ENCINO MAN ACCUSED IN WINDOW-SMASHING SPREE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Beverly Hills investment adviser was arrested on suspicion of being the mysterious gloved man who used a slingshot to smash dozens of windows in the wealthy area and the San Fernando Valley, police said.
Michael Steven Poret, 58, of Encino was arrested twice this month by Beverly Hills and Los Angeles police, the Los Angeles Times reported. So far, no criminal charges have been filed.
Investigators say a vandal shattered 70 windows or more at businesses and office buildings over the past few months. Victims included coffee shops and an autism treatment center.
Police had few clues until a witness described seeing a white-gloved man in a silver sport utility vehicle firing metal marbles from a slingshot across six lanes of traffic during a daylight attack on Ventura Boulevard in Encino.
One office building was hit three times, costing owner Stefan de Nocker $7,000 in repairs.
"After the fourth window was broken, he took out the gloves, put them on the seat and drove away like it was nothing," De Nocker told the Times. "It was crazy."
Poret was arrested July 3 on suspicion of smashing more than 20 windows in Beverly Hills. A police officer found a slingshot in his car during a traffic stop at the same time that a window-smashing was reported nearby, authorities said.
2 MEN SHOT WHILE WORKING AT LA ANTI-GANG EVENT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men have been shot while working for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's anti-gang Summer Night Lights program.
It's the first time employees of the anti-gang program have been hurt.
Lt. Andy Neiman tells the Los Angeles Daily News the men approached a group of people gathered at Sun Valley Park, where the Summer Night Lights program was taking place late Thursday night.
One of the men was armed and he fired into the crowd, hitting one of the workers in the hand and the other in the jaw.
The 17-year-old and 22-year-old victims are expected to recover. Their names are being withheld.
The victims are full-time, seasonal workers hired through the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. youth employment program.
The program hires at-risk youth.
CALIF. PROBE FINDS NO IMPACT OF ONLINE TEST PHOTOS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — California education officials have found that the online posting of photos of state standardized tests during testing week in May posed no significant impact on the integrity of the exams.
Education spokeswoman Pam Slater said Wednesday that the vast majority of the 442 images were of closed booklets for the Standardized Testing and Reporting exam or illegible pages that were snapped by students with their cell phones. The photos were posted on websites such as Facebook.
About 36 test questions, however, were clearly readable.
Slater says the scoring formula for the schools where students exposed the questions is being adjusted to eliminate those items without affecting test results.
The investigation has delayed the statewide release of results by two weeks, until Aug. 31.
YOUTUBE OFFERS FACE-BLURRING IN VIDEO UPLOADS: MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) — YouTube is offering people a way to blur faces in submitted video.
The new tool is designed for human-rights activists and others who may want to protect people in a video. Simply blur faces using the tool before submitting it. It will appear among the "Additional features" under editing enhancements when it's available late Wednesday.
Google Inc., which owns YouTube, is warning that blurring faces by itself may not guarantee anonymity. Background scenery or a license plate might give away someone's identity, as might a recognizable voice. The software also might miss a face or two, though people will have a chance to review the blurring before submitting it.
YouTube says the feature "allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not."
WOMAN, 81, PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO KILLING ROOMMATE: SAN DIEGO (AP) — An 81-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to killing her roommate in a San Diego mobile home.
U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/NU5qH5 ) says Barbara Brand entered the plea to a murder charge on Tuesday. She was ordered held on $1 million bail and could face 35 years to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say the octogenarian had a disagreement with 57-year-old Paul Slysh last week and shot him three times at their Bay Park mobile home. He died at a hospital on Saturday.
MAN SENTENCED IN TACO BELL DRIVE-THRU KILLING CASE: BAKERSFIELD (AP) — A 23-year-old Bakersfield man has been ordered to serve 40 years to life in prison for the fatal shooting of another man who apparently took too long checking his order at a Taco Bell drive-thru.
The Bakersfield Californian reports (http://bit.ly/LwMPSf ) that Lyndon Rushell McKoy was sentenced Tuesday for the killing of Nathaniel Jones III in December 2010.
McKoy received 15 years for second-degree murder and another 25 years for the special circumstance of discharging a firearm and causing death.
Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Jones was in a Taco Bell drive-thru checking his order when McKoy, in the vehicle behind him, became incensed about the wait and started yelling at Jones.
The two exchanged words. McKoy then got out of his car and retrieved a gun from his trunk. He drove after Jones and fired repeatedly into the vehicle.
STUDY FINDS TAINTED GROUNDWATER IN INLAND EMPIRE: RIVERSIDE (AP) — A federal study has found high levels of nitrate and perchlorate in groundwater basins that supply much of the Inland Empire region.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Wednesday that local officials weren't surprised by the U.S. Geological Survey's findings and already treat the water for contaminants.
The project is evaluating more than 120 groundwater basins statewide for things such as pesticides and solvents.
Locally, scientists measured toxins in an area spanning 1,000 square miles from the San Bernardino Mountains south beyond Lake Elsinore and from Chino east to Banning.
Nitrate from agricultural activity was found in 25 percent of the study area.
High concentrations of perchlorate were found in 11 percent of the study area and moderate levels were found in 53 percent of the aquifer system.