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LAUSD approves $12.9-billion budget

In new budget, L.A. Unified will spend down nearly $1 billion in remaining pandemic aid that must be used while also getting ready to get by without it.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images L.A. schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho watches as senior math student Jaliah Young works on a computer under the supervision of teacher Reynaldo Aquino, right, at Fremont High School in South Los Angeles. (Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Thursday, June 22, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

LAUSD approves $12.9-billion budget flush with COVID-19 funds

The Los Angeles school board approved an $18.8-billion budget that includes the last major pandemic aid — government funding that will disappear in future years, putting jobs and services to students at risk.

Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho said the district is prepared to manage the transition without layoffs — and he also pledged improved student support through lower class sizes, additional counselors and increased mental health services.

California touts inclusive education as red states ban books

As books tackling racial and LGBTQ+ themes have been banned across the country, California's Department of Education and Democratic lawmakers are doubling down on offering diverse and inclusive lessons in schools.

Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and legislators, meeting for the first time as part of a new task force, called on textbook publishers to commit to producing materials that are "free from discrimination and inclusive of the diverse narratives that reflect the student body of California."

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

Safety issues were raised about sub before ill-fated Titanic trip

Long before a submersible vanished on an expedition to explore the wreck of the Titanic, concerns had been raised about the safety of the vessel.

The sub lost contact with the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince about 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive Sunday morning, about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Some in the submersible industry had expressed deep concern about the Titan and what they described as OceanGate's refusal to adhere to certain industry safeguards.

Cooking with gas may be as bad as inhaling secondhand smoke

Cooking with gas-fired stoves can cause unsafe levels of toxins to accumulate inside homes, exposing people to roughly the same cancer risk as breathing secondhand cigarette smoke, according to a new study.

Researchers from Stanford University and nonprofit PSE Healthy Energy tested gas and propane stoves in 87 homes across California and Colorado and found that every appliance produced a detectable amount of cancer-causing benzene — a chemical with no safe level of exposure.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

A bride and groom sit in an office.
William Ascencio and Jen Ballera write their vows at the Old Brown House, a pared-down wedding venue, with Dan Gambelin. Read more: "How to throw a wedding for less than the cost of an iPhone — the minimony craze" (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

After months of gray gloom, SoCal finally enjoys the sun and blue skies. But will it last? On the first day of summer, skies across Southern California are finally sunny after weeks of mostly overcast weather. But forecasters say the clearing will likely be short-lived.

Saving the next P-22 starts with a million 'hyperlocal' seeds and a bare-bones nursery. The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing over the 101 Freeway won't open till late 2025, but the work of collecting native seeds for it and building a nursery to grow them has already begun.

Before-and-after aerial images show California reservoirs' dramatic rebound after years of drought. Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, once depleted by drought, are now nearly full after a historic winter. See drone and satellite photos of the transformation.

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NATION-WORLD

A gang slaughtered 46 women at a Honduran prison with machetes, guns and flammable liquid. Inmates had complained for weeks that they were being threatened by gang members at a women's prison in Honduras, where 46 people were killed.

Campus assault suspect eludes arrest 2 years after 'So I raped you' Facebook message. The victim and her attorneys question how Ian T. Cleary has avoided capture in an age when people are tracked by their cellphones, internet connections, security cameras and credit card purchases. Investigators believe the 30-year-old from Silicon Valley is likely overseas and on the move.

Math scores plunge for America's 13-year-olds as pandemic setbacks persist. While earlier testing revealed the magnitude of America's learning loss, the latest test casts light on the persistence of those setbacks, dimming hopes of swift academic recovery.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Wanda Sykes on drag shows, the Oscars slap and coming out to her family: 'It was rough.' "Drag shows? How did we get to drag shows? We got climate change, gas is through the roof, the guns, polluted water systems, and they're worried about drag shows," she said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cut ties with Spotify. So why are they facing backlash? "'The F— Grifters.' That's the podcast we should have launched them. I gotta get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try to help him with a podcast idea," the head of Spotify's podcast innovation and monetization said on his self-titled podcast.

How an act of defiance became a rapturous musical celebrating Latino representation. Bringing the sensation of a telenovela to the stage was achieved not only with theatrical conventions, but also by showing the audience that these dramatic moments are "not as outlandish as what is going on in the real world," Karen Zacarías says.

Geraldo Rivera says he is exiting Fox News' 'The Five.' Longtime Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera will no longer be one of "The Five." "It's been a great run and I appreciate having had the opportunity," he wrote on Twitter.

BUSINESS

Is a dine-in service fee a tip? Former servers allege in a lawsuit they are owed gratuities from Jon and Vinny's. The practice of adding service charges to restaurant checks has grown in Southern California in recent years, and debates over how it should be treated by customers and workers gets to a fundamental question: Should every employee of a restaurant share in what customers pay for being served?

The WGA strike has hit some restaurants hard. They're rallying behind it anyway. As production shuts down across the county's major studios, many restaurateurs who rely on catering, industry meetings and private events are noticing a decline in revenue. Despite the challenges, many are still feeding the picket lines and offering discounts for card-carrying WGA members, providing support through food.

A wedding for less than an iPhone? Meet the cost-conscious couples choosing a minimony. Largely gone are the days of Zoom weddings and socially distanced outdoor ceremonies, but some of the other pared-down celebrations that were once a pandemic necessity are now increasingly a top choice. The minimony — the portmanteau of mini and ceremony —still dominates the bridal blogosphere, and hundreds of companies have cropped up to cater to tiny gatherings.

SPORTS

'All the feels': How WNBA players and teams handle hardship contracts. The system of the hardship contract is a whirlwind for the free agents, who sometimes meet their teammates for the first time hours before a game to just play a handful of minutes until the team gets healthy again.

Scouts sue MLB for age discrimination, claiming the league had a 'blacklist.' The suit names 17 plaintiffs, ranging in age from 55 to 71, and asks the court to let the litigation proceed as a class action in which "over 100 older scouts" would be expected to join. If that happens, the potential liability for lost former and future wages plus damages could exceed $100 million.

Coliseum turns 100: Timeless Los Angeles cultural centerpiece endures as an icon. A century later, the Coliseum endures as an icon, a connection to the past in a city where history so often is razed and reimagined. It remains a visual centerpiece amid the urban sprawl.

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OPINION

Opinion: The California sun finally emerged to greet the summer solstice. Don't get used to it. Yes, "May Gray" and "June Gloom" are to be expected in California, but what occurred over the last few months was beyond the pale.

Opinion: Don't worry about the government taking your gas stove — worry about the pollution inside your home. In a new study from Stanford, researchers turned the stove on, testing indoor air quality under a number of common cooking situations. The results are alarming.

ONLY IN L.A.

A tray of food from a barbecue restaurant.
Brisket, spare ribs, smoked chicken, collards, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, potato salad and a cheeseburger. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Does L.A. have a modern barbecue style?
Contemporary pitmasters stand on the shoulders of forerunners like Woody Phillips, a Louisiana native who opened his first restaurant, Woody's Bar-B-Que, in Hyde Park in 1975.

Having mastered the methodologies, though, the new generation of pros takes flavors in novel, successful directions that reflect Southern California and its fundamental communities, including Mexican, Korean and Southeast Asian. These are a dozen of our favorites.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

George Carlin.
George Carlin in an undated studio photograph. (George Carlin's Estate / HBO)

On June 22, 2008, George Carlin, the acerbic, Grammy-winning comedian whose career spanned more than 50 years, died of heart failure. He was 71.

A few days after his death, The Times wrote a tribute to the legendary comedian, highlighting his record-setting 14 HBO stand-up comedy specials and how the specials redefined both the pay-cable network and American comedy.

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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