- Mercury Insurance Job Cancellations L.A.-based Mercury Insurance Company announced it will lay off 360 employees in order to save $22 million. The company, California's third largest passenger insurer, posted a 2008 fourth-quarter net income loss of 477.5 percent. L.A. Business Journal
- Playhouse Faces More Stormy Weather Despite a string of critical and popular successes, including a recent record-setting production of Stormy Weather, the Pasadena Playhouse is confronting a steep budget shortfall. The 84-year-old theater must raise $1.7 million by the end of April. Pasadena Star-News
- Fairey Tale Turning Grim Boston authorities are said to be piling on more charges against Echo Park graphic artist Shepard Fairey for felony vandalism for posting his famous Obama Hope image illegally in a Boston neighborhood. Fairey's lawyer says the artist wasn't in town during the alleged incident. Associated Press
Net Losses After his team's crushing 111-94 loss to Portland, L.A. Laker forward Lamar Odom has been benched without pay for one game -- for leaving that bench during an on-court fracas with the Trailblazers. L.A. Times
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- Mission Accomplished First the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake knocked the cross from the top of the San Gabriel Mission. Then the 80-pound steel crucifix was displayed in the church courtyard for 17 years until someone stole it and turned it into a clothesline pole. Now the cross is back on its roof and life at the mission has returned to normal. Pasadena Star-News