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Southern California hope to save lives from DUI drivers on St. Patrick's Day

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Southern California hope to save lives from DUI drivers on St. Patrick's Day

As revelers prepare for St. Patrick’s Day festivities this Sunday, authorities will be ramping up their presence and patrolling the streets for drunk drivers.

California Highway Patrol officers will be out in full force across Southern California, hoping to keep the streets safe and prevent any unnecessary injuries or deaths.

Officers said St. Patrick’s Day is one of the major holidays when driving under the influence is unfortunately prevalent.

As revelers head out for a night of drinking and celebrating at local bars and restaurants,  watchful CHP officers like Luis Quintero are making sure people can get home safely.

“We tend to see more drivers go out and drink and drive,” Quintero said. “So, the sole purpose of the task force is to saturate that area and get these drivers off the road.”

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Quintero took KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff on a ride-along through Baldwin Park and downtown Los Angeles as he explained the goals of CHP’s Impaired Driving Task Force. The task force is typically deployed during holidays and at monthly intervals.

  • Partygoers celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a Los Angeles bar. (KTLA)
  • Partygoers celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a Los Angeles bar. (KTLA)
  • California Highway Patrol officer Luis Quintero works to ensure roads are safe from anyone driving under the influence as part of his job with CHP’s Impaired Driving Task Force on March 16, 2024. (KTLA)
  • California Highway Patrol sets up DUI checkpoints to ensure drivers are not driving under the influence. (KTLA)
  • Drivers traveling on the roads in Los Angeles. (KTLA)
  • Drivers traveling on a freeway in Los Angeles. (KTLA)

“I’m looking for driving patterns that I’ve seen throughout my career that indicate some kind of impairment,” Quintero explained.

Authorities will be holding DUI checkpoints at designated locations. Los Angeles police will be deploying plainclothes officers to liquor stores to ensure alcohol isn’t sold to anyone under 21 or to anyone who is visibly drunk.

He explains the idea is to saturate highly-populated areas with officers from several local divisions to ensure partiers are not endangering themselves or innocent citizens. 

“Drivers under the influence tend to lack awareness and not notice or sometimes see us. This is another indicator right here,” Quintero said as he spotted an SUV driving without any lights on.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times on the road nationwide.

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A 2021 report found that 13,384 people died from alcohol-impaired crashes, marking a 14% increase from 2020. 

This doesn’t mean that partygoers should avoid drinking, but rather, planning ahead is the most important thing, authorities said. Whether choosing to travel through a rideshare company or a taxi or going home with a designated sober driver, ensuring a safe ride to and from party locations can save lives.

“If you are going to drink, do it responsibly,” Quintero said.

Authorities are also reminding the public that alcohol isn’t the only substance that can cause impairment. Marijuana, prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs can also impair the ability to drive.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Family of father of 5 devastated after he's killed in Southern California hit-and-run crash

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Family of father of 5 devastated after he's killed in Southern California hit-and-run crash

A Southern California family is searching for answers after a father of five was killed in a hit-and-run crash early Friday morning.

The victim — 44-year-old Anthony Molina — was walking home around 3:22 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle on Marshall Boulevard near Elm Avenue in San Bernardino on April 19.

A security camera from the area picks up the audio of the crash but issues with visibility make it difficult to make out the vehicle.

Anthony’s family is heartbroken after the tragedy.

“I’m missing my son, look what you did to my son,” the victim’s mother, Sandra, said while fighting back tears to KTLA 5’s Carlos Saucedo. “No bringing him back anymore. I can’t believe this is being done to my son.”

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Anthony’s death has left his family devastated, and his loss will also impact the community. The 44-year-old coached Little League in San Bernardino for more than 20 years. Anthony lived in his home for 28 years.

Neighbors in the area say speeding is all too common on that stretch of road, and are hopeful the city will add speedbumps to slow drivers down.

Authorities have not released any information about the suspect’s vehicle that was involved in the crash.

Anthony’s sister, Darling Vanessa Molina, is pleading for the driver to come forward.

“If you’re watching, turn yourself in,” she said. “My brother deserves to get justice.”

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Los Angeles, Ca

Family, deputies seeking public assistance to locate 14-year-old who went missing in Southern California

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Family, deputies seeking public assistance to locate 14-year-old who went missing in Southern California

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking public help to locate a critically missing teen.

Authorities say 14-year-old Valeria Ibanez is 5 foot tall, weighs approximately 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray shirt, with gray pants and white shoes.

Ibanez hasn’t been heard from since around 7:23 p.m. Saturday. She was last seen in the 5200 block of Elizabeth Street in Cudahy.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking for public assistance to help locate missing 14-year-old Valeria Ibanez. She was last seen in Cudahy on Saturday, April 20.

Family members say Ibanez has no history of running away and they’re extremely concerned for her well-being.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s East La Station (323) 264-4151.  

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If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org 
 

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Los Angeles, Ca

Sticker shock: Home prices doubled in under 7 years in these major U.S. cities

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Sticker shock: Home prices doubled in under 7 years in these major U.S. cities

(NEXSTAR) – Stunned by skyrocketing home prices? You’re not alone.

In 68 of the largest U.S. cities the average price has more than doubled in less than 10 years, a recent study by Point2Homes found.

“A common home appreciation theory is that residential properties tend to double in value in about 10 years,” the study notes. “But this good news for investors spells bad news for buyers, considering that most of the country’s major cities had home prices double even faster than that.”

Recent buyers in Spokane, Tampa, and Buffalo, for instance, may look back wistfully to 2017 when the average price was less than half of what it is now.

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As recently as 2019, homes in Detroit, where prices have doubled the quickest, were half what they are now, the study found.

Looking at home prices in recent years may be the most painful for new homeowners in Irvine, California, however, which was the most expensive housing market on the list, jumping from $750K to $1.5 million in seven years.

In terms of overall highest prices, eight of the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities in the fourth quarter of 2023 were in California, led by San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($1,750,300), San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($1,251,000), Salinas ($993,900) and San Diego-Carlsbad ($931,600), according to National Association of Realtors data.

See the top 20 cities when it comes to home prices doubling in the shortest amount of time:

Rank City Years It Took To Double
1 Detroit, MI 4.9
2 Spokane, WA 5.9
3 Tampa, FL 6
4 Miami, FL 6
5 Baltimore, MD 6.1
6 Scottsdale, AZ 6.2
7 Buffalo, NY 6.4
8 St. Petersburg, FL 6.6
9 Jersey City, NJ 6.8
10 Phoenix, AZ 6.8
11 Gilbert, AZ 6.8
12 Mesa, AZ 6.9
13 Cleveland, OH 6.9
14 Charlotte, NC 7
15 North Las Vegas, NV 7
16 Chandler, AZ 7
17 Cincinnati, OH 7
18 Boise, ID 7.1
19 Milwaukee, WI 7.1
20 Tucson, AZ 7.1
(Credit: Point2Homes)

In February, 2024 home prices across the country were up 6.4% year-over-year, according to Redfin, with an average sale price of $411,887.

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Cleveland, Ohio led all metros in growth last year (25.5%), followed by Birmingham, Alabama (24.4%); Boca Raton, Florida (22.5%); Richmond, Virginia (19%); Fort Wayne, Indiana (18.6%); Dallas, Texas (16.9%); Miami Beach, Florida (16.7%); Cincinnati, Ohio (15.9%); Meridian, Idaho (15.6%); and Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (15.5%).

“Homeowners have benefited from housing wealth accumulation. However, many homebuyers have been shocked at high housing costs, with a typical monthly mortgage payment rising from $1,000 three years ago to more than $2,000 last year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Amid persistently high prices, prospective home buyers have at least one source of hope this year, thanks to a bombshell legal settlement.

In March, the National Association of Realtors announced that it had agreed to pay $418 million to settle lawsuits over commissions traditionally tacked onto the home-buying transaction.

The new rules also allow home buyers and sellers to negotiate lower agent commissions instead of the typical 5-6% of the sale that is currently split by brokers on both sides of the deal.

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Changes to the rules will take effect in mid-July.

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