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    33-year-old Emanuel Fluter appeared in court Wednesday to face murder charges after allegedly slashing his three-year-old niece's throat over the weekend, killing her. Josephine Bulubenchi, the victim, was asleep at the time of the attack. A plea of not guilty was entered on Fluter's behalf.

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    "Pizza with a purpose" has long been at the center of the many fundraisers that California Pizza Kitchen regularly hosts.

    The Golden State-based company has become known for responding to a local need, quite quickly, by raising a good deal of money, over one day, at several of its area eateries.

    Now the company is again finding that "pizza with a purpose" via a daylong fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 13.

    The event is in honor of the memory of Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus, "who was killed in the line of duty during the Thousand Oaks shooting on November 7th, 2018."

    To raise funds for the family of Sgt. Helus, CPK has teamed up with the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs' Association for this give-back event.

    An event that will take place, all day long, during every meal service, at CPK locations in ten regional cities. 

    Thousand Oaks is on the list, and Ventura and Tarzana, too, as well as Topanga, Santa Barbara, Burbank, Northridge, Bakersfield, Simi Valley, and Valencia.

    You'll just want to mention to your server that you're supporting the fundraiser when you dine on Dec. 13, and if you're doing take-out, or ordering online, that's okay, too.

    You can also show your server the flyer, which is found on the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs' Association page.

    Then? Know that 20% of your bill, and that's including food and beverage, will be donated to the family of Sgt. Helus.

    For more information, visit the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs' Association page.

    Photo Credit: EFE

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    One week after a double murder, police are still searching for the man they believe strangled a mother and daughter inside a Monrovia apartment. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 4 on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

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    Prosecutors in Los Angeles were considering evidence Wednesday in the killing of an alleged shoplifter by a security guard at a Walgreens store in Hollywood.

    "A case on this has been presented to our office and is under review," an LA County District Attorney's Office spokesperson said.

    Jonathan Hart, 21, was shot Dec. 2 after a confrontation inside the store on Vine Street during which Hart was accused of stealing.

    Video recorded by a man who accompanied Hart to the store showed the guard making a telephone call while standing over Hart's motionless body. Pools of wine and smashed bottles could be seen near Hart's body.

    Hart's friend did not want to be publicly identified but said he had been interviewed by police.

    The guard, whose name has not been released by authorities, appears calm in the video, which Hart's acquaintance said was recorded in the seconds after the gunfire.

    On Tuesday, attorney Carl Douglas announced he planned to file a lawsuit on behalf of Hart's family and accused Walgreens of racial profiling.

    "The blood of Jonathan Hart is on your hands," Douglas said, and denied Hart was shoplifting.

    Hart, who was also known as "Sky Young," was homeless and, according to Douglas, argued with the security guard about an item worth $2.99.

    "The guard feels the man push him one time," Douglas said. "The guard pushes the man back one time. The guard watches as the man turns to run toward the back door. The guard raises his gun and points at the man. The guard says, 'Freeze,' as the man travels toward the door. The guard fires one shot, striking the man in the back of the neck."

    Walgreens issued a statement saying the company has "extended our deepest and most sincere condolences" to Hart's family, and noting that as a result of the shooting, "immediately terminated the security company."

    The company stated, "We are committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, patients and customers in the communities we serve."

    Photo Credit: KPNX

    File Photo of WalgreensFile Photo of Walgreens

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    Let's not spar over how ginormous "ginormous" is, as in, how giant a ginormous thing might be.

    Because ginormous, like so many matters in this marvel of a life, is subjective.

    But when you're talking about a smaller item, say, an edible that can fit in your hand, and even be dunked in a glass of milk, and then you're talking about that same item now being well over one thousand pounds...

    Well, yeah. We're absolutely trucking out the "ginormous," unapologetically, and so would you.

    For it is the mega, massive, and oh-so-gigantically ginormous Gingerbread Bar we're speaking about here, which is now on view at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live.

    Not only on view, but "fully functional," as well, so look for pop-up cocktail tastings of a yuletide nature, as well as those all-important snapshot-taking moments.

    Yeah, this baked-in-an-oven bar is 'grammable, and it also contains many, many actual grams of cookie material, weighing in, as it does, at some 1,300 pounds.

    The bar will remain on view through December, but do swing by at 4 o'clock on any afternoon, where "seasonal refreshments" will be served, including "playful" takes on cocoa and spiced cider, as well as "samplings of our personal favorite... the Naughty or Spice Chai Martini."

    So, we'll say it again. It's ginormous. No, it isn't as big as a hotel, or even a house, but it is a room, which is way, way bigger than most tabletop gingerbread houses out there.

    By the by, the nickname of the pastry-amazing creators of this wonder, which is on view in the lobby? The hotel cheekily refers to them as "Gingereers."

    Here's to the Gingereers and their ginormous gingery creation, a walk-in, limited-time, photo-fab bar in DTLA. 

    Photo Credit: JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live

    It's a It's a "fully functional" gingerbread bar, there are "seasonal cocktail tastings" coming up, and the whole spicy shebang is on view at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live.

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    More than a hundred children from Los Angeles were given the chance to "fly" to the North Pole Wednesday morning in a Delta plane transformed into a holiday winter wonderland. 

    Delta Airlines and Los Angeles World Airports brought the magic of Christmas a bit early for the 150 kids, who were told they were flying to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus during their 8th annual "Holiday in the Hangar" event.

    The children don't actually take off in the plane, but Delta Airlines does its best to bring the spirit of Christmas to life at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 80 at LAX, which was complete with faux snow and a red carpet. 

    "We cool the cabin down as we get closer to the North Pole, so the kids really get into it," said John Buxton, Delta Airlines pilot.

    Upon "landing," the children were greeted by actors Kylee Russell, Joshua Rush, Lakers alum A.C. Green, LA Football Club forward Christian Ramirez, the Coca-Cola Bear and others.

    "We do our take-off checklist over the intercom and kids get a kick out of that. We rev the engines up, the plane shakes. They think it's great," Buxton said.

    The children were treated to a holiday party complete with ball hockey with the LA Kings, basketball with AC Green, and paper plane making with pilots and flight attendants.

    "I liked the plane ride," said Leandro Flores, 13. Leandro Flores is waiting for a kidney transplant and undergoes dialysis several times a week. His mother says it takes a toll.

    "Sad and tired, stressed and upset because he can't play like the other kids," said Nicolasa Gonzalez, Leandro's mother.

    The children were treated to a variety of holiday activities: a drumming circle led by The Grammy Museum, a photo booth by the Recording Academy, and snack and lunch courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes and Westfield. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves also distributed gift bags courtesy of Hasbro and other Delta partners.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    More than 100 children were treated to a winter wonderland surprise and More than 100 children were treated to a winter wonderland surprise and "flown" to the North Pole by Delta Air Lines and Los Angeles World Airports. The airline helped host the eighth annual Holiday 'Flight' to the North Pole, a special holiday celebration for 150 kids from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, P.S. ARTS and Normandie Avenue Elementary on Dec. 12, 2018.

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    Three people missing in an inactive coal mine in West Virginia were found alive Wednesday after being reported missing four days ago, authorities said.

    The three had been trapped in the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, NBC News reported

    "Efforts are underway now to bring the individuals to the surface, where they will be transported for medical treatment," said Samantha Smith, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

    One of four people who initially went into the mine and managed to get out late Monday told authorities the rest were alive and provided information on their location, state officials said.

    Photo Credit: yo_co -

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    Police were pursuing a suspected stolen BMW in the Wilmington area Wednesday evening. 

    Eliana Moreno and Newschopper4 Bravo were over the chase at approximately 5:20 p.m.

    The vehicle stopped suddenly on the 1400 block of North Fries Avenue, next to a CVS and Northgate Market. Moments later, a female suspect emerged from the vehicle and surrendered to police.

    Photo Credit: NBC4

    A pursuit suspect surrenders to police in the Wilmington area on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.A pursuit suspect surrenders to police in the Wilmington area on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

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    Behind the United Methodist Church in North Hills, you wouldn't notice it was there. Organizers say they wanted it that way, so as to not be a burden to neighbors who live by.

    The church has opened up its back parking lot to homeless Angelenos who live in their cars and RVs as a safe place to sleep for the night, while at the same time offering welfare services and job opportunities.

    There is overnight security, rules that have to be followed like no outdoor cooking, no drinking alcohol, no drugs, and you have to have a referral to gain access. For those willing to accept it, there are free showers, meals, clothes and even a place to do your own laundry. But perhaps the most important aspect is the hope to move those living in their cars into temporary or permanent homes.

    The LA Housing Authority estimates that 9,000 people are living in their cars around the city, most of them fairly new to being homeless. This program, modeled after an idea in Santa Barbara, aims to ease the burden and transition them back to normalcy.

    "Angelenos who are unhoused and living in their vehicles are challenged by safety in the neighborhoods and community residents find challenges with people living in their vehicles near them," LA Housing Authority Executive Director Peter Lynn said. "Safe Parking meets those two needs by providing an opportunity for people to live in a safe location, secure, that has services, sanitary facilities and connects people to the housing resources and employment services to get moved on with their lives and into housing situations permanently."

    The North Hills location started receiving people in October. Since then, organizers say 39 have signed up to park overnight, and nine have already transitioned into more permanent housing. The gate opens every night for one hour from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and those who stay cannot leave until 6 a.m. They have to be willing to have a background check and have their vehicles checked out for safety as well.

    There are five Safe Parking lots in the city of LA with another four expected to open by year's end. Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city is looking for some of its own lots to use as well, including maintenance yards, and he hopes other churches and synagogues will offer their spaces too.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    United Methodist Church in North Hills has opened up its back parking lot to homeless Angelenos who live in their cars and RVs as a safe place to sleep for the night.United Methodist Church in North Hills has opened up its back parking lot to homeless Angelenos who live in their cars and RVs as a safe place to sleep for the night.

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    On the festive night Monrovia lit its community Christmas tree, dozens of the celebrants stayed and lit candles in remembrance of two residents found slain one week ago in their home.

    Cecilia Meza, 41, and daughter Kelsey, 17, had both been strangled, and the daughter had also been struck with a blunt object, according to coroner's autopsies.

    "The community really needs this time for grieving and mourning," said Carmen Martinez, the Monrovia resident who organized the vigil.

    The mother's significant other, Nimrod Perez Guerrero, is now sought by law enforcement. He has not been seen since before the bodies were discovered.

    The apartment is across Colorado Blvd from Monrovia High School, which Kelsey attended, and many of the students pass by the curbside memorial as they go to and from campus.  Kelsey aspired to attend Wellesley College, as had Hillary Clinton, the former senator, secretary of state, first lady and presidential candidate.

    "It just hits like hard," said Lino Lopez, whose girlfriend was close to Kelsey.

    "She didnt deserve it," said Martinez's daughter Cata. "She was amazing."

    Neighbors do not recall seeing any activity at the apartment for several days prior to authorities getting notification to make the welfare check, when the grim discovery was made. One said she assumed the family was traveling.

    Investigators believe Guerrero, 33, left in a 2014 Toyota Rav4 and has not traveled far from the area, said Homicide Det. Lt. Derrick Alfred of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept. He said detectives are actively pursuing leads.

    "People are antsy," said Carmen Martinez. "Our entire community will feel more at ease once he is caught."

    A cousin of the deceased, Lily Meza, has started a Go Fund Me page.

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    An exam question has generated a controversy and now an investigation by Cal State University at Long Beach. The Health Sciences take-home test asked students which ethnic gang is least likely to do graffiti.

    "I just thought it was pretty offensive," Alex Rambo, the student that posted the question online, said.

    "And the choices were 'Black,' 'White,' 'Asian' or 'Hispanic,'" Rambo adds.

    The university confirms that the same lecturer has taught the course for five semesters. Although it is a Health Science course, it covers many topics including drugs, sexuality and violence, according to the school.

    "I'm not calling him a racist, but I do think that the question was definitely insensitive," Rambo said.

    NBC4 reached out to the lecturer on the phone. He says the question had the do with gang violence and youth, which are topics discussed in the course, and in no way did he mean to offend anyone.

    Rambo says he's not looking for an apology, but he hopes a lesson is learned.

    "I just hope he learns to many think twice, the kind of things he's doing, especially in regards to race and ethnicity," Rambo says.

    Cal State Long Beach says it is taking this matter seriously and that it is investigating. The lecturer told NBC4 that he is truly sorry and that he will take the question off the exam in the future.

    Photo Credit: Sean Browning

    An exam question at Cal State Long Beach is drawing a great deal of controversy.An exam question at Cal State Long Beach is drawing a great deal of controversy.

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    President Donald Trump has told people close to him in recent days that he is alarmed by the prospect of impeachment, as the consequences of federal investigations involving his associates and Democratic control of the House sink in, multiple sources told NBC News.

    On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced an agreement with American Media Inc, in which the publisher of the National Enquirer admitted to making a $150,000 payment in 2016 to silence a woman alleging an affair with Trump, in coordination with his presidential campaign, to prevent her story from influencing the election. That revelation came after Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen admitted that he violated campaign finance laws by arranging hush payments to women in 2016 at the direction of Trump.

    “The entire question about whether the president committed an impeachable offense now hinges on the testimony of two men: David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg, both cooperating witnesses in the SDNY investigation," a close Trump ally told NBC News.

    Weisselberg is the chief financial officer for Trump organization who was allegedly in the center of the hush money operation. He was reportedly granted immunity for his testimony. Pecker is the chief executive at AMI.

    A file photo of President Donald Trump.A file photo of President Donald Trump.

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    First lady Melania Trump said that the most difficult part of her time in the White House is watching "opportunists" use her family's name to advance their careers, claiming they're not recording history properly, NBC News reported

    "I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family's names to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists, to performers, bookwriters," she said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity which aired Wednesday. "The problem is they are writing the history and it's not correct." 

    In the interview, Trump also said that sometimes she doesn't agree with her husband's tone "and I tell him that."

    Photo Credit: AP

    First Lady Melania Trump, right, talks with Col. Jason Hinds, Commander of the First Fighter Wing as he shows her the cockpit of an F22 fighter at Joint Base Langley in Hampton, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.First Lady Melania Trump, right, talks with Col. Jason Hinds, Commander of the First Fighter Wing as he shows her the cockpit of an F22 fighter at Joint Base Langley in Hampton, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

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    Del Monte has recalled more than 64,000 cases of corn because they could spoil and lead to life-threatening illnesses if eaten. 

    Cans of Fiesta Corn seasoned with red and green peppers were shipped to 25 U.S. states, including: Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

    The cans of corn were under-processed during the sterilization process, which could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens. 

    The company has not received any reports of illness, according to Tuesday's announcement from the FDA, but consuming the product could result in a life-threatening illness.

    The affected cans are 15.24 ounces and have the number "24000 02770" printed on the label.

    Customers who purchased the product are encouraged to return it to the place they purchased it from for a full refund or exchange. 

    The cans were also shipped to 12 international locations. 

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    Compelling arguments can be made on behalf of every decade from the last hundred years or so, as to why that particular decade holds the most modern-day sway over our collective imagination.

    The 1920s had flapper fabulousness, the '50s were as sock-hop-y as decades come, but let's be real: No other decade is as large and in charge as the 1980s.

    It was, in fact, a totally tubular time, in so many entertaining ways.

    There hasn't been a contender yet that's ably tried to snatch the big-big-big era's crown, a trophy that the '80s ably earned in the categories of clothing outlandishness, neon over-the-top-a-tude, weird fads, and synth-tastic soundtracks.

    And boulder-sized shoulder pads, of course.

    Obviously such a rad time deserves its own mega convention, and the 1980s are about to get one, in Anaheim, over the first weekend of July 2019.

    NostalgiaCon is set to celebrate all aspects of '80s pop culture over three jam-packed days, with spotlights on "... music, fashion, sports, video games, toys..." and lots more.

    Concerts by "top music acts" will take to the stage, and oodles of iconic actors will appear, including the terrific Matt Frewer.

    Oh yes, Max Headroom himself will be in the h-h-h-house, and if you wanted a more quintessential expression of ultimate '80s-flavored amazingness, you couldn't possibly find it.

    Merchandise, so many wearables and collectibles, will be for sale, all to help convention goers let the world know where their decade-based allegiances are placed. 

    And will there be a break dance showdown? Please. You don't throw an '80s convention without a whole bunch of popping and a huge number of heelspins.

    Passes, which will include one-day entries as well as three-day and VIP choices, will be available in January, when the pre-sale kicks off.

    Don't have a cow, though, if you can't make the Anaheim Convention Center from July 4-6, 2019; another NostalgiaCon will rise elsewhere in the country, at some point.

    But, as of now, Anaheim is the first, and only, place to get your '80s on. So roll up those acid-wash jeans, slip into your favorite pair of jellies, and tune up the flux capacitor for this mega flashback, throwback festival.

    Are the '80s the greatest decade of all? Well, no duh. 

    Photo Credit: NostalgiaCon

    Three days, oodles of celebrities, big music, and big, big hair: The most outlandish decade is driving its DeLorean for Anaheim over the first weekend of July 2019.Three days, oodles of celebrities, big music, and big, big hair: The most outlandish decade is driving its DeLorean for Anaheim over the first weekend of July 2019.

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    An armored truck rained money onto a New Jersey highway Thursday morning, causing two crashes as drivers attempted to collect the cash scattered across several lanes. 

    Videos posted on social media show a Brink’s truck parked on the side of Route 3 in East Rutherford as one armored truck driver desperately tried to collect the cash on the road. Police said one of the truck's doors may have malfunctioned and become unsecured shortly before 8:30 a.m.

    "The driver seemed to be both kind of laughing and crying at the same time, and he was kind of running around, telling people to stop," said Betsy Richards, who witnessed the cash grab as she commuted into the city on a bus. 

    It's not clear how much money spilled out, but Richards said it appeared to be a lot. 

    "I did see $100 bills, and 5's and 10's and 50's, so it was at least $10,000 on the highway," said Richards.  

    Drivers leaving their vehicles to pick up the cash caused two accidents, police said.  In one video, a person can be seen attempting to collect some of the currency from the roadway. 

    News 4 on the scene even captured one man who lives nearby wandering on the side of the highway hours later, casually perusing the field. 

    "Nah, there's nothing over here," the man later told News 4, laughing. "They took it all, guys."

    While witnesses got quite a kick out of watching drivers scrambling to pick up the cash -- like a game of Frogger in between moving traffic -- police are reminding the public it's theft. Anyone who collected money in connection with the spill is urged to call the East Rutherford Police Department at 2-1438-0165 "to make arrangements for its return with no charges filed." 

    As of Thursday afternoon, police said several people had contacted the department in an attempt to locate money they had found on the highway. 

    Brinks "provides U.S. and global security services including secure logistics, cash management, payment and retail back office solutions," according to its website. 

    A vice president for the company said he could "confirm that there was an incident with one of our trucks this morning which we are investigating," without elaborating.

    Photo Credit: Sabrina Quagliozzi

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    The Dodgers have made a free agent signing.

    No, it's not the big fish in Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, but the Dodgers have reportedly signed right-handed relief pitcher Joe Kelly to a three-year deal worth around $25 million.

    [[502665351, C]]

    Kelly is a familiar face to Dodgers fans after he famously broke the rib of shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the first game of the 2013 National League Championship Series while a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Ramirez, the Dodgers best hitter at the time, would be forced to miss most of the series and the Cardinals went on to win in six games.

    More recently, Kelly dominated the Dodgers during the 2018 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, throwing six shutout innings against Los Angeles, as Boston went on to win the series in five games.

    Overall in the 2018 postseason, Kelly was outstanding, allowing just one earned run in 11 and 1/3 innings pitched against the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Dodgers.

    However, Kelly has also been widely inconsistent over the course of his career and struggled down the stretch of the 2018 regular season with the Red Sox. 

    The right-hander had a 4.39 ERA during the regular season and went wild in the waning months, as he allowed 4.6 walks for every nine batters he faced.

    Despite his inconsistency, the Dodgers liked his power arm as Kelly is consistently clocked around 99MPH with his fastball. Los Angeles expects him to slot into a setup role in front of closer Kenley Jansen.

    As we reported earlier, the Dodgers were heavily interested in Kelly as well as other right-handed relievers like David Robertson and Cody Allen.

    [[502665331, C]]

    Now that the Dodgers have signed a relief pitcher, they could turn their attention to a starting pitcher, catcher, or second baseman. The team is rumored to be in discussion with the Cleveland Indians on two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, as well as Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

    It's unknown if the Dodgers are finished with the construct of their bullpen after the Kelly signing, but they're definitely not done making moves, and another reliever could come via trade down the road.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Pitcher Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in relief in the seventh inning of Game Four of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Kelly has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers.Pitcher Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in relief in the seventh inning of Game Four of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Kelly has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers.

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  • 12/13/18--12:16: Pet of the Week: Tawny

  • Meet Tawny, the pet of the week for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

    Tawny is a 9-month-old, female mixed breed puppy who came into West Valley Animal Shelter as a stray. She's a little shy and needs some training on the leash.

    She gets along well with her three kennel mates and likes to be held. She just needs a lot of TLC and some patience to bring out the sweet personality we know is waiting to shine.

    ID: A1828649

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

    Photo Credit: West Valley Animal Shelter

    Tawny is the pet of the week for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.Tawny is the pet of the week for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

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    A man driving a pickup was killed early Thursday in a collision with a street sweeper in La Habra.

    The driver of the street sweeper was on duty and traveling west on Imperial Highway at the time of the crash. The Toyota pickup driver apparently slammed into the back of the street sweeper and slid into a traffic sign.

    The victim's mother was on her way to work when she saw her son's mangled truck. More family members arrived a short time later, holding hands in a circle and praying.

    The man died at the scene. 

    The street sweeper driver was not injured.

    The westbound lanes of Imperial Highway, just east of Idaho Street, were closed until about 9 a.m. while an investigation into the cause of the crash was conducted, according to police.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Mourners hold hands at the site of a fatal crash involving a pickup and street sweeper Thursday Dec. 13, 2018 in La Habra.Mourners hold hands at the site of a fatal crash involving a pickup and street sweeper Thursday Dec. 13, 2018 in La Habra.

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    Do you slip a few shreds of Christmas ham into your baby fluffster's dish?

    Are you inclined to hang a stocking for your cat?

    Is making sure a fresh blanket is under the tree, for your favorite Pug/Pomeranian/Exotic Shorthair, one of your ultimate holiday goals?

    Then you keep an eye out for critters come Christmas, as you surely do all year long.

    But spoiling your own furry progeny, while sweet, may not quite fulfill your overall longing to connect with more canines, with more cats, and with other members of the community, too (of the human variety, yep).

    There's a way to make good on that longing, to help more animals, and it happens each year when Operation Santa Paws ho, ho, hos around Orange County and Long Beach, delivering a load of needed (and some fun) goods to area animal shelters.

    The delivery date is Saturday, Dec. 22, and you can sign up to volunteer, if you can spend a few hours running around, all to drop off a number of essential items that'll go toward the care of several sweet-faced kits and pups.

    No worries if you can't play Santa that day. You can donate much-needed goods, too, at a number of locations around Orange County, Long Beach, and Los Angeles.

    Animal Crackers in Los Angeles, Wags to Whiskers Pet Grooming in Long Beach, and Animal Care Center in Rancho Santa Margarita are just three of the many.

    Blankets, cleaning supplies, toys, cardboard cat scratchers, peanut butter, water bowls, and plenty of other needs are on the big list: Eye it here.

    Operation Santa Paws has been trotting for several years now, and if you know your Haute Dog parades, the huge, costumed parties that pop up in Long Beach a couple of times a year, you know this kind-hearted, animal-loving drive, a give-back effort that makes the holidays a little sweeter for pups and cats in need.

    Photo Credit: Justin Rudd

    Spend some of Saturday, Dec. 22 delivering food, toys, blankets, and more to a few animal shelters around Long Beach and Orange County.Spend some of Saturday, Dec. 22 delivering food, toys, blankets, and more to a few animal shelters around Long Beach and Orange County.

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