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100-MPG Bright Idea Delivery Van: Now With 40 Electric Miles!

GreenCar Reports | GreenCar | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Back in April, startup company Bright Automotive unveiled its design for a plug-in hybrid light delivery truck . Now, we've had a chance to drive th...

Report: Reno highest in construction job losses

AP | SANDRA CHEREB | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A new report shows Nevada's Reno-Sparks region is the nation's hardest hit area when it comes to construction jobs lost in the recession.

The report released Wednesday by the Associated General Contractors of America ranks the metropolitan area 337th based on the percentage of construction jobs gained or lost in the past year.

From August 2008 to August 2009, Reno lost 35 percent of its construction work force.

The area of Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., did only slightly better, followed by Tucson, Ariz., Wenatchee, Wash., and Redding, Calif.

On the other end of the spectrum, construction employment in Columbus, Ind., grew 14 percent. Other spots that improved include Anderson, Ind., Tulsa, Okla., Longview, Wash., and Baton Rouge, La.

Exchange student neglect leads to calls for reform

AP | MICHAEL RUBINKAM | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

During his year as a foreign exchange student in the United States, 18-year-old Carlos Villarreal lived not with a welcoming family, but with two ex-convicts in a seedy house that smelled of dog feces where the food was labeled "DO NOT TOUCH." He left 14 pounds lighter.

Villarreal, a Colombian, had signed up for a pricey study-abroad program that promised an "unforgettable year" in America. What he and many other exchange students in northeastern Pennsylvania got instead was a year filled with shabby treatment bordering on abuse. "I just wanted it to end," he says.

The situation in the Scranton region has rocked the U.S. foreign exchange establishment, raising questions about checks and balances that are supposed to keep students safe and their stays positive.

While the U.S. government says most of the students go home happy, critics say weak regulatory oversight, combined with shoddy industry practices and a shortage of qualified host families, have led to neglect and mental, physical and sexual abuse.

The problems have been documented around the country: