Officials rescue bear from under house

SIERRA MADRE — Officials rescued an apparently sick or injured bear Thursday that had barricaded itself underneath a Sierra Madre home, authorities said.
The incident began about 5 p.m. at a home on Olive Tree Lane, north of Grandview Avenue, police and search and rescue officials said.
“It’s a first for us,” Sale said. “In my 32 years with the team, I’ve never done a rescue on a bear.”
After being tranquilized by an official from the California Department of Fish and Game, members of the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team improvised a harness and a rope and pulley system to pull the bear out from the home’s crawl space, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team member Dick Sale said.
The female bear of about 175 pounds was taken to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Pasadena, he said.

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Baldwin Park police captain saves toddler during lunch break

BALDWIN PARK — Baldwin Park police Capt. Michael Taylor sat down at a restaurant Thursday for a grilled chicken lunch, but ended up saving a toddler’s life, officials and restaurant employees said.
Taylor said he had just gotten up to pay for his meal about 1 p.m. at the El Llano restaurant, 13720 Ramona Blvd., when he noticed a 1-year-old girl choking.
Her family members desperately patted her on the back to try to free the obstruction — a tortilla chip — with no success.
“She was choking to death,” Taylor said. “She was turning blue.”
Restaurant waitress Julie Jimenez said Taylor immediately sprung into action and performed the Heimlich Maneuver.
“I was so scared,” she said. “I was happy he saved the life of the little girl.”
After performing the Heimlich Maneuver, the girl appeared to be doing just fine, Taylor said.
“I felt sorry for the family,” he said. “They seemed pretty shaken up by the whole thing.”
Taylor added he did not tell the “very grateful” family he was a police officer.
Jimenez said she was glad to have Taylor as a regular customer of the restaurant.
“I feel we need more people like that,” she said. “I’m very glad that I know Capt. Mike.”
Thursday’s incident was not the first time Taylor has rescued a choking stranger at a Baldwin Park restaurant, Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano said.
“It doesn’t surprise me, since I’ve seen it once before,” the mayor said of the rescue.
About five years ago, Taylor was having lunch with Lozano at another Baldwin Park restaurant when Taylor noticed a man choking and performed the Heimlich Maneuver, Lozano said.
The mayor added he was amazed by how quickly Taylor reacted to the situation.
“The guy thanked him, and it was amazing,” Lozano said. “He told me that it comes with the job.”
Taylor said he also once had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on his own toddler son more than 20 years ago when he choked on a cracker.
The captain encouraged all parents to take a class in basic life-saving procedures, such as the Heimlich Maneuver.
“I’m glad I picked that restaurant to have lunch (Thursday),” Taylor said. “Sometimes, there’s a reason for things.”

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Missing girl found alive 18 years after disappearance

A young woman who was kidnapped 18 years ago in South Lake Tahoe has been found, officials announced Wednesday.
Jaycee Lee Dugard went into a police station in the Bay Area and announced her identity. She will be reunited with her mother, a resident of Riverside County later today.

Here’ what the AP is reporting:


SACRAMENTO, Calif.  — A woman who entered a California police station is believed to be 1991 abduction victim Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 when kidnapped.
Deputies are 99 percent sure the woman is Dugard, said Lt. Les Lovell of the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department. He says DNA tests were being conducted.
Witnesses reported that a vehicle with two people drove up to Dugard and abducted her while her stepfather was watching.
Lovell says two people have been taken into custody.
The sheriff’s department has scheduled a news conference to discuss the case later today.

FBI Poster

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Morris Fire burn area detailed

It’s 45% contained this morning, but the Morris Fire five miles above Azusa has the potential to cause problems throughout the week as temperatures continue to soar.
Here’s our latest story from James Wagner. Attached are videos, a map and photo galleries.

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – An explosive, heat-driven wildfire burned its way up San Gabriel Canyon Road on Wednesday, blackening more than 1,700 acres above Azusa and threatening more. Meanwhile, a second fire emerged several miles west along the Angeles Crest Highway above La Caada Flintridge.

Temperatures near 100 degrees and relative humidity in the single digits fueled the Morris Fire, which started Tuesday afternoon on the side of the weaving mountain road above Azusa. By Wednesday evening officials said it was only 10 percent contained.

“It definitely has the potential to grow,” said Pam Bierce, a spokeswoman with the Southern California Incident Management team, the federal government agency that is coordinating the firefighting effort.

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Pasadena burglary suspects jailed

PASADENA — Police arrested two men who allegedly burglarized a home a home Wednesday, and are investigating them for possible connections to other Pasadena burglaries, authorities said.
Tyquan Davis, 20, and Antyown Houston, 27, both Los Angeles County residence, were each booked on suspicion of residential burglary, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
A third suspect remained at large, she said.
The arrests were made after neighbors called police to report suspicious activity shortly before 1 p.m. in the area of Glenullen and Sequoia drives, the lieutenant said.
One person called to report a suspicious man sitting in a van in the area, while others reported seeing two men carrying a TV and other valuables out of a neighbor’s house, Ibarra said.
The man in the van fled before police arrived, she said, but the other two suspected burglars were found and arrested after a search of the neighborhood. The allegedly stolen property was recovered.
Officials are now working to to connect the suspects to other Pasadena burglaries.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Davis is being held without bail and Houston is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. No information was available Wednesday regarding their initial court appearances.

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Morris Fire: briefing from the command post

IRWINDALE — At a 6 p.m.  briefing Wednesday, law enforcement and fire officials gathered at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale to discuss the progress thus far and future plans for battling the Morris Fire, which has scorched about 1,700 acres in the Angeles National Forest since Tuesday.

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The fire jumped over the San Gabriel River late Tuesday and more than doubled in size over the course of Wednesday.

The main concerns were the eastern and southern edges of the fire. On the east, vast open areas of vegetation stood in the fire’s path. To the south, officials wanted to make sure the fire remained in the forest and didn’t reach foothill communities.

Officials hoped Wednesday to keep the blaze confined west of Glendora Ridge, east of Monrovia Peak, south of the Valley of the Moon and north of the forest boundary.

The fire ran up against a ridge on it’s northern side west of the river, and officials were confident they could keep it from spreading to the north.

At the Santa Fe Dam command post, a “full camp” was set up Wednesday, which included command and control trailers, sleeping trailers, a tented cafeteria, and areas to store supplies.

 PHOTO: Fire officials take a break from the fire line to catch a meal at a tented cafeteria at the Incident Command Post.


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Second fire reported at Angeles Crest Highway

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — A wildfire stoked by an unrelenting heatwave burned its way up Azusa Canyon Road Wednesday blackening more than 750 acres and a “rapidly moving” second fire threatened to close the Angeles Crest Highway several miles north of Morris Dam.

Officials late Wednesday ordered mandatory evacuations for dozens of residents along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, and could offer no estimate as to when the blaze might be contained.

“It definitely has the potential to grow,” said Pam Bierce, a spokeswoman with the Southern California Incident Management team, a federal government agency that is coordinating the firefighting effort.

As of 3:30 p.m. the fire was 10 percent contained but a second blaze threatened homes as far north as the Angeles Crest Highway, officials said.

An evacuation center has been set up at El ROble Imtermediate School, 665 North Mountain Avenue in Claremont has been established for those residents who are being escorted down from the canyon by deputies with the Los Angeles COunty Sheriff’s Department.

A disptacher with Angeles National Forest Fire Service said the second blaze is west of the Morris Fire and that they have “full brush” on it and LA County Fire responded as well.

The second fire was reported at Mile Marker 29 on the Angeles Crest Highway. It was reported at 3:23 p.m. as a brush fire, a Los Angeles COunty Fire Department inspector said.

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LA County homicides Aug 2009

Using raw data provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, I created a Zee Map listing the locations of several homicides recorded in Los Angeles County between Aug. 3 and Aug 17. The markers point to the locations of the homicides. The data is provided by the coroner.

Here’s the map, (which still needs some massaging):

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Mexican drug cartel with ties to Southern California revealed

This from an overnight update:

California’s attorney general and the Imperial County District Attorney will file charges against more than a dozen members of a drug cartel that may have had operations in the Inland Empire, officials at the attorney general’s office said.

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. will announce the indictments today in Imperial County. The indictments come following an eight-month investigation during which a state narcotics officer worked his way into a Mexican drug cartel.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Silver Fox,” included surveillance operations in Colton, Rialto, Fontana, Ontario and Riverside.
Officials in Brown’s office said the indictments, which should offer a glimpse at the cartel’s Inland Empire operations, will be released today.

Along with more than a dozen indictments, the investigation netted weapons, drugs and drug-smuggling vehicles, including a truck with a 1,100-pound cocaine vault.

Following today’s announcement, which is scheduled for 10 a.m., Brown will meet with local law enforcement officials, including members of the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and Imperial County Narcotic Task Force, and with his cross-border counterpart, the attorney general of the Mexican state of Baja California.

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