A star athlete landed among the mentally ill homeless. Summer heat set records. A convicted murderer pleaded her innocence. A politician faced corruption allegations. The news business faced devastation until one publication found a messiah. Their stories appeared on SoCal Connected in 2018. Here are the five stories to keep an eye on in the coming year.
Temperatures soared during the summer, establishing records across Southern California. Emergency room doctors say climate change is no longer a theory. It’s here, already impacting their patients. If we don't act soon, they say, our children and grandchildren will pay the price.
S9 E6: Heat
The News Blues
Dozens of journalists and photographers lost their jobs as the Southern California print media continued its decline. The LA Weekly’s ownership laid off nearly its entire staff. Small publications battled to exist. Even the Los Angeles Times struggled until it found its savior, a billionaire who surprisingly purchased the paper and announced plans to return it to glory. Will his hiring spree succeed? And what will become of the Times’ competitors?
S9 E1: The News Blues
People vs Kiera Newsome
Imprisoned 17 years for a South Los Angeles murder she says she did not commit, Kiera Newsome continued to profess her innocence. A team of pro-bono lawyers fought for her, hoping to convince California Gov. Jerry Brown to release her before he leaves office. Will Newsome see freedom again?
S9 E5: People Vs. Kiera Newsome
Out of Bounds
Once a gifted Dorsey High School football star on his way to college, Antonio Carrion resides on Los Angeles’ downtown streets. Diagnosed as bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic, Carrion served as an example of the thousands of mentally ill homeless roaming the sidewalks and cycling in and out of jail. His story prompted calls for improved mental health care to deal with the escalating problem. Will anybody listen?
S9 E2: Out of Bounds
Investigation Launched into Campaign Loans Involving Inglewood Mayor, Council Member
Inglewood Mayor James Butts became a Southern California hero as a new football stadium began rising in the City of Champions. Politically, however, he faced one corruption allegation after another. Did he approve a $100 million contract for a company only after it hired his brother? Did he fail to disclose repayments from loans to the election campaign of an Inglewood councilman? Did he lie to Forum owner Madison Square Garden about how city land across from the arena would be used? Stay tuned.