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Southern California -- this just in

Category: Orange County

San Onofre reactor unit could safely be fired up at full power, Edison says

San onofre
Southern California Edison submitted an analysis to federal regulators showing that one of the two reactor units at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant could operate safely at full power for almost a year.

The plant has been shuttered since a steam generator tube in the plant's Unit 3 sprung a small leak on Jan. 31, 2012, releasing a small amount of radioactive steam.

The incident led to the discovery that thousands of tubes in the recently replaced steam generators in both units of the nuclear plant were showing signs of wear.

Eight tubes in Unit 3 failed pressure tests, meaning they could have ruptured under some circumstances.

Unit 2 showed less wear overall and less of a particularly unusual type of wear caused by tubes banging against adjacent tubes. Officials attributed the difference between the two units to slight manufacturing differences in the support structures. 

Edison has proposed to restart that unit at 70% power for five months, saying that running at reduced power would alleviate the conditions that led to the tube wear.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is still reviewing the restart proposal, asked Edison to show proof that the unit could operate at its full licensed power without danger of a tube rupture, leading many observers to speculate that the agency might require Edison to obtain a license amendment to run at 70% power.

The company previously argued that technical specifications governing tube integrity required it to demonstrate safety at the power level the plant would be operating at -- 70% in this case -- not the full power allowed under the plant's license.

That assertion drew an outcry from activists, led by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, who have been pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require a license amendment -- which could require public hearings and substantially delay the restart process -- before making a decision on the restart proposal. 

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Fullerton cop shot during traffic stop recovering, in 'good spirits'

A Fullerton police officer who was shot during a traffic stop Sunday morning is expected to fully recover and is in “good spirits,” police said Monday.

The identity of the officer, who is a seven-year department veteran,  is not being released at the request of his family, said Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart.

The shooting occurred when the officer pulled over a dark-colored four-door Pontiac for a minor traffic violation about 12:13 a.m. near Woods and Knepp avenues in Fullerton, police said.

As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver -- later identified as Marcos Bush, 29 -- fired a handgun, striking the officer several times, police said.

The officer returned fire but it was not known if he struck either of the vehicle's two occupants.

The vehicle sped from the scene and was later pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in Riverside, where Sjanee Duhart, of Riverside, was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to attempted murder, police said.

After a short foot chase, Bush was apprehended and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.

Bush has a lengthy arrest record that includes robbery, aggravated assault and carjacking and is an active member of a gang, police said.

The officer, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was taken to an area hospital and is expected to survive.

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Fullerton police search for two men after officer-involved shooting

Map shows location of an officer-involved shooting in Fullerton. Source: Google Maps
Authorities are searching for two male suspects who shot a Fullerton police officer multiple times early Sunday during a traffic stop, authorities said.

The suspects were pulled over in a dark-colored, four-door Pontiac about 12:13 a.m. near the cross streets of Woods and Knepp avenues, Fullerton Police Lt. Michael Chlebowski said.

As the male officer approached the vehicle, the driver fired a handgun, striking the officer multiple times, Chlebowski said.

The officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, managed to return fire but it was not known if he struck either of the two occupants. He was transported to a local hospital and was in stable condition. He has been with the department for seven years.

After issuing a “blue alert,” authorities located the suspects’ car in Riverside.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fullerton police at (714) 738-6800.

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Map shows location of an officer-involved shooting in Fullerton. Source: Google Maps

Brea police investigate fatal shooting of 25-year-old man

Map shows location of where a man was killed in Brea. Source: Google Maps
Police investigating the shooting death of a 25-year-old man said Sunday they planned to search a home they believe was the scene of the killing.

Officers in Brea responded at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday to a report of a gunshot victim in the 300 block of Cedar Avenue, said Brea Police Sgt. Jim Griffin.

When they arrived, they found a man lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead, Griffin said.

Three male occupants of the Cedar Avenue single-family house where officers believe the shooting took place were questioned at by police and released.

No other information was given.

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Map shows location of where a man was killed in Brea. Source: Google Maps

Police pursuit in O.C. led to officer-involved shooting

A police pursuit on the 5 Freeway on Friday afternoon ended in an officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana in which two men were wounded by gunfire, police said.

Police said they attempted to pull over a four-door beige Nissan Sentra on the northbound 5 but that the driver exited at North Grand Avenue and then sped northbound to East 15th Street.

The driver attempted to make an eastbound turn but crashed into a curb, coming to a halt in some shrubbery, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

At about 2:55 p.m., two people got out of the car, resulting in an officer-involved shooting, Bertagna said. It remained unclear what led to the shooting.

The 41-year-old driver was taken into custody near the car, and a 29-year-old passenger attempted to flee, but was arrested.

Both of the men were taken to Western Medical Center, where they are listed in serious but stable condition.

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Two injured in officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana

Map: Approximate location of shooting shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

Two people have been wounded in an officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana.

The incident occurred at East 15th Street and North Grand Avenue at 2:55 p.m. Friday, said police Cpl. Anthony Betagna.

The wounded were transported to Western Medical Center, he said. There was no immediate word on their condition.

Details remain sketchy and there was no immediate explanation for what prompted the confrontation.

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Map: Approximate location of shooting shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

Confrontation at Santa Ana restaurant turns fatal, 2 sought

Photo: A still of surveillance video taken at the restaurant. Credit: Santa Ana Police Department

Police are searching for two men believed to be involved in a recent fatal stabbing near a Mexican food restaurant in Santa Ana.

Irvine resident Paul Anthony Garcia was inside a restaurant in the 1900 block of South Main Street on  Saturday when two men entered the business, police said.

A confrontation ensued, prompting the manager to ask the men to take the disagreement outside, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The two men stepped out of the restaurant and Garcia, 26, left shortly after that. Police said one of the men then chased Garcia into the parking lot of a tax business, where he was assaulted.

Police said they responded to a call of people fighting and found Garcia unconscious at South Main and Commercial streets with a stab wound to the chest.

“We believe the two suspects are from that neighborhood,” Bertagna said. “Our hope is somebody who knows them can come forward and help us identify them.”

Garcia was taken to Western Medical Center where he died.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Santa Ana Police Homicide Unit at (714) 245-8390. Anonymous tippers can call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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Photo: A still of surveillance video taken at the restaurant. Credit: Santa Ana Police Department

'Hangover 3': Newport gets explosive cameo in movie trailer

Yes, this is why they closed down the 73 toll road in coastal Orange County last fall.

A massive pile-up on the highway when Zach Galifianakis barrels toward an underpass while towing a giraffe in a trailer behind his convertible. A giraffe? Why not.

"My name's Alan and I bought a giraffe. My life is great!" he shouts to a kid in another car as he zips past.

An exit sign for University Drive and MacArthur Boulevard looms in the distance.

"The Hangover Part III," Newport Beach’s big cameo.

The final installment in the guys-getting-in-trouble trilogy comes out on Memorial Day. The San Joaquin Hills tollway was closed down last October to film a road mayhem scene that can be glimpsed in the movie’s latest trailer.

Warner Bros. ended up paying the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor for lost toll revenue, as well as a $10,000 a day location fee. Not everybody, including some business owners and several local politicians, was delighted with the deal.

The studio later took out an ad in the Orange County Register, thanking locals for their “patience.”

We know that traffic disruptions can be unpleasant and that many of you, particularly the communities of Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, were impacted by the closure of a section of SR-73," the ad read. "Your understanding is greatly appreciated and went a long way to making this a successful shoot."

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12-year-old who gave pot brownie to kids at school arrested

A 12-year-old Orange County boy has been arrested for allegedly taking a pot brownie to his elementary school and making seven students sick.

Costa Mesa Lt. Greg Scott said officers arrested the Pomona Elementary School sixth-grader who shared a marijuana-laced brownie with his peers Tuesday, according to the Daily Pilot.

When the student returned to school Thursday, administrators questioned him and found a small bag of marijuana in his backpack. Administrators confiscated the drug and notified Costa Mesa detectives, Scott said.

The boy was arrested at home Thursday for misdemeanor possession of marijuana on campus. He has since been released to his parents.

The students who ate the brownie were briefly hospitalized Tuesday before being released to their parents.

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UC Irvine students take study break with stress-relieving dogs

Photo: Aarin Kang, 21, a fourth year public health major, kisses Nigle, a 5-year-old poodle mix at UC Irvine Tuesday. Credit: Lauren Williams / Daily PilotPuppy love struck UC Irvine this week as dozens of students doled out tummy rubs, receiving a few licks in return.

Therapy dogs and their owners visited the university as part of a program aimed at relieving stress and jitters during final exam time.

Scott Alburn, a first-year biology student, was happy to see Molly, a 6-year-old golden retriever who bears a resemblance to his own pooch in Visalia.

"She acts the same way" too, Alburn told the Daily Pilot.

Alburn made his way to the more than half a dozen dogs during a respite between demanding exams.

"I wanted a break from studying," Alburn said.

Nearby, Sebastian, a 2-year-old boxer-Labrador mix, sat with his owner, Sasha Carranza. Carranza takes Sebastian to Community Hospital in Long Beach and Southern California schools where students struggling with reading can read aloud to him as part of the BARK program, or Beach Animals Reading with Kids.

Gracie, a 13-year-old English setter, visits libraries from San Juan Capistrano to Costa Mesa. On Tuesday, she lay near the feet of her owner, Penny Chase, outside UCI's Gateway Study Center.

Both Sebastian and Gracie have participated in the BARK program for at least five years.

Gracie's involvement is a no-brainer for Chase.

"Oh, she loves it," Chase said. "Are you kidding me? She gets attention. She gets out every day. I mean look at her. She's getting entertainment."

The rescue and former show dog specializes in drawing out kids who are trying to develop confidence and may be more shy than their classmates, Chase said.

Minerva Escobar, a first-year psychology student, petted Gracie's spotted coat. "You can't be stressed around dogs, and it's just something nice to do in the day," Escobar said.

UCI's Active Minds mental health group sponsored the event, which was geared not only toward relieving stress but also connecting students with counseling programs on campus, said co-president Celina Gore.

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Photo: Aarin Kang, 21, a fourth year public health major, kisses Nigle, a 5-year-old poodle mix at UC Irvine Tuesday. Credit: Lauren Williams / Daily Pilot

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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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