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Morning Briefing: Air Quality, Fires And Heat (Oh, My)

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Coming Up Today, August 16

We're continuing to track the high heat, poor air quality and area fires.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Where There's Smoke: It is ferociously hot this weekend and the air quality is unhealthy in many parts of Southern California. One expert told us: "If you smell smoke, or you see ash, or you see smoke in your area, you should try to limit your exposure." The concern about our air is warranted. On Friday, some areas of SoCal saw the highest levels of ozone over a one-hour period in a decade.

Fires Still Burning: Firefighters had to work in extreme heat as they tried to contain two wildfires burning near Los Angeles on Saturday. Evacuation order were lifted for a community affected by the Ranch 2 Fire near Azusa. Meanwhile the Lake Fire, burning near Lake Hughes, had destroyed six structures and damaged three.

Latest COVID-19 Numbers: L.A. County health officials on Saturday reported 35 new deaths from COVID-19 across the county, and 2,103 new confirmed cases.

New Testing Site: A free COVID-19 testing site at the Mexican Consulate by MacArthur Park has opened to address the need for testing in the surrounding community, home to many immigrants from Latin America.

Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives without also trying to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, these articles provide some much-needed insight into the current moment in L.A., as well as some news you may have missed:

Semaj Miller, a 14-year-old basketball prodigy, was shot to death in South L.A. at the end of July. Many in his community attribute his death to the ongoing pandemic, which has forced the closure of youth programs in the area. (The 562)

In this excerpt from Katie Hill’s new memoir, the former Congresswoman discusses her abusive ex-husband, the sexual violence that forced her to resign her seat, and more. (LA Mag)

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L.A. County will pay $8 million to the family of Darren Burley, a Black man who died in 2012 after Sheriff’s deputies beat him with a flashlight, tased him, and kneeled on his back and neck. (LA Watts Times)

The Melrose Ave. we all know and love may soon look very different. (Urbanize L.A.)

Chanchanit Martorell has spent 14 years shepherding the Thai Town Marketplace, a food hall intended to kickstart low-income chefs and first-time entrepreneurs. It may finally be happening. (The LAnd)

This couple recently opened the first CBD shop in Boyle Heights, inspired by their families’ histories as well as the history of the area. (LA Taco)

For one Mt. Washington mom, giving birth during the coronavirus took her on a journey from “soul-wrenching and heartbreaking” to “elated [and] exhausted.” (The Eastsider)

Photo Of The Day

One way to beat the worst heat wave in years? The beach in Venice, socially distanced, of course.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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