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Morning Scoop: Larger than life; trust in machines; bears love minivans

October 14, 2009 |  9:59 am


Good morning from the City Desk, where we're glad the wet hills are so far holding firm. A sampler of California stories from today's paper to give you something to talk about over lunch:

He is in all senses larger than life. Billi Gordon, who weighed 701 pounds last month, has seen his world narrow as he's grown heavier. Now he's trying to break free.

Steve Lopez has decided who gets his World Series tickets.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has a top-notch reputation. So why did no one there notice CT scans blasting way too much radiation? Could it be that there aren't adequate safety checks? Or is that people just trust machines too much?

Anna Nicole Smith's hazy last days were the subject of hearing testimony Tuesday as a judge determines whether there is evidence enough to try two doctors and her boyfriend for conspiring to illegally give her prescription meds.

Yosemite's black bears are partial to the minivan.

Furlough orders can be costly, especially at round-the-clock institutions such as prisons, where guards are reporting for duty on furlough days and being paid in IOUs that will need to be redeemed down the road.

Counting for the census is especially hard this year, thanks to the number of people displaced by foreclosures and a large influx of immigrants.

We're watching the foothill neighborhoods for any signs of muddy trouble. We'll bring you other news as we get it.

-- Nita Lelyveld

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