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Morning Headlines



New Paramount Chief Sells Brillstein-Grey to Executives

Five months after becoming head of Paramount Pictures, Brad Grey relinquished sole ownership of his former talent management and television production business to executives Cynthia Pett-Dante and Jon Liebman. In unwinding his ownership in Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, Grey retains a significant ownership in HBO’s “The Sopranos” and a financial interest in other shows originated during his tenure. However, he will not share in any new Brillstein-Grey shows produced since his departure March 1, the Los Angeles Times reported. Grey also relinquished his claim to all future commissions earned by the firm’s clients, who include Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.



Feds Spank Head Start


The county Office of Education could lose the $210 million it receives to provide day care for 24,000 poor children because of mismanagement and other problems at 28 Head Start centers, officials said Wednesday. A report from the U.S. Administration of Children and Families cites dozens of irregularities, such as insufficient evaluation of developmentally disabled children and inadequate oversight of financial management and student medical referrals. The county office was given deadlines to rectify the problems or risk losing federal funding. The agency found problems with all but one of the 29 Head Start providers in Los Angeles County, which has the largest Head Start operation in the nation, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.



El Segundo Gets Grant for Insulation of Homes


A day after Los Angeles World Airports embarked on its goal to push a runway 55 feet closer to El Segundo, the City Council on Tuesday accepted a $2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help pay for triple-paned windows and double layers of drywall to soundproof homes nearby. Since its launch in 1993, the program has made use of similar FAA grants totaling nearly $12 million to insulate about 250 homes. Work on 31 homes is expected to end next month, and a group of 38 will kick off next week, the Daily Breeze reported. The FAA money pays for 80 percent of construction work, but homeowners must pick up the rest.



Chief Urges Mayor to Hire More Officers


Police Chief William J. Bratton has been pressing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to accelerate the hiring of more officers, with the goal of reaching a 10,000-officer force by next summer, the Los Angeles Times reported. A memo from Bratton to Villaraigosa lists the chief’s first goal as “increase the department, with the objective of reaching 10,000 sworn personnel by the end of the fiscal year,” which would be June 30, 2006. The mayor told Bratton and the LAPD command staff during a private meeting Wednesday that he supported all efforts to put more officers on patrol faster.



Arnold to Return Donation From Tribal Casino Backer


One week after accepting a $50,000 donation from a partner in a tribal casino project, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political committee said Wednesday it would return the money after questions were raised about the donation by The Associated Press. Last week, the governor received a $50,000 contribution from Yuba County Entertainment LLC, a partner in a proposed hotel and casino development south of the town of Olivehurst. Schwarzenegger made a promise during the 2003 recall campaign not to accept campaign contributions from groups that negotiate directly with his office.



L.A. Fire Station Plan Would Spare Razing Florentine Gardens Building


The Florentine Gardens nightclub building in Hollywood would be spared from demolition under a proposal to make it part of a new Los Angeles fire station. The Hollywood Boulevard club has been at the center of a years-long dispute over where to put the new fire station. The current station, on Bronson Avenue, is considered too small. L.A. wants to acquire the nightclub and the land surrounding it. A 16,000-square-foot fire station would be built and the nightclub building would become part of the fire station complex, the Los Angeles Times reported. But the club’s owner said he plans to reject any and all offers.



TBA Global to Buy Production Group


TBA Global Events, a Los Angeles company specializing in organizing major corporate events, announced that it was buying rival Production Group International of Washington. TBA’s partners are veteran music industry figures Irving Azoff and Robert Geddes, along with financial backers JHW Greentree Capital and an affiliate of Whitney & Co., the Los Angeles Times reported. Terms weren’t disclosed, although TBA said that the combined revenue of the two companies would be about $175 million.

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