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Many Buffalo houses like these are abandoned and slated for demolition. Activists promote programs that focus on renovation. (Alana Semuels/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

What can you get for a buck in Buffalo?

Urban Homestead program promotes renovation, not demolition, of city’s abandoned homes by selling them — with conditions — for $1

John Ramil, TECO president and CEO, says, “customers will see the benefits immediately” from his Florida-based company’s purchase of New Mexico Gas Co. At right is Gas Co. President Annette Gardiner, who is retaining her position under the new ownership. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

TECO plans to remake gas system

Florida-based TECO Energy Inc. has taken over the utility that serves 23 NM counties, and that could translate into greater rate and system stability

Professional genealogist David McDonald of DeForest, Wis., combs libraries, haunts courhouses, scours parish registries and tramps through cemeteries in the search for information about families’ past. “People want, as much as ever, to know who they are,” McDonald says. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT)

Digging deeply into family roots

Genealogists – those who accurately can trace a line of family descent through generations – are sometimes misunderstood. It’s easy to confuse them with services that sell generic information about last names and even coats of arms with dubious scholarship.

(Albuquerque Journal Illustration By Cathryn Cunningham)

Larger down payment boosts yields

Investing a larger amount up front ultimately results in incredible yields — and with no risk

Jason Prosser picks up his son Zachary, 3, from day care, in SeaTac, Wash. Prosser and his wife are one of many middle-class couples struggling with accelerating costs for critical services such as health care and housing. At the same time, their income has been stagnant for the past three years. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Middle class pinched by costs, income

Prices accelerate for essential services, while employee paychecks struggle to keep pace with inflation

Kingdom Scene Endeavors Vice President Julie McWilliams, left, and President Zach Fay pose with characters from Lightgliders video game. (David Nicklaus/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Positive values at play

Kid-tested online virtual world, financed by investors, aims to entertain while gently delivering often-absent influences into young lives