Today’s News: Baca backs off deportation holds; Fight for control of First AME; Youth movement for Grammys

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No holds. L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca says his department will no longer honor federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes. Baca’s change of heart comes one day after California Attorney General Kamela Harris said state law enforcement agencies were not obligated to comply with the Secure Communities program. Baca follows LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who announced in October that his department would disregard ICE detention requests. L.A. Times

Church battle. First AME Church has filed a civil lawsuit against its former pastor, accusing him of running the West Adams institution for his own personal gain. The Rev. John Hunter was transferred to a San Francisco church in October. But parishioners there physically blocked him from taking the pulpit. Now Hunter is trying to regain his position at First AME, L.A.’s oldest African-American congregation. The L.A. Times reports that court documents show the church is in dire financial straights, with more than $500,000 in debt and a stack of unpaid bills. L.A. Times

High(er) marks. Just a month after California voters passed Governor Jerry Brown’s tax increase, a new poll finds that Brown is enjoying a record high approval rating – 48 percent. That’s a six-point increase from October, and it comes after voters approved the governor’s tax initiative. Proposition 30 raised the statewide sales tax by a quarter cent and hiked income tax rates on the wealthy. The Legislature’s job approval rating is also up, topping 30 percent for the first time in nearly five years. Public Policy Institute of California

Nostalgia. Things haven’t been going too well for California Republicans: Democrats control the governor’s office and enjoy veto-proof majorities in both houses of the state Legislature. Now some party members are looking back in the hope of improving their fortunes going forward. Support is reportedly building for former Senate leader Jim Brulte to take over the party chairmanship in the spring. Brulte, from San Bernardino County, is revered in some conservative circles for leading the Republicans to a majority in the state Senate in the 1990s. Sacramento Bee

Tunes. The nominees for the 55th Grammy Awards are out, and it’s shaping up to be a big year for indie-pop. The band Fun received nods for Album, Song and Record of the Year, as well as Best New Artist. Other acts garnering multiple nominations include The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Frank Ocean. The Grammys will be held February 10th at Staples Center. Billboard

Raining buckets. The Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets last night and in the process Kobe Bryant became the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. At 34, Bryant is the youngest to enter the 30,000 club. He joins Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone. ESPN

Bob’s Bargains. Bob Hope’s Toluca Lake home will soon be on the market. That’s probably going to be out of reach for most fans of the legendary comedian. So here’s the good news: To prepare for the sale, Hope’s family is hosting a garage sale at the home this weekend. Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, people can shop for Christmas decorations and other items collected by Hope and his wife Dolores during their decades in the Moorpark Street house. L.A. Daily News