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It was a bad year for Southern California homebuilders – OCRegister

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It was a tough year for Southern California homebuilders.

As 2019 started, builders found themselves stuck with the largest inventory of unsold residences since the Great Recession. Rising interest rates and economic anxieties cooled house hunting, making the builders’ big bets on higher-priced homes a poor choice. So for much of the year, builders were forced to discount slow-selling homes while retooling plans to create lower-priced product.

Two new rankings of the nation’s fastest-selling “master-planned communities” — neighborhoods carved from large parcels of undeveloped…

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William K. Wells’s new book “Protecting Designs of Useful Products in America” explores the three modes of legal protection: design patents, trademarks, and copyright. – Benzinga

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — William K. Wells, a former senior partner at Kenyon and Kenyon, a premier New York-based law firm specializing in intellectual property, now part of Hunton Andrews Kurth, and former chairman of the Industrial Design Committee of the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (AIPLA), who represented the association at an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on international design protection, has completed his book “Protecting Designs of Useful Products in America”: a detailed discussion of the…

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New tariffs on wine and cheese could devastate Maine specialty foods industry, small business owners say – Bangor Daily News

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PORTLAND, Maine — On Tuesday, Ned Swain traveled from Portland to Washington, D.C., to deliver testimony that he hoped would save his small business.

Swain runs Devenish Wines, a Maine-based wine distribution company that stocks restaurants and wine shops from Portland to Mount Desert Island and Down East. He’s one of many Mainers who have spent decades making a life in Maine’s hospitality, tourism and restaurant industries who fear a new proposal for 100 percent tariffs on European wine, cheese, olives and other agricultural goods that would “devastate” their business.

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Bridge Linking NJ Shore Towns to Close For Months of Emergency Repairs – NBC New York

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A bridge that links two towns on the New Jersey shore is expected to close for several months of emergency repairs, officials said.

The Ocean Avenue Shark River Bridge, which connects Avon-by-the-Sea and Belmar, will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians after the contract is awarded in the next two weeks, according to a statement from Monmouth County released this week.

Limited marine traffic will still be able to pass under the bridge.

The steel pinions that support the bridge where it opens and closes have deteriorated and need to be repaired, inspectors said.

The bridge is…

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Biden may not be the only beneficiary of endorsements he is getting – Roll Call

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Through 2019, most House Democrats facing competitive reelection races kept their attention focused on their own brands at home and stayed away from the crowded and hotly contested battle for their party’s presidential nomination.

Recently, however, a few vulnerable lawmakers have started jumping into the fray and backing former Vice President Joe Biden. Some strategists say those decisions could end up helping the endorsers as much as Biden, and more may follow.

Backing Biden early may help these lawmakers fend off Republican attacks tying them to more liberal lawmakers often…

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A second term for Donald Trump? Michigan is at the center of the political universe – Detroit Free Press

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Donald Trump takes shot at Debbie, John Dingell in Battle Creek rally

Donald Trump made a comment about Debbie Dingell and her late husband, John Dingell, during his “Merry Christmas” rally in Battle Creek.

Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — Tired of politics? Of politicians? Think elections don’t matter? 

Think again. 

This year’s elections will be some of the most consequential in decades and Michigan is set up to be one of the most consequential states on the electoral map.

Consider: 

Not only is it a foregone conclusion…

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Democratic lawmaker rebukes Wells Fargo rebate request – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Democratic Representative Katie Porter, a first-term lawmaker known as a tough Wall Street critic, accused Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) of passing on costs associated with its wide-ranging scandals to third parties, in a scathing letter sent to the bank’s new chief executive on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo stagecoach is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

A copy of the letter was viewed by Reuters.

Last summer, Wells Fargo asked 14 of its IT vendors to return 2.5% of revenue…

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The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 | TheHill – The Hill

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Republicans are playing defense in this year’s race for the Senate, but Democrats likely have a tough fight ahead in their bid to take control of the chamber.

Two dozen GOP-held seats are up for a vote this year, including in a handful of states where President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: Intelligence shows Iran directing militias not to attack U.S. targets Mnuchin aims to wait until end of 2020 to disclose Secret Service costs for Trump’s travel: report Pressure building on Pelosi over articles of impeachment MORE’s approval rating is underwater.

Democrats need to pick up four seats in…

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Hearing set to determine who is the real Alabama Democratic Party Chair – alreporter.com

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Tuesday, Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin scheduled a hearing for January 30 in the lawsuit over just who is the real chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.

In 2018 Nancy Worley was re-elected as Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.

That election was invalidated by the Democratic National Committee.

In November a faction of the State Democratic Executive Committee, supported by the DNC, met in Montgomery and elected State Representative Christopher John England (D-Tuscaloosa) as the new Chair,

Worley and her faction boycotted that meeting and maintain that that meeting of the…

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Pelosi is on the brink of sending the impeachment articles – POLITICO

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HERE’S WHAT’S CLEAR if you talk to House and Senate Democratic insiders: Speaker NANCY PELOSI is on the brink of ending her hold of the impeachment articles. The House is going to send them to the Senate in the near…

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Tech Veteran’s Fundraising Team Rakes In Cash for Pete Buttigieg Campaign – Wall Street Journal

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SAN FRANCISCO—Three years ago, Swati Mylavarapu had never worked for a political campaign and attended just a single campaign fundraiser.

Now, the 36-year-old Silicon Valley investor is a financial force behind one of the best fundraisers in the Democratic presidential primary, serving as national investment chairwoman for Pete Buttigieg, a fellow Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar whom she has known for half her life.

The…

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The Looming Battle For Michigan’s Senate Seat – WKAR

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Another version of this story previously aired on Weekend Edition Saturday.

When Donald Trump won the state of Michigan in 2016, he did it by a narrow margin of just over 11,000 votes. The President’s victory in 2020 depends on voters in a coalition of battleground states, like Michigan, voting for him again.

While the top of the ticket race may be the marquee for politicos, it’s not the only one. The reelection effort for Michigan’s junior Democratic Senator, Gary Peters, will be hard fought between Democrats, who need the seat to maintain their foothold in the Senate, and…

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Hassan endorses trade deal on eve of hearing – The Union Leader

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WASHINGTON — On the eve of a key hearing, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, has endorsed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The Senate Finance Committee on which Hassan serves will discuss and make a recommendation on the trade deal, Senate officials said.

Hassan spelled out the criteria she applies to all these proposals.

“International trade — when done right — helps business and consumers alike by expanding opportunity, reducing costs, and boosting economic growth,” Hassan said.

“In evaluating any trade deal, including the USMCA, I use two…

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Orange County schedules forums about hate incidents in schools – Los Angeles Times

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The Orange County Human Relations Commission will join the county Department of Education in presenting two public forums this month exploring the impact of hate-driven incidents among students, schools and their communities.

The first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the department’s headquarters at 200 Kalmus Drive in Costa Mesa and will focus on discussions by parents and students on their experiences with hate on school campuses. Information gathered at the forum will then be used at a second meeting for teachers, counselors and school administrators scheduled for 8 a.m….

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GOP state lawmaker Kim Coleman enters 4th Congressional District race – KSL.com

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WEST JORDAN — Three-term Republican state Rep. Kim Coleman said Friday she’s in the race for the 4th Congressional District seat now held by Utah’s only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Ben McAdams.

“We’re in this. We’re viable. We’re strong. We’re moving forward,” Coleman told the Deseret News in advance of making a formal announcement Saturday morning and rallying supporters at the opening of her campaign headquarters in West Jordan.

She’s already been raising money for a congressional run, reporting more than $110,000 in contributions to the Federal Election Commission as of…

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Three swing-district Democrats back Joe Biden’s presidential bid – The Straits Times

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WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday (Jan 5) won the support of three politicians who helped Democrats seize control of the House of Representatives in 2018, endorsements that could help bolster arguments he is best positioned to fend off Republicans this year.

The backing by Democratic US Representatives Elaine Luria of Virginia and Chrissy Houlahan and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania is evidence of the support for Biden among Democrats in “swing” districts that were held by Republicans before the 2018 vote.

If Democrats push the wrong message or candidate…

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FEMA denies individual assistance to residents affected by Halloween storm in Mohawk Valley – WRVO Public Media

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is denying individual assistance to residents in parts of the Mohawk Valley, affected by severe flooding from a devastating Halloween storm that hit last year, which damaged 1,100 homes in Oneida County. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll appeal the decision. 

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente called it an unconscionable decision.

“I have to believe when you see a house go down a river, when you see a house hanging over an embankment, when you see homes full of two feet of mud and four feet of water, in their living spaces, when is it enough for…

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Tom Hanks couldn’t handle Ricky Gervais’ opening Golden Globes monologue, and his face really says it all – Business Insider

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Comedian Ricky Gervais kicked off the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday evening with a string of pointed jokes in his opening monologue. Among the seated Hollywood A-listers inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom in Beverly Hills, California, was Tom Hanks — and his reactions to the monologue are already the most memeable part of the night. 

The first of several Tom Hanks reactions came after Gervais made a joke about actress Felicity Huffman, saying he rode to the awards ceremony in a car that had a license plate probably made by the actress (who was…

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Pelosi says House to vote this week on war powers resolution to limit Trump’s action on Iran – The Washington Post

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Pelosi said lawmakers were concerned that the Trump administration acted without consulting Congress and without respect for the constitutional authority Congress has to declare war.

She said the House would introduce and vote on a resolution similar to one that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced in the Senate last week.

“It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days,” Pelosi said.

Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.),…

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Like clockwork, new year means higher road tolls on Pa. turnpike | News, Sports, Jobs – Williamsport Sun-Gazette

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