• Death and Texts AP reports that the conductor of ill-fated Metrolink Train 111 complained to a supervisor that engineer Robert Sanchez often used his cell phone while on duty. One month ago other lawyers representing several Metrolink survivors also charged that Sanchez, who'd been text-messaging moments before Train 111 crashed, had been cited on numerous occasions for cell phone use. Sanchez's train crashed head-on into a freight locomotive in Chatsworth last September, killing 25.

Morning Sixpack: A News Roundup

  • Like a Vacation -- Without the Pay Today thousands of state workers are forced to take an unpaid day off in scores of state offices. It's part of the governor's plan to trim muscle from the state budget. The L A. Times predicts confusion, as some offices will remain open.
  • Mother of Octuplets Got What She Wanted Nadya Suleman told NBC's Ann Curry in an interview to be broadcast this morning that she'd always wanted many children: "That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family, and I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I really lacked, I believe, growing up."
  • Throwing the Book at L.A. "In a town used to lining up for celebrities, these days the lines are streaming into an unlikely place -- the Los Angeles Public Library." So begins a CBS news, whose report is shown on the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' Web site. Although CBS seems to imply that libraries are improbable habitats for Angelenos, it notes that the number of library visits by card-carrying LAPL members jumped by two million in 2008, attributing the increase to economic hard times.
  • No SAT!  WTF? The University of California Board of Regents announced an admissions policy overhaul that will see the scrapping of Scholastic Aptitude Test subject requirements for entry into the system's 10 campuses. The regents hope that the changes, to take effect in 2012,  will expand the number of eligible applicants and increase the schools' diversity. 
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  • Grudge Match Halloween's over, but don't tell that to Sheryl Iannitti, who's running for the city council of Palos Verdes Estates. Last fall she ran afoul of the city by erecting a massive Halloween party display on a public right of way -- which humorless city employees dismantled. Now's spending $125,000 to be part of the solution, reports the Daily Breeze.


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