HEAD OF DEPT. OF FISH AND GAME LOSES JOB AFTER KILLING COUGAR
The Dept. of Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to replace the department’s current president, Dan Richards, seven months after he shot and killed a mountain lion on a hunting trip in Idaho.
KPCC’s Julie Small has the story. Here’s a clip:
California banned the practice decades ago, but Idaho and other states allow it. Richards has defended his actions as “legal” and proper.
But animal activists and dozens of state lawmakers said as head of the agency that enforces California’s wildlife laws Richards showed “poor judgment.”
Pictures of Richards crouched over his kill that circulated on the Internet didn’t help his case. He further incensed critics when he told KFI’s John and Ken Show the mountain lion tasted “like pork loin.”
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MEETS TWO NEW COUGAR CUBS
Richard’s actions are a sharp contrast to last week’s happier news: two mountain lion cubs were found in the Santa Monica Mountains. They were tagged by the National Park Service and released near their den in Malibu. You can read more about the cubs on the NPS website here.
AUDIT ON CA DEPT. OF PARKS AND RECREATION TO BE SPED UP
Last month’s discovery of a hidden $54M surplus in the supposedly cash-strapped CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation caused CA officials to order an expedited audit of the department, Wednesday.
LA Times’ Chris Megerian and Christine Mai-Duc have the story. Here’s a clip:
The review, to be conducted by the state auditor, will examine a hidden $54-million surplus discovered in parks accounts last month and an unauthorized program allowing employees to trade in unused vacation time for more than $271,000 in cash.
“It’s a victory for transparency in state government,” said Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Rocklin), part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who had pushed for the audit.
The parks money, which had been stashed away for at least a dozen years, was found as the state was soliciting donations to keep as many as 70 parks open amid a budget crisis. Some local governments that forked over money to keep parks open have demanded it back, and lawmakers are concerned that the accounting scandal will create a rift between the state and a community of parks supporters.
HOLLYWOOD INTERSECTION TO BE NAMED AFTER OFFICER IAN CAMPBELL
The intersection of Carlos and Gower in Hollywood will be officially renamed after fallen LAPD Officer Ian Campbell, 49 years after his tragic murder, which became the basis for Joseph Wambaugh’s novel The Onion Field and the subsequent movie.
Here’s a clip from the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s press release:
A dedication ceremony to unveil the sign will be held at Carlos Street and Gower Street in Hollywood at 1:30 p.m. [Friday]. The case known as “The Onion Field” remains one of the great tragedies in LAPD history. On Friday, Officer Ian Campbell will be formally honored, while we keep his partner, Karl Hettinger, in our thoughts.
Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger were assigned to a detail from Hollywood station known as a felony car. On March 9, 1963, both officers were in plainclothes and driving an unmarked police car. Their task was to identify and apprehend persons involved in street felonies such as car burglaries and liquor store robberies. The officers stopped a car containing two ex-convicts, Gregory Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith. The suspects “got the drop” on the officers and held them at gunpoint. The suspects demanded the officers to surrender their revolvers and that was done.
The officers were then taken by gunpoint and forced to drive out of town. When the foursome reached southern Kern County, they proceeded off the road to the middle of field where onions were being grown. The two felons believed they had violated the “Lindbergh Law” and thought they would be facing the death penalty when captured. As such, when all four were out of the car, Powell shot Campbell in the face. His own weapon malfunctioned, so Powell used one of the officer’s own handguns to kill Campbell while he was lying defenseless on the ground.
Ian Campbell was a bagpiper. Bagpipes were played at his funeral, and have been at the funerals for all LAPD officers killed in the line of duty since then. Out of this horrible murder was born a lasting LAPD tradition.
LA COUNTY DA HOPEFULS FACE OFF IN FIRST DEBATE
Tuesday night the two LA County district attorney candidates, Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson, squared off in their first debate. Thursday, Lacey announced that she had received the endorsement of Kamala Harris.
KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more on the debate.
First photo from Western Outdoor News. Cub photo credited to the National Park Service.