Jury to return Monday in polygamist-sect leader’s trial

first_imgThe young woman spent nearly three days on the witness stand, sobbing as she recalled how she pleaded to avoid the marriage and begged Steed to end his sexual advances. Prosecutor Brock Belnap said Jeffs was in a position of “special trust” – a key phrase that is part of the jury instructions. “Warren Jeffs was a principal and a teacher and religious leader in that community for 20-some-odd years, teaching young girls that they must keep the bars up and treat boys like snakes. But when they get married, to let the bars down,” Belnap told the jury. During the marriage ceremony, Jeffs told the couple to “go forward and multiply and replenish the Earth,” Belnap said. “He was commanding them to have sexual intercourse and it was without her consent.” Bugden, however, said the woman waited several years before talking to police.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Warren Jeffs, 51, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is charged with two counts of rape as an accomplice. Prosecutors claim he used his authority to demand the teen bride enter a ceremonial marriage in 2001 and have sex with her cousin, who was 19. In closing arguments, however, a defense attorney said Jeffs is a victim who was pursued by authorities because of his religion. “His church, his religious beliefs is what’s on trial here, and it’s being dressed up as a rape,” Wally Bugden told jurors. The arguments followed five days of testimony in which the young woman, now 21, and her former husband, Allen Steed, gave conflicting accounts of Jeffs’ influence over them, especially in sexual matters. By Jennifer Dobner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. GEORGE, Utah – A jury went home Friday without reaching a verdict in the trial of a polygamous-sect leader accused of sex crimes related to the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old girl and an older cousin. The jury of five men and three women deliberated for roughly two hours and will return Monday to southern Utah’s 5th District Court. last_img read more

Topanga mall poised to go from typical shopping spot to centerpiece of the Valley

first_imgCANOGA PARK – Larry Green, his polished black shoes dulled by a film of dust, stands in the middle of what works out to a half-billion dollars’ worth of construction. Workers tote tools past him, forklifts haul I-beams over unfinished ground and a shower of sparks rain down from a welding torch. The flat box to the right will soon be a Nordstrom; the one to the left, a two-level Target. Green’s employer, Westfield America Inc., will spend $330 million in coming years to transform the bustling lot of Westfield Topanga that surrounds him into a bigger, flashier mall. With the money kicked in by various new tenants, the total investment tab swells above $500 million – more than 60 percent more than originally announced. In six months, the first phase of the massive redevelopment will be open for business. “You’ll have The Farm of Beverly Hills on your right, then over there’s the valet parking,” said Green, Westfield’s senior vice president of West Coast development. “On the left, there’s another great, upscale restaurant. It’s all coming.” Simi Valley Town Center, a $300 million mixed-use development, opened in October, the first major new mall construction in the area in decades. Burbank Town Center has been reworking itself, Caruso Affiliated Holdings is at work in Glendale on a lifestyle center in the vein of its popular Grove, and the Westside Pavilion in West L.A. is undergoing major renovation. “It’s an offensive move,” said Michael Beyard, a senior resident fellow for the Urban Land Institute who studies malls for a living. “I’m sure they don’t like having to spend $300 million, but they recognize this is a powerful market, so powerful that they can justify spending that sort of money to compete down the road.” Westfield now owns so many properties in the market, including centers in Sherman Oaks, Century City and Fox Hills, that it’s in nearly constant construction mode. Crews just finished a major tune-up of Century City and the company recently announced plans to add apartments to the center, which it bought four years ago. The Promenade, which got converted from a small traditional mall into a more entertainment-oriented destination just five years ago, will have more undisclosed work in coming years, Wong said Wednesday. Even though Topanga won’t be fully complete for another two years, he expects the mall will get yet another makeover within 10 years. “Customers in L.A. are incredibly fickle,” Beyard said. “They’re going to go where the latest, the newest, the best stuff is. The choices are so great now, the ante has been raised so high for what customers expect, if you don’t keep pace, you can circle the drain incredibly fast.” To avoid that, the company tried to find tenants unique to the area, such as the Neiman Marcus it lobbied for for several years. In addition, it will dispense with the traditional food court, instead using an 800-seat dining area with custom-designed china, silver and glassware, and a landscaped swath down the middle known as “The Canyon.” With more than 1,000 panes of glass and stretching larger than a football field, The Canyon attempts to replicate the airy feeling of an outdoor center within a climate-controlled environment. “This property has deserved this for a long time,” Wong said. “We needed something that was a real `wow’ space. The best stores in the world can only draw so much traffic. It has to feel good, too.” Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 And coming quickly, too. In addition to The Farm restaurant, Westfield announced 24 new tenants for the project on Wednesday, including BCBG Max Azria, The Art of Shaving and Eddie Bauer. After the fall opening, crews will take a break for the holiday shopping season, then begin again next year to get the former Nordstrom building re-purposed for Neiman Marcus. The multiyear makeover employs up to 1,500 construction workers at a time, working nine- and 10-hour shifts, six days a week. When complete, Westfield intends the mall to serve as the centerpiece of its Valley development, with the Westfield Promenade to the south providing entertainment. Between the two centers is Westfield-owned land the owners haven’t determined what to do with – at least publicly. “This is very cool,” said Ken Wong, president of Westfield America, as he toured the site. “There’s enough done now so you can see what’s old and what’s new. It makes you want to take your necktie off and strap on a tool belt.” Westfield isn’t spending this massive amount of money for kicks – it’s got a 42-year-old property on its hands with a somewhat dated interior look and plenty of regional competition. last_img


first_imgATHLETICS: Organisers of the hugely popular Gael-Force North Event have decided to revamp this year’s course.With many participants last year, expressing their dislike for the Kayak part of the course – organisers decided to re-evaluate the event. They’ve now created a new Duathlon course for participants and they believe that this year’s Gael-Force North Event will be the best one yet!If you’d like to participate in the event then sign up now. (See link below)Take the Bridle path for Gaelforce North – 25th June 2016Is the Kayak part of the course putting you off?? New Duathlon course this year! Sign up here http://bit.ly/1HfFYd9 ATHLETICS: NEW DUATHLON COURSE AT THIS YEAR’S GAELFORCE NORTH EVENT was last modified: March 9th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:duathlonGael-Force North EventSportlast_img read more