Average US 30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.19 percent

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:18 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:17 AM


            This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, photo shows a house for sale, in Miami. On Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Long-term US mortgage rates rose this week after three weeks of declines, marking their first increase of the year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans climbed to an average 4.19 percent from 4.09 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.79 percent.

The average for a 15-year mortgage increased to 3.40 percent from 3.34 percent last week.

Mortgage rates surged in the weeks since the election of Donald Trump in early November. Investors in Treasury bonds bid yield rates higher because they believe the president-elect's plans for tax cuts and higher spending on roads, bridges and airports will drive up economic growth and inflation.

That would depress prices of long-term Treasury bonds because inflation would erode their value over time, a prospect that caused investors to demand higher yields.

In the latest week, the price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond dropped, pushing up its yield.

Bond yields move opposite to prices and influence long-term mortgage rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.52 percent Wednesday from 2.42 percent a week earlier. The yield continued its steady march higher since Election Day Nov. 8, when it stood at 1.87 percent. It held steady at 2.52 percent Thursday morning.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage fell this week to 0.4 point from 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also slipped to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans eased to 3.20 percent from 3.21 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.4 point.

10-year-old boy with autism arrested at school

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 1:54 AM

Child arrested (stock photo)
jabejon/Getty Images

Luanne Haygood, the mother of a 10-year-old boy with autism, is angry that her son was arrested earlier this month at his Florida school for allegedly punching and kicking his teacher six months ago. Okeechobee County school resource officers put the child in handcuffs at Okeechobee Achievement Academy, but Haygood said the school district isn’t properly equipped to deal with autistic children.

“He has autism. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” she can be heard saying in the video that she recorded of her son’s arrest. “He’s scared to death. He’s 10 years old.”

>> Watch Haygood's video here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Haygood watched as her son was removed from his classroom for allegedly leaving a paraprofessional with scratches and other marks back in October. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant on allegations of felony battery on a school board authority.

“I was extremely angry. That I felt like this was a power play. I felt like this was a this is what you get. You can’t do anything about it. We’re going to arrest your son if he can’t abide by the rules,” Haygood told WFOR, adding that her son's disability is the reason behind his behavior. “To go and have him arrested on school grounds in front of other students, in front of personnel, during school hours – they could’ve come to my house at any time to tell me what was going on.”

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The boy reportedly spent one night in juvenile detention, according to the Washington Post. The child was then released on house arrest and is expected to appear in court next month.

Haygood said the incident would never have happened if the school had the proper services to address his disability.

“I want something done," she told WFOR. "I want other kids to not have to go through this.”

According to CNN, the school district released the following statement:

"It has been district procedure to invite students in to take the Florida Standards Assessment. The district would not invite someone to one of our campuses for the sole purpose to arrest.

"The district routinely assists students by providing services from our board certified behavioral analyst, licensed mental health counselors, school social workers, and psychologists. As a team, these individuals develop interventions, conduct assessments, and offer support both at school and in the home in order to assist students and families.

"The district is unable to provide specific information as to both current and past incidents regarding this or any other student due to educational laws and rules. It is our hope that we can continue to work with all families to help their students improve both behaviorally and academically."

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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Rare, 400-pound crocodile gets surgery at Florida zoo

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 6:43 PM

A crocodile. (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A 13-year-old Orinoco crocodile was taken into surgery at the Zoo Hospital in Miami on Friday to treat an infected wound.

A team of zoo staff veterinarians operated on the croc’s left wrist when “something, probably another cranky crocodile, took a bite out of it,” the Miami Herald reports.

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Orinoco crocodiles are a rare, endangered species that reside in fresh-water areas of the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela, the zoo told the Herald. They can grow up to 15 feet long.

The zoo’s 10-foot reptile resides at the “Amazon and Beyond” exhibit, according to the Herald. Veterinarians did routine screenings before operating on the crocodile, which included X-rays and blood tests.

The nearly 400-pound crocodile is currently recovering at the hospital and will remain there for a few days until the wound heals. 

Hernandez family thankful for condolences, asks for privacy at funeral

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee Shayanna Jenkins. (Photo: WFXT)

The body of former football star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez will be moved to a funeral home in Connecticut this weekend, just days after he apparently took his own life in jail. 

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His family sent a statement Saturday, thanking the public for offering condolences and complying with the family’s request for privacy:

"The family of Aaron Hernandez wishes to thank all of you for the thoughtful expressions of condolences. We wish to say goodbye to Aaron in a private ceremony and thank everyone in advance for affording us a measure of privacy during this difficult time."

The family wishes to remain private during the funeral, to which the media will not be allowed.

Hernandez’s body was taken from Massachusetts to the O’Brien Funeral Home in Bristol, Connecticut.

Earth Day 2017 prompts global #MarchForScience movement

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 8:44 AM

Earth Day 2017 will focus on the importance of science.

The March for Science movement is holding events around the globe to emphasize how important science is to mankind.

According to the March for Science’s Twitter profile, the organization “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.”

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The Trump administration’s proposed cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency and executive orders targeting environmental regulations has sparked the March for Science movement into action.

Marches are taking place at major cities around the world, including Washington, D.C.