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In brief: L.A. mayor Garcetti unveils earthquake protection plan

From Wire Reports

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday proposed spending billions of dollars to better protect Los Angeles against a devastating earthquake by strengthening thousands of vulnerable older buildings and fortifying the city’s water and communications systems.

The sweeping plan left unclear what the final cost would be and, in some cases, who would get the bill. A 126-page report released by the mayor recommends a host of seismic safeguards, including building a solar-powered Wi-Fi network that could keep people in touch in an emergency and developing alternative water sources for firefighters, including seawater and swimming pools.

“We cannot afford to be complacent,” the mayor said at City Hall, referring to the risk that another major earthquake could hit fault-laced Southern California. A 1994 quake in the city’s Northridge neighborhood killed at least 57 people and caused $25 billion in damage.

“All of us are at risk,” he said.

Plane crashes into house, kills 6

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – A small, private jet crashed into a house in Maryland’s Montgomery County on Monday, killing a woman and her young sons inside the home and three people on the aircraft, authorities said.

The jet slammed into the home just before lunchtime in Gaithersburg, a Washington, D.C., suburb, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Chief Steve Lohr said during a news conference.

Officials said the founder and CEO of a North Carolina clinical research organization was among those on the plane. Health Decisions of Durham, North Carolina, said in a news release that Dr. Michael Rosenberg was among those killed.

Rosenberg was a pilot who crashed a different plane in Gaithersburg on March 1, 2010, according a government official who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named. Investigators are still trying to determine if Rosenberg was at the controls at the time of Monday’s crash.

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