This Week In The News (06/03-06/07)

Los Angeles Homelessness Rises Sharply As Housing Crisis Deepens

Tuesday, June 4 (Reuters) – An annual census by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority found the homeless population of Los Angeles County increased 12% in the past year. A shortage of affordable housing is thought to be the blame. Homelessness in the city of Los Angeles jumped by 16%. About 36,300 homeless individuals were counted in the city, while 59,000 were found countywide using abandoned vehicles, makeshift tents, and shelters and government-subsidized housing.

Mexican Church Leader Held On $50 Million Bail in Los Angeles for Sex Crimes

Wednesday, June 5 (Reuters) – Naason Joaquin Garcia, 50, church leader of La Luz Del Mundo, was arrested at LAX Monday on charges including human trafficking, child pornography, and the rape of a minor. He is currently being held on $50 million bail. Garcia did not enter a plea; nor did his co-defendants Alondra Ocampo and Susana Medina Oaxaca. They will be formally arraigned on June 10.

Young Mother of Two Killed By Suspected DUI Driver in Crash in South Los Angeles

Tuesday, June 4 (Fox 11) – On Tuesday morning, Jasmine Gonzalez, 26, a mother of two, was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Hyde Park. Gonzalez had picked up a friend from work and had pulled over at the 4900 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, where her car was hit from behind and crushed, trapping her inside. The other vehicle hit a third car that was parked nearby. The women driving it were given field sobriety tests and taken in by police for questioning.

3 Hospitalized After High-Speed Chase Ends With Violent Crash in Long Beach

Wednesday, June 5 (CBS Los Angeles) – A high-speed chase into Long Beach ended when a sedan crashed into a white SUV at 6th Street and Long Beach Boulevard. As a result, two people were injured and taken to the hospital. The pursuit began in South L.A. at about 12:11 a.m. as police pursued a driver wanted for DUI, who was later taken into custody and identified as 19-year-old Leo Ortiz. He is now being held on $100,000 bail.

Jet Fuel Fire Prompts Explosion at Tanker Fueling Center in Carson; Truck Driver Hospitalized

Monday, June 3 (KTLA) – A jet fuel fire and explosion at a tanker truck fueling center in Carson left a truck driver hospitalized on Monday. Reports of a fire at the Kinder Morgan facility were received at 5:30 a.m. A truck was being loaded with jet fuel at the time of the explosion. About 100 firefighters battled the blaze, which damaged a building and at least two tanker trucks before being extinguished by about 6:20 a.m.

DUI Suspect Arrested in Deadly Chain-Reaction Crash on Temecula Freeway 

Tuesday, June 4 (NBC Los Angeles) – A chain-reaction crash on Tuesday left one person dead and others injured. The crash occured on Interstate 15 near Rancho California Road and involved at least five vehicles, including one that left the road and landed in the Temecula City Hall parking structure. The driver of a gray Chevy Silverado, Javier Caldera, 25, of Auburn, Washington, was arrested on suspicious of DUI.

Cadet Killed, 22 Injured in West Point Academy Vehicle Crash

Thursday, June 6 (Fox 5 San Diego) – An accident near the Camp Natural Bridge training site at West Point Military Academy killed one cadet, while 19 other cadets and two soldiers were injured, according to the academy. The West Point Military Police said in a statement that the accident involved an armored personnel carrier. Field training exercises involve cadets during their second summer at the academy, during which they’re introduced to various aspects of military combat.

California Says Coffee Contains Carcinogenic Chemical, But Doesn’t Have to Be Labelled As Carcinogenic

Tuesday, June 4 (ABC.net) – A California ruling declared that coffee, despite containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical (acrylamide), does not pose a “significant” cancer risk. Confirmed Monday, it was proposed last year in response to a Los Angeles judge’s ruling that put the industry in jeopardy of stiff civil penalties. Acrylamide is formed when certain plant-based foods are cooked or processed at high temperatures. Now, coffee companies are not required to remove the chemical or warn consumers about its risk.

California State Bar Moves to Suspend Avenatti’s Law License, Saying He Poses ‘Substantial Threat of Harm to Clients or the Public’

Tuesday, June 4 (Fox News) – The California State Bar filed a petition to list Michael Avenatti’s law license on interim inactive status, stating his alleged conduct “poses a substantial threat of harm to clients or the public.” Avenatti faces numerous federal criminal charges in California and New York, including using client funds for personal purchases, impersonating a client, and blackmailing Nike. According to the State Bar, Avenatti has provided no defense or response to investigators, and will lose the right to if he doesn’t request a hearing within 10 days.

California Joins Other States in Suing Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma

Monday, June 3 (KTLA) – California, along with Maine, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, filed lawsuits on Monday against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. The lawsuits involve the company’s former president, Richard Sackler, as well. Purdue Pharma is alleged to have promoted the drug, while downplaying the risk of addiction when it was aware as early as 1997 that drugs containing oxycodone were widely abused.