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Lakes Mead and Powell may never refill fully

The Colorado River Basin crisis remains so severe that scientists are skeptical depleted reservoirs will fully refill, despite storms and strong snowpack.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images A pool that is separated from the main body of water in Lake Mead in August 2022 as water continues to recede in the nation's largest reservoir. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

By Laura Blasey

Hello, it's Monday, Feb. 6, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

Lakes Mead and Powell are unlikely to refill in our lifetimes

Even with this winter's above-average snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, water officials and scientists say everyone in the Colorado River Basin — an essential source of supplies for Southern California — will need to plan for low reservoir levels for years to come. And some say they think the river's major reservoirs in Lakes Mead and Powell probably won't refill in our lifetimes.

"To think that these things would ever refill requires some kind of leap of faith that I, for one, don't have," said Brad Udall, a water and climate scientist at Colorado State University.

While COVID raged, another deadly threat was on the rise

Amid the new threat of the coronavirus, an old one has also been quietly on the rise: More people have suffered severe sepsis in California hospitals in recent years — including a troubling surge in patients who got sepsis inside the hospital itself, state data show.

Experts say the pandemic exacerbated a persistent threat for patients, faulting both the dangers of the coronavirus itself and the stresses that hospitals have faced during the pandemic.

A warehouse boom transformed Inland Empire. Are the jobs worth the cost?

For decades, the area was known for farmland, with bucolic rows of cows and crops. But in the last few years, an explosion of warehouse development has wiped out farmland and open space. The ecommerce boom of the pandemic only accelerated the land grab and increased the number of trains and trucks carrying goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the rest of the nation.

Now residents are questioning whether they want the region's economy, health, traffic and general ambiance tied to a heavily polluting, low-wage industry that might one day pick up and leave as global trade routes shift.

Mexico ends cage diving and with it, an era for San Diego pioneers

Hordes of tourists, scientists and professional film crews have for years flocked to Guadalupe Island off Baja California, eager to get within arm's reach of a great white shark.

But the party now appears to be over for the cage-diving industry: The Mexican government in January indefinitely banned such activities, citing numerous "bad practices."

While the country could still reverse course, the moment feels like the end of an era marked by revelry, scientific discoveries, injured animals and television stunts gone awry.

Check out "The Times" podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you're seeking a more balanced news diet, "The Times" podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

Students line up across a stage with a giant image of a mountain lion's head behind them
Students with San Pascual STEAM Magnet Elementary School sing an original song, "P-22 We Love You," at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. bids a formal goodbye to 'the king of Griffith Park.' Thousands of people flocked to the Greek Theatre to celebrate the life and legacy of P-22, the mountain lion who prowled Griffith Park for more than a decade. Speakers included the DJ and music producer Diplo, actor Rainn Wilson and more.

Exploring the sounds of science. Scientists are turning their data into sound to gain new insights into things as small as DNA and as large as galaxies. It's the auditory equivalent of data visualization, and its adherents call it "data sonification."

CALIFORNIA

Two men arrested in 'cold-blooded' massacre of 6 in Tulare County. After a predawn gun battle and a series of raids, authorities said they had arrested two men accused of killing six people, including a teen mother and her baby, in an execution-style massacre last month. The suspects were identified as Norteรฑo gang members, according to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

An industry guru's digital startup challenges local rivals in Santa Cruz. After years as a media analyst who spoke out about the disintegrating American newspaper business, Ken Doctor started his own news outlet. Practice, it turns out, is harder than preaching.

Killing of O.C. doctor who was riding bike stuns Dana Point. The driver accused of hitting an Orange County doctor who was out riding his bike and then repeatedly stabbing him was charged with murder in a crime that left many unanswered questions.

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NATION-WORLD

U.S. downs Chinese balloon over ocean and moves to recover debris. In a sharp but unusual escalation in tensions between Washington and Beijing, the United States on Saturday shot down what it described as a Chinese spy balloon that swept across U.S. airspace.

Inside the small liberal arts college that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to take over. In a hyper-politicized age, the New College of Florida, overlooking Sarasota Bay, appears set to become a pivotal battleground in the war over the mission of public universities.

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Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times' state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

Scores of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap. Ukrainian officials said 116 POWs, including troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow's months-long siege, were released to them in exchange for 63 Russian troops.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The 2023 Grammy winners take home their trophies. Beyonce became the most-awarded artist in Grammy history. Harry Styles won best album. Kendrick Lamar made his mark. See the full results here.

'Knock at the Cabin' dethrones 'Avatar: The Way of Water' at the box office. "Knock at the Cabin," a home invasion horror film with an apocalyptic riff and director M. Night Shyamalan's seventh film to open at No. 1, dethroned James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi epic with $14.2 million in ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

MTV launched a reality show set in WeHo. Even WeHo was not impressed. Since it premiered in January, social media has largely delivered a similar message to "The Real Friends of WeHo": Sashay away. How did the show become such a lightning rod for the LGBTQ community?

Armie Hammer admits he 'used people' in first interview about sexual abuse allegations. The "Call Me by Your Name" actor's career came to a halt in early 2021, when dozens of disturbing text message exchanges and assault allegations emerged.

BUSINESS

Directors Guild puts off talks with Hollywood studios in a sign of broader labor unrest. In a change from its usual practice in recent years, the Directors Guild of America has decided to wait until spring to begin contract talks, closer to when its existing bargaining agreement with Hollywood studios is set to expire.

Starbucks, Dunkin' and more: Who has the best frozen coffee drink? What better time than when there's a chill in the weather to do a round-up of slushy, freezing-cold, blended coffee beverages? The Times' Lucas Kwan Peterson tried a brain freeze-inducing 45 drinks to complete the ultimate ranking.

OPINION

Let skid row have affordable and market-rate housing. It's the forward-looking thing to do. It could be the first area of the city with new housing reserved for residents defined as acutely low income (homeless or almost) to moderately low income, writes the editorial board.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

SPORTS

Russell Westbrook isn't flinching in the face of Kyrie Irving trade rumors. It's the second straight season Westbrook has heard that the Lakers were interested in acquiring another player and that he would be the player used in that transaction. He's not letting it get to him.

At long last, the Dodgers are retiring Fernando Valenzuela's number. Thirty-four is the Dodgers' true magic number. And now, finally, officially, gloriously, it will live forever with Fernando Valenzuela, writes columnist Bill Plaschke.

Clash at the Coliseum demonstrates that in NASCAR 2.0, racing is just part of show. Gone are the days when running bumper to bumper over a 2½-mile superspeedway was enough to draw fans. The exhibition opener to NASCAR's 75th season also featured a fan fest, VIP packages, two hip-hop concerts and Sunday's 150-lap race around a quarter-mile track.

ONLY IN L.A.

How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to afterparty king Joel Kim Booster. The writer-comedian-actor has had a busy couple of years, between the release of his feature film "Fire Island" on Hulu, which he wrote and starred in, a comedy special and an Apple TV+ series. That's why his ideal L.A. Sunday would start slow: maybe a little rain, a little "Real Housewives" and a breakfast burrito before the party starts.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Three men stand around a sports car covered in dirt in a hole
Feb. 7, 1978: A buried Ferrari, stolen in 1974, is dug up from a backyard on W. 119th Street, still in good condition. This photo was published in the Feb. 8, 1978, Los Angeles Times. (Larry Sharkey)

45 years ago this month, a mystery presented itself when a group of children discovered the top of a Ferrari buried in a West 119th Street backyard. The Times reported that the children flagged down passing police officers, who arranged for equipment to dig up the vehicle on Feb. 7, 1978.

The car was in almost new condition. It was purchased in 1974, but reported stolen by the purchaser about two months later. "Neither the present tenants nor the home's owners knew anything of the vehicle," The Times reported, leaving the question of what happened unresolved.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today's Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at headlines@latimes.com.

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