TODAY’S ESSENTIAL NEWS
» Will The LAUSD Employee Strike Go Past Its Three-day Mark? On Tuesday, thousands of LAUSD teachers and staff walked out of schools in protest, demanding a 30 percent pay raise. As of Wednesday, about 1,000 schools in the district remain closed as LAUSD has failed to reach an agreement with the teacher’s unions. The strike—which is keeping over 500,000 students out of class—was originally planned for three days, but could continue until Friday if no deal is reached. An extra day out of school would put even more strain on many working parents who are struggling to accommodate their children’s unexpected time at home. The strike has the support of as many as 60,000 members of the Local 99 of Service Employees International Union and United Teachers Los Angeles. [KTLA]
» Los Angeles Area Hit By Tornado A rare tornado event wreaked havoc on Montebello Wednesday, damaging buildings and cars and injuring at least one person. According to Michael Chee, a city public information officer. At least 17 buildings were damaged, 11 so severely the fire department deemed them too dangerous to use. Videos captured of the “intense microcell” show large amounts of debris littering the dark, grey sky above the industrial area as—in on video—the roof of a nearby building gets blown off. Tornadoes are rare in California, with fewer than 10 per year on average. [CNN]
» Case Against Rick and Morty Co-Creator Justin Roiland Dismissed Adult Swim announced in January that it had cut ties with Justin Roiland, who voices the two title characters of their popular animated series. Roiland was charged in May 2020 with corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and false imprisonment. Both felonies stemmed from a conflict with a woman he was dating on Jan. 19, 2020. On Wednesday prosecutors dismissed the domestic violence case against the writer and voice actor, according to one of his attorneys. [CBS]
» L.A. City Council Seeks To Crack Down On Catalytic Converter Theft The Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved an ordinance Wednesday that would prohibit unlawful possession of catalytic converters in an effort to curb the rise in thefts the city has experienced in the past five years. According to the motion, which was presented in April 2022 by Councilmen John Lee and Paul Krekorian and then-Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 972 catalytic converters were reported stolen across the city in 2018. But by 2022, the city reported almost 8,000 catalytic converters thefts—a nearly 728% increase just within the last five years. [CNS]
» Gwyneth Paltrow’s Utah Ski Accident Trial Brings Doctors To Stand A man has accused actress and beauty mogul Gwenyth Paltrow of causing a ski collision in 2016 that allegedly left him with serious brain damage and four broken ribs. On Wednesday in Park City court, two doctors were called to the stand to describe X-rays, brain scans and neurological tests documenting the medical condition of 76-year-old Terry Sanderson. Sanderson alleges damages of more than $300,000 after a judge threw out his claim for $3.1M, claiming his health deteriorated rapidly after the accident. Both parties blame the other for the collision and claim they were crashed into from behind [Fox]
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“My Kind of Country” Hosts Want to Finally Diversify Country Music
Throughout their careers, country music stars and stars of Apple+’s My Kind of Country Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, and Daniel Pitout (known by his stage name, Orville Peck) have learned just how much being different from your typical country musician can limit opportunity. But they never let it stifle their success. Now, all three are on a mission to change the industry narrative by creating a unique platform that would encourage country music to become more inclusive of all races, sexualities, creeds and backgrounds.
“I think unfortunately in this—not just industry, but the world—things start to really change the more we are all vocal and out there representing diversity within country music,” Pitout, an openly gay South African-born musician, told LA Magazine.