LAPD officers may have lied about violent ‘ambush’

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When two L.A. police officers were attacked by a gunman outside the Mid-City station last year, Chief Charlie Beck called it – quote – “a blatant attempt to assassinate two of the people who protect the community.” By now the L.A. Times reports questions are being raised about whether the attack happened at all. A new report by LAPD Inspector General Alex Bustamante says a widespread investigation failed to turn up bullet casings or any other evidence to support the officers’ story. The officers said they were ambushed as they returned to the station on Venice Boulevard. They said a man walked to the back of their car and fired through the window, triggering a gun battle. Despite a massive manhunt involving SWAT teams and hundreds of officers, no suspect was ever identified. LAPD officials are standing by the officers’ story.

SANDIEGOFIRESan Diego County is under a state of emergency for a second straight day as record heat and drought conditions complicate efforts to fight nine wildfires. The fires have shut down schools, forced the temporary evacuation of the San Onofre nuclear power plant and chased thousands from their homes. The biggest concern right now is a fire burning out of control in San Marcos, north of San Diego. At least five homes have been destroyed in what’s being called the Poinsettia Fire. The most destructive fires is in Carlsbad, where a condominium complex was destroyed and at least 10 other structures damaged. That fire is now 60 percent contained. All told, the San Diego County fires have burned about 14 square miles. Two firefighters have been injured. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for San Diego County, which will free up more money for the firefight.

Democrats are pushing back against the revised budget proposal that Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled this week. Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says Brown’s plan would set aside too much money for a budget reserve and paying down debt – and not enough for social programs that took deep cuts during the recession. Budget negotiations are expected to take about a month. The state legislature is facing a constitutional deadline of June 15th to sign off on a spending plan.

oilspillClean-up crews in Atwater Village have vacuumed up most of the roughly 10,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled after a high-pressure pipe burst early this morning. Fire officials say the oil was captured before it could seep into storm drains that would have deposited the mess in the L.A. River. A handful of businesses were affected. Four people at a medical business were evaluated with respiratory complaints, and two were hospitalized. An environmental cleaning company is sopping up the remaining oil and will use high-pressure hoses to wash the streets. The pipe burst at a transfer pumping station

onlinecoursesAlmost one million community college students in California are taking online classes. That’s about 11 percent of those students. A study from the Public Policy Institute of California says students are less likely to pass an online course than a traditional course. But while short-term outcomes are poor for online classes, it’s different in the long-term. Students are more likely to get an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year school when they take a mix of online and face to face classes. The study also finds that African-Americans are at the forefront in taking online courses, while Latinos lag behind all groups.