Essential California: Where the magic goes down at Comic-Con

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, July 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

Down at Comic-Con

Hall H in the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con International is the most important room in Hollywood. Lined with jumbo…

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Another jolt for L.A. schools as civic group seeks a role in fixing school district

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which just two months ago saw a pro-charter school majority elected to the Board of Education for the first time, is about to get another jolt.

Philanthropist and former investment banker Austin Beutner has assembled an advisory panel to work with Los Angeles…

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YouTube star from California detained by Thailand police after railway coin stunt

An American expat in Thailand who is a YouTube star with 3.29 million subscribers is in hot water for posting a video of an age-old practice among kids: flattening coins on railroad tracks.

Nathan Bartling, whose YouTube series is called “My Mate Nate,” was detained by police after a news conference…

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Former head of South Korean geoscience center convicted of laundering $1 million in bribes

The former head of South Korea’s earthquake research center was convicted this week of laundering more than $1 million in bribes from two seismological companies, including one based in Pasadena, that paid him in exchange for insider information.

After a four-day trial, a federal jury convicted…

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Tanker truck crash shuts down northbound 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights

A tanker truck and a car collided on the 5 Freeway late Tuesday, shutting down all northbound lanes near the 10 Freeway in Boyle Heights, officials said.

The crash was reported just after 9:30 p.m. The tanker was traveling south and jumped the center divider, colliding with the car, according to…

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Funeral held for slain 5-year-old boy, the ‘picture of innocence’

Ana Estevez never imagined that she would be reading a letter to her 5-year-old son, known as “Piqui,” at his funeral.

Estevez stood in front of hundreds of mourners Tuesday in South Pasadena and detailed what she will miss about her only child: giving him butterfly kisses, reading him stories…

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USC president tries to quell outrage over drug allegations against former medical school dean

Acknowledging widespread concern on campus, USC President C.L. Max Nikias said Tuesday the university would “examine and address” a report in The Times that its former medical school dean abused drugs and associated with criminals and drug users.

Nikias, speaking about the controversy for the first…

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Alleged white nationalist to face charges in statehouse brawl that left seven stabbed last year

A man described as a white nationalist is fighting extradition to California on assault charges in connection with a brawl between extreme-right groups and counter-protesters that ended with seven people stabbed near the state Capitol last year, officials said.

The California Highway Patrol had…

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Rescuers free humpback snagged by fishing anchors

Rescuers off California on Tuesday freed a badly tangled humpback whale caught by fishing anchors that were dragging it to the ocean floor.

A crew that included members of the state’s whale-entanglement teams, fishermen, academics, marine veterinarians and the U.S. Coast Guard unsnagged the whale…

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