METROPOLIS LA COUNTY

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The old Gerald Desmond Bridge has been retired, replaced by a new bridge (top). Courtesy, City of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach replaces

Gerald Desmond Bridge

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LONG BEACH (CNS)The Port of Long Beach held a retirement ceremony May 8, for the decommissioned Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will be demolished to allow better access to the port's Inner Harbor for large cargo vessels.


The 5,134-foot-long through-arch bridge was closed to traffic in October 2020, when a replacement bridge opened.


The demolition project has not been scheduled, but Saturday morning's retirement ceremony included Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Board of Harbor Commissioners Vice President Sharon Weissman, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero,  Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Assemblyman Patrick O'Don-
nell, D-Long Beach, and Gerald Desmond Jr., who as an 18-year-old helped tighten the last bolt into place on the bridge named for his father
the late Long Beach City Attorney Gerald Desmond, who obtained tideland oil funds, which helped pay for the bridge.


"My father was dedicated to fighting for and preserving the rights and interests of the city of Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach," Desmond Jr. said. "Our family was deeply honored when the bridge was named for him,
and we were happy to honor him once again during the bridge retirement ceremony."


Garcia called the bridge "a landmark of our city and an important part of our region's infrastructure for over 50 years. We have come an incredible way since it opened in 1968 and it's played an important role in the growth
of Long Beach and success of the port."


The bridge opened in 1968.


"Gerald Desmond will always be remembered for securing the Tidelands oil funds that were needed to help pay for a bridge that helped the Port of Long Beach grow to where we are today," Cordero said. "We hope that this
retirement ceremony is a fitting tribute to his legacy and for the Desmond family as we look ahead to the next chapter for this port complex."


Funding for the demolition was included in the $1.57 billion budget to build the replacement bridge. The port awarded a contract for the project in July to Kiewit West Inc.

LAPD NABS WOULD-BE SUSPECTS

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The men arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department are (left to right) Abraham Castillo, Tyree Singleton, 20; Jayon Sanders, 21; and Joshua Saulsberry, 21. Courtesy LAPD

Task Force arrests 4 men on murder, robbery charges

LOS ANGELES (CNS)Three men face murder and robbery charges and a fourth faces a robbery charge in connection with a spate of follow-home robberies that have plagued the city in recent weeks, police announced.


A Los Angeles Police Department task force on follow-home robberies, with assistance from an LAPD SWAT unit and Beverly Hills, Glendale and Fontana police, made the arrests on Dec. 21 in various locations in Los Angeles and Fontana.


The suspects were Jayon Sanders, 21, Abraham Castillo, 20, Tyree Singleton, 20, and Joshua Saulsberry, 21.

Sanders, Castilllo and Singleton have all been charged with murder, robbery and attempted robbery. Saulsberry is charged with robbery.


Sanders is being held on $2.49 million bail, Castillo and Singleton on $2.05 million bail, and Saulsberry on $160,000 bail, according to the LAPD.


Detectives recovered a handgun, a replica handgun, more than $30,000 in cash, handbags, a Rolex watch, gang paraphernalia and two vehicles allegedly used in the crimes, police said.


The murder involved a man who was shot at restaurant in the 7100 block of Sunset Boulevard on Nov. 23, LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman told City News Service.


The victim was Jose Ruiz Gutierrez, 23. He was waiting in a car outside Bossa Nova restaurant at around 2 a.m. that day when a woman he was with stepped out and was accosted by a group of men who tried to rob her,
police told the Los Angeles Times.


Gutierrez, who was carrying a gun, got out of the car to intervene and the suspects allegedly shot him to death and fled, according to the report.


Hours after the crime, LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced that the agency would create a task force to investi- gate "follow-home robberies," which have increased in frequency in recent weeks. Moore said the department had identified 133 likely instances of such crimes. The heists involve robbers who follow people wearing high-end jewelry or have expensive vehicles or other belongings.


Moore said Gutierrez was "coming to the aid of a female who was being attacked" when he was killed.


The Robbery Homicide Follow-Home Robbery Task Force includes robbery homicide detectives and resources from the LAPD's Gang Narcotics Division and Metropolitan Division.


"They'll work moving forward on identifying these individuals responsible and pursuing and bringing them before the criminal justice system," Moore said.


"The impact this is having on the sense of community, of safety, is profound," he added.


Moore said people should not try to protect their property when confronted with robbers.


"There's no item of jewelry or piece of property that they have that is worth their life, and so if they find themselves in such a perilous situation, to cooperate, be a good witness. ... Do not chase people, do not try to pursue people and do not try to take actions yourself other than to minimize the chance that you become a victim of the type of violence we saw [in this case]," he said.


Moore added that if someone notices they're being followed, they should not drive home and instead go to a police station and call 911.