160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES — Southern California freshman point guard Ryan Francis was shot and killed early Saturday while riding in a car in Louisiana, where he was visiting his mother. The 19-year-old Francis was killed about 3:30 a.m. in Baton Rouge, said Tim Tessalone, USC’s director of sports information. “We understand he was in a car and somebody shot into the car,” Tessalone said. No other details were immediately available. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals Francis was USC’s starting point guard and averaged more than seven points a game. He scored 22 points a game at Glen Oaks High School in Baton Rouge, leading his team to a 36-0 record and the state’s 4-A championship in 2004-05. Francis was named the 2005 Louisiana Class 4-A Player of the Year. “We’re all devastated,” said USC coach Tim Floyd. “We’ve lost a special young man who in his short time at USC made an impression that will last forever.”
[email protected] (818) 713-3664160Want 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 MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2But spring temperatures have soared to record levels, prompting some concern. County firefighters from Station No. 82 were out in La Ca ada Flintridge on Monday inspecting hillside homes and reminding residents to trim and remove brush 200 feet from structures to create a fire buffer zone. Community and resident preparedness helped spare about 2,000 homes during last year’s Topanga Fire, which charred more than 20,000 acres, fire officials have said. In Burbank, where a fire charred 1,100 acres of hillside near the Castaways Restaurant in October, mustard grass already has grown to 3 feet, Burbank Fire Department Capt. Frank Walbert said. In a fire, that type of grass is usually the first to burn, supplying kindling. “We all know brush fire season is coming,” said Glendale Fire Capt. Steve Parrish. “We’ve obviously noticed the heat. When we have rain, we have growth, but we know that growth is going to burn.” Brush fire season formally kicked off Monday in Southern California, where the warmer-than-usual spring is gradually transforming lush green hillsides into tinder boxes. The California Department of Forestry declared brush fire season a few days later than last year, based on weather conditions, the dryness of the brush and fire activity. A similar announcement for local areas will be made Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “This current heat wave is of some concern,” said Inspector Ron Haralson, spokesman for the county Fire Department. “We’ve had a decent rainy season so we know the vegetation growth is there.” Los Angeles has received about 13 inches of rain since July 1, when the latest fiscal year for measuring rainfall began.