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NATIONAL
September 27, 2009 | Richard Simon
California Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson lives in St. Helena and calls city officials there by their first names. The Napa Valley town also is home to a vineyard owned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and her husband. Yet the town spent about $150,000 during the first six months of this year on a Washington lobbyist, more than Philadelphia or St. Louis. St. Helena is just one of the cities, counties and states that have ramped up spending on lobbying as they look more to Washington for help in easing budget problems and getting a leg up on the competition in the scramble for federal funds.
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BUSINESS
February 1, 2010 | By Ben Fritz
Mel Gibson still has his fans, but after a long and controversial absence from the big screen, his overall appeal seems to have faded. The thriller "Edge of Darkness," which marked Gibson's first lead role since 2002's "Signs," opened to a fine but not fantastic $17.1 million from Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. It easily outperformed Walt Disney Studios' romantic comedy "When in Rome," the weekend's other new movie, but "Avatar," with $30 million, held the No. 1 spot for the seventh weekend in a row. Opening-weekend ticket sales for "Edge of Darkness" were the lowest for any movie starring Gibson since 1995's "Braveheart," despite ongoing increases in ticket prices.
TRAVEL
September 16, 2012 | By Alison DaRosa
This 16-room Arts and Crafts masterpiece on the edge of San Diego's Balboa Park was the home of George and Anna Marston and their five children. Marston, a philanthropist, civic leader and owner of the city's premier department store, commissioned architects William S. Hebbard and Irving Gill to build an English Tudor-style home. Mid-project, Gill visited his old friend Frank Lloyd Wright and was inspired to change the design. The result is this 1905 Craftsman masterpiece. Why it's a treasure: The design was cutting edge then, and it's still relevant today, with rooftop copper pipes for solar water heating and a cistern that recycles rainwater for the gardens.
SPORTS
November 29, 2012 | By Houston Mitchell
Chicago Bears wide receiver has an interesting insight into what some NFL players will use to make themselves play better: Viagra. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that Marshall was asked about players using Adderall, which is being blamed for a rising number of suspensions for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the NFL and other sports. "I don't know too much about Adderall," Marshall said. "I know guys, it is such a competitive league, guys try anything just to get that edge.
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