Miramonte teacher agrees to 25-year prison term

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Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt repeated the phrase “no contest” 23 times in an L.A. courtroom this morning, agreeing to a plea deal that will send him to prison for 25 years. Berndt, who is 62, fed children his semen in a scandal that rocked the school district.  LAUSD has already agreed to pay nearly $30 million to settle lawsuits and claims from dozens of Miramonte students and their families. But dozens of additional cases are still unresolved…About a million Californians who were due to lose their existing health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act will now be able to keep their plans for another year. But President Obama’s decision to delay cancellations has sparked a dispute between health insurers and state officials. The businesses say the changes could cost consumers money by skewing the mix of insured toward older, sicker people…josephgattoAssemblyman Mike Gatto says his family is shocked and devastated by the apparent murder of his father in the elder man’s Silver Lake Home. Police haven’t made any arrests in the case. The body of 78-year-old Joseph Gatto, a longtime LAUSD arts instructor, was discovered by his daughter. He was shot during an apparent robbery. Mike Gatto says his father was a gentle and giving man…A federal court has ordered the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to answer a complaint filed this week by embattled state Senator Ron Calderon. He accuses the agencies of leaking a confidential FBI affidavit alleging that the lawmaker accepted more than $80,000 in bribes. Calderon says the information was leaked to retaliate for his refusal to wear a recording device in an FBI sting that targeted lawmakers Darrell Steinberg and Kevin deLeon. All three have denied any wrongdoing…Talk about strange bedfellows. The L.A. Chamber of Commerce and the Service Employees International Union are teaming with other business and labor groups on a coalition to fight a fight a June 2014 ballot measure that would establish a new city of L.A. health agency. The groups say the push by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to create a new city department would endanger public health…proudbirdAnd finally, they’re not too proud to beg: Employees of the Proud Bird are pleading with the Airport Commission to save the historic LAX restaurant and watering hole by waiving rules requiring businesses to pay market rate rent. Airport managers say there hands are tied because the rent requirement is part of federal law. The aviation industry gathering spot is known for its aircraft displays and historic photos.