In recent weeks, economists have been worrying about the negative impact of the now-ended government shutdown and potential debt crisis.
But away from Capitol Hill, the economy has been getting a big boost: Gasoline prices have been declining, week after week. In some parts of the country, a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is now down to less than $3 a gallon — a price most Americans haven't seen in three years.
And any time the pump price starts dropping, consumer spirits start rising.
In flood-ravaged Colorado, much of the recovery has focused on rebuilding roads and bridges to mountain towns cut off by last month's floods. But take a drive east to the state's rolling plains, and a whole new set of staggering problems unfolds in farm country.
Living In Limbo
A woman named Claudia, who doesn't want to use her last name because of her immigration status, is sitting on a couch in the lobby of a shabby hotel in Greeley, about an hour's drive northeast of Denver.
It opened in the late 19th century as the Bluefield Colored Institute, created to educate the children of black coal miners in segregated West Virginia. Although it still receives the federal funding that comes with its designation as a historically black institution, today Bluefield State College is 90 percent white. The road that separates those realities is as rocky as any story of racial transition in post-World War II America.
We went to the campus of Bluefield State to see what campus life was like at this unusual college.
Nearly two years after allegations of a sexual assault rocked a small Missouri town, the case may be reopened.
A county prosecutor in Maryville, Mo., has requested that an independent attorney look at accusations of rape and other charges against two former high school athletes — despite his earlier decision to drop the case.
The Internet activist group Anonymous, which crusaded for another high-profile rape case, is taking credit for this turnaround.
The USDA is back to funding its meals program for low-income seniors. That's good news for those who depend on the weekly food deliveries, which stopped during the government shutdown.
Across Michigan, tens of thousands of seniors turn to dozens of agencies for assistance. In Grand Rapids, where we first reported on the program freeze, a local agency is playing catch-up, relying on volunteers to fill the void.
But at least one thing has long been certain: the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly jobs report at exactly 8:30 a.m. on a Friday.
Next week, Tuesday will feel like a Friday.
That's because late Thursday afternoon, the BLS updated its post-shutdown schedule for data releases. The new schedule shows that the long-delayed and much-anticipated September employment report will come out on Tuesday.