In brief: Memorial held for firefighters

Los Angeles – Two veteran firefighters who died trying to save the lives of dozens trapped in the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history were remembered as heroes Saturday in a memorial service at a sun-dappled Dodger Stadium attended by Vice President Joe Biden and others.

Capt. Tedmund “Ted” Hall and firefighter specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones were killed Aug. 30 when their truck plunged off a mountain road as they were trying to find an escape route for dozens of inmate-firefighters whose camp had become overrun by flames. The inmate-firefighters survived.

“Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones, you are giants in my eyes and in the eyes of all Californians,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

The often-emotional service in the cavernous stadium took place just a few miles south of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains, where the firefighters lost their lives and where their brethren are still battling to contain the wildfire.

The fire has burned across hundreds of square miles and destroyed more than 80 homes. It is now 84 percent contained, and is expected to be fully contained Tuesday.

The memorial service drew firefighters from across California and as far away as New York.

Thief steals Warhol paintings

Los Angeles – A multimillion-dollar collection of original artwork by famed pop art icon Andy Warhol was stolen earlier this month from a West Los Angeles home, according to police.

On Sept. 3, a housekeeper for noted art collector Richard L. Weisman walked into the dining room of Weisman’s residence and noticed several pieces were missing, said Det. Donald Hrycyk, head of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft detail.

A dozen large portraits that had adorned the walls the day before were gone. Hrycyk said there was no sign of forced entry into the home and that nothing else was disturbed, including several other Warhol paintings hanging on nearby walls. There were no immediate leads or suspects, Hrycyk said.

Weisman left the house a full day before the housekeeper discovered the art missing, leaving it unclear when exactly the theft occurred.

A $1 million reward has been offered by an anonymous source for information leading to the recovery of the paintings.

Weisman, who was friends with Warhol, commissioned the silk-screen paintings in the late 1970s – a time when Warhol produced hundreds of pieces of work for wealthy patrons able to pay the roughly $25,000 he charged for portraits. While not considered by collectors to be examples of Warhol’s best painting work, “The Athletes” series is well-known. The total value of the work was not immediately known.

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