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  • 11/29/18--18:36: Weekend: Happy Hanukkah

  • Celebrate Hanukkah: Eight beautiful nights, places to see that glow and sparkle, and friends and family keep close? It's time for the Festival of Lights, and while you'll behold many marvelous menorah lightings around town in the coming days, do make time to call upon the Original Farmers Market on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, for family-cute Hanukkah happenings (like the building of a LEGO menorah) or the Skirball Cultural Center, which will have an afternoon of gelt decorating, music enjoyment, and more, also on Dec. 2.

    LA Auto Show: Have a dream machine in mind, one you'd love to see idling in your driveway next year? Making a stop by one of the planet's most powerful car-oriented extravaganzas seems like your first must-do. It vroom-vrooms from Nov. 30 through to Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the list of exhibitors, exhibitors trucking out the shiny, shiny machines, is super-lengthy: Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, and oodles of other mondo makers o' cool cars'll be in the house and showing off their best of the best.

    CicLAvia: There've been some warm versions of this free and huge bike-ride-in-the-streets spectacular, but the one rolling on Sunday, Dec. 2 through the "Heart of LA" won't be one of those. You'll want to bundle up, or at least think in layers, as you spin by some truly historic buildings and sights around DTLA and east of downtown. Picture wide thoroughfares closed to vehicles but filled with Angelenos out biking, roller skating, and enjoying the cool late-fall weather. How long is it, in all? There are six miles to cover, oh yeah. 

    'Winter Glow' Opens: Finding something lively to do at the holidays that also happens to be free is a treasure, for sure. A treasure, that is, of "grand" proportions, which is a totally obvious hint as to where this illuminated happening is popping up, wink wink. It's Grand Park, which will play host to the new art-cool to-do from Dec. 1 through Dec. 25. What's to see, for free? Oh, 19 installations that give the eveningtime glow. And, yes, there's an interactive element, too. Ready for a fresh, zazzy, and way-lit take on the season? Glow for it, at Grand Park.

    'Grinchmas' Is Back: Enjoying an audience with the main resident of Mt. Crumpit? That doesn't happen every day, but then Grinchmas is pretty darn special. After all, the celebrated Dr. Seuss meanie-with-a-heart-of-green, er, gold, boasts quite the busy schedule. But he makes time for a Universal Studios Hollywood visit each December, along with Max and a caboodle of Whos. Singing, joking, and photos are part of the yuletide-tastic fun. Day one? It's Dec. 1. Look for the Grinch to be at Universal over several select December 2018 days. 

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

    Photo Credit: Original Farmers Market

    Celebrate at the Third & Fairfax landmark while building a LEGO menorah, listening to stories and songs, and enjoying an afternoon of kid-cute, family-fun to-dos on Sunday, Dec. 2.Celebrate at the Third & Fairfax landmark while building a LEGO menorah, listening to stories and songs, and enjoying an afternoon of kid-cute, family-fun to-dos on Sunday, Dec. 2.

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    Much ado about nothing?

    On Wednesday, a report from ESPN Basketball writer Brian Windhorst stated that LeBron James had been ignoring the play calls of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton. 

    Ordinarily, a report of a team's star player intentionally ignoring the orders of his head coach is enough to cause a rift within any sports organization.

    So on Thursday, Lakers team president Magic Johnson publicly shut down that report in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio:

    "Brian got it wrong," Johnson said. "This is all about making sure that they can say something on ESPN and everybody can just talk. We have a system that the ball moves around, a lot of pick-and-roll plays. If you watch us play, the ball is not in LeBron James’ hands all of the time. It can’t be, because you want to pass it around, you want to get into your pick-and-roll plays. But hey, we’re the Lakers. People are going to be talking about us. But that’s not how it’s going right now."

    Johnson is correct that the Lakers have a system that moves the ball around, but he was incorrect when he said 'Brian got it wrong.'

    Late in the game of the Lakers 104-108 loss to the Orlando Magic, I witnessed firsthand what appeared to be Walton trying to get James attention for a play call, and instead James running his own play.

    This doesn't appear to breaking news, or deliberate disobedience on the part of James. Plenty of stars in every major sport might ignore or change a play call if they see something differently on the court or field of play. 

    Also, as the team's primary ballhandler in the past, James has done this frequently throughout his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. In fact, James famously told former coach David Blatt he wouldn't run his out of bounds play before hitting a buzzer beater in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs in 2015.

    According to Windhorst's report:

    "The scouts also have noticed that when James is running the point, he rarely looks toward the bench to receive play calls from coach Luke Walton. Even when he has seen them, the scouts say, he ignores them and runs the play he prefers. Walton has adjusted, and now when James is running the show, Walton will typically just let him call the game. This probably shouldn’t be considered a slight — it’s just James being James."  

    We understand how the optics of the report look, and the reason why Johnson would publicly shoot it down, but honestly this seems much ado about nothing.

    Everytime the Lakers go on a losing streak or struggle, reports of Walton being on the hot seat will inevitably arise, but as long as the Lakers continue to play winning basketball, there will be no cause for concern in LaLaLand.

    Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Luke Walton during the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on November 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Luke Walton during the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on November 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

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    More than 100 years after he was killed in action, a World War I veteran was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart on Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard.

    The medal, which is awarded to those wounded or killed in action, was presented to the family of Fireman William James Williams Jr. at the Coast Guard headquarters near the Embarcadero.

    Williams was killed when the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa sank on Sept. 26, 1918, in the Bristol Channel off the coast of Wales. The Tampa was escorting a convoy to Wales when it was struck by a torpedo. All 130 aboard were killed.

    "You don't have to make a big deal about it," William's great-nephew Robert Miles Knight said. "Just once in a while — a little bit out of your life, our busy lives — to honor and remember these people that died before us."

    Williams joined the Coast Guard in March 1918 after reading an ad in the local newspaper in Muskegon, Michigan, where he was from, calling for people to enlist. 

    "Recognition for Fireman Williams was long overdue," San Diego Coast Guard Sector Commander Capt. Joseph R. Buzzella said. "Thankfully, due to the devoted genealogical research conducted by his family, we stand here today ready to honor his selfless sacrifice." 

    Several members of Williams' family were present at the ceremony and had actually petitioned the Coast Guard to honor him. Knight accepted the award on their behalf.

    "It kinda bittersweet, the build-up to it," Knight said. "I wanted to make sure that people remembered about that Tampa and the crew and the sacrifice."

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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  • 11/29/18--22:05: Lakers Beat Pacers, 104-96

  • Now, boys, don't get caught watching the paint dry.

    After surrendering a 24-point first quarter lead, the Lakers returned to life, bouncing back with a 104-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday Night at Staples Center.

    LeBron James led all scorers with 38 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.

    The Lakers got a pregame speech from Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington on Wednesday, and then went out and played an inspired first half of basketball, leading 38-15 after the first quarter.

    The 38 points tied a season-high in the first quarter for the Lakers, and the 15 points allowed was a new season-low (previous low was 16 points against the Utah Jazz on 11/23).

    Staring at a 24-point deficit on the road without their best player, Indiana did not wave the white flag, and continued to chip away at the lead, trailing by just six points at halftime.

    The Pacers completed the comeback with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter when Tyreke Evans drained a three to give Indiana a 69-66 lead.

    The Lakers' struggles could directly be attributed to their three-point shooting as they started the game 3-for-5 before missing their next 10 shots from beyond the arc.

    Josh Hart provided a spark off the bench, scoring 13 points as they Lakers came roaring back to get the win. Brandon Ingram had 14 points.

    Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with a team-high 20 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 14 points.

    Pacers All-Star, Victor Oladipo, did not play in the game and has missed the team's last six contests with a right knee injury 

    Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

    Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

    Tyreke Evans #12 of the Indiana Pacers has his shot blocked by Tyson Chandler #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers with Brandon Ingram #14 during the first half at Staples Center on November 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Tyreke Evans #12 of the Indiana Pacers has his shot blocked by Tyson Chandler #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers with Brandon Ingram #14 during the first half at Staples Center on November 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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    Three people were killed and eight others were injured when a truck with passengers riding in the truck bed crashed while fleeing from San Diego border patrol agents.

    Agents were chasing the truck on Interstate 8 near Crestwood Road in Boulevard at around 4:30 p.m. when the truck crashed and overturned.

    Border Patrol says agents patrolling an unknown stretch of the U.S.-Mexico Border in East San Diego County noticed tire tracks headed north away from the divide, as well as a piece of a vehicle, and alerted other agents.

    Another agent spotted the truck, which was missing a piece that matched the description of the piece agents found, and tried to pull it over.

    The truck refused to stop and continued eastbound on I-8 before turning around to the opposite direction. The California Highway Patrol said the truck reached speeds above 100 mph.

    BP agents deployed a spike strip that caused the driver to lose control and roll up an embankment, at which point the truck became airborne and multiple passengers were ejected.

    Three people suffered major injuries and five others had minor injuries. CHP officials believe only two people were in the cabin of the truck at the time of the crash and the rest were lying down in the uncovered truck bed.

    Everyone except the driver was unrestrained, CHP officials said.

    The driver, believed to be a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody and is being treated at the hospital, CHP said.

    Of the three people killed, one was a man and one was a woman. Border agents did not confirm the gender of the third victim.

    Cal Fire said that due to weather -- fog, wind and rain -- none of the patients could be airlifted to area hospitals.

    A Sig Alert was issued for westbound I-8 and traffic was blocked at the site of the crash for several hours.

    CHP is handling the investigation

    No other information was available.

    Check out NBC 7's live traffic map for real-time traffic updates.

    Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

    Photo Credit: NBC7

    Three people were killed and eight others were injured when a truck with passengers riding in the truck bed crashed while fleeing from San Diego Border Patrol agents.Three people were killed and eight others were injured when a truck with passengers riding in the truck bed crashed while fleeing from San Diego Border Patrol agents.

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    The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Thursday that it would pay veterans the full amount of benefits they are due under the Forever GI Bill, NBC News reported

    That announcement came just one day after two aides told NBC that VA officials privately told congressional staffers the department would not retroactively pay veterans whose checks were less than they were owed because of VA's ongoing computer problem. The department was sharply criticized and questioned about the potential policy during a Thursday hearing. 

    VA Secretary Robert Wilkie issued a statement in the afternoon saying that the student veterans would get their full monthly housing stipends in accordance with the Forever GI Bill.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto, File

    U.S. soldiers are shown in this undated file photo.U.S. soldiers are shown in this undated file photo.

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    Baby Noah was dropped of at a Tustin fire station when he was only two days old. A year later, him and his adoptive parents meet with the firefighters who received him as part of the Safe Surrender program.

    The Safe Surrender program allows parents to legally leave their infant at any California hospital or fire station within 72 hours of birth. The Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed into state law in 2006 and a total of 770 newborns have been saved from abandonment since then.

    The program allowed Tim and Javier Salazar to adopt Noah.

    “We just want them [biological parents] to know that he’s safe and happy,” Javier said. “They don’t have to worry about if they did or did not make the right decision, because they did.”

    Baby Noah’s first birthday is Dec. 19.

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    Several cars, trucks and SUVs are making their World and North American debuts at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Here are some of the new and shiny things to see.

    Photo Credit: Jonathan Lloyd/NBCLA

    The BMW Z4 M40i Roadster is one of the cars making its debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show.The BMW Z4 M40i Roadster is one of the cars making its debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

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    A woman who was arrested on suspicion of murder in the stabbing death of a retired nurse at a Southern California mall has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    The federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Cherie Townsend names outgoing Sheriff Jim McDonnell, the department, LA County, the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates, and other individuals.

    Towsend told NBC4 in September that she planned to sue because she was desperate to clear her name after she was accused in the death of Susan Leeds, found dead in her car at a mall in Rolling Hills Estates.

    "I was arrested for a murder I didn't commit," she said. "It's important for my story to be out, because I was wrongly accused."

    Leeds' body was found May 3. Her throat had been slashed and she suffered about a dozen stab wounds. Items had been stolen from her car.

    Deputies arrested a homeless man the following day, but quickly released him. McDonnell then announced Townsend's arrest on suspicion of murder.

    Townsend confirmed she was at the mall that day, shopping and passing time after dropping her daughter off at a friend's house in nearby Lomita. She said she knows nothing about the murder, and didn't see anything unusual while walking through the parking garage.

    Her car was recorded by a security camera as she left, but Townsend said she didn't realize she'd left her phone behind until later that day. Townsend said the phone, found later in the parking garage, is the only thing that connects her with the murder scene, and it's how detectives tracked her down.

    Townsend was in jail for four days. Prosecutors reviewed the evidence and decided no murder charge would be filed before Townsend was released.

    The Sheriff's Department detectives on the case declined to be interviewed. The department would not say if it still considers Townsend a suspect, but her name is not mentioned in a statement calling the case a "very complex, active investigation" that lacks witnesses. 

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Cherie Townsend is pictured in this undated image.Cherie Townsend is pictured in this undated image.

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    Sledding anywhere around Southern California?

    That's mayyyybe not such a wise move, unless you're on a snowy slope near Big Bear or Idyllwild. 

    But you may want to bundle up for some solid sledding, or even prep the big sleigh out in the garage, for your next trip to the Arts District, where a seasonal pop-up bar is now holding Christmassy court.

    This merry pop-up bears a name separate from the space it is in, a venue that also has a new-ish name.

    So stick on your extra-large elf ears, for listening, and follow along: Blitzen's is the cheeky name of the seasonal bar, Here and Now is the still-new name for the historic space that Blitzen's is occupying (it is also a bar), and Westbound is the bar that was formerly occupied the handsome, decades-old structure.

    Follow? Well fa and la and la, then.

    Blitzen will keep the jingles jangling right through to New Year's Eve 2018, with a host of carol-riffic entertainment events and a whole sledful of snazzy sips themed to the final run of the year.

    Me, My Elf, and I is a concoction featuring Elyx Vodka flavored with white chocolate, plus pumpkin caramel cordial. And Eight Crazy Nights is centered on plum brandy, strawberry rosemary compote, and a host of other flavorful additions.

    One suggestion, before boarding your sled for the Arts District?

    Do put together a Ziploc bag of toiletries, if you can. Blitzen's has teamed up with PATH, People Assisting the Homeless), during its December 2018, and every donation is welcome and needed. 

    "For every quart-sized Ziploc of toiletries brought, a cup of free punch" shall be yours, says the bar.

    For more on this nog-filled nook o' sheer Christmas sip-a-tude, sled over to the Here and Now Facebook page as fast as a reindeer gains altitude, now.

    Photo Credit: Blitzen

    Here and Now, an Arts District bar, is wearing its best North Pole look, through Dec. 31, all to send seasonal and spirited cheer to those 21-and-over guests who visit. The pop-up bar's name? Blitzen's.Here and Now, an Arts District bar, is wearing its best North Pole look, through Dec. 31, all to send seasonal and spirited cheer to those 21-and-over guests who visit. The pop-up bar's name? Blitzen's.

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    Meet Missy and Scout, the pets of the week for Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018.

    Missy is a 67-pound spayed female German shepherd and Scout is a whopping 112-pound neutered male German shepherd. Their owner could no longer care for them and they were brought to the West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth. 

    They're both about 9 years old, bonded to each other and are currently being housed together. Missy and Scout are very affectionate and have a blast while playing in the yard.

    Here's video of the pair in action. 


    Missy's ID: A1380114

    Scout's ID: A1380115 

    West Valley Center
    20655 Plummer Street
    Chatsworth, CA 91311
    (818) 756-9325 (center)

    Photo Credit: West Valley Animal Shelter

    Missy and Scout are the pets of the week for Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.Missy and Scout are the pets of the week for Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

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    Santa seen under the sky, near the trees, and not far from a host of baa-ing, neighful critters?

    It feels like the Jolly Old Elf's natural habitat, to be honest.

    And while you might argue that Kris Kringle is best encountered among the ice caps and industrious elves of the North Pole, we'd also add that Mr. Claus really does have an affinity for being outside, anywhere that outside happens to be.

    Which leads one to ponder this: Is Santa more outside or inside come Christmas Eve? How long does he spend in each home vs. his time in his sleigh?

    While you consider that deep and complex question, consider this: Santa Claus will call upon Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark over four festive December days in 2018, during the destination's annual Christmas on the Farm event.

    Those days will ho, ho, happen over the first two weekends of the month, so put the sleigh bells on your ponies and trot for the charming farm on Dec. 1, 2, 8, or 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 in the afternoon.

    Yep, "(b)ring your camera!" is the action item on this one.

    Admission to the farm is $6, and, for sure, you can also visit with the cute barnyard animals that call the agricultural spread home. Santa visits are free with admission, do note.

    And note this: Trees are now for sale, too, as well as poinsettias and other holiday-ready decorations, should a day out in the fresh air, a talk with Santa, and fir shopping all be on your big, must-get-it-done list.

    And note this, part three: The farm is only open on weekends now, with a final day for the season in view. That's on Dec. 16, so get your Underwood love in now before you need to wait for its March 1, 2019 reopening.

    For more information, jingle jingle jingle over the Underwood Family Farms pronto.

    Photo Credit: Underwood Family Farms

    Santa Claus will visit the Moorpark Farm Center at Underwood Family Farms on Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2018.Santa Claus will visit the Moorpark Farm Center at Underwood Family Farms on Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9, 2018.

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    A groom encountered a surprising snag when trying to get a marriage license in D.C. last week: A clerk told him his New Mexico identification wasn't acceptable because it was from outside the United States. 

    "She was so sincere. She said, 'I'm sorry, my supervisor says we can't accept international driver's licenses,'" recounted Gavin Clarkson, who went to get a license with his now-wife, Marina, at the D.C. Marriage Bureau on Nov. 20.

    Clarkson said that when he first presented his license to the clerk, she looked at it, went to talk to the supervisor and then asked to see his "New Mexico passport," he told NBC Washington on a phone call Friday. 

    He said the clerk was embarrassed and apologetic once the matter was straightened out.

    After he informed her that New Mexico was indeed a state, she again went to speak with her supervisor, then told Clarkson, "'My supervisor and I have verified that New Mexico is a state,'" he recounted.

    "Basically, they went back and did a Google search," he said.

    At one point, the clerk also complimented him on his English, he said, noting that his now-wife, who is an immigrant, thought it was hilarious.

    Leah Gurowitz, spokeswoman for District of Columbia Courts, wrote in a statement, "We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico's 106-year history as a state. We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license."

    Clarkson said he's heard of other New Mexico residents having difficulty with people who believe the state is not part of the U.S.

    "I'd heard all those stories. It had just never happened to me," he said.

    The couple was in a bit of a time crunch that day; they had made plans to get married that same day, which was the bride-to-be's birthday.

    "We had our paperwork," he said. "We figured we'd be in there, we'd be out of there."

    While that wasn't quite what happened, Clarkson said the process only took an extra 20 minutes. "It wasn't a massive delay," he said.

    The couple was able to get married in D.C. that day as planned.

    While the newlyweds are still working out where to live, Clarkson will be commuting between New Mexico and the D.C. area for the time being.

    "But I do not have to go through customs," he joked.

    Ironically, some D.C. residents have also had trouble getting their licenses seen as valid. In 2014, Cox Media Group television reporter Justin Gray was on his way back to D.C. when, he said, a Transportation Security Administration agent at Orlando International Airport didn't recognize his license. He realized the agent was not aware of what the District of Columbia was.

    After that, security workers were shown copies of a D.C. driver's license to get them acquainted with it.

    Months earlier, D.C. resident Ashley Brandt was trying to fly home from Arizona when she also was questioned about the validity of her D.C. driver's license. "I got a little nervous," she said at the time. "I just wasn't sure if the TSA didn't think it was a valid ID or it was because D.C. wasn't a state."

    In 2017, the D.C. DMV discontinued use of "District of Columbia" at the top of its licenses and went back to using "Washington, D.C" to cut back on confusion.

    Photo Credit: Gavin Clarkson

    The couple was able to get married in D.C. that day as planned.The couple was able to get married in D.C. that day as planned.

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    Timothy Kirby was sleeping when he felt back-to-back jolts and his bed started swaying. Video broadcast Friday Nov. 30, 2018 on the NBC4 News at 11 a.m.

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    The American Red Cross provided NBC Los Angeles with a list of things that every household should keep in a backpack in the event of a natural disaster.Whether it's an earthquake, flood or wildfire, these items can help families be prepared for the worst. The items below can be kept in a disaster preparedness kit.

    Photo Credit: Elizabeth Chavolla

    This bag includes scissors, bandages, gauze, insurance cards, cut and rash creams, antiseptic cream, antihistamine tablets, cough syrup, alcohol towels, eye drops and distilled water.This bag includes scissors, bandages, gauze, insurance cards, cut and rash creams, antiseptic cream, antihistamine tablets, cough syrup, alcohol towels, eye drops and distilled water.

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    A news conference with Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Live video of the news conference will appear in the player above.

    Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger is now facing a murder charge in the shooting death of unarmed neighbor Botham Jean, county records show.

    Guyger, 30,  had been charged with manslaughter in the Sept. 6 shooting that killed her neighbor, but the grand jury opted to indict her on the more serious charge.

    Jean, a 26-year-old accountant and native of St. Lucia, was in his own apartment when Guyger shot and killed him. Following the shooting she said she was returning home from her shift, got off on the wrong floor and thought he was an intruder in her apartment.

    It happened in the South Side Flats complex on Lamar Street not far from police headquarters. Jean lived one floor above Guyger.

    The case sparked protests and national debate over what charges she should face.

    Following the murder indictment, the Dallas chapter of the NAACP released the following statement:

    "We are pleased with the decision of the grand jury to indict Amber Guyger for murder for the killing of Mr. Botham Shem Jean. This is the next step in securing a verdict that will be favorable to the evidence that will be presented by the District Attorney’s Office. We would like to thank the District Attorney’s Office for the thorough investigation that they have conducted in gathering evidence in the pursuit of justice. We call on the community to remain calm and let the criminal proceedings take its due course. However, we ask that you join us in continued prayer and support for the family and friends of Mr. Botham Shem Jean. The Dallas NAACP will remain vigilant in monitoring the proceedings of this case and look forward to justice being rendered."

    Guyger faces life in prison on the murder charge. The manslaughter charge had carried a sentence of up to 20 years.

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    Photo Credit: Big Bear Mountain Resort

    Eight inches of fresh snow fell in Big Bear Thursday Nov. 29, 2018.Eight inches of fresh snow fell in Big Bear Thursday Nov. 29, 2018.

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    A rare LA storm brought a lot of wind and rain, but it also brought the return of Mary Poppins. The cast of "Mary Poppins Returns" floated onto the red carpet in Hollywood Thursday night. We spoke with them and the film's composers about what's different in this version versus the original.

    In Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns," an all new original musical, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss.

    Star Emily Blunt said this movie captures the heart and nostalgia of the original but also holds its own. "I've heard a lot of people watching our version and saying, I didn't realize how much I needed her to come back until I saw her coming out of the sky."

    "Mary Poppins Returns" opens in theaters December 19th.

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    So we say "Disney in the 1990s" and you say "The Little Mermaid." 

    Then we politely say "but that debuted near the end of 1989, in November," and you say "true, but the 1990s is when it came to video and I watched it one billion times, at least" and we say "fair enough."

    And then we both say together, in agreement, that the '90s proved to be incredibly nifty for the company, and not even Ursula, nor Flotsam and Jetsam, could slow the entertainment powerhouse's iconic output during that dazzler of a decade.

    A decade that will soon find itself in the scrunchie-wearing spotlight at The Happiest Place on Earth on March 7, 2019 when Disneyland After Dark, the special event series that opened earlier in 2018, returns with 90s Nite.

    There'll be fireworks with a '90s vibe, vittles "inspired" by the decade, "throwback musical entertainment," and lots more.

    A ticket is $99 (just think of it as the final year of that notable decade). And they're on sale now, dear Ariels and Aladdins and Simbas and Belles of Southern California.

    But this isn't the only throwback "Nite" on the Disneyland schedule: Sweethearts' Nite shall charmingly twirl into the theme park a week before Valentine's Day, on Feb. 7, and, as its name suggest, will contain all of the lovey-dovey-tude a Disney devotee might hope for. 

    "Lovey-dovey-tude"=dance parties with music that is themed to romance, appearances by some famous Disney couples like Rapunzel and Eugune, pose-and-be-cute-together photo opps, and more heartsy happenings.

    Need these throwback nites to become, yes, "part of your world"? Then swim for more information, now, at either the Sweethearts' Nite page or the headquarters for 90s Nite.

    Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer

    Two special Two special "Disneyland After Dark" events are ready to swirl through the famous theme park, with Sweethearts' Nite up on Feb. 7, 2019 and 90s Nite popping up on March 7, 2019.

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    A variety of instruments come together to make up a concert, generally, and us saying so isn't going to stir controversy in the slightest.

    After all, violins swirl around and through the notes produced by the cello, guitars and drums work in tandem, and the whole aural-mazing moment fills a listener's brain with beautiful sensations created by a host of instruments doing their own particular thing.

    But what if you could experience a concert boasting over 100 instruments, in all, instruments that are all, for the most part, the same? Or, at least, instruments that sit within the same family tree?

    You'd likely be at one of the most famous concerts of the holiday season, a happening that's been toot-toot-bumpa-bump-ing for over four decades now.

    It's TubaChristmas, a brassy and light-hearted celebration that pops up in cities hither, yon, and even yonner.

    As for "hither," as in here?

    There are a number of shows showing up around Southern California, including the mondo event brassing up the evening of Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

    Admission is free, and guests can expect to see 100 or so tuba players, as well as musicians wielding baritones and euphoniums, creating 90 minutes of merry magic.

    Classic carols will be visited, as well as Hanukkah songs, and players and audience members alike are known to wear their most festive finery. 

    Or, you know... a hat with a snowman on it. That works as well.

    Whether you're totally into tubas or don't know much about the large and shiny instrument, that splashy centerpiece of just about every marching band, TubaChristmas is a fine way to spend an early December night.

    How much tuba is too much? The question is, will this tuba-tastic night not be enough? This may just begin, or further encourage, your journey into tuba-based super-fandom.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Hear one hundred tubas and baritone/euphonium players at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 2. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)Hear one hundred tubas and baritone/euphonium players at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 2. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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