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Recycling wastewater

(AP) -- A Northern California water district is offering residents recycled wastewater to use on their lawns and plants, as it tries to cut water use during the drought.

The Contra Costa Times reported that about 60 people are now making regular runs for the water from the Dublin San Ramon Services District, which also provides sewage services.

The water is not for drinking. But officials say it can help residents meet a required 25 percent water cut by replacing the freshwater they use for activities such as washing their horses.

The amount of water the recycling station has given away so far is small compared to the 10 million gallons a day of drinking water that the district pumps to 77,000 people in Dublin and the Dougherty Valley in San Ramon.

But officials say they are hopeful it will change people's attitudes about recycled wastewater.

Coastal town sold

(AP) -- A small town midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway has been sold for an undisclosed price.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported the buyers plan to restore the one-block, 2.5-acre town of Harmony, which boasts a population of 18.

Set in the rolling coastal hills 6 miles south of Cambria, the ranching village dates back to the mid-1800s when the region thrived on cheese and butter production.

The town's former owner said he couldn't invest the time and money it would take to keep Harmony the rustic artists' community it has become.

The new owner, who is a member of a dairying family, says he understands the history his family wants to preserve.

The town manager hopes the post office might even reopen.

Shark teeth unearthed

(AP) -- Giant teeth from a 40-foot-long shark and portions of what could turn out to be an entire whale skeleton are among the hundreds of fossils being carefully unearthed at a dam construction site in Silicon Valley.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Monday that over 500 marine fossil specimens have been uncovered at the Calaveras Dam replacement project in Fremont.

Most of the fossils are believed to be about 20 million years old, dating to the Miocene Epoch, when the ocean extended as far inland as Bakersfield.

Scallops, clams, barnacles and the teeth of an extinct hippopotamus-like creature called a Desmostylus have all been dug up.

Paleontologists will continue working with construction workers for the next two or three years on the massive job to replace the dam with one more capable of withstanding earthquakes.

Burst levee floods

(AP) -- Water officials are looking into what caused a levee to burst, sending flood waters rushing across a Fresno County highway and into farmland and homes.

The Fresno Bee said a section of the Alta Irrigation District main canal levee was ruptured Sunday evening.

Water flooded across Highway 180 near Sanger, prompting a temporary shutdown of the westbound lane.

Cal Fire Capt. Ryan Michaels said the water was knee-high in some areas and a few families fled after the initial breach.

Most families stayed put, however. There was no immediate estimate on the damage to homes.

Michaels says a control valve near Avocado Lake was closed to stop the flow of water to the canal, which kept the overflow to a minimum.

Investigators are working to pin down the cause of the breach.

Protest accountability

(AP) -- U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they agree with a Nevada sheriff's position that rancher Cliven Bundy must be held accountable for his role in an April standoff between his supporters and the federal agency.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states' rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police.

The Bureau of Land Management says Bundy owes over $1 million in fees and penalties for trespassing on federal land without a permit over 20 years.

Bundy, whose ancestors settled in the area in the late 1800s, refuses to acknowledge federal authority on public lands.

Eastern casinos

(Bloomberg) -- MGM Resorts International may use a revolving credit line to supplement cash spending for building casinos in Maryland and Massachusetts, according to Chief Financial Officer Dan D'Arrigo.

The gaming and entertainment company may draw on its $1.2 billion bank line as it seeks to spend about $1 billion to construct a casino at the National Harbor complex in Prince George's County, Md., by 2016, D’Arrigo said.

It may also borrow to supplement spending on an $800 million casino it expects to build in Springfield, Mass., depending on whether voters pass a ban on casino gambling in November, he said.

MGM (NYSE: MGM) had $748.3 million of free cash flow in 2013, and $1.11 billion of cash and equivalents as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Capital expenditures may increase to $1.8 billion in 2015, from $562.1 million last year, possibly turning free cash negative, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Free cash flow is money available to repay debt, reward shareholders with dividends and stock buybacks, or reinvest in a business.

Endangered 'MiMo' history

(AP) -- A Miami-Dade County island has been designated one of the country's “most endangered historic places.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation says Bay Harbor's East Island is at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. County officials say the island is one of the largest concentrations of mid-century Miami Modern-style architecture in the country.

The “MiMo” movement featured concrete screens with geometric patterns to shield residents from the sun, cantilevered roofs with holes for palm trees and decorations that evoked South Florida's tropical environment.

Officials say Bay Harbor's East Island is threatened by redevelopment that calls for the demolition of several mid-century structures.

Trust president Stephanie Meeks said residents and officials must urge developers to find ways to reuse these buildings instead of destroying them.

Canadian permits up

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian building permits rose in May, led by multi-family dwellings in Toronto and Vancouver and national gains in commercial projects such as shopping malls.

The value of municipal permits rose 13.8 percent to C$6.95 billion ($6.53 billion), Statistics Canada said Monday.

Toronto permits jumped 37.6 percent to C$1.47 billion in May, and in Vancouver they surged 59.4 percent to C$594 million.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz have said the housing market appears to be stabilizing after a boom fueled by low mortgage rates.

Nationwide permits for multiple-unit housing including apartments and condos rose 16.1 percent to C$1.85 billion in May, leading the 9.5 percent increase in residential intentions to C$4.13 billion. Permits for single-family homes climbed 4.6 percent to C$2.28 billion.

Permits for non-residential construction rose 20.8 percent to C$2.81 billion, the largest gain since July 2013, led by a 39.4 percent jump in commercial projects to C$1.82 billion.

Municipalities approved 17,415 housing units in May, a gain of 11.8 percent on the month.

The number of units approved for single-family residences rose 2.8 percent and multiple-family project approvals increased 17.3 percent.

Statistics Canada revised the estimated April gain in permits to 2.2 percent from an initial report of 1.1 percent.

The value of permits was 6.4 percent lower in May than the same month a year earlier.

Bigger shopping mall

(AP) -- The shopping-loving city that is home to one of the world's largest shopping malls wants to build one even bigger.

Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has laid out plans for a sprawling real estate project known as Mall of the World that will include the 8 million square foot (743,224 square meter) mall, a climate-controlled street network, a theme park covered during the scorching summer months and 100 hotels and serviced apartments.

Other attractions planned for the site include a cultural and theater district drawing inspiration from New York's Broadway, shopping thoroughfares based on London's Oxford Street and a “wellness district” meant to attract medical tourists.

“The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai's tourism infrastructure as soon as possible,” Sheik Mohammed said in a statement announcing the project Saturday.

“This project complements our plans to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the 2 billion people living in the region around us -- and we are determined to achieve our vision.”

Dubai Holding, a conglomerate controlled by the emirate's ruler, is developing the complex. It gave no details on the cost or the completion date.

The complex will be built near the Mall of the Emirates, which boasts an indoor ski slope, and a short drive from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, and the adjacent Dubai Mall.

That shopping center is currently the emirate's largest and has attractions including a dinosaur skeleton, an indoor ice skating rink and a multistory aquarium.

Dubai is racing to develop additional infrastructure needed to accommodate a surge in visitors expected when it becomes the first Middle Eastern city to host the World Expo in 2020.

Authorities expect the expo will generate $23 billion between 2015 and 2021, and estimate it will cost $8.4 billion to organize.

The new mall project alone is expected to create an additional 20,000 hotel rooms.

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