Second Earthquake in Four Days Rattles Brea

Categories: Breaking News

There was a magnitude 2.6 earthquake that shook Brea this morning that would not be worth mentioning were it not for this: There was a 3.0 shaker that hit Brea Thursday. Indeed, the earlier event seemed so minor at the time I did not bother posting on it. The shallow temblor (depth: 0.6 miles) was reported at 3:55 p.m. Thursday, and the epicenter was one mile from Brea, two miles from La Habra and four miles from Placentia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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St. Joe Nurses Demand Better Ebola Prep

Illustration by Mikael Haggstrom/public domain
Got Ebola?

Registered nurses will come calling on the CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange at noon to demand improved Ebola preparedness standards for patients, RNs and other caregivers.

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Orange County Homicide Prosecutor Wins U.S. Supreme Court Case

Greedy Smith: Having half of the $5 million estate he shared with wife wasn't enough
The twisting, turning, seemingly never-ending case of Marvin Smith--the philandering, multimillionaire, Cypress businessman who savagely murdered his wife in 2005 in the couple's bedroom and staged the bloody crime scene to look like a burglary gone wrong--ended today with the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the conviction.

The move by the nation's highest court was an energetic slap at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had upheld a federal district judge's ruling that Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael F. Murray tactically cheated Jennifer Keller, Smith's defense lawyer, during an emotional 2009 trial.

At issue was whether Murray, one of the region's most aggressive and accomplished homicide prosecutors, thwarted the defense by announcing late in the trial that jurors could convict Smith of murder by either believing he personally bludgeoned his 66-year-old wife, Minnie, or orchestrated the murder.

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Police Shot Woman Holding Cell Phone And Federal Judge Blocks Her Civil Rights Lawsuit

An Orange County woman shot as many as six times in June 2012 by police, who claimed they thought the cell phone she held was a handgun, has lost her civil rights lawsuit inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton this week formally granted the pre-trial, summary judgment request by lawyers representing the City of Orange, Orange Police Department as well as officers Brian Chambers, Charles Lange and Trent Hardeman.

In the wee hours of June 23, 2012, Olivia Ann Reil--distraught from a argument with her boyfriend who hadn't told her he loved her during the year they'd dated--was collecting personal items from inside a parked Toyota pickup truck near the intersection of Sycamore and Spruce when she noticed bright lights behind her vehicle.

People she could not see because of the lights demanded that she drop her weapon--commands she didn't understand because she held a cell phone.

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Prosecutors Suspiciously Drop Charges In Another Case Based On Informant Work

Prosecutors pursued tainted murder solicitation case against Govey (pictured)
For two years, prosecutors, police and sheriff's deputies stalled turning over potential exculpatory evidence to defense lawyers representing Joseph Govey--a 49-year-old Orange County man wanted dead by white supremacist gangsters and facing seven felony charges that, if convicted on all counts, could have meant spending the rest of his life in one of California's notorious prisons.

But Senior Deputy District Attorney Beth Costello walked into Judge Thomas M. Goethals' Santa Ana courtroom on Sept. 22 and startled Govey, a convicted felon, as well as his attorney, Renee Garcia.

Costello dismissed three of the most serious charges: solicitation of murder, attempted murder and street terrorism.

The veteran prosecutor's eyebrow-raising move wasn't motivated by the sudden onset of a bleeding heart sensibility. Most assuredly, the decision came reluctantly and with calculation. The Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) had, after all, consumed grand jury time to win a 2012 indictment against Govey.

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Mammoth Mountain to Acquire Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Ski Resorts for $38 Million

UPDATE: Mammoth is picking up the two Big Bear area resorts for $38 million, reports the Los Angeles Times, which notes the move "comes in the midst of a historic drought." Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory explains to the Times, "My father used to say in business you want to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. This does look like a questionable time to buy a ski resort operation."
Hopefully the ownership change won't mean less of this.

The Dick Kun ownership era at the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains is over as the owners of Mammoth Mountain are set to acquire the properties, it was announced this morning.

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Police and Prosecutor-Cheating Kills Murder Case, Freeing Man Held In Jail For Years

Bob Aul
Orange County prosecutors claimed they were unclear about their ethical obligations
To prevent future public embarrassment about widespread corruption in it's jailhouse informant program, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) handed a sweetheart deal to an accused Santa Ana killer whose lawyers were on the verge of demanding a probe.

Isaac John Palacios walked out of the Orange County Jail a free man just before midnight on Sept. 23 after being in pre-trial custody since 2011 for the 2006 killing of Randy Adame near Mater Dei High School and a second, 2005 murder of Alberto Gutierrez, also in Santa Ana.

If OCDA officials--including prosecutor Erik Petersen--had had their way, Palacios might have been on his way to effectively serving a life sentence for the killings, but Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders discovered the case reeked of law enforcement corruption involving prosecutors, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) cops as well as deputies inside the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD).

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Flood Warning Issued Through Tonight for East Central OC; Silverado Burn Areas a Concern

Categories: Breaking News

Paramount Pictures
"Head for the Orange Circle!"

The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a flood warning for east central Orange County through 6:30 this evening.

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Not Free at Last! Kent Wycliffe Easter Taken into Custody for Drug-Planting Conviction

See Update No. 2 at the bottom of Page 2 with Kent Easter being taken into custody pending an October sentencing hearing. Update No. 1 included details that led to his conviction.

Thumbnail image for Kent-Wycliffe-Easter_ocda.jpg
Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Life just got sadder for Kent Wycliffe Easter, the cuckold attorney.

ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 10, 3:48 P.M.: The second time was a charm for prosecutors as a jury this afternoon found Kent Wycliffe Easter guilty in his retrial for planting drugs in the PT Cruiser of a school volunteer the Irvine attorney's wife thought had insulted their then-5-year-old son.

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Hurricane Marie is Bringing High Surf, Mucho Traffic and Scant Parking: Update

See the update at the end of this post on Newport Beach officials warning of high traffic and scant parking because of people flocking to the coast to see high waves, particularly at The Wedge.
Buckle up, OC!

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 25, 11:06 A.M.: If you thought the surf that pounded Orange County beaches was treacherous this past weekend, you apparently ain't seen nothing yet.

But you will very soon, according to forecasters.

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