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Mortgage plan dropped

(AP) -- Authorities in San Bernardino County have abandoned a plan to stabilize the housing market by seizing troubled mortgages.

The San Bernardino Sun said a joint powers authority took the idea off the table Thursday.

The agency voted to seek other proposals for dealing with a housing crash that's left 150,000 county residents owing more than their homes are worth.

A San Francisco investment firm, Mortgage Resolution Partners, had suggested that the county exercise eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages.

The loans would have been modified to allow people to remain in their homes and then sold off.

Greg Devereaux, CEO of the Homeownership Protection Program, said the idea was risky and there was no community support for it.

REIT completes buy

(AP) -- Macerich, Santa Monica-based real estate investment trust, said Friday that it has completed its $500 million acquisition of the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y.

The REIT purchased the property from a Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) subsidiary.

The mall has stores including Macy's, Sears, Walmart and Kohl's. It was renovated in 2007.
Hetch Hetchy plan

(AP) -- San Francisco officials have approved a plan that would greatly complicate future efforts to drain a city-owned flooded gorge in Yosemite National Park that has been called a twin of breathtaking Yosemite Valley.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday voted 5-0 for the plan.

The Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite is the main source of water for 2.5 million Bay Area residents.

But the system serves 1.7 million people outside the city, so Michael Carlin, deputy general manager of the commission, said it is only fair they have a voice in any changes.

Environmental groups said they may sue to overturn the rule, arguing that San Francisco owns the reservoir so should be solely responsible for it.

Canine roundup

(AP) -- Riverside County officials have begun rounding up hundreds of stray dogs being left behind as migrant workers leave the encampment known as Duroville.

Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh told the Desert Sun 41 dogs were removed Thursday, and animal officers will spend weeks collecting the rest.

Residents have been leaving Duroville, the squalid encampment with no paved streets or hot water on tribal land in the Coachella Valley whose actual name is Desert Mobile Home Park.

They are being relocated to a safer home known as Mountain View Estates.

Duroville's court-appointed receiver Tom Flynn said some of the residents took care of strays, while others had to leave their own dogs behind because of restrictions on the weight and number of dogs at Mountain View Estates.

Weyerhaeuser net doubles

(AP) -- The recovering housing market is fueling business at lumber, wood products and real estate company Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY), which said Friday that its fourth-quarter net income more than doubled.

Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO) is a wholly owned subsidy of Weyerhaeuser and consists of five homebuilders, including Pardee Homes, which has been active in San Diego County for decades.

The Federal Way, Wash., company earned $143 million, or 26 cents per share, in the three months through Dec. 31, up from $65 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $2 billion from $1.62 billion, as prices and sales volumes rose for lumber, demand rose for logs from earlier in the year and the company had a longer list of homes due to be sold.

The company last year increased its dividend as it benefited from a stronger housing market.

For the current quarter, it expects higher lumber volumes, better prices for logs and a slight profit from its homebuilding division.

It expects lower earnings in its cellulose fibers division.

For the full year 2012, Weyerhaeuser earned $385 million, or 71 cents per share, up from $331 million, or 62 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $7.06 billion from $6.22 billion.

Coach pays off

(Bloomberg) -- Former Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano paid off the remaining $300,000 of a no-interest home loan the university gave him in 2007, the school said.

Schiano, 46, who resigned last January to coach the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is searching for a buyer for the house after lowering the price twice, to $1.95 million from $2.3 million.

The coach bought land from the university and received an $800,000 loan from the athletic department to build the house about two minutes from the school's High Point Solutions Stadium.

The school forgave $100,000 of the loan each season Schiano remained as coach, with any balance when he resigned due one year later. The deadline was Saturday.

The 8,468-square-foot house with five bedrooms and six baths has a heated, in-ground pool with a waterfall and spa, three-car garage, camera security system and a media room with a 10-foot ceiling.

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