Los Angeles - top stories 7/7/20
Jul 07, 2020
09:47 PM

If LAUSD stays online for fall, there will be an ‘ambitious set of expectations,’ says superintendent

City News Service PUBLISHED: July 6, 2020 at 1:36 p.m. | UPDATED: July 6, 2020 at 8:52 p.m. Categories:
Crime + Public Safety , Local News, News

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner (Image from video)
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner (Image from video)

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday there’s still no timetable on when school facilities may reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the district may need to create a balance of online and in-person classes for the next academic year that starts Aug. 18.

“As we look ahead to the start of a new school year, the challenge is to build on the foundation that’s been put in place over the past few months and apply the learnings to provide the best possible education for students,” Beutner said during his weekly coronavirus briefing.

In order to provide students with adequate education, the new school year will have to include a regular class schedule, attendance will have to be taken, daily live instruction must be given, and other requirements must be met, Beutner said.

During the next academic year, each school principal will host regular updates on their plans to reopen and provide education, and community administrators will hold regular town hall meetings to discuss issues related to the new school year, Beutner said.

“If these sound like an ambitious set of expectations, they are — and they’re necessary,” Beutner said. “COVID-19 continues to be a real threat to all the communities we serve, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change anytime soon. We have to do the best we can to adapt to challenges it presents.”

A team is working to simplify the technology teachers used at the end of last school year for online instruction, the superintendent said.

If coronavirus cases are climbing, why is LA County’s death rate creeping downward?

Ryan Carter PUBLISHED : July 6, 2020 at 6:32 p.m. | UPDATED: July 7, 2020 at 12:51 p.m.

Coronavirus Update: California statewide
Coronavirus Update: California statewide

Public health officials are sounding the alarms: Rising coronavirus hospitalization rates. Rising visits to doctors. Increasing transmission rates.

One in every 140 people in L.A. County might actually have the coronavirus — the virus that causes COVID-19, the disease that has killed at least 3,534 human beings in Los Angeles County in a matter of five months, and infected more than a confirmed 116,000.

But as L.A. County’s new wave of infection grips the region, a question has emerged: If the spike in cases so severe, why isn’t that reflected in the death rate, which continues to fall? In fact, the county’s fatality rate went from 4% in late June to 3% on July 4. And if you look at the national picture, the case rate is going up but mortality rate is going down, too.

The rolling seven-day average of deaths at skilled nursing facilities has been on a steep decline since late June — a bittersweet silver lining amid all the sobering stats of late.

More than 1,700 people who have died in L.A. County were residents of skilled nursing facilities, and at one time they were the majority of cases.

But that hasn’t changed.

Now, as the county’s Public Health Department reported on Monday, half of the people who are positive for the virus are now between 18 and 40 years old. And hospitalizations for people 18 and 40 years old have also increased from more than 10% of hospitalized cases in April to about 25% in July.

“There’s been quite a shift over the last three weeks,” Ferrer said Monday.

The percentage going to hospitals for the 65-and-older group has gone down.

In fact, Ferrer said there have been no new cases at skilled nursing facilities in the last 14 days — once a hot spot across the nation.

Ferrer suggested that the fact that the newly infectious are younger might mean they could be more resilient to the virus, though she noted with caution that younger people can succomb to the disease, too — especially those with underlying conditions.

“But they are a group less likely to die,” Ferrer said.

Still, though, from the governor’s office to Ferrer’s, there’s caution in assuming that the data will hold up.

Ferrer noted that while nursing home deaths are down, there’s concern that a result of community spread could mean more infections amid the people who work at such facilities, and those who contact the elderly.(Officials are monitoring to make sure that doesn’t happen.) And for weeks, public health officials have sounded the alarm about younger people who decided to not engage in social distancing — noting that they need to be mindful of who they might be exposing to the virus — who might be more vulnerable to it.

Ultimately, we’ll know within a few weeks, because death is a “lagging indicator.”

“The real factor that is playing into the numbers we are seeing now is that we often have a lagtime in deaths, from when we start seeing increases and hospitalizations,” Ferrer said. “Deaths will often lag behind slightly as much as one, two, three weeks.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday said he had cautious hope that wouldn’t happen.

But hospitals are bracing for that surge in cases, nonetheless.

L.A. County man accused of kidnapping, raping, killing 13-year-old Bakersfield girl

Nexstar Media Wire

A Los Angeles County man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, kidnapping, and rape in connection with the death of a Bakersfield teenager who vanished last week, KTLA sister station KGET reported Monday.

Thirteen-year-old Patricia Alatorre was last seen at her family’s home on Granite Hills and Crescent Ridge Streets in South Bakersfield the night of July 1, according to the Bakersfield television station Initially, Alatorre was reported as a runaway teenager.

“She did make a makeshift person in the bed. That’s not like her,” her mother, Clara, told the station. “She put her pajamas in the head part to make it look like somebody was in the bed, but she locked her door.”

The mother said her daughter had never run away before and there have not been any issues in the family. Her parents tried to locate her phone but found the signal ended on the freeway south of town. Police uncovered evidence in the case several days later.

“On July 4, video surveillance was located which depicted Patricia getting into a white older-model pickup truck,” Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Robert Pair said.

Her mother added, “it sounds like she said, ‘Answer your Snapchat.’ We can’t tell if she said, “Am I leaving’ or ‘I’m not leaving.’”

Police found the truck in Inglewood Sunday.They arrested the vehicle’s owner, 24-year-old Armando Cruz, in LA County.

Cruz was booked on suspicion of 11 felonies, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape and possession of child pornography, among other charges involving contact with a minor.

It is unknown whether Alatorre knew Cruz.

“We’re not sure if she left on her own or somebody coached her out,” the girl’s mother said.

A vigil in her honor was held Monday evening.

Bakersfield police are still investigating her disappearance. Anyone with information is urged to call 661-327-7111.

Absolutely Unacceptable’: California Lawmaker Calls For Audit Of EDD While Many Wait For Benefits

July 6, 2020 at 4:58 pm

Filed Under: 2 On Your Side, California EDD, California Employment Development Department, KCAL 9, State Assemblyman Jim Patterson

California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has called for an audit of EDD. (Credit: CBSLA)
California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has called for an audit of EDD. (Credit: CBSLA)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In the past three months, the California Employment Development Department has paid out $37.5 billion in unemployment benefits — but a number of people are still waiting to be paid, prompting a lawmaker to call for an audit of the department.

Rosa Castillo, who was a Lyft driver until the increasing risk and lack of rides forced her into unemployment in late March, is one of those still waiting.

“Very frustrating,” she said. “I feel like I’m at a dead end.”

Castillo is a single mom with a teenage son. She said she has applied four times for unemployment.

“So I have really nothing to survive on,” she said.

And her story is not unique — everyone who has contacted CBS Los Angeles for help getting their benefits said they cannot get anyone on the phone to talk about their claims.

“I just don’t feel like there’s anyone that’s ever going to answer,” Charmaine Tuilefano said.

Tuilefano said she has also applied for unemployment multiple times since she was laid off and still hasn’t received her benefits.

“But after waiting three weeks, then a month, then two then three then four, and still with no answer,” she said. “It’s really kind of hopeless.”

And phone data compiled by California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) backs up the women’s claims. Out of 1.5 million calls placed to EDD in one week of May — 600,000 of which were unique calls — only 150,000 people were able to speak with a person at EDD.

“And that boils down to a 25% answer rate which is absolutely unacceptable,” Patterson said.

In June, Patterson called for an audit of the department in a sternly-written letter.

“We need to do two things at the same time,” he said. “We need to get the attention of EDD to clean up their act now, but we also are going to have to get the auditors involved so that we can fix the longterm problems.”

Patterson said that a 2011 audit of EDD found that the department “failed to meet acceptable performance levels.”

“From 2011 to this very day, the EDD is still ‘planning’ to get their technology is order.”

The EDD said in a statement that representatives were working seven days per week to expand the department’s capacity to process claims and was hiring 4,000 additional representatives. The department also said it was enhancing its technology.

CBS Los Angeles also asked the department to look into claims filed by Castillo and Tuilefano.

Disney Star Sebastián Athie Dead at 24

Disney Channel Latin America confirmed news of his death on July 4, sharing in a statement, "Rest in peace, Sebas. Your art and your smile stay forever"

By Mckenna Aiello • Published July 6, 2020 • Updated on July 6, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Photo from July 22, 2016
Photo from July 22, 2016

Actor Sebastin Athie has passed away at the age of 24.

Disney Channel Latin America confirmed news of his death on July 4.

"Rest in peace, Sebas. Your art and your smile stay forever. We regret the departure of Sebastin Athie and we will always remember him for his talent, companionship, professionalism and above all, enormous heart. We accompany his family, friends and fans in his farewell."

A cause of death was not immediately known.

In his most notable role, Athie played Lorenzo Guevara on the Argentine teen TV series "O11CE," which has aired on Disney Channel Latin America since 2017. According to his IMDb, Athie also appeared on the Mexican drama series "La Rosa de Guadalupe."

After his passing, Athie's co-stars and loved ones paid tribute to his legacy on social media.

Celebrity Deaths: 2020's Fallen Stars

"I am very sad indeed," "O11CE" actor Santiago Stieben captioned an Instagram video expressing his remorse. "I hesitated a lot to make this video. But I feel like I want to share with everyone the love I have for you. My hug to your family, my best memories with you always."

Co-star Guido Pennelli shared on Instagram, "I love you forever, brother."

Actress Paulina Vetrano looked back at the memories she and Arthie shared with a number of Instagram photos, writing in part, "You left a huge footprint that will mark everyone who knows you for life! You are the brother I chose! Rest in peace friend, here you will continue to illuminate with your talent and your art forever!"

Plans for Athie's memorial have not publicly been shared.

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