Today’s headlines: Get ready for a higher SoCalGas bill

Hello, it’s Friday, Jan. 6, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Natural gas prices are soaring

Wholesale prices for natural gas have gone through the roof, soaring higher than predicted for the month of January, and San Diego Gas & Electric officials warn customers with gas hookups to prepare for price shocks.

The rate for natural gas has doubled compared with last month, with the price per therm jumping from $2.55 in December to $5.11 in January. A typical SDG&E residential customer uses an average of 44 therms of gas in January — usually the coldest month of the year.

If your household gas bill came to about $105 last January, SDG&E estimates this month’s bill will come to about $225. That’s an increase of 114{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9}. SoCalGas said a typical peak monthly bill of $65 from last winter will probably come in close to $160, a 146{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} increase. A $130 bill will be more like $315, up 142{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9}.

Major storm damage wreaks havoc on Northern California

A powerful winter storm that blasted Northern California with strong winds and heavy rain, knocking out power, toppling trees, including one that killed a toddler, and flooding homes and businesses along the coast in Santa Cruz continued its march through the region Thursday.

While the brunt of the storm has passed, scattered showers and possible thunderstorms lingered through the northern swath of the state as the atmospheric river moved east.

Another series of storms is expected to hit the region over the weekend, bringing the potential for more strong winds and heavy rain.

McCarthy takes another loss

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield failed in five more attempts to be elected speaker, extending the saga over which Republican will succeed Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

Without an elected leader, the House remains paralyzed, delaying members’ oaths of office, GOP committee assignments, congressional probes and hearings, a rules package and passage of any legislation. Until a majority of the chamber elects a speaker, the House can do little else beyond vote for a speaker or move to adjourn.

More politics

  • Ceding to a long-standing Turkish demand, the State Department agreed to begin spelling the country’s name in Turkish in its official documents.
  • The Biden administration is expanding the use of a Trump-era policy that gives border agents the power to quickly turn back migrants at the border while also creating new ways for people from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti to apply for legal entry into the U.S.

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Will the XBB.1.5 variant happen in California too?

The newest Omicron subvariant of concern is XBB.1.5, and it has arrived in Southern California. This version of the coronavirus is more contagious and more resistant to existing immunity than any of its predecessors.

In the final week of 2022, about 40.5{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus specimens circulating in the U.S. were of the XBB.1.5 variety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s especially prevalent in the country’s Northeast, where it first surfaced in early November and now accounts for more than 72{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} of cases.

XBB.1.5 has so far made less of an impact in the region that includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific islands.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

Check out “The Times” podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re seeking a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


A starry desert sky featuring a partially-lit camel statue.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)


How school lunch is made. It’s more complicated than you think. Café L.A., the food services division of the Los Angeles Unified School District, serves more than 107 million meals a year. It’s a feat that requires an army of cooks, kitchen managers and nutritionists coordinating across more than 1,000 schools.

LAUSD and two administrators are sued for failing to report sex abuse by a science teacher. In 2007, forensic science teacher Jesus Salvador Saenz, a mentor to the then-17-year-old girl, molested, abused and raped her, according to the lawsuit filed last week. The student reported it to the two administrators.

The reward for information in the killing of a West Covina woman in 2021 grows to $100,000. Gabriela De Haro Perez was fatally shot Jan. 2, 2021, near the intersection of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road in what West Covina police called an instance of “misidentification” during gang violence. Police say Perez was not involved in any gang activity.

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Cartel lays siege to a Mexican city after the recapture of the son of “El Chapo.” Officials canceled flights, suspended school and ordered residents to shelter in place as cartels responded to Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest by throwing up road blockades across the state of Sinaloa, with the worst of the violence concentrated in Culiacán.

Idaho slaying suspect’s DNA was found at the crime scene, police allege. The DNA of the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students was found on a knife sheath recovered at the crime scene and cellphone data show that in the months before the attack, he was in the area of the victims’ home multiple times, an investigator said in court documents unsealed Thursday.


Did the heir physically attack the spare? That’s what Prince Harry alleges in his memoir. According to a bombshell report from the Guardian published Wednesday, William allegedly called the duchess of Sussex “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive” before shoving Harry to the ground and injuring his younger brother’s back.

Is Benedict Cumberbatch facing slavery reparations in Barbados? Official says no. Although Cumberbatch will not be facing reparation claims, the reports and online buzz come amid movements to push reparations in California, the U.S. and across the globe. And it reignited conversations about who should pay.

Bad Bunny says he tossed fan’s phone in viral video due to “a lack of respect.” Some have criticized Bad Bunny’s behavior, while others have taken the vocalist’s side, contending that the fan invaded his personal space.


Despite turmoil at CNN, Chris Wallace is still “Talking.” Warner Bros. Discovery decided to pull the plug on CNN’s streaming service, CNN+, just a few weeks after its launch. But “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”, the service’s highest-profile program, survived.


The drought is over now, right? (Spoiler alert: No.) Even as California gets yet another atmospheric river blast and snowpack nears twice the average for this date, we’re still in grave danger of running out of water.

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Warriors owner Joe Lacob confirms interest in buying Angels. “I’ve always felt that it had great possibilities,” Lacob said. “L.A. is a huge market, and it’s part of that L.A. overall market.”

Damar Hamlin showing improvement: “All the cylinders are firing within his brain.” Hamlin has begun to communicate in writing with his family and others who have been at his bedside since he went into cardiac arrest Monday — and his first question was “Did we win?” his doctors said Thursday. Will his injury change the NFL?


How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to disco diva Anna Kendrick. Her “aspirational” Sunday involves day drinking by the pool, going on an hours-long hike and attending an immersive ’70s-themed dance party.

Come along for a three-stop Vietnamese food crawl with Jeannie Mai Jenkins. “When I moved to L.A., the two homes I could afford at the time, one was 25 miles away from this restaurant and one was five miles. I picked the closer one immediately.”


Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.

She says doctors ignored her concerns about her pregnancy. For many Black women, it’s a familiar story. ProPublica

The cities keeping their car-free spaces: The open streets of the pandemic reclaimed public space for pedestrians and bicyclists. From Bogota, Colombia, to New York to Stockholm, some of those changes have become permanent. Bloomberg CityLab

California will pay reparations to people it sterilized, if it can find them. Of 600 remaining victims who were sterilized against their will or knowledge by California, the state has found only 51. Los Angeles Magazine


The traffic grim reaper

Meet the traffic grim reaper. On the Jan. 6, 1932, front page of the L.A. Times, you will find the traffic grim reaper, who has summed up traffic fatalities in 1931, and is moving right along to 1932. This goes to show that traffic fatalities were top of mind for readers then as they are now.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].

Eleanore Beatty

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Sun Jan 8 , 2023
Common Motors, pushed by solid light-truck deliveries, documented a 42 p.c raise in fourth quarter mild-automobile volume, with product sales mounting 44 percent at Chevrolet, 42 per cent at GMC and 75 per cent Cadillac. Buick was the only GM model to publish decrease quantity in the remaining quarter of […]
Dec. U.S. auto sales: SAAR tops forecasts; GM reclaims sales crown; Toyota, Ford edge up; Hyundai, Kia post double-digit gains to finish 2022

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