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    Firefighters on ladder trucks surrounded a burning building to knock down a fire early Friday morning in an industrial area south of downtown Los Angeles.

    A bright flash, possibly from an electrical explosion, from inside the building bathed the area in the 1800 block of East 41st Street in Vernon with bright light. The fire was reported at about 6 a.m.

    Details about the business were not immediately available.

    Part of the building collapsed and firefighters reported downed power lines. Aerial video showed firefighters spraying water from at least four ladder trucks. 

    There were no reports of injuries. Details about how the fire started were not immediately available.

    The fire was knocked down about an hour later. Firefighters expected to be on scene during the morning, watching for hot spots. 



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A flash, possibly from an electrical explosion, lights up the area around a burning business early Friday in Vernon.A flash, possibly from an electrical explosion, lights up the area around a burning business early Friday in Vernon.

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    Two people were killed and three others injured Friday morning in a wrong-way crash on a Southern California freeway.

    The collision on the northbound 5 Freeway near the transition to the northbound 14 Freeway in Newhall was reported at about 3:30 a.m. It appears the driver of a black Honda Accord, headed south in northbound lanes, might have been intoxicated when it collided with other vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol 

    Firefighters determined some patients needed to be freed from the wreckage, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The three injured victims were hospitalized -- one in grave condition, another in critical condition and the third with non-life-threatening injuries, Stewart said.

    The ages and genders of the patients were unknown.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A wrong-way fatal crash occurred early Friday Dec. 28, 2018 near the 5 and 14 freeways.A wrong-way fatal crash occurred early Friday Dec. 28, 2018 near the 5 and 14 freeways.

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    Greeting the Year of the Pig?

    So many tradition-laden, activity-filled, parade-happy celebrations are ahead in the coming weeks, around Southern California, for sure.

    But waiting isn't necessary, if you're already in the auspicious and festive mindset that the Lunar New Year can so famously deliver.

    There is, on New Year's Day, a wonderful way to dip into the excitement and promise of all that the coming year will kindly deliver, in Little Tokyo, at the annual Oshogatsu Festival.

    The family festival promises "... an energetic day full of live entertainment, traditional food vendors, music, and more!" 

    It's free, too, so simply make your way to Weller Court, Japanese Plaza, and Frances Hashimoto Plaza to enjoy live performances aplenty.

    And we do mean "aplenty," and how: Taiko drums, lion dances, a sake-breaking ceremony, and martial arts demonstrations are all on the roster, in addition to folk dance presentations.

    Other happenings'll be abloom around the historic neighborhood on Tuesday, Jan. 1, including mochi pounding and peeks at the beautiful art of calligraphy.

    And if you'd like to keep the optimistic, hello-new-year-esque happenings going, look to the Japanese-American National Museum, on Sunday, Jan. 6. 

    The museum will host its own Oshogatsu Family Festival, in honor of the Year of the Boar, with free admission, plus "crafts, food, cultural activities, and performances!"

    Be steeped in the sweetnesses and sights of Oshogatsu, and its community-close traditions, performances, and foods, as the first few days of 2019 grandly roll out.



    Photo Credit: Go Little Tokyo

    The annual Oshogatsu Festival will embrace the joys, hopes, and fun of all that's to come. Join in, on New Year's Day, at a number of locations around Little Tokyo.The annual Oshogatsu Festival will embrace the joys, hopes, and fun of all that's to come. Join in, on New Year's Day, at a number of locations around Little Tokyo.

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    If you're a post-sundown yawner, the kind of person who begins to stretch and long for a pair of pjs even as the last fingers of daylight spread across the sky, you know what it can be to wait up and welcome the new year.

    It can be tough. It can be a challenge. And if you have kids, who also just might be on the yawny side, like you, it almost isn't a possibility to make it to midnight.

    And, of course, a lot of families want to stick to a bedtime schedule, making a midnight revelry an absolute no-go.

    There is a do-go, though, on Dec. 31, and it happens at Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena.

    The words "Year's Eve" are in the name of the event, but don't start yawning just yet: "Noon" is the first word, which means, yes, this year-welcoming party happens a full half day ahead of when the new year actually gets here.

    The celebration is actually over five hours long, with a 9:30 a.m. start time and a 3 o'clock wrap, but the much-anticipated balloon drop happens, yes, at noon on the dot.

    Your tot can don a party hat, and wield a noisemaker, all to get into that classic NYE vibe.

    Also upping the vibe? A pair of DJs, so plan for the fam to put in a few festive dances during the day.

    Yes, "day," because Noon Year's Eve doesn't happen after dark, or anywhere in the vicinity of midnight. So no yawns here, unless a nap might be missed or postponed: There's a way to say "howdy" to 2019, kids and grown-ups, too, without missing a beat.

    Or, yes, sleep.

    Arriving early? So important, since this event is super-popular, not to mention incredibly adjacent to all of the pre-New Year's Rose Bowl activity. Details, tickets, and more merriment can be found at the Kidspace site.

    Happy Noon Year!



    Photo Credit: Kidspace Children's Museum

    A balloon drop when the sun is high? That'll be the scene at the Pasadena-based educational museum on Monday, Dec. 31.A balloon drop when the sun is high? That'll be the scene at the Pasadena-based educational museum on Monday, Dec. 31.

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    Sending along the old year? Making it vamoose? Waving your hands, ceremonially in the passing year's direction, all to make sure it hurries through the doorway of Time in a timely manner?

    There are ways to get the previous 365 days moving, from the traditional songs that help to sing it goodbye to foods that will expedite its exit.

    But surely one of the most dependable and delightful ways to brush off the past and embrace the future is by having some fun, packing in the cackles, and getting your guffaw on via a form that's been tested and proven priceless.

    We're talking about classic screwball comedies here, the cinematic favorites of days gone by, the har-de-har happy-makers that pew-pew-pew the jokes, one after the other, all to keep audiences in stitches.

    As is end-of-the-year tradition, American Cinematheque will be rolling several of those side-splitters out, as 2018 ta-tas and 2019 ta-das.

    On deck at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica?

    "It Happened One Night" on Dec. 29, "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" on Dec. 30, and, of course, the Marx Brothers on New Year's Day (the 2019 welcomer is "Duck Soup").

    Andy Marx, grandson of Groucho, will be in attendance at the Jan. 1 matinee.

    We say "of course" because American Cinematheque has ever-so-awesomely been screwballing up the lives of Southern Californians at this time of year for several years.

    It's a good and gleeful way to go, as far as handing the old year its hat and meeting the new year as it pulls into the driveway.

    Tickets, times, and such? Screwballies of SoCal, laff it up now, right here.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Kick off 2019 with Chico, Zeppo, Groucho and Harpo, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.Kick off 2019 with Chico, Zeppo, Groucho and Harpo, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

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    Jairo Morales just couldn't say no to that face, especially on Christmas Eve.

    Morales was taking his own dog for a walk Monday when he noticed a small dog limping in the street. He noticed the dog was a Shih Tzu -- just like his dog, Princess. 

    "She had mud all over her face -- she was dirty," said Morales. "She came running immediately and limping.

    "When I saw her, I saw my own dog's face. I didn't have the heart to leave her there, just on the street." 

    Morales' compassion for the lonely little dog set in motion a chain of events that brightened the holidays for a Valencia family.

    He scooped her up, took her home and, with animal services closed for the holiday, spent Christmas Day with the dog and Princess. He even gave her a red collar.

    The next day, Morales took the dog to Roxford Veterinary Clinic to see whether she had a microchip -- a chip about the size of a grain of rice that's injected between a dog's shoulder blades. Each chip has a code that's entered in a national database, allowing animal organizations and vet clinics with scanners to locate owners.

    "I grabbed the (chip) scanner, and as soon as I lifted that scanner close to the dog's body it went off," said Tania Hernandez, a vet assistant at the clinic.

    They had just solved the mystery of Shawnee -- a dog who vanished from the Culberhouse family's home about four years earlier. The family was in Arizona when they learned their dog had been found, but they turned around, stopping at their hotel to collect their belongings before heading home. 

    "The moment they answered the phone, I said I was calling about my dog that was found," said Joyce Culberhouse. "They knew her name, and they knew my name. We knew they had actually found her microchip and they had her."

    Another clinic employee kept Shawnee until at her home, texting photos to the family during their drive back to Southern California. The happy reunion was captured on video.

    "She is a Christmas miracle, and so is Jairo for bringing her to us," said Hernandez.

    The Culberhouses said they aren't sure where Shawnee was for the past four years, but added that they didn't give up hope. 

    "I just had to keep the faith that she was alive, she was out there, and she was waiting for me to find her," said Culberhouse.

    Morales said he was pleased to help provide the family with a beloved gift. 

    "It was just nice know that after so many years, they were finally able to have their connection again," said Morales.

    Click here to learn more about microchipping services.



    Photo Credit: Culberhouse Family

    Shawnee the Shih Tzu was missing for nearly four years before she crossed paths with a dog walker who wasn't about to leave her alone on Christmas Eve.Shawnee the Shih Tzu was missing for nearly four years before she crossed paths with a dog walker who wasn't about to leave her alone on Christmas Eve.

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    The jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has reached $370 million after no tickets matched all six numbers in Tuesday night's lottery.

    Mega Millions said Friday night's jackpot is the largest prize ever offered on the last draw day of any year since the game began in 2002.  

    With no winners on the Christmas Day drawing, the jackpot climbed to an estimated $370 million. The jackpot refers to the annuity option, in which payments are made over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which would be $223.2 million.

    This year produced a major milestone for Mega Millions, as the game crossed the billion dollar threshold for the first time in 2018 with a record $1.537 billion jackpot on Oct. 23. Just one winning ticket was sold in South Carolina for that drawing; the ticket-holder has not yet come forward.

    Four other jackpots have been won in 2018: $451 million on Jan. 5 (Florida), $533 million on March 30 (New Jersey), $142 million on May 4 (Ohio) and $543 million on July 24 (California).

    The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.

    Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The next drawing will be held Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 p.m. ET.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Mega MillionsMega Millions

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    A man who served as a head pastor at several Southern California churches faces child molestation charges, police said Friday. 

    John Rodgers McFarland, 66, was arrested on Dec. 18 by Escondido police officers on suspicion of sexually abusing a girl. 

    He's accused of two felony charges of lewd act upon a child that occurred between July 26, 2012 and July 23, 2013, according to a criminal complaint provided by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. The child is identified in the complaint as a girl under the age of 14. 

    McFarland has worked and lived in the Orange County area so law enforcement authorities believe there may be additional victims, according to Gloria Scott with the Fountain Valley Police Department. 

    Investigators executed search warrants at McFarland's home and the churches where he is currently employed as well as those where he was previously employed. 

    McFarland has been the pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, Calif. since 2014. Prior to that, he served as the head pastor of Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years, police said. 

    He also served as a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014. 

    "There is evidence that McFarland abused other victims during his time as a pastor in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach," Fountain Valley police said in a news release.

    McFarland worked as a chaplain within the Fountain Valley Police Department from 1993 to 2014, according to Sgt. Antonius Spangler. 

    Anyone who has information regarding this case can call Detective Scott with the Fountain Valley Police Department at (714) 593-4480 and mention Incident #18-44828.

    McFarland has a court hearing scheduled for Jan. 16 in San Diego Superior Court.

    This is a developing story.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7/Fountain Valley Police Department

    A photo of John Rodgers McFarland was provided by Fountain Valley Police Department.A photo of John Rodgers McFarland was provided by Fountain Valley Police Department.

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    "Queen of Funk" Chaka Khan is set to perform the opening number for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in addition to being the grand marshal. Parade officials say this is the first time in recent history that a grand marshal has pulled double duty on the big day.

    Khan tells us she's excited about both opportunities but doesn't really know what to expect. She also says she'll be performing the second song on her yet untitled new album, called "Hello Happiness." Her first song "Like Sugar" has more than 6 million views on YouTube.

    Her career spans nearly five decades in the music business. She won two Grammys in 2008 including best R&B album for "Funk This" and best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals for "Disrespectful" with with Mary J. Blige.

    But she's perhaps best known for her earlier work, including 1974's "Tell Me Something Good" with Rufus and her solo single, "I Feel for You" from 1984.

    Khan says her grandsons Jett and Josh Khan-Corley will be performing with her during the opening number and she's really looking forward to it. There's no word yet on what kind of car she will ride in for the parade route.

    The 5 1/2-mile Rose Parade route begins at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena. The parade travels north on Orange Grove Blvd. at a leisurely 2 1/2-mile per hour pace and then turns east onto Colorado Blvd., where the majority of the parade viewing takes place. Near the end of the route, the parade turns north onto Sierra Madre Blvd. and concludes at Villa St.


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    Pause and point a source of illumination, say a flashlight or a flickering bulb, in the direction of some snow.

    Would you say that the surface of the cold stuff glitters? Shimmers? Kind of does a combo thing, a sort of glimmer?

    It's quite the sight, however you choose to describe it, and it is one often seen by people visiting higher elevation destinations in the wintertime.

    But there are few glimmer-tastic experiences to match the traditional torchlight parade, the down-the-mountain procession seen at many ski resorts around the holidays.

    Specifically, and most usually, and highly festively, on New Year's Eve.

    Snow Summit near Big Bear will honor this long-running, resort-based tradition, as it has for the last 54 years, with a Torchlight Parade on Monday, Dec. 31. 

    Around "... 200+ skiers and snowboarders" are expected to "... light up the night as they make their way down the mountain in the dark," all to create a magical snake-y line of lovely glow.

    Described as a "spellbinding spectacle of light," the Torchlight Parade isn't a midnight thing, or even one that happens later in the evening; it'll all begin right around 7:45, giving spectators time to return to whatever at-home celebration they've got planned.

    But if you haven't got plans back at home, be sure to stick around for more merriment. Look for a live performance by Digital Underground, a bubbly toast, a bounce house, a photo booth, and other celebratory stuff to glimmer and shimmer around the mountain-pretty location.

    The fun'll keep fun-ing on, right through to midnight.

    And, yep, the lifts'll be running earlier in the day, at Snow Summit, if you want to arrive in the morning for some schussing, before the illuminating eveningtime to-do.



    Photo Credit: BBMR

    It's been a mountain-shimmery holiday sight for well over a half century. See it for yourself, but bundle up first, on Monday evening, Dec. 31 at around 7:45 in the evening.It's been a mountain-shimmery holiday sight for well over a half century. See it for yourself, but bundle up first, on Monday evening, Dec. 31 at around 7:45 in the evening.

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    It must be wine o'clock. 

    Lakers superstar LeBron James arrived to Staples Center in style on Friday night for the Lakers game against the Clippers. 

    James appeared out of the underground parking lot at the arena in a black sports coat with a white hoodie underneath. In his left hand, he held a glass of red wine in a tumbler. 

    James is out with a left groin strain injury that is expected to sideline the superstar for at least a few games. He's officially listed as "day-to-day" by the team.

    After routing the two-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day in a game James didn't return the Lakers lost their first full game without their floor general 117-116 on a last second buzzer beater to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

    James streak of 156 consecutive games played (regular season and postseason) was snapped, and 14-time NBA All-Star did not make the trip to Sacramento.

    After his arrival, James sat at the end of the Lakers bench, cheering on his teammates during the game known as the NBA's "Battle for LA," between the two Staples Center co-tenants.



    Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/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 arrives to their game. James showed up to Staples Center on Friday, December 28, 2018 with a glass of wine.LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers arrives to their game. James showed up to Staples Center on Friday, December 28, 2018 with a glass of wine.

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    A new DUI prevention law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019 that will require convicted drunk drivers to install a breathalyzer-connected device to their vehicles.

    The ignition interlock device connects to a breathalyzer and will prevent a car from starting if a convicted drunk driver is intoxicated, according to the law. 

    "This device measures the alcohol in the driver's breath. It will prevent the vehicle from starting unless the driver is sober," Assemblymember Todd Gloria said. 

    A DUI offender, who will be required to sustain the approximately $3 a day cost of the device, will not be able to retain their driving privileges without using the ignition interlock for a period of 12 to 48 months. 

    These regulations apply to DUI infractions involving alcohol consumption or the combined use of alcohol and drugs.

    First offenders who don't cause any injuries can choose six months of the ignition interlock or a restricted license for one year. Second offenders and first offenders who injure others are both mandated to use the device for one year. For three-time offenders, the device is mandatory for two years, while four-or-more-time offenders must use the device for three years.

    Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1046, authored by State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), into law in 2016 after it passed through the state legislature with bipartisan support; the ignition interlock bill did not receive any "no" votes. 

    A four-state pilot program followed to test device and its efficiency, which resulted in a 74 percent decrease in DUI recidivism and was ultimately why the law was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to Gloria. 

    Lawmakers and enforcement officers in San Diego used the upcoming New Year's Eve holiday to remind drivers of the new law and to encourage drivers not to drink and drive while celebrating. 

    "The offender makes the decision whether to drive or not, so any decision that will make that decision for them, to me, is a great device that will help support our roadways being safe," San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit said. 


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    Retail pet stores will only be able to sell kittens, rabbits, and puppies if they come from a rescue organization after a new state law goes into effect Tuesday.

    With AB 485, California becomes the first state to implement such strict new rules on pet stores. Retailers are banned from selling live dogs, cats or rabbits unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, humane society group, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter or a rescue group that’s in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter.

    Chief of Humane Law Enforcement Steve MacKinnon works with the San Diego Humane Society.

    Retail pet stores have traditionally been one way pets raised inhumanely find their way to unsuspecting owners, MacKinnon said.

    Suna and Mitch Kentdotson were visiting the SD Humane Society to adopt a new kitten on Friday.

    They would like to see the state restrict neglectful breeders from profiting off the sale of puppies and kittens.

    “I think it’s better to rescue these animals instead of having like a puppy mill or something like that where these animals are raised super inhumanely," Suna said.

    “It takes the emphasis off the profit of animals and puts the emphasis back on caring for and getting these cats and dogs a good home," Mitch said.

    San Diego County has a few retail pet stores left including Broadway Puppies in Escondido, which has a sister store in National City.

    According to the company’s website, they only use responsible licensed breeders. Come Tuesday, they'll only be able to sell pets from shelters.

    The Humane Society said they haven't been contacted by any local retail pet stores inquiring about the purchase of their animals. Even if they were, they’re not sure they would partner with them.

    "We're not prepared to do that ourselves, because we have a fairly robust adoption program," MacKinnon said.

    The organization sent letters to all local stores reminding them of the new law.

    The new law does not impact the sale of dogs, cats, or rabbits from breeders.

    The San Diego Humane Society will be one of the local organizations monitoring retail pet stores to make sure they follow the new rules.


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    The Clippers currently own Staples Center, the Lakers are just leasing.

    Lou Williams scored 36 points and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated their roommates, the Los Angeles Lakers, 118-107, on Friday night at Staples Center.

    It was the first meeting between the two co-tenants, and the shorthanded Lakers struggled in the fourth quarter without their superstar for the second straight game.

    The Lakers led by as many as ten points in the second half, but the Clippers went on a 22-0 run to end the third quarter and start the fourth quarter, as they took a commanding 16-point lead with less than five minutes remaining.

    "We were just a little sluggish," Williams said. "We were just a step slow. We knew they were on a back-to-back, but for whatever reason, we just weren't playing our best until we put a good stretch together in the third and then busted the game wide open in the fourth."

    Williams, a former Laker, scored 23 points in the second half, but it was the Clippers defense that clamped down on the young Lakers on the longest unanswered scoring run in the NBA this season.

    "We put the bulldogs on the floor, and the fight was amazing," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers of his defensive unit featuring Patrick Beverly, Montrezl Harrell, Avery Bradley, Sindarious Thornwell and Williams.

    "They were more aggressive than us," said Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball. "They've got some big guys on that team, they're older, and I think they tried to punk us."

    LeBron James missed his second consecutive game with a strained left groin, and the youthful Lakers once again were unable to close out a game with a double-digit lead in the second half.

    The Lakers relinquished a 15-point lead in the final seven minutes of Thursday night's loss to the Sacramento Kings.

    Despite their blowout over the two-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, the Lakers have lost five of their last seven games, and fallen into seventh in the Western Conference standings.

    Kyle Kuzma once again led the Lakers with a team-high 24 points in the loss.

    Ball had 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists, and Brandon Ingram had 17 points.

    The Clippers lead the NBA in bench scoring and that's mostly in part to Williams who had a game-high 36 off the bench. In total, the Clips' bench scored 71 points, more than all five starters combined (47).

    Montrezl Harrell chipped in 12 points for the Clippers and grabbed four rebounds as he continues to be a source of energy and excitement off the bench for L.A. 

    "His energy and his toughness, he knows his niche with each group," said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers about his undersized power forward. "When he plays with the second group, he knows exactly how to play with those guys. He has kind of figured it out, it is nice."

    The Lakers are last in the NBA in free throw percentage, and their Achille's heel was prominent again on Friday night, as the Lake Show finished 24-for-35 from the line for a paltry 68 percent. 

    Los Angeles has now lost 22 of their last 25 games against the Clippers. 

    Notes and Next

    LeBron James missed the game with a left groin strain, but was sitting at the end of the bench in street clothes. Rajon Rondo underwent successful surgery on his right ring finger to repair a torn ligament. JaVale McGee missed his seventh consecutive game with a respiratory infection. Lakers guard Josh Hart was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter after picking up two technical fouls.

    The Lakers will get a rematch with the Sacramento Kings, when they look to avenge Thursday's loss at Staples Center.

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



    Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

    Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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    A boat parade in Newport Beach took an unexpected turn Friday night when a man attempted to steal a million dollar yacht, and it was all caught on camera.

    The owner of the boat, Dick Peckham, had plans of hosting a party for over 20 guests when he received a call notifying him that someone was erratically driving the boat and was being followed by police.

    “Somebody’s obviously taken the boat,” he said.

    Witness Justin Aveni caught the wild water ride on camera and allowed Peckham to hitch a ride on the boat to try to stop the thief.

    “Anything could happen at that point,” Aveni said. “At that moment, its kinda a surreal thing when you look back at what could have happened.”

    Newport Beach Police and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies quickly took control of the situation and arrested the man who was later identified as 24-year-old Theodore Liko Wilson.

    “Most of what he did was destructive,” Peckham said, “he had the doors tied together downstairs, he dumped five bottles of alcohol.”

    Wilson has since been arrested for DUI, grand theft, resisting police and felony vandalism.


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    The elderly people in the San Pedro community has been a target of frequent break-ins and detectives think they have all been done by the same group of people.

    An elderly couple slept through the night while burglars ransacked their San Pedro home only feet away from them.

    “I think it's very scary,” said 89-year-old Cora Martinez, “I don’t feel safe.”

    Her neighbor’s camera captured a light colored Cadillac pull right up to their house, with four men coming out one at a time.

    The burglars stole cash, gift cards, and even a laptop from inside the couple's room.

    “It was a big relief that we didn’t wake up,” she said, “because there was four of them, four guys.”

    Aurora Peña, a resident of the area, said her sister decided to sleep at another house because she’s “very traumatized” after she woke up to her floors creaking and a man in her bedroom.

    Los Angeles Police Department said they connected five break-ins in San Pedro to a burglary crew that has been getting in to houses through unlocked doors and windows. They also use rental cars in each crime.


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    If you haven't decided upon your uplifting motto yet, for 2019, best delay your appointments for the day, and your errands, too, for the new year is nearly here.

    Of course, "2019 will be a dream" or "make the scene in 2019" or something else affirmative, aspirational, and rhyme-y will probably do. Good? Good enough?

    Now that you've got your motto ready, you have the additional time needed to plan where you'll be on New Year's Eve.

    As always, in this great and vast and multi-happening-ing land we call Southern California, there are many merry parties to choose from, so it all depends upon whether you want to be dressy, or warm, or pay admission, or not. 

    Some of the majors sounding the noisemakers on Monday, Dec. 31? Don your paper hat and make for...

    Grand Park: "The Park for Everyone" will once again host a mega bash in DTLA. N.Y.E.L.A. is free, it's incredibly well-attended (yep, arrive early, at 8, if you can), and the entertainment is awesome: Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter are two of the artists set to welcome 2019. Be sure to look to City Hall, where lights famously twirl and dazzle to the delight of the crowd below.

    Union Station: Prohibition NYE is sashaying into its lucky 7th year, so if that feels fortune-tastic to you, as you greet the next 365 days, buy a ticket at once, then find an outfit that has a lot of vintage glamour to it (definitely the vibe of this fancy-pantsy party). The setting also has that vintage touch, making this a throwback, look-ahead soirée of the tallest order.

    Universal Studios Hollywood: The name of this attraction-packed, theme-park-tastic to-do? It's EVE, but the fun can begin well before evening, if you decide to enter the ride-laden location for a few thrilling spins. Fireworks, music, and several celebratory spots around the park are on deck. Need some magic for 2019? Visit the wand shop in Wizarding World before the new year arrives.

    Queen Mary: The theme of the annual whoop-di-do on the landmark ocean-liner shouldn't surprise any fan of its historic vibe: It's "Past & Present," meaning that the sumptuous settings'll have that bygone elegance while the music, eats, and other touches will be contemporary. And, yep: There shall be fireworks, "off the stern of the ship at midnight," further adding to the romance. Your ticket to the LBC bash? Don't set proverbial sail without it.

    Kidspace Children's Museum: The "kid" in the moniker of this beloved museum reveals that we're not about to discuss a late-late lark, the kind of wingding that pushes into the wee small hours. Rather, the museum's popular Noon Year's Eve is a daytime celebration, complete with balloon drop and noisemakers. One note? Rose Parade prep is nearby, so plan accordingly.

    LA Zoo: There is a family-oriented festivity, though, that's happening later in the day on Dec. 31, and it will raise the joy at Griffith Park's beastie-est bastion of animal cool. Yep, LA Zoo Lights are still on, which will lend glow to the night, as will sparkling cider for the tots, hats to wear, dessert, a carousel to ride, DJ tunes, and more. Tickets? You'll want yours before you arrive.

    Pacific Park: Guess what's going to countdown to midnight, beginning a minute beforehand? You got it: The world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the Pacific Wheel, located at Santa Monica Pier. It's free to see, of course, and you can watch a live stream at home, if you're jammied-up. Here's a look back at the countdown to 2018, on, yes, the final day of last year.

    Your Favorite Restaurant or Bar: Is your go-to neighborhood tavern throwing an intimate shindig? Is your local eatery placing the paper hats at each place setting? Spots across SoCal will be celebrating, like Angel City Brewery, which will toast at midnight with, you guessed it, beer (make that Bir Royale Champagne Beer). Oodles of other regional places will have great food, drink, and later hours, but give a ring first, to make sure they're ringing in the new year.



    Photo Credit: John McCoy

    Grand Park will once again be the location for one of LA's largest and liveliest year-ending celebrations. Also? There's no admission required.Grand Park will once again be the location for one of LA's largest and liveliest year-ending celebrations. Also? There's no admission required.

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    A terminally ill boy whose Yemeni mother fought to visit him after being barred from entering the U.S. by the Trump administration's travel ban has died in hospital in California, NBC News reported

    Abdullah Hassan, 2, had suffered from a genetic brain condition and died at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement released Friday.

    “We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives,” Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan, said in the statement.

    Hassan — who is a U.S. citizen and has family in Stockton, California — brought his son to the U.S. for treatment a few months ago, CAIR said. But Abdullah’s mother, Shaima Swileh, is a Yemeni national and was barred from entering the country under the Trump administration's travel ban against people from mostly-Muslim-majority countries.

    CAIR launched a campaign to publicize the family’s plight earlier this month and on Dec. 18 the State Department granted Swileh a waiver to visit her dying son. The 21-year-old mother arrived in San Francisco on Dec. 19.



    Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP

    Shaima Swileh, center, stands with her husband Ali Hassan, second from left, after Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Swileh is the Yemeni mother who won her fight for a waiver from the Trump administration's travel ban that would allow her to go to California to see her dying 2-year-old son.Shaima Swileh, center, stands with her husband Ali Hassan, second from left, after Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Swileh is the Yemeni mother who won her fight for a waiver from the Trump administration's travel ban that would allow her to go to California to see her dying 2-year-old son.

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    After living in her car for six months, Jill Gutierrez found a temporary home thanks to a pair of San Fernando Valley organizations.

    Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and Helping Hands Senior Foundation help people, like Gutierrez, get out of homelessness by providing medical equipment and assistance finding a home.

    “People don’t expect someone like me to be homeless,” said Gutierrez who lived in her car for six months. “I parked at Walmarts, parking lots, truck stops,” she said.

    In exchange for their help, Gutierrez now works for Helping Hands Senior Foundation and takes phone calls from seniors in distress and clarifies that what happened to her, is not that unusual.

    “Its not just one picture of homelessness,” she said, “there are so many different levels.”

    Helping Hands Senior Foundation and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission’s information can be found on their websites.


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    San Luis Obispo County Sheriff says that the man who escaped from San Quentin State Prison was has been taken into custody Saturday afternoon in Paso Robles.

    A San Quentin inmate, Shalom Mendoza, 21, was last accounted for at the prison Wednesday night before walking away from a prison work crew, according to prison officials. Mendoza was also spotted in other northern San Luis Obispo County locations before he was caught at a Taco Bell in Paso Robles, the sheriff said.

    The California Department of Corrections said investigators believe Mendoza was heading south towards the Los Angeles area

    Mendoza was seen at a Dollar Store in San Miguel about 4:20 p.m. on Friday, corrections officials said.

    San Rafael police say they believe that Mendoza was the same person who carjacked a woman's vehicle on Wednesday. A vehicle matching this description was found abandoned off the 101 Freeway north of Paso Robles on Friday, the Department of Corrections said in a statement. 

    Mendoza is described as a Hispanic man who is between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing around 170 pounds and wearing a white T-shirt and khaki/light yellow pants.

    The suspect allegedly motioned to the victim that he had a weapon under his shirt and told her he would kill her if she didn't surrender the vehicle, a Toyota RAV4, police said. The victim gave the suspect her vehicle and he fled. She was uninjured.

    Anyone with information on the case, or who sees Mendoza -- who is considered armed and dangerous -- is asked to call the San Rafael Police Department at (415) 485-3000, Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or to call 911.

    Another inmate also went missing from a nearby state prison on Saturday, Dec. 22, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    Justin Franks, 27, escaped from the minimum-support facility at Folson State Prison during an inmate count. He was sentence for first-degree burglary and scheduled to be released in June 2019.

    Franks is a white male of light complexion, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 143 pounds and has brown eyes and short black hair, officials said.



    Photo Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
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    Shalom Mendoza, 21, escaped from San Quentin State Prison and then may have carjacked someone nearby on Wednesday night, according to prison officials.Shalom Mendoza, 21, escaped from San Quentin State Prison and then may have carjacked someone nearby on Wednesday night, according to prison officials.

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