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Group offers tours of 'Field of Dreams' house

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:59:43 UT

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports ( ) the group Go the Distance Baseball announced Monday it would open the lower level of the house, which was used as a backdrop for much of the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner. [...] the house has been closed to the public.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit adds 2 stations, grows to 93 miles

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:36:21 UT

DALLAS (AP) — The longest light rail system in the U.S. just got bigger. Dallas Area Rapid Transit on Monday opened two more stations as part of a 3-mile Blue Line expansion to the south. The new light rail locations include stops at Camp Wisdom and the University of North Texas at Dallas. Spokesman Morgan Lyons says the DART light rail system has now grown to 93 miles and 64 stations. DART, which began operations in June 1996, serves Dallas and a dozen other North Texas cities. ___ Online:

$320M capital campaign complete for Ohio art museum

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:10:55 UT

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio art museum says it has completed a $320 million capital campaign that paid for its years long expansion from 389,000 square feet to 588,000 square feet. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports ( ) the Cleveland Museum of Art made the announcement on Saturday at its "CMA X 100" Centennial Celebration.

Fight over Vanderbilts' Breakers mansion goes to high court

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 15:12:20 UT

The disagreement centers on whether the group should be allowed to build a visitors center on the grounds of the spectacular Vanderbilt mansion The Breakers, a national historic landmark. The Preservation Society of Newport Country, which owns The Breakers and several other mansions in the wealthy resort town, says it wants to build the visitors center in a little-used portion of the grounds to better serve its 400,000 annual visitors with improved ticketing and restroom facilities, as well as a place to buy pre-made sandwiches and refreshments.

Yankee magazine, WGBH launching new travel/lifestyles show

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 13:14:50 UT

BOSTON (AP) — Yankee magazine and Boston's public television station, WGBH, are teaming up to launch a new travel and lifestyles show exploring New England. The producers say the documentary series will take viewers on "an insider's exploration" from cities to far-flung countryside across the six-state region, which is a top destination for tourists from around the world. WGBH is the nation's largest producer of public broadcasting programs for TV and online, including Frontline, ''NOVA, ''American Experience, ''Masterpiece and Antiques Roadshow.

Giant pages from ancient Quran on display in Washington, DC

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:49:52 UT

Like many items in the exhibit focused on the Muslim holy book, these pages come with a story — this one involving the feared nomadic conqueror, Timur, who ruled a huge empire based in central Asia. While the feat of creating a tiny Quran likely required more skill, it is amazing that the calligrapher had the "bravery to attempt something like this," said Massumeh Farhad, chief curator at the Sackler and Freer and curator of Islamic art. The show brings together manuscripts and folios from the museum in Istanbul with manuscripts from the collection of the Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art, which together form the Smithsonian's Asian art museum.

Goodyear christening 2nd airship in fleet replacing blimps

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:41:54 UT

Though they still use helium and bear the blue-and-gold Goodyear logo, they aren't technically blimps because they have a fixed structure holding the balloon in place. Wingfoot Two was finished in March and already was used for some event coverage ahead of Friday's christening in Akron, where Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is based.

Open House: Vatican opens papal summer apartment to public

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:07:32 UT

The Vatican on Friday opened the private apartments at the papal summer retreat to the public, giving visitors a rare look at the bed where Popes Pius XII and Paul VI died and where John Paul II recovered from an assassination attempt in 1981. In 2014, the gardens opened to visitors, in part to help offset the economic downturn the lake-front town has experienced since Francis decided to stay put in Rome. The Vatican Museums, home to the Sistine Chapel and other papal treasures, run the Castel Gandolfo estate, which features a working farm that supplies the Vatican with fresh dairy, eggs, honey and produce. Popes past have always used it as a summer getaway, and Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI famously closed out his papacy there on Feb. 28, 2013 when the big wood and bronze doors on the main palazzo slammed shut after he left the Vatican for the last time as pope.

Historic mountaintop stone cabin gutted by fire is rebuilt

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:19:21 UT

(AP) — A historic mountaintop stone cabin that was gutted by an accidental fire caused by the sons of a snowboard company founder almost a year ago has been rebuilt and will be ready for guests soon. The state-owned stone hut was built in the 1930s on Mount Mansfield by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a warming hut for crews working on ski trails on the mountain, the state's tallest. The family of Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards, donated $150,000 toward its restoration, and other people fond of it chipped in a total of $12,000 plus services and materials. Police say the snowboard company founder, also known as Jake Burton, asked his two adult sons to get the cabin prepared for a friend on Dec. 23 by stoking a fire in the wood stove. The guest didn't show up, and the hut, which had a wooden roof, wooden interior walls and wooden platforms for beds, caught fire.

Signs of the Ice Age in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:20:12 UT

The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive's green-and-white acorn-shaped signs are easy to spot, often tacked to plain wooden posts at the edge of a field where two country roads intersect. Some of the signs looked so picture-perfect — framed by wildflowers, snaking vines and tall grasses — that I stopped to take a photo. [...] those friendly old-school Kettle Moraine signs became my lodestars, making it easy to follow a meandering route through a rustic landscape of farms, forests, wetlands and prairie. All I did was experience the landscape, stopping dozens of times just to gaze at a lonely farmhouse or take a closer look at a colorful flower swaying in the breeze by the side of the road. In addition to signs for the Kettle Moraine, when you drive through the area you'll also encounter signs for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a 1,000-mile route located entirely within Wisconsin. On a trail at Butler Lake, just steps from the parking lot, I walked on an esker — a ridge formed by retreating glaciers, with steep slopes on either side of the path and a kettle lake, formed when soil covered a large piece of ice that eventually melted.

Berlin through new eyes: Syrian refugees offer guided tours

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:16:01 UT

[...] Zakri doesn't even meet the groups he guides in Berlin's touristy Mitte district. Here, standing between gritty pawn shops and greasy kebab stores, the 34-year-old Syrian refugee introduces you to his own, very personal version of Berlin. Zakri arrived in Germany in June 2015 as one of the 890,000 asylum seekers last year who came looking for safety from war and hardship in countries like Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. The new restaurants and bakeries that have popped up across the immigrant neighborhood of Neukoelln are a top destination for the thousands of homesick Syrian asylum seekers currently living on a diet of bland, mass-produced meals in Berlin's refugee shelters. [...] Zakri takes the tourists to Shaam Restaurant, where young men are sitting around tables wolfing down plates of hummus topped with chickpeas, tahini and plenty of olive oil, or eating rolled-up pita sandwiches stuffed with chicken kebab, tomatoes and parsley. There's no time for the tourists to sit down for a meal because Zakri has already moved on to the next stop: a former department store that was turned into a makeshift shelter for hundreds of asylum seekers. Anti-migrant sentiment has been on the rise across Europe and in Germany, especially after two attacks in July that were carried out by asylum seekers and claimed by the Islamic State group.

What's left of New York's Little Syria a short but rich tour

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:37:23 UT

Fine, president of the Washington Street Historical Society, says three buildings on Washington Street are "the last traces" of the neighborhood that stretched several blocks from the foot of Manhattan north to where the World Trade Center was later built. [...] the historic row on Washington Street between Rector and Carlisle streets offers a representative sampling of the mostly vanished neighborhood: The building has been protected as a city landmark, Fine said, though preservationists have been unsuccessful in efforts to secure similar protections for the rest of the row. — The middle building, now known as the Downtown Community House, is vacant but has served over the years as a settlement house for immigrants and recently a Buddhist temple — as evidenced by the Buddhas adorning the Colonial Revival exterior. Sahadi Importing Co., which moved in the late 1940s from Manhattan to Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue — a parallel home and hub for Syrians and other Arabs — and remains a popular gourmet grocery to this day. Back in Lower Manhattan, those looking for more about Little Syria can learn about the neighborhood's literary legacy — it was the headquarters for many writers, including famed poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran — in Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza.