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Morning Brief: Record-Breaking Gas Prices, Blue Skies, And TikTok’s Favorite Beekeeper

An illuminated sign advertises three prices for different grades of self-service gasoline -- six dollars and 21 and nine-tenths cents for regular, six dollars and 23 and nine-tenths cents for plus, and six dollars and twenty-five and nine-tenths cents for supreme.
Gas prices hit over $6 per gallon at a station in L.A. on Feb. 23, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 7.

If you’ve filled up your car’s tank in SoCal lately, you’ve probably been among the many drivers whose jaws have hit the floor over the current cost of gas. As of Sunday, the average price was $5.38 per gallon in L.A. and Long Beach — an increase of almost $0.50 from just one week ago, according to AAA of Southern California.

On our Twitter, folks sent pictures of even higher prices — more than $6.00 in Glendale and Beverly Grove, and well over $5.00 in many other parts of the region. For premium fuel, some stations were charging in excess of $7.00 per gallon.

By comparison, the nationwide average on Sunday was $4.00. 

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"These are unprecedented prices," said Marie Montgomery, a spokesperson for AAA of Southern California. "We've never seen them this high.”

Speaking to my colleague Tiffany Ujiiye, Montgomery added that while California refineries don't receive Russian oil, the invasion of Ukraine is creating global uncertainty over supply. Inflation is also playing a part.

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Car and Driver reports that prices are expected to continue to rise through Memorial Day, with the national average reaching $4.25.

Some tried and true tips for saving fuel include performing routine maintenance on your tires and car, using cruise control on the freeway (unless conditions are slippery), minimizing the use of air conditioning, and minimizing the use of roof racks and/or carting around bulky objects.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... TikTok's Favorite LA Beekeeper

A man wearing a white beekeeing jacket, netted hood and yellow gloves steps over a low retaining wall, upon which a beekeeping tool is perched. On the hill he's stepping towards, small flower plants are planted in the dirt as well as a tree.
Michael Pusateri has been practicing beekeeping since 2018.
(Courtesy Michael Pusateri)

Michael Pusateri of South Pasadena took up beekeeping in 2018 as a hobby after his two daughters grew up and moved out. But what began as a way to learn something new morphed into a viral sensation; one of his videos was viewed over 10.5 million times, and he has a following of almost 75,000 on TikTok, where he posts as @cruftbox.

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“I've been on the internet for a very, very long time, since before there was a worldwide web,” he said. “And the thing I've learned is you can never predict exactly what is going to be popular on social media.”

Read the whole story here.

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