Articles on this Page
- 01/06/19--15:35: _Mexican Pres. in TJ...
- 01/06/19--17:06: _LeBron-less Lakers ...
- 01/06/19--15:18: _Spacey to be Arraig...
- 01/06/19--16:11: _Mudslides Shut Down...
- 01/06/19--17:08: _Eagles' Magical Run...
- 01/06/19--11:08: _Assault Suspect Sho...
- 01/06/19--11:27: _Driver Charged in C...
- 01/06/19--17:07: _Woman Allegedly Get...
- 01/06/19--21:13: _2 LAPD Officers Inj...
- 01/06/19--21:41: _Arcadia High School...
- 01/07/19--08:53: _Warren Wows in Iowa...
- 01/07/19--12:04: _Kevin Spacey Pleads...
- 01/07/19--07:14: _Alabama Civil Right...
- 01/07/19--07:45: _Redwood City Man Ge...
- 01/07/19--10:22: _Cyntoia Brown Grant...
- 01/07/19--11:41: _Santa Monica's Pers...
- 01/06/19--21:04: _Top Moments from th...
- 01/06/19--22:05: _The Globes Keep Foc...
- 01/06/19--20:05: _Stars Shine on the ...
- 01/07/19--09:15: _Mammoth's Super-Sno...
- 01/06/19--15:35: Mexican Pres. in TJ to Talk New Border Economy Plan
- 01/06/19--17:06: LeBron-less Lakers Get Routed by Timberwolves
- 01/06/19--15:18: Spacey to be Arraigned for Assault and Battery on Monday
- 01/06/19--16:11: Mudslides Shut Down PCH Until At Least Monday
- 01/06/19--17:08: Eagles' Magical Run Continues With Dramatic Wild-Card Win
- 01/06/19--11:08: Assault Suspect Shot and Killed by Deputy: Sheriff’s Dept.
- 01/06/19--11:27: Driver Charged in Crash that Killed Mother and Daughter
- 01/06/19--21:13: 2 LAPD Officers Injured in South LA Crash
- 01/06/19--21:41: Arcadia High School Choir Inspired by Artistic Director
- 01/07/19--08:53: Warren Wows in Iowa Amid Electability Questions: Analysis
- 01/07/19--12:04: Kevin Spacey Pleads Not Guilty in Sexual Assault Case
- 01/07/19--07:14: Alabama Civil Rights Institute Rescinds Angela Davis Honor
- 01/07/19--07:45: Redwood City Man Gets Check for $500 Million. It Wasn't a Scam
- 01/07/19--10:22: Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency by Tennessee Governor
- 01/07/19--11:41: Santa Monica's Persimmon-Focused Restaurant Week Opens
- 01/06/19--21:04: Top Moments from the 2019 Golden Globe Awards
- 01/06/19--22:05: The Globes Keep Focus on the 'Real' Moments
- 01/06/19--20:05: Stars Shine on the 2019 Golden Globes Red Carpet
- 01/07/19--09:15: Mammoth's Super-Snowy Start to 2019 Is Super-Snowy
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched an ambitious plan Saturday to stimulate economic activity on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border, reinforcing his country’s commitment to manufacturing and trade despite recent U.S. threats to close the border entirely.
Mexico will slash income and corporate taxes to 20 percent from 30 percent for 43 municipalities in six states just south of the U.S., while halving to 8 percent the value-added tax in the region. Business leaders and union representatives have also agreed to double the minimum wage along the border, to 176.2 pesos a day, the equivalent of $9.07 at current exchange rates.
Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, said the idea is to stoke wage and job growth via fiscal incentives and productivity gains. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained that low wages in Mexico lure jobs from the U.S. Mexico committed to boost wages during last year’s negotiations to retool its free trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada.
Speaking from Ciudad Juarez, a manufacturing hub south of El Paso, Texas, Lopez Obrador said Saturday he agrees with Trump that Mexican wages “should improve.” He decried, for instance, that Mexican auto workers earn a fraction of what their U.S. counterparts take home, topping out at just $3 an hour versus a typical wage of $23 an hour in the U.S.
Yet the economic plan comes at a delicate moment for the border region. Trump threatened as recently as last week to close the U.S.-Mexico border “entirely” if Democrats refuse to allot $5.6 billion to expand the wall that separates the two countries.
Economy Minister Graciela Marquez noted Saturday that the border region targeted for economic stimulus accounts for 7.5 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product. And in recent years, she said, the 43 municipalities included in the plan have boasted combined economic growth of 3.1 percent, above the national average of 2.6 percent for the six years through 2017.
Much of that robustness owes to trade and proximity with the U.S., the world’s biggest economy.
“We have to take advantage of this locomotive that we have on the other side of the border,” she said.
Marquez expressed optimism that the stimulus plan will direct more Mexican and foreign investment into the border region. The plan for the border region is part of what Lopez Obrador calls “curtains of development” to shore up different corridors of the country so that Mexicans stay rather than migrating in search of better economic prospects.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Help me LeBron James, you're our only hope.
Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns both had 28 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves tyrannized the LeBron-less Lakers, 108-86, on Sunday afternoon at Target Center.
LeBron James did not travel with the team to Minnesota, and is expected to miss at least another week with a strained left groin suffered on Christmas Day.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are in a freefall without their superstar, a rudderless ship, seemingly lost at sea.
For the second straight game, the Lakers struggled out of the gate, trailing 20-3 to start the game.
"It's unacceptable we allowed that many points to start," said Lakers head coach Luke Walton. "That's the second game in a row a team has came in to the first quarter and just scored at will on us. We didn't engage ourselves in the fight until we got to the second unit."
They would trail by as many as 28 points in the second half as the Timberwolves cruised to the easy blowout victory.
Wiggins scored 25 points in the first half to lead the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 28 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks. Jeff Teague had 15 points and 11 assists.
Los Angeles was led by Lance Stephenson who scored 14 points off the bench. Michael Beasley had his best game since returning to the team on Friday, scoring 11 points.
Brandon Ingram had 13 points, but he shot a paltry 5-of-16 from the field.
"They're trying, but their young," said Walton of Ingram and poing guard Lonzo Ball who was held scoreless in the loss. "We need more passion and more fight."
Without their top two leading scorers, the Lakers offense looked stale and stagnant for the second consecutive game. The team struggled from the field, shooting just 36 percent and 22 percent from beyond the arc.
Desperate for anything to stop the vaunted Timberwolves offensive attack, the Lakers switched to a zone defense in the second half, cutting the lead to 15 points before Minnesota increased the lead to 28 points in the fourth quarter.
Turnovers and free throws continue to be the Lakers Achilles' heel as Los Angeles committed 21 turnovers and shot just 60 percent from the charity stripe.
The Timberwolves scored 23 points off Lakers turnovers.
The Lakers have now lost five of their six games without LeBron James, and have fallen further in the Western Conference standings after nipping at the heels of the Golden State Warriors following a dominant Christmas Day victory.
Minnesota has beaten the Lakers seven straight games at home with L.A.'s last victory coming on March 25, 2015 in overtime.
Notes and Next
The Lakers were without LeBron James (groin), Rajon Rondo (finger), and Kyle Kuzma (lower back). Kuzma travelled with the team and warmed up before the game, but ultimately was unable to go. He could start on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks. Minnesota was without Derrick Rose (ankle).
Los Angeles will travel south to Dallas for a dance with the Mavericks on the second night of a back-to-back on Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30PM PT.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Stacy Bengs
Los Angeles Lakers' Lance Stephenson tries to make a basket over Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Actor Kevin Spacey will be arraigned at Nantucket District Court Monday to face charges of assault and battery.
The charges stem from allegations that Spacey groped the son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh in July of 2016.
The arraignment comes after the actor’s attorney tried to have him excused from the proceedings.
A Massachusetts judge denied Spacey’s motion that he be excused from appearing at his arraignment Monday.
On Christmas Eve the Cape & Islands district attorney announced that a criminal complaint had been filed against the 59-year-old actor the previous week.
In the police report, the actor is accused of assaulting Unruh’s son at the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket. Unruh’s said her son was 18-years-old at the time.
State police documents say Unruh’s son claims he was groped by Spacey after the “House of Cards” actor bought him drinks while he was working at the restaurant.
On the same day the charges were announced, Spacey tweeted a video of himself playing his killed-off character on the show, Frank Underwood.
“Because I can promise you this. If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn't do," Spacey said in the video. "Of course they’re going to say I’m being disrespectful, not playing by the rules. Like I ever played by anyone’s rules before.”
The report also alleges that the victim said his girlfriend didn’t believe him when he texted her that Spacey was hitting on him, so he sent a Snapchat video of the alleged assault.
The allegations come after Spacey was fired by Netflix over accusations of sexual assault and harassment.
He was also cut from the Ridley Scott film "All the Money in the World" and was replaced by Christopher Plummer just one month before the film’s release.
A representative for Spacey did not return the NBC News request for comment after the charges were announced.
After Spacey was fired by Netflix in 2017, his representatives said he would seek evaluation and treatment.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 27: Kevin Spacey speaks onstage at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by American Airlines And Jaguar Land Rover at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)
Multiple vehicles remained stuck in the mud Sunday on Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, where rain caused debris flows Saturday night and closed a section of the road.
Caltrans officials said PCH would remain closed in both directions from Las Posas Road in Ventura County to Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu until at least Monday.
Early Sunday, the City of Malibu announced on its website that Encinal Canyon, in both directions, is now open and that city crews cleared mud and debris from the traffic lanes, and continue to work to remove all debris from the shoulders.
They also reported that the crossing at Rainsford Place and Bonsall Drive remains closed.
"City crews will be working through the day in the Malibu Park area to make the roads passable by clearing the debris off to the shoulders to be removed and hauled away at a later time,” according to the website.
Two vehicles were trapped in the mud at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday at PCH and Mulholland Highway, just outside the Malibu city limits, the CHP reported.
At 7:06 p.m. Saturday the CHP reported vehicles were stuck in a mixture of water, mud and rocks on PCH north of Tonga Street, 2-3 miles north of the Los Angeles County line.
The roadway havoc was part of the first winter storm of 2019, which moved into the Southland Saturday night before clearing up Sunday.
Public safety experts have been concerned that the forecasted half-inch to inch of rainfall across the Southern California coast and valleys -- and more than double that amount in higher elevations -- would increase the risk of flooding and mudslides on mountain slopes recently scorched by wildfires.
Residents in areas recently burned by wildfires -- where the soil does not absorb a lot of moisture and can be prone to hazardous mudflows that carry dirt, rocks and larger debris -- need to be prepared, experts warned.
More rain was in the forecast for early Monday.
Weather forecasts and warnings will not be interrupted by the ongoing federal government shutdown, NWS officials said. Updates will be provided on the agency's website and social media feeds.
Los Angeles County residents also can find out more about storm preparation and safety tips on the County of Los Angeles website.
What. A. Win. The Eagles beat the Bears 16 to 15 in an absolute thriller. Check back for a full recap.
An assault suspect was fatally shot by a Riverside County Sheriff's deputy in the unincorporated territory of Glenn Valley on Saturday, the department said.
A deputy from the Perris station responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon at around 9:50 Saturday night. The suspect was found outside of a home in the 17300 block of Kaison Circle. He moved toward the deputy while armed with a knife and suffered fatal gunshot wounds, the sheriff's office said.
The suspect's name has not been released due to an ongoing investigation, the department said. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy.
Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
A Riverside County Sheriff's Department patrol vehicle at the scene of a death investigation Friday Jan. 26, 2018 in Highgrove.
The driver of a BMW involved in a crash that resulted in the deaths of a mother and her 9-year-old daughter has been charged with multiple felonies including manslaughter and driving under the influence, the Orange County District Attorney's office announced Sunday.
The crash occurred shortly after midnight on New Year's Day on the 22 Freeway in Garden Grove as the mother and daughter drove home from a family New Year's Eve gathering.
Melvin Branch, 30, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after the crash, but was released on Friday due to lack of sufficient evidence, the DA's office said
A mother and daughter, 33-year-old Jolene Gardner Castillo and 9-year-old Payton, were killed in the crash.
Following Branch's release, the DA's office said it received additional information from the California Highway Patrol that led to the decision to re-arrest Branch. He surrendered to the CHP in Santa Ana on Sunday morning, the DA's office said.
Branch was charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing bodily injury. He also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer stemming from the arrest. He faces up to 20 years and 8 months in prison.
Branch is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday at 10 a.m.
Joleen, a mother of three, was a teacher’s aide at Juan De Anza Elementary school, where her daughter was a fourth grader.
Daniel Castillo, Payton’s father, started the new year mourning the loss of his daughter and her mother. Miraculously, his 7-year-old son who was also in the car survived with no injuries.
"If you’re going to drink, stay home. Or find someone to get you. Don’t get in that car and drive," Castillo said through sobs.
Castillo says his daughter loved to draw, play sports, and dance.
"She was one of a kind and I don’t have her no more. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this. It’s not fair," Castillo said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for the victims’ funerals. You can donate or find more information here. It had raised nearly $52,000 by late Sunday morning.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Castillo Family
Joleen Gardner Castillo and her 9-year-old daughter Payton were killed in an early morning New Year's Day crash after a suspected drunken driver allegedly caused a pileup on the 22 Freeway in Garden Grove.
A woman upset that a handyman would not do extra work he was unauthorized to do allegedly struck the man with an object and shot him in the face and chest in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The shooting took place at a duplex on the 6200 block of Victoria Avenue around noon.
The handyman was authorized to do specific work by the building management, but the woman asked the handyman to do extra work that was not authorized, according to Lt. Ted Urena of the LAPD. When the handyman refused, the woman became upset and struck the handyman with an object, according to Urena.
Then, the woman went inside the home, came back with a handgun and shot the handyman in the face and chest, Urena said.
The handyman was transported to a local hospital in stable condition and is expected to survive, according to the LAPD.
Photo Credit: OnScene
An ambulance and police respond to the scene after a handyman is shot in the face and chest on Jan. 6, 2019.
Two Los Angeles police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a two-vehicle crash Sunday night in South Los Angeles, a lieutenant said.
The crash took place at the intersection of 62nd Street and Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Ted Urena said.
"The officers were from 77th Division answering a call for backup from officers in another division when the crash happened," Urena said.
Two other people were in the second vehicle, the lieutenant added, noting "they complained of pain but refused transport to a hospital."
The police vehicle struck at least two other parked cars after colliding with the first car, according to the LAPD.
The crash remained under investigation.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
File Photo: LAPD
Along with being the son of late film producer Carlo Ponti Sr. and actress Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra. Famous family aside, the world-renowned conductor is connecting with students in Southern California and embracing the role of teacher.
"Every artist, at the end of the day, has to be a teacher," Ponti says.
Ponti is donating his time, working with the award-winning Arcadia High School Chanteurs and integrating high school students with musical professionals to thrill audiences at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.
"They were driven to reach music that never really reached," Ponti says and calls the experience "life changing" for the students.
"It really opened our eyes to see new experiences in life, see how real conductors work," Kristin, a student, say.
The event also raises money to help save school music programs at time when many school are forced to eliminate the arts.
Brandon, a student, says, "I love singing. I love performing. Without this, I really don't know where i would be."
The LA Virtuosi Orchestra donates 100 percent of its profits to music education.
For Ponti, connecting with these choir students is worth more than money.
Ponti says, "To witness their dedication, the level at which they perform, it was extremely life affirming for me."
Kristin says, "He did gives us faith, to show us we can do more in our lives."
Brandon adds, "It's really great having this opportunity in high school, giving me guidance for what I want to do for the rest of my life."
Photo Credit: KNBC
Arcadia High School
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's trip to Iowa over the weekend was nearly flawless and well-received, NBC News reported, no matter what questions the Massachusetts progressive may face over her electability.
Warren was the first top Democrat to step toward the 2020 race for president and, in her three-day debut Iowa trip, nearly 3,000 people came out to hear her talk about selling Girl Scout cookies and fighting what she calles a rigged political system.
"When I first heard her on the stump, it made me feel like exactly where I grew up and the difficulties I grew up with," said J.D. Scholten, a Democrat who lost a challenge against conservative Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in the midterms.
But Warren's age, gender and politics will face scrutiny as she campaigns in what is expected to swell into a large field of Democratic hopefuls, and a woman in Sioux City asked pointedly about President Donald Trump's bullying over Warren's bungled rollout of a DNA test over the senator's Native American ancestry.
Photo Credit: Matthew Putney/AP
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, speaks during an organizing event at Curate event space in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Her Iowa debut, beginning Friday evening and continuing across the state Saturday, offered the first glimpse of what she may look like as a 2020 candidate.
Wading through a crowd of journalists to walk into the courthouse, Kevin Spacey faced a judge in a Nantucket courtroom Monday morning after being accused of sexually assaulting the son of a former Boston news anchor.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of the 59-year-old actor, who appeared at Nantucket District Court on a felony charge of indecent assault and battery. Spacey was released after his attorney and the lead prosecutor had a brief back-and-forth over preserving data from the phone of the alleged victim and someone else. The judge also set another hearing for March 4, for which Spacey is not required to appear.
Neither Spacey nor his attorneys commented as they left the courthouse.
The former "House of Cards" actor was ordered to stay away from the young man accusing him of groping him at the Club Car Restaurant in July of 2016. The allegations surfaced in November 2017 after former WCVB-TV anchor Heather Unruh accused Spacey of groping her then-18-year-old son at the Nantucket restaurant where he worked as a bus boy that summer.
Unruh accused the "House of Cards" actor of assaulting her son at the Club Car Restaurant. According to state police documents, Unruh's son claims he was groped by Spacey after he allegedly bought the teen several drinks at the restaurant. When Unruh's son was drunk, Spacey allegedly stuck his hand inside the teenager’s pants and grabbed his genitals, according to documents.
"I want to make it clear - this was a criminal act," Unruh said when she first publicly accused Spacey in November of 2017. "It harmed him, and it cannot be undone."
Spacey’s accuser may have filmed the alleged assault, according to state documents. The alleged victim’s girlfriend did not believe him when he said the actor was making advances at him. Unruh's son then sent her a Snapchat video that showed Spacey’s hand near the teen’s crotch, according to the documents.
Unruh told NBC News that she and her son would not be attending the arraignment.
"We have decided as a family that we will not make any statements until trial," Unruh told NBC News. "We want to preserve the integrity of the case."
"By reporting the sexual assault, my client is a determined and encouraging voice for those victims not yet ready to report being sexually assaulted," Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the accuser, said in a statement. "My client is leading by example."
NBC isn't naming the accuser because it does not identify the victims of alleged sexual assault.
Spacey's arraignment comes after his attorney tried to have him excused from the proceedings, a motion that was denied by a Massachusetts judge. The Boston Globe reports the actor's attorneys had a chance to fight the indecent assault and battery charge during a secret hearing on Dec. 20.
The groping accusation is one of several sexual misconduct allegations made against Spacey in the last year. He was fired from the final season of his Netflix show "House of Cards" and replaced in a movie, "All the Money in the World," in the wake of the allegations.
His representative has said he was seeking treatment. On Christmas Eve, Spacey released a video in which he appeared to address allegations against him as his "House of Cards" character, Frank Underwood: "Despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full truth."
Sex assault resources are available at the National Sexual Violence Resources Center and the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673. Since it was first created in 1994, the National Sexual Assault Hotline has helped more than two million people, according to its website.
Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at district court on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery. The Oscar-winning actor is accused of groping the teenage son of a former Boston TV anchor in 2016 in the crowded bar at the Club Car in Nantucket.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama is getting withering criticism on social media after rescinding its decision to honor political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
Davis is a Birmingham native who has spent decades fighting for civil rights. She was an active member of the Black Panther Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Communist Party USA. She's also an outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
BCRI President and CEO Andrea Taylor said in October that the Institute was "thrilled to bestow this honor" on Davis who she described as "one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak."
But the institute announced Saturday that in late December, "supporters and other concerned individuals and organizations, both inside and outside of our local community, began to make requests that we reconsider our decision."
"Upon closer examination of Davis' statements and public record, we concluded that she unfortunately does not meet all of the criteria" for the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.
The statement didn't indicate what criteria it found Davis didn't meet, nor did it identify the origin of the complaints. Many people responded with outrage Monday on Twitter and Facebook.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said the protests came from the "local Jewish community and some of its allies" in a statement expressing "dismay." He called it a reactive and divisive decision and offered to facilitate a community dialogue in response.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Angela Davis speaks onstage during the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Just as the Mega Millions lottery jackpot ballooned beyond $500 million last summer, Shawn Friel found an almost identical check in his mailbox.
"That's a lot of zeros," Friel said, looking at the check written out to him for $500,000,031. "It sounded funny when I got it. I thought you guys would be great to look into it."
At first, the NBC Bay Area Responds team wondered if it could be a scam: an overseas lottery win, an inheritance from an unknown relative, or a gift from a Nigerian prince.
But Friel said he actually did expect a check -- just not for quite as much money as this one.
Friel had worked for Postmates, the San Francisco-based delivery service.
"I did it for about a year," Friel said.
Lawyers acting on behalf of delivery drivers filed a class action lawsuit over driver pay. Postmates settled for $8.75 million. Friel's share was $31.
Somehow, the $500 million check arrived instead. Friel's bank refused to cash it -- not for $500 million, or even just the $31 Friel was owed.
"They thought it was funny," Friel said. "I said, 'We've got to process this check.' And they said, 'No, we can't.'"
It turns out Friel wasn't alone having trouble cashing a class action settlement check. Some students of Trump University sued the real estate seminar for fraud. Then-candidate Donald Trump said he wouldn't settle. But days after he won the election, Trump did agree to a $25 million settlement.
Patti M., an NBC Bay Area viewer in Pacifica, was among those students. She and her son were due $10,000. But her settlement check bounced. Patti requested a new one but got nowhere. NBC Bay Area tracked down the case administrator, and Patti then got a new check for $10,000 that successfully cleared.
Friel needed a little more help with his settlement check.
"How do I cash this?" Friel asked. "For $31, or whatever -- what do I do with this?"
In addition to the errant $500 million, we spotted a second problem. The check was dated "09/02/51." It wasn't clear whether that meant 1951 or 2051.
We started asking questions. Postmates did not respond to our inquiries, but we did find the company that printed the check. It blamed a "clerical error", and told us it actually sent out a second check like this to someone else.
Within a week, Friel got a new check -- for $31.
Friel and Patti M.'s cases got us thinking: Are we seeing class action notices more often? Anna Han, a law professor at Santa Clara University, says yes.
"Class actions are very, very prevalent right now," Han said. "They're useful in many ways."
Here's the problem: Many people just ignore the class action judgment or settlement notices -- leaving money on the table.
Consider the case of ProFlowers. Customers sued, saying they were misled into signing up for a "rewards" program for a monthly fee. Court documents show 1.4 million customers were entitled to a cash refund -- but only if they responded. Just 3,000 did -- fewer than 1 percent.
Opting in to a class action usually requires minimal work and often includes a helpful companion website to explain the terms of the settlement. It's also important to watch your mailbox and email inbox for class actions, as that might be the only way you know there's money coming your way.
Professor Han encourages consumers carefully read every class action notice they get. "Class actions are a way of getting some remedy versus none at all," Han said.
Tennessee's governor granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown on Monday, commuting her sentence for killing a man while she said she was a teenage sex trafficking victim, NBC News reported.
Brown, now 30, was tried as an adult in 2006 and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had paid her for sex. She will be eligible for release to parole on Aug. 7.
Brown's supporters have said her punishment was too extreme. She's said she ran away from home and was living with a pimp who raped her and forced her to become a prostitute, shooting Allen because she believed he was reaching for a gun.
"Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16," Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that went on to call the life sentence "too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life."
Photo Credit: Lacy Atkins /The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File
This May 23, 2018, file photo shows Cyntoia Brown, a woman sentenced to life for killing a man when she was a 16-year-old prostitute, asks for a second chance during a clemency hearing at Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Tenn.
Let's talk about fruit intake over the holidays.
So many people — and probably you, for sure — made a smart point of incorporating loads of produce aisle favorites into every meal, even as the most indulgent season reached its most food-feverish peak.
And yet, for some of us? Well... we devoured cakes and candies and cookies as December wound down, but far fewer things from the fruit column.
But finding some fabulous fruit, while eating out around Santa Monica during the second week of January, shouldn't be at all difficult.
After all, the city will again be in the lovely, meal-laden midst of its annual Restaurant Week.
Jan. 7 through 13 is the stretch to keep in mind, for that's when over two dozen local restaurants will once again feature a particular ingredient in a number of special dishes.
Make that a particular and particularly healthful ingredient: the persimmon.
Some appetizing examples of where and how you'll see this dark orange-y red munchable show up?
Massila has a Crunchy Kale and Persimmon Salad, oh yeah, while Pickled Persimmon Tacos will pop up at Azulé Taqueria. Over at Pacific Park, at Santa Monica Pier? Best seek out the Persimmon Funnel Cake, if you're a funnel-caker.
And Upper West is the place to go for Roasted Persimmon Tartine, if you like your fruit with a slightly deeper favor (and, of course, you dig tartines).
If you do dig taking pictures of persimmon-filled tartines, or any of your persimmon-perfect dishes, and you post those photos on social media, and you hashtag 'em #SMRestaurantWeek, you just might win a dining certificate worth $500.
Details? Yes, details.
That is way, way tasty, oh yes it is, but even if you don't snag that half-thou in dine-out credits, be gladdened, for the new year is here, and we're vowing to fold in more fruit goodness into our daily diets.
Persimmons, you're out of gourmet gate first, as 2019 begins.
Photo Credit: Santa Monica Restaurant Week
The richly flavored fruit will take the centerstage throughout the week-long eat-around event.
See some of the best moments from the 76th Golden Globes Awards.
Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Jeff Bridges accepts the Cecil B. Demille Award onstage during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Ahead of the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, former nominee and producer of the winning film “Green Book” Octavia Spencer posted a behind-the-scenes video from rehearsals inside the Beverly Hills Hotel venue. Alongside she wrote: “Getting ready for the biggest party of the season… oh and they give out awards, too!!” Spencer went on to congratulate the nominees, but she’d already addressed the hurdle the ceremony would have to overcome.
Balance the fun without ignoring an industry still addressing #MeToo and #TimesUp. But try to keep the focus on the actual awards, something the Globes, voted on by around 90 international journalists who make up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, often previously eschewed in favor of the dinner party atmosphere.
Viewers tune to the Globes for the off-the-cuff moments, the party atmosphere and the red-carpet parade. Last year, female attendees donned black as the Globes were the first televised show of the annual Hollywood award season following the fall of Harvey Weinstein and growing calls for greater gender diversity across the industry.
So yes, color returned to the dresses on the red carpet, but in an understated way. Lady Gaga, who won for co-writing “Shallow” from “A Star is Born,” drew more gasps for the size of her Tiffany diamonds than the periwinkle-blue Valentino gown she sported.
Pre-show interviews skewed toward the craft, with Gaga referencing acting as “going to the nectar of your being.” It was an early, unintentionally meme-able moment ahead of a show that felt aware of the controversy/celebration tightrope it would have to negotiate.
Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg took on the seemingly thankless job of co-hosting and were quick to make a crack about the upcoming Academy Awards and its lack of a host. Kevin Hart stepped away from the duty over backlash when past homophobic comments he made nearly a decade ago resurfaced on social media.
Oh and Samberg delivered a mock roast of attendees and Hollywood in general as part of their opening dialogue that made it clear they knew the task they had accepted. But it was Oh who summed up the evening best when, on a more serious note, she addressed the fear she felt being on the stage Sunday night. Oh said hosting was something she had to do in order to experience a “real” moment, to be able to look out from the stage and see “all these faces of change.”
Oh had already made history as the first Asian actor to co-host the event. Her win for her performance in “Killing Eve” also made her the only woman of Asian descent to win multiple Golden Globes. But her moment of realness early on proved to be prescient. Overall acceptance speeches were safe, but enough winners took the opportunity to be outspoken and address the big issues facing the industry.
Regina King took home the supporting actress in a motion picture award for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” her first win in three nominations. During her speech, King made a promise that moving forward she would only produce projects that employ at least 50 percent women on the crew and made an impassioned plea for others to do the same.
In her acceptance speech for best actress in a television series comedy or musical, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan highlighted the “matriarchy” that exists on the show.
Christian Bale courted political controversy, with a knowing wink, when he thanked Satan for giving him inspiration for his role as former Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice.” It was a moment that recalled Globes of old, but the ceremony quickly returned to safer territory.
Similarly, Jeff Bridges’ free-wheeling acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award was redolent of the Dude, his iconic character from “The Big Lebowski,” but before he took his leave from the stage, Bridges told the collective audience that: “We can turn this ship in the way we want to go, man.” Loose and fast, but real enough to count.
In an evening where awards were handed out to a diverse group of winners, including best picture statues for “Green Book” (drama) and Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (comedy or musical), it was Glenn Close, in her third Globe win, who brought the room collectively to their feet and delivered a moment of celebration and awareness that Oh would have applauded.
Accepting the best actress award in a film, drama, for her role as the long-patient spouse in “The Wife,” Close shed tears as she called on women to absolutely “find personal fulfillment” and implored them to follow their dreams. “We have to say I can do that. And I should be allowed to do that,” Close said.
Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh speak onstage during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 06, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Take a look at some of the best red carpet looks from the 76th Golden Globe awards.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The Sierra resort received 4 "FEET" of the cold, frosty stuff on the first Saturday of the year.
Photo Credit: Peter Morning/ Mammoth Mountain
A snow-tastic snap taken on the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 6 reveals Mammoth Lakes under a prodigious amount of new snow.