Federal, state and local spending on roadways is down nearly 6 percent. That's made it a tough year for many in the road-building business — but not in Vermont. There, pavers, excavators and other companies have had one of their busiest years ever, thanks to a storm named Irene.
For the past several months, Steve Wilk and Doug Casella have spent a lot of time in and out of their pickup trucks, checking on their road crews. For a business meeting, they just pull off onto the rocky shoulder to talk about new guardrails and blacktop for a job they're working on.
St. Paul resident Lois Neisen drives a Ranger truck off the line after workers inspected that the vehicle's hood, doors and gas cap. Neisen has worked at the Ford plant for 21 years. Her husband retired from the plant, and her son also worked at there for a time.
The Ford Motor Co. recently closed its historic Twin Cities Assembly Plant on a scenic river bluff in St. Paul, Minn. In better times, the parcel of land might have made condo developers drool, but in today's real estate market, redevelopment of the old factory could be a long way off.
The industrial architect Albert Kahn was particularly skilled at making factories blend into their surroundings. The 2-million-square-foot plant has a classical stone facade that flows along the Mississippi River bluff. The red tile roof of its hydroelectric plant glows in the sunlight.
Four years ago, Florida played a key role choosing the Republican presidential nominee with a crucial early primary in violation of party rules. Next month, Florida Republicans are poised to do it again — once again breaking rules with an early primary. Only this time, their decision could confuse the race, rather than clarify it.
To understand why political parties set rules for presidential primaries, and why states break those rules, it's helpful to appreciate what it means for the campaigns to descend on a small state like Iowa or New Hampshire.
This fall American police were confronted with something they hadn't seen in 40 years: prolonged, simultaneous political protests across the country. In most cities, police showed restraint. But there have been exceptions — sometimes involving copious amounts of pepper spray. Those flashpoints have become a cause for concern.
2011 was a good year for the word "swag". Not trinkets, or party favors, not an acronym for Stuff We All Get, "swag" comes from swagger. This year a term that hip-hop artists have been using for nearly a decade enjoyed a moment in the spotlight.
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A five-star hotel in Afghanistan may seem a risky business proposition. But not to the Marriott chain, which is going to manage a six-story hotel under construction in Kabul. Part of the U.S. and NATO security bubble, it will likely draw foreign businesspeople hoping to sign reconstruction deals.
And now to the most repeated words on the campaign trail, what the candidates say in their stump speeches. All this week, we'll hear from the Republican presidential candidates through some of their own words and ideas on the campaign trail. First up, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. In one speech in Columbia, South Carolina, last week, after praising the food, Newt Gingrich moved on to what he said he will do to create jobs. His plan, he says, is based on the economic ideas of Ronald Reagan.