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08 Feb 2012 15:43


U.S.: Another teacher suspected of aiding LA school’s pedophilia scandal

  • She was a teacher who would escort little girls into Berndt’s classroom when he was all alone. Berndt would come over in the middle of day, whisper in her ear, and they would giggle, and then teacher would pick out two girls, escort them through a common door, so that they were stuck with a pedophile in this classroom.
  • Lawyer Bryan Claypool • Speaking on the rash of horrific charges to emerge from the pedophilia case at Miramonte Elementary, in the Los Angeles County School District. Claypool says he notified the Sheriff’s department after becoming aware of a female teacher, who he believes “patently aided and abetted” the alleged pedophilic abuse methods of fellow teacher Mark Berndt, one of two former teachers arrested on such charges. As a consequence of the scandal, and the public outrage directed at the school, the entire staff has been removed pending further decision. Be warned, the full details of this story are quite graphic and disgusting. source

06 Feb 2012 20:03


U.S.: Amid molestation scandals, parents keep Miramonte Elementary students home

  • 73% of Miramonte students showed up Monday source
  • » And parents were protesting outside: Roughly three dozen parents and supporters protested outside the L.A.-area school Monday, which has been rocked by two shocking but unrelated allegations of sexual molestation. The first case, involving a former teacher accused of doing unspeakable things to his students (note: trigger warning), was shocking enough; the second case, involving a teacher active until last week, only worsened things, as the allegations against him came out only as a result of the first case. The initial allegations did not lead to parents keeping their children home en masse (as the school had over 90 percent attendance throughout last week), but the second case, however, did. Low attendance hurts the school’s funding, so this hurt financially, but the school will also close Tuesday and Wednesday for emergency staff meetings, so the pain could go even deeper for the school. And things might go deeper: A third allegation at a different school in the region led to the arrest of a janitor.

03 Feb 2012 16:31


U.S.: Second teacher accused of molestation at Los Angeles-area school

  • Monday Los Angeles’ Miramonte Elementary School was cast under a pall after unspeakable allegations against one of its third-grade teachers, Mark Berndt, surfaced. We covered the allegations over here. (Note: Trigger warning.) Let’s just say it’s not pretty, and was so bad that his $2.3 million bail was increased tenfold later in the week.
  • Thursday Another student, inspired by the arrest of Berndt, came forward in regards to another teacher at the school. The teacher has been removed from their duties while the investigation continues. Also, word that Berdnt was investigated for molestation in 1994 has surfaced, leading to much anger at the school district. source

03 Jan 2012 00:18


U.S.: L.A. Arsonist: Suspect arrested, identified, motive explained

  • $2million in damages from 50+ fires set by the alleged arsonist source
  • » The suspect? A 24-year-old German immigrant: The L.A. arson spree, in which cars were used to ignite flames, is still under investigation, but no new fires have been started since their lead suspect has been taken into custody today. “I feel very good that we’ve got the right guy,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. “[The suspect] had the right stuff in his van, and we are confident in the arrest.” The man, Harry Burkhart, is a German immigrant who was reportedly upset about the immigration status of his mother. According to L.A. Weekly, when Burkhart was arrested, he uttered the words “I hate America.” No civilians were hurt during the costly spree.

02 Jan 2012 10:28


U.S.: “Person of interest” in custody after L.A.-area arson spree

  • Is this the guy? Last night, the LAPD released this image of a person of interest in this weekend’s widespread arson spree, which was the result of over three dozen separate blazes — some of which damaged significant amounts of property. This morning, the police say they have a person of interest in custody, presumably the guy in this photo. However, officials say “it is too early to speculate if this person is responsible for the spree of arson fires.” However, sources say that fire-starting materials were found in the man’s van, meaning he potentially had the ability to start a number of fires if he wanted to. source

01 Jan 2012 14:12


U.S.: L.A. arson spree: Officials struggle as wave of fires continue

  • 39 number of fires suspected to be part of an arson spree in the L.A. area
  • 7 number of fires set last night alone — one of the arson attacks was described as “serious”
  • $60k the size of the reward for info leading to an arrest; despite this, details are scarce source
  • » Cars uses as incendiary devices: The damage caused by these fires, many of which were started by unlocked cars and allowed to blaze out of control, sometimes spreading to nearby buildings — in one case a home where Jim Morrison once lived. “Auto fires, as soon as they get going, they get really hot, really fast,” Los Angeles Assistant Chief Patrick Butler said. “They essentially give off their own combustibles.” Officials are asking neighbors to keep their eye out and to offer up any security footage near the scenes of the arson attacks.

21 Dec 2011 22:41


Offbeat: KTLA weatherguy walks off during live television

  • Raining on his parade: A weather personality for KTLA Los Angeles stormed off during a live interview after someone back at the station cut his weather segment short.source

25 Nov 2011 08:14


U.S.: WTF: Competitive shopper at Wal-Mart pepper sprays rivals

  • I heard screaming and I heard yelling. Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.
  • Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, California Wal-Mart customer Matthew Lopez • Describing what happened after another customer, who authorities say was “competitive shopping,” pepper sprayed 20 people (including children!) in an attempt to beat everyone else at getting stuff. Considering, you know, this incident and this incident, the usage of pepper spray seems incredibly ironic. Authorities are looking for the person who sprayed her fellow shoppers in efforts to buy a new Xbox 360 or something similar. Humanity sucks sometimes. source

23 Nov 2011 11:59


U.S.: Los Angeles trying to figure out how to lure Occupy L.A. away

  • on table On Monday, the city of Los Angeles (which has officially supported the movement) offered protesters a bizarrely awesome deal to get rid of their presence on their lawn — for $1 a year, they’d get 10,000 feet of office space, housing and — just for kicks — farmland. Best. Deal. Ever. Right?
  • off table As political blowback grew against the deal, the city appears to have taken the deal off the table. But it’s not clear occupiers would’ve taken it; any decision made by the group needs 90 percent support, and some don’t want to leave the lawn. So negotiations continue between the city and the occupiers. source

04 Oct 2011 00:39


World: “An important document”: What a letter from Hitler (circa 1919) looks like

  • The Museum of Tolerance to put Hitler’s letter on display: Written before his “Mein Kampf” manifesto, the letter mentions the “Jewish threat.” Deborah Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University, said that this letter is “important for helping us understand Adolf Hitler.”  source