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Simi Valley man arrested after truck stolen

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 26, 2015 - 3:54pm

A Simi Valley man was arrested Monday after he stole a Southern California Gas Co. truck from an employee, police said.

Simi Valley police said the man confronted a gas employee working in the area of Deodora and School streets around 11:30 a.m., threatening to harm him if he did not give him the truck. Police said the man took the truck and drove off.

Police spotted the truck going east on Los Angeles Avenue and gave chase south on Sequoia Avenue. The truck eventually went into a neighborhood west of Sequoia Avenue, where it crashed into a fence near King Palm Drive, police said.

Police said the suspected carjacker ran into a neighborhood off Corto Street and Royal Avenue.

A resident called police after seeing a man hiding in her front yard.

Police went there and arrested Anthony Ramirez, 22, in connection with taking the truck, officials said.

Simi Valley man arrested after truck stolen

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 3:54pm

A Simi Valley man was arrested Monday after he stole a Southern California Gas Co. truck from an employee, police said.

Simi Valley police said the man confronted a gas employee working in the area of Deodora and School streets around 11:30 a.m., threatening to harm him if he did not give him the truck. Police said the man took the truck and drove off.

Police spotted the truck going east on Los Angeles Avenue and gave chase south on Sequoia Avenue. The truck eventually went into a neighborhood west of Sequoia Avenue, where it crashed into a fence near King Palm Drive, police said.

Police said the suspected carjacker ran into a neighborhood off Corto Street and Royal Avenue.

A resident called police after seeing a man hiding in her front yard.

Police went there and arrested Anthony Ramirez, 22, in connection with taking the truck, officials said.

Police nab 3 who lost licenses but still drove

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 26, 2015 - 2:51pm

Three people were arrested Monday after they appeared in court on DUI charges, had their driver’s licenses suspended and then got behind the wheel to drive home, police said.

Oxnard traffic officers conducted the special enforcement operation from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday at the Ventura courthouse, 800 S. Victoria Ave.

Police watched six people get their licenses suspended over previous DUI incidents. Two of the six later let someone else drive them home, and a third took the bus, police said.

The other three drove away from the courthouse and were pulled over and arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving with a suspended license, police said. Their vehicles also were towed and face a 30-day impound, police said.

The operation was funded by a California Office of Traffic Safety grant through the National Highway Transportation Administration.

Police nab 3 who lost licenses but still drove

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 2:51pm

Three people were arrested Monday after they appeared in court on DUI charges, had their driver’s licenses suspended and then got behind the wheel to drive home, police said.

Oxnard traffic officers conducted the special enforcement operation from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday at the Ventura courthouse, 800 S. Victoria Ave.

Police watched six people get their licenses suspended over previous DUI incidents. Two of the six later let someone else drive them home, and a third took the bus, police said.

The other three drove away from the courthouse and were pulled over and arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving with a suspended license, police said. Their vehicles also were towed and face a 30-day impound, police said.

The operation was funded by a California Office of Traffic Safety grant through the National Highway Transportation Administration.

Ex-CIA Officer Convicted of Leaking Secrets to Reporter

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 26, 2015 - 2:45pm
A former Central Intelligence Agency officer was convicted of leaking classified details of an operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions to a New York Times reporter.

Kaiser nurses approve new contract

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 2:40pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kaiser Permanente nurses in California have approved a new contact that improves patient care and health and safety protections for nurses and boosts pay.


Registered nurses and nurse practitioners who work at 21 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and 65 clinics across Northern and Central California voted last week to approve a new three-year agreement.


About 18,000 nurses went on strike last November and another strike was planned for last week but an agreement was reached.


The California Nurses Association represents 18,000 Kaiser nurses. Those workers are part of the National Nurses United organization that represents 185,000 nurses nationally, the largest U.S. organization of nurses.

Executive Director of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United RoseAnn DeMoro said the unions appreciate the commitment of Kaiser's leadership in addressing their concerns. A Kaiser representative did not have an immediate comment Monday.

Thousand Oaks jewelry store shuts after 45 years

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 26, 2015 - 1:57pm

The Kovens said the decision to close Hart’s Jewelers was the most heartbreaking one they’ve ever made. But the owners and employees at the 45-year-old Thousand Oaks store weren’t the only ones disappointed.

“People walking in are just as devastated as we are. There’s a lot of crying every day,” said Richard Koven, whose father, James Koven, has run the store since 1970. “Lots of hugging and crying. It’s an end of an era.”

Last month, James Koven was hospitalized because of heart problems. Although his condition has improved and he could move to a rehabilitation center soon, he and his family decided it was best to shutter the business.

Speaking by phone from a hospital Friday, Koven said he’ll miss his customers most.

“Having them come in and say, ‘Hi, Jim’ ... it’s the little things like that that means a lot to a man who’s getting old,” Koven said.

Koven is the heart and soul of a store known for its loyal customers. He would put a battery in your watch free of charge or buy back a gem if you were down on your luck. Customers trusted their family heirlooms with Koven and they rarely went anywhere else.

When he would run errands in and around Thousand Oaks, customers would stop Koven at the bank or post office to give him a ring with a broken prong or a necklace that needed a new clasp. Koven would write their information on a scrap of paper and keep the jewels in his pocket until he got back to the store.

“When I first found him, I told my husband, ‘There’s an actual, real jeweler in T.O.,’ ” said Marie Tarbet, who had Koven resize her wedding ring.

Last week, she brought her mother’s rings to be resized. Tarbet’s mother recently died and she wanted to pass her mother’s rings on to her daughter.

“There’s hardly any jewelers here anymore,” Tarbet said. “It’s a lost art.”

No final date has been set for the store, which is now selling everything from wedding bands to opal earrings at a discount.

“We’re still taking in repair work,” Richard Koven said. “We want to be around for Valentine’s Day.”

Hart’s Jewelers had three stores in the 1960s. The Koven family purchased the store in Janss Marketplace and wanted to change the name to Koven but there was already a jeweler in Oxnard with that name. They kept the Hart name even as the other stores closed.

“People still ask for my dad as ‘Mr. Hart,’ ” Richard said.

When the bigger chains pushed them out of the mall, the Kovens moved to the Moorpark Road location at the Whole Foods plaza, where they have remained since 1997.

Richard and his brother grew up at the store, which was first purchased by his grandfather. He said every member of the family — mother, grandmother, uncle, cousin and others — worked there at some time.

“It’s in the blood,” Richard said.

After school, Richard would go to the store to learn how to replace watch batteries, eventually moving up to jewelry repair and appraisals. Today he owns a jewelry store near Seattle.

For the past month, Richard has been back in Ventura County spending time with his father and helping with the liquidation process. He’s also been saying goodbye to customers who remember him helping out at the store after school.

Customers Mavis Whitwell has been coming since 1977.

“There’s a store closer to me, but it’s still worth coming here,” she said.

Whitwell picked up her watch that needed repair and purchased an amethyst necklace. The purple sparkler would normally make her happy, but under these circumstances, Whitwell walked away sad.

Thousand Oaks jewelry store shuts after 45 years

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 1:57pm

The Kovens said the decision to close Hart’s Jewelers was the most heartbreaking one they’ve ever made. But the owners and employees at the 45-year-old Thousand Oaks store weren’t the only ones disappointed.

“People walking in are just as devastated as we are. There’s a lot of crying every day,” said Richard Koven, whose father, James Koven, has run the store since 1970. “Lots of hugging and crying. It’s an end of an era.”

Last month, James Koven was hospitalized because of heart problems. Although his condition has improved and he could move to a rehabilitation center soon, he and his family decided it was best to shutter the business.

Speaking by phone from a hospital Friday, Koven said he’ll miss his customers most.

“Having them come in and say, ‘Hi, Jim’ ... it’s the little things like that that means a lot to a man who’s getting old,” Koven said.

Koven is the heart and soul of a store known for its loyal customers. He would put a battery in your watch free of charge or buy back a gem if you were down on your luck. Customers trusted their family heirlooms with Koven and they rarely went anywhere else.

When he would run errands in and around Thousand Oaks, customers would stop Koven at the bank or post office to give him a ring with a broken prong or a necklace that needed a new clasp. Koven would write their information on a scrap of paper and keep the jewels in his pocket until he got back to the store.

“When I first found him, I told my husband, ‘There’s an actual, real jeweler in T.O.,’ ” said Marie Tarbet, who had Koven resize her wedding ring.

Last week, she brought her mother’s rings to be resized. Tarbet’s mother recently died and she wanted to pass her mother’s rings on to her daughter.

“There’s hardly any jewelers here anymore,” Tarbet said. “It’s a lost art.”

No final date has been set for the store, which is now selling everything from wedding bands to opal earrings at a discount.

“We’re still taking in repair work,” Richard Koven said. “We want to be around for Valentine’s Day.”

Hart’s Jewelers had three stores in the 1960s. The Koven family purchased the store in Janss Marketplace and wanted to change the name to Koven but there was already a jeweler in Oxnard with that name. They kept the Hart name even as the other stores closed.

“People still ask for my dad as ‘Mr. Hart,’ ” Richard said.

When the bigger chains pushed them out of the mall, the Kovens moved to the Moorpark Road location at the Whole Foods plaza, where they have remained since 1997.

Richard and his brother grew up at the store, which was first purchased by his grandfather. He said every member of the family — mother, grandmother, uncle, cousin and others — worked there at some time.

“It’s in the blood,” Richard said.

After school, Richard would go to the store to learn how to replace watch batteries, eventually moving up to jewelry repair and appraisals. Today he owns a jewelry store near Seattle.

For the past month, Richard has been back in Ventura County spending time with his father and helping with the liquidation process. He’s also been saying goodbye to customers who remember him helping out at the store after school.

Customers Mavis Whitwell has been coming since 1977.

“There’s a store closer to me, but it’s still worth coming here,” she said.

Whitwell picked up her watch that needed repair and purchased an amethyst necklace. The purple sparkler would normally make her happy, but under these circumstances, Whitwell walked away sad.

Supreme Court Rules Against Union Retirees in Benefits Case

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 26, 2015 - 1:35pm
The Supreme Court ruled ambiguous provisions in union contracts shouldn’t automatically be interpreted in favor of workers, giving a chemical manufacturer another chance to terminate lifetime health-care benefits for retirees.

Joan Rivers' daughter suing clinic

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 1:28pm

The daughter of late comedian Joan Rivers is suing the clinic where Rivers went into cardiac arrest.

Melissa Rivers filed the multimillion-dollar lawsuit Monday against Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan, where Joan Rivers underwent surgery Aug. 28, 2014, according to New York Daily News

Rivers was 81 and died from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen after her throat seized up during the surgery in which she had an endoscopy and had her voice checked for changes. The lawsuit alleges part of the surgery included an unauthorized examination of her vocal chords and windpipe that resulted in the throat seizing up, the New York Daily News reported.

Rivers was in a coma when she died, seven days after the surgery. 

Melissa Rivers is the only child of Joan Rivers, and is the executor of her estate.

 

Books of The Times: ‘Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!’ by Nicholas Carlson

NY Times Books - January 26, 2015 - 1:19pm
Nicholas Carlson’s “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!” is a breezy retelling of the company’s hiring of Ms. Mayer as part of its efforts to recapture its former glory.

ArtsBeat: Strong Sales for ‘Hedwig’ on Broadway

NY Times Books - January 26, 2015 - 1:19pm
John Cameron Mitchell returned to the role he created in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” sparking strong sales. “Honeymoon in Vegas” saw modest sales after strong reviews.






County clerk to open for Feb. 14 weddings

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 26, 2015 - 11:55am

Hoping to get married on Valentine’s Day? The Ventura County Clerk’s Office is there for you.

The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 14, which falls on a Saturday.

Clerk-Recorder Mark Lunn said Valentine’s Day is the busiest wedding day of the year for his office.

“Since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, we will extend our office hours to accommodate couples that want to marry on this romantic day,” Lunn said Monday in a news release.

The office will be open that day solely to issue marriage licenses and perform ceremonies. Standard fees will apply.

Appointments are highly recommended and can be made by calling 654-2263.

The office is in the Hall of Administration at the county government center, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura. Get more information at www.VenturaClerkRecorder.org.

County clerk to open for Feb. 14 weddings

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 11:55am

Hoping to get married on Valentine’s Day? The Ventura County Clerk’s Office is there for you.

The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 14, which falls on a Saturday.

Clerk-Recorder Mark Lunn said Valentine’s Day is the busiest wedding day of the year for his office.

“Since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, we will extend our office hours to accommodate couples that want to marry on this romantic day,” Lunn said Monday in a news release.

The office will be open that day solely to issue marriage licenses and perform ceremonies. Standard fees will apply.

Appointments are highly recommended and can be made by calling 654-2263.

The office is in the Hall of Administration at the county government center, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura. Get more information at www.VenturaClerkRecorder.org.

White House drone raises security concerns

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 11:48am

The White House received an unlikely visitor early Monday – in the form of a drone.

Secret Service agents found a 2-foot-quad-copter drone on White House grounds and, although it ultimately was cleared as not a threat, there were concerns at first that it could be carrying explosives. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service would not say whether there are special protections against drones, The New York Times reported.

Early Monday afternoon, The Times also reported that the drone was operated by a government employee. The employee, who is not on the White House staff, told the Secret Service he lost control of the drone when he was flying it for recreation at 3 a.m. 

Flying any object over the White House grounds is prohibited, as is throwing anything onto the grounds or jumping over the fence.

After the 9/11 attacks, the Federal Aviation Association declared the airspace over Washington, D.C., a flight-restricted zone. Although the rules about small drone use around the president’s home are clear, rules governing the technology elsewhere in the United States remains murky.

Back in 2012 Congress ordered the FAA to integrate drones into the airspace for commercial use by the end of 2014, which opened up a floodgate of preemptive state and local government bills meant to limit the use of drones because of security concerns. The FAA ultimately failed to meet its deadline.

Although an official ruling has yet to be passed, in the interim the FAA has issued some pretty strict guidelines that limit almost all commercial drone use. Only 16 permits have been granted out of 295 applications — one to make movies in Hollywood. Drone use for recreational purposes is allowed as long as the drone files lower than 400 feet.  

But even those limitations have been challenged. A case in March of last year challenged the FAA’s right to regulate domestic drones when it hadn’t actually issued formal regulations. The FAA lost the case, and many drone or “unmanned aerial vehicle” owners took it to mean they were free to use the systems as they want until the final FAA regulations are released.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee conducted a hearing last week that explored the technological advancements and research developments in the drone industry. Members also discussed how to best integrate drones into the national airspace. A drone was even flown at the hearing as a demonstration. 

The FAA is scheduled to release new regulations any day now that would allow the use of small commercial drones weighting up to 55 pounds. Some believe the final rules may include requiring a pilot’s license for commercial use and keeping the drone within sight of the operator.

[Also by Miranda Green: Are journalism and satire the same thing?]

Want to keep up with all the latest DecodeDC stories and podcasts? Sign up for our weekly newsletter at decodedc.com/newsletter.

Bill Clegg’s Debut Novel Is ‘Did You Ever Have a Family’

NY Times Books - January 26, 2015 - 11:27am
Bill Clegg, the literary agent, faced a different pressure when seeking a publisher for his debut work of fiction.

CHP warns public of telephone scam

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 26, 2015 - 11:02am

Authorities are warning the public about a series of phone scams in which the caller claims to be a member of the California Highway Patrol and asks for payment for missed jury duty, outstanding fines or an arrest warrant.

The CHP reports the callers typically tell people to purchase prepaid cards and call them back with the numbers to the cards. Similar scams have been reported to other law enforcement agencies.

The CHP does not call people seeking payment under any circumstances, and people should be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason, the agency said.

Anyone who receives such a call should contact the CHP at 549-3261.

Utility companies and government agencies never contact people for payment by prepaid card, and anyone who has the card’s number can access the funds, the CHP said. You also should never wire money or provide debit or credit card numbers to strangers.

If you suspect a scam over an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation, authorities say to ask the caller for the court case number, date of ticket or other specific information. With such information, people can verify the debt or confirm other details with the local court.

More information about telemarketing scams is available from the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-952-5210 or http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/telemarket.shtml.

CHP warns public of telephone scam

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 26, 2015 - 11:02am

Authorities are warning the public about a series of phone scams in which the caller claims to be a member of the California Highway Patrol and asks for payment for missed jury duty, outstanding fines or an arrest warrant.

The CHP reports the callers typically tell people to purchase prepaid cards and call them back with the numbers to the cards. Similar scams have been reported to other law enforcement agencies.

The CHP does not call people seeking payment under any circumstances, and people should be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason, the agency said.

Anyone who receives such a call should contact the CHP at 549-3261.

Utility companies and government agencies never contact people for payment by prepaid card, and anyone who has the card’s number can access the funds, the CHP said. You also should never wire money or provide debit or credit card numbers to strangers.

If you suspect a scam over an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation, authorities say to ask the caller for the court case number, date of ticket or other specific information. With such information, people can verify the debt or confirm other details with the local court.

More information about telemarketing scams is available from the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-952-5210 or http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/telemarket.shtml.

U.S. to Give $1 Billion to Fund Immunizations

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 26, 2015 - 10:42am
The U.S. government plans to donate $1 billion over the next four years to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, to fund immunizations for millions of children in developing countries.

Oklahoma to Postpone Executions Due to High Court Review

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 26, 2015 - 10:39am
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a request to postpone the pending executions of three men until the U.S. Supreme Court finishes reviewing the state’s lethal-injection process.
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