoon commute and it appears that nobody was seriously hurt.

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    Planning to vote in 2020? Your traditional polling place may cease to exist. In 2020, some polling places will be replaced with vote centers.

    Under the California Voter’s Choice Act, counties are allowed to revamp the election process and switch to a new model of voting. Fourteen counties in California were authorized to replace polling places with vote centers this year. The rest, including Los Angeles County, will be able to opt in and make the switch in 2020.

    "The biggest difference between a traditional polling place and a vote center is that it really changes the game in terms of when, where and how a voter is able to cast his ballot," Los Angeles County Clerk Dean Logan said.

    Citizens will be able to vote at any center in their county during an 11-day period that ends on Election Day. In contrast to polling places, the number of vote centers will be based on population. As Election Day gets closer, more centers will open.

    "At traditional polling places, if there was any problem with your registration—if you hadn’t registered, if you’ve moved, changed parties—you couldn’t address that on Election Day,” Logan said. “Now you can take care of all of that in person at any vote center."

    In addition to voting in-person at vote centers, people may: register to vote, update their voter registration, drop off their ballot or get a replacement ballot. County election officials will access voter registration data through an electronic mechanism. This technology will record when a voter casts a ballot.

    "It eliminates provisional ballots because all of that will be able to be resolved on site," Logan said.

    Vote centers in LA County will be equipped with new ballot-marking devices. The devices come with an array of accessibility features that will allow voters to customize their ballot. Voters can pick from multiple languages, adjust screen brightness, font size and toggle back and forth through the ballot.

    The ballot then prints out on traditional paper that will be counted independently.

    "The device itself assists you in marking the ballot, it doesn’t retain any of your vote data," Logan said. "It really is to ensure that you have marked the ballot clearly."

    Five counties in California decided to implement vote centers for the 2018 primary elections. California Common Cause, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, monitored vote centers in some of these counties. Pollsters found that vote centers helped accommodate people’s busy lives.

    "It’s enabling people who are ready to vote to have a lot of different options and not to hit barriers, just because they’ve missed a particular deadline or because they didn’t know where to vote," said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

    Voter turnout also increased in minority and lower income communities where vote centers were implemented, Feng said.

    As 2020 approaches, LA County is working with organizations like California Common Cause and city clerks to educate communities on the future of voting.

    Want to get involved? You can nominate a place to be a voting center by visiting this site.

    Photo Credit: Mariela Patron

    Los Angeles County Clerk Dean Logan uses the new ballot-marking devices that will be available to LA County voters at vote centers in 2020.Los Angeles County Clerk Dean Logan uses the new ballot-marking devices that will be available to LA County voters at vote centers in 2020.

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    Animal control officers are investigating after several dogs got sick in recent weeks in a West Hollywood neighborhood.

    Some residents fear the dogs are being poisoned in the 1200 block of North Hayworth Avenue.

    Patricia Vonheitman said her dog had seizures.

    "She rolled over on her back and did that kind of dog paddling thing, and then she had a stroke," she said.

    Fliers are going up inferring the dogs were poisoned, and questioning whether someone is leaving something behind to intentionally make them sick.

    "It worries me a little bit because my dog has a tendency to snatch things off the ground," said Blaine Hoffman. "It said that people are throwing bits of bread on the ground."

    Anna Lerbom said she's afraid to take her dog outside.

    "I don't know if somebody's trying to poison them, if it's some spray that are used on the trees, or what it is, but dogs are getting sick."

    Residents say at least seven dogs have gotten sick. West Hollywood city officials contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

    Danny Ubario, the deputy director of animal control, said if you see something, say something.

    "As much information as we can gather or any small detail that we can obtain from the public could be beneficial to this case," he said.

    Anyone with information is asked to report cases by calling 310-523-9566 or visiting here.

    Residents in a West Hollywood neighborhood fear dogs are being poisoned after at least seven pets have gotten sick.Residents in a West Hollywood neighborhood fear dogs are being poisoned after at least seven pets have gotten sick.

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    An Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department said this week he would leave his post and formally retire later this year.

    Jorge A. Villegas, a longtime close confidant of Chief Michel Moore, made the sudden announcement to officials and staff and said he planned to open a private business. Villegas had been in charge of personnel, recruitment, and training as head of the office of administrative services.

    In the coming weeks, Chief Moore will choose a successor, the LAPD said in a brief statement. Deputy Chief Jon Peters was named acting Assistant Chief to fill Villegas role until a permanent replacement was selected, an LAPD spokesperson said.

    Peters had been assigned to personnel and training. Villegas was one of several top LAPD officials considered strong candidates earlier this year to replace former Chief Charlie Beck, though Villegas was not one of the three finalists whose names were forwarded by the Los Angeles Police Commission to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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    Picture yourself standing in the famous living room of Joyce Byers, Winona Ryder's character from the Netflix phenomenon "Stranger Things," as Christmas lights blink over various letters scrawled on the wall.

    What are the lights spelling out? What's the message?

    This is what we're reading, if we may: "The 'Stranger Things' maze at Halloween Horror Nights is opening up to daytime walk-throughs for those guests visiting Universal Studios Hollywood."

    Oh, wait, the lights are still blinking. There's more: "But this is only happening Monday through Friday, through the remainder of the Halloween-themed scare festival, which wraps on Sunday, Nov. 4."

    Tell us more, mystical Christmas lights: "Park admission is required to enjoy the walk-through of the nifty 'Stranger Things' experience, which won't contain its nighttime scares or jump-inducing sounds but will give visitors a chance to see multiple, well-designed rooms based on the hit show."

    We're all Upside Down over this new development at the famous theme park, frankly. And the fact that it started just days before Halloween ups our "must go" quotient, like, a lot.

    Also happening at the park, though not related to the "Stranger Things" maze?

    If you and your tot head for Universal Studios Hollywood during the daytime on Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28, you'll see trick-or-treating around the upper lot. 

    Youngsters are invited to wear a costume, to join the trick-or-treating fun. Fun that'll also include several characters seen around Universal, making it a one-of-a-kind memory for your kids, and a very LA way to enjoy the days leading up to Halloween.

    Hello, Hello Kitty.

    Park admission is required to join that sweet scene, too. 

    Call both the "Stranger Things" walk-through and the weekend trick-or-treating two more expressions of Halloween at one of the Halloweeniest places on the planet. 

    Make that "daytime" expressions.

    For while Halloween Horror Nights rule the evenings, there are less fearsome ways to make scary, we mean "merry," 'round Universal Studios Hollywood.

    Universal Studios Hollywood and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.

    Photo Credit: Halloween Horror Nights

    Enter the supernatural'd-out home of Joyce Byers at Universal Studios Hollywood. This Monday-Friday treat is available during the run of Halloween Horror Nights, which wraps on Sunday, Nov. 4Enter the supernatural'd-out home of Joyce Byers at Universal Studios Hollywood. This Monday-Friday treat is available during the run of Halloween Horror Nights, which wraps on Sunday, Nov. 4

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    The 2018 World Series is a match made in Major League Baseball heaven.

    In one corner, you have the Boston Red Sox, the class of the American League, and one of the most historical teams in the sport. 

    In the other corner, you have the Los Angeles Dodgers, the powerhouse of the National League the last few years and the World Series runner ups from one year ago.

    The 114th edition of the Fall Classic is the 13th World Series appearance for the Red Sox, who have won the championship three times in the last 15 years.

    Meanwhile, the Dodgers are seeking the first title in 30 years, as they appear in their 20th World Series in franchise history. 

    Despite both teams combining for 33 World Series appearances, they have only met once previously in the Fall Classic, and that was in 1916 when the then Brooklyn Robins lost to the Red Sox in five games. Babe Ruth pitched a 14-inning complete game in the clincher.

    So who is going to win this rematch 102 years in the making? Let's break it down in this East vs. West World Series Preview:

    Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Sale

    Game 1 is a pitching fan's dream as two of the best to ever toe the rubber face off on Tuesday night. 

    Sale and Kershaw are two of the best to ever put on the glove, and have a combined 14 All-Star appearances between them (seven each), the first time two pitchers have met in the World Series with at least 14 combined All-Star appearances since Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce dueled in 1962.

    Kershaw ranks first in ERA+ among all active pitchers in MLB history, and Sale ranks ninth, so if you like runs, this might not be the game for you.

    Sale struggled with injures at the end of the season, and lost velocity during his starts in the ALDS and ALCS, respectively. However, after missing his start in the ALCS with a stomach infection, Sale is on nine days rest for Game 1 of the World Series.

    Kershaw has been hit or miss in the postseason over his career, and has never pitched at Fenway Park before. He could be dominant, or he could collapse, honestly, it's a coin flip.

    A Sundry of Southpaws

    Both starting rotations are stacked with left-handers, so expect to see a lot right-handed batters in both lineups throughout the series. 

    After Kershaw and Sale, another set of lefties in Hyun-Jin Ryu and David Price are set to battle before two right-handers take the mound in Game 3. The Dodgers will start another left-hander in Rich hill in Game 4, and have three left-handers in the bullpen they can unleash at any time. 

    Lots of Offense

    Both lineups are lethal and each ranked eighth in their respective leagues in total offense and OPS against left-handed pitching. 

    In the postseason, the Dodgers lead the league in home runs with 13, but sport just a .218 batting average compared to .253 for the Red Sox who have hit nine homers in the postseason.

    During the regular season, Boston finished ninth in the Majors with 208 home runs, whereas the Dodgers hit a franchise record 235, the most in the NL.

    However, Boston led the league in batting average at .268, well above the rest of the teams in the big leagues. The Dodgers ranked 14th in average at .250.

    Needless to say, if Los Angeles is able to hit home runs, they will probably win the game, if not, it sways in Boston's favor.

    American League vs. National League

    Overall, the American League holds the advantage in the World Series with a 65-48 edge. However, the National League has won nine out of the last 17 Fall Classic's since the year 2000. 

    The deciding factor in many of these games outside of home field advantage is the use of the DH hitter when the games are played in the American League, and without one when played in the National League.

    For Games 1 and 2, the Dodgers are expected to have 2018 All-Star Matt Kemp in the DH slot, using the rest of their platoon players as pinch-hitters for bullpen matchups later in the game.

    It will be business as usual for Boston as J.D. Martinez will be in the DH spot for the first two games in Boston.

    When the series shifts to the National League for Games 3, 4, and 5. The advantage is expected to lean towards Los Angeles who have become masters at moving pieces around and making double-switches all season long.

    The Red Sox are expected to move Martinez to the outfield for the games in Los Angeles, and future AL MVP Mookie Betts is expected to play second base, moving Andrew Benintendi to the bench.

    Kenley Jansen vs. Craig Kimbrel 

    The closer position is solidified for both teams, with Kenley Jansen back to his All-Star form after a perfect record in the postseason. 

    You can't say the same for Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel who has struggled during Boston's World Series run with an ERA of 8.44 in 5 and 1/3 innings.

    According to multiple reports, former Dodgers and Red Sox closer Eric Gagne noticed on television that Kimbrel was tipping his pitches and reached out to Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The issue is apparently fixed, and if so, Kimbrel could also be back to his All-Star form just in time for the Fall Classic.

    Who Will Win?

    The Red Sox won an MLB-best 108 games in the 2018 season, 16 more than the Dodgers. Los Angeles had an impressive +194 run differential and have played inconsistent all year long.

    The series should come down to starting pitching and which team can gain an advantage on their opponent. Oddsmakers have the Red Sox as the heavy favorites however, as Boston is expected to win the World Series in six games.

    Meanwhile, the Dodgers are hoping history can repeat itself as they went on a similarly magical run to win the World Series in 1988 when they defeated the heavily favorite Oakland Athletics in five games.

    Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

    Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws during workouts ahead of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 22, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws during workouts ahead of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 22, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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    Places may be said to have "hearts" and "souls" and "personalities" and a hundred different attributes, but physical locations are not aware that they've been featured in a major film.

    Well. As far as we know, they're not.

    And yet?

    Movie locations do seem to rock a certain starry attitude, and a little extra glam, and they often pay respectful homage to the cinematic work that paid tribute to them.

    "La La Land," the 2016 musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, filmed at numerous spots around Southern California, spots that have, in turn, tributed the film, from the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena to Hermosa Beach Pier.

    Hermosa Beach, in fact, celebrated "La La Land" Day in 2017, and the city shall again on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, with a number of earlier-in-the-week jazz nights at The Lighthouse Café, which was also featured in the movie.

    But the ultimate capper to the to-do? It's the Jazz Celebration at Pier Plaza and a screening of "La La Land" on the beach just south of Hermosa Beach Pier. 

    Both Oct. 27 events are free, with the Jazz Celebration rolling from 5 to 7 o'clock and the movie following at 7:30, just after the sun sets.

    Hermosa Beach Friends of the Park is the screening's host.

    As for low-back chairs and/or beach blankets? You can have both, but alcohol is not permitted.

    There are several more places seen around our mondo city in the film's music-filled scenes, but Hermosa Beach as been a jazzy, evening-sky'd must-visit for fans.

    Especially, of course, those fans who want to sing "City of Stars" on Hermosa Beach Pier, much like Ryan Gosling did, on screen, as he strolled by the vintage lamps lining the historic ocean attraction.

    By the by, those vintage lamps, a dozen in all, will be making a return to the pier in honor of "La La Land" Day. See them glowing nightly from Oct. 24 through 27.

    Photo Credit: Lionsgate

    Dance your way to the pier that Ryan Gosling twirled on in 2016's Dance your way to the pier that Ryan Gosling twirled on in 2016's "La La Land," then enjoy live jazz, a screening of the film, and "La La Land" Day in Hermosa Beach, on Oct. 27, 2018.

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    Investigators have unearthed skeletal remains of two more people on a property in the Antelope Valley where three sets of human remains were discovered earlier this month.

    Several law enforcement sources told NBC4 they believe the skeletal remains of several additional people could still be buried there but unearthing them will require a prolonged digging operation with heavy equipment.

    In a statement, the sheriff's department said it is unknown if those remains belong to the three decedents or other individuals, sheriff's officials said.

    Earlier this month the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the remains of three people had been discovered on the property in the 30900 block of 106th Street in an area of Littlerock known as Juniper Hills. The causes of death were unknown but were considered suspicious, officials said.

    The LA County Coroner's Office said this week it was working to verify the identities and the exact number of the deceased. Detectives said last week they were searching for 34-year-old Jesus "Chuy" Guzman, as a person of interest in the case.

    Guzman, described as armed and dangerous, previously lived at the location. He was known to drive a black 2009 Toyota Corolla, California License Plate 6SCD663, officials said.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV/LA County Sheriff's Department

    Jesus Guzman, 34, is sought in connection with the discovery of human remains on a high desert property north of Los Angeles.Jesus Guzman, 34, is sought in connection with the discovery of human remains on a high desert property north of Los Angeles.

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    The teams are set for the 114 edition of the World Series. 

    The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to exorcise some previous postseason demons when they take on the Boston Red Sox in the Fall Classic. 

    Whether you're a diehard fan of either team, a casual fan of baseball, or just simply tuning in for the first time because it's the World Series, we have you covered with the best storylines to watch for:

    Kershaw vs. Sale 

    Game 1 is a pitching fan's dream as two of the best to ever toe the rubber face off on Tuesday night. 

    Sale are two of the best to ever put on the glove, and have a combined 14 All-Star appearances between them (seven each), the first time two pitchers have met in the World Series with at least 14 combined All-Star appearances since Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce dueled in 1962.

    Kershaw ranks first in ERA+ among all active pitchers in MLB history, and Sale ranks ninth, so if you like runs, this might not be the game for you. 

    Sale struggled with injures at the end of the season, and lost velocity during his starts in the ALDS and ALCS, respectively. However, after missing his start in the ALCS with a belly button infection, Sale is on nine days rest for Game 1 of the World Series.

    Kershaw has been hit or miss in the postseason over his career, and has never pitched at Fenway Park before. He could be dominant, or he could collapse, honestly, it's a coin flip. 

    Belli vs. The Belly Button Ring

    Dodgers reigning NL Rookie of the Year winner Cody Bellinger turned a lot of heads when he overcame a 1-for-21 start to the postseason with a walk-off hit in Game 4 of the NLCS, and the go-ahead homer in the winner-take-all Game 7 in Milwaukee. 

    The 23-year-old slugger won the NLCS MVP, but is not expected to start in Game 1 against Red Sox ace Chris Sale. Bellinger's defense is elite, and when ready, his bat is lethal. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts won't want to leave him on the bench for long, so it will be interesting to see if he faces Sale at any point in the game.

    Meanwhile, Sale hasn't been himself this postseason, and missed his last start in the ALCS against the Houston Astros because of a stomach infection caused by a belly button ring.

    Sale hasn't pitched in nine days, and whether or not he's fully healthy and his velocity is back will be a storyline to follow.

    Boston vs. Los Angeles

    Despite the baseball rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers being relatively new (the last time the two teams met in the World Series was 1916), the rivalry between the two historic cities runs deep.

    The basketball matchup between the Lakers and Celtics goes back decades and thanks to Dodgers owner Magic Johnson and Boston legend Larry Bird, both fan bases will be ready to butt heads during this showdown of two of the most historic franchises in baseball history as both teams have combined to play in 33 World Series.

    First Time at Fenway Park

    For many players on the Los Angeles Dodgers, this is their first time at Fenway Park. Not just this season, but ever! One of those players unfamiliar with Fenway is Game 1 starter Clayton Kershaw, who has never pitched in front of the Boston strong, or seen a ball go over the Green Monster in his career.

    Speaking of the Green Monster, a handful of younger players like Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer, all went inside the 37-foot high green monstrosity and signed their names on the legendary walls within. 

    Manny Machado Returns to Boston

    Similar to a WWE villain when he enters the ring at a sold out arena, former Baltimore Oriole and current Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado is expected to be greeted by a chorus of boos when he's announced at Fenway Park. 

    Boston is all-too familiar with Machado's reputation, as he famously slid into second base and spiked the back of the knee of Red Sox captain Dustin Pedroia during a game in 2017. 

    Machado was hit in the head with a fastball the next day, and then thrown at again by Chris Sale when the two teams met again a month later, prompting a profanity laced tirade by Machado after the game.

    Now, wearing Dodger Blue, Machado returns to Boston where the fans and players haven't forgotten what happened. 

    David vs. Goliath

    It's an unfamiliar feeling for the Boys in Blue, but the two-time reigning National League pennant winners, and six-time NL West Division champions (in a row) are entering their matchup with the Boston Red Sox as the dark horse.

    The Dodgers are David in this parable, trying to defeat the giant Goliath, in the Red Sox.  Boston has won three World Series championships in the last 15 years, and enter the Fall Classic as the overwhelming favorite after winning 108 games during the regular season.

    The Dodgers will look to take down Goliath and in the process, win their first World Series title in 30 years.

    Minority Managers and former teammates

    For the first time in the 116-year history of the World Series, two minority managers will square off against each other in the Fall Classic. 

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is of Japanese and African-American descent, and is the first minority manager in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise history.

    Alex Cora was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is in his first season as manager of the Boston Red Sox.

    “This game of baseball, it’s great in any language,” said Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez, who is Puerto Rican. “This shows you the game is moving in a great direction.”

    In addition to both managers being minorities, they were also former teammates with both the Dodgers and the Red Sox, marking the first time in MLB history that two former teammates face off against each other, let alone teammates of both teams.

    A Tale of Redemption

    The Dodgers are seeking redemption after a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros in seven games in the 2017 World Series.

    The Dodgers blew leads in two of the four games they lost, and fell behind 5-0 to start Game 7 at home. There's no worse feeling than losing a Game 7 in the World Series, but to have it happen on your own turf is even worse.

    After a rollercoaster ride of a season that saw the Dodgers overcome adversity and fight each and every time their backs were against the wall, Los Angeles got back to the World Series with a shot at turning the agony of a World Series defeat into the sweet thrill of their first title in 30 years.

    Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
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    Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores a third inning run against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores a third inning run against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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    Clayton Kershaw was no match for the best team in baseball.

    For the eighth time in his postseason career, Kershaw surrendered five or more runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped Game 1 of the World Series, 8-4, at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. 

    The ghosts of World Series past caught up to the three-time Cy Young Award winner when he got butchered by the Boston hitters in the first inning, allowing three hits and two runs before the Boys in Blue could eve catch their breath.

    "I made some mistakes in the zone and they made me pay for it," said Kershaw of his start. "My slider was not very good tonight. All around I wasn't very good tonight."

    After a rainy afternoon and evening, the clouds parted just in time for first pitch, where temperatures reached as low as 42 degrees during the game.

    The Dodgers last played at Fenway Park in 2010, and their unfamiliarity with its quirks was evident from the get-go.

    Boston wasted no time getting on the board first as they came out of the gate firing. 

    Future MVP, Mookie Betts, led off the game for the Sox with a popup in foul territory that turned and twisted first baseman David Freese as he tried to chase the ball down. He ultimately overran the ball and it dropped behind him. Suddenly, a routine out turned into a second chance for Betts. 

    "It's a hard team to beat no matter what, but yeah you can't give them extra outs either," Kershaw said about the defense behind him.

    Betts singled to center field on the next pitch, stole second base on the one after that, and scored the first run of the 2018 World Series on the following pitch, as Andrew Benintendi hit an RBI single to right field.  

    "It was important for us to score first and kind of put some pressure on them," Betts said.

    Kershaw had gone eight consecutive postseason starts without allowing a run in the first inning, but surrendered two in Game 1 of the World Series.

    Matt Kemp cut the lead in half on his first World Series plate appearance, as he sent a 3-2 fastball from Sale into the seats atop the Green Monster to put the Dodgers on the scoreboard.

    The Dodgers tied the game in an uncharacteristic way in the top of the third when they worked three consecutive singles off Sale to level the score.

    "We were facing a guy who's one of the best of all time," said Andrew Benitendi who had three hits off Kershaw alone. "A lot of guys didn't have experience off of him. We had a good game plan. We tried not to give away at-bats."

    Martinez continued to torment Kershaw with an RBI double in the bottom of the third that gave the Red Sox the 3-2 lead. 

    After a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier chased Sale from the game, Justin Turner followed with a single to left field and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Matt Barnes.

    A few pitches later, Machado grounded out to second base, scoring the tying run on the fielder's choice. 

    Kershaw kicked off the bottom half of the fifth inning with a leadoff walk to Betts, and his third single surrendered to Benintendi, before leaving the game for Ryan Madson. 

    "I just felt right there that Madson had a better chance to get those righties and get a punch right there," said Roberts about his decision to remove Kershaw from the game in the fifth. "We had a grounder that we could've gotten out of the inning and Boegarts just beat it out."

    Madson thought he was out of the jam after striking out Martinez with the bases loaded and inducing a groundout to short, but Xander Bogaerts beat out the potential double play by a step, allowing the go-ahead run to score. 

    "He gets down the line really well. It's probably one of the toughest turns for me just because he's running so hard," said Dozier of the play. "I knew it was going to be close. I tried to put a little extra on it, but Bogaerts just beat it out."

    One batter later, Rafael Devers hit an RBI single to right field, and the Red Sox went back up by two, 5-3. 

    Kershaw (2-2) did not have his best stuff again in Game 1, allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and just five strikeouts in four innings.

    "I didn't pitch very well," Kersaw said matter of factly. "I don't think the weather or the stadium had anything to do with it."

    Machado hit a sacrifice fly to shave the lead down to one-run, but Eduardo Nuñez hit a backbreaking three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to break the game open for Boston.

    "I knew he didn't want me to beat him with a fastball," said Nuñez of the at-bat. "So I wil see all at-bat something soft and he did it twice."

    Before Nuñez's homer broke the game open, Benintendi hit a soft fly ball down the left field line that Joc Pederson appeared to be scared to catch. He hesitated right before the ball trickled off his glove, giving Benintendi a double, and another runner on base for Nuñez to knock home.

    "I was running in and calling it off," said Pederson of the play. "I was looking at JT [Justin Turner] to visualizer where he was, where the fence was, and I just couldn't get to it."

    Unfortunately for the Dodgers, one of the coldest days in World Series history also meant their bats would go cold, as L.A. went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

    Overall, the Dodgers struck out 12 times, as they were neutralized by the Boston bullpen in the late innings of the game. 

    Chris Sale completed four innings and was responsible for three of the four Dodger runs, allowing five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in his first start since Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

    "That was good stuff today," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Sale. "Stuff-wise, probably the best in the postsewason, and he feels really good, no problems with the belly button."

    Los Angeles will now have to defeat former Cy Young Award winner David Price in order to muster a split before the series moves to Tinseltown. 

    "We came into this hoping to split," said Dozier. "If we can split here and then go back to LA then I think we're in good shape. Can't lose back-to-back games."

    One final note, Lakers legend and Dodgers owner Magic Johnson was at Fenway for the World Series opener, and fans serenaded the basketball great with chants of "Beat LA!" a familar call for the man played in so many finals at the Boston Garden in the 1980s.

    Up Next: 

    Game 2 will feature another matchup of Southpaws as Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu starts for the Dodgers opposite David Price for the Red Sox. First pitch is 5:09PM PT on FOX.

    If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.

    Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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    A patient receiving health care services in one part of the United States could pay twice as much as a patient living elsewhere, according to a new study.

    Prices were highest in San Jose and lowest in Baltimore in 2016 for privately insured patients, the Health Care Cost Institute found.

    The Washington-based nonprofit group analyzed nearly 1.8 billion health insurance claims filed between 2012 and 2016. It then calculated a nationwide average for health care prices and ranked 112 metros against that average.

    Although prices generally were well above average on the West Coast and the Northeast, regional patterns broke down elsewhere.

    Across the Midwest, prices were below the national average in most cities, including Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland. But Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wis., were the fourth and fifth most expensive areas nationwide, just behind San Francisco and ahead of San Diego.

    “It reinforces this idea that all health care is local,” said Bill Johnson, a senior health researcher with the institute.

    There is little logic to health care prices within regions. Metros with professional fees near the national average sometimes have very high hospital prices and vice versa.

    In Los Angeles, professional fees are 5 percent below the national average while prices for inpatient (hospital) stays and outpatient services (emergency room and procedures such as colonoscopies) are 28 percent and 30 percent above the national average respectively.

    Green Bay has the fifth highest health costs in the nation — 14 percent above the national average. But it’s too simple to say that health care is expensive in Green Bay. Inpatient and outpatient costs are below the national average there while professional fees are 43 percent above the national average.

    Kevin Kennedy, a researcher at the institute, said that examples like this “help direct attention to what the right question is to ask.”

    For example, in Dayton, Ohio (health care costs 11 percent below the national average), inpatient charges are 18 percent above average. In Boston (health care costs 3 percent above the national average), professional fees are 22 percent above average. In San Jose (health care costs 65 percent above the national average), outpatient charges are a whopping 117 percent above average.

    “It seems like there’s a different reason (for high costs) for every area,” Kennedy said.

    “Health care isn’t one big problem,” Johnson said. “It’s a series of little problems.”

    The institute plans additional reports to see how usage and competition affect the price of health care.

    The group analyzed health claims data from four major insurers — Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and Kaiser Permanente — representing more than 50 million individuals.

    Photo Credit: jdoms -

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    A 30-year-old man was shot and killed in Woodland Hills Tuesday night, during what police initially believe to be a carjacking.

    The Los Angeles Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at approximately 8 p.m. on the 23000 block of Leonora Drive, according to Officer Tony Im.

    A dark charcoal or black, newer-model Dodge Challenger police believe was connected to the incident was located abandoned about five miles away at Overland and Stonegate drives and a Middle Eastern man, 5 feet 10 inches tall wearing a black jacket and dark pants, possibly jeans, was seen getting into a gray Mercedes-Benz hardtop that fled eastbound on Stonegate Drive, Im said.

    The victim was unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound when he was located, Im said.

    Sam Kindseth, a witness at the scene said he saw the suspect trying to drag the victim into a car.

    "I look next to me and I see a guy that looks like he's pulling this other dude inside his car, in the driver seat," Kindseth said.

    At this point is unclear whether the Dodge Challenger belongs to the victim or the shooter, but police believe the suspect may have gotten into a Mercedes sedan.

    The man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Im, who said officers were investigating the possibility that he was the victim of a carjacking.

    City News Service contributed to this report. 

    Photo Credit: Newschopper4

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    The chances of winning the Mega Millions are a truly miraculous 1-in-302.6 million, so why did so many people play for the $1.6 billion jackpot?

    According to UCLA psychiatry professor Timothy M.D. Fong, it involves buying into the fantasy we might win, rather than really believing we will, NBC News Better reports.

    Americans "love spectacular scenes and big events. When you think about it, lining up to buy lottery tickets is completely unnecessary, but people do it because they want to be a part of the spectacle," he said.

    One study has shown that winning the lottery leads to a better life, but another has shown that people who feel poor tend to play more, and Fong said it's also possible to get addicted.

    Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    A man walks past advertisements for the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries at the New York Lottery Customer Service Center in New York City on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize drawn Tuesday night was the largest lottery prize in U.S. history.A man walks past advertisements for the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries at the New York Lottery Customer Service Center in New York City on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize drawn Tuesday night was the largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

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    For the second time in two years, the iconic Pink's Hot Dogs stand is changing its colors to celebrate the Dodgers World Series appearance. From blue walls and uniforms to blue hats and even a blue banner, the longstanding Hollywood hot dog stand is changing its colors for the second time in its 79 years in existence.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Pink's Hot Dogs in West Hollywood has turned blue as the Dodgers compete in the 2018 World Series.Pink's Hot Dogs in West Hollywood has turned blue as the Dodgers compete in the 2018 World Series.

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    Five "potential explosive devices" sent to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, billionaire George Soros, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder and CNN at NYC's Time Warner Center are thought to be linked, law enforcement sources say -- and officials are looking into whether one addressed to California Rep. Maxine Waters in Washington, D.C., has a similar signature. 

    Two of the five devices -- one addressed to Clinton's Chappaqua home, one to Obama in Washington, D.C. -- were intercepted by the U.S. Secret Service. Both were discovered at off-site locations and neither the former secretary of state nor former president were ever at risk, officials said. 

    Another of the packages -- one addressed to ex-CIA chief John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor -- that appeared similar to the others forced an evacuation of CNN at the Time Warner Center Wednesday. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said the device appeared to be a "live explosive." He also said there was an envelope with white powder in the original packaging; that powder is being tested. Mayor de Blasio said there are no additional credible threats.

    It was at that briefing that Gov. Cuomo revealed his Manhattan office had received a similar package, which law enforcement later determined was not at all linked to the others. A senior law enforcement official told News 4 the item was a threatening letter, not a device, that referenced the Proud Boys street brawl from earlier this month. There was no explosive, the official said. A second official confirmed no device was mailed to the governor's office.

    A Cuomo spokesman later issued a statement saying the item appeared to contain computer files on the Proud Boys. 

    However, in a subsequent statement, Cuomo's office said that security at critical New York infrastructure points will be doubled following the discovery of the potential explosive devices.

    "Out of an abundance of caution, I am deploying 100 additional National Guard soldiers and directing State law enforcement to double security at vital assets across New York, including LaGuardia and JFK, mass transit systems, and bridges and tunnels," Cuomo said in the statement.

    Also Wednesday afternoon, congressional leadership sources confirmed to NBC News that a suspicious device intercepted at a mail processing facility for the U.S. Capitol was addressed to Waters. That device's nature, and possible connection to the others, remains under investigation. 

    In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Waters addressing the suspicious package saying: “I have been informed by U.S. Capitol Police that my Washington, DC office was the target of a suspicious package that has been referred to the FBI. I am appreciative of the law enforcement entities who intercepted the package and are investigating this matter. I unequivocally condemn any and all acts of violence and terror.”

    CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker slammed the White House and its continued attacks on the media when responding to the suspicious package delivered to CNN offices at Time Warner Center.

    "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that," Zucker's statement reads.

    Law enforcement officials say all of the five linked parcels -- those addressed to Clinton, Obama, Soros, Brennan and Holder -- had a manila outer packaging and the devices had stamps on them. The devices appear to be working explosives, sources say, but final analysis is pending further testing. News 4 obtained an image of one of the devices; it appeared to be crude. 

    The signature is nearly the same on those five packages and all listed the return address as one belonging to ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There is no suggestion Schultz had any involvement, law enforcement officials say. A device was also found at her Sunrise, Florida, office, which was the return address listed.

    Investigators believe that was the package addressed to Holder; it appears it may have had the wrong address, which is why it was shipped back to the nominal sender (Schultz's return address). 

    An officer with the local police department in Florida where Schultz's office is located said the package had been removed by early afternoon and the bomb squad was "rendering it safe." He declined to say whether a live explosive had been in the package and warned, "There may be noise, there may not be noise."

    At the Manhattan briefing, an FBI representative with the Joint Terrorism Task Force said the devices assessed thus far appeared to be pipe bombs. 

    In a seperate statement, the FBI said the investigation is of "the highest priority."

    "We have committed the full strength of the FBI’s resources and, together with our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, we will continue to work to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for sending these packages,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We ask anyone who may have information to contact the FBI. Do not hesitate to call; no piece of information is too small to help us in this investigation.”

    The FBI says it is possible that additional packages were mailed to other locations and advises the public to remain vigilant and to not touch, move or handle any suspicious or unknown packages.

    The Secret Service says it recovered the Clinton package, addressed to her home in Chappaqua, late Tuesday. She was not there at the time, though former President Bill Clinton was in the residence. The parcel addressed to Obama in Washington, D.C., was intercepted early Wednesday. 

    Later Wednesday, at a campaign event in Coral Gables, Florida, Hillary Clinton thanked everyone for their support.

    "We are fine, thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package addressed to us long before it made its way to our home," Clinton said. "But it is a troubling time, isn’t it, and it’s a time of deep divisions and we have to do everything we can to bring out country together."

    Secret Service says it has initiated a "full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible."

    "The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," Secret Service said in a statement. "Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them." 

    No one was hurt in the Soros case, which happened at his home in Bedford, about 10 miles away from Chappaqua. 

    A Clinton spokesman referred questions to the Secret Service, but reiterated that, unlike the Soros case, no package actually got to the Clinton home as two senior law enforcement officials initially reported. 

    In Soros' case, an employee noticed the package, put it in a wooded area and called police, who alerted the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives. A law enforcement source told NBC 4 New York that the device contained explosive powder; it was detonated as a precaution. 

    Investigators are reviewing surveillance video to determine whether the package was sent via mail or otherwise delivered.

    The FBI is working with police to figure out who sent the Soros device, which a senior law enforcement official said was similar to a pipe bomb. A law enforcement source says evidence was sent to the FBI lab in Quantico for testing. The FBI's New York office said Wednesday that its Joint Terrorism Task Force was working with federal, state and local partners on the investigation. ATF is also investigating. 

    President Trump was briefed on the situation.

    "The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority," Trump said in remarks from the White House Wednesday afternoon. "We will spare no resources or expense in this effort. I just want to tell you in these times, we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."

    Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to condemn the "cowardly" and "despicable" acts and to thank the Secret Service and FBI for their response. President Donald Trump did not issue a statement of his own but did retweet Pence roughly 50 minutes later and added "I agree wholeheartedly!"

    In D.C., the mayor and police chief assured the public that local and federal officials would handle the threats.

    “We will not let this terroristic behavior interrupt our lives,” Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference.

    Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement that there was no “additional, credible threat” to the city, and urged tipsters to contact police.


    CNN officials said they checked bureaus around the world "out of a complete abundance of caution and found no additional threats.

    "We are working with authorities to determine the severity of the situation," CNN chief Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees. 

    Law enforcement sources told News 4 that the package addressed to Brennan included a pipe with black tape and wires. 


    Soros, a billionaire who made his fortune in hedge funds, has donated heavily to liberal causes and is vilified on the right. He is also the subject of many unfounded conspiracy theories. Recently, conservative critics have, without evidence, accused him of secretly financing a caravan of Central American migrants to make their way north toward Mexico and the United States. Others have falsely accused him of being a Nazi collaborator during World War II, when he was a child in Hungary. 

    Activists frequently post the addresses of homes he owns in Westchester County on social media, sometimes accompanied by menacing messages.

    Soros' foundation, The Open Society Foundation, released a statement Tuesday condemning "the politics of hate that dominates our discourse today." 

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

    As per NBC News Investigations, a photo shows As per NBC News Investigations, a photo shows "one of the suspected explosive devices intercepted by law enforcement officials, on Oct. 24, 2018," (L) and another shows the envelope that held a possible device sent to CNN with the addressee's name spelled incorrectly (R).

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    A seventh child who was treated at a long-term care medical facility in New Jersey has died after a “severe outbreak” of adenovirus, a family of viruses that can otherwise cause mild illness, according to the state's Department of Health.

    New Jersey Department of Health officials said 18 children were recently infected with adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, Passaic County. The medical institution houses the Pediatric Center; the seven deaths came from the 18 infected kids. 

    The facility has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance, the DOH said Tuesday. 

    "The Department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed," DOH added in a new statement Wednesday. 

    Adenoviruses are common viruses that can cause a range of illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The viruses cause cold-like symptoms, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, and pink eye. Adenoviruses can pose serious complications to certain people, particularly those with weakened immune systems, respiratory issues and cardiac disease.

    That is the case at the Wanaque Center, health officials said. 

    "Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems," the New Jersey Department of Health in a statement Tuesday. "This strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living facilities."

    According to the CDC, adenoviruses are typically spread from an infected person to others through: close personal contact such touching or shaking hands; through the air by coughing and sneezing; or by touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

    Health investigators visited the facility over the weekend as part of their probe, officials said.

    The state Department of Health further said that it is monitoring the situation “very closely” and has been in contact with the staff at the center “providing guidance on infection control and cleaning procedures.”

    The Wanaque Center is a for-profit facility that, according to its website, works with "with medically fragile children" from newborn to 22 years of age. The center also serves as an adult nursing home and rehabilitation center for short- and long-term care.

    A spokesperson for the Wanaque Center did not respond to repeated request for comment.

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a statement on the adenovirus outbreak saying that he is "heartbroken by the news that several children have lost their lives."

    "I have been briefed by [Commissioner of Health] Dr. [Shereef] Elnahal, who has assured me that the Department of Health has recommended vital measures to enhance protections against the further spread of infection and will continue its active on-site surveillance," Murphy says in his statement. "I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimize the impact to all those who remain at the facility, including patients and employees.”

    The cause of the outbreak remains unclear.

    Photo Credit: News 4 NY

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    Aren't we all just a tad royal inside? 

    Do we not long to do that stiff-wristed wave to pedestrians as we pass them, if not in our horse-drawn carriage, then from our car, bike, or scooter?

    And wouldn't we look particularly fetching with a crown atop our head?

    Gaze inside and you might just find that you're made of more regal stuff than you had previously supposed. 

    If this is the case, and we think it probably is, don your sparkliest tiara, a feathery boa, and/or any other costume-y details you like, for one of the wackiest parades in the West is again on the search for its spectacular and beloved figurehead.

    The "wackiest parade" part should tell you that we're talking about the Doo Dah here, that long-running Pasadena procession that arose as a cheeky answer to the august Rose Parade.

    This offbeat affair is again going to dance through East Pasadena on Sunday, Nov. 18, which means that coronation day for the new Doo Dah Parade queen is very, very nigh.

    The tryout date is Sunday, Oct. 28, the place is the American Legion Post 280 in Pasadena, and the start time is 2 in the afternoon.

    Anyone is invited to audition, but do let the Doo Dah team know so they can save you a slot.

    Aspirants for the role of queen often sing a song, or juggle, or perform some other talent, during their three-minute performance window, but it doesn't need to be a traditional display of talent, do note.

    If you can do something amazing and strange, do show off from the stage, for sure. Basically you "... have three minutes to WOW the judges," so go for it.

    Are you an ace on the kazoo? Great at headstands? Dream big.

    It's all pretty loosey-goosey, like the parade itself, and the aim of the day is general joy, fun, and not-so-serious socializing.

    There's a $5 cover for the Queen Tryout party, do note, if you're not making a run for the crown, but the whole shebang is totally free if you are.

    And if you're chosen, above all of the other tryout-ers? Well, you'll be queen, with your own regal ride, in the 2018 Doo Dah Parade.

    How's that for a line on your resumé? We'll tell you how it is: Flat-out awesome.

    Photo Credit: Doo Dah Parade

    This could be your chance to reign regally over the quirky Crown City parade. The Doo Dah rolls in 2018 on Nov. 18, but first, a queen must be selected, and will be, on Oct. 28.This could be your chance to reign regally over the quirky Crown City parade. The Doo Dah rolls in 2018 on Nov. 18, but first, a queen must be selected, and will be, on Oct. 28.

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    World Series pageantry was on display Tuesday when the Dodgers and Red Sox squared off in Game 1 at historic Fenway Park.

    Photo Credit: Getty

    Scenes from Game 1 of the 2018 World Series.Scenes from Game 1 of the 2018 World Series.

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    Susan Kaye Quinn joined the Republican Party in her early 20s for its conservative economic policies and said she was a dedicated member over the next three decades. She voted straight-ticket Republican, campaigning for candidates in her home state of Illinois and attending party events around her congressional district in the suburbs north and west of Chicago.

    "I was a part of the party until they nominated Donald Trump," said Quinn, a 53-year-old novelist and former environmental engineer, in a phone interview. "But I didn't leave the Republican Party, the party left me."

    Appalled by Trump's rhetoric and many of his policies, Quinn crossed party lines in 2016 to vote for the Democratic candidates for president and Congress, she said. Hillary Clinton carried Illinois' 6th Congressional District by seven points even as the Republican House incumbent, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, was easily reelected to a sixth term.

    "The Republicans threw out their principles," Quinn said. "They overlooked moral issues, Russia meddling in our elections. They overlooked all of that to gain power in Trump’s popularity."

    This article, part 4 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.

    Democrats looking to regain control of the House are hoping to separate socially progressive, economically conservative Republican voters in the 6th District from a Republican Party that moved further to the right on positions of abortion, immigration and LGBTQ rights, among other issues. Two issues they have seized on are health care and opposition to Trump's tax bill.

    Republicans in districts that went for Clinton have been forced to thread a line between appealing to moderates fed up with Trump while maintaining support among the president's base. 

    "It's a tough year for Republicans in suburban Illinois, we know it, but Congressman Roskam has stood up to the President on issues, especially trade and is unique in his style and not a cookie cutter Republican," said Kirk Dillard, a former DuPage County Republican chairman and veteran of Illinois politics, in an emailed statement to NBC. "Peter Roskam is on sound footing with his base."

    Roskam touts himself as a moderate who opposes Trump's trade war, has advocated for a universal background checks system and elimination of bump stocks. Despite voting repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Roskam said he supports protections for pre-existing conditions and has proposed expanding access to pre-tax health savings accounts to help pay for deductibles. The 57-year-old from Wheaton is also staunchly anti-abortion and supports legislation banning the use of federal dollars from going to organizations that provide abortion services.

    "Those are the things that I'm voting on and I think those are the things that represent voters of the 6th District," Roskam told NBC. "And the proof of that is I've consistently won these elections with these views."

    But Roskam's attempts to repeal the ACA while refusing to hold town halls with constituents hasn't sat well with a number of conservative and independent voters in the district. And neither did the $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill Roskam helped write, which will hurt some in high-tax states like Illinois by capping their state and local tax deductions.

    "How do you respond when your representative doesn't hold a town hall to avoid hearing criticism and makes no bones about the fact the he has increased our tax burden?" Ken Hillman, a father of three from Cary, told NBC in a phone interview.

    Others disenchanted with the congressman they once supported are evangelicals — voters Roskam has historically relied on — who feel that many Republican policies are contrary to Christian values.

    Kristin Sterling, a 52-year-old bookkeeper at a Presbyterian church in DuPage County, told NBC she had voted for Roskam because their mothers were involved in a church women's group together and she believed "he was very religious and Christian. But the idea that we are all about ourselves, would strip health care from the poor and sick, and don't care about neighbors and the community, really bothered me."

    The Democrat hoping to capitalize on Roskam's newfound weakness is Sean Casten, a clean-energy entrepreneur and political newcomer from Downers Grove. Casten emerged from a crowded field to defeat initial frontrunner Kelly Mazeski, a breast cancer survivor, in the primary.

    Casten has made protecting and expanding health care access under the Affordable Care Act a top priority of his campaign. He says he's "unapologetically" pro-choice and supports legislation that will protect young immigrants living under former President Barack Obama's now-threatened Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    Casten has also vowed to work on restoring state and local tax deductions and proposes investments in infrastructure and clean energy as a way to boost the middle class economy.

    That appeal seems to be working. Earlier this month, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted its rating for the district from tossup to leaning Democratic.

    "Democrats didn't get their ideal nominee here back in March, but in this kind of political environment, it may not matter," said Cook's David Wasserman in his ratings analysis of the race. "Roskam, who hasn't had a competitive race since beating now-Sen. Tammy Duckworth for this seat in 2006, is now trailing Casten in both parties' polling."

    Red, Blue and Green
    The 6th District is predominantly white, highly educated and affluent. More than 50 percent of residents have college degrees and the median household income is just shy of $100,000, according to the Census. That's potentially bad news for Roskam in the current environment — a March poll from Pew Research Center found a larger share of college graduates favor Democrats.

    Roskam's seat has been solidly Republican since the mid-1970s, reinforced in 2011 when the Democratic-controlled state legislature redrew the district to pack in Republicans and maximize Democrats' hold on surrounding districts. But despite the gerrymandering, the C-shaped district that arcs through Chicago suburbs in five counties has voted for presidents of both parties in recent years: Obama in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012 and Clinton in 2016.

    "When Hillary won in 2016 we realized there are more of us here than we think, and there are fewer hard-right Republicans in this district than we assumed," said Leslie Sadowski, a liberal who moved to Downers Grove in 2012. "In the past, I think most people took for granted that it was a red district and stayed home."

    Peter Cooper, a lawyer from DuPage County, said he's never been involved in Democratic politics and voted Republican in the 2016 primary, but did not support Trump.

    "I was so appalled by the tenor and tone of President-elect Trump that I began looking for opportunities to get involved," he said.

    Cooper joined political activism groups, encouraged friends to consider runs for public office and has volunteered for Casten's campaign.

    And Cooper is not alone. More than 67,000 residents voted in this year's crowded Democratic primary, up from just 8,615 in the 2014 midterm primary.

    Roskam, who ran unopposed both years, received 56,544 votes this year. The Republican's vote total was down by nearly 9,000 from four years earlier.

    Dillard warned not to discount Roskam's support among a "tried and true conservative" base, which includes evangelicals, and told NBC he believes they will be loyal to the congressman "even if some want to break with Republicans."

    Both candidates have seen millions of dollars pour in from their parties and outside groups.

    Roskam spent about $800,000 more than Casten and had nearly $500,000 more on hand through the end of September, according to their Federal Election Commission filings. More than $1 million has been spent by outside groups to attack Casten or back Roskam, compared to less than $200,000 to support Casten or oppose Roskam.

    Roskam's Pre-Existing Condition: Voting Record
    Wasserman noted Roskam's vulnerability stems from his party-line votes. According to the political analysis website FiveThirtyEight, the congressman has voted in line with Trump's position 94.6 percent of the time.

    "I don't see why we'd fire our representative to get back at the president," Brad Hagstrom, a Roskam supporter from Downers Grove, told NBC. "I believe Peter is an American first and a Republican second."

    In a September debate with Casten, Roskam stood by his congressional record, arguing that many of the votes included in the FiveThirtyEight statistics were for "common-sense" legislation like hurricane and opioid relief, support for veterans, funding for government agencies and sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Roskam called Casten's claim that he's aligned with the White House an "over-characterization" and said he's condemned Trump both privately and publicly on issues like trade tariffs and funding cuts to the Great Lakes clean-up and preservation program. 

    But it was Roskam's repeated votes to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, most recently by backing the GOP's American Health Care Act last summer, that voters who spoke to NBC found "reprehensible." The bill, a priority for the Trump administration, passed the House but was narrowly voted down in the Senate.

    For months before the vote, Roskam had refused to hold town hall meetings with constituents who were concerned about losing pre-existing condition protections they had under the Affordable Care Act. Citing the "drama" at those types of events, he instead conducted tele-town halls, "which are much more civil," he told NBC.

    Few of the constituents who spoke to NBC have been satisfied with the "don't call me, we'll call you" format, which selects callers and prescreens questions, and Roskam has been hounded by protesters demanding a public meeting.

    Roskam told NBC that the ACA is a "catastrophic failure" because of rising premiums and limited providers in the exchange for some areas of the country.

    However, experts argue that a major factor behind rising premiums and the reduction of health care options was uncertainty over the law's future caused by frequent attempts by the Republican party to kill or weaken it. The average price of premiums for benchmark plans will actually go down by about 1.5 percent in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this month. That's because insurers who increased the price of 2018 premiums in reaction to the failed Republican repeal bill are now rolling back prices to correct for overinflation.

    Roskam said he is advocating for a replacement health care plan that will increase competition, lower premiums and include protections for pre-existing conditions. But with the individual mandate repealed under the tax bill, many of the constituents who spoke to NBC said they question the feasibility of attaining a comparable level of coverage to the ACA without either increasing cost or cutting services.

    "Insurance as a business model is made up of a risk pool. You need healthy people to balance the cost of the unhealthy ones," said Cooper, the DuPage lawyer. "I think it's disingenuous to suggest that we are going to reduce premiums but increase benefits, but we need to find better and more efficient ways to provide health care."

    Cooper said he believes in access to health care for all and is skeptical of Roskam's "lip service" to pre-existing conditions without offering specifics on an overall plan.

    Casten's platform calls for building on "Obamacare," as the Affordable Care Act is often called, and moving the country toward universal health care by creating a public option for people to buy into the Medicare system.

    "What we should be doing from a data perspective is recognize that as a country we spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world and have worse outcomes than every other country that has universal health care. And the ACA was not universal health care but it was closer than what we had before," Casten said in a phone interview.

    Cutting the SALT on Taxes
    Like many Republican members of Congress in Democratic-leaning states across the country, Roskam faces the challenge of defending the $10,000 limit on state and local tax (SALT) deductions that were part of the Republicans' Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017.

    In a high-tax state like Illinois, where more than 43 percent of returns claim SALT, property and sales taxes, many voters in the 6th District may be particularly hard hit by the cap on their SALT deductions, according to the Tax Policy Center.

    Roskam, who is the chairman of the Tax Policy Subcommittee for the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said the original version of the GOP bill had a zero-deduction allowance and that he insisted on the $10,000 break, calling it a "sweet spot" for his district. He maintains that middle-class families will see a net benefit due to changes in other parts of the tax law.

    But constituents who aren't seeing a big bump in their paychecks are skeptical.

    "My property taxes alone is over the $10,000 cap, so the SALT limit will definitely hurt my family this year," said Carolynne Funk, a mother of four from Lake Zurich, who plans to vote for Casten.

    Proponents of the SALT cap, like Hagstrom and Deborah Kraus of Hillsdale, defend the decision. Kraus said that while she may pay more in taxes, limiting the deduction puts pressure on the "Illinois machine" to reduce taxes and tighten its spending belt.

    For Crystal Lake resident Greg Alexander, his biggest concern is the long-term impact of the $1.5 trillion tax cut on the federal deficit budget. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that it will add $1.9 trillion to the national debt by 2028, and could be higher if provisions of the tax cut that are set to expire are renewed instead.

    "Eventually the deficit will need to be paid down, and they are going to do that by cutting Social Security, Medicare and other safety nets," Alexander said. "It's just horrible."

    Asked about concerns over the deficit, Roskam told NBC that said while he understands the criticism, the money borrowed to pay for tax cuts will keep companies and jobs in Illinois and the U.S. "The question is do you take on debt to buy something that is increasing in value and the answer is 'yes,'" he added.

    Casten has vowed to restore SALT deductions and said he supports lifting the payroll cap, currently $128,400, on earnings subject to the Social Security tax in order to fund entitlement programs long-term. He said he also supports raising the gas tax, which was last increased in 1993, to pay for road and other infrastructure projects.

    "These are the things that are going to help the economy and the middle class," Casten said. "Not huge tax cuts skewed to the very wealthy."

    More Than Just 'Pro-Birth'
    Jeff Greenberg, a historically single-issue voter from Wheaton told NBC he is abandoning the anti-abortion ticket this year to vote for Casten, a shift for a district that was previously represented by Henry Hyde, the namesake of the Hyde Amendment restricting federal funding for abortion.

    Greenberg, a "pro-life evangelical Christian" who teaches geology and environmental science at Wheaton College, the alma mater of Rev. Billy Graham, said that while he disagrees with Casten on the issue of abortion, he feels his proposals for health care, taxes and for tackling climate change are more aligned with his Christian values than those of Roskam.

    Greenberg said he had always voted a pro-life ticket, supporting Roskam in at least two elections. But with Roskam defending Trump's Muslim ban, repeatedly voting to repeal the ACA, failing to protect "Dreamers" and supporting a tax bill that "further widens the income inequality gap," Greenberg said he's realized that anti-abortion advocacy can't be the only thing he looks for in a candidate.

    "To be a pro-life, you got to be more than just pro-birth," Greenberg said.

    Roskam did not respond directly to the "pro-birth" criticism but he told NBC he's "not going to be defensive about being pro-life" and condemned Casten for not supporting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act — restricting abortions at 20 weeks — and favoring expanding the availability of taxpayer-funded abortions.

    Casten maintained that abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor and not the government. He told NBC he believes the only way to actually reduce incidents of abortion is by decreasing the chances of unplanned pregnancy through access to contraception, maternity health services and sex-education. Those are all positions that Greenberg said he supports.

    Casten is also capitalizing on a growing contingent of voters who support women's reproductive rights and are frustrated over the Republicans' resolve to defund organizations that provide preventative care like Planned Parenthood.

    "As a college student and a young professional, I relied on Planned Parenthood for affordable birth control," said 49-year-old Erin Micklo of Glen Ellyn. "This administration's determination to destroy both affordable contraception for those who cannot afford it and their desire to make medical and reproductive decisions for women is abhorrent and terrifying."

    Micklo has voted for Roskam four times, including 2016, she said. But the high school teacher said she is the parent of a gay daughter and a son with a disability and is actively working to flip the 6th in the midterms in order to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans and pre-existing conditions afforded under the ACA so that her son will always have access to healthcare.

    "In some ways, at nearly 50 years old, I feel more alive and energized than I've ever felt in my life," Micklo added.

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    Election Day is fast-approaching, and there are ballot measures that could change the way you eat, how much you pay for gas, and even change the time of day in California.

    Here's a comprehensive guide to all 11 propositions to help you make an informed decision come Nov. 6.

    Prop 1: Veterans' Home Loans

    This proposal allows the state to sell general obligation bonds for $4 billion to finance affordable housing for low-income people, including war veterans.

    Its financial impact in California is an increase in state costs to reimburse the average amount of these bonds of about $170 million per year over the next 35 years.

    Those for the measure say the best part is it finds a solution, while not raising taxes. 

    Those against the measure say there are better ways to fix California's housing crisis. They also argue it would waste taxpayer money on interest payments.

    Prop 2: Homelessness Prevention

    This proposal would allow the state to use funds from county mental health programs to fund housing for the homeless with mental issues.

    The approval of this proposal would not increase state taxes and makes the existing legislation that establishes the program official.

    Homeless advocates, social workers, doctors and emergency responders urge voters to say yes to Prop 2.

    Those against it however, say it makes no sense to take money away from mental health services to build homes with that money. 

    Prop 3: Water and Environmental Projects

    The proposition authorizes the use of $8.877 billion in general obligation state bonds to finance aquifer and environmental projects.

    The fiscal impact for the state would be the increase in costs to pay bonds of $430 million as an annual average for more than 40 years. However, the state government could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in water-related projects in the coming decades.

    Proponents say it is a measure that will guarantee safe drinking water and drought protection. But those against it say it hands money over to a lot of different organizations, but doesn't provide a new way of getting clean water. 

    They also say "interest payments on the bonds will double the amount that has to be repaid." They say it does nothing to solve our water shortage problems. 

    Prop 4: Children's Hospitals

    It would allow the state to sell $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds to finance the construction, expansion, renovation and equipping of children's hospitals.

    The fiscal impact for the state would be the increase in costs to reimburse bonds of $80 million per year over the next 35 years.

    Those for the measure argue the hospital systems are like cellphones -- think of how much they've increased in technology over the last 10 years. They argue the demand for specialized pediatric care has only gone up, and hospitals are needed to meet that demand.

    Those against say the proposition really only benefits the hospitals backing the measure, and that the money could be spent in a better way. 

    Prop 5: Homebuyers Taxes

    The approval of this prop would allow all homeowners over 55 years of age, of any property contaminated or affected by a natural disaster, and severely disabled owners, to be eligible for property tax savings should they move to another home.

    The fiscal impact would be for schools and local governments, which would lose more than $100 million per year in property taxes.

    It essentially the "moving penalty."

    Those against it say it cuts "$1 billion in local revenue from public schools, fire, police, health care and other services" but doesn't build any new housing. They say it's going to make it harder for cities to pay for schools while giving a nice tax break to the wealthy.

    Prop 6: Gas Tax

    Prop 6 would repeal a 12-cent gas tax and an increase in vehicle registration that was approved last year to fund road fixes and better transit programs. The aim was to pay for $5 billion a year in improvements, and raise $52 billion over a decade for road repairs. The gas tax took effect last November.

    Construction industry and firefighter unions oppose repealing the measure.

    Former Republican councilman Carl DeMaio proposed it, saying the cost of living in California outrageous enough as it is.

    "Everything in California is so much more expensive and the question is why," he once said.

    Voting no keeps the tax right where it is.

    Opponents say since cars are becoming more energy efficient and using less gas, there won’t be enough funds to support the program.

    Opponents contend there aren't enough funds to keep up with the transit needs of California's 40 million people. Over the last two decades, automobiles have become more fuel efficient — a boon for the environment but a challenge to transportation budgets as drivers need less gasoline.

    Prop 7: Daylight Saving Time

    Daylight saving time may not seem that big of a deal to most Californians, but it’s a divided issue.

    If Californians vote yes, they’d be asking to end daylight saving time, meaning no “spring forward” nor “fall back.” But voting yes wouldn’t make it a done deal -- the measure would still need to clear the hurdle in the federal government. The measure would need a two-thirds vote from the Legislature.

    Basically, the time wouldn’t change, like in other states that don’t follow Daylight Saving Time: Hawaii and Arizona (except for in Arizona’s Navajo Nation).

    Voting no would mean that everything would stay how it is – you lose an hour in spring, and gain an hour in fall.

    Some proponents say the idea is very outdated. It all started during WWI as an energy saving program. They argue that studies have shown that daylight saving time may actually increase electricity use in the summertime. They also argue that daylight saving time would cause more pedestrian crashes because the sun sometimes doesn’t rise until 8 a.m. in winter.

    Those who are against the measure say it’s too much change, and Californians are used to switching their clocks back and forth.

    Prop 8: Dialysis Clinics Refunds

    Proposition 8, while at first glance is not as controversial as the gas tax or daylight savings props, actually is a source of heated debate. If passed, it would cap profits at kidney dialysis clinics by using a formula.

    Proponents of 8 say big dialysis companies are netting monster profits without putting enough money back into sanitation and patient care. Those in support, like the Democratic Party and veterans, say the proposition would stop the companies from overcharging, and would help provide quality care for patients.

    But those against the prop – which includes nurses, doctors and physicians – say many clinics would be forced to close if the prop passes. Many people without functioning kidneys depend on the clinics, and those against the prop say it would increase costs for tax payers, and reduce access to care because clinics would have to close.

    Prop 10: Regulating Rent

    This is set to be a big source of debate in November. Voting yes means state law would not limit rent control laws in cities and counties. What that means is it would establish rent control authority in communities, in hopes to keep people in their homes and reduce the homeless population.

    But those opposing the measure say that if state law is not allowed to continue overseeing rent control, it would actually make the housing crisis worse. They argue Prop 10 is bad for homeowners because it allows the regulation of single family homes and would allow more fees on top of rent.

    Those against it say it will hurt homeowners because it will lower real estate values. They also say it would limit new construction and cut the already-choked housing supply in California. Opponents also say landlords who managed smaller properties would struggle or be pushed out.

    Prop 10 repeals Costa-Hawkins Housing Act, and it is one of the most expensive propositions on the ballot.

    According to the state, renters in California already spend more than half their income on rent.

    Those in favor say Prop 10 would help people getting pushed out of their homes, because it would control how much landlords increase rent per year as well as regulate how much they are asking of new renters.

    Prop 11: On Call Ambulances

    If Prop11 passes, ambulance workers would have to stay on call during their paid lunchbreaks so they could respond to 911 calls. It would also give them more training. Proponents argue it’s a proposition that would save lives.

    Voting no means EMT’s and paramedics would have to remain unreachable while on a paid break, and cannot provide care, even if they are the closest ambulance available.

    State Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez argues however that the proposition is not what it seems.

    Rodriguez says it would allow private companies to get out of paying millions in wages.

    Prop 12: Ban Selling Meat From Confined Animals

    A yes vote would require farmers to provide more space to caged animals used for meat or food, like egg-laying hens, pigs, and calves. It would ban the sale of meat and eggs from animals in cages that do not meet

    If it sound familiar, it’s because in 2008, Prop 2 was passed preventing caged animals from being raised in confinements so small they couldn’t move.

    But it’s back in the form of Prop 12, because out-of-state farmers aren’t subjected to the same requirements. Also, there were no specific measurements in Prop 2.

    Hens would also have to be totally cage free by 2022.

    Starting in 2020, a calf would have to be given at least 43 square feet of floor space.

    Pigs would need 24 square feet starting in 2022.

    In 2020, egg-laying hens, would need 1 square foot of floor space each – the cages would be totally gone by 2022.

    Costs would probably rise for the foods produced by using meat and eggs from these animals, the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office found.

    The Association of California Egg Farmers says it could cause a shortage of eggs for sale because farmers would have to make a lot of unforeseen changes to structures.

    Photo Credit: Getty

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