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    Los Angeles' Christmas tree recycling program annually recycles up to 100,000 trees, according to the city.

    Here's what to know. 

    • The recycled trees are saved from ending up in a landfill and are turned into mulch and compost.
    • There are several options for Los Angeles residents to properly dispose of Christmas trees, including using their green bin, curbside or dropping off, officials said.
    • To use a green bin for Christmas tree recycling, residents need to remove the decorations and stand and, if needed, cut the tree into pieces.
    • Residents unable to cut and place their tree in their green bin may leave it at the curb on their weekly collection day.
    • Make sure to remove all ornaments and tinsel.

    Drop-Off Locations

    The following locations are accepting trees for one day only -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 6. Click here for a list of LA fire stations accepting trees until mid-January.

    • Los Angeles Zoo Parking Lot in Griffith Park: Near the 5 and 134 freeway interchange 
    • Baldwin Hills: Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, 5001 Rodeo Road
    • Encino: Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Boulevard
    • Rancho Park: Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2551 Motor Avenue
    • Sunland: Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Boulevard
    • Westchester: Westchester Municipal Building, 7166 West Manchester Avenue



    Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles

    A Christmas tree left for curbside pick-up in Los Angeles.A Christmas tree left for curbside pick-up in Los Angeles.

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    From a snowy scene in Big Bear to LA's sunny skies, see how Southern Californians celebrated Christmas 2018.

    Photo Credit: LASD

    Santa delivers gifts to children after dropping in from a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter.Santa delivers gifts to children after dropping in from a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter.

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    President Donald Trump on Tuesday became the first president since 2002 who didn't visit military personnel at Christmastime, NBC News reported.

    He took part in a long-running practice of presidents who called troops stationed around the country and the world on Christmas Day, but broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors. He did so in 2017, when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 21.

    Based on a check of NBC logs, President Barack Obama visited troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, every Christmas he was in office, from 2009 to 2016. President George W. Bush visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2008, according to a check of news releases. 



    Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP, File

    In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump meets retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. John Peck and his wife Jessica as Trump visits with wounded service members and their families during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Trump this year became the first president to not visit with troops at Christmastime since 2002.In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump meets retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. John Peck and his wife Jessica as Trump visits with wounded service members and their families during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Trump this year became the first president to not visit with troops at Christmastime since 2002.

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    Heavyweight contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 are looking for office space and on-the-ground staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, key early contest states, NBC News reported.

    But no major candidate has definitively signaled plans to jump run for the nomination — including the so-called "three Bs" topping some early polls, who have been all but absent in both states: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.

    While operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire expect activity to ramp up in January, there's been surprise at the slow start in states where presidential politics can be a full-time occupation.

    "The whole field has been in a staring contest to see who moves first. And there's a real hesitation for anyone sign on with a candidate now, because you don't know who else is going to get in," said Sean Bagniewski, chairman of Iowa's Polk County Democrats.

    Click here to see necn's New Hampshire candidate tracker.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    From left: Potential Democratic presidential contenders former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.From left: Potential Democratic presidential contenders former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.

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    A New York City police officer is being praised for his brave and restrained response when a group of intoxicated homeless men went after him inside a subway station, where the officer was working alone. 

    It happened late Sunday night, when a cop on a solo foot post inside the East Broadway subway station on the F line was told by a woman that she was being harassed by a group men inside the station, according to NYPD. 

    The officer approached the men, who were visibly intoxicated, and asked them to leave the station, police said. The men refused to leave and became combative, and started tussling with the cop, cellphone video taken by a bystander shows. 

    "Stand back. I don't want to hurt you," the cop shouted repeatedly at the men as they approached him, waving his baton at them. 

    The officer kicked one of the men to fend him off, and another tried to go after the officer -- but ended up tumbling onto the tracks, the video showed. Police said the officer requested power be turned off to the tracks and for backup to arrive. 

    The man was taken off the tracks, and the four others were taken into police custody.

    On Monday morning, Christmas Eve, officers returned to the same subway station and saw the men there again. They were taken into custody in local law violation of being outstretched in the station, police said. The district attorney has declined to prosecute the case, however, angering the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. 

    "Had it gone the other way, we might have had a seriously injured or dead police officer instead," said union president Patrick Lynch. "It's wrong that they were not charged for attacking him."

    Meanwhile, the officer seen in the video, Syed Ali, was honored by Brooklyn councilman Chaim Deutsch on Christmas Day for his "quick action to defend civilians and himself against five individuals attacking on a subway platform." 

    Deutsch said the officer showed restraint for not reaching for his gun. 

    Mayor de Blasio also tweeted praise for Ali's "extraordinary professionalism and bravery," and said the NYPD would increase its presence at the station.



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

    NYPD officer Syed Ali honored at the NYPD Transit Task Force in North BrooklynNYPD officer Syed Ali honored at the NYPD Transit Task Force in North Brooklyn

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    More than 58,000 people in Los Angeles County are spending Christmas on the street, with no roof over their heads, but one local artist is doing his part to brighten the day for those thousands of people in need.

    "Ain't nobody here but me," says "Rusty," sitting in his usual spot in the sun trying to warm up after another night sleeping under a bridge just east of downtown LA. 

    He adds, "Aw man, it gets cold under this bridge. Ain't nothing up there but iron, steel, cement."

    Rusty is a Vietnam veteran and has been living on the street for 18 years, but once a year at Christmas he get a visit from a special friend.

    "Hey, Merry Christmas, Rusty," a man known as "Skid Robot" says.

    Skid Robot is a street artist who prefers to remain anonymous. Each year during the holidays, he paints Christmas trees near homeless encampments around LA.

    "This is art in the sense of its true purpose of inspiring emotion and thoughts, rather than commercialism or marketing," the artist says. "I hope to continue to draw attention to the homeless crisis happening in our city."

    Skid Robot also brings Christmas presents to put beneath his graffiti trees.

    Rusty exclaims, "I got cookies, chips, toilet paper...everything!"

    Originally, Skid Robot gained fame on his Instagram page by painting graffiti scenes around homeless people: thought bubbles depicting dreams of riches; backgrounds of home environments; etc.

    Skid Robot says, "With each piece I painted and each homeless individual I met, I heard more stories, shared stories on Instagram and the world connected and gave someone a voice and people a bigger understanding of people living on the street."

    The street artist adds, "If you know a person's story, your heart and mind open up to their situation and you relate more on a human level. Through this art, I hope to inspire more compassion and empathy." 

    Rusty says that being alone on Christmas isn't easy, but Skid Robot reminds him that he's not forgotten.


    Street artist Skid Robot visits homeless in LA on Christmas on Dec. 25, 2018.Street artist Skid Robot visits homeless in LA on Christmas on Dec. 25, 2018.

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    Nearly 300 people were without power after a tree fell on power lines in the Hollywood Hills on Christmas night.

    About 290 customers were affected by a power outage on Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Gould Avenue in the Hollywood Hills West neighborhood Tuesday night due to a tree falling and knocking down power lines, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

    The power was expected to be fully restoryed by 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to LADWP.



    Photo Credit: KNBC

    A tree falls onto power lines on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, knocking down power for nearly 300 residents in the Hollywood Hills on Christmas night.A tree falls onto power lines on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, knocking down power for nearly 300 residents in the Hollywood Hills on Christmas night.

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    The Lakers won the battle, but may have lost the war.

    LeBron James was injured in the third quarter, and did not return, but the Los Angeles Lakers held on to defeat the Golden State Warriors, 127-101, on Christmas Day at Oracle Arena.

    James had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists when he appeared to injure his groin, reaching for a loose ball midway through the third quarter.

    "I was dribbling down the court and Draymond got his hand on the ball, and I went to get the loose ball and just overextended my groin," James told reporters of the play that injured him. "I felt it coming down the court, and I actually overextended it again on defense. It was just an unfortunate play."

    After a timeout, James told Lakers head athletic trainer, Marco Nunez, that he "heard a pop" in his groin, and immediately went to the locker room. James was diagnosed with a strained left groin and did not return to the game. 

    "I felt a pop, and saw if I could stretch it a few times and see if it would relieve, but it didn't," said James. "It's pretty rare for me to have an injury period. It happens."

    The Lakers were up by 14 points when James was injured, and the Warriors immediately went on an 11-0 run, cutting the lead to 78-76 with 2:48 left in the quarter.

    "I've played the Warriors long enough to know that they're going to make a run," said James. "They're going to make a run and you have to be able to punch back and we did that."

    Without their superstar on the floor, the Lakers rallied, taking the Warriors best punch and fighting back, extending the lead to nine by the end of the fourth quarter.

    "They took that punch really well," Warriors' forward Kevin Durant said following the loss. "Kuz [Kuzma] got them to the free throw line and they salvaged it a little bit, and they kept us at bay. They took that punch and just kept it moving."

    Rajon Rondo took over as the team's floor general in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers kept their foot on the gas, leading by as many as 31 points, before the Warriors waved the white flag and emptied their bench.

    "The group as a whole did a good job fighting back, but I thought Rondo and Lance Stephenson came into the game and gave us a big lift," Lakers head coach Luke Walton said to a group of reporters immediately after the game.

    James did not return to the court, and instead watched the remainder of the game from a trainer's table in the Lakers locker room. He was pleased with what he saw from his teammates in the fourth quarter and also attributed a lot of it to Rondo.

    "Rondo was gigantic in controlling the pace, getting to his spots or finding guys, and once again 'Big Zu' [Zubac] was huge for us on both sides of the court," said James.

    Andre Igoudala had a team-high 23 points off the bench to lead Golden State. Durant, playing on an injured left ankle, had 21 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Stephen Curry had 15 points, and Klay Thompson chipped in just five points.

    The "Fantastic Four" of Durant, Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, combined to shoot 14-for44 (31 percent) from the field in the loss. 

    "We've definitely been inconsistent with our play," said Durant. "We can definitely be better. They had a great game plan tonight. I thought we had a lot of great shots, we just didn't knock them down and it snowballed from there."

    In LeBron's absence, Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with a team-high 19 points. Ivica Zubac had another season-high with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and shot 9-of-10 (90 percent) from the field.

    "He was huge tonight, but he's been good in all three games he's started for us," Walton said of Zubac.

    Seven different Lakers scored in double-figures with Brandon Ingram scoring 14 points, Rajon Rondo adding 15 points and 10 assists, Josh Hart had 12, and Lance Stephenson scored 11 points off the bench. 

    "Obviously the narrative is LeBron and the Lakers," Hart told Spectrum SportsNet after the game. "We hope he's okay, but we've got a lot of good players…if he's down, its next man up. None of us are scared of the spotlight." 

    The Lakers snapped an 11-game losing streak at Oracle Arena, with their last victory on the Warriors' home floor occurring on Dec. 22, 2012. The win also snapped a seven-game skid overall with the Lakers beating the Warriors at Staples Center on March 6, 2016.

    Notes and Next

    Lakers center JaVale McGee missed his fifth consecutive game with a respitory infection and did not travel with the team. He was expected to get his 2017-2018 NBA Championship ring, but that ceremony will be delayed until the next time Los Angeles plays the Warriors.

    Tyson Chandler returned to the court after missing the last game with back spasms. The Lakers will travel to Sacramento for the first of a back-to-back on Thursday night against the Kings.

    Highlights



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

    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up to shoot and get fouled by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of their NBA Basketball game at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2018 in Oakland, California.LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up to shoot and get fouled by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of their NBA Basketball game at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2018 in Oakland, California.

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    More than two weeks since a street racing hit-and-run crash put two 9-year-old girls in critical condition, the pair spent Christmas at the hospital fighting to survive, while the search continues for one of the drivers.

    Ashley and Delila were on their way home from making holiday cookies when two cars street racing caused a major crash in South Los Angeles.

    On Christmas, their families opened presents at Harbor UCLA Medical Center as the mothers stay hopeful their little girls will recover.

    This isn't how best friends, Ashley and Delila, imagined they'd be spending their Christmas--wrapped in a festive blacket, in a holiday bed.

    "All I wanted was for my baby to wake up and be happy and opening gifts," Lety Garcia, Delila's mother, says.

    Ashley's mother, Jazmin Torres, has also been by her daughter's side since street racing crash. 

    "I want this to be over," Jazmin Torres said. "It's been two longs weeks, and we don't know how much longer it's going to take."

    Jazmin was driving the girls in south LA, turning from Florence Avenue onto Hoover Street, when she was hit by a black Chevy Camero that was racing a black Ford Mustang.

    The 39-year-old man behind the wheel of the Camero was arrested, but the driver in the Mustang left the scene.

    "You need to tell him to do what's right because my baby is pretty much fighting for her life and they're over there comfortable at home," Lety Garcia says.

    Delila had four surgeries and is still in the Intensive Care Unit with a brain injury. Ashley is improving slowly and went on her first wheelchair ride recently. Both families celebrated Christmas in the hospital.

    Both moms say they're staying hopeful they'll see their little girls heal and walk again.

    "I know that us encouraging her, reassuring her and praying and staying with faith is what's going to get my baby off that bed," Lety Garcia says.

    Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information on the driver of the Ford Mustang. If you know anything about the crime, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department.



    Photo Credit: Edwin Calderon

    Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on Dec. 25, 2018.Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on Dec. 25, 2018.

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    No one could be miffed if you're feeling extremely over nutmeg and clove and peppermint and nog.

    For some, the seasonal flavors that dominate December are true delights, and they leave the store shelves too soon.

    For others? A few tastes, and a couple of bites, and you're ready to move on to other edible experiences.

    So you're feeling finished with the festive spices and cookie-deep delights of the most decadent season? Miss the fruits you love in springtime? There's a way to connect with the most berryful stretch on the calendar, even over the holidays, and it doesn't involve dethroning the gingerbread cake in your kitchen.

    Rather, the annual Artwork Contest for the 36th annual California Strawberry Festival is bursting like a patch full of new fruit, right through the final weeks of December and first few days of January.

    The festival itself, which flowers in Oxnard on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, is still months away, but a visual that creatively encapsulates the spirit of the sweet celebration is now needed.

    Which means strawberry-obsessed artists should now fashion a fruit-tastic image, and enter it by a pinch before a minute to midnight on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

    There are specs to observe, when entering, so do read all of the requirements and rules at the festival site.

    If you win? Great pies, the prize is succulent: Two thousand bucks, plus VIP tickets to the springtime jamboree.

    Need inspiration? There's a gallery of past posters to peruse. Sweet.



    Photo Credit: California Strawberry Festival

    Have a luscious and sweet idea for a California Strawberry Festival poster? You could win two grand if chosen.Have a luscious and sweet idea for a California Strawberry Festival poster? You could win two grand if chosen.

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    Firefighters faced heavy smoke and intense head early Wednesday when they battled a fire at a metal shop in Orange.

    Two employees escaped the flames at Quality Aluminum Forge in the 800 block of North Cypress Street. The fire, reported at about 2:30 a.m., destroyed a building where aluminum aircraft parts and other metal products are manufactured.

    "This fire was so hot and the volume was so great... the firefighters can't even enter (the building)," said Capt. Ian MacDonald. "The roof is essentially destroyed."

    No injuries were reported.

    There are hazardous materials inside the building, but firefighters said water runoff from the firefight was not contaminated.

    Witnesses said the fire began when hydraulic oiled was spilled on a hot surface. The official cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

    "This could have easily been a fire that created injuries or a fatal fire... if everybody hadn't handled the situation safely," MacDonald said.



    Photo Credit: Southern Counties News

    Smoke rises from a metal shop fire Wednesday Dec. 26, 2018 in Orange.Smoke rises from a metal shop fire Wednesday Dec. 26, 2018 in Orange.

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    U.S. retailers expect to handle about $72 billion worth of holiday returns this year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation. That’s 10 percent of their total holiday sales.

    An analysis of current holiday return policies by ConsumerWorld.org, a consumer education website, finds that most major retailers are nice, and a few are even innovative.

    “My number one tip is to take back your return items in pristine condition with all the packaging and tags, and with a receipt or gift receipt,” Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of Consumer World, told NBC News BETTER. “Without proof of purchase, you may only get the lowest price the item has sold for in the past 90 days, or you might be offered nothing at all. Remember, there is no automatic right to return something, unless it’s defective.”

    Consumer World’s 15th annual Holiday Return Policy Survey highlights some unusual and noteworthy policies. Among them: Amazon will pay the return shipping on items purchased using Alexa; Target REDcard holders get 30 extra return days; Many retailers have shortened the holiday return window for Apple products to 15 days starting on Dec. 26. This matches Apple’s standard corporate return policy.



    Photo Credit: AP

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    New Year's Eve garners a lot of the accolades, the big buzz, and our horn-blowing, confetti-throwing attention, but what of New Year's Eve Eve?

    That is, of course, the 30th of December, each and every year.

    And while people devoted to celebrating every last occasion might mark the day in some way, the fact is this: Few of us do anything offbeat, zany, or party-like, knowing, as we do, that the next day will be all about the bubbly, the fancy clothes, and staying up late.

    But check it out: Dec. 30, 'round about Huntington Beach and Anaheim Hills, will boast something a little special, the kind of quirky thing that just might get people eating out in an especially fun mood.

    That special sweet? It's a Bacon Lava Cake, and two Slater's 50/50 locations will be giving slices away, on Sunday, Dec. 30, to anyone who shows, in-store, that they've downloaded the Slater's 50/50 app.

    That's it. This is a "no purchase required" deal, too, so yay to that.

    Intriguing? The list of the Bacon Lava Cake's ingredients. Those include a "dark chocolate molten cake topped with bacon caramel, vanilla ice cream, candied pecans, chocolate drizzle, and a thick slice of salted caramel smoked bacon."

    Resolutions? They're still a few days away. The place to find this cake-y creation, and show you've downloaded that Slater's 50/50 app?

    Again, Huntington Beach and Anaheim Hills.

    Happy New Year's Eve Eve, seekers of surreal sweets and 'gram-ready goodies.



    Photo Credit: Slater's 50/50

    Mark your calendar for the day before New Year's Eve, lovers of decadent desserts.Mark your calendar for the day before New Year's Eve, lovers of decadent desserts.

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    A man died at the hospital Wednesday after he was rescued from a burning home in South Gate.

    The fire was reported at 2:49 a.m. in the 10,000 block of San Vicente Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Imy McBride said. Firefighters responded to a report of a gas odor in the area.

    They arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the single-story home.

    The flames were put out at 3:38 a.m., she said.  

    A cause was not immediately determined. Firefighters said the home was cluttered with items, describing the interior as pack rat conditions. 

    Neighbors said the victim, a man in his 70s, lived alone at the home. 



    Photo Credit: RMG

    Smoke rises from a house fire Wednesday Dec. 26, 2018 in South Gate.Smoke rises from a house fire Wednesday Dec. 26, 2018 in South Gate.

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    Space fans had plenty to celebrate in 2018, including the launch of three new NASA missions and the debut of SpaceX’s giant Falcon Heavy rocket. In case you missed any of the action, here are particularly noteworthy space stories, according to NBC News MACH.

    NASA’s InSight lander arrived at Mars on Nov. 26 after a six-month journey of more than 300 million miles. The dramatic landing was NASA’s first on Mars since 2012.

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend about a year surveying and mapping the 1,600-foot-wide asteroid. The spacecraft had already detected water on the space rock — a discovery that lends support to the idea that asteroids and comets could have brought water to Earth.

    SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy booster nailed its maiden flight on Feb. 6. The rocket, which is designed to carry astronauts to the moon and Mars, can lift a heavier payload than any American rocket since NASA’s Saturn V, the behemoth booster that ferried Apollo astronauts to the moon half a century ago.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    In this image provided by NASA, Mars InSight team members Kris Bruvold, left, and Sandy Krasner rejoice, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, inside the Mission Support Area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., after receiving confirmation that the Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)In this image provided by NASA, Mars InSight team members Kris Bruvold, left, and Sandy Krasner rejoice, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, inside the Mission Support Area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., after receiving confirmation that the Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

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    New laws are coming to California.

    On Jan. 1, laws regarding minimum wage, workplace harassment, driving, public health and safety, transportation and other subjects go into effect.

    Below, a look at some of the most relevant laws.

    Employment and the Workplace

    • SB 3, Minimum Wage Increase: Workers in companies with 25 or fewer employees will have a salary increase of $10.50 to $11. At companies with more than 25 employees, the increase will be $11 to $12. This law was approved in 2016 and will continue until the minimum wage reaches $15.
    • AB 1066, Overtime for Agricultural Workers: Under AB 1066, agricultural workers will receive an overtime payment in their salaries. This regulation will slowly increase the wages for extra hours for agricultural employees over a period of four years. Changes begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for employers who hire more than 25 employees.
    • SB 946, Street Vendors: The law, passed in 2018, protects the activity of street vendors in the state and allows them to sell on the streets. However, under this measure, local authorities will have the power to establish regulations based on aspects of health, safety and public welfare.
    • AB 2770, Protection Against Lawsuits in Cases of Harassment Complaints This new law protects victims of sexual harassment and employers from being sued for defamation by the alleged harasser in cases of a complaint of sexual harassment and while the employer conducts your internal investigation.
    • SB 820, Confidentiality Agreements: This measure prohibits confidentiality agreements in cases of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination that are signed as of Jan. 1, 2019, unless the claimant requests the inclusion of the provision.
    • SB 1300, Waiver of Legal Claims: This workplace law prohibits employers from forcing new employees or those seeking raises to waive their right to file legal claims. However, employees could still waive those rights as part of an agreement, such as in cases for compensation packages.
    • AB 1976, Breastfeeding at Work: This legislation requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place for breastfeeding that is not a bathroom.

    Health and the Environment

    • AB 1884, Straws at the Customer's Request: California restaurants will only provide straws or plastic straws to customers who request it. Restaurants may receive fines if they do not comply with this legislation.
    • SB 1192, Beverages for Children: Restaurants in California may only serve water or milk without flavor in children's meals that combine a food with a drink. Clients can order it if they wish.
    • AB 626, Home Cooking as a Microenterprise: Allows cities and counties to authorize and regulate the sale of home-made foods.
    • AB 485, Sale of Pets: Prohibits the sale of breeding dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and requires that these animals be obtained from animal shelters or rescue groups.

    Public Safety

     

    • AB 748, Police Transparency: Requires that the images of body cameras on police officers and any other audio recording acquired by a police agency be disclosed to the public. This must be done within 45 days after a police shooting or excessive force causes death or injury to a person.
    • SB 1421, Police Transparency: Allows public access to police records in cases of force, as well as investigations that confirmed the lack of honesty in the work or sexual misconduct.
    • SB 1391, Juvenile Justice: Requires that juveniles ages 14 and 15 accused of crimes be tried in the juvenile justice system instead of being prosecuted as adults.
    • SB 1200, Gun Control: Eliminates fees for requesting a Firearms Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) and adds ammunition and bullet drums to the list of items related to firearms that can be confiscated.

     

    For a look at some of the new DMV laws going into effect in 2019, click here



    Photo Credit: Jonathan Lloyd/NBC4

    The history of the official flag of California dates to 1846, when California was still a territory of Mexico. A group of settlers took over the Mexican garrison at Sonoma, where they raised the hastily designed flag featuring a grizzly bear and lone star. California was declared a state four years later, but the flag was not adopted by the State Legislature until 1911.The history of the official flag of California dates to 1846, when California was still a territory of Mexico. A group of settlers took over the Mexican garrison at Sonoma, where they raised the hastily designed flag featuring a grizzly bear and lone star. California was declared a state four years later, but the flag was not adopted by the State Legislature until 1911.

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    It's calculator time, Pasadenaphiles.

    Which is the larger? The number of petals adorning a Rose Parade float or the number a questions a person visiting Pasadena during the Tournament of Roses might entertain?

    Well, let's not be too unreal here: Number one is the answer, for those floats are positively doused in delightful bits of blossom.

    But people calling upon the Crown City during its busiest week, and even people who live in Southern California and even Pasadena, do indeed have questions about where to eat, be entertained, to shop, and such.

    For all of this, there is the Pasadena Pop-up Shop and Visitors Center, which is open now, at 59 E. Colorado Boulevard. And there it shall stay open, Tuesday through Sunday, with a wrap date of Sunday, Jan. 5.

    Oh yes: It'll shutter on New Year's Day, keep in mind, which is rather a busy day 'round Colorado Boulevard, which you already know.

    As for what's found inside the temporary one-stop swing-by for tourists and locals alike?

    Look for "exclusive merchandise" for purchase like "Pasadena-branded mugs, water bottles, tote bags, and more."

    Helpful representatives will also be standing by, all to guide you to great restaurants, historic things to see, and other Pas-tastic pastimes around the area.

    The hours each day are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., giving you loads of time to decorate a float, if you're volunteering for that, or to visit a Rose-related event, like Bandfest presented by Remo.

    While this is the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Center's inaugural pop-up shop, check it out: The long-running Pasadena Visitor Hotline has been around for 35 years.

    So if you need a question answered over the horn, answer-having representatives are standing by to chat about all things Pasadena.

    But if you're actually within the borders of Crown Town? And want to stock up on the local merch? Lucky you, but best swing by 59 E. Colorado Boulevard, before Jan. 5, 2019.



    Photo Credit: Pasadena CVB

    Wild for Pasadena? Visiting the Crown City during the Tournament of Roses? Call upon a Colorado Boulevard-based pop-up shop and visitors center, to peruse Pas-tastic buyables and get local info, through Jan. 5.Wild for Pasadena? Visiting the Crown City during the Tournament of Roses? Call upon a Colorado Boulevard-based pop-up shop and visitors center, to peruse Pas-tastic buyables and get local info, through Jan. 5.

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    We'd never dare paint all ponies with a giant brush, but we can say one thing, about most horses, that is fairly true.

    They're on the move. They've got places to be. They're going to put one hoof down, and then another, all to get to some near or far destination, and they're going to do so in prompt pony fashion.

    And, when they're in a parade? You can definitely count on every horse you spy to be laying tracks, creating distance, and heading for the end of the route in a stately but dedicated manner.

    Such is the case with the Rose Parade, the iconic New Year's Day event that famously features a number of equine-amazing participants.

    But those horses and their riders are fully "trot-forward" during the parade, all to make sure everyone watching along the route gets to enjoy these splendid and regal animals.

    There is a way, however, to spend significantly more time enjoying these mane-rocking rock stars, and even see some of the horses from a pettable distance.

    It all happens at Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo, an annual celebration that will again canter into the Los Angeles Equesterian Center for a few hours of equine-sublime showmanship on Saturday, Dec. 29.

    The day's activities include the noontime show, as well as the way-cool chance to "stroll through the stables," oh yeah. 

    Learning about tack? Watching some displays of trick riding? Visiting the on-site food and drink vendors? Meeting riders? Savoring the live tunes?

    All quite possible, and enjoyable, during one of our region's horse-iest happenings. 

    A happening that, yes, takes place outside of Pasadena, a rarity for a Tournament of Roses event, but ultimately not too far beyond the Crown City's borders.

    Find your $15 ticket through Sharp Seating Company, then giddy up, for 480 W. Riverside Drive in Burbank, on the final Saturday of December 2018.



    Photo Credit: Tournament of Roses

    You'll see these pretty ponies on Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day, but there's a way to find horsey happiness ahead of the Rose Parade, in Burbank, on Dec. 29.You'll see these pretty ponies on Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day, but there's a way to find horsey happiness ahead of the Rose Parade, in Burbank, on Dec. 29.

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    President Donald J. Trump traveled to Iraq Christmas night, according to the White House, his first visit to U.S. troops in a war zone and a day after facing criticism for failing to spend time with any military personnel on Christmas Day.

    Trump, who was accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, had been derided by his critics for not visiting troops in a combat zone, particularly after he canceled a trip to an American military burial ground outside of Paris because of bad weather. Two days later, he skipped a Veterans Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

    Trump defended his decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. forces from Syria where they have been fighting Islamic State militants.

    "We're no longer the suckers, folks," Trump told American servicemen and women at a base in western Iraq, according to The Associated Press. "We're respected again as a nation."

    Trump spent three hours on the ground with the troops. Air Force One flew overnight from Washington, landing at an airbase west of Baghdad in darkness Wednesday evening, The AP wrote.

    Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Trump visited the troops and senior military leadership “to thank them for their service, their success and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.”

    There had been chatter on Twitter about a possible trip after Air Force One was spotted over Europe.

    Trump’s visit follows his controversial Syria announcement just before Christmas, a decision that his opponents said could endanger Kurdish allies who have been fighting ISIS there. Secretary of Defense James Mattis abruptly submitted his resignation in a letter that lambasted Trump’s worldview and treatment of allies.

    Trump, in remarks to reporters on Wednesday, said he had “no plans at all” to remove U.S. troops from Iraq. About his decision to leave Syria, saying, "A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking," according to Reuters.

    "I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds," Trump told troops at al-Asad Airbase west of Baghdad, according to AP. If ISIS were to have a resurgence, the troops in Iraq would be able to combat it, he said.

    Troop said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to take out "any remnants" of IS left in Syria, AP wrote.

    He said that he was in no hurry to name a replacement for Mattis, and that the planned acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan “could be there for a long time,” Reuters reported.

    "I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It's time for us to start using our head," Reuters reported that the president said.

    The president and first lady got a standing ovation when they walked into a dining hall, and greeted troops, took selfies and signed autographs. Trump is to visit other U.S. troops at Ramstein Air Base in German on his way back to Washington, D.C.

    On the government shutdown, Trump said he was prepared to wait for “whatever it takes” to get border security, Reuters reported. 

    The visit also came as The New York Times revived questions about Trump avoidance of the Vietnam War draft after finding the daughters of a doctor who diagnosed the bone spurs that kept him from combat. They suggested he made the diagnosis as a favor to Trump’s father, Fred, though the doctor left no medical records with his family. The White House has not responded to written questions.

    Last year, Trump visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.



    Photo Credit: Sarah Huckabee Sanders/White House
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    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit soldiers on Christmas night, as seen in a photo released by the press secretary, on Dec. 25, 2018.President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit soldiers on Christmas night, as seen in a photo released by the press secretary, on Dec. 25, 2018.

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    The former CEO of a drug company that produced a powerful and addictive painkiller containing fentanyl for cancer patients has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a scheme in which the firm's leaders bribed doctors in return for their prescribing the drug, court documents filed Wednesday show.

    Michael Babich, a former president and CEO of the Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics Inc., producer of the drug Subsys, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of mail fraud for his role in the alleged conspiracy, according to court documents.

    As NBC News reported, Insys executives allegedly defrauded insurance companies through their actions because the insurance providers made payments to doctors without knowledge of the bribes and kickbacks, according to court documents filed by the Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. 

    "The bribes and kickbacks took multiple forms," the prosecutor's motion filed Wednesday states. Babich and other company executives allegedly paid doctors fees that were purportedly for speaking engagements. They also allegedly hired and paid the salaries of some office staff for "certain targeted practitioners."


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