Angels rookie Elliot Soto knocks first big league hit after 10 years in minors

After Elliot Soto’s 10-year minor league odyssey culminated with his first two big league hits, he was asked what made him stick it out so long.

“I don’t know,” the Angels’ 31-year-old rookie said on Saturday night. “I never wanted to give up. I’m a cucaracha. I’m a cockroach. Never die.”

Although the Angels lost 7-6 to the Dodgers in a meaningless game, Soto and Jahmai Jones provided the happy storyline at the end of a mostly disappointing season.

The two infielders had become close since the first spring training back in Arizona and the bond grew as they worked out together at the Angels’ alternate training site in Long Beach.

Each had made his major league debut already, but on Saturday they were in the starting lineup for the first time, Soto at shortstop and Jones at second.

“In BP when we were turning double plays, I’m like ‘Wow, this is comfy,’” Soto said. “This is normal. We’ve got good chemistry.”

The feel-good vibes continued into the third inning, when each stepped to the plate for the first time.

Jones went first, and lined a single up the middle, driving in the Angels’ first run of the game. Soto followed and poked a single into right.

It was the first time in Angels history that players picked up hits in their first big league at-bats in consecutive plate appearances. The last time it happened was in 2016, when Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin did it for the Yankees.

“Everyone was super happy,” Soto said. “It made it a super special occasion for me. And Jam going right before me and getting his, it kind of pumped me up.”

While the moment was obviously unforgettable for Jones too, it came amid a much different context than for Soto. Jones, 23, was a second-round pick in 2015. He had gone through a position change and some swing changes, but he ultimately didn’t reach the big leagues too much later than a normal timetable.

Soto was in his sixth season toiling in the minors when Jones was drafted. His 11th season as a professional nearly ended without an official at-bat anywhere, because of the coronavirus shutting down minor league baseball.

The Angels kept him around as a utility infielder, and he’d traveled with the big league team as part of the taxi squad earlier in the season. He finally got his chance to be on the active roster this week, when Andrelton Simmons opted out.

And on Friday night, Luis Rengifo hurt his hamstring, which gave Soto the chance to get into a game on defense. On Saturday, with the Angels eliminated, he got the chance to start.

To Manager Joe Maddon, who speaks often about his roots in player development and the minor leagues, writing Soto’s name in the lineup was special.

Maddon spoke before the game about Soto’s exceptional defensive skills and he flashed those with a barehand pickup to throw out Chris Taylor. Soto also chipped in a second hit, a double down the right field line.

“Spectacular,” Maddon said. “You saw how good of a player he is. What you saw tonight is no fluke. That’s what he is. That’s what he looks like. He showed tonight why he belongs on the big league level.”

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Best of Orange County 2020: Best bakery

1. French’s Pastry Bakery

Multiple locations

French’s Pastry Bakery has been a part of the Orange County Community since 1965 when it opened its doors at the Costa Mesa Location. In 1996, the Mission Viejo location opened followed in 2005 by opening the Orange location.

The ownership and operations are all in the family as Manuel Gonzalez founded the Costa Mesa operation, and his children run the day-to-day operations. Mariana Gonzalez is the manager of the locations and her brothers Daniel and Edgar are the creative hands of French’s Pastry Bakery as they handle the cake décor at the Costa Mesa and Orange stores respectively.

The claim to fame at French’s Pastry Bakery is the Wagon Wheel coffee cake. For under $12, guests will receive a delicious coffee cake that they can adorn with chocolate chips and cream cheese or strawberries and cream cheese. The Danish itself is the size of a medium- sized pizza.

Another thing the bakery prides itself on is that it actually makes real whipped cream in house, which is something not many bakeries do because it is pricey. The turnaround time on desserts is another thing the bakery is renowned for as many bakeries require guests to order wedding cakes three months in advance; French’s Pastry Bakery will have a fresh original cake completed in a week.

French’s Pastry Bakery has been a top vote recipient in Best of Orange County for 27 years straight, and the store is very grateful to the community, workers, and staff for keeping the bakery on top so many years running.

— Jessie Dax-Setkus

2. 85°C

Multiple locations; 85cbakerycafe.com

85°C, or 85 Degrees is a Taiwanese-inspired bakery chain that offers coffee, tea, cakes, assorted desserts, smoothies, fruit juices, and more. There are more than 1,000 stores worldwide and multiple locations in Orange County. The chain was founded in 2003 and opened its first U.S. location in Irvine in 2008. The store’s name is perfect temperature Wu Cheng-Hsueh, the founder, believed coffee should be served.

The chain is known for its sea salt coffee, which may sound interesting, but is a delightful blend of iced Americano coffee with sea salt whipped cream on top. It’s a must-try for all newbies to the shop.

Cakes come in all shapes and sizes including individual serving sizes too. Patrons can also get various fresh breads including puff pastry, savory breads, sweet breads, or toast. Kids will love the offering of slushes and smoothies too. Don’t forget to sign up for the 85°C rewards program too where users only have to download the app and present a barcode at checkout.

3. Cream Pan

602 El Camino Real, Tustin; 714-665-8239; creampanbakery.com

Cream Pan’s specialty is delectable custard-filled, strawberry croissants. Cream Pan takes a fresh take on baking and boasts a fusion of Japanese and French cuisine on its menu.

Since 2002, this bakery institution has been part of the community and welcomes in hungry Orange County locals on a daily basis. Cream Pan’s delightful French décor and tasty menu keeps eaters coming in time and time again.

Owned by Yoshinori Inada, this bakery has a little something for everyone. Come in for a sweet treat or sit down for lunch by noshing on a delicious sandwich. Lunch options include a scrumptious chicken katsu sandwich, a turkey avocado sandwich, egg salad, a yakisoba sandwich, and more. Don’t forget to bring home a freshly baked loaf of bread too.

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LADWP reports 244 without power, SCE reports 1,671 in LA and Orange counties

LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of Southern California Edison and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers — a huge reduction from Tuesday — are still without power Wednesday morning.

Both utilities were plagued by widespread failures over the Labor Day weekend as temperatures soared to record levels across the Southland.

As of 2:30 a.m., SCE reported 1,671 customers in Los Angeles and Orange counties were without electricity while the LADWP reported 244 customers without service. It was unclear when those customers would have power restored.

SCE restored some power Tuesday, reducing the number of customers affected in Los Angeles County to 6,808 and in Orange County to 2,419 by the afternoon.

The utility had brought in contract crews to help get power up and running, prioritizing a balance between those who had been without power longest and the outages affecting the greatest number of customers, SCE spokesman David Song said.

On Saturday, the utility broke a record for demand that had stood since 2006. That new record was then shattered on Sunday, according to Song, who said the record usage was understandable.

With red flag fire conditions in the area through Wednesday, however, SCE warned that more than 54,500 of its customers could be subjected to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are implemented to help prevent wildfires from sparking.

Of those 54,500 customers, more than 11,000 are under consideration for shutoffs in Los Angeles County and nearly 9,500 in Orange County when winds were expected to pick up Tuesday evening. It was unclear if power had been shutoff to any of those customers as of early Wednesday morning.

Customers affected can charge phones and other small devices and get water and snacks at community centers and SCE community vehicles staged in areas subject to shutoff. Those addresses can be found at sce.com.

The DWP reported 8,704 customers without power as of noon Tuesday, but the number of customers was down to fewer than 3,000 by 3:30 p.m. More than 45,000 customers were without power at 1 p.m. Monday.

As many as 40,000 of SCE’s accounts had been plagued by outages during the peak of the problem, the utility said.

The estimated time of total restoration of services is 48 hours from the time an outage began, DWP spokeswoman Dawn Cottrell said. Customers who have been without power the longest were receiving top priority.

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez filed a motion Tuesday to have the DWP report on the events that led to the weekend outages. The motion asks the DWP to report on what actions it took to restore power and what plans it has going forward to prevent outages, as well as to report the number of people affected and the duration of the outages.

Martinez’ motion will first be heard by the council’s Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee.

“We are doing everything we can to get everyone dealt with, both the large outages and the small outages,” DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Marty Adams said. “We hope that we will make significant progress … and get everyone back in power as quickly as we can.”

Adams said many of the issues related to power restoration involve the need for a power line repair or a transformer that needs to be replaced.

The DWP was requesting mutual aid from nearby utilities in order to help with the high number of small outages.

Crews have been working around the clock on 16-hours shifts since Saturday, the DWP said.

SCE, along with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric, is part of the California Independent System Operator, which controls roughly 80% of the state’s power grid. The DWP operates independent of that system and had sufficient energy during an earlier August heat wave to supply ISO with additional power.

SCE customers experiencing a power outage can call 800-611-1911 or report it online at sce.com. DWP customers were urged to report outages at www.ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) using the automated system.

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Facebook moves to target misinformation before election

By ZEN SOO | AP Technology Writer

With just two months left until the US presidential election, Facebook says it is taking more steps to encourage voting, minimize misinformation and reduce the likelihood of post-election “civil unrest.”

The company said Thursday that it will restrict new political ads in the week before the election and remove posts that convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting. It also will attach links to official results to posts from candidates and campaigns declaring premature victories.

“This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday. “That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.”

Facebook and other social media companies are being scrutinized over how they handle misinformation, given issues with President Donald Trump and other candidates posting false information and Russia’s interference in the 2016 White House elections and ongoing attempts to interfere in U.S. politics.

Facebook has long been criticized for not fact-checking political ads or limiting how they can be targeted at small groups of people.

With the nation divided, and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there could be an “increased risk of civil unrest across the country,” Zuckerberg said.

In July, Trump refused to publicly commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election, as he scoffed at polls that showed him lagging behind rival candidate Joe Biden. That has raised concern over the willingness of Trump and his supporters to abide by election results.

Under the new measures, Facebook says it will prohibit politicians and campaigns from running new election ads in the week before the election. However, they can still run existing ads and change how they are targeted.

Posts with obvious misinformation on voting policies and the coronavirus pandemic will also be removed. Users can only forward articles to a maximum of five others on Messenger, Facebook’s messaging app. The company also will work with Reuters to provide official election results and make the information available both on its platform and with push notifications.

After getting caught off-guard by Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, Facebook, Google, Twitter and others companies put safeguards in place to prevent it from happening again. That includes taking down posts, groups and accounts that engage in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and strengthening verification procedures for political ads. Last year, Twitter banned political ads altogether.

Zuckerberg said Facebook had removed more than 100 networks worldwide engaging in such interference over the last few years.

“Just this week, we took down a network of 13 accounts and two pages that were trying to mislead Americans and amplify division,” he said.

But experts and Facebook’s own employees say the measures are not enough to stop the spread of misinformation –- including from politicians and in the form of edited videos.

Facebook had previously drawn criticism for its ads policy that cited freedom of expression as the reason for letting politicians like Trump post false information about voting.

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Morning Wrap: Lakers finish off Blazers; Clippers close out chance next

The Morning Wrap shares the day’s top five stories from our reporters at the Southern California Newspaper Group. … Sign up to have our top sports stories delivered to your inbox with our daily newsletters

ONE: Lakers reporter Kyle Goon writes: So the Lakers advanced, but not without effort. A 131-122 Game 5 victory didn’t inspire the kind of confidence a championship contender should. But days after acknowledging that closeout games are the hardest to win, James didn’t let the Lakers miss the opportunity: He scored 36 points in a triple-double, and helped feed Davis’ 43.

Alexander: Even in a bubble there are distractions for the Lakers

LeBron has definitely thought about leaving the bubble. pic.twitter.com/3EsOLMfSP0

— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) August 30, 2020

“We put together a plan and we had action.”@KingJames on the NBA players’ social justice initiatives. pic.twitter.com/sFxDuiCVJy

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 30, 2020

TWO: Clippers reporter Mirjam Swanson writes: And so the playoffs resumed with three games Saturday and, on Sunday, another three contests scheduled, including the Clippers’ Game 6 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. With Leonard, last season’s NBA Finals MVP, contributing 32.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series, the Clippers are ahead 3-2 following their franchise-record-setting 154-111 rout in Game 5. That game was Tuesday, but with everything that transpired during the week that NBA players walked off the job to protest the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, it feels longer ago.

Landry Shamet on Paul George being open about his mental struggles: “If you have the courage to speak about what’s going on your head … whether you’re Paul George or a regular person on the street, that’s empowering. … I’m proud of him.”

— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) August 29, 2020

Paul George tells @kylegoon he wasn’t going to just cave in without seeking help. (Kyle with the video too.) https://t.co/vwmNOOeiFJ pic.twitter.com/zUOHZyF45u

— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) August 29, 2020

Paul George speaks on his mental health

“If it got severe, I think my team would’ve understood if I needed to walk away from this.”

(🎥@MirjamSwanson )

pic.twitter.com/3gpCXBdKue

— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 29, 2020

“It was sad to see. It was actually very hurtful.”

Doc River reacts to video of Masai Ujiri’s encounter with a sheriff’s deputy last year at the NBA Finals

(via @MirjamSwanson)pic.twitter.com/9pHxn7RAzR

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 21, 2020

THREE: Dodgers reporter Bill Plunkett writes: If the Dodgers are one of the many teams circling around Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn — and they are — they did what they could to lower the price. The Dodgers got to Lynn for four runs in six innings Saturday on the way to handing him and the Texas Rangers a 7-4 defeat at Globe Life Field.

“I was just happy to get the run in.” @maxmuncy9 chats with @TimNeverett after driving 4 runs in tonight’s win. pic.twitter.com/CPx3andveb

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) August 30, 2020

Max just wanted to give that dog a ball. pic.twitter.com/FUSbxIlV7w

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 30, 2020

FOUR: Rams reporter Kevin Modesti writes: For the second consecutive year, John Wolford is accomplishing about as much as an NFL player can in August. In 2019, the undrafted free agent quarterback from the short-lived Alliance of American Football used a strong performance with his arm and legs in the Rams’ four preseason games to vault into a job on the practice squad.

Touchdown, @JKShuttlesworth‼pic.twitter.com/M1tBHSYu3C

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 29, 2020

.@JaredGoff16 🎯@VanJefferson12‼pic.twitter.com/Yw3E7jtJRH

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 29, 2020

New: Why #Rams players decided not to join other teams’ practice boycotts today. @ladailynews @ocregister @InsideSoCalSpts https://t.co/ijFswFP9lo

— Kevin Modesti (@KevinModesti) August 28, 2020

FIVE: Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher writes: Jo Adell’s first few weeks in the big leagues haven’t gone quite as the Angels had hoped for their top prospect. It would take a little time, perhaps, for him to get his big league footing. He seemed to get it on Saturday night, blasting his first two homers in the Angels’ 16-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Jo Adell hit his first MLB homer and it was a no doubter. 109.7 mph off the bat. 437 feet. #Angels pic.twitter.com/siumnyZGCk

— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) August 30, 2020

Joe Maddon loves talking about Ben Zobrist, and now he has someone else to prompt Zobrist stories. #Angels https://t.co/51zTSVddy4

— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 30, 2020

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Trump aide Kellyanne Conway to leave White House

By JONATHAN LEMIRE | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s most influential and longest serving advisers, announced Sunday that she would be leaving the White House at the end of the month.

Conway, Trump’s campaign manager during the stretch run of the 2016 race, was the first woman to successfully steer a White House bid, then became a senior counselor to the president. She informed Trump of her decision in the Oval Office.

Conway cited a need to spend time with her four children in a resignation letter she posted Sunday night. Her husband, George, had become an outspoken Trump critic and her family a subject of Washington’s rumor mill.

“We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,” she wrote. “For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”

She is still slated to speak at the Republican National Convention this week. Her husband, an attorney who renounced Trump after the 2016 campaign, had become a member of the Lincoln Project, an outside group of Republicans devoted to defeating Trump.

The politically adversarial marriage generated much speculation in the Beltway and online. George Conway also announced Sunday that he was taking a leave of absence from both Twitter and the Lincoln Project.

Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, said Monday that her departure leaves a “big hole” at the White House.

“This is all about making priority for family,” Meadows told “CBS This Morning.” “That’s what this president is about and that’s what Kellyanne Conway is about.”

Her departure comes at an inopportune time for Trump, who faces a deficit in the polls as the Republican National Convention begins on Monday. Asked on CBS whether her departure signals a fear Trump might lose, Meadows called the question “cynical.”

“Anybody who knows Kellyanne Conway knows that she has never shied away from a fight,” Meadows said. “To suggest that is just not based on the facts.”

Kellyanne Conway worked for years as a Republican pollster and operative and originally supported Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican primary. She moved over to the Trump campaign and that August became campaign manager as Stephen Bannon became campaign chairman; Bannon was indicted two days ago for fraud.

Conway cited a need to help her children”s remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic as a need to step away from her position. She had remained a trusted voice within the West Wing and spearheaded several initiatives, including on combating opioid abuse.

She was also known for her robust defense of the president in media appearances, at times delivering dizzying rebuttals while once extolling the virtues of “alternative facts” to support her case. Conway was also an informal adviser to the president’s reelection effort but resisted moving over to the campaign.

Her exit was first reported by The Washington Post.

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You win big: Don’t go out and buy cars for your friends

Over the past few months, our weekly column has focused on the sad realities of the death of a loved one, divorce, disability and COVID-19. These are not happy topics but do reflect how we spend much of our time and energy, helping our clients through tough times. Because of this, we are thrilled when one of our clients has a big win.

Whether they have won the lotto, sold the next brilliant idea, or received an inheritance or legal settlement, when our clients win, we also vicariously experience their joy, satisfaction, and hopefulness for the future.

There are a couple of recurring truths I have found when dealing with these unexpected windfalls. First, it is shocking how quickly people are able to burn through large amounts of cash, and, also, it is unbelievable how smart people can make terrible snap decisions about managing vast sums that should be enough to last a lifetime.

Approximately 70% of lotto winners lose or spend all of their winnings in five years or less. So, here is some practical advice, with examples, for how to manage an unexpected windfall and make it last.

Deciding

Aside from signing your lotto ticket, the first step would be to hire the most qualified attorney you can afford to review the documents that led to your windfall. These could include the sales agreement, settlement, trust distribution documents, or prenup/divorce agreement. This way, you will not be left to wonder if you received everything you were entitled to, with the best terms that were available.

To maintain privacy and security, you might want to consult with a qualified attorney about setting up a trust to receive the funds. It would be best if you also put a freeze on your credit bureau files to prevent identity theft and keep your windfall secret until your plans are in place.

There is often discussion regarding whether to choose a lump sum or annual payments. It depends on your age, your plans, tax rates, and the annuity rate versus what you can earn if you invested the lump sum. You will need to consult with a certified financial planner and certified public accountant to determine which will work best in your situation. They should be able to provide you with clear graphs and computations you can understand.

For example, a client won a $5 million settlement. He wanted to purchase and live on a remote ranch in Mexico. They took the lump sum because financing in that location was not an option, and they invested the balance for an income stream.

A CPA will also help you plan, minimize and set aside funds for the taxes. Do not skip the tax planning before you count on how much you have to spend. The combined top federal and California tax rates are now over 50%. With proper tax planning, the tax rate could be far less.

Spending

Next, realize that you are human and you are going to want to spend some of the windfall right away. This is why we suggest that our trustee clients make a small, early distribution to beneficiaries. It helps them get some of the spending out of their system. So, pay yourself a small distribution and have a party or go on vacation — make it something memorable. Set the rest aside.

Vehicles seem to be the first purchase people make with their windfall.  Before buying cars for all of your friends and family members, consider the income and gift tax implications and if the purchases are the best use of your winnings to help your family members.

Protecting

Most advisers recommend letting your windfall sit for six months while you pray, meditate or just think about your plans before making any large purchases or significant investment decisions.

Within a month of the death of her husband, a widow said she felt coerced by a “friend” into purchasing an annuity with all of the proceeds from her husband’s life insurance. She explained that she was not thinking right when she did it because of all of the grief and shock. The annuity payments were not sufficient to pay debts and to support her children and contained excessive commission payments to her friend.

Fortunately, the supervisor at the life insurance company agreed to refund the widow’s investment after we threatened legal action.

If you are feeling coerced or burdened by friends and family members asking for hand-outs or investments in their latest scheme, the easiest response is to blame your professionals. For instance, you can tell them the funds are in trust, and your trustee will not allow it, or that all of your assets are tied up due to the way your CPA has structured everything for taxes.

Fixing

A strong urge people have when they come into money is to correct everything they have seen as wrong or off in their lives. I always tell clients to take their time and enjoy the process of “fixing” everything.

One mature, newlywed bride who married a wealthy man came to see me, and I gave her that advice. Sure enough, after buying the new car, new clothes, dental implants, new home on the beach, and plastic surgery within only two years, she came back to see me, and asked, “What now?”

Her new wealth did not bring the happiness she expected.

Helping

If you are thinking of giving away large amounts of cash to your church or favorite charity, consider seeking advice about charitable gift planning to maximize the impact of your gift while also minimizing taxes and supporting your other family goals.

The clients I have seen who were happiest with their windfall and were able to preserve it were less changed with the new wealth and acted more of stewards of their fortune. The plans they developed with their professionals provided for a much-needed sense of long term security while allowing for enjoyment of the newfound resources.

During these tough times, it is an excellent diversion to muse about all the good we could do with an unexpected windfall.

Michelle C. Herting, CPA, ABV, AEP specializes in estate, trust and gift taxes, and business valuations. She has three offices in Southern California and is president of the Charitable Gift Planners of Inland Southern California.

 

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Heat wave sticks around in Southern California — how long till it breaks?

LOS ANGELES — The heat wave broiling Southern California since last week is persisting Friday, and special alerts issued by the National Weather Service were extended by at least one more day — until Friday night.

“Excessively hot conditions will continue through Friday, with areas of smoke (from wildfires) and dense fog over portions of coastal waters,” according to the National Weather Service. It will cool some this weekend into next week, but temperatures will remain above normal.

Excessive heat warnings scheduled to expire Thursday night will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Friday in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, with forecasters warning of “dangerously hot conditions.” The warning will also be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains and the Antelope Valley.

An excessive warning in Orange County expired Thursday night as scheduled.

A less serious heat advisory, which was also scheduled to expire Thursday night, will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday in the LA County coastal region, which includes beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, the downtown area and the Hollywood Hills.

The NWS anticipated “daytime highs and overnight lows to be similar to a couple of degrees lower” than Thursday.

“There is an increased risk for heat related illnesses for most, but especially to sensitive populations like the very young, the very old, those without air conditioning, and outdoor workers,” the NWS warned on its website.

No additional Flex Alerts calling for energy conservation were in effect Thursday, and none were on tap yet for Friday. The alerts were in effect each afternoon this week, but conservation efforts and favorable weather conditions contributed to avert rolling power blackouts, like those that occurred late last week when the heat wave began.

Several cooling centers remain open across Los Angeles County for those without air conditioning, but their capacity was limited due to social distancing requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic. Their locations can be found at lacounty.gov/heat. Information about cooling center in Los Angeles can be found by calling 311 or visiting laparks.org/emergency/cooling-center-activation.

Sunny skies were forecast in LA County Friday, along with highs of 82 at LAX; 86 in Avalon; 88 in Long Beach; 90 on Mount Wilson; 91 in downtown LA; 94 in San Gabriel; 96 in Van Nuys, Burbank and Pasadena; 100 in Santa Clarita; 102 in Woodland Hills; 106 in Palmdale; and 107 in Lancaster. Temperatures will be a few degrees lower Saturday. Triple-digit temperatures will last in the Antelope Valley at least through Thursday.

Partly cloudy skies were forecast along the Orange County coast, along with sunny skies in inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains, and highs of 81 in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 86 on Santiago Peak; 89 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 91 in Fullerton and at Fremont Canyon; 92 in Irvine; 93 in Yorba Linda, Anaheim and Mission Viejo; and 94 at Trabuco Canyon. Highs in the 90s will persist through at least Thursday.

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Democrats formally nominate Biden in bid to oust Trump

By STEVE PEOPLES, MICHELLE L. PRICE and ALEXANDRA JAFFE | Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. — Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden as their presidential candidate, with party elders, a new generation of politicians and voters in every state joining in an extraordinary, pandemic-cramped virtual convention to send him into the general election campaign to oust President Donald Trump.

For someone who has spent more than three decades eyeing the presidency, the moment Tuesday night was the realization of a long-sought goal. But it occurred in a way that the 77-year-old Biden couldn’t have imagined just months ago as the coronavirus pandemic prompted profound change across the country and in his presidential campaign.

  • Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden is seen in a video feed from Delaware with his wife Jill Biden, and his grandchildren at his side, after winning the votes to become the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominee for President, during the second night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Pool via AP)

  • In this image from video, Rachel Prevost of Montana speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

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  • In this image from video, Bishop Mariann Budde, with Episcopal Diocese of Washington, speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, former President Bill Clinton speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video made available before the start of the convention, former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • FILE – In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo Cindy McCain, wife of former Arizona Sen. John McCain, waves to the crowd after being acknowledged by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey during his State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session at the Capitol in Phoenix. Cindy McCain is going to bat for Joe Biden, lending her voice to a video set to air on Tuesday, Aug. 18, during the Democratic National Convention programming focused on Biden’s close friendship with her late husband, Sen. John McCain. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

  • Former President Bill Clinton, left, delivers a speech by video feed as Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez watches from the podium, right, during the second night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisc. (Brian Snyder/Pool via AP)

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., seconds the nomination of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., via video feed during the second night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Pool via AP)

  • In this image from video, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, Caroline Kennedy and Jack Schlossberg speak as Tracee Ellis Ross, serving as moderator, listens during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, seen in a photo as they speak on audio only, during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, Reuben Gill of Missouri speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

  • In this image from video, former Georgia House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams, center, and others, speak during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

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Instead of a Milwaukee convention hall as initially planned, the roll call of convention delegates played out in a combination of live and recorded video feeds from American landmarks packed with meaning: Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, a Puerto Rican community still recovering from a hurricane and Washington’s Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Biden celebrated his new status as the Democratic nominee alongside his wife and grandchildren in a Delaware school library. His wife of more than 40 years, Jill Biden, later spoke of her husband in deeply personal terms, reintroducing the lifelong politician as a man of deep empathy, faith and resilience to American voters less than three months before votes are counted.

“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it — how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going,” she said. “But I’ve always understood why he did it. He does it for you.”

Speaking Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, Jill Biden said her husband is up for the job of president and called a Trump campaign ad questioning his mental fitness “ridiculous.”

“Joe’s on the phone every single minute of the day talking to governors who are calling him and Nancy Pelosi. He’s on the Zoom. He’s doing fundraisers. He’s doing briefings,” she said. “I mean he doesn’t stop from 9 in the morning till 11 at night. That’s ridiculous.”

The convention’s most highly anticipated moments will unfold on the next two nights. Kamala Harris will accept her nomination as Biden’s running mate on Wednesday, the first Black woman to join a major party ticket. Former President Barack Obama will also speak as part of his stepped-up efforts to defeat his successor.

Biden will deliver his acceptance speech Thursday night in a mostly empty convention hall near his Delaware home.

Biden used the second night of the four-day convention to feature a mix of party elders, Republican as well as Democratic, to make the case that he has the experience and energy to repair chaos that Trump has created at home and abroad.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State John Kerry — and former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell — were among the heavy hitters on a schedule that emphasized a simple theme: Leadership matters. Former President Jimmy Carter, now 95 years old, also made a brief appearance.

Some of them delivered attacks against Trump that were unusually personal, all in an effort to establish Biden as the competent, moral counter to the Republican president.

“Donald Trump inherited a growing economy and a more peaceful world,” Kerry said. “And like everything else he inherited, he bankrupted it. When this president goes oversees it isn’t a goodwill mission. It’s a blooper reel.”

Clinton said Trump’s Oval Office is a place of chaos, not a command center.

“If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man,” Clinton said.

For his part, Trump spent Tuesday courting battleground voters in an effort to distract from Biden’s convention. Appearing in Arizona near the Mexican border during the day, the Republican president claimed a Biden presidency would trigger “a flood of illegal immigration like the world has never seen.”

Such divisive rhetoric, which is not supported by Biden’s positions, has become a hallmark of Trump’s presidency, which has inflamed tensions at home and alienated allies around the world.

Biden has the support of a sprawling political coalition, as demonstrated again during Tuesday’s convention, although neither history nor enthusiasm is on his side.

Just one incumbent president has been defeated since 1992, George H.W. Bush. And Biden’s supporters consistently report that they’re motivated more by opposition to Trump than excitement about Biden.

A collection of younger Democrats, including former Georgia lawmaker Stacey Abrams and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were given a few minutes to shine. But overall, there was little room on Tuesday’s program for the younger stars of the party’s far-left wing.

“In a democracy, we do not elect saviors. We cast our ballots for those who see our struggles and pledge to serve,” said Abrams, 46, who emerged as a national player during her unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018 and was among those considered to be Biden’s running mate.

For a second night, the Democrats featured Republicans.

Powell, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush and appeared at multiple Republican conventions in years past, endorsed the Democratic candidate. He joined the wife of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, Cindy McCain, who stopped short of a formal endorsement but spoke in a video of the mutual respect and friendship her husband and Biden shared.

While there have been individual members of the opposing party featured at presidential conventions before, a half-dozen Republicans, including a former two-term governor of Ohio, have now spoken for Democrat Biden.

The Democrats’ party elders played a prominent role throughout the night.

Clinton, who turns 74 on Tuesday, hasn’t held office in two decades. Kerry, 76, was the Democratic presidential nominee back in 2004 when the youngest voters this fall were still in diapers. And Carter left office in 1981.

Biden’s team did not give the night’s coveted keynote address to a single fresh face, preferring instead to pack the slot with more than a dozen Democrats in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The younger leaders included Abrams, Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., and the president of the Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez.

It remains to be seen whether the unconventional convention will give Biden the momentum he’s looking for.

Preliminary estimates show that television viewership for the first night of the virtual convention was down compared with the opening of Hillary Clinton’s onsite nominating party four years ago.

An estimated 18.7 million people watched coverage between 10 and 11 p.m. on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the Nielsen company said. Four years ago, the opening night drew just under 26 million viewers.

Biden’s campaign said an additional 10.2 million streamed the convention online Monday night.

“We are producing a digital convention, and people are watching,” Biden spokesman T.J. Ducklo tweeted.

Price reported from Las Vegas and Peoples from New York. AP Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace contributed to this report.

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Won or inherited lots of money? Beware the pitfalls and losing it fast

We all dream about winning the lottery or getting some unexpected prize or inheritance that suddenly changes our life. But are you prepared for such a happening?

And if you have children or other heirs that you will be leaving an inheritance to, are they ready? Receiving an inheritance can be like winning the lottery. In both cases, without careful planning, the windfall may not change lives for the better.

The trouble with lottery winnings

According to CNBC and MIT Press, lottery winners are more likely to file for bankruptcy in three to five years than the average American. And why is that? Primarily, it’s a lack of preparedness for what happens next.

There are legions of stories about lottery winners being besieged by needy family members (near and very, very distant), being sued for bogus matters, getting scammed, being divorced, and spending irresponsibly. “Winning” money through the birth lottery can have the same results.

First steps

If you are ever lucky enough to win the lottery, your first step should not be to shout it from the rooftop. Instead, you should quietly (but quickly) consult with the experts — a lawyer and a certified financial planner at a minimum — as to how you should claim the funds.

If you plan on sharing with family members, friends, or co-workers, you’ll want to have that worked out ahead of claiming the prize, lest you find you’ve made a potentially taxable gift to those with whom you shared your largesse.

Maybe a trust or a business entity is in order for the sake of privacy and management of the winnings. Perhaps you want to share with your children, but they’re not quite responsible enough. A trust might be in order.

These are all important decisions to be made ahead of claiming the prize and require expert advice.

The birth lottery

A person lucky enough to inherit large (and even smaller) sums, can be similar to someone winning the lottery. They didn’t earn the sum gradually over years of hard work and, therefore, adjust slowly to the changes; they may not have expected it; they don’t likely know how to manage the funds, and they are not prepared to handle the change to their life.

If getting a structure in place before claiming your lottery winnings made sense to you, then putting a structure in place for your child or other beneficiary’s inheritance should also make sense to you.

Children, particularly young adult children, who suddenly inherit money suffer the same difficult consequences as lottery winners. Studies indicate that one-third of people who receive an inheritance have negative savings within three years.

Without a solid legal structure in place, a child inheriting even relatively modest amounts may feel pressure to help out friends, invest in suspect ventures, buy things they don’t need or can’t afford (#1 on the list is likely to be an expensive car, and they’ll be surprised at the expensive registration and insurance).

They may even find themselves sued for frivolous or fraudulent matters. They also may find themselves the target of good ol’ fashioned gold diggers.

Making it last

The way to prevent the premature depletion of an inheritance is very similar to what is best done for lottery winnings.

Don’t leave funds outright to your heirs, unless you’re absolutely certain they can handle it — and even then, in California, unless the child is very good at keeping the inheritance as separate property (and most aren’t), there is always the risk they’ll lose half in a divorce.

Instead, leave them their inheritance in a trust, with defined terms about how and when it can be accessed. Name a trustee (a relative, a professional fiduciary, or a corporate trustee) other than the heir, who can manage the funds and make sure the heir is taken care of but not taken advantage of.

The trust can state that at certain ages the child has the right to become a co-trustee, thus learning to handle the funds, and eventually, at an older age, take over a sole trustee.

Assets held in a trust can be protected from creditors (making those frivolous lawsuits and divorces less appealing). Having a third-party trustee takes the pressure off the heir when friends ask for money or expect the heir to suddenly pay for everything. And the trustee can easily say no to that Ferrari.

Even if you think your young adult child is responsible, I encourage you to consider a trust for the child. As I often tell my clients, don’t think about your well-adjusted, college sophomore now. Think about that same child immediately after losing one or both parents, because that is when they would be receiving the inheritance.

Will they return to school immediately or take some time off? If they have cash easily available, will that encourage them not to return to college? Will they buy that car/jewelry/tropical vacation they think will make them feel better? Will they pay for their friends’ food, trips, nights out because they can, and they need the company? And even if you think they won’t, why tempt them?

Setting up for success

A lottery winning, an inheritance, a lawsuit settlement, or any other windfall can feel great. It can feel like it will last forever. But the statistics show us the good feeling will pass, and without careful planning, the money won’t last either.

The nature of a windfall is that it happens fast. But your reaction does not need to be quick. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. Take the time to get a proper structure in place so you’ve set up yourself and your loved ones for success. And cheers to your good fortune (but with a moderately priced bottle).

Teresa J. Rhyne is an attorney practicing in estate planning and trust administration in Riverside and Paso Robles, CA. She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “The Dog Lived (and So Will I)” and “Poppy in The Wild” coming in October 2020.  Reach her via email at Teresa@trlawgroup.net

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