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    UCLA Bruin Katelyn Ohashi put together a show-stopping floor routine Saturday in Anaheim, and video of the performance was viewed over 9 million times within 24 hours of being posted, with even Sen. Kamala Harris posting the performance on her Twitter.

    "This is fantastic. Congratulations," Harris said to the 20-year-old on the social media platform, with the gymnast reponding by telling the senator from the great state of California, "I got yout with tickets too any time!!"

    Ohashi, the 2018 NCAA floor champion, earned a perfect score from the judges for her energetic and crowd-energizing routine. The Bruin danced, jumped, tumbled and split to sounds heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, but the soundtrack of the routine was probably best described as the constant cheers from the crowd on hand.

    Ohashi appeared to be having fun, and her teammates, coaches and crowd celebrated her perfect 10 score.

    With video of the floor routine having been viewed more than 9 million times in the first 24 hours since UCLA gymnastics posted the performance to its Twitter account, one would imagine millions of people agree with the judges' scoring.

    [[504306111, C]]


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    UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi wows the crowd during her floor routine in Anaheim, California on Jan. 12, 2019.UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi wows the crowd during her floor routine in Anaheim, California on Jan. 12, 2019.

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    It's good to be the King.

    Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James may not be able to take the court anytime soon, but that didn't stop him from walking the sidelines of an NFL playoff game.

    The new King of Los Angeles treated his Lakers teammates to an end zone suite on Saturday night, as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 30-22, to advance to the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints. 

    James, and teammates Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee and Lonzo Ball all took in the game in an end zone suite located underneath the peristyle at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

    James was spotted in the Rams locker room before the game, and after a video surfaced, he explained he was there to use the nearest restroom. Shortly thereafter, he took the field where ESPN caught the three-time NBA Champion walking out of the tunnel and to the Rams sideline.

     

    James was later shown on the video screen, and received a loud ovation from both Cowboys and Rams fans alike.

    James is a self-professed Cowboys fan, but stayed neutral on Saturday, sporting a black coat and a black hat. James has appeared on the sideline of the Rams before wearing blue and yellow.

    LeBron and the Lakers were not the only celebrities at the game, joining James on the sidelines were actors Dennis Quaid, Ty Burrell, golfer John Daly, and musicians French Montana, YG, and Post Malone.

    On the court, James has missed the Lakers last 10 games with a left groin strain and will be reevaluated on January 16th.



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

    Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James at the NFC Divisional Playoff Matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 12, 2019.Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James at the NFC Divisional Playoff Matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

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    Welcome to 2019!

    Social media still rules the world, with the President of the United States choosing tweets as his preferred form of communication with the world on a near-daily basis, but Sunday provided hope for the world in the form of an egg.

    Nearly two weeks into the new year, a simple photo of a brown egg set the world record for the most likes on Instagram. No, this is not a scrambled egg, a fried egg or even an egg lounging on the beach with a puppy dog filter.

    This world record setting egg, which had accumulated more the 23 million likes and more than 950,000 comments on Instagram by Sunday night, is simply an egg standing in front of a white background.

    It was not immediately clear if any Photoshop was used to set the record, but initial unscientific analysis points to the photo being untouched.

    So, what made this egg break the world record on Instagram?

    Considering the photo is hardly spectacular, the answer appears to derive from the caption: "Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this ��."

    With that, the egg went from being a regular brown egg to becoming the most famous egg in the world. Some may argue that the likes are a rebuke of the Kardashian and Jenner takeover of society. Others may say that millions of people simply like eggs. Whatever the reason, this egg is now the most famous egg on the planet.

    It was not immediately clear if the egg had a lawyer, was available for comment or had already been eaten.



    Photo Credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, photo, the Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. Instagram is adding a feature to make it easier to share photos and videos with fewer folks.In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, photo, the Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. Instagram is adding a feature to make it easier to share photos and videos with fewer folks.

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    Watching Sage Marshall piece together colorful quilts, you see no signs of the devastating stroke that left her paralyzed and unable to speak just a few years ago.

    With quiet determination, she fought her way back. Along the way she healed not only her body, but also her soul.

    Before her stroke, Marshall was an aspiring fitness model and happily married with two children. But when her 4-week-old daughter Audrey died of suspected SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the loss sent her into a spiraling depression.

    "I'd wake up and think, 'Oh my god. I have to go through this another day,'" she said.

    For years, Marshall locked herself away inside her home. Even after having another daughter, Ava, she struggled to pull herself out of crippling despair. In 2014, she suffered kidney failure and had a massive stroke.

    "I lost my speech, ability to walk, to eat," she said.

    Her daughter Ava was 10 years old at the time.

    "It was pretty hard. It was like she wasn't there," Ava said about her mother.

    While the stroke left Marshall's body paralyzed. It had the opposite effect on her spirit. The incident changed her thinking in a way that left her liberated from her grief. Her depression vanished.

    "So, in an odd way, the stroke freed me of the bondage I was in because of the grief," she said. "Ironically, after the stroke, I have more light in my life."

    Sage worked with a therapist to regain her ability to speak and walk and even swim. While she needs dialysis three times a week and is waiting for a kidney transplant, her zest for life is back.

    "She's extraordinary and she creates in everybody that desire to reach out and be connected more and to give back more," Tsgoyna Tanzman, a speech and language pathologist, said.

    Now, Sage spends her days knitting and making quilts at a local church to donate to women's shelters.

    "Every year I see a little more of her coming back, it's awesome," Ava said.

    Using her hands is good for Sage's recovery, but she says the real healing comes from making something beautiful for someone in need.

    "Something magical happens when you're able to give," she said. "It's like a healing for me, because at least I can do something."

    Sage now dreams of going back to school to study behavioral science, inspired by her own remarkable journey.


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    The chief executive for PG&E has stepped down, and the utility said its board of directors is searching for a new CEO, according to a company announcement Sunday.

    Geisha Williams resigned from her position as CEO and was replaced on an interim basis by Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Simon, PG&E said.

    "On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Geisha for her service and her tireless commitment to our employees and the 16 million Californians we serve," Richard C. Kelly, chair of the Board of PG&E Corp., said in a statement. "While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the Board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face. We believe John is the right interim leader for the company while we work to identify a new CEO. Our search is focused on extensive operational and safety expertise, and the Board is committed to further change at PG&E."

    PG&E is being investigated for its role in multiple deadly wildfires across California. The company's stock has plummeted in recent months, and there have been reports it is on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Cal Fire inspectors blamed PG&E equipment for sparking a dozen fires across Northern California in 2017. Investigators are now looking into whether the utility's equipment may have sparked the Camp Fire in Butte County, which killed at least 88 people.

    The state attorney general recently concluded that PG&E could be held liable for damages and criminal charges if faulty equipment is found to have started the deadliest fire in California history.

    Also on Sunday night, CNBC reported that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. may be preparing to declare bankruptcy and could tell employees as soon as Monday.

    Simon, who has been with PG&E since 2007, having held several senior positions, will act as CEO until the company finds a permanent replacement for Williams.

    "While the Board conducts its CEO search, our priority will be keeping the company focused on further improving safety while continuing to provide reliable service to our customers," Simon said in a statement.

    Williams resigned from the boards of both the holding company and the utility, PG&E said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Fortune

    PG&E Corp CEO and President Geisha Williams.PG&E Corp CEO and President Geisha Williams.

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    Jayme Closs' grandfather hugged her on Friday, a day after her monthslong kidnapping ordeal ended, like he never wanted to let her go, NBC News reported.

    "Oh it was so good to just hug her. How wonderful that she was back and I could hug her again," Robert Naiberg said.

    The 13-year-old girl who emerged from the woods in Wisconsin Thursday after escaping from a cabin has spent every day with extended family, according to her aunt. Jayme's parents were killed, allegedly by the man who kidnapped her.

    Jayme's family has decorated her room with butterflies, bought her a new bed, pillows and clothing and showed the girl messages sent to her from far and wide.



    Photo Credit: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

    A A "Welcome Home Jayme" sign is displayed for Jayme Closs on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Barron, Wisconsin, one day after the missing teenager was found coming out of nearby woods.

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    At a magnitude of 6.7, the 1994 Northridge earthquake wasn’t unusual in terms of its size.

    Since 1900, an average 120 earthquakes per year worldwide are in the magnitude-6.0 to 6.9 range. In 1993, the year before the Northridge quake, shocks in that range numbered 141 worldwide.

    For a visualization of just how many earthquakes rival the 1994 Northridge quake in magnitude, explore the map below. It displays all earthquakes in the magnitude-6.0 to 6.9 range since 1970. 

    The list includes the magnitude-6.9 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, which caused devastation on a staggering scale -- 5,100 fatalities, 27,000 injures and 100,000 building destroyed.

    So the number 6.7 only tells us part of story of Monday, Jan. 17, 1994.

    In the case of the Northridge quake, its location in the vicinity of a built-up metropolis with some vulnerable structures -- including residential buildings and freeway overpasses -- made it a natural disaster of historic proportions.

    The origin was near the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Arminta Street in the northwest San Fernando Valley on a previously undocumented fault. At a depth of about 10 miles, the quake caused strong ground motion across a widespread part of Southern California.

    A USGS intensity map (below) shows that the strongest shaking, designated in red, was reported in areas north of Los Angeles as the rupture spread in that direction. Residents to the south, including downtown LA and densely popuated areas around it, reported less intense "strong" and "very strong" shaking, denoted by yellow and orange squares.

    Most of the damage occurred in communities north of Los Angeles, but there were pockets of hard hit areas, like Sherman Oaks, West Hollywood and even Santa Monica. The seaside community is about 15 miles away from the Northridge earthquake epicenters, but soft soil, Southern California's fault system and Santa Monica's older building stock likely all contributed to significant damage.

    Reports of damage and casualties developed throughout the first day. Below, this map features locations of some of the hardest hit areas and archived video of NBC4 reports.

    At $20 billion in damage and $49 billion in economic loss, it was the costliest natural disaster ever at the time in the United States, but the damage could have been worse had the rupture spread south toward the more densely populated areas in and around downtown Los Angeles.

    At the time, Los Angeles County's population was an estimated 9 million people. Today, it's around 10.1 million with nearly 4 million in the city of Los Angeles alone. How would the intensity of that shaking be felt across the Los Angeles of 2019? The map below illustrates the potential impact if the Northridge earthquake occurred today.



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

    Aeria view of wrecked cars litter the connector ramp from Interstate 5 to Highway 14 following the Northridge earthquake, on January 17, 1994, in Northridge, California. During Northridge earthquake damage was widespread, sections of major freeways collapsed, parking structures and office buildings collapsed, and numerous apartment buildings suffered irreparable damage. (Photo credit should read CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images)Aeria view of wrecked cars litter the connector ramp from Interstate 5 to Highway 14 following the Northridge earthquake, on January 17, 1994, in Northridge, California. During Northridge earthquake damage was widespread, sections of major freeways collapsed, parking structures and office buildings collapsed, and numerous apartment buildings suffered irreparable damage. (Photo credit should read CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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    Teenagers, and people just beyond their adolescent years, lead incredibly busy lives, as anyone who has a teen at home, or who happened to have been a teen at one point, knows for sure.

    But what if a young person's packed schedule also included numerous medical appointments and even hospital stays? Other plans have a predictable way of being put aside when grappling with a health issue becomes essential, and even urgent.

    There is, however, a yearly celebration created just for teenagers who are fighting kidney disease, and thus haven't been able to join "... pivotal social events at school."

    It's the Renal Teen Prom, from the Renal Support Network, and it is open to young people between the ages of 14 to 24.

    The 2019 prom has a sparkly theme — "All That Glitters" — and a celebrity guest who has made a point of stopping by over the last few years to show his support and have some fun: actor Jack Black.

    The price for the prom for "attendees and one guest" is zero dollars. It's totally gratis to attend, as it has been for the past two decades.

    Also gratis? The dresses that have been donated by those who support this event's big heart and big vision.

    Rides to the prom are also complimentary, if the attendee lives in Los Angeles County.

    Do you have a teen or young adult in your house who'd like to attend? The prom will dance into the Glendale Hilton on Sunday, Jan. 20. Details on signing up may be found here.

    And, indeed, the prom is open to dress donation, if you have a fancy prom frock to give. Find out the details now.

    Prom founder Lori Hartwell missed out on some important social moments of her own youth due to kidney disease, and was thus inspired to create something truly special and uplifting for those young people going through the same journey.

    The Renal Teen Prom is, above all, about "hope and survivorship," says Ms. Hartwell, important and community-strengthening concepts that everyone can take to heart.



    Photo Credit: Renal Teen Prom

    Young people who've missed their prom or other big events due to hospital visits or other issues surrounding kidney disease will party at their very own get-down gala, in Glendale.Young people who've missed their prom or other big events due to hospital visits or other issues surrounding kidney disease will party at their very own get-down gala, in Glendale.

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    A historic summer and fall of wildfires left residents who live near burn areas facing another threat this fall and winter in California. The fires stripped vegetation from hillsides, leaving those ares more susceptible to flooding and debris flows during storms. 

    Use the map above, or the map at this link, to see USGS maps of post-fire debris flow and flood hazard areas affected by wildfires in Southern California. The USGS uses factors live burn severity, soil properties and rainfall forecasts to estimate the probability and size of debris flows.

    Even moderate rainfall can produce flooding in burn areas because they lack the vegetation that would normally absorb water. The fire-scarred hillsides have a repellent layer that blocks water absorption. If it's not absorbed by the soil, rainwater simply washes down the hillside, sometimes with enough force to move boulders, tear out trees and damage buildings and bridges.



    Photo Credit: USGS/Esri
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    A landslide risk assessment map shows wildfire burn areas in November 2018.A landslide risk assessment map shows wildfire burn areas in November 2018.

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    San Francisco Mayor London Breed hatched a creative plan Sunday to solve two problems in one fell swoop.

    The mayor is looking into hiring all 300 drivers laid off by private bus company Chariot. It would keep those drivers out of the unemployment ranks and would help solve Muni’s operator shortage, which has caused long wait times across the city.

    Breed announced her plan to the public with a tweet: "With Chariot shutting down, we're exploring offering all 300 of their drivers a job with @sfmta_muni, which will help address Muni's operator shortages. This makes sense for the drivers, Muni, and the City."

    The transition couldn’t happen right away. Even though Chariot drivers have Class B licenses, they would need extensive Muni training before becoming Muni operators.

    San Francisco-based Chariot, an app-based shuttle service owned by Ford, announced Thursday it was going out of business by the end of the month.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Chariot is going out of business on Feb. 1.Chariot is going out of business on Feb. 1.

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    The Raiders finally know when they’ll be picking in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

    The loss by the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in the NFC playoffs now means the Raiders will pick fourth this spring (by virtue of their 4-12 record), 24th (with a pick from the Chicago Bears for Khalil Mack) and 27th (thanks to a pick from Dallas for Amari Cooper).

    With three first-rounders and plenty of room under the salary cap, new general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden will have plenty of options to upgrade a roster that needs plenty of help.

    As Darin Gantt of NBC’s Pro Football Talk noted today of the three first-round picks: “That’s a lot of valuable real estate for a team that doesn’t have a home at the moment, and a good start for coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock to begin a long rebuild.”

    The Raiders haven’t had multiple first-round selections since 2003, when they selected cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and defensive end Tyler Brayton.

    They haven’t had three first-round picks since 1998 when they took wide receiver Tim Brown (a future Hall of Famer) at No. 6, followed by defensive back Terry McDaniel (No. 9) and defensive tackle Scott Davis (No. 25).



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Jon Gruden (above) and the Raiders will pick fourth, 24th and 27th in this year's first round. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)Jon Gruden (above) and the Raiders will pick fourth, 24th and 27th in this year's first round. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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    He’s 36, balding and has been playing in the NFL since 2005 when he came out of Penn State, yet Robbie Gould still has a future to go with a lengthy past.

    And as the 49ers look toward 2019, the team should probably invest again in Gould, who was one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL in 2018.

    Gould could now become an unrestricted free agent after joining the Niners in 2017 on a two-year deal that has now expired. While the 49ers address additions to the offense and defense this offseason to fill the needs exposed in a 4-12 season, bringing Gould back on another deal – probably in the $4 million to $5 million range for two seasons – would seem to be a no-brainer.

    In 2018, Gould hit 33 of 34 field-goal attempts – a league-leading 97.1 accuracy rating (though he did miss two of 29 extra-point attempts). In 2017, Gould led the NFL with 39 field goals made in 41 attempts (95.1 percent). Over two seasons he’s made all six of his field goal tries from 50 or more yards and is 26-of-28 between 40 and 49 yards. In 2018, he made 33 consecutive attempts at one point and ended the year with 23 straight.

    Gould, who played his first 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears, has a career accuracy rate of 87.7 percent, which ranks No. 2 all-time to Justin Tucker (90.1 percent).

    But perhaps Gould’s return to the 49ers isn’t a done deal. As several reporters in Chicago have noted recently (and many Bears fans, as well), Bears kicker Cody Parkey was the goat of the team’s recent playoff ouster, and Gould’s family has remained in Chicago while Gould played in the Bay Area. Will the Bears make a pitch for him to return?

    Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote recently that he doesn’t believe it. Biggs noted that Parkey, even if cut, would cost the team more than $5 million in dead money against the salary cap, and that combined with what it would take to sign Gould would be too much money for the Bears to afford to pay Parkey and Gould.

    But, there could be other suitors for Gould, too. So, it would seem smart for 49ers GM John Lynch to quickly re-sign Gould for 2019. The veteran kicker has shown age hasn’t bothered him a bit.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Kicker Robbie Gould (left) has had two fine seasons with the 49ers, but could now become an unrestricted free agent. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)Kicker Robbie Gould (left) has had two fine seasons with the 49ers, but could now become an unrestricted free agent. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

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    Although 800,000 federal workers have stopped receiving a paycheck during the longest government shutdown in history, their bills have not stopped piling up. Some workers, such as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents and some members of the military, are working without pay. 

    Experts say informing creditors of the situation is the first step to protect one's credit score. 

    "If I'm an employee affected by the shutdown, one of first things I am going to do is call my lender or creditor and say – I'm in trouble. I need help. What can you do to help me? What can we do together to mitigate the shutdown impact on me and my family?" said Eric J. Ellman, Consumer Data Industry Association senior vice president of public policy and legal affairs.

    On Jan. 2, the CDIA issued forbearance guidance to lenders and creditors on how best to report to the credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — so the forbearance has no negative impact on the consumer.

    Some national companies are offering debt relief to impacted workers.

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management tweeted a link to sample letters that workers may use to write to their creditors and seek help. 

    [[504324561, C]]

    Here's an overview of some companies offering relief to workers impacted by the shutdown. This list includes companies compiled by USA Today

    UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
    Federal workers impacted by the government shutdown are eligible for unemployment benefits, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Obtain information on benefits here

    CELL PHONES
    AT&T is helping workers imapcted by the shutdown by offering flexible payments. Details here.

    Sprint is assisting customers by providing short-term payment solutions. Customers should call 888-211-4727 or chat with a representative online. 

    T-Mobile is providing flexible payment support options to customers, including deferring payments or spreading payments out over time. Contact 611 or 877-746-0909.

    Verizon launched a Promise to Pay program, which allows customers to set a future payment date via the app or call 866-266-1445. 

    BANKS and MORTGAGES
    Wells Fargo will work with "individuals and business banking customers whose income is disrupted as a result of the shutdown. Customers should call 1-800-TO-WELLS, or the number on their credit card, debit card or statement for assistance, or visit any Wells Fargo branch." Contact information here

    U.S. Bank has launched a low-rate and quick loan for their customers needing assistance. Details here

    The Federal Credit Union is waiving fees for early withdrawls and other benefits outlined here.

    The Congressional Federal Credit Union is offering multiple solutions for those impacted, scuh as a relife line of credit, personal loans, credit increases and deferment on existing loans. More information here

    Navy Federal Credit Union is offering loan programs for qualified federal workers. Information about how to register can be found here

    CREDIT CARDS
    Bank of America is providing client assistance tailored to customer needs. Call 844-219-0690.

    Chase is offering hardship programs and encourages customers to call 888-356-0023 to explore their options. Some of the benefits being offered include automatically waiving or refunding overdraft and montly service fees. 

    Citibank offers a range of assistance to customers experiencing financial hardship. Customers can call 800-950-5114 for credit card assistance and 800-283-7918 for mortgage assistance. 

    Discover says it's available to assist government employees affected by the shutdown. Call 1-800-DISCOVER.  

    LENDERS
    SoFi is offering payment forbearance during the government shutdown. Customers may call 844-975-7634 for qualifying information. 



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

    A woman cross country skis in front of the US Capitol as snow continues to fall in Washington, DC on January 13, 2019. - Washington area residents are waking up to a winter wonderland, and may need to shovel aside several inches of snow that fell overnight as a winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday and more snow is expected to fall. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)A woman cross country skis in front of the US Capitol as snow continues to fall in Washington, DC on January 13, 2019. - Washington area residents are waking up to a winter wonderland, and may need to shovel aside several inches of snow that fell overnight as a winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday and more snow is expected to fall. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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    The first shaking from the 6.7-magnitude Northridge Earthquake began at 4:31 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 1994. From its epicenter in the west San Fernando Valley, the earthquake produced 10 to 20 seconds of shaking that rattled a widespread part of Southern California.

    The devastation was due largely to its location in one of the United States' most densely built-up metropolises. Fifty-seven people died. More than 9,000 people were injured and 20,000 were displaced in a natural disaster that caused an estimated $20 billion in damage. The destruction included collapsed buildings and freeway overpasses, snapped water and gas lines, rampant fires and landslides.

    The timeline above provides a glimpse of how events unfolded in the hours, days and months after the quake.



    Photo Credit: USGS

    Fire fueled by a ruptured gas line burns after the Jan. 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake.Fire fueled by a ruptured gas line burns after the Jan. 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake.

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    The Fun Norms? 

    They're not the same as the doldrums, or even the blahs. They do, after all, rock the word "fun," which suggests that something of a light-hearted nature is at their center.

    But when we always do the usual said-to-be-fun things, over and over, they can seem a little pizzazz-less, which means breaking the Fun Norms, at least now and then, is the high-spirited order of the day.

    Such a task is easily managed at The Void, the virtual reality chain that has popped up at both Downtown Disney and the Glendale Galleria in recent months. 

    Now you can add Santa Monica to that list, for the newest outpost of the VR attraction opened near the end of 2018.

    Its mission? To send adventurers to a pair of highly disparate worlds, neither of which falls under Fun-Normalism.

    "Ralph Breaks VR" is one world you can enter, after donning your headset and gear.

    Netizens — that's you and up to three of your pals — will wade into the colorful cacophony of the internet, all to "play the newest, coolest video game ever with Wreck-It Ralph and Penelope von Schweetz."

    Loved seeing "Ralph Breaks the Internet" on the big screen? Look for "new locations and characters" in the VR experience, including a fresh villain called B.E.V. ("Built to Eradicate Viruses").

    Also storming through The Void Santa Monica? "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire," a galactic thrillfest of Stormtroopian proportions.

    If you've heard about this Forceful experience, it's probably because it has popped up in both Anaheim and Glendale, and proven popular in both locations. No wonder, for it is produced by ILMxLAB, the "immersive entertainment division" of Lucasfilm.

    Get your ticket, your time, and all of the stuff you'll need to know before suiting up, and blasting past any stale Fun Norms, at the new Santa Monica location.



    Photo Credit: The Void

    Step inside a Wreck-It Ralph VR adventure or the world of Step inside a Wreck-It Ralph VR adventure or the world of "Star Wars" at the brand-new Santa Monica attraction.

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    A woman was arrested at the end of a pursuit involving a carjacking suspect on wet roads and freeways Monday morning in the South Los Angeles area. 

    A line of law enforcement SUVs followed the car on the 105 Freeway in Lynwood and into the Compton area. The driver eluded officers in a residential complex parking lot, making a U-turn and swerving around their SUVs. 

    The driver exited and entered the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles as a sheriff's department helicopter tracked the car, identified as a 2008 Kia sedan that was stolen Jan. 12, according to the sheriff's department.

    The driver surrendered in the South LA area and was taken into custody. It was not immediately clear whether she was the individual wanted in the earlier carjacking.



    Photo Credit: NewsChopper4

    A pursuit driver wanted for carjacking led police on a chase along rain slicked streets on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.A pursuit driver wanted for carjacking led police on a chase along rain slicked streets on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

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    There has been an outpouring of support for families affected by the shutdown in San Diego, including many support and donation programs throughout the county.

    One such program was the free admission this weekend for furloughed workers’ families at the Ruben Space Fleet Center.

    Diana Hildebrand family was among dozens who came out to the Fleet Center on Sunday. She said was able to remember what it was like to be a kid again and temporarily forget the worries of a paycheck.

    “My mom called to check on me, ‘Are you OK? You're not coming out of your house?” Hildebrand said. “I'm like, ‘I don't want to use the gas in my car. I don't know when I'm going to get paid.’"

    Hildebrand, a TSA worker, hasn't been able to return to work since December. She, like many others in her shoes, just wants to know when the shutdown will be over.

    “I've never seen it last this long before,” she said. “I’ve been through two of these before. It's a little scary."

    Elsewhere in the community, Support the Enlisted Project was also lending a helping hand.

    "The community is really coming together to make sure their needs are met during this financially challenging time for them,” said Tony Teravainen, CEO of S.T.E.P.

    His agency was providing food, toiletries, and other goods for the nearly 700 Coast Guard families going without pay.

    "We want to ensure that our Coast Guard men, who are still being asked to do the most essential mission of their business — that's saving lives, and rescuing people," he said. "They’re still performing those duties without a paycheck.”

    Back at the Fleet Center, Hildebrand says the efforts have helped to bring some relief.

    "This is kind of nice that there are things available for us that people are offering out there the kindness of their heart,” she told NBC 7.

    The Fleet Center said some 300 families participated in free admission program between Saturday and Sunday.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    Diana HildebrandDiana Hildebrand

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  • 01/14/19--14:42: Winter Storm Socks SoCal

  • Winter storm warnings were in effect in parts of SoCal as heavy rain, winds and snow swept across the region.

    Photo Credit: Caltrans

    Snow drops on the Golden State Freeway at Gorman on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 where there was a report of car spinning out, Caltrans reported.Snow drops on the Golden State Freeway at Gorman on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 where there was a report of car spinning out, Caltrans reported.

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    Television, maybe more than another form of entertainment, is about anticipation.

    For sure, we do have to wait for books to be released, but if you have a book you're loving, you can just turn the page, to see what happens next.

    Movies? They're fairly stand-alone, and when there are sequels, we seem to know a lot about them, months ahead of time, thanks to the trailers.

    But television is about the waiting, about cliffhangers, and fully wrapped up in what-will-my-characters-do-next fretting. That's part of the joy of fandom, the anticipation, but TV fans won't have to wait any longer for the full-on, oh-so-complete PaleyFest 2019 list of participants.

    The Paley Center for Media, the television-smart organization behind the 35-year-old festival, released all of the participating series on Monday, Jan. 14, completing the sneak-preview-y list that began in December.

    It's a festival, by the by, that features casts and creative pros paneling-it-up, on stage, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. So if show-based Q&As are your jam, and seeing favorite actors in person, this is for you.

    On the roster?

    "MacGyver," "9-1-1," and "RuPaul's Drag Race" are on board for the 2019 March happening, along with "This Is Us," which had been previously announced, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," and "Grace and Frankie."

    "Star Trek: Discovery" and "The Twilight Zone" will deliver the sci-fi dazzle, while "Parks and Recreation" will be in the house, to celebrate a 10th anniversary reunion.

    Oh yes, there are more series, too, headed for the March 16-25 event. See them here.

    A special presale rolls on Jan. 15 and 16 for Paley Patron, Fellow, and Supporting members, as well as Citi cardmembers. Paley Individual members can buy tickets on Jan. 17, while tickets open up to the general public on Friday, Jan. 18.



    Photo Credit: "MacGyver," "9-1-1," "RuPaul's Drag Race"

    "MacGyver," "9-1-1," and "RuPaul's Drag Race" will all be in the spotlight at the March TV fest, in Hollywood.

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    Short Shorts Film Festival: Enjoy a one-day event that "... will bring together premier film talent from Japan" for several happenings, including a Master Class with director Naomi Kawase. On the big screen at the TCL Chinese 6 cinemas? Look for several offerings, including the U.S. premiere of Daishi Matsunaga's "Canaria." Japan House is a partner on the event, which can trace its Hollywood roots back to 2002. More details on the Thursday, Jan. 17 festival, which is totally free to join? Find them here.

    "They Live": Talk with any cinephile about movies made around downtown, and they'll drop a few big titles, with director John Carpenter's 1988 sci-fi horror masterpiece at the forefront. It became quotable from the get-go, and more so in our meme-y age, and its dystopian flavor continues to draw new fans. A bonus to the big-screen event at The Egyptian on Wednesday, Jan. 16? Iconic composer Alan Howarth will play live. So don your sunglasses, and stick that pack of chewing gum in your pocket, and head for Hollywood.

    dineL.A.: A solid Restaurant Week, one that lasts for many days, and involves a caboodle of cafés and lunch favorites and posh dining rooms? All while delivering prix fixe deals, meaning multiple courses, to dine-outers looking for new places to try and, fingers crossed, absolutely love? It's a wonderful, wallet-nice happening. And the wonderful thing is it is on now, through Friday, Jan. 25, at over 400 restaurants around Southern California. Lunches start at $15 for two courses at some spots, but best look up the places you want to try for more price guidance.

    "Drunk History" Dioramas: So you're a devotee of the Comedy Central series, which kicks off its sixth season on Tuesday, Jan. 15? Best make your way to Beverly Hills, by Sunday, Jan. 20, to admire a line-up of dioramas, as in small displays made with miniature figures, inspired by the episodes from the new season. It's free to season at The Paley Center for Media, which is open Wednesday through Sunday. Also good to know, if you're a Paley person? PaleyFest 2019 tickets go on sale this week, with general public tickets available on Jan. 18.

    Camellia Time at Descanso Gardens: For sure, and no doubt about it, we're in one of those famously rainy Southern California spate, the kind of moisture-drenched run that can and does last for days. Still, if you find a spot of sunshine, and you're eager to see nature in its glittery, water-droplet'd best, consider heading for the La Cañada Flintridge spread that's home to another famous winter feature: the camellia. Yes, there are far more raindrops around town than camellias at Descanso right now, but you can bet those flowers are reveling in this wet weather.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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