US gymnast tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Tokyo Olympics

By Chie Kobayashi for CNN

An unnamed US female gymnast has tested positive for Covid-19, Inzai city official Takamitsu Ooura told CNN.

The teenage gymnast is staying in Inzai City in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, for pre-camp ahead of the Tokyo Olympics which start on Friday.

She tested positive on Sunday and her doctor confirmed the test result after another test Monday.

The gymnast has no symptoms and is quarantined in her hotel room as she waits for the public health center to decide on whether or not to hospitalize her.

One gymnast has been identified as a close contact of the gymnast who tested positive.

Tokyo 2020 reported Monday that there are 58 Covid-19 cases linked to the Olympic Games.

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Man arrested, suspected of molesting 3 teens in after-school program in Anaheim

SANTA ANA — A 26-year-old man was behind bars Monday on charges of molesting three teenage boys in an afterschool program at a charter school in Anaheim.

Justin Dean Evans is charged with four counts of lewd acts on a minor younger than 14 and one count each of committing a forcible lewd act on a child and an attempted lewd act on a child younger than 14, all felonies.

Evans worked in an after-school program for Goals, a charter school in Anaheim, when he met the boys and allegedly sexually assaulted them in 2018 and 2019, when they were about 13 years old, according to Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer.

Evans, who is being held on $1 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned June 30 in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.

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U.S. Supreme Court to weigh secrecy, national security issues in suit over FBI surveillance of O.C. Muslims

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a lawsuit can go forward in which a group of Muslim residents of California allege the FBI targeted them for surveillance because of their religion.

It’s the second case the court has accepted for the fall involving a government claim of “state secrets,” the idea that the government can block the release of information it claims would harm national security if disclosed.

As is usual, the court didn’t comment Monday beyond saying it will take the case, which is expected to be heard after the court takes its summer recess and begins hearing arguments again in October.

In the other state secrets case the justices have accepted they’ll decide whether a Palestinian man captured after the Sept. 11 attacks and detained at the prison on the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can get access to information the government classifies as state secrets.

The case the court accepted Monday involves three Muslim residents of Southern California who say that from 2006 to 2007 the FBI paid a confidential informant to covertly gather information about Muslims in Orange County, based solely on their religion.

A district court dismissed the case after the federal government invoked the state secrets privilege. The court agreed that continuing the case would “greatly risk disclosure of secret information.” But an appeals court reversed the decision.

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Driver charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in Santa Ana crash that killed a passenger in his car

SANTA ANA — A 22-year-old man was charged Wednesday with gross vehicular manslaughter for a collision in Santa Ana a year and a half ago that killed a passenger in his vehicle.

Manuel Jesus Galindo was behind the wheel of a 2013 Hyundai Sonata that was southbound on Newhope Street about 10:50 a.m. on Oct. 12, 2019, when the sedan collided with another car and slammed into a street pole at Westminster Boulevard, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The brunt of the impact was on the passenger side of the car, where 20-year-old Kobe Kidwell of Santa Ana was sitting, Bertagna said. Kidwell died of his injuries.

Galindo sustained serious injuries in the crash, and two women in the back seat of his car also were injured and taken to an area hospital, Bertagna said.

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Huntington Beach investigators seek help finding suspect in fatal hit-and-run

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Huntington Beach police Tuesday asked for the public’s help tracking down a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run collision in January.

Police released more details about the vehicle involved in the collision that killed 29-year-old pedestrian Jacob Andrew Conroy of Midway City on Jan. 24.

Police are looking for a full-sized SUV with dark tinted windows similar to a newer-model Chevrolet Tahoe or Cadillac Escalade, according to Lt. Brian Smith of the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The SUV was going southbound on Goldenwest Street north of Oxford Drive when it struck Conroy, who was crossing outside of a crosswalk, Smith said. The driver fled the scene and Conroy was pronounced dead at the scene, Smith added.

A second vehicle struck Conroy, but that driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

The suspect vehicle is believed to have sustained moderate front-end collision damage, Smith said.

Anyone with information was asked to contact investigators at 714-536- 5231 or 536-5670. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.

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Father, teenage son stabbed in apparent ‘targeted attack’ in Placentia apartment

A father and his teenage son were the victims of an early Sunday morning stabbing in their Placentia apartment after two men allegedly broke in, police said.

At about 3:37 a.m., police responded to an unknown call at an apartment at 140 W. Orangethorpe Ave., where a 34-year-old father and his 14-year-old son were found stabbed, the Placentia Police Department said. Both were transported to a local trauma center and were expected to survive.

The attackers were described as two men in their 30s dressed in dark clothing who allegedly gained access into the apartment by breaking the front window,  police said. They then attacked the father, who was in the living room, and the son tried to intervene when he was stabbed by one of the suspects, according to police.

The incident appears to be a targeted attack against the father and there were no public safety concerns, police said in a news release.

Anyone with information related to the incident was encouraged to call detectives at 714-993-8146 or by email at jjones@placentia.org

Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS or on their website http://occrimestoppers.org

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City of Hope Orange County lands $50 million gift from Lennar Foundation

The size of the gift Lennar Foundation just awarded City of Hope Orange County is eye-popping: $50 million.

Made public on Wednesday, March 31, the money represents the biggest gift yet in the three-year-old effort by City of Hope to bring its expertise in fighting cancer to Orange County.

It’s also the second-largest donation in City of Hope’s 108-year history. The organization has been known for its hospital and research center in Duarte, but the move into Orange County is part of an expansion that will include a specialty hospital, two outpatient treatment centers and a planned network of services that will be closer to home for Orange County patients.

Annette M. Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County, called Lennar Foundation’s donation a “gift to our children” because of the future possibilities it unlocks. Walker spoke on a conference call that included Jon Jaffe, co-chief executive officer and co-president of Miami-based homebuilder Lennar Corp., and City of Hope’s chief philanthropy officer, Kristin J. Bertell.

“The impact of this gift is going to be felt for generations,” Walker said.

  • The 4th Floor Infusion area of the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The patient and family arrivals area for the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The lobby of the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The reception area of the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The patient care room of the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The exam room of the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The future 190,000-square-foot Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County will be located on 11 acres at Five Point’s Great Park in the heart of Irvine. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

  • The Porte Cochere shown at night for the future Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County. (Rendering courtesy of City of Hope Orange County)

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Bertell said Lennar Foundation’s philanthropy follows a $100 million award to City of Hope made six weeks ago by its own research director, Dr. Arthur Riggs. Riggs has earned his wealth through pioneering work at City of Hope that includes development of the technology to create synthetic human insulin for diabetics. The research center in Duarte has been renamed the Arthur Riggs Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute after the researcher, who has contributed more than $310 million over his three-decade tenure at City of Hope.

Walker and Bertell said the gift from Lennar will enhance the care provided to patients at the Orange County facilities and possibly spur other local donors to make their own stake in the Irvine project. Naming rights are in play: the 190,000-square-foot outpatient center set to open next year is now known as the Lennar Foundation Cancer Center.

City of Hope’s outpatient center in Newport Beach, which opened in January 2020, was the first piece in the cancer care provider’s planned $1 billion investment in Orange County.

Though Walker said it is too soon to say what specific cancer-related services will be supported by the $50 million donation, she termed it “transformational.”

“A gift of this magnitude is going to touch all parts of that cancer center.”

An unspecified portion of the money will go toward research and development of precision medicine to prevent, treat and cure cancer. Lennar is helping to launch a new partnership between City of Hope Orange County and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami in Florida.

City of Hope officials believe the relationship with Miami-based Sylvester Center, which serves an economically and racially diverse population, will help researchers get a better understanding of the health care inequities in Orange County, including some that have been exposed by the pandemic.

“We’re excited to help bring about equality in health care,” said Jaffe, who lives in Orange County and was a 2004 recipient of City of Hope’s “Spirit of Life” award.

Jaffe suggested his company’s gift was made possible by its ongoing relationship with City of Hope and the partnership with Sylvester. He said Lennar made similar financial support to the University of Miami health care system.

“It was only a natural extension of our partnership for Lennar to step up,” said Jaffe, whose Lennar Corp. office in Irvine is in a building next to the cancer treatment center, all part of the FivePoint Gateway campus near the Great Park.

City of Hope Orange County has set a goal of raising $300 million by 2025, when the hospital is expected to open. Bertell declined to disclose how much of that money is in hand, but said contributions so far have come from about 12,000 donors and that overall fundraising will beat the stated goal.

“We’re very confident we are going to blow that $300 million away,” Bertell said.

Another gift in the range of the amount contributed by Lennar Foundation could include naming rights for the cancer-centric hospital that will be adjacent to the Irvine outpatient center. Walker said conversations with potential donors have turned more “serious and significant” as construction in Irvine has advanced enough for City of Hope Orange County to show what’s underway.

“We believe the gift from Lennar will inspire all the people we’ve been talking to.”

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Sewage spill prompts closure of stretch of beach in Newport Beach

NEWPORT BEACH — A sewage spill prompted the closure Monday night of a mile-long stretch of beach in Newport Beach until further notice.

The spill of approximately 1,000 gallons “was caused by an operator error during routine maintenance of a sewer main line” and closed the beach between Bayside Drive Beach and China Cove, according to a statement from the OC Health Care Agency.

The affected bay water area will remain closed until results of follow-up water quality monitoring meet acceptable standards, the agency said.

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Cultivate flexibility; then you can better weather the unpredictable

Weather is an interesting phenomenon. We live in it. We complain about it. We can’t control it. We want so much from it, at the same time wishing for rain and wanting the sunshine.

The temperatures go up and down in spite of our plans, and still we carry on. Picnics in the park become picnics in the living room. Golf dates become 19th hole camaraderie. We find ways of adjusting our lives to the weather we cannot control. We can all be flexible when we want to be. Flexibility is a conscious choice.

Our relationships are also interesting phenomena and sometimes just as unpredictable as the weather. Some of our interactions are intimately personal, and some don’t seem like contact at all, but no matter how independent we feel, we are inescapably entwined and mutually reliant partners in the dance of life.

Flexibility is a quality that allows us to move through changes in the weather and changes in our world. We all have ways of adapting to the situations in which we find ourselves. What actor/dancer Fred Astaire said about ballroom dancing can also be applied to our interactions with friends and family, even strangers in the grocery store: “Cultivate flexibility. Be able to adapt your style to that of your partner. In doing so, you are not surrendering your individuality, but blending it with that of your partner.”

We do not all have to like the same things, have the same beliefs, the same experiences, nor the same values in order to blend with the people around us into a harmonious whole. Just as we can’t control the sun and the rain, we can’t control the people in our lives, but we are in charge of the way we relate to them.

We can reach out in whatever way is available to us and enrich our connection. Social media, the telephone, nodding to each other in the grocery store all are ways of acknowledging our bond, our common situation. We can let go of worrying about the things we really can’t control and focus on the present moment. When we do, we may find ourselves easily moving into kindness and flexibility.

In these difficult times, it is good to see each other as partners dancing in the rain, waiting for the sun to shine.

The Rev. Linda McNamar is a Laguna Woods Village resident.

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Air quality agency allows for more cremations in Orange County

Officials with the South Coast Air Quality Management District said on Monday, Jan. 25, it has lifted restrictions on the number of cremations allowed in Orange County as officials try to address a backlog of cremations.

Limitations were previously suspended in Los Angeles County and the order is being extended there.

The order signed Monday by Wayne Nastri, executive officer of South Coast Air Quality Management District, comes as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency confirm the growing backlog of cremation cases within each county constitutes a threat to public health.

As of Jan. 15, there are more than 2,700 bodies being stored at hospitals and coroner’s offices. The order is effective immediately and expires on Feb. 4.

There are 14 permitted crematoriums in Orange County.

The additional emissions that would be emitted are not expected to have a significant impact on regional air quality, Nahal Mogharabi, spokesperson for the district, said. “Although there will be a temporary increase in emissions during the short period of the emergency order, the expected air toxic impacts resulting from increased activity at these facilities are relatively small.”

To qualify, a cremation facility must be reaching or exceeding its limits. Before getting started, the crematorium must send an email notification to the air quality agency.

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