This Week In The News (03/18-03/22)

USC Selects Carol Folt as New President as University Tries to Move Past Scandals

Wednesday, March 20 (Los Angeles Times) – Carol Folt was appointed as the first female president of USC in the institution’s 139-year history. The former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Folt is set to take the helm on July 1. Her appointment follows a variety of controversies, including involvement of USC employees and parents in the latest college admissions scandal and drug use by a former dean.

Meteor-Like Object Over Downtown LA Turns Out to be Red Bull Stunt

Wednesday, March 20 (NBC Los Angeles) – On Wednesday night, people in downtown Los Angeles mistook a stunt by the Red Bull Air Force to be a meteor or aliens. Instead, it was a team of skydivers in wingsuits, who jumped from a helicopter 4,000 feet above the city. The Los Angeles Police Department quickly notified the public of the film shoot on Twitter.

Driver Shows Off Dance Moves After Police Pursuit in Los Angeles

Wednesday, March 20 (WPTV) – On Tuesday night, a police pursuit in the San Fernando Valley ended when police spun out the vehicle, the driver stepped out, and started dancing. As police guns were drawn, the man obeyed officers’ instructions and was handcuffed and arrested. The reason why he fled the police is unknown.

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash with Lyft Vehicle in Costa Mesa

Wednesday, March 20 (Los Angeles Times) – Yasar Barakzai, 22, of Irvine died after his motorcycle collided with a Lyft vehicle Tuesday night. The crash occurred at 8:49 p.m. in Costa Mesa, at Fairview Road and El Camino Drive. According to a police sergeant, it appeared the accident occurred while the Lyft driver was making a left turn. Barakazai was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver remained on site and was cooperative.

Man on Electric Scooter Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash in Santa Monica

Monday, March 18 (Los Angeles Times) – The Santa Monica Police Department reached out to the public on Monday for information on a driver who fled an accident scene last Friday night. The driver had struck a 41-year-old male who fell off an electric scooter on Third Street. Suffering head and body trauma, the victim later died at a local hospital.

Woodstock Businessman Killed in San Diego Scooter Crash

Monday, March 18 (11Alive) – Christopher Conti, 53, of Woodstock, Georgia, died two days after crashing an electric scooter into a tree in downtown San Diego. The accident occurred on March 13, according to the San Diego Police Department, when Conti lost control of the scooter while making a left turn. Conti, not wearing a helmet at the time, suffered serious head injuries and was knocked unconscious, police said. Authorities were investigating whether alcohol was a factor.

U-Haul Crash Shuts Down County Building

Monday, March 18 (Fox 5 San Diego) – On Monday morning, a U-Haul truck crashed into the front entrance of the Housing and Community Development Services building at 3989 Ruffin Road in Kearny Mesa. Police believe the incident was intentional. Causing about $100,000 in damage, the crash caused no injuries. The driver then fled on foot, while police found expletives spray-painted on the side of the truck. According to the county, the Housing and Community Development Services offices are closed until further notice.

San Diego Installs More Than 3,000 Cameras and Sensors Along Streets

Tuesday, March 19 (NBC San Diego) – The City of San Diego has installed more than 3,000 City IQ nodes with built-in cameras and sensors. Located on top of street lights and inside lamp posts, the devices will collect data to be used to monitor the urban environment for future infrastructure and sustainability projects. According to Deputy Chief Operating Officer Erik Caldwell, “The information will give us great insight into how people move through the urban environment.” Officials say the system will not be used for surveillance, although video will be available only to police. By next year, another 1,200 cameras/sensors are expected to be installed.