Archive for the ‘Updates & Early Stories’ Category

Burbank gets float award, Glendale comes up short

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Burbank won the Animation Trophy today for their float “Barnyard Aces” at this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. 

The float featured a scale Stearman PT-17, which reached heights of more than 30 feet and performed barrel rolls. 

The City of Burbank Float won the Animation Award for Best Anination and Motion at the 121st. Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Friday, January 1, 2010. (Raul Roa/News-Press)

The City of Burbank Float won the Animation Award for Best Anination and Motion at the 121st. Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Friday, January 1, 2010. (Raul Roa/News-Press)

Glendale’s float “America’s Pride,” which displayed a soaring bald eagle, didn’t win an award. 

But as the parade’s last float, it got a military flyover and a standing ovation from the audience. 

The City of Glendale Float at the 121st. Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Friday, January 1, 2010. (Raul Roa/News-Press)

The City of Glendale Float at the 121st. Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Friday, January 1, 2010. (Raul Roa/News-Press)



Written by Veronica Rocha

January 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Road closures for Rose Parade

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The California Department of Transportation will close several roads for the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, which is tomorrow morning.

The following streets will be closed  from Thursday to Friday.

Glendale (134) Freeway

  • 8 p.m. to 11 a.m. – East Orange Grove Boulevard offramp.
  • 2 a.m. to 12 p.m.  – West Orange Grove Boulevard onramp.

Pasadena Avenue

  • 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. – All lanes on Pasadena Avenue from Columbia Street to Del Mar Boulevard.

Foothill (210) Freeway

  • 8 p.m. to 4 p.m. – East- and west Sierra Madre Boulevard off-ramps.
  • East and west Sierra Madre Boulevard offramps will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 2 to Jan. 3. 

Written by Veronica Rocha

December 31, 2009 at 1:36 pm

New questions raised in Station fire aftermath

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From The Los Angeles Times:

Four months after L.A. County Fire Capt. Tedmund Hall and Spc. Arnaldo Quinones died during the massive Station Fire, new details of the tragedy have emerged, along with unsettling questions of how and why the crews were allowed to stay in harm’s way, and whether commanders failed to grasp in time the danger the camp faced.

A Times investigation of the incident found:

–A U.S. Forest Service e-mail written shortly after the deaths addresses the hazards of the fire and refers to the loss of “two people who stayed too long.” The e-mail was obtained by The Times along with other records that show that the camp crews were not formally assigned to the Station operation and thus might have been excluded from the commanders’ broader strategy of defending critical structures in the forest while ensuring the safety of firefighters. The battle against the fire was managed jointly by the county and the U.S. Forest Service.

–The unusual disconnect between the camp and those leading the attack on the biggest fire in county history is evident in dispatch logs that reveal scant contact between the Mt. Gleason crews and the command center. Experts say that violates long-established firefighting protocols that require all agencies to work together on major blazes in the forest, maintaining good communications with each other and sharing information about fire behavior, weather conditions and escape routes.

–The Station fire logs contain no calls to evacuate the camp or any effort to send help as the flames raced toward it. And daily government summaries of the firefight do not list the camp, a cluster of converted military buildings, among the many properties that commanders considered imperiled.

Read Paul Pringle’s full story here.

Written by Melanie Hicken

December 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Parade, bowl games to bring big money

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DOWNTOWN — Amid a local economy sacked by underperforming tax revenues, slumping home values and high unemployment, the biggest winners in the Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena won’t be taking the field.

The 121st Rose Parade and two post-season college football games are expected to produce an economic impact of $350 million to $400 million for greater Southern California, according to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and past economic studies.

“This has to be an economic pleasure for the Southern California region,” said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer for the Tournament of Roses. “This year there’s no doubt about the fact. You have two games, four out-of-state teams and a parade that drives hundreds of thousands of people to the area.”

A new rotating collegiate bowl system for the first time brings to Pasadena two major bowl games within a week of each other.

A further economic boon to the area comes in the fact that neither USC nor UCLA are competing in the games, said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance.

He noted that not only are the competing colleges from outside Southern California, but the closest school is more than 800 miles away in Eugene, Ore.

Read on.

Written by Christopher Cadelago

December 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

[UPDATE] Suspicous package was overseas gift

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[UPDATE] Authorities have determined that the package was not a bomb. It was, in fact, a gift from overseas, officials said.

The battered cardboard box with a near-illegible return address caused a bomb scare that prompted the evacuation of dozens of Dreamworks employees at about 12:05 p.m.

[UPDATE] Glendale Police said they were called in at 12:05 p.m. after an unscheduled cardboard package was delivered to the campus.

During a security check, Dreamworks personnel noticed something suspicious and called police, prompting an evacuation of the building, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Hazmat teams were called in as an extra precaution, not because there was an immediate threat, police said.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the package as they decide whether to move it to a more secure location.

[UPDATE] A Glendale News-Press reporter at the scene said two hazmat teams from Glendale and Burbank are on the scene.

About 60 employees have also been evacuated to the intersection of Flower Street and Grandview Avenue.

Witnesses said the package was discovered between two buildings, one of which is under construction, and that they were told to evacuate immediately.

[UPDATE] An employee at Dreamworks said police were called in about one hour ago to investigate the package. Employees at the campus, located on the 1000 block of Flower Street, have been told to stay put, he said.

Authorities have closed the street to traffic.

[DEVELOPING] Authorities are investigating what they said was a “suspicious package” at the Dreamworks Animation campus.

Glendale firefighters who responded the scene were recently called back as bomb the squad prepared to move in.

Written by Jason Wells

December 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Metrolink reaches tentative $39-million settlement

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Passengers board a southbound Metrolink train on Monday, December 14, 2009. (Roger Wilson/Leader)

GLENDALE — Metrolink has agreed to pay roughly $39 million to settle all but one of the lawsuits filed against the agency in the aftermath of a January 2005 derailment that killed 11 passengers on the Glendale border, an attorney for the plaintiffs said Wednesday.

Of the 186 complaints filed against the agency in the wake of the accident, all but one of the suits have been resolved, said Jerome Ringler, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. All 11 wrongful death lawsuits have been settled and 15 of the 16 serious injury lawsuits have been resolved.

The remaining cases involved non-critical injuries.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge handling the cases vacated a Jan. 4 trial date and urged both parties to “work diligently” to resolve the remaining case, a six-figure serious injury lawsuit, Ringler said.

“We fully expect that last one to resolve in the next three to four months, but there is no guarantee,” he said.

In October, Ringler said 90% of the cases had been settled for about $30 million with six cases remaining.

The recent settlements, which await approval from the Metrolink board of directors, bring years of litigation to near finish, even as the rail agency grapples with lawsuits stemming from the deadly Chatsworth crash last year that killed 25 people.

Prior to that crash, the 2005 Glendale derailment — which occurred when a Metrolink train hit a parked Jeep Cherokee left behind by Juan Manuel Alvarez on the tracks near Chevy Chase Drive, killing 11 and injuring nearly 200 others — had been the deadliest incident in the rail agency’s history.

Alvarez was sentenced last year to serve 11 consecutive life sentences in prison for causing the derailment.

“All of those involved that were injured or who lost loved ones are very pleased to have this resolution behind them to move forward with their lives,” Ringler said.

Angela Starr, a Metrolink spokeswoman, declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

Written by Jason Wells

December 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Firefighters dodge bullets in Burbank house fire

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[UDPATE] BURBANK — Firefighters dodged flying ammunition that burst out of a fiery single-story home Tuesday morning as they battled the blaze.

Heat from the house fire in the 800 block of Stephen Road sent ammunition exploding into the air, prompting firefighters to take a defensive posture, Burbank Fire Marshal Frank Walbert said.

One round hit a Burbank fire engine and another bullet was found on the street in the Stephens Road neighborhood, Battalion Chief Steve Briggs said.

No injuries were reported.

Fire crews arrived at the home at about 8:55 a.m. Tuesday after a neighbor noticed smoke coming from a window and called 911, Walbert said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday.

[UPDATE] Burbank firefighters are reporting a knock down of the fire. A damage assessment and cause of the blaze are forthcoming.

[DEVELOPING] Firefighters are responding to a house fire in the 800 block of Stephen Road in north Burbank. Tactical teams have arrived at the scene and are fighting the blaze.

Written by Jason Wells

December 29, 2009 at 9:14 am