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Headlines: Public Hearing Today to Decide Whether L.A. Restaurants Can Keep COVID-Era Outdoor Dining

11:05 AM PST on February 8, 2023

Welcome to L.A. TACO’s daily news briefs, where we bring our loyal members, readers, and supporters the latest headlines about Los Angeles politics and culture. Stay informed and look closely.

Arleta: A group of thieves is wanted for raiding L.A. locations of GameStop and is possibly connected to as many as eight robberies of expensive gaming merchandise already. An Arleta store was the last to be hit on Monday night. Officials say the thieves pose as customers before pulling off a coordinated heist, typically involving weapons, masks, and physical assaults. That one of the wanted criminals has a skeleton tattoo on the back of their hand. The company is offering a $5,000 reward for their capture. [KTLA]

—Gustavo Dudamel is leaving L.A. for New York, where the 42-year-old Venezuelan conductor will be the new music and artistic director of the New York Philharmonic. Dudamel has served as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009. [NPR]

—Lakers star LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time scoring leader on Tuesday night, putting up 38 points in a team loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. James has now surpassed the record of legendary Hall-of-Famer and former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with many noting today's different style of play and the introduction of the three-point line in 1979. [ESPN]

—Thirty-year-old Jamal “Mookie” Darby was sentenced to 15 years-to-life in state prison for killing 57-year-old Victor Talavera, a Long Beach liquor store clerk, in 2020. after shaking the man off the hood of his car in 2020. Talavera had clung to Darby's hood in an attempt to thwart Darby from stealing items from inside the shop. [LBPT]

—During last night's State of the Union address, President Joe Biden recognized Brandon Tsay, the local hero who disarmed a shooter responsible for killing 11 people in Monterey Park, California, last month during Lunar New Year celebrations, saving countless lives. [AP]

—A new proposal making changes to the city's Al Fresco Program may spell an end for COVID-era outdoor dining, demanding a confusing storm of permits, applications, and fees at a time when restaurants are just emerging from difficult times. “It’s like being kicked in the shins, over and over again,” says Holly Fox of Found Oyster Bar. A public hearing—which will be streamed online—will be held today at 6 PM to hear public comment. [LAT]

Hollywood: A look at the biggest explosions in movie history, from the napalm strike in "Apocalypse Now" to "The Transformers" blowing up a "whole area in New Mexico." [TimeOut]

Lincoln Heights: Two masked men stole an ATM in an armed robbery at a 7-11 in Lincoln Heights early on Tuesday morning. The thieves, who were armed with a handgun, also struck a man in his 30s in the head, and are being sought by police. [KTLA]

—Mar Vista: A man and woman were found dead early this morning following a house fire, along with their cat. Firefighters were able to defeat the fire in 20 minutes, but the home was engulfed in flames, with the blaze centered in the kitchen and living room. There was no indication that the home had functioning smoke alarms. [NBC]

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