SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco is the place for thinking -- small. At least when it comes to apartments. The Board of Supervisors is to vote today on a change in the building code that would allow some of the tiniest apartments in the country. Under the plan, new apartments could be as small as 220 square feet. That's including a kitchen, bathroom and closet. Current regs require the living room alone to be that size. So, how do you live in an apartment that's just a bit bigger than a prison cell? The L.A. Times reports plans for one development have window seats that turn into spare beds and beds that become tables. Rents wouldn't be tiny, though. The micro-apartments are expected to run about $1,500 a month.
DEJA VU ROBBER
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A convicted bank robber admits it's a "pretty stupid crime." Adam Billman was in court yesterday to be sentenced for robbing the same bank twice. He's getting another three years. Billman already served a two-year sentence for holding up a Key Bank branch in downtown Cincinnati. He pleaded guilty to robbing it again, six months after he was released from prison. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the crime was committed in July.
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is taking a bath -- on his Baltimore townhome. The most decorated Olympian got $450,000 less for his house than he paid for it. Phelps has owned the townhouse in the trendy Fells Point neighborhood since 2007. He paid nearly $1.7 million for property and is letting it go for one and a-quarter mil. It's being bought by a Constellation Energy executive and is near the site of the company's new headquarters.
SMART TRAFFIC SIGNALS
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- There are plenty of dumb drivers -- but would traffic flow be better with smart lights? High-tech traffic lights are being tested in Pittsburgh in the city's congested East Liberty section. The technology was developed at Carnegie Mellon University. The lights are able to communicate to keep traffic moving. Researchers say a pilot program shows commute times through the area have been cut by 26 percent. Officials now want to expand the smart light test.
AMTRAK HIGH-SPEED TESTS
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Amtrak is going to break the speed limit this week. The rail service is testing high speed trains in the Northeast Corridor. The overnight test runs are planned for 165 miles per hour in four stretches from Maryland to Massachusetts. Amtrak may one day have regular 160 mph service. The added five miles per hour is considered a pad for safety. The high speed runs will use existing Acela Express equipment.
SOUTH PADRE CAM
PORT ISABEL, Texas (AP) -- South Padre Island is as close your nearest computer screen. Jerry and Jackie Reeves are bringing the popular Texas spring break and beach resort spot to the world. They've set up 13 web cams in the area. They moved to South Padre with the intention of retiring. But they tell The Brownsville Herald they "suck at retiring." The Reeves say their websites get up to 6,000 visitors a day.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.
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