Latest Southern California news, sports, business and entertainment


Hurdle for high-speed rail: Where is the money?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Court rulings this week cast doubt over the future of California's $68 billion high-speed rail plan and serve as a reminder of the biggest question facing the project: Where will the money come from to complete it?

So far, state and federal sources account for less than 20 percent of the total price. The current plan relies on vague funding from "federal, state, local and private sources."

The plaintiffs in the case say the state has not identified the source of the $31 billion needed to complete the first full phase. In rulings issued Monday, a Sacramento County judge ordered a new funding plan from the rail authority.

Jeff Morales, the authority's director, says a revised plan might fall short of identifying all funding sources, likely renewing the court fight.


S Korea: Royal seal at museum may have been stolen

LOS ANGELES (AP) — South Korean officials say a 16th century royal seal in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art may have been stolen out of a shrine in Seoul during the Korean War.

An official at the state-run cultural heritage administration tells The Associated Press that South Korea in May asked the United States to investigate how the gilt bronze seal ended up at LACMA in 2000.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says U.S. officials have confiscated the seal.

The Los Angeles Times says the Korean government has long thought similar signets from the Joseon Dynasty that went missing after the war were stolen by American soldiers.

In a statement, LACMA said there was "credible evidence" that its seal was "removed unlawfully" from Korea.


LA police union elects first black board member

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles police union has elected the first black member of its board of directors in its 90-year history.

City News Service says Sgt. Jeretta Sandoz won a special election Monday to fill a vacant seat on the board of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Her term will end on December 2014.

Sandoz is a 20-year veteran of the LAPD. She's the third woman on the nine-member union board.

More than 1,000 of the union's nearly 10,000 members are black, but Sandoz says her support came from a cross-section of races and ethnicities.

Police Chief Charlie Beck calls her a "wonderful representative" for union members.


Obama: US movies, TV help shape world's culture

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama says thanks to television and movies, the rest of the world has had a front-row seat for America's march toward progress.

Obama is trumpeting the entertainment industry at DreamWorks Studios near Los Angeles. He says entertainment is part of diplomacy and what makes the U.S. a world power.

Obama says millions may never set foot in the U.S., but through entertainment they've experienced a part of what makes the U.S. successful. He says, quote, "We have shaped a world culture through you."

Obama is crediting television shows like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," ''Will and Grace" and "Modern Family" for transmitting values like tolerance, diversity and overcoming adversity.

Obama's visit to the movie studio wraps up a three-day West Coast tour that focused on fundraising for Democrats.


Sewer body parts ID as missing LA County woman's

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities have identified a woman whose body parts were found at two Los Angeles County water treatment plants but there's still no word on how she died.

The Sheriff's Department on Tuesday says the remains are those of 27-year-old Erin Lynn Cruz.

She was last seen alive on Oct. 23 in the La Puente area east of Los Angeles.

The lower and upper halves of her body — minus an arm — were found days later at treatment plants in Bassett and Carson, some 30 miles apart. Another body part was later found at the Carson plant.

Investigators say Cruz's body may have been dumped into the San Gabriel Valley sewers and been mangled by a pump before wastewater was distributed to the treatment plants.

Homicide detectives are investigating.


San Diego cruises to a 83-71 win over UNCG

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) — Duda Sanadze scored 20 points in San Diego's 83-71 defeat of UNC-Greensboro on Tuesday in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

San Diego started the game on a 12-2 run, UNCG cut it to 28-27, but the Toreros finished the half strong and led 45-38 at half.

UNCG trailed 65-60 with just under 7 minutes remaining, but San Diego pushed it to 73-64 with 3:38 left.

Christopher Anderson had 16 points and five assists for San Diego (6-1). Johnny Dee added 15 and Dennis Kramer has 10 and seven rebounds.

The Toreros made 53.8 percent of their shots and their defense forced 13 turnovers. San Diego's five starters attempted 46 of its 52 shots.

Kyle Cain had a game-high 21 points for UNC-Greensboro (3-3). Nicholas Paulos couldn't find the range, missing eight of his 10 3-point attempts.


Bryant happy with extension, nears return

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wearing his practice shorts and a sweatshirt, Kobe Bryant looked as if he was ready to return action.

After the Los Angeles Lakers signed the fourth-leading scoring in NBA history to a two-year contract extension, Bryant said he can't wait to play.

In what he says will probably be his final contract, Bryant says there was no negotiation.

Bryant's new deal is reportedly worth $48.5 million, and it takes him into his 20th season with the Lakers.

He hasn't played this season while recovering from surgery in April on a torn Achilles tendon. He won't play on this three-game road trip, but he's looking forward to three practices in the four days off that precede Los Angeles' game in Sacramento on Dec. 6 as a possible return.


AP Source: Joe Smith, Angels agree on 3-year deal

A person with knowledge of the negotiations says free agent right-hander Joe Smith could finalize his $15.75 million, three-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels before Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

Smith agreed to terms on his new deal during the weekend and was traveling home from vacation Tuesday in order to undergo his physical with Los Angeles, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the club had yet to announce the addition of Smith.

Smith's contract includes $500,000 annually in potential bonuses.

Smith spent the past five seasons with Cleveland after pitching his first two major league years for the New York Mets. He has 13 wins over the past two seasons, going 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA and three saves in 70 appearances and 63 innings in 2013.