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Top Local Stories of 2018
By Sentinel Staff Report
Published December 27, 2018

Alex Villanueva Wins LA County Sheriff Race  

Alex Villanueva (file photo)

The November 2018 midterm election race for LA County sheriff came to a close with Alex Villanueva receiving more than 1, 193,670 votes compared to incumbent Jim McDonnell’s 1,106,750. After winning the LA County sheriff race, Villanueva made history as the first Democrat to do so in 138 years and is the first person to replace an incumbent in 100 years. 

 Wanda Austin Is USC’s Interim President

USC interim President Wanda Austin speaks during new student convocation, August 16, 2018. (Photo by Gus Ruelas/USC)

The University of Southern California (USC) announced the appointment of Dr. Wanda Austin as the university’s new interim president. Austin’s appointment comes after USC president C.L. Max Nikias stepped down. Although Austin’s is new to the position, she is quite familiar with USC. Since 2010, Austin served on the USC Board of Trustees and in 2018; she received the USC Presidential Medallion.   

Los Angeles Southwest College Gets A New Science Building  

Los Angeles Community College District and Los Angeles Southwest College, Harper Construction Co. officials, partners and guests celebrated the “topping out” of the new School of Science Building. (Photo By Brian W. Carter)

Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) celebrated the “top off” of the School of Science Building at Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC). The new building is a $16 million, environmentally friendly, 27,000-square-foot, two-story building funded by 2008’s $3.5 billion Measure J for the modernization, renovation and new construction of LACCD facilities. The School of Science will hold six classrooms, ten labs, faculty offices and a rooftop observatory. The School of Science is said to engage students in the fields of physiology, anatomy, biotech, biology, microbiology, geography, geology and chemistry. 

Price Jr. Returns to  Crenshaw Christian Center 

Rev. Fred Price, Jr. (courtesy photo)

After a yearlong absence, the Rev. Fred Price, Jr. returned July 1, as the lead pastor of the famed Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC). With his return as pastor, Price Jr. plans to expand his father’s legacy by renewing emphasis on taking CCC to the next level.   

L.A. City Redevelopment Project Approved For South LA

 

On June 5, 2018 the Los Angeles City Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee approved a $700 million plan to renovate the historic Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Plaza in South Los Angeles. The proposed project will include approximately 961 new housing units, a 400-room hotel, and new restaurant and retail space. The proposed project is one of the largest private investments in South Los Angeles in several decades. 

The LA City Council Recognizes TOS & Hyundai  

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price along with the entire LA City Council, recognized the Taste of Soul (TOS) family food festival team and Hyundai Motor Company on Monday, May 21, at City Council Chambers. 

 The Vermont Manchester Project 

Los Angeles County took possession of a four-acre property at the corner of Vermont and Manchester on May 7. The County plans to build affordable housing and retail, as well a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) transit plaza, preparatory boarding academy and training center on the site. Renderings for the project were released in February. 

 The Lucas Museum Breaks Ground 

March marked the official groundbreaking for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The Museum will be located at Exposition Park in South Los Angeles and will celebrate the art of visual storytelling and enable people of diverse backgrounds to experience the power of narrative art across all mediums, including painting, illustration, comic art, photography, film, animation and digital art. Designed by the Chinese firm MAD Architects, the $1.5 billion development will act as a gateway to Exposition Park. 

Black Media Professionals Honored At City Hall  

On Tuesday, February 6, the Los Angeles City Council (LACC), and its president, Herb Wesson, honored Black local media professionals who have helped shape Southern California through the production and dissemination of news. Wesson, along with Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Councilmember Curren Price, led a formal presentation in celebration of African American Heritage Month, as a reminder of the historic impact African Americans have made in journalism and the news.  The Los Angeles Sentinel and the National Association of Black Journalist Los Angeles chapter were among the many that were honored.  

LAUSD Superintendent Retires  

In September, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King announced that she was being treating for cancer and would retire in June 30. King has been superintendent since January 2016. 

Watts Assistant Principal Crowned Mrs. California 

Kristi Eddy was crowned Mrs. California in March of this year. Eddy’s goals are to raise awareness on women’s reproductive health and to continue working in education. Additionally, she founded the nonprofit Women’s Ovarian & Medical Education Network (W.O.M.E.N.), to bring awareness to women’s reproductive health conditions, including ovarian cyst, thyroids, and endometriosis. 

Roderick Wright Pardoned  

In 2014, former California Senator Roderick D. Wright was convicted of eight counts of perjury and voter fraud for lying about living in his district and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Four years later, Senator Wright received a second chance after being pardoned by Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday, November 21. Whether or not Wright will run for public office has yet to be announced. However, he has made it clear that he has a true passion for public service. 

 LAFC Opens Banc of California Stadium 

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and its partners made history with the unveiling of Banc of California Stadium, the home venue for LA’s newest sports franchise. The new soccer stadium stands where the once acclaimed LA sports Arena previously stood at the intersection of Figueroa and King. The resulting transformation: A world- class football (soccer) stadium with a 22,000-seat capacity that can boast a completion date ahead of schedule. 

Lemiert Park Triple Homicide  

Police say 65-year-old Phillip White, Orsie Carter, 83, and her husband William Carter, 79, all suffered blunt force trauma to the head, and White and his mother were shot in his home in the 3900 block of South Bronson Avenue on May 21. Family found their bodies stacked atop each other on the bathroom floor the next day. Nancy Amelia Jackson, a woman accused of killing a disabled acquaintance, his mother, and stepfather is facing the death penalty or life in state prison without parole if convicted. Jackson was arrested the day after the killings in Culver City and was ordered back to court on Sept. 17. 

 Destination Crenshaw  

Destination Crenshaw is a 1.3-mile-long outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles under development along Crenshaw Boulevard. Spearheaded by L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, this community-inspired project will use the iconic street as a canvas and anchor for public art and streetscape design. With designs by Perkins+Will, the visionary architectural firm behind the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History, Destination Crenshaw will celebrate the historic and contemporary contributions of Black L.A. to the city and the world. The project begins construction in early 2019 with plans to open in Spring 2020.  

L.A. Sentinel Staff Member Iris Sanford Retires  

Iris Stanford (file photo)

Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper staff member, Iris Stanford announced she is retiring at the end of 2018. Stanford serves as the classifieds specialist for the Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times Newspaper. Iris is the proud mother of three and grandmother of six. Joining the company in 1991, Iris has developed a wide network of business relationships throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.  

 MRT Holds Groundbreaking For New MLK Building   

L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas led the groundbreaking ceremony for the newest addition to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus in Willowbrook: a medical office building that will increase access to healthcare in South Los Angeles by creating more space for physicians to care for patients. Scheduled to open in 2020, the MLK Community Health Medical Office Building will provide primary care for the local community, as well as valuable services to treat chronic conditions. Outpatient services will include dialysis, wound care, and imaging. There will also be an ambulatory surgery center, a retail pharmacy, and a space for community health education. The 52,000-sq. ft. MLK Community Health Medical Office Building will be the new home of the MLK Community Medical Group, which recruits doctors from prestigious medical centers across the nation who have a desire to serve in a safety-net community.  

Gemmel Moore’s Death 

Twenty-six-year-old, Gemmel Moore was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment on July 27, 2017. His death was immediately classified as an “accidental methamphetamine overdose” by the coroner, but the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau was forced to open a homicide investigation after Moore’s personal journal was published and other young men stepped forward recounting similar stories about a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites just to see how they react to it while he makes them dress up and pose in white underwear. A coroner’s report confirmed that at the time of Moore’s death, Buck’s apartment was littered with drug paraphernalia including 24 syringes with brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with a “piece of crystal-like substance.” Buck is known for contributing to political campaigns—including District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de Leon–banning the sale of fur and rescuing dogs he finds on the street. At the close of business Thursday, July 26, the L.A. District Attorney’s Office had rejected all criminal charges against Buck in the death of Moore citing insufficient admissible evidence. 

 Big Changes At KJLH
Over the summer, several longtime employees were laid off from KJLH including Greg Johnson, Big PeeWee, and Don Amiche. In November, KJLH personality Tammi Mac landed a reoccurring role on the show “Star” as Aunt Ginny.

LeBron James Comes To LA 

Year of LeBron: The Los Angeles Lakers signed four-time League MVP LeBron James to a four-year $153.3 million deal among adding veterans JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stevenson, and Michael Beasley. Before the season started, James opened the I Promise School in his native land, Akron, Ohio.(Courtesyof the LA Lakers)

NBA All-Star LeBron James opened a public school in his hometown of Akron called the I Promise School. Along with providing free meals and a bike to every student, the school offers STEM camps in the summer and job placement as well as GED classes for parents.   

Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer 

 In this Oct. 2, 2014 file photo, Kendrick Lamar performs during We Day at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will feature a star-studded lineup including Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons and Lamar. Deadmau5, Robert Plant and Florence + the Machine will also perform during the four-day event kicking off June 11, 2015, in Manchester, Tenn. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

Compton based rapper Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his fourth studio album “DAMN.” He won the award because the music displays the complexity of African American life. Lamar is the first rapper in history to achieve the award.

Categories: A Taste of Soul | Crenshaw & Around | Education | Entertainment | Family | Local | Music | News | News (Sports) | Political | Soccer | Sports
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