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SPOTLIGHT

1. BUSINESS:

Housing agencies find budgetary alchemy in improving old buildings

Like dozens of other historic mill cities, Fall River, Mass., at the mouth of the Taunton River on Mount Hope Bay, has suffered the indignities of a radically shifting economy. Chronic high unemployment, declining population and demographic upheaval have turned the former "Spindle City" of New England into a relic of the textile industry during America's industrial age.

2. WEATHER:

Warmest year ever recorded in lower 48 states came in 2012

It's official: 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday. The average temperature in the lower 48 states reached 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering the previous record set in 1998 by a full degree.

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