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AM news: Burke retires, kids shot, commute and crummy polls

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LA County Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite Burke will retire after 40 years in politics. She was the first African-American woman elected to the California State Assembly. While there will be many heartfelt farewells for the 73-year-old, more interesting will be the race for her seat. The 5-member Board of Supervisors controls the pursestrings for the County and is vastly powerful; so far, Mark Ridley Thomas, Herb Wesson and Bernard Parks are rumored to be possible successors.

On Tuesday, Burke led the Supervisors in looking into a grim figure: 23 children were shot and killed while in foster care last year. Some were victims of gang violence directed at their caretakers, others had become involved in gangs themselves. The Interagency Gang Task Force has been instructed to figure out what went wrong, and see how to make it right.

How long did it take you to get to work this morning? If you said 29.2 minutes, you have a perfectly average commute. But in three other California counties it would have taken you longer, according to a report released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

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