L.A. agrees to pay nearly $300,000 to settle case of woman who died in LAPD jail cell

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay up to $298,000 to settle a legal matter stemming from the controversial death of a woman who authorities say hanged herself in a downtown jail cell.

The 13-0 vote was the latest development in a bitter dispute that began soon after Wakiesha Wilson’s…

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Huntington Park police officer found not guilty of child abuse at San Luis Obispo boot camp

A Huntington Park police officer facing multiple charges of abusing children at a police-sponsored boot camp in San Luis Obispo in 2015 was acquitted of criminal charges Tuesday.

Marissa Larios was a staffer at a $400-a-week camp sponsored by the South Gate and Huntington Park police departments…

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As Thomas blaze grows, firefighters continue the battle: ‘This fire is a beast and you’re gonna kill it’

The Thomas fire, which has burned through Ventura County for more than a week and entered Santa Barbara County over the weekend, has now scorched 237,500 acres and is 25% contained, fire officials said Wednesday.

The fire, which ignited Dec. 4, grew by 1,500 acres overnight, a Ventura County Fire…

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Wealthy Bel-Air wrestles with homeless crisis after encampment fire burns homes

In the tony hillside neighborhoods of Bel-Air and Brentwood, residents say they are aware of the homeless that live in the shadows of their multimillion-dollar homes.

The affluent area along the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, home to celebrities, corporate titans and others, has not been immune…

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Essential California: Cooking fire at a homeless encampment sparked Skirball fire

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Dec. 13, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

Skirball fire’s origins

The fire that destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in Bel-Air last week was caused by a cooking fire at a nearby…

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Pharmacies now can offer birth control to women without a prescription, but few do

A new law in California allows women to pick up birth control pills from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.

But more than a year after the law took effect, women say they’re still struggling to get the medicines, in part because they can’t find pharmacies offering them.

A study released…

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Fierce fight along Santa Barbara coast as fire threat eases in Ventura

Robin Willis sprayed her garden hose at the eaves of her backyard patio, soaking the wooden beams with water.

Authorities had evacuated her Montecito neighborhood two days earlier as the Thomas fire neared, but the 68-year-old and her brother, who lives across the street, had since returned and…

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L.A. County leaders review sexual harassment policies

Amid the wave of sexual harassment complaints lodged against elected officials and other high-profile figures, Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday tinkered with what they said is already an effective program for handling such allegations for the 110,000-person workforce.

After hearing a report…

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L.A. school board sticks with early start for school

Los Angeles school board members often divide along ideological lines, but one of their most spirited debates Tuesday was over nuts and bolts: when the next three school years should begin and end.

Many parents of younger students favor a later start to leave more time for summer programs and family…

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