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January 2019

News In Brief

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Have you checked your tire pressure lately? Your probably should. As the temperature drops, the pressure in your tires also goes down. "Typically, the pressure drops 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature," said Gene Peterson, who runs the tire testing program at Consumer Reports. A common mistake people make is to inflate the tires to the pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire. That's the maximum pressure the tire can handle, not the proper inflation pressure. You want to follow the manufacturer's recommendation. "There's a tire inflation placard in the door jamb of most new cars. If you open up your driver's door, you'll see that placard and it will tell you the inflation," Peterson explained. "In lieu of that, check your owner's manual." Consumer Reports recommends a monthly tire check. And while you're down there, do a visual inspection of the tire - check the treads and the sidewalls.





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A Tacoma neighborhood under development aims to stay affordable by limiting buyers to households that make $75,000 or less. The News Tribune reports co-founders Bill Rehe and Michael Pressnall are planning 50 to 70 two- and three-bedroom cottages in the residential development called The Preserve. A 950-square-foot (88-square-meter) home will cost between $230,000 and $240,000 while a 1,250-square-foot (116-square-meter) house will be between $250,000 and $265,000. The owner-occupied homes will have a homeowner's association lease hold to lock down the purchase terms in an effort keep the homes affordable. The developers bought land from Tacoma Public Schools, and they plan preserve 22 acres (8 hectares) of wetlands at the site.





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Starting in 2020, all new homes constructed in California will be required to have between 2 kilowatts and 3 kilowatts of electricity sourced directly from solar panels. State legislators, whom have been considering such a measure for some time, officially voted recently to amend state building codes. Other states are watching how the change plays out and may want to follow suit, California officials have said. The new mandate, however, won't be cheap to homeowners. The upfront costs of installing typical solar panels ranges from $8,000 to $12,000. The extra costs, which will be applied to a homeowner's mortgage, should be minimal over the life of the loan. In the case of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the additional cost amounts to an extra $40 per month-but the savings in monthly utility charges could be around $80 per month. Homeowners can lease solar panels instead of buying them up front.





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There are plenty of colleges around the Seattle area, and those that attend school here do so in one of the best college cities in the nation, according to a new study. Seattle ranked No. 4 among large cities and No. 11 overall, says the study by WalletHub, which compared more than 400 U.S. cities based on 30 key indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential. The data set ranges from cost of living to quality of higher education to crime rate. Seattle, home to the University of Washington, Seattle University, Cornish College, Seattle Pacific University and a number of community colleges, rated high on nightlife options (6th out of 208), 15th in least amount of "brain drain", 24th in city accessibility and 32nd in quality of higher education. Where Seattle rated not-so-great was in percentage of available rental units (154th), and cost of higher education (163rd). Austin, Texas was rated the best college city with Tampa and Las Vegas rated ahead of Seattle for large cities. Oakland was rated the worst large city, just ahead of Detroit.





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Wells Fargo came to an agreement with attorneys general from all 50 states to pay $575 million to settle a 2016 scandal in which the firm's employees opened accounts for customers without their knowledge. As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo will assemble a team dedicated to reviewing and responding to customer inquiries relating to the issues, create a website outlining the firm's efforts to resolve the covered issues, and provide periodic reports on the progress of those efforts.