New sectors of the population—including teachers—become eligible for vaccine in L.A. County starting March 1. Also this morning: School reopenings can’t come soon enough for some parents, the Board of Education is re-thinking its policing budget, and Ash Wednesday brings drive-thru blessings. This is your Wednesday news brief. Take it!
Morning News Rundown
Health officials plan to widen the pool of eligible vaccine recipients within Los Angeles County on March 1. The next sub-phase would include educators, law enforcement personnel, and grocery store employees. Vaccine supplies still remain relatively tight countywide, but L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that certain newly eligible groups will have dedicated “closed sites” for vaccine distribution. Ferrer emphasized that patience is key. [L.A. Times]
L.A. Public Health confirmed that elementary schools have now cleared thresholds to reopen, but for some parents, it can’t come soon enough. On Monday, a caravan of parents drove through Downtown honking in protest. Yesterday, a group of 30+ demonstrators gathered in front of Pasadena City Hall to demand an immediate reopening of schools. [Pasadena Star News]
On Tuesday, the LAUSD Board of Education unanimously approved a plan that will bring major changes to school police presence, including a one-third reduction in officers, a ban on pepper spray, and an $11.5 million budget allocation to go towards an achievement plan for Black students. [L.A. Times]
An early morning shooting on the 10 Freeway near Mid-City brought eastbound traffic to a standstill as officers closed lanes to investigate. Lanes reopened just after 7 a.m. [ABC 7]
Spurred by the pandemic, this past year has seen a massive reimagining of drive-thru experiences, from comedy shows to immersive shows to good old-fashioned drive-in movies. So why not religious services? Today is Ash Wednesday, and one area church in Upland offered an early bird drive-thru “ash and dash” service where parishioners received their blessing from the comfort of their cars. [LA Mag]