The number of chronically homeless people in the U.S. dropped from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007—a 30 percent decrease—federal officials reported. The drop apparently reflects the success of the government’s “housing first” strategy, under which local officials first place those living on the streets in apartments or halfway houses, then focus on treating any mental problems or addictions. “These are people who everyone thought were hopeless: the undeserving poor,” said Martha Burt, a researcher at the Urban Institute in Washington. “They are not hopeless.”

Seventy years after the von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame fled Nazi-occupied Austria, their Salzburg mansion has reopened as a hotel and museum. Among the first visitors last week to the 22-bedroom villa was 94-year-old Maria von Trapp, the clan’s second eldest daughter, who flew in from the U.S. Initially confiscated by the Nazis, the 9,450-square-foot house was bought in 1947 by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, a religious order that worked with business partners to restore it. “Our whole life is in here, in this house,” said von Trapp. “I’m sleeping in the room where my brother slept.”

A British woman has just completed her 69th marathon—at the age of 69. Pauline Newsholme of Devon began long-distance running in 1982, to raise money for a children’s charity after her young daughter, Clare, was paralyzed following complications from measles. Clare recovered and Pauline continued to run for charity. Her latest marathon was in Edinburgh, and she has raised about $40,000 so far. “I may be at the age when most grannies are taking it easy, but not me,” she said. “I’m not ready to hang up my running shoes just yet.”