May 24, 2012

The YWCA Greater Los Angeles (YWCA GLA) held its 2012 Phenomenal Woman Awards luncheon this week to salute LA’s top women executives. The event, held on Weds., May 16, at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel was hosted by Clear Channel’s radio personality Josefa Salinas and the event theme was “Saluting Women Who Inspire Change.” 


The YWCA GLA named Laphonza Butler as 2012 Phenomenal Woman of the Year. Butler is the president of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW), which represents 180,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers throughout California and is the largest local in the state.


She also serves as one of 25 international vice presidents of SEIU. As such, she’s responsible for providing SEIU leadership with strategic vision and counsel. She is a nationally recognized power broker on the issues of working families and the labor movement and exemplifies the YWCA’s core mission to “eliminate racism and empower women.”


The Phenomenal Woman Awards fundraiser draws Southern Cali­fornia’s top women executives and leaders to salute their accomplishments before an audience of the Los Angeles business community. The presenting sponsors for the event were Union Bank, Edison Inter­national and Toyota.  Media sponsors were Clear Channel Radio and Los Angeles Confidential Magazine. 


Other top sponsors included Wells Fargo, SEIU, The Gas Company, JPMorgan Chase, AEG, PCL, Jenkins Gales & Martinez.  Supporters include Vivian D. Howell, DLA Piper, ISComp, Los Angeles Urban League, Unisource, UPS and Polenzani Benefits.


Proceeds raised from the event benefit YWCA GLA programs and services.  


To learn more about the YWCA Greater Los Angeles (YWCA GLA), visit To join the YWCA GLA mailing list, text “22888.” To make a donation to the YWCA GLA programs or ­services, contact Tracy Solomon Clark at 213-251-1328 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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May 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers are anticipating the day when self-driving vehicles navigate California's roads guided by radar and GPS systems instead of human hands on the steering wheel.

The state Senate approved a bill Monday that would establish safety and performance standards for what are known as “autonomous” vehicles.

SB1298 by Sen. Alex Padilla also would allow the self-guiding vehicles on streets and highways as long as a licensed driver is aboard. The bill passed 37-0 and goes to the Assembly.

Padilla, a Democrat from Los Angeles, says the vehicles can reduce accidents caused by human error.

Nevada and Florida have enacted similar laws. Padilla’s office says bills also are pending in Arizona, Hawaii and Oklahoma.

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May 24, 2012

By LINDA DEUTSCH | Associated Press


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men were charged Tuesday with capital murder in the shooting of two University of Southern California graduate students from China.


Prosecutors said 20-year-old Bryan Barnes and 19-year-old Javier Bolden would be arraigned in Superior Court later in the day.


The men were arrested Friday in the April 11 killings of 23-year-old students Ming Qu of Jilin and Ying Wu of Hunan.


The students were shot while seated in a car about a mile from the USC campus.


Authorities said the killings occurred during a robbery.

The district attorney’s office said it will decide at a later date whether to seek the death penalty if Barnes and Bolden are convicted.

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May 31, 2012

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — California prison officials say a death row inmate convicted of killing a 13-year-old boy has committed suicide.

The state Department of Corrections says 68-year-old James Lee Crummel was pronounced dead Sunday after being found hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.

Crummel had been on death row since being convicted in 2004 of kidnapping, molesting and killing James Wilfred Trotter. The boy disappeared on his way to school in Orange County in 1979.

Prosecutors said Crummel lived on the sameCosta Mesastreet where Trotter’s family lived.

The boy’s body wasn’t found until 1990, when Crummel told police he’d found a skull while hiking in the Cleveland National Forest in Riverside County. The body wasn't identified until 1996.

Crummel's attorney said at his sentencing that her client couldn't express regret for a crime he did not commit.

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