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Essential California Week in Review: Residents of California mountains trapped in their homes

Good morning and welcome to the Essential California Newsletter. It is Saturday March 4.

Here’s a look at the top stories from the past week

Gov. Gavin Newsom declares a state of emergency in 13 counties as winter storms batter California. Newsom has declared a state of emergency for 13 California counties that have been ravaged by historic winter storms.

More about the storm in California:

California lawmakers revive An attempt to prohibit involuntary servitude as punishment for crimes. State legislators could let voters decide whether to “ban slavery in any form,” which could change work requirements in prisons.

LA County’s COVID-19 emergency ends March 31. Los Angeles County is ending the COVID-19 emergency declaration at the end of March, becoming the latest region to take this step amid improving pandemic conditions.

A $150,000 “executive protection dog”? Wealthy homeowners in LA are picking them up. Cheaper than a bodyguard, more portable than an alarm system, watchdogs costing six figures are in high demand in LA’s wealthier districts.

Check out the photos behind this week’s biggest stories: California ends pandemic emergency but enters a winter wonderland.

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Newsom and IRS are giving Californians until October to file tax returns. Echoing the Internal Revenue Service, Newsom said most Californians don’t have to pay their state taxes until Oct. 16. The delay is available to residents of Los Angeles and 50 other counties under a federal emergency.

Los Angeles County agrees to $28.85 million settlement with Bryant family over crash photos. LA County has agreed to pay the Bryant family $28.5 million in a settlement over photographs of the helicopter crash that killed the Lakers star’s daughter Kobe Bryant and seven others.

Pandemic food benefits end for millions of Californians. California families will no longer receive additional CalFresh benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. What now?

Hidden, illegal casinos are booming in LA, while organized crime is making big profits. Casitas – Spanish for “houses” – mainly offer electronic forms of gambling and can bring in tens of thousands of dollars per week. The ultimate beneficiaries, authorities say, are members of the Mexican Mafia, the prison-based syndicate that oversees Latino street gangs in Southern California.

Pasadena police Are banking on a phone hacking tool to solve a cold case murder. A years-old Pasadena murder case could hinge on what has long been considered the holy grail of modern police investigations: a tool for breaking into locked phones.

California regulators reject groundwater management plans in San Joaquin Valley. State regulators say plans are inadequate in six areas of the San Joaquin Valley. The move triggers state intervention to strengthen regulation.

Tijuana sewage isn’t just in Imperial Beach waves. It’s in the air. And San Diegans breathe it. Researchers at UC San Diego found that bacteria from raw sewage in the waters off Imperial Beach become airborne and pose a potential health risk.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis makes a Place of pilgrimage in California to court influential Republicans. DeSantis, who has tangled with Newsom, is expected to court California delegates and donors during his visit.

The lights on the Bay Bridge will go out on Sunday. The light screen that will illuminate the Bay Bridge for 10 years is expected to disappear, but it is not certain whether a new one will replace it.

ICYMI, here are this week’s great articles

Five friends are skiing on the highest mountain in Los Angeles. Andy Lewicky devotes himself to a quirky hobby: discovering hidden backcountry skiing spots in the mountains of drought-stricken Southern California. Could an epic cold front offer something truly extraordinary, a chance to hurtle down the slopes with a view of downtown in the distance?

Jaguars, narcos, illegal loggers: one man’s fight to save a jungle and Mayan ruins. Archaeologist Richard Hansen has dedicated his life to preserving Mayan sites and artifacts. But some wonder if his efforts will do more harm than good.

Sikh biker joins cross-country ride against hate. This is what happened when a Sikh motorcycle club planned a “ride against hate” across the country, hoping to educate the public about their culture.

Today’s week-in-review newsletter is curated by Kenya Romero. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to essentialcalifornia@WhatsNewDay.com.

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