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January 31, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Consumers had more money in their pockets in December, but instead of spending it all they tucked away some of it in their savings. Personal incomes rose $61.3 billion, or 0.5%, to $13.1 trillion in December from November, the highest month-to-month jump in nearly a year, according to the Commerce Department. The increase was fueled in part by rising wages and salaries. But personal consumption expenditures last month dipped $2 billion, or 0.1%, to nearly $10.9 trillion in an about-face from November.
September 29, 2011 | By Ben Fritz and Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
Consumers frustrated at paying an extra $3 for 3-D movies may have to shell out even more money next year — just to see them. A rift between Hollywood studios and theater chains over who should foot the bill for 3-D glasses erupted publicly Wednesday after exhibitors lashed out at Sony Pictures' plan to stop covering those costs starting in May. The nation's largest cinema operator, Regal Entertainment Group, threatened to not play certain movies...
July 31, 2011 | By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
When Kristoffer M. Solesbee was a boy, he enjoyed making backyard bombs out of vinegar and baking soda. He also liked to shoot off potato cannons by igniting hair spray in a plastic tube to propel a spud. And he launched model rockets from a field near his home in Citrus Heights , a suburb of Sacramento. "He liked burning stuff and blowing stuff up," recalled his father, Larry Solesbee. As an adult, Kristoffer Solesbee hoped to become a firefighter. But jobs in the field were scarce, and when a military recruiter offered him a spot at the Air Force's explosive ordnance disposal school, "he jumped at the chance," his father said.
July 7, 2011 | Meghan Daum
There's something exhilarating about walking out of a movie. Not only does it reacquaint you with the notion of your own free will ("Wait a second, no one is forcing me to watch Tom Hanks ride around on a scooter!"), it's like getting two extra hours in your day. To walk out of a bad movie is literally to escape from the darkness, to show yourself who's boss, to remind yourself that your time is valuable. So is your money, of course. Should you get it back? Lately there's has been some disagreement on that score, particularly when it comes to "The Tree of Life," directed by the legendary (and legendarily esoteric)
July 2, 2011 | By Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
Southern California Edison officials are preparing to move four massive retired steam generators from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County to a disposal site in a remote area of Utah. And, at 700,000 pounds each, moving the generators will be no small task. Beginning this summer, each of the generators will be placed on a specially designed 400-foot-long truck and will make the 800-mile trek from the plant to Clive, Utah, passing through San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as Nevada.
June 26, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Do you have any advice for a family of six with only $200 a month to spend on food? My wife and I are in dire need of advice, as our bills keep increasing but neither of us has gotten a raise in six years. We have two garnishments on our paychecks that effectively take 50% of what we make. After health insurance and 401(k) loans are deducted, we bring home $2,000 a month. Our rent takes $1,400 of that and utilities take most of the rest. Do you have any miracle advice for us?
June 3, 2011 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Mecca, Calif. -- California environmental regulators have launched an internal audit to determine why their agency sanctioned a Coachella Valley recycling facility to accept tons of toxic waste that, in part, was the source of noxious odors that sickened children at a nearby elementary school. The recycling company, Western Environmental Inc., was ordered by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection in May to cease accepting hazardous materials, drain an uncovered oil pond and reduce two four-story mountains of contaminated soil on the site.
May 22, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
Army Staff Sgt. Mark C. Wells never said much to his family about his assignment in Afghanistan . His work as an explosive ordnance disposal technician meant he was often on sensitive, dangerous missions, defusing explosives and sweeping areas ahead of visits by high-ranking political figures. He especially didn't seem to want his family to know of the close calls his job entailed. "Just know, if anything happens, I'm doing what I love to do," he would tell them, recalled his father, Burl Wells.
April 3, 2011 | By Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times
For days on end, 23-year-old Hiraku Sato and a co-worker toiled in their pharmacy in Tagajo City, picking through hundreds of small containers of vitamin drinks, aspirin and other medicines that were flung to the four corners of their shop when ocean waters from nearly a mile away rushed in. A 4-foot-high mound of metal shelves, broken computers and other retail detritus was still massed this week outside the store in the northeastern coastal community....
February 6, 2011 | By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
Defusing land mines is dangerous under the best of circumstances; darkness only ups the ante. Such were the conditions in mid-December when, after a battle in Afghanistan's Helmand province, a group of Marines was trying to get back to base overnight to avoid an ambush that was anticipated at daylight. The job of clearing the path belonged to Staff Sgt. Justin E. Schmalstieg 28, an experienced bomb disposal technician from Camp Pendleton who was on his fourth tour of duty.
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