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NEWS
October 9, 2013
Costa Mesa police and federal investigators are searching for a man suspected of robbing a Citibank branch on Harbor Boulevard on Wednesday, authorities said. The robbery was reported at 9:28 a.m. at the bank, in the 2700 block of Harbor Boulevard. The suspect is described as white, 20 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, said Costa Mesa police Sgt. Matt Grimmond. He added that the man was wearing a suit and what appeared to be a dark brown wig, The robber slipped a bank teller a note threatening the employee with a bomb or gun if his demand for money was not met. The man did not furnish a weapon while in the bank, Grimmond said.
NEWS
June 26, 2012
Emergency crews rescued a climber stranded on Ladder Rock off Corona del Mar, officials said Tuesday. The Newport Beach Fire Department received a call at 8:37 p.m. Monday reporting that someone was trapped on the 35-foot high, 100-foot wide rock, which has restricted access, near Cameo Shores. A boy, whose age was not available, had apparently climbed the rocky area with friends, but was unable to descend. In all, Newport firefighters and lifeguards, Huntington Beach's police helicopter, an Orange County Sheriff's Department rescue boat and an oceanfront homeowner's private security team assisted in the two-hour rescue effort, according to a Fire Department news release.
NEWS
December 6, 2011
Authorities are looking for sexual assault victims who they believe may have been targeted by a Newport Beach man. Adel Regragui, 42, is charged with three felonies of forcible rape, two felonies of forcible oral copulation, felony sexual penetration by force and sodomy by force. He faces up to 115 years in prison, if convicted, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office. He is also facing sentencing enhancements for allegedly assaulting multiple victims and tying and binding another victim.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | January 18, 2012
COSTA MESA - When federal and local authorities raided Chadd McKeen's marijuana dispensary Tuesday morning, he was shocked. He said his store, Otherside Farms, is cleaner, more transparent and in line with state medicinal laws compared to others in Costa Mesa. Police and federal authorities executing a search warrant at the business Tuesday seemed to agree. "This place is [expletive] awesome," one man was heard saying over security video, while others tried to open the door to where the marijuana plants are hung out to dry. "I would definitely buy my weed here," another joked.
NEWS
August 30, 2011
Two Orange County boys were in the custody of their mother Tuesday after their father was accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard from a boat after the boy would not stop crying, authorities said. Sloane Briles, 35, of Irvine was booked on suspicion of child endangerment and resisting arrest. He was released Monday after posting bail. Briles and his girlfriend were aboard the tour boat Queen on a cruise of Newport Harbor just before 2 p.m. Sunday when the couple got into an argument in front of his 6- and 7-year-old sons from a previous marriage, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | February 16, 2012
A business owner has pleaded guilty to illegally sending computers to Iran through the United Arab Emirates, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. In addition, in a federal courtroom his business partner also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges, according to the DOJ. Massoud Habibion, 49, a co-owner of Costa Mesa-based Online Micro, faces up to five years in prison. Mohsen Motamedian, 44, also an Online Micro co-owner, faces up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice charges.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | May 25, 2012
A teenage couple was arraigned in a Newport Beach court Friday on charges that they conspired to murder a friend and left threatening messages on the friend's Facebook page, authorities said. Jessica Gascon, 18, of Santa Ana pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, court documents show. Her 17-year-old boyfriend, also of Santa Ana, pleaded not guilty to felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, criminal threats and discharge of a firearm into an inhabited dwelling, according to court documents.
OCNOW
From the Los Angeles Times | October 25, 2012
A dozen people who authorities say are linked to an intricate, multimillion-dollar operation involving illegal pot shops in Los Angeles and Orange counties were arrested Thursday. Authorities believe John Melvin Walker, also known as “Pops,” distributed at least a ton of marijuana through the operation of nine stores from Costa Mesa to Whittier. The stores generated tens of millions of dollars in income, with one Dana Point store alone bringing in about $2.4 million, the U.S. attorney's office said.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams, lauren.williams@latimes.com | August 23, 2011
The search for a Newport Beach doctor reported missing near Tucson, Ariz., has been suspended, authorities said Tuesday. Last week, Pinal County Sheriff's deputies began a search for Dr. Kenneth Litwack, 71, who went missing from a clinic where he was being treated for foot neuropathy. Staff at Sierra Tucson called Litwack's wife, Louise Litwack, about 3 p.m. Aug. 16 to tell her that her husband hadn't been seen in at least an hour. Sheriff's deputies in the area searched for Litwack, looking for footprints near the clinic.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
The one-time "Queen of Porn" will not face battery charges stemming from her arrest on the Balboa Peninsula, authorities said. The Orange County district attorney's office chose not to file charges against Huntington Harbour resident Jenna Jameson, whose real name is Jenna Marie Massoli, following her arrest on assault allegations over the weekend, according to D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami. "We have declined to file, due to insufficient evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt," she said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Rhea Mahbubani | April 11, 2014
Lonnie Lynn led his son to believe that his middle name, Rashid, means childhood love. Turns out, that's not true. But that didn't stop Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known by his stage name, Common, from running with it. "I believe that love is the greatest gift we have, because if you love your creator and you love yourself, that start right there is amazing," said the 42-year-old hip-hop recording artist and actor, whose casual ensemble...
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NEWS
By Jill Cowan | March 5, 2014
An Orange County official once convicted of election fraud has been quietly stripped of his authority over the registrar of voters. Early last month, labor leaders had expressed outrage that Chief Operating Officer Mark Denny, who pleaded guilty in 1996 to an election fraud charge, was given authority over the department tasked with running elections. Denny will keep administrative and budget oversight of the department, but Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley will report directly to county Chief Executive Officer Mike Giancola.
OCNOW
By Richard Winton | February 21, 2014
State Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted in a sweeping corruption case, accused taking about $100,000 in bribes.  Federal authorities allege that Calderon (D-Montebello) took the bribes from a Corona del Mar man as well as people connected to what he believed was a Hollywood studio. In fact, the studio was an  FBI  front and the business associates were FBI agents. Authorities claim Calderon received crash bribes, trips and dinners in exchange for "official acts. " Calderon, 56, faces 24 counts of fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | February 15, 2014
When the mother of a top Corona del Mar High School student answered her phone Dec. 17, she had no idea why school officials were calling to tell her that she needed to come and pick up her son. For what? She didn't have a clue. He was a senior honors student who had never been in trouble. "I thought maybe he'd gotten pulled in for fighting," she said. "But he wasn't a fighter, so that didn't make sense. I didn't know what to think. " When she arrived, she was questioned about Timothy Lance Lai. She knew him. He had tutored her son. In fact, he had been to her house the week before.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Emily Foxhall | February 14, 2014
When journalist Katherine Boo began working on her book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers," she wasn't sure if anyone would read it. The nonfiction work, which chronicles the lives of slum dwellers near the Mumbai airport, has since been translated into 30 languages. It has received the National Book Award and been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. To Boo's delight, the narrative also drew a crowd of nearly 200 for a sold-out lecture at the Newport Beach Public Library on Thursday night.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck and Bradley Zint | January 16, 2014
Firefighters controlled a fire that broke out in Talbert Regional Park in Costa Mesa on Thursday after it burned nearly three acres. Authorities had almost fully contained the blaze by 4 p.m., nearly five hours after it sparked, according to Capt. Shane Sherwood of the Orange County Fire Authority. "Hand crews were still working, mopping up some hot spots," he said. On Wednesday, three suspicious brush fires broke out in Talbert and up the bluff in Fairview Park. Those fires, which burned about three-tenths of an acre combined, are being investigated as possible acts of arson, according to the Costa Mesa Fire Department.
NEWS
January 13, 2014
Authorities believe someone purposefully set fire to a women's clothing store on Harbor Boulevard twice in less than six hours. Costa Mesa firefighters and police responded to a fire at Cutesy Urban Remix Boutique, 1916 Harbor Blvd., at 11:55 p.m. Sunday, said Lt. Greg Scott, spokesman for the Costa Mesa Police Department. A brick had shattered the front window and several items had been set on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished, Scott said. Fire crews returned to the boutique at 5:30 a.m. Monday in response to a second fire.
NEWS
December 24, 2013
A light fixture malfunctioned in a laundry room at the Best Western hotel on Newport Boulevard, causing an electrical fire Monday morning, authorities said. The Costa Mesa Fire Department arrived on the scene at 9:43 a.m. and had the blaze under control within 10 minutes, according to a news release. Fire personnel reported heavy smoke in the second-floor hallway of the three-story hotel, and authorities determined that the fire originated in the second-story laundry room. Forty rooms in the 98-room hotel were occupied at the time of the fire.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan and Emily Foxhall | November 6, 2013
The Orange County coroner has identified the man who jumped 500 feet to his death from a helicopter as it flew over the Newport Beach shoreline Tuesday afternoon. Gregory McFadden, 61, of West Covina, was pronounced dead at a local hospital after opening the helicopter door and leaping out, falling about 500 feet to the ocean. Newport Beach police are investigating McFadden's death as a possible suicide. The Orange County coroner's office reported that McFadden “jumped from a helicopter in-flight” and the  Federal Aviation Administration  is reviewing the incident.  McFadden had apparently booked a 30-minute coastal tour for two people but showed up alone, said Chuck Street, a longtime helicopter pilot whose son was flying the chopper.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Emily Foxhall | October 31, 2013
For 75 minutes Wednesday night, a room in the Newport Beach Public Library became author Zadie Smith's classroom. She read her essay "Why Write?" - originally composed for her students - to a crowd of 200 gathered for the ticketed event hosted by the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation. The New York University professor began by imagining what audience members feel at the start of a lecture: Instantly impatient, they look toward the podium to see how thick the stack of lecture notes might be. They wonder how long the speech will last.
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