Economy
10:01 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

Unfinished subdivisions like this one in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., have led urban planners to suggest "smart decline" strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure.
Laura Segall Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:22 pm

On the western edge of Phoenix, it's easy to find vast tracts of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews. Utility stanchions emerge like errant whiskers from the desert floor.

This is the land of zombie subdivisions. Some experts believe up to 1 million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed.

"It's tragic," says Realtor Greg Swann. "It's heartbreaking."

Urban planners are floating a radical solution for areas like this. It's known as "smart decline."

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Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Dear NHL: Hit The Puck, Not The Players

Michael Haley of the New York Islanders fights Stu Bickel of the New York Rangers in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Dec. 26.
Paul Bereswill Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 2:02 pm

Ah, we still do the town on New Year's Eve, but tearing the goal posts down is now verboten. Deemed too dangerous. In fact, as our new year approaches, it's a good time to look back on several other things in sport that have long since faded away.

Who remembers, for example, that at the end of each inning in the field, baseball players would just chuck their gloves onto the grass behind their position, leaving the field littered with mitts. All game long.

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News
6:08 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Future of healthcare pilot project uncertain

A state run health care pilot project continues to struggle to get participants, and Governor Matt Mead recently wonders about its future. 

The Healthy Frontiers project helps low income people who don’t qualify for government assistance programs to get health careand gets people access to a doctor which is paid for by a health care savings account.  Governor Mead says a number of people have signed up for the program, only to drop out.

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News
5:51 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Gov. Mead continues to push for wind tax reduction

Gov. Matt Mead says he's continuing to push to try to change how Wyoming taxes wind energy projects despite a chilly reception to his proposals from some state legislators so far.

Wyoming's sales and use tax exemption on equipment used on wind energy projects expires in January 2012. The state will also begin imposing a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind energy production starting then.

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News
5:28 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Colo. company to buy Chevron's Kemmerer coal mine

A Colorado company has announced a $193 million deal to buy a coal mine in western Wyoming from Chevron
Mining Inc.

Chevron has been getting out of the coal industry and the Kemmerer mine is among its last coal assets. The  mine produces 4.7 million tons of coal a year.

The buyer is Englewood, Colo.-based Westmoreland Coal Co. The deal announced Tuesday includes a purchase price of $179 million plus $14 million in working capital.

The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Extent Of 'Anonymous' Hacker Attack On Security Is Detailed

The Guy Fawkes mask has come to symbolize the group Anonymous. This mask was seen during protest in Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

A company that provides identity protection services is sifting through the data released by hackers over the holiday weekend and and they're detailing what hackers were able to steal from Stratfor, a security think tank.

If you haven't heard, hackers who claim an affiliation with the group Anonymous broke into the servers of Stratfor, made public some data and used some of the stolen credit card numbers to, in some cases, make charitable donations.

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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Ahead in New Hampshire, Romney Attempts To Solidify Supporters

Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign stop in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday
Charles Krupa Associated Press

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:22 am

Mitt Romney's campaign stops Tuesday in New Hampshire, at small restaurants with largely invited crowds, featured lofty patriotic themes and seemed designed to help him lock down his current base of support in the Granite State.

"America the Beautiful," the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were referenced by the GOP presidential contender during his last bit of stumping in New Hampshire before heading off for a three-day bus tour of Iowa, which holds its caucuses in a week.

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Economy
3:13 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Las Vegas Housing Market Attracts Asian Investors

A vacant home in Las Vegas owned by Bank of America. Nevada continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 4:31 pm

Investors from Asia are taking advantage of housing prices that have plummeted in recent years, buying foreclosures and short sales at below what it would cost to build them.

Kevin Chu's Hong-Kong investment firm owns property in Las Vegas, but he's never seen any of it. So his first visit to the U.S. is to inspect the houses in Las Vegas.

In the past 18 months, the firm he works for, The Creations Group, bought up distressed homes all over the U.S. — including 13 Las Vegas houses at fire sale prices.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

For Russians, New Year's Eve Remains The Superholiday

Brightly-wrapped chocolates are traditional for Russian New Year.
Nancy Shute NPR

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 3:28 pm

While for many people the frenzy of holiday cooking and feasting is subsiding, for Russians, it's just revving up.

During the Soviet era, Christmas was erased from the calendar. But its traditions were too strong to suppress; they were transplanted to New Year's.

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