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December 26, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
LeBron James won the NBA most valuable player award and led the Miami Heat to the league title in 2013. In other words, it was just another year for the basketball superstar. Or at least it looked that way until the final week. James was named the Associated Press' male athlete of the year Thursday, winning the honor for the first time and joining Larry Byrd and Michael Jordan as the only basketball players to earn the award in its 82-year history. “I don't think I've changed much this year,” James told the AP. “I've just improved and continued to improve on being more than just as a basketball player.
December 26, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - A lawsuit filed Christmas Eve alleges that a prominent California lobbying firm sought influence by directing illegal contributions to dozens of politicians - including nearly a third of the Legislature. The suit charges that Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates tapped its roster of Fortune 500 clients to steer hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks to favored politicians - although the document fails to name any. According to the court papers, company founder Kevin Sloat, who was once an aide to former Gov. Pete Wilson, also improperly gave gifts to legislators, instructing that no written record of them be kept.
December 18, 2013 | By Chris Foster
Linebacker Anthony Barr and offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo continue to gather postseason honors while UCLA prepares to play Virginia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Barr, a senior, was chosen first-team All-American by the Associated Press. Su'a-Filo, a junior, made the second team. What the two have meant to the Bruins beyond their in-game contributions could be seen and heard after practice Tuesday. Su'a-Filo remained on the field an extra half an hour, working with freshmen linemen Caleb Benenoch and Kenny Lacy . Barr was praised loudly by freshman linebacker Myles Jack . "Not having No. 11 to my right next year is going to be a new experience," Jack said.
December 15, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I own a house and my mom owns a one-bedroom condo in the same homeowners association development. We want repairs made and we're frightened because our board directors constantly threaten owners; if we violate any of their rules or governing documents they'll fine and then sue us. Those threats are reduced to writing by the board's voracious attorney, who threatens to send us invoices for legal fees. Our properties are not in trusts and we're unsure how to proceed. What are the costs of setting up a trust and will a trust protect us from litigation by the association?
December 10, 2013 | Alicia Banks
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. Nineteen alleged members and associates of the Mara Salvatrucha-13 gang, including a high-ranking leader, were arrested Tuesday after a two-year investigation, authorities said. The investigation targeted “leadership, shot-callers and decision-makers” in MS-13 connected to its overseer, the Mexican Mafia, said Timothy Delaney, special agent in charge of the Los Angeles FBI criminal division. Authorities allege Thomas “Big Boy” Rodriguez, 35, of Los Angeles, is one of those top-ranking members; he was arrested Tuesday on federal charges tied to methamphetamine distribution.
December 1, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: A majority of titleholders want to abandon our present homeowners association. Several thousand homes were to be built in our new subdivision, but fewer than 60 have been purchased. There were supposed to be five phases, but the builder stopped at phase one and won't finish the development. When we purchased our homes, we asked to see the association's governing documents, rules and covenants, conditions and restrictions; nothing made sense to us. Had we understood what a developer-controlled association meant, most of us would not have purchased our homes here.
November 29, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's president faced growing street protests at home Friday after he rejected an agreement to tie his nation's political and economic future to the West, instead keeping intact Ukraine's historical links with Moscow. The news that President Viktor Yanukovich came away from the European Union summit in Lithuania empty-handed angered thousands of mostly young demonstrators who gathered in Kiev's Independence Square, site of massive protests that triggered the Orange Revolution against pro-Russian rule nearly a decade ago, to demand that the president be impeached and the association agreement with the EU be signed.
November 26, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Creighton and Marquette, both ranked in the Associated Press men's top 25, are the headliners in the Wooden Legacy basketball tournament that begins Thursday at Cal State Fullerton. Creighton (4-0), ranked 20th, is led by All-American candidate Doug McDermott, a 6-foot-8 forward who is averaging 27.5 points per game and shooting 50% from three-point range. McDermott, whose father, Greg McDermott, is Creighton's coach, was second in the country in scoring last season with an average of 23.2 points per game.
November 24, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I have been on my homeowners association board for two years. All communication between the board and the attorney goes through the association's manager before distribution to the board. I just discovered the manager has been withholding communications the attorney has written to the board. I've also found instances where the manager regularly emails the association attorney stating, "The board wants" and "The board would like you to," when in fact the board never discussed such matters.
November 19, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A man posing as a representative of entertainer Nick Cannon is suspected of swindling jewelry worth tens of thousands of dollars from retailer Fred Segal in Santa Monica. Police said the store got a call from someone who said Cannon, husband of pop star Mariah Carey, needed jewelry, according to KABC-7 .  An employee then took thousands of dollars of jewelry to the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and gave it to a man who was posing as Cannon's security guard. The "security guard" then disappeared, KABC-7 reported.
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