The South Bay area was busy this week gearing up for the Fourth of July. Here's a look at what made news in our communities:
: More than 400 competitors duked it out (and puked it out) at the 2012 Hermosa Beach Ironman competition July 4. The annual event, held every Fourth of July for more than 30 years in Hermosa Beach, challenges racers to run a mile, paddle a mile and then chug a six-pack of beer. Patch was there to capture the competition in photos (those with a queasy stomach: beware!)
An increase in arrests during this year's Fourth of July celebrations in Hermosa Beach filled the police department's jail to capacity by Wednesday night, according to Hermosa Beach Police Department Sgt. Robert Higgins. Higgins said that a party with about 2,000 high school students near Second Street and the Strand also helped contribute to the increase in citations and arrests.
: For the second year in a row, Patrick Sweeney set the world record for greatest distance run on sand in a 24-hour period after running 94.08 miles during the Hermosa 24 last weekend. The runner beat his world record from last year of 87.36 miles (27 laps).
: The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department turned over files in a case surrounding the management of an elderly heiress' affairs to federal authorities.
: Palos Verdes residents celebrated the 51st annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July in Palos Verdes Estates. Rancho Palos Verdes residents also commemorated Independence Day at the , which included a petting zoo, a pie-eating contest and carnival rides. Patch was there to capture both celebrations in photos.
: The beach-inspired Tower 27 frozen yogurt shop, which offers a variety of options for the health-conscious yogurt-lover, is now open for business. The shop's owner says she looks forward to offering the community a guilty pleasure with a healthy twist.
: Flames from the Chevron Refinery in El Segundo lit up the sky July 2. Patch polled readers to see what they thought about the refinery's "release," which is marked by the flares of flame and noise.
Also in the news:
: From laws that enforce stricter hygiene standards for body piercing to laws that provide help for children being bullied at school, Patch keeps you in the know about new state laws that took effect July 1.