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    Celebrate the season with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and Who-ville Whos at Universal Studios Hollywood. "Grinchmas" is back now daily through Dec. 30, 2018.

    Photo Credit: Whitney Irick

    The 60-ft. Grinchmas tree at Grinchmas 2018 at Universal Studios Hollywood.The 60-ft. Grinchmas tree at Grinchmas 2018 at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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    Water surrounded homes and partially submerged vehicles Friday morning due to a water main break that flooded several blocks of South Los Angeles. 

    Video from NewsChopper4 showed a pickup and other vehicles partially submerged and homes surrounded by water gushing from the break near Main and East 55th Street. The intersection was one of several that flooded between 55th Street and Florence Avenue. 

    A sinkhole appeared to have opened near the source of the break, reported at about 5:30 a.m. Los Angeles firefighters were at the scene, helping about a dozen residents to safety as water lapped at a home's front steps.

    There were no reports of injuries.

    Water continued to flow from the 24-inch pipe at about 8 a.m.

    "We've had some concerns about why it took so long to turn the water off," said Eric Shavely, superintendent for LADWP. "When you have this much moving energy in a 24-inch water main, you have to shut it down slowly. Otherwise, it could have some reverberations through the system."

    There were 12 valves involved in the shut-off process, Shavely said. 

    Front-end loaders were being used to clear mud from streets. 

    "This is severe," said Shavely. "We'll be working on this for approximately 18 to 24 hours before the water main is back in service."

    It was not immediately clear how many customers were affected.



    Photo Credit: Fabian Rodriguez/KNBC-TV

    A pickup is partially submerged in water due to a water main break Friday Dec. 21, 2018 in South Los Angeles.A pickup is partially submerged in water due to a water main break Friday Dec. 21, 2018 in South Los Angeles.

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    Stacking up the many soft things that fill the sweetest season?

    You might start with hand-knitted mittens. Perhaps a peppermint marshmallow, the kind that floats atop hot cocoa, would make your line-up. And, yes, Santa's fluffy beard is a contender, too.

    But if you ho, ho, ho, then hop, hop, hop to Altadena on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 25, from 7 to 10 in the evening, you might also want to add "rabbits" to the roster.

    True, bunnies pretty much rule the patch when it comes to a springtime holiday, but our long-earred friends aren't just Easter icons. Rather, they hold adorable sway, all year long, at the world-famous Bunny Museum, on Lake Avenue. 

    As they'll be doing on Christmas night 2018.

    For while many businesses will throw down the proverbial sash on the 25th of December, and remain closed, the Bunny Museum is welcoming one and all for a night of looking around while marveling at multitudes of bunny-related items.

    Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski, museum honchos and chief bunnies buffs in charge, have put thousands and thousands and thousands of hare-mazing artifacts on display, thanks to the fact that the couple has been gifting each other rabbit-related goods for, well, decades now.

    Hippity. Hoppity. Wow.

    Admission to the Christmas night party is $18, and that covers "all you can eat & drink."

    "Don't be alone on Christmas! Start a new tradition," is the kind-hearted suggestion on the event's Facebook listing.

    If you decide that you want to stay home on Christmas night, warm in your bunny slippers and bunny-dotted pjs, that's understandable.

    But you can bet that plenty of Southern Californians will be searching for something unique to do, all to get out of the house for a bit, and they might just have a few curious-minded out-of-town relatives in tow.

    So why not hippity-hoppity to this offbeat Altadena treasure, then, for a HO(ppy) Christmas Party

    No wearable rabbit ears, nor Santa hats, are required for entry, but if you'd like to wear one or both, by all means, combine your best Easter and yuletide apparel, for one stunning bunny of an outfit.



    Photo Credit: Candace Frazee

    What's open on Christmas night 2018? Why this world-famous, rabbit-tastic Altadena destination, of course.What's open on Christmas night 2018? Why this world-famous, rabbit-tastic Altadena destination, of course.

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    The Yasiel Puig era in Los Angeles appears to be over. 

    The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and cash considerations to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Homer Bailey, and minor league prospects Jeter Downs adn Josiah Gray on Friday.

    Sources told NBC LA early in the afternoon that a deal between the Dodgers and Reds had been agreed upon with outfielders Kemp and Puig believed to be in the deal in exchange for Bailey. 

    The move did not come as a surprise to most insiders as both teams had been discussing the particulars of the trade for weeks, with each team shedding large contracts in the process in order to shed salary.

    After trading for Tanner Roark last week, the Reds wanted to compete with the heavyweights in the NL Central and so adding two All-Star caliber outfielders and a former All-Star in left-handed starter Alex Wood, they have done just that. Wood was 9-7 last season with a 3.68 ERA in 27 starts and six relief appearances.

    "We still have resources to make this team better — we're not done yet," said Cincinnati president of baseball operations Dick Williams. "We did trade some good prospects here, but we acquired four major league players that address needs for us and I think we're better in the short-term."

    Meanwhile, the Dodgers removed two pieces from an already crowded outfield, and are expected to release Bailey once the trade becomes official. Bailey had a 10-5 no-trade clause, but agreed to waive it if the Dodgers granted his release. 

    The Reds were eager to move Bailey after back-to-back bad seasons. Bailey once threw two no-hitters, but has been battling arm issues and has had three surgeries in recent years. He went 1-14 last season with a 6.09 ERA.

    Kemp and Puig are both expected to start for the Reds. Each of them are in the final year of their current contracts. Kemp, 34, batted .290 with 25 doubles, 21 homers and 85 RBIs last season, when he was an All-Star for the third time. 

    Puig, 28, has spent his entire career in Los Angeles after being signed out of Cuba in 2012. The power-hitting right fielder hit .267 with 23 homers, 63 RBI and 15 stolen bases during the 2018 campaign, his sixth as a Dodger. 

    In the deal, the Dodgers not only save money under the luxury tax, but now have the roster availability and the financial flexibility to sign another outfielder like top free agent Bryce Harper.

    "We still feel like we have a really good team, but feel like we want to continue to add to it before we get to Spring Training," said Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman on a conference call with reporters shortly after the trade was announced.

    [[503349821, C]]



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers congratulates Matt Kemp #27 during a game. Puig, Kemp, and Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer were all traded to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers congratulates Matt Kemp #27 during a game. Puig, Kemp, and Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer were all traded to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

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    Haven't seen this seasonal surprise fest? There's still time to see lions or giant river otters digging into their goodies.

    Photo Credit: Jamie Pham

    Kalissa digs into something lovely and lion-perfect at a past present-opening at the zoo. Look for more animals to open more gifts on Dec. 22, 23, 29, 30, Jan. 5, and 6.Kalissa digs into something lovely and lion-perfect at a past present-opening at the zoo. Look for more animals to open more gifts on Dec. 22, 23, 29, 30, Jan. 5, and 6.

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    An incident at a New Jersey high school wrestling tournament in which a black wrestler was forced by a white referee to cut off his dreadlocks has once again sparked a social media backlash and questions about the treatment of young people of color.

    A video originally tweeted by a SNJ Today reporter shows Buena Regional High School junior Andrew Johnson standing dejected in the school's gym after being forced to choose between getting his hair cut or forfeiting.

    In the video, fans and coaches watch an official cut off Johnson's dreadlocks with a pair of scissors before he is allowed to compete.

    The crowd cheers as Johnson wins the match - which helped his school to a tournament victory - but despite having his hand raised after the victory the junior stands with his shoulders slumped and head down as he walks off the mat to be comforted by his team.

    The American Civil Liberties Union's New Jersey chapter responded by tweeting that, "This is not about hair. This is about race. How many different ways will people try to exclude Black people from public life without having to declare their bigotry?"

    On Friday, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said it was conducting an investigation and had contacted Buena Regional High School officials and the referee involved in the incident.

    The association also said it was forwarding preliminary information to the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights and that, "given the degree of attention being focused on this matter," it would recommend that the referee not be assigned to any event until the incident "has been reviewed more thoroughly."

    The Buena Regional High School athletic department did not return a phone call seeking comment.



    Photo Credit: SNJ Today
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    Several Los Angeles Police Department officers are facing an investigation for allegedly distributing explicit images of a female detective, taken without her permission, that were allegedly shared by the detective's ex-boyfriend as revenge for the couple's break-up.

    The main subject of the LAPD's internal affairs investigation is Officer Danny Reedy, and he's also named in a crime report filed with another police agency, according court documents obtained by by NBC4.

    Reedy has been taken off duty at the LAPD's Central Division and assigned to home, the LAPD said Thursday. Reedy, contacted outside a restraining order hearing in LA Superior Court Friday, said he did not want to discuss the accusations and referred questions to his attorney, Maurice E. Sinsley, who also declined to comment.

    The LAPD did not confirm the details or scope of the investigation.

    "The Department is prohibited by law from commenting on personnel matters including any ongoing or completed investigations," it said in a statement Friday. "The LAPD thoroughly investigates any allegations of misconduct whether from the public or a department employee and takes appropriate disciplinary action when necessary."

    According to the court records, the female detective ended a multi-year relationship with Reedy in August after she alleges she'd endured physical and emotional abuse. Reedy, she claimed, had repeatedly threatened to distribute images that showed the female detective in extremely intimate moments.

    The detective said her colleagues began notifying her in recent months they had seen the images and watched as other officers exchanged them.

    "He released intimate photos of me," the detective said in a statement attached to an application for a restraining order. "He was extorting and harassing me, and then released the photos in November because I broke up with him in August. It was revenge to ruin my reputation and embarrass me in front of our peers."

    NBC4 has withheld the detective's name because she said she's the victim of a sex crime.

    "This is just so utterly disrespectful and demeaning to her, as it would be to anyone," the detective's attorney Lisa Bloom told NBC4. "This is really an appalling case that has repercussions not only for Mr. Reedy but for the department itself."

    In a sworn affidavit the female detective also accused Reedy of showing up at her home and threatening her husband, who is a well-known LAPD officer.

    Reedy, she said, once threatened to send the intimate photos directly to her son. Images that the female detective said were captured from text-message exchanges between her and Reedy were also filed with the court.

    "You finally crossed the line," one screen image showed. "Now face the consequences."


    The main subject of the LAPD's internal affairs investigation is Officer Danny Reedy, right.The main subject of the LAPD's internal affairs investigation is Officer Danny Reedy, right.

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    A man climbed 15-20 feet up the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse just south of the White House Friday evening, U.S. Park Police confirmed.

    Police believe he was in some kind of emotional distress and negotiated with him to climb out of the tree.

    He was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

    Some tree lights were damaged during the incident.

    People had lined up to get in to see the tree, but police closed the White House pageant area and will keep it closed the rest of the evening. The lights remained off Friday night.

    Saturday's holiday performance, which was the last one scheduled this season, is canceled.

    D.C. Fire and EMS assisted Park Police.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    File photo from the National Christmas Tree lighting.File photo from the National Christmas Tree lighting.

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    Police were pursuing a vehicle.


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    The founders of a church in North San Diego County have filed a lawsuit against the County of San Diego for shutting their church down and confiscating their sacrament.

    That sacrament: cannabis.

    On Oct. 25, San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Jah Healing Kemetic Temple of the Divine in Fallbrook.

    Once inside deputies detained four church ministers and carted away more than $1 million in cannabis products, used by the church’s 500-members as a sacrament.

    According to documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, the raid was ordered because the church did not have the necessary permits in place. County planning officials considered the temple was operating as a dispensary and not a church.

    But April Mancini, one of the church’s founders, said planning has nothing to do with it, instead, the county is targeting them for their beliefs.

    “This is our belief. We believe cannabis brings us closer to our maker,” she said. “It's used to heal people. We pray with people and they can use the sacrament or they’re also able to take the sacrament home with them.”

    Issues with the church began in May of this year. That’s when Mancini received a letter from San Diego County’s Planning Department ordering her to “cease operating immediately” and referred to the church as a “marijuana collective.”

    The county sent another letter in June.

    “[Y]our property must be immediately rectified by ceasing the illegal occupancy associated with the operation of a marijuana dispensary,” reads the June 21 letter.

    An attorney for the church, according to public documents, responded, telling the county that a special permit is not needed because Jah Healing Kemetic Temple is registered with the state as a non-profit religious entity.

    The church refused to close its doors. The county did not acquiesce. In late October deputies showed up at the church to close it down.

    “They threw ministers around, handcuffing and detaining them,” Mancini said. “Then they took all of the sacrament. They took everything from us.”

    In addition, deputies placed a “red tag” on the building, preventing anyone from entering or using the building.

    “We have a lot of people with a lot of problems, whether that’s being mentally ill or just in need of a prayer,” Mancini said. “We were there for that. The temple was not just for them to come and get Cannabis, this is something that heals them.”

    The Fallbrook facility is not the only cannabis church that has been closed down this year.

    Mancini also runs another cannabis-minded church in Big Bear. She said that church was also raided this year, along with her home and her parent’s home.

    In February, San Diego police raided and closed down another cannabis church. In that raid, officers confiscated estimated approximately $1.1 million in marijuana. 

    Last week, attorneys for the Jah Healing Kemetic Temple in Fallbrook filed a lawsuit against San Diego County for closing the church’s doors. 

    “It really goes against the grain of what religious freedom is in America,” said Matt Pappas, the lead attorney for the church.

    But Pappas claims there may be more to the purpose behind this raid and others around the state.

    “The attacks on the churches have been in the last couple of years, more so since the legalization of marijuana,” Pappas said. “I think part of the problem for the county is it is not getting regulatory fees from these churches as is the case with a licensed dispensary. I think a lot of it is about the money.”

    The county of San Diego declined to comment, citing pending litigation.


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    Several North Texas Breweries debuted a new beer this week as part of a nationwide effort to raise money for the thousands of families displaced in Northern California’s devastating Camp Fire.

    Sierra Nevada partnered with 1,400 breweries around the country to roll out a “Resilience IPA.” 100% of the sales will go to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.

    Several North Texas breweries are among them including Steam Theory Brewing in Trinity Groves.

    “The craft beer industry is really generous, and we’re always looking for ways to give back,” said Steam Theory co-owner Chuck Homola.

    When his brew master, who happens to be from California, found out about the request, it took only three or four days to get the process started.

    Friday they debuted the brew, which they hope to sell all seven barrels of.

    “It’s great that all around they’re showing that support and that here in Dallas somehow we can do our part even just by showing up and having a beverage here. It’s giving back,” said customer Charlie Vann.

    If the beer sells out all over the country, Sierra Nevada hopes to raise more than $15 million for direct Camp Fire relief.

    For a link of participating breweries, click here.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Several North Texas Breweries debuted a new beer this week as part of a nationwide effort to raise money for the thousands of families displaced in Northern California’s devastating Camp Fire, Friday, December 21, 2018.Several North Texas Breweries debuted a new beer this week as part of a nationwide effort to raise money for the thousands of families displaced in Northern California’s devastating Camp Fire, Friday, December 21, 2018.

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    LeBron won the battle with The Brow.

    LeBron James recorded his third triple-double of the season, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-104, on Friday night at Staples Center.

    Following back-to-back losses to the Wizards and Nets, the Lakers returned home for a battle with "The Brow."

    Anthony Davis had a game-high 30 points and 20 rebounds, but his Herculean effort was not enough to stop the balanced Lakers attack.

    James had 22 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds despite reports he had been battling the flu recently.

    A number of Lakers players came down with flu-like symptoms following the Lakers weeklong, four-game road trip. Center JaVale McGee missed his third consecutive game with the illness, and James, Tyson Chandler, and Ivica Zubac were all reportedly feeling similar symptoms this week.

    Zubac started in place of McGee, and had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. 

    All five Lakers starters scored in double figures, as Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 23 points, Lonzo Ball had 12, and Brandon Ingram scored 18 in his first game back from a sprained ankle.

    Former Laker, Julius Randle, had 21 points in his return to Staples Center, and Jrue Holiday chipped in 18 points and 10 assists for the Pelicans in the loss.

    After allowing 65 points in the first half, the Lakers held the Pelicans to just 39 points in the second half. New Orleans has lost three straight games.

    Future Laker Anthony Davis?

    The game was overshadowed by the ongoing courtship between Lakers forward LeBron James and Pelicans forward Anthony Davis. 

    Following the Lakers loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday, James was asked about the possibility of Davis joining the Lakers:

    "That would be amazing," James said.  "That would be incredible."

    A day later, Davis was asked about LeBron's comments and said all the right things in response:

    "I don't really care," said Davis. "Obviously, it's cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. We're 15-17, that means I'm not doing my job." 

    Before Friday night's matchup, reports from rival GMs were published that said they believed LeBron was tampering. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry shared that sentiment:

    "Yes, it is," Gentry said when asked if he thought it was tampering. "Why would it not be? I thought if you talk about a player under contract, that's tampering. That's just me. I've only been in the league 31 years." 

    Julius Randle Reunion

    Former first-round Lakers draft pick Julius Randle returned to Staples Center for the first time as a member of the visiting team. Randle was the seventh overall pick by the Lakers in the 2014 NBA Draft, and played four seasons in Los Angeles before signing with the Pelicans as a free agent.

    The Lakers showed a tribute video to Randle before the game, and he received a loud ovation from the Staples Center crowd: 

    Notes and Next

    Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and point guard Rajon Rondo each returned from injuries. Center Ivica Zubac made his first start of the season in replace of JaVale McGee who missed his third straight game with the flu. 

    The Lakers will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night at Staples Center.

    Highlights

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



    Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers grabs a rebound from Julius Randle #30 and Jahlil Okafor #8 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers grabs a rebound from Julius Randle #30 and Jahlil Okafor #8 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

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    A Florida high school student-turned-activist who survived one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history is headed to Harvard.

    David Hogg, who took a year off after graduating Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in June 2018, said on Twitter Saturday that he'll "be attending Harvard in the fall with a planned major in Political Science."

    Since the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas that left 14 students and three faculty members dead, Hogg has been one of the most visible activists in the gun control movement and the March for Our Lives campaign launched by him and other classmates.

    Hogg and other survivors have been vocal advocates for gun reform, making countless media appearances and grilling lawmakers during town halls. Their efforts sparked massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country and also drew international attention. Hogg and other students were in South Africa in November and were awarded the International Children's Peace Prize for their work with March for Our Lives.

    The group organized a demonstration in Washington in March, with hundreds of thousands of people filling the streets of the nation's capital. Satellite demonstrations were also held across the country on the same day.

    March for Our Lives then hit the road over the summer, visiting 80 communities in 24 states to help register young voters and spread its message against gun violence.

    Hogg has made several visits to Massachusetts as part of his efforts. In August, he attended the kick-off for the March for Our Lives 50 Miles More walk against gun violence. In September, Hogg, along with other youth activists, made an appearance at Harvard to talk about engaging young voters. Hogg also returned to Boston in October for a public discussion about civic activism and gun control at Boston Public Library.

    Hogg co-authored a book, "#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line," with his younger sister Lauren. The book offers an inside look at the early days of the grassroots effort that made Hogg and other Parkland shooting survivors household names. Hogg writes that the March for Our Lives group came "together to try to heal the world and found out that was the best way to heal."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    WORCESTER, MA - AUGUST 23: David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts. 50 Miles More was organized to engage young people in the effort to bring about gun reform legislation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)WORCESTER, MA - AUGUST 23: David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts. 50 Miles More was organized to engage young people in the effort to bring about gun reform legislation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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    Over the course of 2018, a lot has happened, from intense wildfires to the Olympics. We present to you the videos at NBC4 that you watched the most.

    Here's what caught your interest the most in 2018:

    Teacher Caught on Camera Punching Student in Maywood Classroom

    A 64-year-old teacher was jailed after a fight with a 14-year-old student in a classroom at an alternative high school in Maywood Nov. 5, 2018. Video showed the teacher slugging it out with the student as other students and a woman wearing a yellow safety vest try to intervene. The video led to huge outcry in support of the teacher, but some also were upset that a teacher would lose his cool and physically harm a student.

    Read more here

    Pickax-Wielding Vandal Smashes President Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star to Pieces

    One of the most shocking stunts pulled in Hollywood this year involved a man taking a pickax to President Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star July 25, 2018.

    Witnesses say the man, who was later prosecuted, concealed it in a guitar case before TMZ captured the mayhem on video. Trump received the star in January 2007 for his role in the NBC show "The Apprentice."

    Read more here. 

    Student’s Cellphone Video Captures School Shooting

    One of the most chilling videos of 2018 was footage captured by a high school student hiding under a desk while students screamed and gunfire erupted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Feb. 14, 2018. Seventeen in all were killed.

    Learn more here

    Woman Says Walmart Locked African American Hair Products Behind Glass

    Walmart was set to face a discrimination lawsuit Jan. 26, 2018 after a woman claimed African American hair products were locked behind glass at a California store. Prominent attorney Gloria Allred held an afternoon news conference with Essie Grundy, who said she was discriminated against based on her race at a Walmart located at 1800 N. Perris Blvd. in Perris on Jan. 12.

    "It was something I had to stand up for," the mom said.

    Read more here.

    Winds Subside, Giving Firefighters a Narrow Window of Calm

    Multiple fires erupted in November of 2018, leaving more than 100,000 acres scorched, 177 structures destroyed, and left more than 250,000 people without a home as they fled amid evacuation warnings. Three people were killed in the Ventura and LA counties blaze.

    Read more here.

    Father Arrested in Case of Child Abuse Caught on Camera

    Warning: The video below contains disturbing images.

    Security camera video released July 10, 2018 that showed a man dropping, throwing and slinging a child outside a Riverside home led to the arrest of the boy's father.

    In the video captured July 5, the father can be seen arguing with a woman identified as the man's girlfriend, according to police. He is seen holding the young child -- police said the boy is 18 months old -- and speaking to the woman before dropping him.

    Read more here.

    Speeding Car Goes Airborne, Plows Into Second Floor of Building

    This one was a doozy.

    In a feat that almost seems impossible, or as if it’s straight out of a “Fast and the Furious” film, a car wound up on the second floor of a dental office in Orange County after hitting a median on the street. The crash happened around 5:25 a.m. near the intersection of French and 17th streets in Santa Ana, and it caught fire after it went into the building.

    Read more here.


    Over the course of 2018, a lot has happened, from intense wildfires to the Olympics. We present to you the videos at NBC4 that you watched the most.Over the course of 2018, a lot has happened, from intense wildfires to the Olympics. We present to you the videos at NBC4 that you watched the most.

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  • 12/22/18--11:42: 'Come From Away' Comes to LA

  • 7000 passengers stranded, in a small town of less than 7000 people.

    The Tony Award winning, hit Broadway musical "Come From Away" tells the remarkable true story of a small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed passengers from around the world.

    Aliya Jasmine gets a backstage tour of the show, which is running at the Ahmanson Theatre through to mid-January 2019.



    Photo Credit: Ahmanson Theatre / Come From Away

    "Come From Away" at the Ahmanson Theatre.

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    The winter solstice quite understandably gets a lot of attention each December 'round these parts. It rocks the longest night of the year, famously, and both ancient rituals and science-oriented meet-ups alike fill its chilly hours.

    But what of the day after the solstice?

    The 22nd of December doesn't boast quite the same cachet, but consider that it's when those longed-for longer days kick in, meaning sun worshippers get to soak up more beams, bit by bit, day by day, all the way through to late June. 

    If the day following the solstice feels especially auspicious to you, and you'd love to do something that speaks to warmer times ahead, to more sunshine, and to the wilder world waking up, consider this: Tickets for The Flower Fields are now on sale.

    Indeed, the famous Carlsbad spread o' flowers, which is filled with acres and acres of brightly hued ranunculus, won't open before the first day of March 2019.

    But that doesn't mean that you can't secure your ticket to the agri-amazing destination, which offers several fresh-air'd activities as well as opportunities to walk among the super-spectacular blooms.

    Watching for when peak color arrives is part of the anticipation, but The Flower Fields social pages keep fans in the know, whether the showiest moment of the season shows up in late March, mid-April, or at another moment before the landmark closes in May.

    And, yes: The Flower Fields always times its final day of the season to Mother's Day, which in 2019 is on Sunday, May 12.

    That's still months away, of course, but there's no doubt about this: We're now just a bit beyond the winter solstice, which means, yes, more sunlight shall be ours, each and every day, for the next half year.

    If you're feeling a bit flowery at the news, well, we get you.



    Photo Credit: The Flower Fields

    Some of the brightest blossoms around'll pop in Carlsbad, with an opening date of March 1. The flower type? Why they're ranunculus, of course.Some of the brightest blossoms around'll pop in Carlsbad, with an opening date of March 1. The flower type? Why they're ranunculus, of course.

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    An officer involved shooting took place in Encino Saturday night, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    The shooting occurred in the area of White Oak Avenue and Weddington Street, according to the LAPD.

    Newschopper4 Bravo arrived over the scene shortly before 11 p.m., and the manner in which the police were set up on the street and the presence of what appeared to be SWAT officers indicated that a standoff was underway.

    The point of focus for police on the ground appeared to be the Holy Martyrs Armenian Apstic church.

    This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: Newschopper4 Bravo

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    A call from United Teachers Los Angeles for a moratorium on new charter schools, coming as the union's strike date nears, underscores deep-seated concerns about competing visions for the future of public school education.

    There are now 244 independent but publicly funded charter schools within the boundaries of the Los Angeles Unified School District. By the union's count, that represents growth of more than 250 percent just over the past decade at a time when public school enrollment has been declining. The union contends this imposes a drain on the district of some $600 million.

    "We're here because it's time to invest in existing schools," said union president Alex Caputo-Pearl, whose membership is at a negotiating impasse, many of its demands for such structural changes as decreased class size and additional professional staffing rebuffed by assertions the district cannot afford them.

    The District has reserves, estimated in a fact-finding report at just under $2 billion. But LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner has said he fears that could be depleted in a handful of years.

    In calling Friday for a cap on new charters in LAUSD's area, Caputo-Pearl insisted it is not a bargaining ploy, but a needed step to protect public education from "privatization."

    Neither the Californnia Charter Schools Association nor LAUSD responded Friday to requests for comment on the moratorium proposal. Previously, Beutner said, "All schools should be looked at with the same set of tough standards."

    Under state law, districts are required to work with charter schools.

    "Board of Education views charter schools as an integral method of achieving its vision and mission," reads a statement posted by LAUSD on the web page of its Charter Schools Division.

    Several advocates for school choice, including parent Roxann Nazario of Sylmar, said charters offer superior alternatives for her daughter and voiced opposition to a moratorium.

    Publicly funded charter schools were green-lighted by California's legislature in 1992. Later legislation set a cap on their growth statewide at 100 new schools per year. Any changes to that would require legislative action.

    At least one lawmaker has expressed a willingness to pursue the issue.

    "There needs to be more transparency and accountability for charter schools," reads a statement from assembly member Patrick O'Donnell, D-Long Beach, Education Committee chair.

    "I agree with our new Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond that a pause or slowing of the growth makes sense while we consider necessary charter school reforms to ensure student success and taxpayer accountability."

    Within LAUSD, there is a smaller number of what are called "affiliated" charters, which operate under locally adopted plans, but rely on LAUSD staffing and personnel.

    In many cases, independent charters are located on LAUSD property, but do their own hiring. Teachers at some of those charters have sought to be represented by UTLA,  but it is a school by school effort with different employers, and so far only a fraction have been unionized.

    In some cases, charter schools have also suffered in the competition or students. Caputo-Pearl pointed to the August closing of a second year charter academy in Eagle Rock just days into the current school year, leaving parents in need of making new arrangements.

    Recent years have seen position on charters as a defining issue in races for school board seats. During his announcement Friday, Caputo-Pearl contended the District relations with the organization Great Public Schools Now reveal a preference for charters over traditional public schools.

    GPSN has assisted funding of charter schools but has also funded the replication of traditional public schools, according to spokesman Jason Song, citing a $1.5 million commitment to a pair of LAUSD magnet schools that opened this past fall in South Los Angeles.

    "Great Public Schools Now absolutely supports and funds LA Unified Schools that provide a high-quality education to students and a supportive workplace for teachers," Song stated. "GPSN would have welcomed additional applications, but UTLA representatives discouraged other high-quality schools from applying for funding."

    If UTLA teachers in fact go strike on Jan. 10, it will be their first strike in three decades, dating back to the time before public charter schools existed.



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    File Photo: ClassroomFile Photo: Classroom

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    Foods that arrive in pre-determined segments are popular at the holidays, from chocolate oranges (with their easy-to-take candy slices) to all sorts of cakes and tarts.

    This can, of course, make grabbing dessert at a party easier, but thinking in segments can also help us to de-stress those especially hectic, task-packed days.

    Take Christmas Eve, which can be full-to-brimming for many. The morning segment can be busy with dinner prep, and the evening segment rocks its traditional rites, but as for the afternoon? 

    That segment, at least in Southern California, has long been especially celebratory, culturally rewarding, and very, very free.

    We're talking, of course, about the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration, the nearly-six-decades-along entertainment presentation that features some of our region's best dance troupes and singing groups.

    And the three-hour extravaganza is ready to shine/warble/twirl again, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24.

    Have that segment of your day mostly free?

    Get there on the early side, then enjoy performances by The Daniel Ho Trio, Le Ballet Dembaya, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Paso de Oro Dance Company, Tres Souls, and several other area gems.

    It's a gift to the community from the LA County Board of Supervisors, and it has been swaying, crooning, ringing bells, and leaping joyfully into the air since the late 1950s.

    Making this SoCal seasonal favorite the tastiest and most ancipated segment of a culture-loving fan's busy Dec. 24.

    Have time in the afternoon to head to DTLA? Fa and la and la.

    Don't have time to do downtown? The 59th annual LA County Holiday Celebration will be broadcast live on PBS SoCal. You can also find it streaming, also live, on the PBS SoCal site.



    Photo Credit: Gennia Cui for the LA County Arts Commission

    The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will perform at the 2018 LA County Holiday Celebration on Monday, Dec. 24.The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will perform at the 2018 LA County Holiday Celebration on Monday, Dec. 24.

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    A tsunami that devastated the area around Indonesia's Sunda Strait, leaving at least 222 dead and hundreds more injured, struck fast and without warning on Saturday, NBC News reported.

    While most tsunamis have seismic precursors that allow for some form of warning, an unfortunate chain of factors led to Saturday's catastrophic impact, experts say.

    The tsunami, which happened between Java and Sumatra islands, was caused by the Anak Krakatau, an active volcano that has been erupting since June.

    Two theories have emerged about what caused the eruption: Either an underwater landslide or a spewing of molten lava caused the displacement. Experts say it is more likely that the wave was triggered by a landslide.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

    Villagers stand near a car damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The tsunami occurred after the eruption of a volcano around Indonesia's Sunda Strait during a busy holiday weekend, sending water crashing ashore and sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and people attending a beach concert.Villagers stand near a car damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The tsunami occurred after the eruption of a volcano around Indonesia's Sunda Strait during a busy holiday weekend, sending water crashing ashore and sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and people attending a beach concert.

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