Date: 06-17-2008 8:27 AM - Word Count: 729
City News Service
The crush of gay couples seeking marriage licenses is under way in
California this morning. In Norwalk ... tents have been erected in anticipation
of long lines of people applying for licenses and then taking part in civil
marriage ceremonies. In West Hollywood ... a ribbon-cutting ceremony is being
held this morning to mark the start of of same-sex marriage licensing. Among
the first seeking a license in West Hollywood are 71-year-old actor George
Takei of ``Star Trek'' fame and his 54-year-old partner of 21 years. They plan
to wed in September. Same-sex marriages became legal in California at one-
minute-past-5 yesterday afternoon. The California Supreme Court lifted the ban
on gay marriages last month ... ruling it was unconstitutional.
The law firm Milberg L-L-P says it has reached an agreement with
federal prosecutors in which all charges it is facing will be dismissed in
exchange for payments to the government totaling 75 million dollars. The firm
... formerly known as Milberg Weiss ... once dominated the plaintiff securities
class-action lawsuit business. Four of its former partners have pleaded guilty
to running a scheme in which illegal kickbacks were paid to named plaintiffs in
more than 165 class-action lawsuits. The kickbacks typically amounted to 10
percent of the attorneys fees.
The union representing the Los Angeles Police Department's rank and file
officers plans to begin airing radio commercials today opposing a bill that
would make officers' disciplinary hearings open to the public. The president of
the Police Protective League contends the bill unfairly singles out the Los
Angeles Police Department and would endanger the safety of officers. The bill's
author is Democratic Senator Gloria Romero of Los Angeles. She says the bill is
about open government and restoring a policy that was in effect for more than
30 years. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for next Tuesday by the Assembly's
Public Safety Committee.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the trial of a
lawsuit filed by the family of a Topanga Canyon girl who said she suffered
agonizing pains and was blinded after her mother gave her Children's Motrin.
Thirteen-year-old Sabrina Brierton Johnson and her parents are suing Johnson &
Johnson. They say Sabrina had an allergic reaction that could have been avoided
if there had been a warning on the medication's label. Sabrina's mother gave
her Motrin-brand ibuprofen when the then-6-year-old came home from school with
a fever in 2003. The girl has required more than 20 surgeries. There's been no
comment from Johnson & Johnson.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says this morning that a
search is under way for a man who exposed himself to three girls walking on a
street in Pico Rivera. Two of the girls are 12. The third is 11. Authorities
say the three girls were walking north on Rosemead Boulevard around 2 o'clock
yesterday afternoon when a man jumped out from behind a parked vehicle and
stood in their path ... exposing himself. He's described as a Latino in his
late 40s ... 5 feet 1 ... heavy-set ... with dark skin ... dark hair and a
thick mustache. He may be driving a white older model station wagon. Anyone
with information on the suspect is urged to call detectives at the sheriff's
Pico Rivera Station at 5-6-2 9-4-9 2-4-2-1.
Oscar-winning make-up and visual effects artist Stan Winston has died.
Winston was the man who turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into the ``Terminator''
... brought dinosaurs to life in ``Jurassic Park'' and scared millions of
moviegoers with the deadly space creatures in ``Aliens.'' Winston suffered
from multiple myeloma and died at his home in Malibu on Sunday. Four-time Oscar
winner Stan Winston ... dead at 62.
We'll have patchy low clouds this morning and fog ... mainly near the
coast ... on an otherwise warm and mostly sunny day. Highs will be around 70 at
the beaches ... about 86 in downtown L-A ... the lower to mid 90s in the
Hollywood Hills ... and the low 100s ... about 102 in fact ... just about
everywhere else in L-A County ... including the valleys and the mountains. Air
quality in the South Coast Air Basis will range from moderate to unhealthful
for sensitive groups ... although one area ... the San Bernardino Mountains ...
will be just plain unhealthful.