Burkhart charged, heat records, lawmakers return to Sacramento, endorsements in the 15th council district and the Huffington Post moves into science now.
Harry Burkhart was charged with 37 arson felonies and appeared in court appearing disheveled and confused. Bail was set at $2.85 million and arraignment delayed until Jan. 24. Prosecutors said they expect to file more charges, and also said in court papers that Burkhart had previously been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon but not charged. LAT, DN
Heat records were set yesterday as Northridge was the warmest place in the country (officially) at 87. Warm weather continues today. DN
State lawmakers returned to Sacramento on Wednesday. The Republicans elected a new Senate leader, Bob Huff of Diamond Bar Bee, SGV Tribune
Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner announced that her ongoing battle with a rare autoimmune condition has gotten her a place again on the lung transplant list. Capitol Alert
Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was detained at Ontario International Airport after a loaded gun was found in his briefcase. He explained he forgot it was there. LAT
Former Dodger Maury Wills is stumping for Joe Buscaino in the 15th council district runoff. Opinion L.A.
Former City Council member Mike Woo endorsed Warren Furutani in the 15th. City Maven
Detective Tylzer Izen has taken over as president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, succeeding Paul Weber. LAPPL
The Federal Transit Administration issued its final approval of plans for a $1.72 billion transit line along Crenshaw Boulevard, running from the Green Line near Los Angeles International Airport to the Expo Line. Daily Breeze
The Huffington Post announced a new science section edited by David Freeman, who comes from CBSNews.com, where he was managing editor of the health section. HuffPost Science
Brian Brooks, longtime New York-based managing editor of Indiewire, will jump over to Deadline.com as LA-based film editor later this month. His old position will be filled but reshaped as a news editor. Fishbowl LA
Preliminary stats show that crime fell again in Southern California in 2011 despite the stumbling economy. LAT
Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy have been tapped to design their first opera costumes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in May. LAT
V.I.P. Records in Long Beach hadn't turned a profit in eight years before deciding to close. LA Weekly