Creek County in Oklahoma is so big, responding to a call can sometimes take a bit of research for Cpl. Allen Harwood. Gail Banzet/NPR hide caption

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Angel Blas, 51, stands in his backyard with one of his pet guinea pigs. A law firm persuaded him to pay $3,500 to negotiate with his lender to refinance his mortgage. Blas says the firm took no action. Ari Daniel Shapiro for NPR hide caption

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Atlantic City is taking a gamble that firing some of its city workers will shore up its deficit. Economists say cuts by state and local governments are creating a drag on the economy. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Burke, owner of Loop Linen and Uniform Service in Westwego, La., says the Gulf oil spill has had an impact on his bottom line. "As the restaurants slow down, we slow down," Burke says. "It's just a trickle-down effect." Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

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President Obama gives a speech July 15 at the groundbreaking for a battery plant in Holland, Mich. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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