Crime not common in the area, DPS says

first_imgFaaria Kalam contributed to this report. Despite safety concerns among students and parents after the shooting Wednesday morning of two USC graduate students from China, administrators, students and law enforcement officials said the area near the shooting is relatively safe. All parties, however, urged students to be aware of their surroundings, especially late at night.Ying Wu and Ming Qu, graduate students studying electrical engineering, were fatally shot around 1 a.m. The shooting took place near the intersection of Raymond Avenue and 27th Street, about three blocks west of Vermont Avenue.Safety concerns · The Los Angeles Police Department says crime near the scene of the shooting has decreased over the last few years. – Chloe Stepney | Daily TrojanSal LaBarbera, a Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective supervisor assigned to the case, said the particular incident was an aberration in an area where crime has been decreasing.“Crime has been on a steady decrease in the past few years,” LaBarbera said. “The shooting was definitely an isolated incident.”LaBarbera also said the circumstances — heavy rain, the late hour of night and the hazard lights of their car — made the victims an easy target for anyone looking for trouble.Dept. of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle said the neighborhood is safe, based on the small number of crimes reported to DPS. Though the department receives calls related to theft, Carlisle said no violent crime has been reported in that area this year.“This particular crime occurred in an area that doesn’t have a history of violent crime.” he said. “The majority of crimes reported to DPS, which would be from USC-related people, are thefts. We’ve had two stolen cars this year but no violent crime.”As USC has moved from a commuter school to a predominately residential school, more students have moved to off-campus housing, including  the area west of Vermont Avenue. Carlisle said with that change DPS has devoted more resources to the area west of Vermont Avenue between Exposition Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.“We’ve increased our public safety resources in the neighborhoods where the student population used to be lower,” Carlisle said.DPS, however, does not officially patrol the area where the shooting occurred. Carlisle said DPS does have a few cameras in the community and it is not unusual for officers to be in the neighborhood.USC will consult with LAPD before making any changes to its patrol boundaries, Carlisle said.“A decision to expand our patrol boundaries would be made by senior administrators working with [DPS] Chief [Carey] Drayton,” Carlisle said. “Quite frankly, although this is a terrible single crime, it is one crime where we’ve had no other violent crimes reported in that area this year.”Josh Durica, a junior majoring in computer science who lives in a DPS-patrolled neighborhood about a seven-minute walk away from the shooting, said he generally feels safe living west of Vermont.“Where I live I feel pretty safe with the CSC guards and everything,” Durica said. “I walk home at least once a week at 3 a.m. by myself, and I never fear for my safety.”Still, Durica said more can be done in light of the shooting.“If a double homicide is happening near our campus, there are more steps that can be taken,” Durica said.Though crime is decreasing in the area where the shooting took place, LaBarbera said the campus still remains the safest location with the most security.Carlisle said the incident highlights the need for students to take notice when walking off campus.“Be aware of your surroundings,” Carlisle said. “Try and follow all of the safety tips we normally talk about.”These tips include traveling in large groups, not flaunting valuables and taking university-sponsored transportation, such as Campus Cruiser.Mark Green, an LAPD sergeant for community relations, echoed Carlisle’s caution, saying students should always remain aware of their surroundings regardless of their location.“People should be aware of safety issues no matter where they are,” Green said. “They should be cognizant of the areas and just know that they’re in a large metropolitan city and can be victimized.”last_img read more

Peanut butter jars may be germ source

first_img FDA inspectors visited the now shut-down plant Wednesday and Thursday to try to pinpoint where the contamination could have happened. The FDA last inspected the plant in 2005. Testing was also being done on at least some of the salmonella victims’ peanut butter jars, but investigators said some may have already been discarded. The highest number of cases were reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri. About 20percent of all the ill were hospitalized, and there were no deaths, the CDC said. About 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter, and about a quarter of them ate it at least once a day, the CDC’s Lynch said. It was the only food that most of the patients had recently eaten. Salmonella sickens about 40,000 people a year in the United States and kills about 600. It can cause diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting. But most cases of salmonella poisoning are caused by undercooked eggs and chicken. The only known salmonella outbreak in peanut butter – in Australia during the mid-1990s – was blamed on unsanitary plant conditions. Sandwiches seized ConAgra spokesman Chris Kircher said the company randomly tests 60 to 80 jars of peanut butter that come off its Sylvester plant’s line each day for salmonella and other germs, and “we’ve had no positive hits on that going back for years.” But he said the plant was shut down as a precaution for further investigation. “We’re trying to understand what else we need to do or should be doing,” Kircher said. An estimated 974 million pounds of peanut butter are sold each year in the United States, and peanut butter and jelly is the most popular sandwich among children. Peter Pan is one of the nation’s top three brands, though well behind market leader Jif. Great Value peanut butter is also produced by some other manufacturers for Wal-Mart. In a measure of peanut butter’s popularity, ConAgra’s hotline was swamped with so many calls after the recall was announced Wednesday that many people got a busy signal. School officials in Houston confiscated students’ sandwiches from home and replaced them with those made at schools. And in Georgia, a lawmaker representing one of the nation’s biggest peanut-producing areas warned colleagues to throw out jars of peanut butter that he recently handed out. The outbreak was detected by the CDC and state health agencies when they noticed spikes in the cases of people sickened by an unusual type of salmonella, starting in August. Once peanut butter emerged as a link, the CDC notified the FDA. Salmonella commonly originates in the feces of birds and animals, and it could be introduced at a multitude of stages in the peanut butter-making process. But many safeguards are in place. While rodents and birds commonly get into peanut storage bins, germs are killed when raw peanuts are roasted. When making peanut butter, the nuts are again heated – above the salmonella-killing temperature of 165degrees – as they are ground into a paste and mixed with other ingredients before being squirted into jars and quickly sealed. “The heating process is sufficient to kill salmonella, should it be present,” said Mike Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, in the state that produces nearly half of the nation’s peanuts. Experts say the point in the process where salmonella could be introduced and survive would be as the product cools down, is placed in the jars and then sealed. At most plants, those steps take just minutes. But “there is quite a lot that happens after that heat step … before it’s put in jars. So there’s definitely an opportunity for contamination after the roasting,” the FDA’s Acheson said. Acheson speculated that a small, on-again, off-again source of contamination caused the outbreak, which would explain the relatively small number of illness. That “will make finding it in peanut butter difficult. But that’s not going to stop us from looking,” he said. Other states reporting cases are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The strain in this outbreak, Salmonella serotype Tennessee, is comparatively rare, as is salmonella contamination of peanut products, said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It may have taken a long time to identify peanut butter as the source because “it’s just not one of the first things you’d suspect,” Smith DeWaal said. Refund information To get a refund, consumers should send lids and their names and addresses to ConAgra Foods, P.O. Box 57078, Irvine, CA 92619-7078. For more information, call (866) 344-6970.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We think we have very strong evidence that this was the brand of peanut butter. Now it goes to the next step of going to the place where the peanut butter was made and focusing in on the testing,” said Dr. Mike Lynch, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The suspect peanut butter was produced by ConAgra at its only peanut butter plant, in Sylvester, Ga., federal investigators said. ConAgra said it is not clear how many jars are affected by the recall. But the plant is the sole producer of the nationally distributed Peter Pan brand, and the recall covers all peanut butter – smooth and chunky alike – produced by the plant from May 2006 until now. “We’re talking a lot of jars of peanut butter,” said Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Testing plant, jars ATLANTA – Government scientists struggled Thursday to pinpoint the source of the first U.S. salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, the kid favorite packed into millions of lunchboxes every day. Nearly 300 people in 39 states have fallen ill since August, and federal health investigators said they strongly suspect Peter Pan peanut butter and certain batches of Wal-Mart’s Great Value house brand – both manufactured by ConAgra Foods Inc. Shoppers across the country were warned to throw out jars with a product code on the lid beginning with 2111, which denotes the plant where it was made. How the dangerous germ got into the peanut butter was a mystery. But because peanuts are usually heated to high, germ-killing temperatures during the manufacturing process, government and industry officials said the contamination may have been caused by dirty jars or equipment. last_img read more

Drew Remenda on the Sharks: How to win Game 3

first_imgThe good news? The Sharks have been here before. They’ve gone on the road tied 1-1 before — twice before, in fact.They have shown that they have the resiliency and the smarts to bounce back after losing Game 2 at home, and this is no different. Game 3, bring it on.A few adjustments. Better defensive awareness and communication. Get your forecheck and cycle on. Donʼt take five penalties. Bring that close-quick support that was a key in the series opening win.Nothing major or daunting for Game …last_img

Seed Consultants named Eastern Regional Seed Brand for Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Seed Consultants, Inc. will expand its regional presence and become the Eastern Corn Belt regional brand for Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. As part of the change, some staff from Doebler’s Pennsylvania Hybrids will join Seed Consultants, along with several Eastern Corn Belt experts from Brodbeck and NuTech.The change is part of the newly announced Corteva Agriscience multi-channel, multi-brand seed strategy for the U.S., which will expand access to the company’s genetics, technology and traits.“Eastern farmers have different needs,” said Daniel Call, Seed Consultants General Manager. “They have different environments, different weather, and we’ve always focused our germplasm and our traits to fulfill those customer needs. As the eastern regional brand for Corteva Agriscience, we get to home in on that even more and be more laser-focused.”Popular Doebler’s products, as well as some Brodbeck and NuTech products, will be available through Seed Consultants. Seed Consultants will also have access to a growing pipeline of products from Corteva Agriscience.“We’re going to have a wider array of germplasm and traits to help deal with weed control issues, insects, weather and more,” Call said.Sheldon Bender, who previously led Doebler’s, will lead transition efforts and will join the Seed Consultants leadership team in the future.Daniel Call says that Seed Consultants has experienced rapid growth since its founding, and he looks forward to continued success through these changes.“We’ve added a lot of really good people who know Eastern agriculture. This is going to help us accelerate our growth. People tell us they like doing business with Seed Consultants because our people are knowledgeable, our products perform in the East and we’re focused on helping our customers be more profitable. I can’t wait to see where we’re at five years from now, 10 years from now,” Call said.last_img read more

San Diego Fire crews respond to two brush fires near Mission Trails

first_img Jonathan Halvorson, November 7, 2018 San Diego Fire crews respond to two brush fires near Mission Trails Regional Park. Posted: November 7, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) San Diego fire crews say they responded to two spot fires around 1:45 p.m. along Jackson and Hemingway and Jackson and Tuxedo.Crews say brush was burning uphill and the fuel was light to medium.  The incident commander requested two air tankers from CAL FIRE Ramona air base.Crews stopped forward progress of these fires shortly after 2 p.m. and they have a line around each fire. One fire damaged about 1 acre and the other damaged about a half acre in total.No damage to any structures and no injuries. The crews will be on scene for about 3 hours. Hand crews from CAL FIRE have been requested. Jonathan Halvorson Categories: Local San Diego News, Wildfires FacebookTwitterlast_img read more