Southern California breaking news and trends

Mortgage settlement in California: Up to $18 billion for California in $26 billion deal

Foreclosures Spike As Banks Accelerate Loan Default Notices

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For sale signs are posted on a foreclosed house on Sept. 15, 2011 in Glendale.

California has secured up to $18 billion in a settlement with national banks, part of which will directly help homeowners in the state hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. The state has more than 2 million underwater borrowers, whose homes are worth less than their mortgages.

Five major banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — will pay roughly $26 billion nationwide to reimburse American homeowners and overhaul their industry.

The banks and U.S. state attorneys general agreed to the deal late Wednesday after 16 months of contentious negotiations. California and New York agreed to the deal late Wednesday, according to a source the AP did not name, but described as being close to the negotiations. 

The numbers for California as described by California's Attorney General Kamala Harris in a release:


Disneyland's $1 million Matterhorn makeover


Photo by Disney via Getty Images

Senator Edward M. Kennedy visits the Matterhorn at Disneyland in Anaheim, California (1960)

No one will be coming around the mountain of the Matterhorn Bobsled ride for the next six months as Disneyland doles out an extreme makeover to its popular, abominable snowman-inhabited attraction.

In one of the most extensive ride overhauls in the park's history, the improved version of the Matterhorn will feature new bobsled cars/seats, and a mountain that's freshly coated in new painted snow. City of Anaheim permits describe the work as a $1 million project, notes the L.A. Times.

Officials said no major track changes are planned for the roller coaster, and that no plans currently exist to tie-in the Matterhorn revamp with a new, Swiss Alps-themed Walt Disney Studios film in development.




Man pleads not guilty to murder charge in teen soccer player slaying

arrests suspects jason schumann elizabeth ibarra

Photo by KimNBCLA via Twitter

Jason Schumann pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Francisco Rodriguez.

24-year-old Jason Alejandro Schumann of Calabasas pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to the murder charge in the shooting death of 17-year-old Francisco Rodriguez on Jan. 11.

Prosecutors say Schumann shot the El Camino Real High School soccer goalie after he was lured outside of his Winnetka home in the San Fernando Valley by a woman believed to 19-year-old Elizabeth Ibarra.

Investigators say Ibarra is Schumann's girlfriend, however she has not been charged in the case and no motive has been revealed. The pair are charged in an unrelated armed robbery that occurred two weeks before the shooting.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Feb. 21, according to CNS.


Will the U.S. Supreme Court take the Prop 8 case?

prop 8 same-sex marriage ban

Julie Small/KPCC

Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court may not take the Prop 8 case following Tuesday's federal appeals court ruling that same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Legally, it may be too "narrowly written," explains the L.A. Times.

The Supreme Court may be able to "affirm without having to significantly expand on its existing jurisprudence and without having to rule on marriage for same-sex couples on a national scale," said Loyola law professor Douglas NeJaime.

The three panel 2-1 decision by U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the 2008 voter-approved ban could be the last word since the ruling was California specific.



The Simpsons 500-episode marathon begins in Hollywood

20th Century Fox Marketing

Shhhh.... tv.

Like something out of that twilighty show about that zone, one hundred people will begin competing Wed. Feb 8 for the honor of top couch potato as The Simpsons 500 Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge powers on in Hollywood.

In celebration of show's 500th episode later this month, and in an effort to set a new Guinness World Record for longest continuous television watching, Twentieth Century Fox is moving the marketing team from Century City to the center of Hollywood & Highland to run a 500-episode marathon for super fans.

90 people were selected from online applications to compete, with additional spots coming from random drawings and trivia winners. Rules and regulations are detailed on the main contest page including information about how to become a standby viewer. 

It will take around 200 hours to watch the episodes -- that's just 64 hours short of the scientifically monitored record set for a human to go without sleep in 1965, notes the L.A. Times.