DOWNTOWN LA ON PACE FOR DRIEST CALENDAR YEAR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — With little rain in the forecast, downtown Los Angeles is on pace for its driest calendar year on record.
The National Weather Service says only 3.49 inches of rain have fallen downtown so far in 2013. That's just 26 percent of normal to date.
The current record is 4.08 inches set in both 1947 and 1953.
Forecasters say there's a chance of showers on Thursday, but rainfall is expected to be less than a quarter of an inch.
The calendar year measurement differs from the region's commonly used "water season" totals. A water season runs from July 1 through June 30 because most rain in Southern California falls from late fall through early spring.
The driest water season was 2006-2007, when downtown Los Angeles received just 3.21 inches of rain.
EX-JUDGE BARRED FROM BENCH AFTER CONVICTION: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulators have barred a former judge from serving on the bench again after he pleaded guilty to stealing from his 97-year-old neighbor, who had trusted him with her life savings.
The Commission on Judicial Performance formally barred Paul Seeman on Monday from ever serving as a judicial officer in the state. Seeman previously agreed to a lifetime ban as part of a plea deal with Alameda County prosecutors.
Seeman was also sentenced in October to five years of probation and ordered to pay back $5,600 he stole after pleading guilty to one count of elder abuse and one count of perjury.
Prosecutors say Seeman began siphoning money from the late Anne Nutting after gaining power of attorney over her finances while sitting as an Alameda County superior court judge.
LA COUNTY DEPUTY IN FATAL CRASH DIDN'T USE SIRENS: PALMDALE (AP) — Authorities say a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who hit an SUV while responding to a call and killed two passengers didn't have his lights and sirens on.
California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez says the deputy was driving in Palmdale and T-boned a 1994 Ford Explorer driving north into an intersection Saturday afternoon. Two backseat passengers, 31-year-old Robert Delgadillo of Palmdale and 20-year-old Sara M. Paynter of Van Nuys, weren't wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle as it spun. They died at the scene.
The SUV driver, 22-year-old Genaro Vasquez and his passenger 19-year-old Jaime Espinoza, were wearing seatbelts and suffered minor injuries.
COACHELLA ADVANCES $1B PLANNED COMMUNITY: COACHELLA (AP) — A billion-dollar plan to construct a 2,200-acre planned community with residential, commercial and school facilities has advanced in the Southern California desert community of Coachella.
Councilmembers voted 4-0 last Wednesday to approve an initial proposal to build La Entrada, a development in the eastern foothills of the Coachella Valley about 30 miles east of Palm Springs.
The architecture firm KTGY Group said Monday the community would provide nearly 8,000 new homes within three villages and include 1.5 million square feet of retail and commercial property. There would also be nearly 900 acres of parks, playgrounds and open space.
FLIGHTS DELAYED, CANCELLED AT SAN JOSE AIRPORT: SAN JOSE (AP) — Flights at Mineta San Jose International Airport have been delayed and canceled after a pipe burst and flooded parts of a terminal.
Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes says a hot water line ruptured in Terminal A around 2:15 a.m. Monday.
Water flooded the baggage claim and security areas, forcing officials to shut them down. Passengers were being checked in at airline counters before being taken to Terminal B on shuttle buses for security screening.
The flooding caused several flight delays and a few cancellations.
POLICE BREAK UP BRAWL AT LA AIRPORT HOTEL: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police broke up an early-morning brawl during a fraternity toy drive and party at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.
Officer Sarah Faden says security at the Radisson on West Century Boulevard requested police support shortly after midnight Monday when several people began fighting.
Police say the brawlers threw chairs and tables. It took about an hour for officers to quell the fight and clear the room.
Up to 2,000 attended the event, which City News Service reports was the 16th Annual Kappa Khristmas Jam & Toy Drive put on by the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
LA RESIDENTS NEAR LIGHT RAIL CHANGE TRAVEL” LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new study suggests that residents in famously car-obsessed Los Angeles may be willing to rely more on subways and light rail.
University researchers monitored the travel patterns of 103 households within a half-mile of six new light rail stations that connect downtown with Culver City.
The researchers found that members of these households drove fewer miles per day on average, and were more physically active.
While study co-author and University of Southern California professor Marlon Boarnet acknowledges that the study looks at just one rail line, he says the results suggest the region's ambitious investment in subways and light rail may sway residents to travel more by public transit.
The Expo Line which Boarnet and colleagues studied is scheduled to stretch to Santa Monica, near the beach, by 2015.
LAPD CHIEF RESERVES JUDGMENT ON FATAL SHOOTING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck says he's reserving judgment on officers' fatal shooting of an unarmed car chase suspect who crashed his Corvette on live TV.
Beck warned Monday that officers may have had a different perspective on the ground in downtown Los Angeles Friday night.
The nearly hour-long pursuit was broadcast live and ended with 51-year-old Brian Newt Beaird of Oceanside crashing his Corvette into another car at an intersection. The Corvette spun onto the curb. Beaird got out, walking behind his car while briefly raising his hands with his back to officers. He fell to the ground after one or more officers opened fire.
The incident began as a suspected drunken or reckless driver pursuit. It is under investigation.