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California virus death toll surpasses 150; infections at 7,000+
4/2/2020 8:51:39 PM

By Daisy Nguyen   SACRAMENTO—With cases of coronavirus surging past 7,000 and the death toll surpassing 100, lawmakers are pleading with cooped-up Californians to spend another weekend at home to slow the spread of infection. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 spiked to more than 1,000 and that overnight the number of people admitted to intensive care units doubled from 200 to more than 400. He said the numbers are relatively modest in comparison with the 52,000 confirmed cases in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the...

Mayor: L.A. converting neighborhood rec centers to homeless shelters
4/2/2020 8:41:42 PM

By Jim Crogan   LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Work is progressing on converting five additional recreation centers to emergency homeless shelters, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday. The city's homeless shelters are about 91% filled and are expected to reach "between 97% and 100% capacity" Sunday night, Garcetti said in his daily update on the city's efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Garcetti has said he wants to use 42 recreation centers as emergency homeless shelters with 6,000 beds. He also said the California National Guard helped on Sunday...

Compton College to loan 725 laptops to enrolled students for remote learning
4/2/2020 8:39:59 PM

COMPTON—Hundreds of Compton College students, with limited or no access to technology to continue their studies at remotely this semester, will be able to borrow college-issued laptop computers beginning March 30, 2020. Alternative learning methods have become imperative as California residents are urged to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Compton College campus was closed on March 21, 2020 according to state and county mandates. The Compton Community College District will distribute the loaner laptop computers by appointment only to eligible, currently enrolled...

Cedars-Sinai to serve as test site for potential coronavirus treatment
4/2/2020 8:38:46 PM

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Cedars-Sinai announced Tuesday that it has joined an international effort to test an experimental antiviral drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The institution expects to enroll its first clinical trial participant this week, it said in a statement. Cedars-Sinai is among dozens of sites around the world participating in the clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. The trial is evaluating remdesivir, an investigational drug developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead...

California halts evictions for 2 months amid outbreak
4/2/2020 8:37:02 PM

By Christopher Weber and Adam Beam   LOS ANGELES (AP)—California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday banned all evictions of renters for the next two months, his latest effort to offer a lifeline to the many millions in the state harmed by the economic fallout from the spreading coronavirus. Newsom signed an executive order that prohibits landlords, law enforcement and the courts from enforcing eviction notices until May 31. The order takes effect for rents due on April 1. And it only applies to tenants who are not already behind on their payments. To be eligible, renters must...

Neighborhood Watch: homeowners ‘alerted’ to illegal marijuana grow house trend
4/2/2020 8:35:29 PM

LOS ANGELES—A home with the curtains drawn, an unmaintained lawn and landscaping, and rare sightings of people entering or leaving could signal suspicious activity might be going on inside. Josh Leininger, Mercury Insurance Special Investigations Unit supervisor, says these are signs he’s seen in instances when a home was being used as an illegal marijuana grow house. Leininger has investigated nearly 20 homeowners insurance claims over a three-year period involving suspected marijuana grow houses in California’s Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The homes were...

PG&E to use wildfire victims fund to pay for past crimes
4/2/2020 8:34:08 PM

By Michael Liedtke   BERKELEY (AP)—Pacific Gas & Electric is warning its elaborate plan for getting out of bankruptcy might collapse if the utility can't pay for its crimes in a deadly Northern California wildfire by taking money away from a fund set up to compensate thousands of victims for their losses. The latest twist in an already complicated saga emerged this week after PG&E disclosed it will plead guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter for neglecting to properly maintain equipment that ignited a 2018 wildfire that destroyed three towns in...

U.S. agency includes gun sellers as 'critical' infrastructure
4/2/2020 8:32:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP)—A gun rights group is cheering the Trump administration's designation of the firearms industry, including retailers, as part of the nation's critical infrastructure during the coronavirus emergency. The designation by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is advisory. The agency notes that the designation does not override determinations by individual jurisdictions of what they consider critical infrastructure sectors. The firearms industry was not part of the federal agency's original list of critical infrastructure issued just...

U.S hospitals rush to find beds for surge of virus patients
4/2/2020 8:30:50 PM

By Carla K. Johnson and Nicky Forster   SEATTLE (AP)—With her due date fast approaching, Kelly McCarty packed a bag with nursing tops, a robe, slippers and granola bars. Last week's ultrasound, she said, showed “this baby is head down and ready to go.” But the new coronavirus has thrown her a curveball, bouncing her and about 140 other expectant moms from their first-choice hospital to another 30 minutes away. The birth unit at the Edmonds, Washington, hospital is needed for COVID-19. With capacity stretched thin, U.S. hospitals are rushing to find beds...

TV viewership climbing with people stuck at home by virus
4/2/2020 8:21:22 PM

By David Bauder and Lynn Elber   NEW YORK (AP)—A fixture on television, actress Julie Bowen of “Modern Family” is doing the same thing as millions of other people during the widespread coronavirus shutdown. She's sitting at home, watching more television than she normally would. In a world turned upside down by disease, TV viewership is growing. It's a rare bit of good news for an industry that has steadily shrunk, and its executives hope to seize an opportunity by anticipating what a stressed audience wants to see. Bowen and her children binged...