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Pilots complain of brightness from huge solar farm PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 07:00

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Pilots flying over the world's largest solar power plant in the Mojave Desert have complained of nearly blinding glare from the sun's reflection off its vast array of mirrors.

Two anonymous complaints were filed with the federal government in August, months before the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System formally opened across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1gomgrN ).

A pilot wrote that it was impossible to look in the direction of the plant because of the intense brightness from the hundreds of thousands of mirrors. An air traffic controller reported receiving daily complaints about the brightness from pilots flying over the solar farm during the late morning and early afternoon.

Dozens of daily flights between Southern California and Las Vegas cross the area above or near the solar farm.

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Oil mars Ala. swamp months after crude train crash PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAY REEVES, Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 06:36

ALICEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Environmental regulators promised an aggressive cleanup after a tanker train hauling 2.9 million gallons of crude oil derailed and burned in a west Alabama swamp in early November amid a string of North American oil train crashes.

So why is dark, smelly crude oil still oozing into the water four months later?

The isolated wetland smelled like a garage when a reporter from The Associated Press visited last week, and the charred skeletons of burned trees rose out of water covered with an iridescent sheen and swirling, weathered oil. A snake and a few minnows were some of the few signs of life.

An environmental group now says it has found ominous traces of oil moving downstream along an unnamed tributary toward a big creek and the Tombigbee River, less than 3 miles away. And the mayor of a North Dakota town where a similar crash occurred in December fears ongoing oil pollution problems in his community, too.

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Victims of foreclosure rescue scam to get payments PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 06:55

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 112 victims of a foreclosure rescue scam in Michigan will be helped after the state attorney general's office accused a company of making misleading or false statements to homeowners.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says nearly $115,000 will be distributed from a state fund to victims who paid between $595 and $3,000 to Hope4Homeowners.

Former Attorney General Mike Cox charged Help4Homeowners in Oakland County. It was convicted of three counts of violating Michigan's credit services law.

Michigan prohibits charging fees before completing services when negotiating loans on behalf of homeowners. Schuette said Friday Hope4Homeowners guaranteed to prevent foreclosure and asserted consumers could avoid foreclosure regardless of their credit score, home appraisal or debt-to-income ratio.

People who may have been victims of Help4Homeowners should call the state at (877) 765-8388.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Goodyear unveils next-generation blimp, seeks name PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 06:35

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The next generation of the well-known Goodyear blimp is getting ready to take flight as the company moves toward replacing its old fleet of airships with a new trio.

The helium-filled airship, assembled at an Akron-area hangar and unveiled there Friday, is bigger, quicker and more maneuverable than earlier models, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said.

The 246-foot airship fits 12 passengers and has a semi-rigid internal skeleton, a feature that wasn't present in earlier models and raises questions about whether it is truly a blimp, though the company still refers to it as such. The structure is covered by a silver, balloon-like body emblazoned with Goodyear's yellow logo on a blue background.

It can travel at up to 73 mph and has custom computer-controlled avionics, an upgrade from the manual flight system used by the blimp pilots since the 1920s, the company said. It plans to build two more.

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