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Dakotas recovering slowly from storm...Stocks open higher...Home prices rise



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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two days after a Christmas storm blasted the northern Great Plains, authorities are still advising people not to travel across parts of North Dakota. Interstate 94 has reopened, but the National Weather Service says some roads are still blocked by drifting snow. Minot (MY'-naht) International Airport reopened overnight, but flights aren't expected to resume until late morning. Thousands of homes and businesses are still without power in the Dakotas and Michigan.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have opened slightly higher in quiet trading on Wall Street as traders return from the Christmas holiday weekend. Drugmaker Biogen rose 2 percent after regulators approved the company's drug to treat a rare genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices have risen again, driven up by buyers bidding for scarce properties. The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.1 percent in October from a year earlier. But prices for the 20 cities are still 7.1 percent below their July 2006 peak. The broader Case-Shiller national home price index was up 5.6 percent in October.

HALIFAX, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania couple has been jailed on $1 million bail, accused of neglecting three young children. Police and child welfare investigators say the emaciated children were locked inside a room each night with no heat and little food. Police say Brandi Weyant blamed her husband for the abuse. Court documents say Joshua Weyant denied abusing the children, but said he didn't want them "overfed."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comedian and actor Ricky Harris has died. He had a recurring role in Chris Rock's sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" and voiced several characters that appeared in Hip Hop albums. Harris died yesterday at age 54. There's no word on the cause of death, but the Los Angeles Times reports that his manager says Harris suffered a heart attack two years ago.

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The Associated Press

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