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Tropical storm leaves behind oily mystery in Mississippi

September 21, 2011 - After Tropical Storm Lee's floodwaters receded, people living miles inland from Mississippi's beaches reported finding what looks like crude oil in their drainage ditches. After initially blaming the substance on cars and boats, state authorities are now pointing the finger at algae blooms, but local activists are skeptical.

Public gets last chance to weigh in on Duke-Progress merger

September 19, 2011 - The N.C. Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 20 about the proposed merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy to form the nation's largest electric utility, which would operate under the Duke Energy name. The hearing represents the public's last chance to weigh in on the plan. If the merger is approved, the company would become the largest U.S. utility, worth over $35 billion and with more than 7 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Latest Census numbers show deepening Southern poverty

September 16, 2011 - The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest poverty figures this week, and they show that poverty is worsening nationwide -- but especially in the South. The official U.S. poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009.  That marks the third consecutive annual increase in the national poverty rate, evidence of the persistently weak U.S. economy.