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3 injured, including elderly woman in L.A. County liquor store shooting

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3 injured, including elderly woman in L.A. County liquor store shooting

A shooting at a liquor store in Lancaster resulted in three people being hurt, including an innocent elderly woman who was caught in the crossfire.

Authorities say the shooting occurred Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Avenue K and Challenger Way.

When the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call, they did not locate any victims. However, two males were dropped off at a local hospital minutes later suffering from gunshot wounds.

A third victim — an elderly woman — was discovered a short time later. Deputies say the woman didn’t realize she had been struck by a bullet until she was driving home. Paramedics were able to treat the woman and transport her to a local hospital.

There have been no details released about a possible motive for the shooting. Authorities say the suspects drove away in a black Honda Civic.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Universal Studios exploring building new theme park

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Universal Studios exploring building new theme park

A new Universal theme park may be coming to the United Kingdom and the entertainment and attractions giant is asking Britons for their input.

Last year, Universal purchased a 476-acre parcel of land outside of Bedford, England, about 55 miles north of London, to explore the possibility of building a new theme park and resort. It would not only be the first Universal theme park in the U.K., but the first in all of Europe.

Over the last several months, the company says it’s been researching the feasibility of such a project and discussing it with local and national stakeholders.

This photo shows proposed ‘zones’ that could make up a possible Universal Studios theme park in the United Kingdom. (Universal)

While the project remains just an idea at this time, Universal is now asking for the public to chime in with their opinions on how a potential park might affect their lives and how the company could best honor and celebrate the region in a respectful manner.

“We have started a public engagement period on our potential theme park and resort experience in Bedford,” a Universal Destinations & Experiences spokesperson told Nexstar. “This represents the next step in our ongoing due diligence and feasibility work and is an opportunity for us to share early thinking on our plans and secure feedback.”

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The park would be built south of Bedford on a 700-acre piece of property which includes the 476 acres purchased last year and a smaller parcel that Universal has the option to acquire.

The company said the area is already allocated for development and has the flat topography that a large-scale theme park resort would require.

This map shows the location of a possible Universal theme park in the U.K. and its location relative to other major cities and landmarks.

The site has easy access to fast passenger rail service connecting to London and London Luton Airport, and a new regional rail project currently under construction that will connect Cambridge to Oxford would also provide additional rail service.

The Bedford region has a rich blue-collar history, Universal says, and was once the principal supplier of bricks throughout the British construction industry. While those brick plants were torn down decades ago, the industry left an indelible mark on those who called the region home and still do to this day.

Universal says it’s interested in incorporating some of the bricks still found on-site into some of the potential buildings and designs and even incorporate other aspects of the town’s history into food and drink facilities or future attractions.

Woman war workers loading bricks onto a train at the London Brick Company factory in Bedford, England, during World War II, August 1941. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

For Universal, England is a logical place to develop a park and increase its influence. The company says 38 million U.K. residents traveled to its theme parks around the globe this past year, spending as much as £34 billion ($42.3 billion) annually.

The United Kingdom is an especially attractive market for Universal due to its strong tourism and transportation infrastructure that links seamlessly to the rest of Europe. Comcast, the parent company of Universal, already has a strong presence in the country with NBCUniversal and Sky both having headquarters there.

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Universal says that a new park in the United Kingdom would be mutually beneficial for the company and its residents, emphasizing its potential to bring thousands of jobs and increase tourism throughout the region.

The Phase 1 Master Plan and the Indicative Master Plan provided by Universal for its propose new theme park in Bedford, England. (Universal)
The Phase 1 Master Plan and the Indicative Master Plan provided by Universal for its propose new theme park in Bedford, England. (Universal)

Any construction, Universal says, would be done with careful attention to local wildlife and ecology, with landscaping and dedicated green space a core component of any future plans. Comcast previously vowed to become carbon-neutral by 2035 and it says its theme parks play a big role in those goals.

Local infrastructure would also see significant investment, including the construction of at least one new rail station and dedicated direct roadways that would accommodate the bulk of the park’s traffic, according to documents posted on Universal’s official website for the project.

Locals are asked to participate in a short survey to provide feedback on the proposal, whether to show support, opposition or to offer input on how it could be improved.

“While it will still be some time before we decide whether or not we proceed, we look forward to further engaging with the community on this potential development,” the spokesperson said.

If there is adequate public support, and if Universal determines building a new park would be a smart financial move, construction could take between five and six years. In building a park in historic Bedford, Universal would also become permanent tenants of the region, writing a new chapter in the town’s history.

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“If the project moves forward, we will become long-term members of the local community and look forward to future partnership,” an information packet posted online reads.

Members of the community can provide comment by either filling out the survey online, reaching out by phone or email, or requesting and mailing a paper copy.

Responses are due by May 3.

Any and all future updates will be posted online on Universal’s dedicated project website, the company says.

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A Grateful Dead tribute festival was canceled last-minute, but ticket buyers won't get their money back

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A Grateful Dead tribute festival was canceled last-minute, but ticket buyers won't get their money back

If there’s anything that can harsh the mellow of “Dead Heads,” it’s probably this.

On Tuesday, the founder of Skull & Roses, a Grateful Dead tribute festival that was set to be held in Ventura next weekend, announced it had been canceled. In the same announcement, it was noted that those who purchased tickets won’t get their money back.

“With deep sorrow I must inform you that SKULL & ROSES 6 has been canceled,” a statement signed by festival founder Chris Mitrovich reads in part. “In all transparency, the financial devastation of the 2023 show has made it impossible to sustain the weight of the new production.”

It was not immediately clear what the “financial devastation” relating to last year’s show was, but the 2024 show was canceled just 10 days before the first day was set to kick off. The festival had been held at the Ventura County Fairgrounds each year since it began in 2017.

While the news of the cancelation was likely bad enough for fans, the statement also informed ticket holders that they won’t be receiving refunds.

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“While tickets and hotels were sold on a non-refundable basis, we sincerely wish that funds were available to refund all purchases,” the statement says. “Unfortunately, this is simply not the case at this time.”

The Grateful Dead performs in Oakland, Calif., in 1993. The band has broken the record for the most Top 40 albums to chart on the Billboard 200. The Grateful Dead pulled out ahead of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra with 59 total Top 40 entries on the chart Monday following the No. 25 debut of their archival release “Dave’s Picks, Volume 49: Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford U., Palo Alto, CA (4/27/85 & 4/28/85).” (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

It was not immediately clear why patrons wouldn’t receive refunds, or if the scheduled acts would still be compensated.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, tickets started at $60 for a single-day general admission pass and $600 for VIP. The Chronicle reports that some who purchased through Eventbrite successfully refunded their tickets.

The three-day festival was set to include Grateful Dead-adjacent acts like Golden Gate Wingmen, Sage & Spirits and Dark Star Orchestra.

Mitrovich said the future of the festival beyond 2024 was unclear.

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Construction on wildlife crossing to close portion of 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills

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Construction on wildlife crossing to close portion of 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills

At a community meeting in Agoura Hills Thursday evening about construction on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing Bridge, city leaders and officials from Caltrans wanted to get one message across loud and clear: the 101 Freeway is closing down.  

The massive wildlife crossing bridge will connect two natural landscapes that have been bisected by one of the nation’s busiest highways, stretching over 200 feet long and 165 feet wide across the roadway. 

Starting Monday, April 15, Caltrans will close all lanes of the southbound 101 Freeway between Chesebro Road and Liberty Canyon Road, with the closures running Monday-Friday from midnight to 5 a.m. for at least several weeks.  

A map of the area provided by Caltrans shows that travelers and commuters will be diverted onto side streets in the area during the construction.  

Map of detours for the closing of southbound lanes of the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills beginning April 15, 2024. (Caltrans)

“There could be, and we expect there to be, more traffic at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. than there is,” Agoura Hills Public Works Director Jessica Forte said. “Just be more aware if you’re going to be out jogging or biking on Agoura Road.” 

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The shutdown will allow crews to lift dozens of heavy concrete beams that will form the skeleton of the crossing.  

Once that work, which is expected to take about a month, is completed, Caltrans will close northbound lanes overnight in the same section. That phase of construction is expected to begin sometime after fall.  

“Honestly, at the beginning, I figured I’d have some noise for two to three years and it’s a fair trade,” Sherry Ferber told KTLA’s Samantha Cortese.  

A Liberty Canyon resident for 25 years, Ferber believes the inconvenience of the project is worth it.  

“We’re saving an entire species locally,” she said. “It’s the number one cause of death for mountain lions, plus it’s benefitting all species in the Santa Monica Mountains.”  

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This undated illustration provided by the National Wildlife Federation shows a rendering of a wildlife bridge crossing over U.S. Highway 101 between two separate open space preserves on conservancy lands in the Santa Monica Mountains in Agoura Hills, Calif. Groundbreaking is set for next month on what will be the world's largest wildlife crossing, a bridge over a major Southern California highway that will provide more room to roam for mountain lions and other animals hemmed in by urban sprawl. A ceremony marking the start of construction for the span over U.S. 101 near Los Angeles will take place on Earth Day, April 22, the National Wildlife Federation announced on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (National Wildlife Federation via AP)
This undated illustration provided by the National Wildlife Federation shows a rendering of a wildlife bridge crossing over U.S. Highway 101 between two separate open space preserves on conservancy lands in the Santa Monica Mountains in Agoura Hills. (National Wildlife Federation via AP)

Once completed, the bridge will connect the Santa Susana and Santa Monica mountain ranges and will be the largest wildlife crossing of its kind in the country, providing mountain lions and other animals safe passage between the regions.  

Scientists say this will minimize inbreeding among the wildlife population. 

“We have the science that the mountain lions, bobcats and the coyotes come right up to the 101 and they go back,” Agoura Hills Mayor Illece Buckley Weber said. “They’re smart enough not to cross, and that’s one of the problems. We need them to cross back and forth between the Santa Monica Mountains.”  

Coming in at an estimated $92 million, the crossing is one of the largest infrastructure projects underway in Southern California and is scheduled to be completed in 2025.  

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