NEVADA

Not the goodies cabbie expected

Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat.

It turned out to be cold, hard cash.

Gamboa was making a pickup Monday at the Bellagio when a hotel doorman noticed the brown paper bag. He reached in and handed it to Gamboa.

At a red light, the Checker Cab driver's curiosity got the best of him. To his surprise, he found six bundles of $100 bills totaling $300,000.

Gamboa called his dispatcher and took the money to the company's main office, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Las Vegas police and casino officials were able to link the money to a well-known poker player, whom they declined to identify.

It was unknown whether Gamboa would receive a nice big Christmas tip.

- AP

WASHINGTON

It's only temporary

Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.

Regulators on Tuesday approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter in an effort to help the U.S. Postal Service recover from severe mail decreases brought on by the 2008 economic downturn.

Many consumers won't feel the price increase immediately. Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the future rate, can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective Jan. 26.

- AP

NEW YORK

Three . . . two . . .

The drama of New York City's Times Square New Year's Eve countdown is going miniature with a free app for electronic devices. Touted as simpler to navigate than earlier versions,

it promises news and updates from the Times Square ball.

- AP