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Pilot in fatal Southern California crash had fake police credentials

The man that piloted a plane that broke apart in the sky and crashed in a Southern California neighborhood and killed four people on Sunday had false police credentials on him, according to reports.

Antonio Pastini, 75, was identified as a retired Chicago police officer, but the Chicago Police Department said it has no record of him working for the department. The credentials were found at the crash site in Yorba Linda. They included false retirement papers and a police badge with the same number as a badge that was reported lost in 1978, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Pastini was killed shortly after his twin-engine Cessna 414A broke up after takeoff from a nearby airport before falling to pieces and causing a fire in a home where four people died. The victims have not been publically identified. Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun confirmed the credentials found at the crash site were not real.

Pastini’s daughter, Julia Ackley, said her father’s birth name was Jordan Isaacson, but did not indicate when or why he changed his name. She said he was a restaurant owner who often flew from his home in Nevada to visit family in California.

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“I’d prefer not to comment, and let the investigators do their job,” Ackley told reporters. “My father is exactly who he said he was.”

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have been collecting parts of the aircraft and information about Pastini, who is described as a commercial pilot. Preliminary information showed the plane took off around 1:35 p.m. and climbed to 7,800 feet before crashing. The cause of the crash has not been determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

New California Gov. Newsom makes early gun crackdown push

Gun control activists in California have found a good friend in the state’s new governor, Gavin Newsom.

In his first few weeks in office, Newsom has quickly moved to reduce the number of Californians with firearms and given activists hope that a number of measures vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown will once again see the light of day.

“We have all the ingredients we need to make meaningful change,” state Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel said Monday at a press conference in Sacramento. “We have expanded Democratic majority in both houses. We have a bright and ambitious new governor with a real track record on this issue who wants to make this a priority.”

CALIFORNIA DEMS FLEX NEW SUPERMAJORITY, WITH PLANS TO PURUSE GUN TAX AND MORE

In his state budget plan, which was released just days after he took office in January, Newsom proposed an additional $ 5.6 million in funding – about 50 percent more than Brown allocated in his last budget – to seize firearms from the thousands of people who are ineligible to be gun owners because of past criminal convictions or mental illness. The gun seizure program has been underfunded in the past, with the result being that around 10,000 people in the state were able to purchase firearms, but later were convicted of a felony or found to have a serious mental illness.

Newsom also wants state lawmakers to expand a California Department of Justice unit tasked with enforcing gun sale laws and, in his proposed budget, has asked for more funding for the Firearms Violence Research Center at the University of California, Davis.

In his inauguration speech, Newsom promised to be tough on “a gun lobby willing to sacrifice the lives of our children to line their pockets.”

Newsom’s outspoken support for stricter firearm laws – he was the main supporter in 2016 of Proposition 63, a measure that outlawed large ammunition magazines, mandated background checks for people who buy bullets, handed out fines for failing to report when guns are stolen or lost, and created a process for taking guns away from people convicted of a felony – has many control activists and lawmakers in Sacramento seeing a new opportunity for legislation that was vetoed under Brown.

Despite having some of the country’s toughest gun laws, California under Brown – a Democrat and gun owner – saw a number of measures struck down by the former governor’s veto pen.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO RAISE AGE REQUIREMENT TO 21 FOR PURCHASE OF RIFLES, SHOTGUNS

During a press conference on Monday, state lawmakers and activists rattled off a list of measures vetoed by Brown that they hope to revive now that Newsom has taken office – including limiting purchases of rifles and shotguns to one per month and putting more regulations on parts that can be turned into homemade weapons.

“Stopping gun violence takes courage — the courage to do what’s right,” former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was seriously wounded during a 2011 assassination attempt, said at the press conference. “We must never stop fighting.”

Since the beginning of the year, California state legislators have already introduced measures to put a 10-year firearm prohibition on anyone convicted of two drug or alcohol crimes in a three-year period, requiring gun owners to lock up their weapons when they are not home, and a tax on gun sales that would help fund violence prevention programs.

A bill that would permit more people to seek a gun violence restraining order against someone they believe poses a danger to themselves or others has also been reintroduced. It was previously vetoed by Brown.

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Newsom has so far remained quiet on the re-introduced pieces of legislation as they make their way through the statehouse, but spokesman Jesse Melgar said in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle that the new governor “is a big believer in strong gun safety laws.”

While Newsom’s ascension to governor’s mansion has gun control activists excited about the possibility of passing stricter regulations, gun rights groups have widely panned Newsom’s proposals and accuse the new governor of pandering to his base.

“Gavin Newsom has demonstrated he has little to no understanding of firearms and firearms policy,” Craig DeLuz, a spokesman for the Firearms Policy Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times. “For him this is a PR issue, meaning he will probably sign whatever is put in front of him. He wants to run for president.”

California Girl Scout’s cookie-themed Cardi B remix goes viral

One hardworking 10-year-old California Girl Scout has gone massively viral on social media for creatively remixing Cardi B’s hit tune “Money” to advertise her cookie sales — even prompting the rapper herself to respond.

Last week, the Girl Scouts shared Kiki Paschall’s rousing rendition of “Money” to Twitter, where it has since been viewed more than 2 million times and sparked over 21,000 comments, Good Morning America reports.

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“Been in this game since 2014, selling them cookies is my thing… Buy Thin Mints or even s’mores. Please open up when I knock on your door,” the youngster croons. “I got girls in my troop, cookies to the roof!”

According to the outlet, Paschall wrote the lyrics with a little help from her mom, Shania Accius, as her troop, San Fernando Valley’s Troop 3246, sells the beloved treat, CBS LA reports.

“She’s so excited. I don’t have a regular 9-to-5 so I can’t sell cookies in the office,” Accius said of their mother-daughter musical endeavor. “I said, ‘You love doing it anyway so let’s just make a music video.'”

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Now, Paschall has sold over 1,000 boxes, and even Cardi B chimed in.

“I want all the cookieshhh” the music mogul tweeted on Feb. 4.

“This moment, she’ll never forget. She is loving every second of it,” Accius said of the overnight fame.

According to CBS LA, Paschall and Troop 3246 hope to raise enough money from their cookie sales to volunteer to serve meals at a homeless shelter, visit a center for senior citizens and possibly even take a trip across the country to visit the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C.

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California plane crash kills 2, injures 2

A small aircraft crashed into a home in Yorba Linda, California, leaving two dead and two injured

A small aircraft crashed into a home in Yorba Linda, California, leaving two dead and two injured

(CNN)Two people were killed and two others injured when a small plane crashed into a home on Sunday outside of Los Angeles, authorities said.

The crash occurred in Yorba Linda, the Orange County Fire Authority said on Twitter. The two who suffered injuries were transported to a local hospital, authorities said.
Only one structure was involved in the crash, fire authorities said. Pictures tweeted by the fire authority showed a heavily damaged home.
Yorba Linda is located about 33 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

    Plane crashes in Southern California; 2 killed, officials say

    At least two people were killed in California on Sunday after a small plane crashed in a residential neighborhood, officials said.

    A twin-engine Cessna 414A crashed in Yorba Linda, in Orange County, just after taking off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    SMALL PLANE CRASHES AT CALIFORNIA AIRPORT WITH NOBODY INSIDE

    Two people were killed in the incident, and two others were transported to a nearby hospital, the Orange County Fire Authority tweeted. It was unclear if they were in the house or the plane.

    Photos and video posted online shows a house in the Southern California neighborhood ablaze with flames, and people running from the area.

    Twitter user Joshua Nelson wrote, "A few houses down [from the crash] the propeller and engine landed in their yard."

    Twitter user Joshua Nelson wrote, “A few houses down [from the crash] the propeller and engine landed in their yard.” (Twitter/@JoshuaRNelson)

    This is a developing story; please check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    California boy uses sled trick to yank out loose tooth

    Kids will try just about anything to get a visit from the tooth fairy, but one boy in California is going viral for his innovative sled trick. Atticus Chandler, of Shaver Lake, decided last month that the best way to yank his loose tooth out would be tying it to a string held by his dad while he took off down a slope on a sled.

    The 6-year-old’s dad, Nick, told Caters News that his son came up with the idea after also exploring the possibility of using a remote control car or a ceiling fan. Atticus’ parents captured the creative idea, which was then posted to YouTube.

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    Clad in his snow pants and boots with a crowd of onlookers nearby, Atticus takes off down the snowy hill feet-first, on his stomach, while his dad holds the string. His tooth pops out to an eruption of cheers.

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    “Did it hurt?” his dad asked. “A little,” he responds.

    Atticus then walks back up the hill and shows off his new smile while checking out the tooth and gives his dad a high-five.

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    According to the American Dental Association, kids typically begin losing their teeth around age 6, beginning with the central incisors, located on the bottom row of teeth. Children typically lose their last baby tooth at around age 12. The ADA recommends using a tissue to wriggle a child’s loose tooth free.

    Wayward elephant seal guided to safety by California cops after getting lost

    A giant elephant seal lost its way on the California coast on Wednesday, but got help from the cops to get back home.

    The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office were called in after discovering that the lumbering animal had become separated from its group and was sitting atop a hill alongside Highway 1 in the coastal Californian city, as the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

    After blocking off the road, deputies called in experts from California Fish and Wildlife and the Marine Mammal Center, who coaxed the massive animal down using large red paddles to grab its attention. Eventually, the elephant seal was reunited with the rest of its crew, lounging in the sand and along the water near San Simeon.

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    The Marine Mammal Center said the animal likely lost a fight with an older bull and wandered off to lick its wounds before getting lost.

    The video of deputies helping guide the elephant seal to safety was posted to the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page and was shared more than 2,000 times in less than 24 hours.

    LARGE, FLUFFY EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOG MELTS HEARTS ON PLANE – AND ONLINE

    Along with the video, the sheriff’s office shared a caption shedding some light on the day-to-day activities of their deputies.

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    “You never know what your day will look like when you put on your uniform,” it read. “Today it was one of our local elephant seals that needed help finding his way home!”

    ‘Mutant’ coyotes in California with piercing blue eyes stun scientists

    Last year, a wildlife photographer spotted a “one in a million” coyote with captivating blue eyes while out on a walk in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore.

    The sighting quickly became national news and prompted an investigation by National Geographic, which confirmed the coyote’s eye color was indeed rare — as coyotes’ irises are almost always some shade of gold. At the time, Juan Negro, a senior researcher at the Spanish Council for Research in Spain, told the publication he hadn’t seen something like that in the 25 years he’d been studying animal coloration.

    “Deviants, or strange colors, arise from time to time as mutants,” Negro suggested back in June.

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    It’s only been about 10 months since the female coyote was first singled out in California, and it appears it has already lost some of its rarity.

    In recent months, at least four more coyotes with similar icy blues have been identified in the area, National Geographic confirmed this week. Since all of the creatures have been located within a 100-mile radius, scientists say it’s safe to assume the blue-eyed animals are all offspring from one “mutant.” However, it’s unclear if the initial female coyote spotted in Point Reyes was the one to introduce the mutant gene.

    Some scientists explored the possibility the blue-eyed animals were “coydogs,” a canid hybrid. But ultimately that hypothesis was dismissed because the coyotes’ didn’t appear to have altered fur coats or differences in bone structure.

    “How pervasive is the mutation? We don’t know. It’s not something we were aware of beforehand,” Camilla Fox, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Project Coyote, told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday.

    Fox said the agency plans to track the blue-eyed coyotes to see if the trend grows and to gain insight into how the mutant gene was introduced into that particular pack. Park visitors equipped with cameras and smartphones could also help by snapping pictures of any coyotes they see while traveling around Point Reyes, wildlife officials said.

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    In the coming years, scientists aim to learn more about how the eye color will affect the animal’s ability to evolve and thrive in its environment.

    “They have the color which is best for their environments and their way of living,” Negro recently explained to Nat Geo, adding it could have some negative impacts such as harming their ability to blend into their surroundings — avoiding predators and sneaking up on prey — and increase their sensitivity to light.

    While there are still a lot of unanswered questions, Fox is glad the discovery of blue-eyed coyotes have attracted attention in The Golden State.

    “[Hopefully it] elicits and encourages people to view coyotes in the wild … with a lens instead of a gun,” she told the Chronicle, noting an estimated 500,000 coyotes are killed each year in the U.S., many for sport.

    Photographers in Point Reyes say the blue-eyed beauties appear to be healthy, meaning there’s potential for even more “mutants” in the near future.

    Elderly California woman with dementia was locked out of care facility, ‘outraged’ daughter claims

    A California woman has filed a complaint with the state’s department of public health against a Long Beach hospital after surveillance footage showed her elderly mother, who suffers from dementia, alone and locked outside the care facility where she lives.

    Earlier this month, Savina Genoese Zerbi, 84, received treatment at the College Medical Center in Long Beach after she allegedly threatened suicide and required a psychological evaluation. After she was discharged from the hospital, she was taken by taxi back to Regency Palms, where she now lives. Around 2:17 a.m. on Jan. 13, Zerbi — who was dressed only in a bathrobe and slippers — is seen in surveillance video attempting to open the facility’s front door, which was locked. She then proceeds to bang on the door before walking into an alleyway near the facility before again returning to the door.

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    Zerbi was left outside the facility for an unknown period of time before she successfully made her way inside, though it’s not currently clear how she managed to enter the building, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, which first reported the news.

    Following the incident, the woman’s daughter, Costanza Genoese Zerbi, filed a complaint with the California Department of Public Health against College Medical Center, accusing the hospital of negligence. She told the newspaper her mother was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 12 following alleged suicide threats. While awaiting results of her mother’s evaluation, Costanza told the Press-Telegram she went home to check on her children around 11 p.m.

    Shortly after, the daughter said she received a call from a hospital clinician saying her mother could be discharged and the hospital would arrange for her transportation back to the care facility. Instead, however, the hospital placed Zerbi in a cab that ultimately left her at the facility alone, she claims. It’s not currently clear how the ride was paid for.

    “I’m pretty outraged,” Costanza, 51, told the Press-Telegram. “She could have been killed or kidnapped.”

    In a statement to The Associated Press, the hospital claimed Zerbi refused help to get home.

    “Patients have a right to choose their method of transportation upon discharge from the hospital,” College Medical Center said in a statement. “This particular patient denied College Medical Center’s assistance with transportation and insisted that she be taken to her place of residence via public transportation.”

    The hospital claims it also offered to meet with Zerbi’s family “to discuss this matter in further detail” but without “admitting any wrongdoing.”

    After seeing the hospital’s statement on the matter, Costanza said she would refuse to attend, calling the meeting a “media play.” She said the hospital should not have listened to her mother because she had been deemed unfit to make her own decisions by her doctors, which she said she could prove in writing.

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    When contacted by the Press-Telegram, state health officials declined to comment on the complaint but said it “investigates all complaints or facility-reported incidents which may violate any state law or regulation within CDPH’s authority to enforce.”

    “Details about any potential pending or ongoing investigation are kept confidential until the investigation is complete and findings are issued to the facility. There is currently an ongoing investigation at this facility,” it added.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    California bill would let homeless college students sleep in cars on campus amid housing crisis

    With thousands of community college students in California either homeless or facing the threat of homelessness, the state assembly in Sacramento is considering a bill that would allow those students to legally sleep overnight in their vehicles at campus parking lots and structures.

    The new bill, which was sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Marc Berman, would permit any student in good standing at their community college to use their school’s parking system as a place to sleep overnight as California struggles with a massive housing crisis. State law already requires that community colleges provide their homeless students with access to shower and bathroom facilities on campus.

    “Over the last two years, I’ve heard from too many students that they don’t have stable housing and often end up sleeping in their cars,” Berman said in a statement Wednesday, according to the Sacramento Bee. “Unfortunately, this is all too common throughout California, with one in four community college students experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness.”

    HOMELESSNESS TICKS UP NATIONWIDE, AS WEST COAST STILL LEADS THE COUNTRY

    According to a report released last summer by the Assembly Speaker’s Office of Research and Floor Analysis, housing takes up around 43 percent of the average college students overall budget and federal grants  “cover less than a third of average non-tuition costs, leaving a sizable gap that these students must fill,” the report found.

    The California Community College system is the state’s largest higher education system – serving around 2.1 million students across 114 campuses. In the Los Angeles Community College District nearly one out of every five students was deemed to be “housing insecure,” while in the Bay Area’s Peralta Community College District a survey found that 84 percent of students were either homeless or facing housing insecurity.

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    “I work really hard to keep up with the rest of my class, because I have lost my place three times due to my inability to pay because of my lack of financial aid,” an anonymous, 42-year-old part-time community college student said in the speaker’s report. “I really don’t know what to do to prove I want and deserve this other than continue to show up. And I pray I don’t get killed in the park while I sleep.”