Daily Brief: U.S. Sets Record With Nearly 500,000 COVID Cases in 24 Hours

Also, early winter storms help improve drought conditions in California in just one week

» U.S. Sets World Record With Nearly 500,000 COVID Cases in 24 Hours The country recorded 489,267 new cases on Thursday, the most any country in the world during the COVID pandemic. [Daily Mail]

» See How Winter Storms Improved Drought Conditions in California in Just One Week A weekly report by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows exceptional drought was nearly eliminated after 23 percent of the state was under the most severe category one week ago. Nearly 33 percent of the Golden State is in extreme drought, down from 79 percent last week. [NBC Los Angeles]

» Colorado Truck Driver’s Sentence is Reduced by 100 Years After Outcry The 110-year prison sentence given to a truck driver involved in a 2019 crash that killed four people has been lowered to 10 years by the governor of Colorado. [ABC 7]

» Los Angeles County Reports More Than 20,000 New COVID Cases Amid Surge After the county reported 20,198 new COVID cases, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters, “We are, in fact, experiencing the worst of a surge at the moment with the rising number of cases.” [Los Angeles Times]

» Sundance Film Festival is Planning to Offer COVID Booster Shots to Eligible Attendees The news comes just days after Sundance announced that participants of screenings and official events will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID. The annual festival, which is scheduled to run from Jan. 20-30 in Park City, Utah. [Variety]


» Valentina Orellana-Peralta Becomes 1 of 18 LAPD Shooting Deaths This Year Officers have reportedly shot at least 38 people, 18 fatally —including the shooting Sunday of a man with a knife—in 2021

» Beverly Hills Golden Triangle Will Get LVMH Treatment With Hotel Cheval Blanc The estimated three-year construction project will span entire south side of the Little Santa Monica Blvd block between Beverly Drive and Rodeo

» The Year in COVID: A Look at the Pandemic in L.A. During 2021 A month-by-month rundown of the frightening peaks and the times that life looked almost normal


(Photo by Alan Leyva)

Kobe Bryant’s Former Chef Has Healthy Meal Company That Really Delivers

When Taylor DeCosta was in culinary school at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, she was invited to audition to work as a personal chef for an unknown client. When she arrived for the interview, the person looking to hire was none other than Kobe Bryant.

“I was so nervous. I was, like, 25,” recalls DeCosta, now 32. “It was so surreal.”

She landed the job and went on to work for Bryant and his family for nearly a year. “It was really wonderful,” says DeCosta, who’s prevented by an NDA from going into further detail about working for the late basketball great. “It really started my love of custom cooking.”

DeCosta went on to serve as a private chef to other Southern California notables. Then, in 2016, she was planning her wedding and in need of extra work to pay for her bridal gown. A friend connected her with Newport Beach entrepreneur/philanthropists Alan and Twila True, who were looking for a chef to prepare and drop off healthy meals. It quickly became clear that DeCosta had the seed of a business that would cover the cost of her dress—and then some.


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