John Lewis, lion of civil rights and Congress, dies at 80

By CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press

ATLANTA >> John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement whose bloody beating by Alabama state troopers in 1965 helped galvanize opposition to racial segregation, and who went on to a long and celebrated career in Congress, died. He was 80.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Lewis’ passing late Friday night, calling him “one of the greatest heroes of American history.”

“All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing,” Pelosi said. “May his memory be an inspiration that moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.’”

Lewis’s announcement in late December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer — “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said — inspired tributes from both sides of the aisle, and an unstated accord that the likely passing of this Atlanta Democrat would represent the end of an era.

Lewis was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, a group led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that had the greatest impact on the movement. He was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

At age 25 — walking at the head of the march with his hands tucked in the pockets of his tan overcoat — Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by police. His skull was fractured, and nationally televised images of the brutality forced the country’s attention on racial oppression in the South.

Within days, King led more marches in the state, and President Lyndon Johnson soon was pressing Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. The bill became law later that year, removing barriers that had barred Blacks from voting.

“John is an American hero who helped lead a movement and risked his life for our most fundamental rights; he bears scars that attest to his indefatigable spirit and persistence,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said after Lewis announced his cancer diagnosis.

Lewis joined King and four other civil rights leaders in organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He spoke to the vast crowd just before King delivered his epochal “I Have a Dream” speech.

A 23-year-old firebrand, Lewis toned down his intended remarks at the insistence of others, dropping a reference to a “scorched earth” march through the South and scaling back criticisms of President John Kennedy. It was a potent speech nonetheless, in which he vowed: “By the forces of our demands, our determination and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them together in an image of God and democracy.”

It was almost immediately, and forever, overshadowed by the words of King, the man who had inspired him to activism.

Lewis was born on Feb. 21, 1940, outside the town of Troy, in Pike County, Alabama. He grew up on his family’s farm and attended segregated public schools.

As a boy, he wanted to be a minister, and practiced his oratory on the family chickens. Denied a library card because of the color of his skin, he became an avid reader, and could cite obscure historical dates and details even in his later years. He was a teenager when he first heard King preaching on the radio. They met when Lewis was seeking support to become the first Black student at Alabama’s segregated Troy State University.

He ultimately attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary and Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He began organizing sit-in demonstrations at whites-only lunch counters and volunteering as a Freedom Rider, enduring beatings and arrests while traveling around the South to challenge segregation.

Lewis helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was named its chairman in 1963, making him one of the Big Six at a tender age.

The others, in addition to King, were Whitney Young of the National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph of the Negro American Labor Council; James L. Farmer Jr., of the Congress of Racial Equality; and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP. All six met at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York to plan and announce the March on Washington.

The huge demonstration galvanized the movement, but success didn’t come quickly. After extensive training in nonviolent protest, Lewis and the Rev. Hosea Williams led demonstrators on a planned march of more than 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital, on March 7, 1965. A phalanx of police blocked their exit from the Selma bridge.

Authorities shoved, then swung their truncheons, fired tear gas and charged on horseback, sending many to the hospital and horrifying much of the nation. King returned with thousands, completing the march to Montgomery before the end of the month.

Lewis turned to politics in 1981, when he was elected to the Atlanta City Council.

He won his seat in Congress in 1986 and spent much of his career in the minority. After Democrats won control of the House in 2006, Lewis became his party’s senior deputy whip, a behind-the-scenes leadership post in which he helped keep the party unified.

In an early setback for Barack Obama’s 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Lewis endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for the nomination. Lewis switched when it became clear Obama had overwhelming Black support. Obama later honored Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and they marched hand in hand in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attack.

Lewis also worked for 15 years to gain approval for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Humble and unfailingly friendly, Lewis was revered on Capitol Hill — but as one of the most liberal members of Congress, he often lost policy battles, from his effort to stop the Iraq War to his defense of young immigrants.

He met bipartisan success in Congress in 2006 when he led efforts to renew the Voting Rights Act, but the Supreme Court later invalidated much of the law, and it became once again what it was in his youth, a work in progress. Later, when the presidency of Donald Trump challenged his civil rights legacy, Lewis made no effort to hide his pain.

Lewis refused to attend Trump’s inauguration, saying he didn’t consider him a “legitimate president” because Russians had conspired to get him elected. When Trump later complained about immigrants from “s—hole countries,” Lewis declared, “I think he is a racist … we have to try to stand up and speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug.”

Lewis said he’d been arrested 40 times in the 1960s, five more as a congressman. At 78, he told a rally he’d do it again to help reunite immigrant families separated by the Trump administration.

“There cannot be any peace in America until these young children are returned to their parents and set all of our people free,” Lewis said in June, recalling the “good trouble” he got into protesting segregation as a young man.

“If we fail to do it, history will not be kind to us,” he shouted. “I will go to the border. I’ll get arrested again. If necessary, I’m prepared to go to jail.”

In a speech the day of the House impeachment vote of Trump, Lewis explained the importance of that vote.

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Our children and their children will ask us ‘what did you do? what did you say?” While the vote would be hard for some, he said: “We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

Lewis’ wife of four decades, Lillian Miles, died in 2012. They had one son, John Miles Lewis.

___

Associated Press writer Michael Warren contributed to this report.

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Protests, some violent, spread nationally in wake of George Floyd death

By SUDHIN THANAWALA The Associated Press

ATLANTA >> Demonstrators marched, stopped traffic and in some cases lashed out violently at police as protests erupted Friday in dozens of U.S. cities following the killing of George Floyd after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck while taking him into custody in Minnesota. In Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and beyond, thousands of protesters carried signs that said: “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” They chanted “”No justice, no peace” and “Say his name. George Floyd.”

After hours of peaceful protest in downtown Atlanta, some demonstrators suddenly turned violent, smashing police cars, setting one on fire, spray-painting the iconic logo sign at CNN headquarters, and breaking into a restaurant. The crowd pelted officers with bottles, chanting “Quit your jobs.”

At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said. Campos said protesters shot BB guns at officers and threw bricks, bottles and knives at them. People watched the scene from rooftops, some laughing as skirmishes broke out.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms passionately addressed the protesters at a news conference: “This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.”

“You are disgracing our city,” she told protesters. “You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country. We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home, go home.”

Bottoms was flanked by rappers T.I. and Killer Mike, as well as King’s daughter, Bernice King.

Killer Mike cried as he spoke.

“We have to be better than this moment. We have to be better than burning down our own homes. Because if we lose Atlanta what have we got?” he said.

After Mayor Bottoms appealed for calm, the violence continued. More cars were set on fire, a Starbucks was smashed up, the windows of the College Football Hall of Fame were broken, and the iconic Omni Hotel was vandalized.

Protesters gathered outside the White House, with President Donald Trump inside, and some tried to push through barriers set up by the U.S. Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue.

In Minneapolis, a curfew did little to stop protesters and others from gathering in several areas of the city, including the battered Lake Street neighborhood where a police precinct was burned the night before. There were scattered small fires and some stores in a strip mall were being broken into near the city’s 5th Precinct.

An initially peaceful demonstration in New York City spiraled into chaos as night fell, as protesters skirmished with officers, destroyed police vehicles and set fires.

In Brooklyn, activists who had marched from Manhattan chanted insults at officers lined up outside the Barclays Center and pelted them with water bottles. Police sprayed an eye-irritating chemical into the largely diverse crowd multiple times, then cleared the plaza.

Video posted to social media showed officers using batons and shoving protesters down as they took people into custody and cleared streets.

Demonstrators rocked a police van, set it ablaze, then scrawled graffiti across its charred hulk and set it on fire a second time as officers retreated from the area. Blocks away, protesters used a club to batter another police vehicle.

Numerous people were arrested and police brought in buses to carry off those they arrested.

“We have a long night ahead of us in Brooklyn,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. “Our sole focus is deescalating this situation and getting people home safe. There will be a full review of what happened tonight. We don’t ever want to see another night like this.”

The police department said numerous officers were injured, including one who had a tooth knocked out.

The names of black people killed by police, including Floyd and Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island in 2014, were on signs carried by those in the crowd, and in their chants.

“It’s my duty to be out here,” said Brianna Petrisko, among those at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, where most were wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Our country has a sickness. We have to be out here. This is the only way we’re going to be heard.”

In Houston, where George Floyd grew up, several thousand people rallied in front of City Hall. Among them was 19-year-old Jimmy Ohaz, who came from the nearby city of Richmond, Texas.

“My question is how many more, how many more? I just want to live in a future where we all live in harmony and we’re not oppressed.”

Tensions rose in several West Coast cities as night fell.

About 1,000 protesters gathered in Oakland at a demonstration billed on social media as a rally to “F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) the police,” and some windows were smashed.

Demonstrators shut down a freeway in Los Angeles amid isolated scuffles with police that ended in a few protesters detained and one officer receiving medical treatment, police said. An LAPD vehicle had its windows smashed, and CNN reported that someone wrote “killer” on a patrol car.

Protesters repeatedly clashed with police in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, said Mayor Sam Liccardo, and police responded with flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. One officer was being treated at a hospital for an injury that was not life-threatening, he and police officials said.

Liccardo said his own officers shared the community’s outrage over Floyd’s in-custody death.

“It was a horrible injustice. I’d venture to guess that every police officer out there feels much of the same anger about what happened in Minneapolis,” he told The Associated Press.

Thirty miles to the west, Santa Cruz police chief Andrew G. Mills said in a statement that the actions by Minneapolis officers in Floyd’s death “are the antithesis of what we view as good policing.”

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Trump administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

By AMY TAXIN, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. >> The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move decried by advocates as a cruel and ineffective attempt to deter families from coming to the United States.

Immigration authorities on Friday issued a notice that they may seek up to 15,000 beds to detain families. The Justice Department has also asked a federal court in California to allow children to be detained longer and in facilities that don’t require state licensing while they await immigration court proceedings.

“The current situation is untenable,” August Flentje, special counsel to the assistant attorney general, wrote in court filings seeking to change a longstanding court settlement that governs the detention of immigrant children. The more constrained the Homeland Security Department is in detaining families together during immigration proceedings, “the more likely it is that families will attempt illegal border crossing.”

The proposed expansion comes days after a public outcry moved the administration to cease the practice of separating children from their migrant parents on the border. More than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents since Homeland Security announced a plan in April to prosecute all immigrants caught on the border.

In all, about 9,000 immigrants traveling in family groups have been caught on the border in each of the last three months, according to federal authorities.

Immigrant advocates contend detention is no place for children and insist there are other alternatives to ensure they and their parents attend immigration court hearings, such as ankle bracelets or community-based programs. The federal court ruled several years ago that children must be released as quickly as possible from family detention.

“It is definitely not a solution under any circumstances,” said Manoj Govindaiah, director of family detention services at the RAICES advocacy group in Texas. “At no point should a child be incarcerated, and children need to be with their parents.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently has three family detention facilities — a 100-bed center opened in Pennsylvania in 2001 and two much larger facilities opened in Texas in 2014. Only the Pennsylvania facility can house men, and all of the detainees at the Texas centers are women with children.

In Dilley, Texas, a facility was built on a remote site that was once an old oil workers’ encampment. It includes collections of cottages built around playgrounds. The other Texas center, in Karnes City, is ringed by 15-foot fences and has security cameras monitoring movements. It also offers bilingual children’s books in the library, classes, TVs and an artificial turf soccer field.

Inside the Karnes City center, there are five or six beds to a room typically shared by a couple of families. Cinderblock walls are painted pastel colors, said Govindaiah, who added that the facilities are run by private prison operators, not humanitarian organizations, as is the case with shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children.

Currently, most families spend up to a few weeks in the facilities and are released once they pass an initial asylum screening. They are then given a date to appear before an immigration judge in the cities where they are headed to see if they qualify to stay in the country legally or will face deportation.

Those who do not pass initial screenings can seek additional review in a video conference with a judge, a process that lasts about six weeks.

But that’s much shorter than the six months or a year many families were being held several years ago when the Obama administration began detaining mothers and children in a bid to stem a surge in arrivals on the border, Govindaiah said.

At the time, many were being held until their immigration cases — not just the initial screenings — were resolved.

Advocates then asked the federal court to enforce a decades-old settlement over the detention of immigrant children, and a judge ruled the children should be released as quickly as possible.

The settlement is seen by advocates as a way to ensure children are placed in age-appropriate facilities and for no longer than necessary. State licensing adds another layer of oversight.

“You will have children in facilities that are entirely inappropriate for children and are not meeting child welfare standards,” said Michelle Brane, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “They are trying to circumvent child welfare standards.”

Brane said there is a viable alternative: supervised release to communities around the country. The federal Family Case Management Program — terminated under the Trump administration — compiled a perfect record of attendance by migrants at court hearings, and a 99 percent appearance record at immigration check-ins, according to a 2017 report by the Homeland Security inspector general.

Just 2 percent of participants — 23 out of 954 — were reported as absconders.

In Friday’s notice, ICE said the family detention beds should be in state-licensed facilities and allow freedom of movement for detainees, and should preferably be located in states along the southwest border.

In addition to providing private showers and educational field trips for children, the centers should appear “child-friendly rather than penal in nature,” the agency said.

Associated Press writers Will Weissert in McAllen, Texas, and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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Working but still poor? Earned Income Tax Credit eases, but doesn’t solve, that problem

Patricia Lara, 39, makes $35,000 a year as an administrative assistant for an Orange property manager. With four teenagers to support, she says, “my income can’t keep us afloat.”

But at a recent free tax preparation fair at the Brookhurst Community Center, Lara got some good news. Not only doesn’t she owe any income tax, but the Internal Revenue Service will send her $2,783 in the form of what’s known as an “Earned Income Tax Credit.”

The money is welcome but no windfall. “My grocery bill is about $2,000 a month,” Lara said, adding that she pays $500 in monthly rent, plus utilities, to share a home with her parents and a brother. 

Lara is among some 27 million U.S. wage earners who last year benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit. The 43-year-old federal program, which paid out $65 billion in cash subsidies in 2017, is the one anti-poverty policy that sparks little controversy.

At an Anaheim free tax preparation fair, Patricia Lara and her son, Joseph Ducret, get help with their returns from IRS-trained volunteer Stan Manley (Photo by David Kawashima/ Orange County United Way)
At an Anaheim free tax preparation fair, Patricia Lara and her son, Joseph Ducret, get help with their returns from IRS-trained volunteer Stan Manley (Photo by David Kawashima/ Orange County United Way)

“Inequality is worse as the wages of the low-skilled have fallen way behind the wages of the higher-skilled,” said UC Irvine economist David Neumark who has authored more than a half-dozen studies on the tax credit.

“Democrats like the EITC because it redistributes wealth. Republicans like it because instead of giving you money like welfare, it only applies to those who work.”

Three years ago, confronting the fact that one in four residents live below or close to the federal poverty line, California became the 26th state to offer its own supplemental tax credit for workers. Last year, eligibility for the state program was extended to the self-employed.

But there’s one big problem: some low-income workers earn too little to be required to file taxes, even though they could qualify for the extra money if they did.

Unclaimed billions

In California, where 2.9 million beneficiaries collected $6.8 billion in federal EITC payments last year, one of four eligible workers fails to claim the credit.

That leaves some $2 billion a year on the table, according to a recent study  That’s money not only for workers to pay rent and feed their children, it is also unspent revenue for local businesses.

“A lot of people don’t know about the credit,” said Joseph Sanberg, a Los Angeles entrepreneur who founded CalEITC4Me, a non-profit advocacy group. “California’s poverty is not about a lack of jobs. It’s about jobs not paying enough. People work two and three jobs and still can’t afford basic needs.”

At an Anaheim tax preparation fair, table signs encouraged workers to claim up to $6000 in earned income tax credits. EITCs offer cash-back refunds to low and moderate income workers. (Photo by Margot Roosevelt/SCNG Orange County Register)
At an Anaheim tax preparation fair, table signs encouraged workers to claim up to $6,000 in earned income tax credits. EITCs offer cash-back refunds to low and moderate income workers. (Photo by Margot Roosevelt/SCNG Orange County Register)

Last year, CalEITC4me texted 70,000 low-income Californians prompting them to call legislators, urging an expansion of the state program. The resulting law more than doubled the number of eligible families to 1.5 million this year.

The group runs a digital platform with information in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese. It also offers free tax preparation in the Inland Empire and partners elsewhere with groups such as Orange County United Way.

At the Brookhurst Community Center event, the United Way served a free taco and quesadilla lunch as IRS-trained volunteers helped Lara and other workers file returns. Signs reading “What Would you do with an extra $6000?” adorned tables and brochures urged, “It’s your money: Get it!”

In Orange County alone, United Way recruits 500 volunteers to help low-income filers in 24 locations including colleges, churches and government agencies. “I just like to crunch numbers,” said Stan Manley, a 75-year-old retired sales manager who helped Lara with her return.

Cash-back amounts vary according to some 20 different criteria including levels of income and number of children.

Federal EITC credits can range from $510 to $6,318. Even individuals with incomes well above the poverty line, up to $53,900, are eligible for modest amounts, depending on their family size.

Last year, California’s program paid out $205 million to 386,000 recipients.  This year, workers with children earning up to $22,300 can get a CalEITC credit, with amounts ranging from $223 to $2,775.

At an Anaheim tax preparation fair, table signs encourage workers to claim earned income tax credits. EITCs offer cash back to minimum wage workers even when they earn too little to pay income tax. (Photo by David Kawashima/Orange County United Way)
At an Anaheim tax preparation fair, table signs encourage workers to claim earned income tax credits. EITCs offer cash back to minimum wage workers even when they earn too little to pay income tax. (Photo by David Kawashima/Orange County United Way)

Economists see earned income credits as an incentive to work because, unlike some social programs, the more one works the more money one gets—up to various thresholds.

“This is a generous program that may affect how intensely you look for work,” Neumark said. “If a job pays $12 an hour, and you have to pay child care, maybe (the job) is not worth it. But the EITC means your effective wage might be a lot more than your employer pays.”

Earned income credits are successful in lifting single mothers out of poverty, studies show, and 60 percent of poor children live in female-headed households. According to a Neumark paper, the effect is long term, and recipients of earned income credits often build skills that lead to higher future earnings.

A report by the California Budget & Policy Priorities, a Sacramento think tank, notes the federal EITC compensates for the fact that low and moderate income families pay higher state and local taxes as a share of their income than do wealthy households. According to the organization’s analysis, the lowest earning non-elderly households pay 10.8 percent of their income in total state and local taxes, while the top one percent pays just 5.4 percent.

Do earned income tax credits relieve pressure on employers to pay workers a living wage? It is a question viewed through different prisms by conservatives and progressives.

Neumark, director of UCI’s Economic Self Sufficiency Policy Research Institute, funded by conservative financiers, says, “The firm pays you, and the government kicks in a lot more. Some may call it corporate welfare, but you end up with more people employed.

“I don’t know any law that says a company is responsible for paying a living wage.”

Sanberg, a liberal Democrat, sees EITCs as just one tool to alleviate poverty.

“If the minimum wage had grown with productivity since 1960, it would now be about $22.50 an hour,” he said. “A disproportionate amount of income growth has gone to CEOs.  For workers to prosper, we need a higher EITC, single-payer health care and a higher minimum wage.”

Paying for a funeral

At the Brookhurst fair, Eduardo Farfan, a 27-year-old Saddleback College student, was helping Yolanda Gentile with her return.

At an Anaheim free tax preparation fair, Eduardo Farfan, an IRS-trained volunteer, helps Yolanda Gentile, a customer service representative, with her return in January 2018. (Photo by David Kawashima/Orange County United Way)
At an Anaheim free tax preparation fair, Eduardo Farfan, an IRS-trained volunteer, helps Yolanda Gentile, a customer service representative, with her return in January 2018. (Photo by<br />David Kawashima/Orange County United Way)

Gentile, 51, is blind in one eye and half-blind in the other from a domestic violence incident. She works 20 hours a week as a customer service representative for Stater Bros.

“I still have hands,” she said. “I still have arms. I can still work.”

On her 2017 income of $5,100, Farfan told her, she would be paid $392 under the federal credit program and $118 by CalEITC—modest amounts since she has no dependent children.

“I’ll use it on my $5,000 credit card bill,” she said. “My daughter died last year, and I’m trying to catch up after paying her funeral.”

As for Lara, the Orange administrative assistant, her EITC credits have dropped since her oldest child, 18, no longer qualifies as a dependent. Next year, another son will turn 18 “and I’ll have only two dependents on my taxes, even though they live with me.”

Lara’s last raise was 15 years ago, she said, and, with or without the extra EITC, her financial life will remain a struggle. “Everything is going up,” she said. “We are treading water.”


How many got credits?

Low and moderate income Southern Californians are claiming record numbers of federal and state earned income tax credits (EITCs), a program only available to those who work.

Federal EITC credits worth $6.8 billion were awarded to 2.9 million Californians in 2015, with an average payout of $2,379.

County Number of claims Total Amount
Los Angeles 992,250 $2.3 billion
San Bernardino 229,850 $608 million
Riverside 221,500 $571 million
Orange 220,530 $480 million

State EITC credits worth $205 million were awarded to 385,910 Californians in 2016, with an average payout of $531.

County Number of claims Total Amount
Los Angeles 103,260 $47 million
San Bernardino 26,876 $16 million
Riverside 23,855 $14 million
Orange 23,472 $10 million

Sources: Internal Revenue Service, California Franchise Tax Board

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Suspect driving a reported stolen car leads authorities on a chase through LA, Orange counties

ARTESIA >> A suspect driving a reported stolen car led authorities on a chase that began in the Carson area, continued to downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County, ending in Artesia.

The chase began on the northbound 110 Freeway near the 405 Freeway about 9:50 p.m. Monday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Dodge the suspect was driving was reported stolen, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.

The driver traveled through several cities on the eastbound 60 Freeway, before heading toward Orange County on the southbound 57 Freeway, often times driving recklessly.

The driver traveled through Brea, Anaheim and Santa Ana before heading back to Los Angeles County on the westbound 91 Freeway.

The driver exited at Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia and drove in circles with authorities not far behind. A California Highway Patrol car used a Pursuit Intervention Technique maneuver about 10:30 p.m., to stop the suspect, who surrendered shortly after.

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Police ask for public’s help to find driver who struck, killed woman in Huntington Beach

HUNTINGTON BEACH >> Police Wednesday sought the public’s help in identifying the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a 53-year-old woman in Huntington Beach.

Tina Boring of Huntington Beach was struck about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 29 as she walked in the area of Seapoint Street and Palm Avenue, according to Huntington Beach police.

RELATED STORY: Huntington Beach police investigate hit-and-run after woman found dead in street

The vehicle, which had been heading north on Seapoint Street, initially was driven back to the location, but then left the scene, its driver failing to render or summon aid, police said.

A passing motorist saw Boring down in the roadway about 10 minutes after she was struck and called police.

The vehicle that hit her is believed to be a light-colored, possibly silver, late-model Range Rover Sport.

“The suspect vehicle possibly sustained front end/hood damage from the impact,” according to a police statement.

Anyone with information about the collision was urged to call the investigator handling the case at 714-536-5670 or jpage@hbpd.org. During non-business hours, calls should be directed to 714-960-8825.

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Hollywood Walk of Fame Star honoring Selena unveiled

HOLLYWOOD >> A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously honoring the slain Tejano singing star Selena was unveiled in a rare night ceremony Friday night.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and actress Eva Longoria spoke at the ceremony in front of the Capital Records building on Vine Street. Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, accepted the star.

“While she was taken from us way too early, we now have something permanent that generation after generation after generation can see in the most famous neighborhood anywhere in the world,” said Garcetti, who spoke in both English and Spanish.

Quintanilla echoed Garcetti’s comment in accepting the star.

Suzette Quintanilla, left, sister of the late singer Selena Quintanilla, holds a replica of her sister's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as she poses with young fan Sammi Corona-Lampa, 4, of Moreno Valley, Calif., following a posthumous star ceremony for Selena on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Suzette Quintanilla, left, sister of the late singer Selena Quintanilla, holds a replica of her sister’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as she poses with young fan Sammi Corona-Lampa, 4, of Moreno Valley, Calif., following a posthumous star ceremony for Selena on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“Selena said ‘The goal isn’t to live forever, but to create something that will. Tonight is a perfect testament of that.”

The star is the 2,622nd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.

“This star is for Selena, but it is also for Suzette, the entire family, Los Dinos and its for this entire community and anybody who as a teenager listened to those songs … and thought ‘I have a place in this country. I have a hope in this world and I have dream in my heart,”’ said Garcetti, who noted he was born in the same year as Selena, 1971. Longoria, a fellow Texan, said she owed so much to Selena.

“This star is not only for Selena, it’s for every Latina out there who has ever had a dream,” Longoria said. “Growing up, there was no reflection of me anywhere, not on TV, not in movies, not in music. It was as if someone like me did not exist in (the) American mainstream.

“That all changed when a bright young singer named Selena changed the landscape of music entertainment, inevitably changing my own journey. What wasn’t even heard of was not a beat that pulsed so loudly that it vibrated across America and across the world.

“Selena’s voice was a key that unlocked the hearts and minds of millions. She was a small-town girl with a big heart and a smile that radiated and captivated people everywhere.”

Quintanilla praised her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. teaching her and her siblings “that we can succeed as long as we put in hard work.”

“I hope that sets an example for all our youth that are out there,” Quintanilla said. “I think Selena said it best, ‘The impossible is possible.”’

The ceremony was the first at night since Feb. 8, 2010 when a star honoring Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was unveiled, according to Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame.

Born Selena Quintanilla on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas, Selena was the youngest child in her family. She began her career in music in 1980 as the lead of the family band “Selena y Los Dinos,” with her siblings A.B. and Suzette.

Selena began recording professionally in 1982 and won the first of 10 consecutive female vocalists of the year awards at the Tejano Music Awards in 1986.

Selena signed with the newly formed Los Angeles-based record label EMI Latin in 1989, the year she released the first of her five record-setting albums, “Selena.”

Selena’s best-known songs include “Bid, Bid Bom Bom,” “Dreaming of You,” “No Me Queda Mas,” “Amor Prohibido” and “Como La Flor.” Selena was known as the queen of Tejano music and the Tejano Madonna for her cutting-edge look, style and dance moves. She is considered among the most influential Latino artists of all time.

Selena was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club. She also managed her boutiques and had been embezzling from them. Saldivar is serving a life sentence.

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State prisoners are a ‘valuable resource’ on the front lines of Canyon Fire 2

Wearing 60-pound backpacks, a platoon of prisoners marched Wednesday, Oct. 11 along a narrow trail at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange.

Then the dozen or so inched their way up a steep hillside blackened by the devastating Canyon Fire 2.

The mission for the minimum-security inmates from the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp in Valyermo was unglamorous. But it’s essential: Extinguish hot spots and clear brush so the blaze won’t kick up again.

And though their freedom was fleeting, relished the tedious work and the chance to be outdoors.

  • The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew prepares to make their way into the hills to put out hot spots in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew prepares to make their way into the hills to put out hot spots in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew truck parked in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Fenner Canyon Fire Crew truck parked in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew makes his way past playground equipment and into the hills to put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew makes his way past playground equipment and into the hills to put out hot spots from the Canyon Fire in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts water on a hot spot on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts water on a hot spot on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts out a hot spot from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A member of the Fenner Canyon Fire Crew puts out a hot spot from the Canyon Fire on a hillside in Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange on Wednesday afternoon, October 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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“It’s a real good experience,” said Deshan Heard, a 33-year-old inmate from Los Angeles serving a six-year sentence for robbery. “It’s better than sitting (in the prison) yard. I like getting in there and helping people.”

Fenner Canyon is among 42 conservation camps in 27 counties operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It’s north and west of Mt. San Antonio.

One aim of the camps is to support state and federal agencies with wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. Most of the camps are strategically located in rural areas so inmate crews can respond quickly to emergencies.

Nearly 500 inmates have been assigned to help fight the Canyon Fire 2, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.

“The inmates provide a valuable resource,” he said. “It seeds the march toward our goal of 100-percent containment of this fire.”

Inmates must volunteer to work in fire camps. They also must demonstrate an aptitude for firefighting, have minimum-level custody status, be certified as physically fit and complete two weeks of training.

Inmates who join fire camps have a day shaved from their sentences for every two days they work. They are paid $2 for each day in camp, and $1 an hour while they are on a fire line.

“Getting a $1 hour is huge (for inmates),” said Lt. William Mock, commander of the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp.

The inmates work under the watchful eyes of corrections officers and very few attempt to walk away from fire lines, he added.

“I’m learning new skills,” said Heard, who hopes to become a U.S. Forest Service firefighter when he is paroled in 2018.

Brian Thorne, a 33-year-old inmate from Pasadena, said the fire camp is an adrenaline rush and allows inmates to be of service.

“Usually we fight in jail,” he said. “Now, we have weapons (firefighting tools) to cut down trees and help people.”

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Placentia woman suspected of car theft arrested after short pursuit in Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA — A Placentia woman was arrested Sunday, July 2, after police chased a vehicle reported stolen from a Fiat dealership, a police official said.

The Costa Mesa Police Department received a call at 6:07 p.m. from Orange Coast Fiat in the 2500 block of Harbor Boulevard reporting a stolen vehicle, Sgt. Matt Selinske said.

About an hour later, a Costa Mesa police officer found the vehicle, a Fiat 500, near 17th Street and Monrovia Avenue, Selinske said. The driver sped off in the car and a chase began.

The vehicle was stopped after about two minutes at 7:05 p.m. in the 1400 block of Superior Avenue in Newport Beach, Selinske said. Iliana Villasenor, 38, of Placentia was arrested and booked on suspicion of grand theft auto and evading an officer, Selinske said.

No details were available as to how the vehicle was stolen. The case is still under investigation, Selinske said.

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