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Los Angeles Times


Feds probe Tesla Autopilot in Newport Beach crash that killed 3

Los Angeles Times

Federal authorities are investigating whether a Tesla involved in a crash that left three people dead and three others injured last week in Newport Beach had its Autopilot system activated at the time of the wreck. A special crash investigation team was sent for the May 12 incident on Pacific Coast Highway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday. In that crash, Newport Beach police were called around 12:45 a.m. to the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, where they found a 2022 Tesla Model S sedan had crashed into a curb and hit construction equipment. Three people were found dead in the Tesla; they were identified last week as Crystal McCallum, 34, of Texas; Andrew James Chaves, 32, of Arizona; and Wayne Walter Swanson Jr., 40, of Newport Beach, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Three construction workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said, adding that the department's Major Accident Investigation Team had been brought in.


Los Angeles average gas price leads the nation at a record-breaking $6.08

Los Angeles Times

On Wednesday the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Los Angeles reached $6.08, leaping 2.3 cents overnight and breaking a record set earlier this year, according to the latest data from AAA. Los Angeles is not alone in its pain as the cost of gas spikes across the nation. And according to analysts, the switch to a more expensive summer blend for other parts of the country promises the hurt will not stop anytime soon. The average cost for regular gas is more than $4 for nearly every state. According to AAA, the national average is $4.56, but California leads the nation with an average of $6.05.


Church where shooting took place was home away from home for Taiwanese immigrants

Los Angeles Times

The Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church has never had a home. It started in 1994 in borrowed space in another church in its namesake city. It eventually moved to another borrowed space in a Tustin church before settling at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods in 2012. On Sundays, the Taiwanese group worships at 10 a.m., while the Geneva group gathers separately at 10:30. The 100 or so church members, most of whom are senior citizens, worship in their native language -- not Mandarin but Taiwanese, a dialect that was once suppressed by the Kuomintang regime.


No gas rebates in sight as average prices in L.A. barrel toward $6 a gallon -- again

Los Angeles Times

Experts say a perfect storm of supply-and-demand issues are sending gas prices in Los Angeles soaring again, with the price-per-gallon increasing more than 14 cents in the last 16 days, according to the latest fuel prices tracked by AAA. L.A. fuel prices are again inching toward a $6-a-gallon record set in March. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area is currently $5.91, with plenty of stations charging well over that. A year ago the price was $4.16. Overnight, the price jumped 2.2 cents, the highest level it has risen since February.


Column One: In their search for love, South Asians swipe right on dating apps catered for them

Los Angeles Times

Most swiping for love on a dating app know the drill. Perhaps declare intentions: Looking for something serious? The dating app Mirchi presents another possibility: "Auntie made me sign up." The option is part joke, part knowing nod to its audience. Unlike the mainstream apps such as Tinder or Bumble, Mirchi is among the growing world of dating apps created by and catering to South Asians.


Deaf education vote is the latest parents' rights battleground in L.A.

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Unified School District is poised to vote on a controversial proposal that could reshape education for thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, a key battle in a long national fight over how such children learn language. Oscar winner Marlee Matlin and the American Civil Liberties Union are among those urging the Board of Education to pass Resolution 029-21/22 at its meeting Tuesday, inaugurating a new Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education. Students would be eligible to receive the state seal of biliteracy on their diplomas, and ASL would be offered as a language course in some high schools. The resolution also would introduce ASL-English bilingual instruction for many of the district's youngest deaf learners -- a move supporters say is critical to language equity and opponents say robs parents of choice and runs afoul of federal education law. "For 400 years at least there's been a big battle between people who think children with hearing loss should speak, and people who think they should use sign language -- it's a very old argument," said Alison M. Grimes, director of audiology and newborn hearing at UCLA Health.


Lethal drug cocktails and two women left for dead bring L.A. cops back to old rape cases

Los Angeles Times

When men dropped the lifeless bodies of two women outside hospitals, police immediately suspected foul play. Christy Giles, 24, died that Saturday in November. Her friend, Hilda Cabrales Arzola, was taken off life support a few weeks later, the day before her 27th birthday. Los Angeles detectives soon figured out that the men, one a small-time actor and the other a hanger-on to Hollywood fringes, had been lying when they claimed to have found the women passed out on a curb. One was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, while the other and a third friend were arrested as accessories to the crime.


Frustrating, little-known disorder in spotlight after Bruce Willis' aphasia diagnosis

Los Angeles Times

Living with aphasia has been compared to living in a country where you don't speak the language. Gestures, sign language or other forms of communication may not be much help. And the people who want to help you struggle to understand. "You know what things are. You are the person you were -- but others don't know that," said Lyn Turkstra, a professor of speech-language pathology and neuroscience at McMaster University in Canada.


The lines, the signs, the fights: In 1970s L.A., gas came at a premium

Los Angeles Times

Which three-word phrase should always be spoken cautiously? All of them, actually, but that last one -- depending on your choice of ride, a full tank of gas can now cost you within fumes-sniffing distance of a hundred bucks. How did it come to this -- again? Los Angeles is a complex place. In this weekly feature, Patt Morrison is explaining how it works, its history and its culture.


L.A. County likely to drop indoor mask order Friday

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County will likely lift its universal indoor mask mandate Friday, a significant acceleration of the expected timeline following changes in federal face-covering guidance. While nothing is set in stone, the potential changes would align L.A. County's mask rules with those unveiled Monday by the California Department of Public Health, meaning it would be strongly recommended -- but not required -- for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents to wear masks in public indoor settings. "As we've emphasized throughout the pandemic, masks are one of the easiest things we can do to prevent COVID-19 transmission and provide strong protection to the person wearing them as well as the people around them," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Ferrer also announced plans to relax some of the vaccine-verification rules in L.A. County. She said that vaccine-or-test rules will no longer be required at outdoor mega events -- such as at SoFi and Dodger stadiums and at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and the Hollywood Bowl -- and vaccination verification will no longer be required in indoor portions of bars, lounges, nightclubs, distilleries, wineries and breweries.