Sat, 18 Feb 2017 17:21:22 UTThe Maine town of Eastport reported 69 inches in a 10-day period while the state's largest ski resorts, Sunday River and Sugarloaf, reported record-setting snowfalls for February, with 4 feet in the last week. Visits to Cannon Mountain Ski Area in Franconia, New Hampshire, are up by 65 percent, and snow cover is three times what it was last year at this time, spokesman Greg Keeler said. The dramatic rebound has helped some resorts begin to recover from a disastrous year in which skier and snowboard visits were down, including 32 percent in Vermont. [...] it also served to highlight the growing challenges that come with being part of the ski business at a time when the climate is changing. Some resorts are preparing for the weather fluctuations while also saving energy costs and making better quality snow by adding energy efficient snowmaking that allows them to make snow at higher temperatures and at a lower cost, said Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 17:16:49 UTHistorians cite the failed attempt by Brown and a band of fervent followers to raid the federal arsenal as the opening salvo in the Civil War because it incited strong passions, especially in the slave-holding South. James Brown, Ray Charles, Chubby Checker, Etta James, Otis Redding and dozens of others headlined at John Brown's Farm, a stop on the so-called Chitlin' Circuit before white audiences embraced rhythm-and-blues and soul music. Maliskas, a historian, musician and retired evangelical pastor, spent nearly eight years researching and writing the book after hearing about the R&B connection in a casual conversation in 2008, shortly after moving from Miami to Hagerstown. The organization — itself a product of racial segregation — built the auditorium, two cottages and a stone entrance arch before financial constraints and convenience prompted a move to Winton, North Carolina, now the group's national headquarters. [...] the nonprofit group Preservation Maryland hopes the state will at least provide funds to further document the building, which reportedly also served as a gay nightclub or disco in the 1970s, Executive Director Nicholas Redding said.
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 16:23:35 UTThe 45-minute "Museum Workout" sends people in exercise attire chugging through 35 galleries, past paintings, sculptures, armor and other treasures, before the venerable Fifth Avenue institution opens to the public. [...] came the speedy trek through the galleries and up the preserved ornate staircase of the 19th century Chicago stock exchange. There were squats in front of John Singer Sargent's "Portrait of Madame X," balancing on one leg before Henry VIII's rigid armor, a yoga pose before a bronze nude of the Roman hunting goddess Diana, and jumping jacks in-between, all to a soundtrack of disco and Motown hits. De Viteri helped guide the workout session in a vintage tuxedo and sneakers, holding a laptop attached to a speaker that channeled music and recorded narration by artist and author Maira Kalman, who selected the art and gallery route. Museum officials say there are no immediate plans for a future staging of what is essentially a "performance piece" that took three years to create, with each participant movement matching music and visuals moment by moment.
Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:21:10 UTPassenger train derails near Brussels; 1 killed, 20 hurt BRUSSELS (AP) — A passenger train derailed and flipped on its side Saturday near Brussels, killing one person and injuring up to 20 others, a Belgian official said.
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:04:33 UTSEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — Some residents of a shore town stung by MTV's "Jersey Shore" are wary about plans by a bar featured in that series to hold a casting call for a new reality show. The Bamboo Bar in Seaside Heights is looking for "loud and fun" single people at a casting call Saturday. The planned show is tentatively titled "I Love Summer" and would follow roommates who work on the beach during the day and at the bar at night, according to a Bamboo Bar social media posting.
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:59:18 UTMILAN (AP) — The appearance of an oasis of palm trees opposite Milan's gothic-era Duomo Cathedral has spawned a vibrant public debate. The head of the anti-migrant Northern League was criticized after writing on Twitter that the scene was only missing "sand, camels and illegal migrants who will feel at home," while one of his colleagues suggested that to accompany the desert scene, the cathedral's famed spires would next be covered with minarets. The variety he planted, Trachycarpus fortunei, is well-suited to Milan's continental climate, resisting temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius below zero (5 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:30:58 UT(AP) — They are outfits you might expect to see in Lady Gaga's closet: a flamingo pink Fiberglas frock and a wooden one-piece replica of Notre Dame Cathedral. The quirky show, a collision of art and the craziest of couture, offers visitors a chance to view 32 award-winning costumes from the New Zealand-based design competition of the same name. Nearly three decades ago, the contest began when organizers asked an eclectic international mix of boat builders, taxidermists, amateur enthusiasts and others to push the boundaries of clothing and artwork. The horned body armor with a protruding dragon head and red heart on the belt was conceived after Saunders wondered what the human body might look like if it had more tattoo ink than blood running through its veins.
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:29:14 UTOfficials announced Thursday that the female reticulated giraffe calf was born Feb. 6 to 4-year-old Juma and 11-year-old Caesar. Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager, says the calf was able to stand on her own in just 50 minutes.
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:08:33 UTROME (AP) — Six mountain climbers were killed Thursday in separate incidents in Italy and France after slabs of ice from frozen waterfalls detached from mountainsides, Alpine rescue authorities said. A fifth climber survived, apparently because he already had reached a ledge above where the frozen waterfall cracked off, the head of the Val d'Aosta Alpine rescue service, Adriano Favre, told Italian media.
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:51:30 UTIn a statement, zoo officials say scimitar-horned oryxs, named for their sword-like antlers, used to be prevalent from northern Africa to Sudan until they went extinct in the wild in 1999. [...] the desert antelope have been successfully bred in captivity and some have even been reintroduced in their native range.
Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:54:28 UT(AP) — Stormy winter weather downed 17 power poles near a Wyoming resort last week, causing the region's residents and visitors to abandon several hotels and hundreds of homes. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce estimates that 1,500 rentable units were deserted last week, including all eight hotels in Teton Village, reported The Jackson Hole News & Guide (http://bit.ly/2kTpdhh ). The power outage cost local businesses more than $5 million in lost revenue and inventory, $2.5 million of which came from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort being closed for five days, according to The Teton Village Association.
Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:54:05 UTDebbie Sebastian, a Travel Leaders agent in Danville, Kentucky, says she's seeing lots of groups traveling with Punta Cana being the most popular choice this year. Some ski resorts schedule fun events to mark the end of winter, from concerts to costume contests and parties with a beach-and-barbecue theme. Baseball fans often schedule trips to catch their favorite MLB teams getting ready for opening day. Wendy Perrin, founder of the travel planning site WendyPerrin.com, says her best spring vacations with two boys have been to Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia; Paris; and a Panama Canal cruise. Other noteworthy events include the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial 2017 in New York, a contemporary art survey opening March 17; in Kansas City, Missouri, special exhibitions at the National World War I Museum and an April 6 commemoration of the centennial of America's 1917 entry into the war; and at the Dallas Museum of Art, opening March 12, a survey of 200 works of Mexican modern art by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and others. [...] spring means flowers.