The Economy Today: Getting Stimulated

Headlines from Arkansas, Georgia, Arizona, and elsewhere

National headlines continue analysis of the bank stress tests, which revealed a mixed picture yesterday. Also, the national jobless rate has hit 8.9 percent, but analysts insist that the pace of losses has slowed, which is good news. Meanwhile, below are ten stories of how the stimulus funds are affecting local communities. Transportation projects in California, Missouri, and Utah are among the latest to receive funds.

In California, and around the country, retirees will receive one time payments of $250, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The checks will start arriving next week.

The Denver-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory has broken ground on a new building funded by the stimulus. The facility is being touted as the greenest office building in the world, according to the Denver Business Journal.

In the name of transparency and gadgetry, Arkansas has created an iPhone application that will allow people to track how stimulus money is spent, including budgets, and start and end dates for individual projects.

Water and energy projects are likely to get a boost in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The state labor commissioner says Georgia has to invest in retraining its workforce in order to best take advantage of the funds.

Two Lake Tahoe golf courses are trying to stimulate interest in the sport and give their customers a break by offering free rounds of golf, the AP reports.

The Bureau of Land Management has alloted almost $16 million for projects in Arizona. The Arizona Capitol Times says that the projects include hiking trails, energy projects, and abandoned mines, some of which will be used as sites for solar and wind energy collection.

California’s transportation authority will request stimulus money for a high speed rail link between major cities, connecting Bakersfield and Merced, San Jose and San Francisco, and Los Angeles and Anaheim, the Visalia Times-Delta reports.

Missouri will allot another $87 million from the stimulus for road projects, including bridge repair and road resurfacing. The state estimates the 91 projects will yield more than four thousand jobs.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah will get a major boost in transportation spending to create a light rail system in the state. The eleven-mile line is expected to cost more than $530 million to build.

The Corps of Engineers will receive stimulus funds to repair a dam in Florida’s panhandle. According to the Jackson County Floridian, $19 million will be spent to clear the maintenance backlog and install an advanced metering system that measures how much water is released into Lake Seminole.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.