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West Nile virus detected in Valley

A crow collected in Northridge has tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Friday in warning residents to take precautions against transmission of the mosquito-born illness.

The crow was found Jan. 4, a week before a mosquito pool in Rowland Heights tested positive for West Nile.

Last year, the disease wasn't detected until May, and officials said this year's early appearance suggests yearlong transmission activity.

Health officials advised residents to protect themselves against bites from mosquitoes, which can transmit the sometimes deadly disease from infected birds to humans.

For more information, call (562) 944-9656 or see To report dead birds, call (877) 968-2473 or see

-- Daily News

Vons to sponsor job-help program

Vons will be the title sponsor for the Work Readiness Certification program for young adults, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce said Friday.

Developed in partnership with the chamber and the Los Angeles City Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, the WRC program helps prepare youths for employment by helping them master the basic skills for entry-level jobs.

As the title sponsor, Vons will partner with the chamber and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's HIRE-LA 18-24 campaign to provide more than 1,000 job opportunities.

-- City News Service

FBI seeking help in hunt for robber

The FBI is asking for the public's help in finding a bank robber whose targets have included dozens in the San Fernando Valley area.

Dubbed the Goofy Hat Bandit for his baseball caps, fisherman hats or fedoras, he last tried to rob Union Bank of California in Encino in December, then robbed a Pasadena bank the same day.

He typically robs in the middle of the day, usually before noon, the FBI said. He is described as a white or light-skinned black man between 40 and 50 years old, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, 180-190 pounds, wearing large prescription glasses and buttoned-down shirts and dress pants.

He has robbed 32 banks since October 2005 including in Encino, Universal City, Van Nuys, Glendale, Burbank and Stevenson Ranch.

Anyone with information can call the FBI at (310) 477-6595.

-- Daily News

Ads on city buses generate $30,000

Advertisements on city-owned buses generated about $30,000 in revenue last month, and officials said Friday that they hope the budding campaign will bring in $500,000 this year.

Nearly 340 of the 380 city-owned buses now display advertisements, City Councilwomen Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry said.

Proceeds from the advertising campaign will go to purchase and maintain more buses and hire more drivers.

Advertising agency Titan Worldwide is selling the ads for the city, which operates the DASH and Commuter Express lines.

-- City News Service

Wrong-way driver killed in crash

SYLMAR -- A woman driving more than 100 mph on the wrong side of the Foothill Freeway died early Friday when her car rocketed off the thoroughfare and onto the street below, authorities said.

Officials suspect that Cynthia M.I. Bernal, 33, of Bakersfield was drunk when she sped west down the center divider of the eastbound lanes and went airborne.

Witnesses spotted Bernal's older model Mercury Grand Marquis heading the wrong way, but the CHP was unable to find the car, Lutz said. Moments later, however, San Fernando police found the wreckage on Maclay Street, under the freeway overcrossing.

-- Daily News

Strawberry crop to make recovery

OXNARD -- Ventura County's strawberry crop suffered a temporary setback during this month's cold snap but will revive in time for the California Strawberry Festival in May, officials said Friday.

Not only will the crop recover from the chilly temperatures within six weeks, but frost can even stimulate later production, said Dean Maulhardt, chairman of the California Strawberry Festival.

An estimated 1.75 million strawberries are used in the popular weekend celebration.

For more information, see

-- Daily News

Small plane sets down near roads

THOUSAND OAKS -- A small plane made an emergency landing in a field near Moorpark and Read roads about 11:50 a.m. Friday, officials said.

No one was injured and the plane was not damaged during the landing. Officials could not immediately say what caused the emergency.

-- Daily News




The FBI released this photo of the bank robbery suspect.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 27, 2007

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