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Great Park vote

(AP) -- After an eight-hour meeting, the Irvine City Council has voted for an audit and reorganization of plans for the Great Park, the former military base that officials intended to turn into one of the nation's largest urban parks before financial problems slowed plans.

The Orange County Register reported that the heated meeting spilled from Tuesday into Wednesday before the council voted unanimously to seek proposals from auditors to look at the park's books since 2005.

In closer 3-2 votes, the council voted to terminate contracts with two firms that had been paid millions for consulting and marketing for the park, and to get rid of four non-elected members of its board.

More than $220 million has been spent on the Great Park since plans were approved in 2002.

Coliseum objection

(AP) -- The California Legislature's black caucus doesn't like parts of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum deal with the University of Southern California.

The nine caucus members are in favor of USC management of the stadium but they object to inclusion of area parking lots.

The Los Angeles Times said the caucus wants the parking lots turned into South Los Angeles parks.

USC's Trojan football team plays games at the Coliseum and the university demanded the parking lots as part of the management agreement.

The California Science Center owns the parking lots and the land on which the Coliseum and several museums sit. It's collectively known as Exposition Park.

The caucus told center board chairman Robert Stein in a letter that giving up control of the parking lots gives away control of the park. The caucus said that's totally unacceptable.

Extinction again?

(AP) -- An Orange County petting zoo may be losing its dinosaur.

The Orange County Register said the San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission refused Tuesday to grant approval for a 40-foot-long dinosaur statue named Juan -- placing it on the road to extinction.

The owner of Zoomars Petting Zoo bought the 13-foot-tall apatosaurus from an auction house in June for $12,000 but installed it without city approval.

Carolyn Franks has been fighting city orders to remove it ever since.

Critics say the statue doesn't belong in the city's historical district because dinos never roamed the area.

Since the Planning Commission rejected her approval bid, Franks now has only one chance -- an appeal to the City Council.

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