The Americas

Housing and Economy Forecast by NAR – Outlook Optimistic for 2012 and 2013

old house - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is forecasting a positive economic recovery for the next two years. The economy will not be back to the pre-recession levels, however the trends are looking better for housing and employment. The unemployment numbers will still remain high, the report suggested. The NAR said there were slight gains in the real estate marketplace, but there is still a ways to go.

The number of newly constructed homes crumbled during the recession and hit a low in 2009, with an ever so slight increase in 2010 and 2011. The NAR forecast predicts a slight increase again in new home construction, but anticipates that 2013 will be around half the volume of 2005. The NAR based their forecast on the population growth of 3 million each year, but mentions that it has slowed down to 2 million in 2011.

New California Booster Seat Law begins January 1, 2012

Rear of Car - BSN

(Best Syndication News) A new California law will go into effect for booster seats starting on January 1, 2012. The new rule changes the guidelines for booster seat usage.

The new law requires children under 8 years of age to use a booster seat in the back seat of all the vehicles they ride in, unless they measure at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Children at that age will likely require a booster seat. This replaces the current law that required children up to age 6, or weighing less than 60 pounds, to use a booster seat.

NASA's GRAIL Spacecrafts to orbit the Moon starting this New Year’s Eve

Artist concept of GRAIL sending information back to Earth - credit credit: NASA/JPL

(Best Syndication News) - NASA will be studying the lunar composition from crust to core with two spacecraft that will start orbiting the Moon on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Grail-A spacecraft will enter the Moon’s orbit starting on December 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm PST, and Grail-B spacecraft will begin orbit on January 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm PST.

The twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecrafts were launched on September 10, 2011, and has been traveling toward the moon every since. The two spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon. The solar powered spacecrafts will take measurements such as the gravity field in detail on the moon. The GRAIL spacecrafts will also help scientist determine the structure of the lunar interior from its crust all the way to the core.

Toy Bears donated to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

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(Best Syndication News) - An outside carnival company named Helm & Sons Amusements, decided to give over 70 stuffed bears to children at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC).

The Director of Operations, Jason Halsey said, “We think it is important to give, especially during this season of giving. If these bears make patients smile and help get them through the day, it is all worthwhile.” Halsey also stated that their business is also very family oriented.

The bears were used to help children during procedures and to help the children cope with homesickness.

Around a third of the bears given to the children at ARMC will go to the burn center. Sadly, one third of the burn patients are under the age of 18.

Presidential Dollar Coins production downsized to save US Government $50 Million Annually

Presidential Dollar Coins - US Mint

(Best Syndication News) - The US Presidential dollar coins were not as popular as first anticipated and will be scaled back to save taxpayers' money. Since the 2005 Presidential $1 Coin Act, the US Mint has accumulated a 40 percent surplus of these coins that were returned to the Federal Reserve because not enough people wanted to use them.

Sitting in storage at Federal Reserve Bank vaults is over $1.4 billion in these Presidential dollar coins. Vice President Biden and U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Geithner said that this excess is enough to supply Americans with these coins for the next decade.

The US Mint plans were to make another 1.6 billion coins up until 2016. However, the Obama Administration is putting halt for producing more $1 coins to be used for circulation. However, the law still requires that the coins be minted in small numbers in order for coin collectors to purchase. The new coins would not cost taxpayers money to produce.

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