TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) _ Hundreds of firefighters gained ground Wednesday against the most destructive of two big wildfires that have burned homes and forced 2,300 people to evacuate mountain communities on the edge of the Mojave Desert and in the southern Sierra Nevada.
Breaking news reporting at the AP is always collaborative, but on this story I was in the driver’s seat _ managing a flood of incoming calls, delegating outgoing calls, teasing out a good quote from folks who felt the shaking and getting the seismologists to explain what happened. Add in a few twists (it was downgraded? The tramway’s down?), and it makes for an exciting afternoon.
The moderate earthquake that rattled through Southern California with only minor damage and no injuries came as no surprise to seismologists, who said it was triggered by a much larger April temblor near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 5.4-magnitude earthquake rattled buildings in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday, toppled wine bottles at desert resorts and briefly halted rides at Disneyland.
It was centered 28 miles south of Palm Springs and was related to the powerful Easter Day quake, but was not an aftershock, researchers said.
LOS ANGELES – The black choir clapped and swayed, propelled by the organ’s groove and drums’ beat as gospel music filled the tiny New Life in Christ Church on Compton Avenue.
The rhythm came naturally, but when it was time to sing, the choir had to turn to sheet music to keep from stumbling over the Spanish lyrics.
Two years after this African-American Pentecostal congregation of about 100 people welcomed their Latino neighbors, the two groups are still trying to stay in tune in a part of the city that has not always lived in harmony.
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) _ Residents evacuated from foothill communities deluged by weekend mudslides north of Los Angeles were allowed to return home Sunday as crews moved debris and cleared catch basins in anticipation of more rain later in the week.
The final evacuation order was lifted for about 70 homes in the Paradise Valley area of La Canada Flintridge, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Guillermina Saldana. Only residents with valid identification were allowed back into the neighborhood that was choked with a thick layer of mud and debris during a pummeling rain early Saturday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tara Kolla fancied herself a green thumb-turned-green businesswoman when she planted an organic flower plot in her yard and sold poppies, sweet peas and zinnias at the local farmers market. For her neighbors, it was an eyesore.
Where Kolla saw her efforts as creating a lush sanctuary, her neighbors witnessed dusty pots, steaming compost, flies and a funky aroma on their tiny cul-de-sac in Los Angeles. They complained to zoning officials — and prevailed.
Kolla and other urban farmers are fighting back by challenging city halls across the country to rewrite ordinances that govern residential gardens. They believe feeding their fellow urbanites homegrown tomatoes, fresh eggs and sweet corn will change the world one backyard at a time.
Seattle has loosened its rules for backyard goats, New York City’s health department is taking steps to legalize beekeeping and Detroit is looking into regulating compost and greenhouses.
The sports side of AP’s Online Video has kept me busy since Pete Carroll announced his departure.
I shot the presser, using my sharpest elbows to earn a spot next to the veteran cameramen. They have better gear, years of experience and 50+ lbs. on me – yet they still couldn’t cut me a break. Then I dashed back to the bureau to send b-roll and bites to NY, where a producer edited and voiced the piece.
PASADENA, Calif. – After a run of celebrity grand marshals, a real American hero led the Rose Parade on Friday.
Onlookers stood and cheered as Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III rode down Colorado Boulevard in a vintage 1928 Pierce Arrow with his wife, Lorrie, and two daughters as part of the annual armada of flower-draped floats, marching bands and prancing horses.
Sullenberger said he did not hesitate when asked to serve as grand marshal because his family has watched the parade when he was growing up in Texas.
“It’s really an American institution, a celebration of American values,” he said after the parade. “I think people see those in me, and I’m glad.”
Parade-goer Hilda Roy held a hand-painted, fluorescent sign that read, “We (heart) you Sully!” She waved and screamed the name of the man who landed a stricken jetliner on New York’s Hudson River and was thrilled when Sullenberger waved back.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 won all five awards it was nominated for Thursday at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas, including two of the top awards of the night and honors in both urban and alternative categories.
The awards show ran late because Mexico’s “Divo of Juarez,” Juan Gabriel, sang for 40 minutes straight while mariachis stomped on stage and the audience clapped and sang along.
Calle 13 won album of the year for its innovative collaborations and politically charged reggaeton. Left with little time to accept the golden gramophone for the top honor, lead singer Rene Perez, who raps as “Residente,” dedicated the award to Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, who died in October at age 74.
“May she rest in peace. An applause for Mercedes Sosa, please,” he said in Spanish.