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News May 24 Saturday, 2008
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News May 24 Saturday, 2008
CBS News 2
County firefighters dispatched three helicopters to retrieve the victims.
Helicopter Crashes On Catalina, 3 Dead, 3 Hurt
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TWO HARBORS Los Angeles County authorities say a helicopter has crashed on Santa Catalina Island killing three people and critically injuring three more, at least two critically.

A county fire dispatcher says the chopper went down at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the west end of the island in the Two Harbors area.

The helicopter reportedly crashed near the Banning House Lodge at Two Harbors.

The crash started a small fire but it was quickly doused.

Sheriff's Deputy Chuck Upton of the Avalon station reported that the helicopter was an Island Express chopper.

County firefighters dispatched three helicopters to retrieve the victims.
24-05-2008 12:13 PM
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RE: May 24 Saturday, 2008
Sheriff's deputies, CHP team up to fight gangs
New program nets 9 arrests in 3 weekends
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press

Saturday, May 24, 2008.
Av Press full story
By BOB WILSON
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Valley Press Staff Writer

LANCASTER - In only three weekends, patrolling teams of highway patrol officers and sheriff's deputies have made 330 traffic stops in search of gang members in the Antelope Valley.

The stops have resulted in nine arrests, including five felony arrests; the impounding of nine vehicles; and the issuance of 95 citations, including 12 for drunken driving, officials announced Friday.

The teams also have confiscated illegal firearms and collected additional information for use against gangs active in north Los Angeles County.

"This really is a remarkable program," Mayor R. Rex Parris said.

The teams, which post Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in patrol cars with California Highway Patrol officers, are the first of their kind, Parris said.

The teams were created after Parris had a conversation with Dan Bower, assistant chief of the CHP's Southern Division, the mayor said.

He and Bower spoke the day after the April 8 Lancaster election. Three weeks later, the teams hit the streets, he said.

CHP officers are required to patrol in pairs at night, and by putting deputies in CHP cars, "we doubled the coverage" of the CHP, Parris said.

The Lancaster Sheriff's Station has been assigning gang control deputies to ride with the CHP officers, and the deputies are able to identify gang members traveling in the area, he said.

The program consists of six two-person patrol teams, plus two sergeants, and those 14 people "are essentially a small police force that moves in every Friday and Saturday," the mayor said.

"It's definitely become dangerous for gang members to drive around the Antelope Valley," he said. "Pretty soon it's going to become clear to the people living in L.A. that want to come up here to do their gangbanging that this is not the place to do it, and hopefully the (gang members) living here will move back to where they came from."

"This is a hostile environment for gangs and it's going to stay that way," Parris said.

Capt. Jerry Flavin, commander of the CHP's Lancaster office, said the teams increase the agency's local strength because they use state funds to pay for the officers participating in the anti-gang program.

The teams focus on vehicles carrying suspected gang participants, and use code violations and other reasons set forth under the law to stop and search vehicles carrying suspected gang members, said Capt. Axel Anderson, commander of the Lancaster station.

The CHP officers "have the expertise in getting those cars stopped, and the instructions are to make a lot of stops and contact a lot of people, and that gives the deputies (a chance) to use their expertise once we get the cars stopped," Flavin said, adding, "It's a beautiful relationship that's working very well."

Deputies on the teams would be on duty anyway, but the CHP officers are in addition to those normally on duty, "so citizens are getting our (regular) patrols plus" the teams, Flavin said.

"The most important part is that it doesn't cost either Palmdale or Lancaster any money," Parris noted.

"We literally got an extra police force without extra cost."

The effort "is probably going to be the highest-impact thing I will do the entire time I am mayor, and it happened the first day after I was elected," he said.

bwilson@avpress.com
24-05-2008 12:17 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
Immigration Sting Results In 905 Arrests In California
KNBC4 Channel 4 story
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says agents have arrested more than 900 people in California on immigration violations during a three-week sting targeting people who ignored deportation orders.

The agency says 495 of the 905 people arrested were targeted in the operation. The other 410 just happened to be on the scene when agents arrived.

Northern California accounted for the most arrests, with 441. The Los Angeles area followed with 327 arrests. The San Diego area accounted for the other 137.

ICE agents increasingly have been tracking people who ignore deportation orders. When authorities visit a suspect's last known address and find other immigrants, they ask them to prove they are legally entitled to live in the United States.
24-05-2008 12:57 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
3 killed, 3 hurt in helicopter crash on Catalina Island
The Island Express sightseeing copter went down this morning near Two Harbors, on the west side of the island. The cause of crash has not been determined.
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
12:31 PM PDT, May 24, 2008
LaTimes full story
Three people were killed and three others were injured, two critically, when a sightseeing helicopter crashed this morning near Two Harbors on the west side of Catalina Island, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said.

The helicopter, registered to the sightseeing company Island Express, crashed about 9:30 a.m. near the Little Red Schoolhouse, a short distance from the Banning House Lodge, Deputy Denise Fuchs said.



* Website of helicopter service involved in crash
Website of helicopter service involved in crash

Two men and one woman were pronounced dead at the scene, said Los Angeles County Supervising Fire Dispatcher Melanie Flores. Two people critically injured were flown to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. Another injured person was taken to County-USC Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles, she said.

A woman who answered the phone at the Island Express offices declined to comment.

Island Express, according to its website, offers exclusive tours of Southern California and Santa Catalina Island. The company, which according to its website flies "four top-of-the-line turbine helicopters," operates out of a base near the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It advertises private tours for groups of up to six people.

A witness said the helicopter wreckage was confined to a small area in a grassy field near the harbor. The crash ignited a small brush fire, which was quickly extinguished.

Two Harbors is the smaller and more remote of Catalina's two towns.

Before today's crash, the island and the waters around it had been the site of 16 deaths in seven fatal aircraft crashes -- all small, private aircraft, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The deadliest was a Christmas Eve 2003 daytime flight out of Long Beach that crashed into a mountain, killing all five people aboard.

Authorities said a cause of today's crash had not yet been determined.

Times staff writer Carla Hall contributed to this report.

Jason.song@latimes.com
24-05-2008 01:04 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
24-05-2008 01:10 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
Gas prices pinch Memorial Day travel plans
Staff and Wire reports

Article Last Updated: 05/22/2008 0947 AM PDT

Even as Southland residents gear up for this Memorial Day weekend, oil prices today rose above $135 a barrel for the first time amid supply worries, global demand and an ever weakening U.S dollar.

The oil prices are driving up costs at the gas pump, already more than $4 a gallon in some places and pushing many in the region to curtail travel plans for the upcoming three-day weekend.

Experts said this week that for the first time in years, Americans' travel by road and plane this holiday and summer is expected to quietly drop.

"There's no doubt that this year's record gas prices are affecting travelers' budgets and destination choices," said Jeffrey Spring, Auto Club spokesman. "Travel agents tell us that this year's holiday vacationers are more expense-conscious when planning trips."

Local Memorial Day road travels will dip less than one percent from last year with about 73 percent of Southern California families - about 2 million people - piling into the car and strapping on seatbelts, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

But it's the first decline in Memorial Day travel since 2002 - when some Americans feared traveling after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

With gas and oil prices setting new records nearly every day, analysts have begun to wonder what might stop prices from rising.

There are technical signals in the futures market, including price differences between near-term and longer-term
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contracts, that crude may soon fall.

But with demand for oil growing in the developing world, and little end in sight to supply problems in producing countries such as Nigeria, few analysts are willing to call an end to crude's rally.

"The sentiment in the market is very bullish at the moment," said David Moore, commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. "

Investment bank Goldman Sachs last week revised its oil price forecast for the second half of 2008 from $107 to $141 a barrel. But some analysts saw the new target becoming a reality much sooner.

"Futures are moving so fast that under the current volatility that goal could already be reached within the end of the week," said a report by Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Switzerland.

Some analysts say crude has been boosted in recent days by especially strong demand for diesel in China, where power plants in some areas are running desperately short of coal.
24-05-2008 01:15 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
3 Die, 3 Hurt In Catalina Helicopter Crash
May 24, 2008, 1:20 PM PDT
KTLA Channel 5 story
3 Die, 3 Hurt In Catalina Helicopter Crash CATALINA ISLAND -- A chartered helicopter crashed on the west end of Catalina Island, killing three people and critically three others today, authorities said.
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The Eurocopter AS 350 operated by Island Express took off from Long Beach and went down amid drizzly weather about 9:20 a.m. crash near the Banning House lodge at Two Harbors, which is on the opposite end of the island from Avalon, Steve Whitmore of the sheriff's department said.

A woman at the lodge said the engine apparently quit over Isthmus Cove, which caters to boaters, and the chopper went down about 200 or 300 yards inland in some grass.

Another witness said that he heard a pop and saw smoke coming from the exhaust as the helicopter went down.

The crash caused a grass fire, which was put out quickly before spreading. It was overcast and drizzling at the time of the crash.

County firefighters sent three helicopters to retrieve the victims, who were taken to mainland hospitals. The names of those killed an injured were unavailable.

It was unclear if the pilot was among the dead. No one with Island Express was available for comment, but the owner was said to be at the scene.

The Eurocopter AS-350 is a single-engine helicopter that seats six or seven, according to the maker's Web page.
24-05-2008 01:26 PM
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RE: News May 24 Saturday, 2008
Suspected Child Molester Caught on Tape
KTLA News


May 23, 2008, 4:03 PM PDT
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Suspected Child Molester Caught on Tape ARCADIA -- A young girl is recovering from a terrifying experience at an Arcadia bookstore, and a registered sex offender is in custody.

Police say Jaime Elvis Elizondo, 33, brushed up against the 5 year old girl and exposed his genitals while shoppers watched in horror and the girl's father sat just a few feet away. The incident was captured on the store's surveillance camera.

Elizondo, a resident of San Gabriel, is under arrest, suspected of "touching his exposed genitals up against a young female child" in a Borders bookstore at Westfield Santa Anita, 400 S. Baldwin Ave., according to Arcadia Police Chief Robert P. Sanderson.

Witnesses confronted the suspect and he fled, but one of the witnesses was able to identify the suspect from the National Sex Offender Registry, police said.

Elizondo was arrested and booked on suspicion of one count of committing lewd acts with a child. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with additional information regarding the attack was asked to contact Detective Dan Crowther at (626) 574-5149.
24-05-2008 01:43 PM
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