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The Long Beach Police Department tweeted on Tuesday photos of a car that was speeding and crashing into the water near Queensway Bay over the weekend.


Details:

Police were dispatched to Pier J, near the rocky embankment off Queensway Bay, at roughly 2:45 p.m. The car was submerged, but the driver and the passenger escaped from the immersed vehicle without assistance.

  • The LBPD's dive team removed the car from the water.

  • The police say the driver was speeding and then "lost control, causing his vehicle to go into the water."



A day after the City of Long Beach declared they are lifting stay at home orders, the Aquarium of the Pacific announced Tuesday the reopening of its outdoor exhibits on Saturday, Jan 30.

Why it matters:

Like all other zoos and aquariums, the Aquarium of the Pacific has struggled financially as coronavirus lockdowns forced people to stay home, especially during the busiest times of the year, forcing administrators to make budget cuts and layoffs, the AP reports.

  • During the pandemic, the aquarium provided guests with virtual exhibits and live-streamed animal exhibits, like the penguins, sharks, and sea jellies, per blooloop.

  • CFO Anthony Brown told the Long Beach Business Journal that the aquarium is in a $14 million shortfall due to closures.

  • In December 2020, President and CEO Dr. Peter Kareiva told ABC 7 that "We just bleed money," and "We have zero income, and you can't scrimp on animal care."

  • Kareiva said the cost of operating the aquarium runs about $1.8 million a month, with $750,000 per month to feed and care for the animals. Plus, the aquarium is charging half the original admission, the Grunion reports.

What's going to be open: Guests will get to experience exhibits like the shark's lagoon, penguins, seals, and sea lions, to name a few.




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Officials from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) announced Monday, that about 10% of the $114 billion in unemployment benefits California has spent since the start of the pandemic, were stolen through fraudulent claims.


OK, what's happening:

Fraud at the EDD has been so out of hand that thousands of inmates in state, county, and federal prisons were able to scam the state for over $140 million, CBS News reported.

  • A nine member task force, made of district attorneys from across the state, discovered at least 35,000 unemployment claims have been fraudulently made on behalf of prison inmates between March and August 2020, per KCAL.

  • At least 158 claims were filed for 133 death-row inmates, resulting in more than $420,000 in benefits paid. Even the infamous wife murderer Scott Pederson filed and received unemployment.

  • EDD also classified an additional 17 percent of payments made during March 2020 and January 16, 2021 have been made to potentially fraudulent claims

But, why?

Prosecutors criticized the EDD, which has been overwhelmed by millions of claims for not cross referencing unemployment claims against a list of prisoners, as many other states do.

  • The EDD claims they have processed as many claims within the first eight weeks of the lockdown then all of 2010, the year of the Great Recession.

What thye're saying:

  • The "EDD was clearly under-prepared for the type and magnitude of criminal attacks and the sheer quantity of claims,” said EDD Director Rita Saenz. “We are focused on making the changes necessary to provide benefits to eligible Californians as quickly as possible and stopping fraud before it enters the system."

  • “EDD is now working with some of the country’s most successful fraud prevention businesses and law enforcement agencies to protect the state’s unemployment benefit system,” said California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su. “We know that many Californians are waiting on payments, and EDD is working quickly to validate their claims and get their benefits to them.”

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