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    After the Woolsey Fire forced mandatory evacuations, the post office announced Thursday, a week after the fire began, that residents can pick up their mail at designated post offices. 

    Malibu and Topanga residents can retrieve mail, as long as they have a photo ID.

    Malibu Postal customers can pick up their mail at:

    • Los Angeles Main Post Office, 7101 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90001.
    • Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Topanga Postal customers can pick up their mail at:

    • Pacific Palisades Post Office, 15243 La Cruz Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA  90272.
    • Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Street delivery has continued in some areas. Certain locations will be skipped if roads are closed due to wildfires or if air quality worsens.  To hear the latest information regarding where mail can be picked up or when mail delivery will resume, call (323) 586-1460.

    Residents evacuated in other areas who do plan to move back into their homes within the next 30 days have the option of placing a hold mail request instead.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Traffic jams the southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway as all of the city of Malibu is evacuated to flee advancing flames during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Traffic jams the southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway as all of the city of Malibu is evacuated to flee advancing flames during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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  • 11/15/18--17:15: Weekend: LA Zoo Lights Open

  • LA Zoo Lights: It's a fact that, quite typically, we'll visit a zoo when the sun is out, for many reasons, but a big one is, well, the animals are awake. But nighttime events can also shimmer at animal parks, after the residents are asleep, and this one is one of the majors of the merriest season. Prepare to stroll by "... giant illuminated snowflakes, a disco ball forest," and several other sights that are both fantastical and/or inspired by the natural world. Opening night is Nov. 16, and it all twinkles right through to Jan. 6, 2019 (closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24 and 25). 

    The Great Los Angeles Walk: Sauntering from downtown to the Pacific Ocean? That's going to take some time, several hours, in fact, but what if you could join other Southern Californians on the adventure, locals who love know more about our story-packed, place-terrific city, one block at a time? You can, for free, on Saturday, Nov. 17, when the 13th version of this come-together walk takes place. It all begins at Pershing Square, and 6th Street will be the focus, in memory of food writer Jonathan Gold. Details.

    Enchanted: Forest of Light: Nature is perfection, it is often and accurately said, but adding something a little zazzy to a tree-filled scene, something that quietly changes the look of the setting, though not permanently, can inspire a person to regard our leafy world with fresh eyes. Venture to Descanso Gardens, in La Cañada Flintridge, for this after-sundown treat, one that boasts a spread of glowing tulip, "trees aglow" with a variety of saturated lights in a host of hues, and more presentations of a pretty and ethereal character. Tickets are available for the nighttime dazzlement, which sparkles from Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.

    Free Festival of Flight: Hurry, hurry, hurry faster. Is that all you seem to do once you're at an airport? And, if so, do you ever crave extra time, even a few minutes, to admire the great flying machines that have a way of congregating around tarmacs? Here's a way to spend more time, and get closer, to such wonders: Attend this annual wing-laden lark at Long Beach Airport. In addition to the real planes on display, there shall be entertainment, food trucks, and more to see at the Nov. 17 plane party.

    Valley Relics Museum Grand Opening: So you grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and recall so many retro signs and sights. Where to see a bunch of those, on beautiful display, along with photos, clothes, bikes, and oodles artifacts representing the area's semi-recent past? At this place, a wicked-cool repository for the SFV's collective mid-to-late-20th century memories. The museum had a smaller spot in Chatsworth, but a move to the Van Nuys Airport means, yes, lots more room for lots more memorabilia. Scope the new spot on Nov. 17.



    Photo Credit: Jamie Pham

    Pretty displays not far from the snoozing beasties? It must be near the end of the year at the Griffith Park animal park. It opens on Friday, Nov. 16.Pretty displays not far from the snoozing beasties? It must be near the end of the year at the Griffith Park animal park. It opens on Friday, Nov. 16.

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    President Donald Trump’s support has put Congress within reach of passing the most sweeping set of changes to the federal criminal justice system since the 1990s, when fear of crime drove the enactment of draconian sentencing practices that shipped hundreds of thousands of drug offenders to prison.

    This is no small feat. Reformers have been trying to get this done for years, but something always got in the way: partisan bickering, election-year politics, ambushes by opponents. Amid Washington gridlock, the First Step Act stands out.

    The measure, which could go to a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress between now and January, contains several changes to the way the federal government treats drug offenders, both those who are in prison now and those who will face a judge in the future, NBC News reports.



    Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

    U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Paul Cell, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, during a signing ceremony for H. R. 5682, First Step Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Paul Cell, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, during a signing ceremony for H. R. 5682, First Step Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

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    Two separate cases involving rape allegations against Kellen Winslow Jr., one from a 2003 incident, were combined and the former NFL player again pleaded not guilty to all charges on Thursday. 

    Winslow, now 35 years old, is charged with forcible rape and rape of an unconscious woman in connection with the assault of an Escondido High School teenager when he was a student at the University of Miami in June 2003, according to prosecutors.

    He is also charged with kidnap, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible sodomy charges stemming from allegations that he raped or attempted to rape at least four women over the age of 50 over a three-month span, court documents said.

    A judge ruled that the two cases would be consolidated on Thursday with the condition that the two be separated by a trial judge at a later date. 

    The defendant denies the allegations against him and his defense attorney, Harvey A. Steinberg, has said his client looks forward to the day he is vindicated.

    Jane Doe, who testified against Winslow during a preliminary hearing, said the athlete and his friend raped her after a night of partying with friends while a third person recorded the alleged assault with a camera. 

    She recalled yelling, "Stop," but Winslow didn't until he was pulled off of her by the friend.

    "Having a dream of somebody pressing against you and seeing a camera is what it’s like imprinted in my head," she said. 

    Winslow was first arrested on June 7 after a report of a possible burglary in Park Encinitas, a senior community located on North El Camino Real, east of Interstate 5 and north of Encinitas Boulevard.

    At the time, he faced first-degree burglary charges, which have been dropped to misdemeanors.

    He was later accused of sexual assault, kidnapping and sodomy in connection with incidents dating back to March 17, according to court documents. 

    The complaint revealed Winslow had entered the senior community on June 7. Prosecutors said Winslow intended to rape an 86-year-old woman who was sleeping inside her home.  

    The complaint accuses Winslow of attacking a 54-year-old woman and a 59-year-old woman on March 17 and May 13, respectively, in his SUV. 

    One of the women accusing Winslow of rape testified that she was choked and told she would be killed if she screamed.

    He had attempted to rape a 71-year-old woman and burglarized her property on June 1 and had indecently exposed himself in public on May 24, the DA's office said.

    Three of the crimes occurred within a mile to 1.5 miles from Winslow's home, prosecutors established.

    Winslow pleaded not guilty and was initially held without bail based on "clear and convincing" evidence he poses a threat to the community and is considered a flight risk.

    The judge later set bail at $2 million, which was met.

    If convicted on all counts, Winslow could be sentenced to life in prison. 

    Winslow, the son of former San Diego Chargers great Kellen Winslow Sr., grew up in San Diego and graduated from Scripps Ranch High School before playing his college football at the University of Miami. 

    His NFL career started with the Cleveland Browns in 2004 and included stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and New York Jets.


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    As the first members of the migrant caravan arriving in Tijuana begin the asylum process, we take a look at what you need to know about the thousands of people making the journey to the U.S. through Mexico. 

    What is the migrant caravan? 

    Thousands of migrants have been traveling by foot or by vehicle from Central American countries through Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. Small groups who have obtained transportation have arrived in Tijuana ahead of the rest of the caravan. Many say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability.

    How many will arrive in the Tijuana/San Diego area? 

    Buses and trucks began bringing migrants to the Tijuana area on Sunday, Nov. 12. The numbers of new arrivals each day could be in the hundreds until the majority of the caravan arrives. 

    As of Thursday, it was estimated there were 1,660 migrants in the Tijuana area.

    What's the asylum process? 

    People who fear for their safety in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a group can request legal protection in the U.S. 

    To be eligible, an individual must apply for asylum within a year of their arrival to the U.S.

    Customs and Border Protection officers say they will process the migrants seeking asylum as space is available in the San Ysidro and Otay Port of Entries. The agency's employees also monitor shipping and trade, stop illegal drug and human smuggling and screen pedestrian and vehicle traffic through one of the busiest land border crossings in the world.

    Under current regulations, an applicant is allowed to stay within the U.S. while the case is pending. People requesting asylum are held in detention centers until they can be interviewed. Then, when they are released to the U.S. and waiting for a court hearing, they are outfitted with ankle monitors. 

    President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

    What are U.S. troops doing along the border? 

    Here is how the U.S. government describes the duties of the thousands of military personnel deployed to the border: "Department of Defense personnel are installing concertina wire, and pre-positioning jersey barriers, barricades, and fencing as requested by CBP under Operation Secure Line."

    Who is helping the migrants? 

    Various religious organizations in Tijuana and San Diego have been preparing for the caravan's arrival. NBC 7 spoke with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego who suggested donations may be dropped off at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in UTC area, 4321 Eastgate Mall.

    The group organizing the caravan, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, has a crowdfunding website collecting donations.

    Border Angels is providing a way for people interested in donating goods to order items from retail stores and request they be shipped to the organization's San Diego headquarters.



    Photo Credit: Telemundo 20/NBC 7

    A pickup truck carries migrants along the road near Tijuana.A pickup truck carries migrants along the road near Tijuana.

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    The Defense Department has failed an audit almost three decades in the making, the Pentagon's No. 2 official said Thursday. But the results were expected and showed what the agency already knew — that "more work lies ahead of us."

    Congress first required the Defense Department to undertake a comprehensive audit in 1990, but the agency didn't manage to get around to it until late last year, NBC News reported.

    "Everyone was betting against us that we would even do the audit," Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding: "It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion organization. The fact we did the audit is substantial."



    Photo Credit: AP

    President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

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    Millions of people are learning about the toxic threat from the contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab, all because of tweets from the Kardashians. Three Kardashian sisters are alerting the twitter-verse about the field lab where the deadly Woolsey fire started.

    The NBC4 I-Team exposed potential threats to 500,000 people living within five miles of the radioactive site in a series of reports beginning in 2015 called "LA's Nuclear Secret."

    The tweets are part of a growing call to finally clean up the former nuclear and rocket test site, which sits on a mountain between Los Angeles and Simi Valley.

    About 20,000 more people have signed a petition for a cleanup since the Kardashians began tweeting about it, bringing the total to close to half a million people have signed the petition. The Field Lab, perched on a mountain between Los Angeles and Simi Valley, is one of California's most toxic sites.

    Kim Kardashian told her 58 million twitter followers she's "shocked and furious" to learn that smoke from the Woolsey Fire started at Santa Susana and is potentially radioactive. Kourtney Kardashian tweeted "our family lives only 20 miles from santa susana."

    Khloe Kardashian retweeted the message, joining her sisters in urging followers to sign a petition, demanding that incoming Governor Gavin Newsom get the site cleaned up.

    "There's a lot of elected officials I think who are ready to jump on this, but we need more public support," said Melissa Bumstead who lives in West Hills, in the shadow of the Field Lab and started a petition.

    The lab site is contaminated with tons of radioactive and toxic chemical waste, created by decades of nuclear accidents and rocket testing. Bumstead's daughter Grace Ellen, diagnosed with a rare leukemia at age 4, is one of dozens of kids who live near the field lab, all diagnosed with unusual cancers.

    "I've always wondered, if the site had been cleaned up way back in 2010, maybe my daughter never would have had cancer," she said. Then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got the owners of the field lab, including Boeing and NASA, to sign agreements to clean up the lab by 2017.

    But when Governor Jerry Brown took office, he never enforced those agreements. He has not responded to at least six requests from NBC4 for comment since 2015. But today, after touring the Woolsey Fire, he called for a cleanup, but left it up to his successor.

    "This fire should wake everyone up," he said. "We'll do all that I can between now and Jan. 6 and after that we'll pass the baton to Mr. Newsom."

    The Woolsey Fire is also a wake-up call to scientists worldwide, like the the winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Dr. Tilman Ruff of Australia, who is now also calling for a full clean up of Santa Susana.

    "The risk if the site isn't cleaned up is that this will happen again, and that materials will in any case continue to leak from the site," said Tilman, of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.



    Photo Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    LA County firefighter Battalion 13 Captain Victor Correa helps put out hotspot in a neighborhood razed by the Woolsey fire on Harvester road November 12, 2018 in Malibu, California.LA County firefighter Battalion 13 Captain Victor Correa helps put out hotspot in a neighborhood razed by the Woolsey fire on Harvester road November 12, 2018 in Malibu, California.

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    After last year's Skirball Fire in the Sepulveda Pass was ignited in a homeless encampment, some residents demanded the City do something to reduce the fire danger from the camp sites.

    NBC4's I-Team has learned what the city has - and has not - done.

    Millions of dollars at the taxpayers' expense could be the result of inaction due to civil liability, should a new brush fire be traced to one of the homeless encampments the city knows exists.

    Firefighters have mapped-out the locations of many of these camps, and some residents said they're furious the city has not forced the campers to pack up and move out.

    A fresh foot path can be seen winding up a hillside close to where the Skirball Fire started in a homeless camp.

    "...There was an encampment. It appeared as if it had been there for some time. People were likely sleeping and cooking there," said Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

    The fire burned for more than a day - chewing through 442 acres, destroying six homes and damaging a dozen others.

    But for a variety of reasons, the city says it has not forced people camping to leave those same brush areas.

    "With one flip of an ash, it could have started up again," a Bel Aire homeowner, forced to evacuate, said.

    She was afraid to have her face shown or name used in our coverage.

    She said she reported a homeless person smoking in the canyon behind her house a few days after the Skirball Fire.

    "It seems to me that as we come into another fire season - that the exposure is still out there, and it's still something that's a huge concern coming into the fall," she said.

    In the weeks after the Skirball fire, LA sent firefighters to map the locations of camps, and outreach workers were sent out, but the city has not enforced trespassing and other laws that could force the campers to leave.

    Some of the camp sites mapped last January are still occupied, like this one along Laurel Canyon in Studio City. It's the city's knowledge of where the sites exist that legal experts say could lead to a huge bill for taxpayers.

    "They know the danger exists, and they're not enforcing the laws," said Attorney Brian Kabateck.

    Kabateck, who's also the president of the LA Bar Association, says the mere fact the city has a list of encampment sites could put taxpayers on the hook for the damages if another fire starts in a known camp site and burns homes.

    "For the mayor simply to say, we're just going to know where they are, and track them and keep them, that just isn't enough, and it's going to end up leading to liability for the city," Kabateck said.

    Mayor Garcetti said he's not worried about the legal liability.

    "Look, I'd rather know where folks are, and on high fire risk days, we now have a policy to go out there and ask people to, to get out of those places," he said. "My mind is to make sure that we know where these areas are."

    As NBC4's I-Team reported Wednesday, the Mayor's office says it's unable to enforce trespassing laws on some city owned properties, because not enough "no trespassing" signs have been installed.

    The Mayor's office says it's working on a better solution, and says it knows residents in brush fire hazard zones are very worried.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

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    A video surfaced Thursday of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi saying it might be a "great idea" to make it harder for some people to vote, and her campaign quickly responded that she was "obviously" joking, NBC News reported.

    Hyde-Smith, who is in a runoff against Democrat Mike Espy on Nov. 27, made the remark at a campaign stop in Starkville, Mississippi, on Nov. 3. It was posted to Twitter on Thursday by Lamar White Jr., publisher of The Bayou Brief. Smith earlier this week posted video of Hyde-Smith making a comment on Nov. 2 about a "public hanging" that started a controversy.

    "And then they remind me that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who ... maybe we don't want to vote," Hyde-Smith is heard saying. "Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that's a great idea."



    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    In this file photo, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) arrives for a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.In this file photo, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) arrives for a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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    One week after making what was considered a record fentanyl bust at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers set a new seizure record.

    U.S. Citizen Fernando Jesus Peraza was arrested at the border Aug. 8 with more than 20,000 fentanyl pills concealed in the rear quarter panel of his vehicle.

    The seizure is believed to be the largest single-port seizure of fentanyl pills across the southwest border of the U.S, U.S Attorney Adam Braverman said.

    On Thursday, Nov. 15, Peraza pleaded guilty in federal court to importing the pills.

    His sentencing is scheduled for February 1, 2019. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in custody.

    Cristian Araujo Aguirre was arrested Aug. 1 with just short of 11,500 fentanyl pills hidden in a storage compartment in his vehicle. 

    In both cases, the pills were designed to look like oxycodone, complete with the M30 marking on the pills but tested positive for fentanyl.

    Mexican traffickers who used to move powdered fentanyl through the ports of entry are now moving the illegal drug as counterfeit oxycontin, according to one federal prosecutor.

    “This is the biggest fentanyl pill seizure we’ve seen along the Southwest Border, and it’s likely a national record,” Braverman said. “I’m relieved that these pills are off the streets because of the vigilant work of law enforcement. But that relief is tempered by the fact that people are overdosing every day because they took fentanyl-laced pills just like these, oblivious to the deadly consequences.”

    Peraza is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

    Aguirre entered a not guilty plea to charges of smuggling illegal drugs and claimed he was asked to drive the car by a friend who walked across the U.S.-Mexico border. Sixty-one pounds of methamphetamine and 14 pounds of heroin were also found in Aguirre’s car.

    Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful and deadly than morphine, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.


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    Despite the proximity of the fires and the toxicity that looms in the wake of the Woolsey Fire, which devastated the counties of Los Angeles and Ventura, dozens, farmers continued their work in the fields. Last Friday was the worst of the days, the farmers said.

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    Aided by diminishing winds, fire crews expanded the containment line around the deadly Woolsey Fire on Thursday, while more evacuation orders were lifted and a firefighter was hospitalized after being run over by a vehicle while sleeping.

    A red flag warning of heightened fire danger expired Wednesday afternoon and onshore winds -- not the warm offshore Santa Ana winds that have been sweeping the region -- began blowing in the area Thursday afternoon.

    Conditions were also expected to improve into the weekend before offshore winds return Sunday afternoon. Since erupting last Thursday in Ventura County, the Woolsey Fire has charred 98,362 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroyed 548 structures and damaged 157 others.

    As of Thursday evening, the fire was 62 percent contained, with full containment anticipated on Monday.

    A firefighter from Washington state was injured early Thursday morning when he was struck by a vehicle, apparently while resting or sleeping at a camp area along Pacific Coast Highway near Dear Creek Road in Ventura County. According to reports from the scene, the vehicle was driven by a person who lives in the area, and ran over the sleeping firefighter.

    The firefighter was taken to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks with injuries that authorities said were not life-threatening. The firefighter is from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue in Washington. Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with fire commanders in Camarillo Thursday morning to get an assessment of the damage and the continuing firefight.

    Meanwhile, President Donald Trump -- who initially lashed out at California's forest-management policies as a cause of the destructive blazes -- will visit the state Saturday to "meet with individuals impacted by the wildfires," according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.

    His detailed schedule was not released, so it was unclear if his trip will include a stop in Southern California. More evacuations were lifted Thursday morning in a section of Malibu. Residents in the area of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way on the east to the 25700 block of PCH east of Corral Canyon, and from the ocean north to the Malibu city limit, were allowed to return home beginning at 2 p.m.

    Pepperdine University, however, remained closed, along with Puerco Canyon Road north of the hard gate, the Corral Canyon Park and Malibu Beach RV Park. Malibu Canyon Road was closed north of Civic Center Way. Fire officials warned people returning to their homes to beware of changing fire conditions and adhere to road closures and shifting evacuation zones.

    "Burned out power poles, burned and damaged homes, debris-filled roadways, broken gas lines and burned guard rails pose serious safety hazards to residents attempting to return to the area," according to a statement from fire officials. "... The Woolsey Fire is unlike any previous fire in the Santa Monica Mountains due to the vast destruction and devastation to homes and critical infrastructure."

    Some residents continued to express frustration at the slow process of repopulating the evacuated areas, but fire authorities said the slow process was due to efforts to protect the public.

    "With power and telephone poles burned, gas lines compromised and roadways destroyed, multiple agencies must work together to inspect the impacted areas and determine overall safety," according to a statement from incident commanders.

    The death toll from the fire appeared to rise to three on Wednesday, with the discovery of a charred body in a burned-out home in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road near Agoura Hills.

    Family members said the victim was 73-year-old Alfred Deciutiis, a retired oncologist. His death hasn't been officially attributed to the fire, although sheriff's officials called it an "apparent fire-related death."

    Sheriff's officials said deputies went to the home in response to calls from relatives who said they were unable to reach the man. Deputies initially found no sign of him, but they brought in cadaver dogs, leading to discovery of the remains.

    The other two victims of the fire were found Friday in a burned-out vehicle on a long driveway in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. Authorities said they suspect the driver became disoriented amid the flames. An estimated 57,000 structures are still considered to be threatened by the flames.

    At its height, the fire forced the evacuation of more than 265,000 people in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. All remaining evacuation orders in Calabasas were lifted Wednesday. Residents were allowed to return to select areas of the city on Tuesday. Officials also lifted evacuations Wednesday in a swath of Malibu, all of which had been ordered evacuated last week.

    Evacuations were lifted in an area from Pacific Coast Highway between Carbon Canyon Road on the east to Webb Way on the west, from the ocean to the northern city limit. Residents of the Serra Retreat and Sweetwater Mesa neighborhoods were also allowed to return.

    A boil water advisory issued for the Malibu area was also lifted, the city reported. Evacuations were also lifted near Agoura Hills on Kanan Road from Cornell Road to Malibu View Court; the area southeast of Kanan Road, including the Saratoga Hills neighborhood; and Cornell Road from Kanan Road, north of Wagon Road.

    Despite the progress being made in certain areas, fire officials said there are still active flames burning. Cal Fire Assistant Chief Chris Anthony noted Wednesday there was significant fire activity overnight on the fire's western flank in Ventura County, particularly in the Sycamore Canyon and Point Mugu area.

    Anthony also said there was still a fire threat in the Malibu Canyon area on the eastern flank, and hand crews worked Wednesday to establish a containment line in that area from below the Ventura (101) Freeway south to Pepperdine University.

    Fire information for Los Angeles County can be found here. Malibu also has established a website to update fire information here.



    Photo Credit: EFE

    EAG01. West Hills (United States), 11/11/2018.- Firefighters work to extinguish a flare-up of the Woolsey Fire on a hillside in West Hills, California, USA, 11 November 2018. The Southern California wildfire started on 08 November. (Incendio, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/EUGENE GARCIAEAG01. West Hills (United States), 11/11/2018.- Firefighters work to extinguish a flare-up of the Woolsey Fire on a hillside in West Hills, California, USA, 11 November 2018. The Southern California wildfire started on 08 November. (Incendio, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/EUGENE GARCIA

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    Memorial services were held Thursday for Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus. Helus, 54, was killed during the mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7. He was a 29-year veteran of the department.

    Photo Credit: AP

    Ventura County Sheriff Biull Ayub addressing the crowd attending the memorial service for Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Sgt. Helus was one of twelve victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last week. (Al Seib /Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)Ventura County Sheriff Biull Ayub addressing the crowd attending the memorial service for Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Sgt. Helus was one of twelve victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last week. (Al Seib /Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

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    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began receiving around-the-clock security from the U.S. Marshals Service days after being confirmed, an armed detail provided to no other cabinet member that could cost U.S. taxpayers $19.8 million through September of 2019, according to new figures provided by the Marshals Service to NBC News.

    It remains unclear who specifically made the request, but former Attorney General Jeff Sessions granted the protection on February 13, 2017. It came just a few days after DeVos was heckled and blocked by a handful of protesters from entering the Jefferson Academy, a public middle school in Washington. DeVos was confirmed as education secretary on February 7 of that year.

    "The order was issued after the Department of Education contacted administration officials regarding threats received by the Secretary of Education," the Justice Department said in a statement. "The U.S.M.S. was identified to assist in this area based on its expertise and long experience providing executive protection."

    In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the cost of DeVos' security was $5.3 million and $6.8 million, respectively. The estimated cost for fiscal year 2019 is $7.74 million. 

    An Education Department spokeswoman said DeVos had not personally requested the protection. 



    Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP, File

    In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md.In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md.

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    Keeping an eye on various Santa Trackers on the 24th day of December?

    Lots of children, and adults, definitely do.

    But there's a way to see Santa before then, and maybe even enjoy breakfast with the Jolly Old Elf, too: Head up, up, up the mountain, to a fairy-tale-esque spot near Lake Arrowhead, where Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all of their magical Northwoods pals reside.

    It's SkyPark at Santa's Village we speak of, the beloved mid-century attraction that, after shuttering for the better part of two decades, reopened in 2016 with all of its former bells and whistles on, and then some.

    People visit year-round, thanks to its many outdoor activities, like biking and wall-climbing, but also because you can stroll among the cute North Pole-y cottages, and even maybe see Santa, on a warm July day.

    But come the middle part of November?

    The yuletide amusements begin to simmer like hot cocoa on the stove, and a full-on, multi-week, fa-la-large Christmas celebration begins. 

    That convivial goings on are now as bright as a Christmas bulb, thanks to the return of Nostalgic Christmas at Santa's Village.

    It's on Noël, er, now.

    A host of ho-ho-happenings, including "... puppet shows, tree lightings, and interactive storytelling throughout the Park with Northwoods characters" are part of the annual Christmas Celebration, as well as special Breakfasts with Santa and Tea Parties with Mrs. Claus.

    Crafting and cookie decorating further add old-timey charm to the light-of-heart holiday fun.

    Tickets? Parking? All the information you will need before setting out for Skyforest, which is just a hop, jump, and short drive from Lake Arrowhead?

    Grab the reins to your sleigh and fly to the SkyPark at Santa's Village site as fast as a motivated reindeer.

    The Christmas Celebration jingle-jingles through to Jan. 6, 2019.



    Photo Credit: SkyPark at Santa's Village

    Breakfast with Santa and tea with Mrs. Claus are on the schedule at the merry seasonal happening, which is now through Jan. 6, 2019.Breakfast with Santa and tea with Mrs. Claus are on the schedule at the merry seasonal happening, which is now through Jan. 6, 2019.

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    On the first snowfall of the season, Bei Bei the giant panda at the National Zoo tumbles and plays in the fresh powder. Two inches of snow fell at the zoo, Storm Team4 says. 



    Photo Credit: Smithsonian/National Zoo

    Bei Bei the giant panda.Bei Bei the giant panda.

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    Former first lady Michelle Obama is on a national book tour, but that didn’t stop her from visiting children at a school on Skid Row.

    “Everybody here is special,” she told the kids. “That’s why I’m here, I wanted to see some special kids.”

    Para los Niños, located at the heart of Skid Row, provides educational and family support services to some of the residents with most needs in the city.

    “So often the kids we serve, people forget them and think there’s no future there or a limited one,” said Drew Furedi, president of the school.

    Obama was on a mission not to sell her books, but to encourage young people to read them.

    She gifted and read books to the children who sat in a color-filled room, surrounded by building blocks, crayons and drawings on the walls.

    Angela Capone, vice president of Para los Niños said the former first lady’s message is just what the children need.

     

    “It is the heart and soul of what our children need,” she said. “They need to know that they are important.”


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    A Washington Examiner reporter who posted a photo of newly elected Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that he claimed was proof she was not "struggling" for money deleted the post after backlash from thousands of Twitter users on Thursday, NBC News reported.

    Reporter Eddie Scarry's tweet followed Ocasio-Cortez telling The New York Times last week she would have difficulty paying for an apartment in Washington, D.C., until she starts collecting her congressional salary next year. Twitter users proceeded to blast Scarry for the tweet, with many mocking Scarry for focusing on her clothes. One user called the post a "creep shot" and an "insult."

    By 6 p.m. ET, the tweet had more than 5,000 replies compared to roughly 50 retweets and 200 likes, creating what is known online as a "ratio" of more replies than retweets and likes.

    Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet hours after it was posted, saying her opponents would criticize her no matter what she chose to wear. Scarry later said he was merely trying to say the Congresswoman "looked well put together" and his original meaning was misconstrued.

    [[500677231, C]]



    Photo Credit: AP, File
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    This Nov. 12, 2018, photo shows Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in Washington.This Nov. 12, 2018, photo shows Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in Washington.

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    Monica Rittel was mentally ill and a heavy drug user. She’d been in and out of San Diego County's jail and mental health system, along with private rehab programs for more than a decade. And she died a gruesome death just hours after her most recent release from the County Psychiatric Hospital.

    Monica’s mother, Sylvia Castelluzzo, remembers her eldest child as healthy and smart as a whip. “A great baby,” Sylvia recalled. “Fun, happy, and gifted in everything. Her teachers were grooming her for great things.”

    But Monica’s parents said all that changed, seemingly overnight. “We lost her right about the time she turned 16,” Sylvia said. “She became like a stranger.”

    Monica’s parents said she started using methamphetamine and other drugs, got involved with a much older man, shaved her head, and acted erratically.

    One day, she shattered every mirror in the family home.

    From then on, Monica was in and out of jail and treatment programs for mental illness and drug addiction. "We just lost her to this illness,” Sylvia said. “The hospitals didn't help, the rehabs didn't help, the jails didn't help. Nothing helped."

    Last November, just days before Thanksgiving, sheriff's deputies told Sylvia they found Monica naked, on a busy street in Santee.

    "She was running into traffic, trying to kill herself," her mother said.

    The deputies took Monica to the County Psychiatric Hospital, where doctors placed her on a 72-hour involuntary hold. According to her mother, Monica had been in and out of that public hospital several times that year. Sylvia told NBC 7 Investigates she believes hospital staff should have known how unstable she was.

    “She was a danger to herself,” Sylvia said. “She wasn't in her right mind. She couldn't make rational decisions."

    Monica’s parents saved a voice-mail message they got from Monica just hours before she was released from the psychiatric hospital. In a flat, monotone, speaking of herself at times in the third person, she told Sylvia, “Mom, you tell dad, you tell yourself, you tell whoever, it's Monica at CMH. All you gotta do is call the nursing station and tell them, when do you plan on picking her up? She has no shoes on."

    Sylvia said she was sure Monica would be held at least 72 hours, as allowed by state law.

    "I didn't know they were going to let her out the next day, and that she was going to use meth that was laced with fentanyl."

    An autopsy report obtained by NBC 7 Investigates confirms that's what happened.

    Just hours after she was discharged from the hospital, paramedics found Monica unconscious, in a homeless camp not far from the hospital.

    She died two days later, of a fentanyl and methamphetamine overdose. She was 34 years old.

    Just weeks before the one-year anniversary of her death, Monica’s parents filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the county and its Psychiatric Hospital.

    That lawsuit alleges county employees were negligent in their care and treatment of Monica, and “... improperly discharged (her) while (she) was still a danger to herself.”

    "This was not a reasonable judgment by the county,” said Elliott Kanter, the family’s attorney. “They knew she had a drug history. They knew she was a danger to herself.”

    A county spokesperson would not respond to those criticisms or the family's lawsuit.

    But one mental health expert told NBC 7 Investigates it could be a difficult task to convince a jury that county employees were negligent and responsible for Monica’s death.

    "It’s a judgment call,” said Dr. Clark Smith, a psychiatrist and expert witness in civil and criminal lawsuits. “If (a patient) appears reasonable and rational and they convince a doctor that they're no longer a danger (to themselves or others), they can be released.”

    But Dr. Smith also said Monica's troubled life and untimely death highlight very serious shortcomings with the treatment and rehabilitation of San Diego’s mentally ill and drug addicted.

    "It is a horrible problem,” Smith said. “The system is broken, because so many of these patients end up in a revolving door, in and out of jail without ever getting definitive treatment."

    Dr. Smith argues that the cost of effective long-term care is less than taxpayers spend to transport, treat, hospitalize and incarcerate the chronically mentally ill and drug addicted.

    "But even if we wouldn't save money, it's the right thing to do," Smith said.

    Monica’s parents agree. "I would like to see a little more empathy for the mentally ill and drug addicted,” Sylvia said. “A lot more structure, and a lot more follow-up."

    In October, the county promised to devote more money and resources for treatment of the mentally ill. Those expanded programs could include better crisis care and a significant increase in the number of beds at the County Psychiatric Hospital.


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    Not a lot of people would agree that getting old is funny. Sure, there are funny things that can happen, but mostly aging is a bummer. Comedy whiz and Executive Producer Chuck Lorre ("Big Bang Theory") has managed to find a way to make growing old gracefully a funny affair in his new Netflix show, "The Kominsky Method."

    Academy Award winners Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin star in this 8 episode single camera comedy. Douglas plays Sandy Kominsky, an aging acting teacher and sometimes actor, who gives brilliant advice to his very green students. Arkin plays his long time agent and friend, Norman Newlander, who is acerbic and smart in all the ways we like Alan Arkin to be.

    The two tackle life's inevitable curveballs as they navigate their later years in Los Angeles, a city that values youth and beauty. Both comedic and emotional, "The Kominksy Method" will probably play best in Los Angeles among actors and industry vets who are old enough to remember "Fatal Attraction."

    The show is about "the industry" but it also goes deeper than that by addressing the challenges of getting older in any industry. LA is almost so hip that it's hard to imagine anyone over the age of 25 can survive here. Getting old is so not LA.

    Douglas and Arkin play off of each other very well in this series that it almost seems like they've known each other for years. But in fact, they tell me the first time they met was over a lunch with Lorre, where both agree they were drawn to the writing and themes of the show and wanted to do it. What an LA thing to do. Turns out maybe getting older is hipper than we thought.

    "The Kominksy Method" will be available November 16th on Netflix.



    Photo Credit: Mike Yarish/Netflix

    THE KOMINSKY METHODTHE KOMINSKY METHOD

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