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Trader Joe’s gunman pleads not guilty | ‘Obama’ highway gets marker | “Genius Grant” winner quits day job

EDITED by BARRY LANK

A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.

The man charged with taking hostages during a deadly police shootout at the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s in July pleaded not guilty this week. Gene Evin Atkins, 28, told the judge he is bipolar and was not guilty by reason of insanity. A store manager, Melyda Corado, was killed during the gun battle when she was struck by a bullet shot from an officer exchanging fire. Atkins is also accused of shooting his grandmother and kidnapping his girlfriend before leading police on a chase that ended with a crash in front of the Hyperion Avenue store. KTLA

Actress Kristen Wiig has sold her 4-bedroom, Mid-Century house in Silver Lake for $5,225,000 – or $100,000 over the asking price. That makes it Silver Lake’s most expensive home sale of the year. It’s also more than triple what Wiig paid for in 2014, when it went for $1.7 million. Redfin and Variety

A roadside sign was finally installed this week in Eagle Rock declaring a stretch of the 134 Freeway as the President Barack H. Obama Highway. The installation comes two years after State Sen. Anthony Portantino announced the passage of the legislation he sponsored to name the 134 Freeway between the 2 and 210 freeways in honor of the former president. The Eastsider

Echo Park violinist and activist Vijay Gupta has left his day job at the Los Angeles Philharmonic to pursue his social justice work. Earlier this year, Gupta, 31, won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship with a $625,000, no-strings-attached stipend for his work as the cofounder of Street Symphony, a nonprofit that provides musical performances at shelters, county jails and treatment centers. Gupta said he wants to build up the nonprofit’s infrastructure so it will flourish beyond him. Los Angeles Times

The site of a Glassell Park Mormon church that was destroyed by a fire could soon host 38 small-lot homes. A developer is asking permission to demolish parking areas on that site, and to set up home construction. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been on the 3800 block of Fletcher Drive for 25 years when it went ablaze on July 7, 2015, from a small brush and grass fire near the 2 Freeway. It was later torn down. The Eastsider

New parking restrictions will soon be in place by Silver Lake Boulevard. Permit parking areas have been approved for the east side of the boulevard and some nearby residential streets – matching the parking restrictions to the west. Restrictions include a two-hour parking time limit between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and no parking from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. — except for residents with preferential parking permits. The Eastsider

Portions of hillside neighborhoods in Elysian Heights, Mount Washington and Silver Lake are in what forestry and fire officials have designated as very high risk fire areas, given their terrain, previous fires and the amount of trees, brush and vegetation. Los Angeles Times

Speed limits are going up on more than 100 miles of L.A. streets so the LAPD can write more speeding tickets. That may sound counterintuitive, but apparently, cities must post speed limits that mirror the natural flow of traffic. If the speed limit is more than seven years old or too slow, officers can’t use the radar guns they rely to catch speeders. So, the L.A. City Council jacked up the limits. The new limits won’t take hold for at least a month. Los Angeles Times

Temporary shelters for the homeless could be opened near the Cypress Park traffic circle. Councilman Gil Cedillo wants the city to look at possibly doing that at a pair of vacant, city owned parcels on the perimeter of the traffic circle at the junction of Figueroa Street and San Fernando Road. Officials are seeking to build such shelters across the city in areas with large homeless populations. The Eastsider

Two people are dead after an apparent murder suicide in Historic Filipinotown. Detectives said a woman in her 20s had just left her home at the 200 block of N. Burlington Avenue when her ex-boyfriend confronted her. Police believe the man, described as a male Latino in his 30s, had been waiting for her near a carport. The woman had gone out with the man for several years and told her mother that her threatened her before. The Eastsider

A $20,000 reward is being offered to help find out who robbed and fatally shot a 22-year-old East Los Angeles man on Nov. 7. Rene Lupian was on his way home from work when he stopped off at a liquor store around 10:30 p.m. and shortly after was killed along the 900 block of South Concourse Avenue. Officials also released new surveillance footage showing a woman of interest who crossed paths with Lupian at a liquor store and then gets in a white compact car. Witnesses said the car later approached Lupian and a deadly altercation followed. The Eastsider

A 32-year old passenger was killed in Boyle Heights when the car he was in sped off the 60 Freeway and rammed into several vehicles. California Highway Patrol officials said they believe the unidentified driver, also 32, was under the influence of alcohol. The driver of a Mitsubishi Eclipse barreled along the westbound Indiana Street offramp where he sideswiped a car, then blew past a stop sign, crossed the intersection of Indiana at Fourth St, hit a parked car and smashed into a tree. The Eastsider

Scene of the Week

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