Latest Southern California news, sports, business and entertainment

VENICE DEATHS

2 found dead in apartments in LA's Venice area

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say two people have been found dead in a Venice apartment building but there's no word yet on what killed them.

Officer Sally Madera says the bodies were found in separate apartments in a Horizon Avenue complex shortly before 11 a.m. Monday.

Detectives are at the scene but they haven't said whether they suspect homicide.

POLICE-HOMELESS DEATH

Ex-officers' homeless death trial nears closings

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The prosecution and defense have rested in the trial of two former Fullerton, Calif., police officers charged in the death of a homeless man.

The Orange County jury is expected to receive instructions Monday afternoon and hear closing arguments on Tuesday.

Manuel Ramos has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the July 2011 death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas.

Jay Cicinelli has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Thomas was taken off life-support and died five days after a violent struggle with police responding to a call about a shirtless man jiggling door handles on parked cars.

Defense attorneys say Thomas was combative and their clients stayed within department policy while trying to arrest him.

His family says he suffered from schizophrenia.

CHIHUAHUA CRUSHED

LA-area man arrested in Chihuahua's run-over death

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Breeze, http://www.dailybreeze.com)

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his Chihuahua by deliberately hitting it with his car in attack caught on surveillance video.

The Torrance Daily Breeze reports police investigated and found the Dec. 28 video that shows a man removing something from his trunk — possibly the dog — and then backing up over the Chihuahua in an alley before driving off. The dog is left convulsing and bloody.

On Thursday a resident found and bagged the body.

Lt. Scott Swain says investigators traced the car and on Friday arrested Michael Parker of Hawthorne on suspicion of willful animal cruelty.

He was later released and couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

Police haven't released a motive for the killing.

CALIFORNIA LOTTERY

California lottery seeing a resurgence

(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More people are playing California's lottery after years of decline because more money is being pumped back into the prize pool and that has increased the jackpots.

The Los Angeles Times reports that changes made to the system in 2010 altered the formula for how much revenue schools would receive. The lottery was approved by voters in 1984 to supplement school funding and had more than $4 billion in ticket sales last year.

The changes gave the lottery flexibility in determining its education contribution. By doing so, officials say, the lottery has larger payouts that fueled the recent resurgence.

A San Jose man recently split a $648 Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

NONPROFIT-CITY DISPUTE

Homeless nonprofit leaves Costa Mesa after dispute

(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — A homeless nonprofit group says it has decided to leave Costa Mesa because the city has increased regulation of its motels and created an antagonistic political climate.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Illumination Foundation will expand its work in other Orange County cities that have large homeless populations. Officials for the group say other cities are more cooperative and understanding.

The organization and Costa Mesa have disagreed on how to tackle homelessness for the seven years the group has offered services in the city.

City officials say the foundation was violating the city code by doing business in motel rooms and providing help for anyone living there. Mayor Jim Righeimer said by providing such services could make the city a dumping ground for the county.

PEOPLE-TITO ORTIZ

Ex-UFC champ Tito Ortiz arrested for suspected DUI

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say they have arrested former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz for investigation of driving under the influence after he hit a freeway median in Los Angeles.

The California Highway Patrol says the 38-year-old Ortiz lost control of his vehicle about 3:50 a.m. Monday on Interstate 405 as he was driving his 2012 Porsche Panamera. Authorities say his car hit a concrete center median and his sports car had moderate damage.

Ortiz had two passengers in his car but no one was injured.

CHP says it was determined Ortiz was under the influence of alcohol and he was placed under arrest.

A message left for Ortiz's attorney, Ofir Ventura, was not immediately returned.

OBIT-MANN

"Rudolph" voice actor Larry D. Mann dies at 91

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Larry D. Mann, who voiced Yukon Cornelius in the animated Christmas favorite "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," has died. He was 91.

His son, Richard Mann, says the actor died of age-related causes on Monday in Los Angeles.

Beginning in the 1950s, the Canadian-born Mann had small roles in movies, including "The Sting" and "In the Heat of the Night."

On TV, his appearances included "Gunsmoke," ''Bewitched" and Hill Street Blues."

He also did voice work for animated shows, including 1964's "Rudolph."

His son says Mann's last role before retirement was playing a talent agent in the 1991 TV show "Homefront."