Nate Bjorkgren, last year’s Bakersfield Jam coach, is headed to the big leagues.The Phoenix Suns announced Thursday that they hired Bjorkgren to join their NBA staff as an assistant coach and player development coordinator.

Read more

Kern County, southernSan Joaquin Valley

Read more

SAN BERNARDINO — An eighth-inning rally by the Inland Empire 66ers ruined a strong outing by Bakersfield Blaze pitcher Tyler Pike in a 2-1 Inland Empire victory on Thursday night at San Manuel Stadium.Pike pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and three walks, and the Blaze (11-22 second half, 37-66 overall) led 1-0 on Tyler O’Neill’s first-inning sacrifice fly against Jered Weaver, who pitched 3-2/3 innings on a rehab assignment from the Angels.

Read more

HOUSTON – It was just seven days ago when the Astros punctuated their first nonwaiver deadline acquisition with their first walk-off home run of the season. Roughly four hours after they landed Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez in a trade, the Astros pulled the same trick again.Astros catcher Jason Castro slugged his second career walk-off homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-0 win on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

Read more

The Toronto Blue Jays, who fortified their impressive offense earlier this week, added a big weapon to their pitching staff by trading for Detroit Tigers left-hander David Price, the club announced on Thursday.The Blue Jays, who at 51-51 were two games out of the American League’s second Wild Card playoff spot, took a big step toward returning to the playoffs for the first time since 1993 with the deal.

Read more

The Los Angeles Dodgers lacked depth behind No. 1 and No. 2 starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke as well as in their bullpen heading into Thursday.The Dodgers addressed those needs, and others, in a big way the day before the non-waiver trade deadline, pulling off a three-team, 12-player trade that also included the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.

Read more

The California State Senate, in a “business as usual” vote last week, nixed a key provision in SB345 that would have replaced our state’s calendar-based fishing license system with one based on a full 12-month schedule.In other words, one would pay smaller fees directly based on the month a license was purchased, rather than an automatic and ultra expensive annual price. This would save prospective anglers lots of their hard-earned cash, allowing them to purchase their licenses based on the month of sale rather than paying one lump sum no matter when the license was purchased.

Read more

That torrid stretch in which the Angels won 17 of 20 games from June 27 to July 22 seemed a distant memory Thursday night as Jason Castro’s walk-off three-run home run sailed into the right-center field seats in Minute Maid Park.

Read more

The home team has not won a World Series in a generation, or even appeared in one. The team is playing to win, in a major market, with major resources.

Read more

There can be fallout to mega trades, an awkward and uncomfortable midseason adjustment.

Read more

Despite a finding that unlined wastewater pits near Kern County’s Edison oil field have contaminated groundwater, officials on Thursday delayed shutting down some operations.

Read more

UCLA Coach Jim Mora, center Jake Brendel and linebacker Deon Hollins spoke on the main stage Thursday at Pac-12 media days, a two-day event at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

Read more

Officials have argued that a series of increases in Los Angeles water and power rates are needed to improve the city’s crumbling water pipes and aging utility poles and to boost water conservation.

Read more

The media picked USC to win the Pac-12 championship and the Trojans were ranked 10th in the preseason coaches poll Thursday.

Read more

Defending national champion Ohio State was the obvious, and near unanimous, preseason No. 1 pick in the USA Today college football coaches poll.

Read more

Darren McFadden opened Dallas Cowboys training camp Thursday with an unfamiliar team… and in a painfully familiar way.

Read more

Donovan Ricketts, a Major League Soccer champion and the league’s goalkeeper of the year in his first stay with the Galaxy, is coming back to Southern California after being acquired from Orlando City in a trade Thursday.

Read more

Despite promises that it wouldn’t come to this, Congress and the White House are charging toward another government shutdown.The next fiscal crisis could come as soon as Oct. 1 unless a new government spending plan is approved. But with House members having left Wednesday for summer recess and senators soon to follow, that leaves only about 10 legislative days next month to fix the problem, and there are no viable solutions in sight.President Obama has signaled his intention to bust, once and for all, the severe 2011 spending caps known as sequestration. He’s vowed to reject any GOP-backed appropriation bills that increase government funding for the military without also boosting domestic programs important to Democrats such as Head Start for preschoolers.See the most-read stories this hour >>Open linkThe Republican-controlled Congress is also digging in. Since taking control in January, GOP leaders had promised to run Congress responsibly and prevent another shutdown like the one in 2013, but their spending proposals are defying the president’s veto threat by bolstering defense accounts and leaving social-welfare programs to be slashed.The 2016 presidential race is compounding the problem.Several Republican senators vying for the party nomination are hoping to use the budget process to grab headlines and push their agendas, including Kentucky Sen. …

Read more

The continuum of American politics is not a straight line — it is more like a circle. Travel farther out on the right and left, and ultimately the sides bend to a common position on an issue like taxpayer subsidies for big business. To many progressives, such expenditures are giveaways to the already wealthy. …

Read more

The funding compromise is far from perfect, but that’s what compromise is. It’s far better than kicking the can down the road with another three-month extension, as the House plans to do.

Read more

The West is on fire. Rural lands from Alaska to California — hundreds of thousands of acres all told — are ablaze today. The 2015 wildfire season, fed by high temperatures, low snowpack and continued drought, has set the stage for one of the earliest and most prolific fire seasons on record. As of mid-week, 34,995 large fires had burned over 5,569,671 acres in 2015 — almost 2 million acres above the 10-year average.In the western Sierras of Central California, residents of the Cascadel Woods community east of North Fork were ordered Thursday morning to evacuate because of the advance of the Willow fire, which has grown to more than 3,000 acres, the Fresno Bee reported.

Read more

Much has been said about the never-made Tim Burton Superman movie titled “Superman Lives.” We’ve even seen glimpses of behind-the-scenes footage of proposed Superman Nic Cage in the new super suit. But what did the actor think of the missed opportunity to become Clark Kent? In an interview with Yahoo movies for political thriller “The Runner,” Cage addresses the Burton movie we never got to see…

Read more

Scientists with the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission may have had a scare when the Philae lander bounced off of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but the bumpy touchdown actually had a silver lining: It allowed them to take measurements in two separate spots instead of one.

Read more

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Read more

At least 30,000 customers are without power in Long Beach after a vault explosion Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Read more

Best known in the U.S. as the filmmaker whose “City on Fire” inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” Ringo Lam hasn’t made a feature since the 2003 direct-to-video Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle, “In Hell.” Lam did partake in the 2007 triptych “Triangle,” but the state of Hong Kong filmmaking…

Read more

Paulo Coelho’s mega-selling novels and memoirs – allegorical, abounding in aphorisms and supplemented by a prolific social-media output – have made him a revered figure for millions of modern-day seekers. The screen version of the Brazilian author’s life, a period-hopping attempt to shatter the…

Read more

Royal Dutch Shell’s narrow summer window to drill for oil in the Arctic became slightly narrower Thursday after protesters in Portland, Ore., suspended themselves from one of the city’s many famous bridges to briefly block an essential support vessel from traveling north.

Read more

Not everything is awesome about “A Lego Brickumentary,” a colorfully constructed film surveying the vastness of the Lego universe that can’t help but come across as corporate horn-tooting.Although it had been a hit practically right out of the box, the interlocking plastic brick system introduced by Danish toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1949 hit a stumbling block half a century later when new product lines failed to click with their usually rabid customer base.Unthinkably, by 2003 the company was hovering on the brink of bankruptcy.See the most-read entertainment stories >>Open linkSIGN UP for the free Indie Focus movies newsletter >>A key factor in Lego’s dramatic comeback was to actively engage those legions of fans in helping determine its creative direction, and a generous sampling of visual artists, architects, educators and card-carrying geeks — along with celeb endorsements from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Trey Parker and Dwight Howard — drive the documentary.cCommentsAdd a commentSee all comments 2 But where last year’s masterful “The Lego Movie” achieved the remarkable feat of transcending the wall-to-wall product placement to inspired effect, “A Lego Brickumentary” ultimately feels more like an extended infomercial.Even with an energetic approach by co-directors Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge and fittingly playful narration by Jason Bateman, you can’t help but hear a little “ka-ching!” every time images of a shiny new creation fill the screen.————————-”A Lego Brickumentary.”MPAA rating: G.Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.Playing: At Arclight Hollywood.MORE MOVIE REVIEWS:Review: Once again, Tom Cruise accomplishes the near-impossible in ‘Rogue Nation’ Review: ‘Listen to Me Marlon’ presents a candid, introspective Brando Review: Rebooted ‘Vacation’ could use a little work Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

Read more

In the new German CG feature “The Seventh Dwarf,” elements from “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Tangled,” “Frozen,” “Happy Feet” and “Shrek” have been ineptly stitched together into a leaden film that children will enjoy about as much as lumps in their oatmeal.

Read more