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Opera house undergoes $18M renovation in its 150th year

Mon, 29 May 2017 17:17:46 UT

The nonprofit group that owns it hopes to make it into a centerpiece of live performance and a gathering place for the seaside resort town already known around the world for its jazz and folk festivals. While thousands of music lovers flock to the city every summer for the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, there are limited venues for live music, said Jay Sweet, the festivals' executive producer. Because of those limitations, they are always on the hunt for more places that can host musicians during a festival weekend, he said. Opera Houses were built across the country in the mid- to late 1800s as a dedicated performance space used by the town for all kinds of public gatherings, according to Ken Stein, president and CEO of the League of Historic American Theatres. Being added are modern bathrooms, up-to-date accessibility, concessions and even a room that will allow parents to bring crying babies and still watch the show. Vareika has been in talks with Curt Columbus, artistic director for Providence's Trinity Repertory Company, which has been a launching pad for celebrated actors such as Viola Davis and Richard Jenkins.

Albanians NGO files lawsuit against park hydropower project

Mon, 29 May 2017 14:43:31 UT

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian residents and a non-governmental organization have filed a lawsuit against the government for giving a permit to build a hydropower station in a protected valley. Toka president Catherine Bohne said the project would cause "serious and irreparable damage to both the natural environment as well as the community's social well-being." Bohne said area residents were worried when they saw the first developer start building a few years ago a 2 megawatt power plant that could change the flow of river water with a new canal.

BA travel problems enter 3rd day as most services resume

Mon, 29 May 2017 14:33:24 UT

LONDON (AP) — Travelers on British Airways faced a third day of delays and cancellations Monday, though most long-haul services were resumed, after a colossal IT failure over the weekend caused chaos for thousands of passengers. BA chief executive Alex Cruz said the airline was running a "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport and planned to operate all scheduled long-haul services from Heathrow. Cruz told Sky News on Monday the problem started at 9:30 Saturday morning when "there was indeed a power surge that had a catastrophic effect over some communications hardware which eventually affected all the messaging across our systems."

Vermont nude beach fans against parking lot, boardwalk

Mon, 29 May 2017 14:08:14 UT

Concerned about the cars that park along the highway by the lake during summer, the state is offering a redevelopment plan that is being criticized by people who use the beach and the surrounding area. The plan includes clearing land to make way for parking, boardwalk trails and restrooms. When the state held public meetings about the plans last winter, some officials were shocked at the level of opposition. Shelah Vogel, of Newport Center, Vermont, said she fears the state's proposal could turn the area into a state park that could eventually require paid admission, forcing out the skinny dippers. For decades, the tiny beach at the south end of Lake Willoughby, the 5-mile (8-kilometer), narrow body of water flanked by two steep mountains, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the Canadian border, has been a haven for people who like to frolic nude. There is a clothed beach closer to the highway, a boat launch and miles of hiking trails in the Willoughby State Forest. Famously, in 1971, Vermont's most senior politician, Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, then the Chittenden County state's attorney, wrote a memo for police about nude swimmers.

Philadelphia's music history — a DIY tour

Mon, 29 May 2017 10:48:41 UT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia doesn't make it easy for music fans to explore the city's vast and rich musical legacy, but you can cobble together a do-it-yourself tour of the sights, sounds and neighborhoods that nurtured talent. Other places for inspiration: local news site Billy Penn puts out a Black Music Map every year in honor of Black History Month, and fans and experts offer tours through Jane's Walks, like this recent one exploring Ridge Avenue's jazz corridor. —SIGMA SOUND STUDIOS, 212 N. 12th St. The studio founded in 1968 by engineer Joe Tarsia helped create "The Sound of Philadelphia" — rich layers of vocals and orchestral arrangements, often echoing with a political message. —THE UPTOWN THEATER , 2240 N. Broad St. The Uptown rivaled New York City's Apollo theater, and was a major stop on the "Chitlin Circuit" — a network of clubs and theaters with mostly black owners and audiences during segregation. The building now houses a small business development center, but the studio is still intact with the original lighting and memorabilia is highlighted around the building. Over the years there was talk of transforming it into a music museum, possibly housing the Rhythm and Blues Foundation or restoring it as a live music venue. —THE CHECKER CAFE (LATER, THE CHECKER CLUB), 2125 Ridge Ave. This dilapidated building is the shell of the last jazz club along what was once the bustling Ridge Avenue jazz corridor.

Philadelphia's music legacy is vast but hard to find

Mon, 29 May 2017 10:39:33 UT

[...] in Philadelphia — birthplace of the lush acoustic style known as The Sound of Philadelphia and the hometown of "American Bandstand" and Chubby Checker's "Twist" — there's no major place of pilgrimage for music fans. "Tourists come here expecting and hoping to experience our music legacy, and we leave them wanting," said Patty Wilson Aden, president of The African American Museum. A Walk of Fame, murals and historical markers honor musicians and the music industry. Music promoter Larry Magid, who brought the Live Aid concert to Philly in 1985 and booked shows at the storied Electric Factory venue, was involved in the failed effort to locate the Rock Hall here. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records, home of musicians like Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls and the O'Jays, offered tours and a small gift shop before an arsonist nearly burned the place down in 2010. Before they bought the building in 1970, it was home to Cameo Parkway Records, where Chubby Checker recorded the "The Twist" and Dee Dee Sharp recorded "Mashed Potato Time." At the Motown Museum — located in the house of the label's founder, Berry Gordy — visitors glimpse the sofa where Marvin Gaye napped and the candy machine Stevie Wonder memorized the buttons for. "Philadelphia is such a great city with a strong musical legacy similar to Detroit, New Orleans, Liverpool and Memphis," said Regena Bearden, chief marketing officer of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.

44 people rescued after high tide traps them on breakwall

Sun, 28 May 2017 22:33:23 UT

(AP) — More than 40 people have been rescued after becoming stranded on a breakwall during high tide at an historic Massachusetts coastal resort town. The Coast Guard says its crew, the Provincetown harbormaster, and local emergency responders coordinated the rescue, picking up 44 people by boat and safely returning them to shore.

Hyannis to mark centennial of John F. Kennedy's birth

Sun, 28 May 2017 19:49:30 UT

(AP) — Several events will be held in Hyannis to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy. The exhibit displays more than 80 photographs, text panels and artifacts of Kennedy's life.

Modern-day revolution celebrated in Philadelphia street art

Sun, 28 May 2017 16:03:55 UT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seeking to appeal to visitors more familiar with the words of "Game of Thrones" heroine Daenarys Targaryen than the writings of James Wilson, Philadelphia museums and historic sites are thinking differently, using creative art exhibitions and adding online components to their offerings. "Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition," on display until July 4, features 13 artists who created 13 works that challenge the status quo. After seeing an online version of the Constitution garner more than 10 million hits in 18 months, museum leaders decided to also feature the rare drafts online, where visitors will learn how one draft called for the U.S. president to be addressed as "His Excellency." A group of fourth graders last week ran through the newly unveiled Museum of the American Revolution singing the show's songs and looking for historic highlights they'd learned through music.

Hamptons braces for sunshine, parties, and noisy aircraft

Sun, 28 May 2017 15:39:41 UT

[...] for some eastern Long Island residents, the annual arrival of the jet set also brings the thumpety-thump of helicopters and whine of airplane engines. Last fall, a federal appeals court struck down nighttime curfews and limits on the frequency of "noisy" flights that town officials had imposed on the East Hampton Airport, which serves as a hub for rich beachgoers zipping in from New York City and points beyond. The town asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal, but in the meantime, some fed-up Hamptons' residents are now saying they want the airport shut down altogether. First you will feel the low-end bass, then the flop-flop noise. The town of East Hampton, which said it logged 24,000 complaints from July 4, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016, thought it had addressed the issue when it enacted laws in 2015 barring flights between 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., and a once-weekly limit on aircraft deemed noisy, according to FAA noise standards, between May and September. Residents there raised concerns about noise, air pollution and the risk of planes crashing into neighborhoods. John Kelly, director of operations for Shoreline Aviation, an operator of seaplanes that use the airport, said his company has made efforts to fly at higher altitudes until it gets close to the airport to reduce noise complaints.

The Latest: BA says 'many' of its IT systems up and running

Sun, 28 May 2017 13:28:53 UT

British Airways says "many" of its IT systems are up and running, but travelers still face cancellations and delays after a global computer failure grounded hundreds of flights. BA chief executive Alex Cruz says the airline is running a "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport and plans to run all scheduled long-haul services from Heathrow on Sunday. Passengers still face hours-long lines to check in, reclaim lost luggage or rebook flights at Terminal 5, BA's hub at Heathrow.

The Latest: Obama offers Prince Harry condolences on attack

Sat, 27 May 2017 20:35:20 UT

Police say nothing suspicious has been found at London's Old Vic Theatre after a security alert prompted the evacuation of cast and audience in the middle of a performance. Theatergoers earlier tweeted that a matinee performance of "Woyzeck" — starring "Star Wars" actor John Boyega — was halted by theater staff and audience and cast were told to leave. The police force said specialist officers searched the building and found nothing suspicious. Soccer fans are arriving for the FA Cup final with armed police on the streets outside at Wembley Stadium in London as Britain stages its biggest sporting event since the Manchester suicide bombing. The 22 people killed in Manchester on Monday night will be remembered in the London stadium Saturday before Arsenal and Chelsea contest the soccer showpiece. Photos showed police tape cordoning off the area around the theater, near the city's busy Waterloo Station, which handles both trains and the tube. British Prime Minister Theresa May says the country's threat level from terrorism had been reduced from its top level of "critical," which indicates an attack is imminent. Police are searching a number of properties and have 11 suspects in custody in connection with Monday's explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which killed 22 people and injured dozens. Five days after a bomber killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, more than a thousand armed police are on standby as major events including the Football Association Cup Final and the Premiership Rugby Final are expected to draw tens of thousands of people.