WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages dipped slightly this week, the fifth decline in the past six weeks.
Prep Sports Blitz for Thursday, February 7, 2008 - Presented by Farmers and Merchants Bank
(Note: All information included in this report is taken from law enforcement incident reports and arrest records, which are public records and available for review at any and all local law enforcement agencies. Not every arrest leads to a conviction. Guilt or innocence is determined by the court system.)
NEW YORK - The nation's retailers delivered more evidence of a stumbling economy Thursday, as merchants reported their weakest January performance in nearly four decades, extending a malaise that has deepened since the holiday shopping season.
WASHINGTON - John McCain effectively sealed the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday as chief rival Mitt Romney suspended his faltering campaign. ''I must now stand aside, for our party and our country,'' Romney told conservatives.
NEW ORLEANS - Democrat Barack Obama raised $7.2 million in less than 48 hours post Super Tuesday and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton collected $4 million, giving him a financial edge that's caused consternation within a Clinton campaign clamoring for attention-getting debates.
WASHINGTON - Conservatives are nearly resigned to seeing front-runner John McCain capture the Republican presidential nomination, but they are still debating whether to stay home in November or to try to influence his positions and choice of a running mate.
WASHINGTON - The Clinton campaign has complained about them. So has Mitt Romney. Plenty of voters have vented, too. Those sometimes nasty and annoying recorded political phone calls known as ''robo-calls'' can drive people nuts - and states are trying to crack down on them.
BURLINGTON, Vt. - When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography.
MILWAUKEE - Hundreds of motorists were stranded in a massive traffic pileup on Thursday, frustrated air passengers were trying to reschedule their trips and dozens of schools were closed as the Midwest dug out from a major snowstorm.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Atlantis' seven-man crew is short on space experience, but that's on purpose. NASA wants to give as many rookie astronauts a shot at space before the shuttles are retired in less than three years.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After two months of delay, shuttle Atlantis blasted into orbit Thursday with Europe's gift to the international space station, a $2 billion science lab named Columbus that spent years waiting to set sail.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - A teacher's husband charged into her fifth-grade classroom Thursday morning, then stabbed and shot her as students watched, police said. He later was found dead in his home after apparently shooting himself during a standoff with police.
TRENTON, N.J. - Merck & Co. will pay $671 million to settle claims it overcharged government health programs for four popular drugs and gave doctors fees and gifts to induce them to prescribe its drugs, U.S. prosecutors and company officials said Thursday.
SALT LAKE CITY - A couple and their dog stranded for 12 days when their truck got stuck in the snow survived by rationing what little food they had, starting the truck periodically for heat and then hiking through waist-deep snow for three days.
SAN FRANCISCO - Two men are roughly halfway through what has been called the hardest rock climb in the world: a free climb of a half-mile section of exposed granite in California's Yosemite National Park.
WASHINGTON - Republicans are assuming full control of Congress for the first time in eight years in a day of pomp, circumstance and raw politics beneath the Capitol Dome.
Mr. William Brian Deal
BOSTON - Some of the prospective jurors who could decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate got their first look Monday at the young man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, and they seemed transfixed by the sight of the shaggy-haired 21-year-old.
ATLANTA - The wife of a Georgia police chief says she was asleep when her husband shot her in bed, and that she believes it was an accident.
A flag flies. Dallas fans groan. Detroit fans rejoice.
MIAMI - Lesbian and gay couples were wed in Miami on Monday by the same judge who approved their marriage licenses, hours before Florida's coming-out party as the nation's 36th state where same-sex marriages are now legal statewide.
ATLANTA - John Smoltz could do it all on the mound.
ATLANTA - New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Monday his interview for the Atlanta Falcons' coaching vacancy was "fine."
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A development group that includes a company controlled by the owner of the St. Louis Rams announced plans Monday to build an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburbs that could become home for an NFL team.
Two prospects from the U.S. Ski Team were killed in an avalanche Monday while skiing near their European training base in the Austrian Alps.
LAS VEGAS - College football fans and ESPN executives aren't the only ones applauding the new championship playoffs.
Mississippi-based regional bank Renasant Corp. announced that it will acquire Georgia-based Heritage Financial Group, the parent of HeritageBank of the South for $258 million in stock. The acquisition will include the two Statesboro branches of Heritage, one on South Main and the second on Northside Drive East.
Mental health experts in Georgia say federal spending cuts will weaken a program that trains ordinary people to provide "first aid" for a person experiencing a mental health crisis.
Storm Russell Bridges