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BRIEFLY : HIT-RUN SUSPECT, 96, MAY BE OLDEST EVER.

SANTA MONICA - A 96-year-old man who is suspected of running down a 15-year-old Woodland Hills girl in a crosswalk is one of the oldest people ever charged with a felony in Los Angeles County, authorities said.

Byron Cox was arraigned Friday on a felony hit-and-run charge and could face four years in prison if convicted.

The Santa Monica man was charged with the lesser crime rather than manslaughter because witnesses said the girl neglected to look both ways before crossing, indicating Cox might not have had time to stop, authorities said.

Brandi Mitock of Woodland Hills died at a hospital after she was hit by Cox's car Nov. 5, said police Sgt. Pat Armstrong.

Cox fled the scene but turned himself in later in the day, authorities said.

- Associated Press

Warm Pacific water lingers from El Nino

PASADENA - An unusual warming is occurring in the western and central Pacific Ocean, in contrast to cooler-than-usual waters associated with a stalled La Nina condition at the equator, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Oceanographers made their determination based on a photo taken Nov. 29 from the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, which is managed by JPL.

They believe the two contrasting conditions indicate the ocean and climate system have not yet recovered from the record-breaking warm El Nino waters of the past two years, said JPL's Mary Hardin.

The latest picture shows warm waters that are remnants of El Nino still lingering in the Pacific to the north of the equator, while cooler La Nina waters are at the center of the ocean.

The image can be viewed on the Internet at www.jpl.nasa.gov/elnino.

El Nino is usually associated with wetter-than-usual winters in Southern California, while La Nina is marked by drier-than-usual weather.

- City News Service

Mother files lawsuit over teen's death

A woman who said her teen-age son died from toxic levels of tuberculosis medication while at Central Juvenile Hall has sued Los Angeles County for wrongful death.

Lucille Flores' lawsuit also alleges civil rights violations, cruel and unusual punishment, and negligence for the death of her 17-year-old son, Brandon.

She sued after her $25 million claim for damages was rejected by the county.

A phone call left for the county was not answered Saturday after business hours.

Shortly after being placed at Central Juvenile Hall in May 1996 on suspicion of stealing a car, the teen was diagnosed with the virus that causes tuberculosis and prescribed the drug Isoniazid.

In June 1998, he began suffering ``severe and extremely painful bouts of nausea, vomiting of blood, headaches and chest pains, among other symptoms,'' the lawsuit says.

The youth suffered three seizures July 11 and was sent to the hospital for treatment. He died July 19.

An autopsy showed that the boy died of INH toxicity, which his mother claims could have been prevented with proper medical treatment.

- Associated Press
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 6, 1998
Words:479
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