In Today’s News: Big money for propositions, Hurricane Sandy cancels LAX flights

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Stories we are following today in the KCRW newsroom:

Deep pockets. A non-partisan group says more than $350 million has been spent on California’s 11 statewide ballot measures. Ironically, Proposition 32, a measure that aims to reduce the influence of campaign contributors on state politics, has drawn the most money: almost $132 million. Overall, the research organization MapLight says Prop. 32 and two competing tax measures – Props 30 and 38 – account for almost 90 percent of all spending. MapLight

Caught cheating. California has stripped 23 schools of their API ranking for cheating. The L.A. Times reports that teachers helped students correct mistakes on standardized tests, prepared them with actual test questions or left instructional posters displayed in the classroom during testing. The number is relatively small. California has more than 10,000 schools. L.A. Times

Sandy cancellations. About 130 flights in and out of LAX over the next two days have been canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. The canceled flights are to and from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Bottom line: If you’re headed to the East Coast in the next couple of days, make sure to check with your airline. KCBS

Endeavour launch. Space Shuttle Endeavour will go on display tomorrow at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Sorry kids, you won’t be able to climb into the cockpit, or any other part of the shuttle for that matter. But visitors will be able to get up close to the 122-foot-long spacecraft. And they can use a touch-screen display to virtually navigate the shuttle’s flight deck and payload bay. L.A. Times

Ride’s legacy. L.A.’s School of History and Dramatic Arts will open a new environmental science center today named for astronaut Sally Ride. The center will focus on instructing teachers in how best to educate students in hands-on science, technology, research, art and math. Ride, the first American woman in space, was born in Encino and attended LAUSD. She died in July of pancreatic cancer.

Dragon splashdown. The first privately operated cargo mission to the International Space Station has ended with a splashdown. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule endured a fiery re-entry yesterday before dropping into the Pacific Ocean about 250 miles off the California coast. The cargo mission was the first of 12 for the Hawthorne company under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA. CNN