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    Local students have been named to the dean's list at St. Lawrence University. 

    Are you trying to save money in these harsh financial times? Have you given up trying to find a contractor, and are you starting to do more projects on your own? If so, you’ re in fine company, as my email inbox has exploded over the past months with requests for help.

    The Group of Seven nations and Australia have joined the European Union in agreeing to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil. It's a key step as Western sanctions aim to reorder the global oil market to prevent price spikes and starve President Vladimir Putin of funding for his war in Ukraine. The nations needed to set the discounted price that other nations will pay by Monday, when an EU embargo on Russian oil shipped by sea and a ban on insurance for those supplies take effect. The price cap aims to prevent a sudden loss of Russian oil to the world that could lead to a new surge in energy prices.

    A tiny Nevada toad at the center of a legal battle over a geothermal project has officially been declared an endangered species after U.S. wildlife officials temporarily listed it on a rarely-used emergency basis last spring. The Fish and Wildilfe Service said in a formal rule published Friday that the Dixie Valley toad is at risk of extinction primarily due to the approval and commencement of geothermal development” about 100 miles east of Reno. Other threats to the quarter-sized amphibian include groundwater pumping, agriculture, climate change, disease and predation from bullfrogs. The temporary listing in April marked only the second time in 20 years the agency had taken such emergency action.

    Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has been hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia but his office says he is responding well. Holcomb's press secretary said Friday the 54-year-old governor was diagnosed with pneumonia after going to a doctor on Thursday believing he was ill with the flu. Erin Murphy says that “out of an abundance of caution" Holcomb was admitted to the hospital. Murphy didn’t immediately respond to questions about where Holcomb was hospitalized and how long he could remain there. Holcomb had been scheduled to travel to southern Indiana for an awards presentation on Friday, but the event was postponed for a week.

    The federal government plans to end in January the public health emergency it declared earlier this year after an outbreak of mpox left more than 29,000 people across the U.S. infected. Mpox cases have plummeted in recent weeks, with just a handful of new infections being reported every week in the month of November, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the height of the outbreak, over the summer, hundreds of people were being infected weekly. The virus has primarily spread among men who have sex with infected men. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says the agency “will continue to monitor the case trends closely.”

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