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Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 12:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 12:36 PM
For travelers, the new year opens up a whole new world of places to go and things to do. Here are a few notable openings and events scheduled for 2018 around the U.S.
NOTABLE IN THE NEW YEAR
The Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania is scheduled to open the Tower of Voices in September. The structure will be part of the commemoration of the United Airlines plane that crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. It will rise 93 feet (28 meters) and will feature 40 chimes, a symbolic representation of the 40 passengers and crew who perished in the crash of Flight 93.
In Seattle, the Space Needle completes its renovation in the spring. New features include a multi-level, floor-to-ceiling glass viewing experience, open-air outdoor observation deck and glass benches designed to make visitors feel like they're floating on air. Two observation levels will be connected by a steel-and-wood staircase with glass oculus. The see-through glass rotating floor of the observation deck and lounge will open up a new view looking down.
EVENTS, DESTINATIONS AND OUTDOORS
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail . Take a forest hike in the wheel ruts of wagons that carried settlers westward, visit a living heritage museum like the Philip Foster Farm or learn more about the trail's history at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
Washington D.C.'s National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20-April 15, will be hosted in a new neighborhood, The Wharf, a 24-acre (10-hectare) development along the Potomac River with three hotels, 20 restaurants, four piers, a water taxi with service to Georgetown and an electric "jitney" boat that will shuttle visitors from the Wharf to the park behind the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin. On April 7, there will be a "Petalpalooza" festival with pink fireworks.
Motorcycle fans will want to be in Milwaukee for Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary hometown bash Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, including a parade.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Sawmill Market is expected to open this year, serving as the hub of the new Sawmill District neighborhood, north of Historic Old Town. The former industrial area will be a destination for art, entertainment, food and shopping, with a food hall and more at the Sawmill Market. Meanwhile a 50-mile activity loop recently opened in Albuquerque, connecting bike paths through destinations from the Sandia Mountains to the Bosque trail along the Rio Grande.
Stargazers will want to plan trips to central Idaho, which has just been designated as home to North America's first Dark Sky Preserve. The preserve includes Sun Valley, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and wilderness areas.
MUSEUMS AND OTHER OPENINGS
In Indianapolis, the Children's Museum opens the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience on March 17, with 12 outside sports experiences and three indoor exhibits devoted to physical fitness and sports history.
In Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University will open the Institute for Contemporary Art in April.
In Montgomery, Alabama, a new museum dedicated to slavery and its legacy is scheduled to open in April. The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is a project of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that provides legal representation to indigent prisoners, those who may have been wrongly convicted and defendants in Alabama death penalty cases.
The Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, is expanding, opening a new museum building by the end of the year along with additional acres for outdoor sculpture.
In St. Louis, the Gateway Arch Grounds and Museum opens July 4 with biking and running trails, space for outdoor concerts and indoor events and the new Jefferson Memorial Expansion Museum commemorating the westward expansion of the United States.
In New York City, Spyscape, a museum experience about the world of hacking, espionage, code-breakers and investigative journalism, opens in late January.
The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, opens in June. It's an agricultural center that shows visitors where food comes from, how it's produced and who's producing it, including a birthing barn for calves.
In addition to the usual theme park attraction openings — including Toy Story Land at Disney World — a new water sports park is expected in Orlando this summer. Nona Adventure Park will feature an inflatable, floating obstacle course, wakeboarders pulled along by cables and a 60-foot (18-meter) climbing tower with a ropes course.
A new private train line, Brightline, is expected to launch introductory service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale the second week of January.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:14 AM
TODAY: Increasing clouds and breezy for the day with temperatures climbing to the lower 40s. However, winds will make it feel like the upper 20s to lower 30s during the afternoon. Areas of light drizzle and mist will develop tonight as temperatures dip into the mid 30s. Drivers should watch for isolated slick spots on overpasses and bridges.
TOMORROW: We’ll experience cloudy skies with a chance for drizzle and fog. A few light showers will be possible as temperatures climb into the mid 40s.
MONDAY: It’ll be mainly dry to start the day, but rain chances increase late morning into the afternoon. Gusty winds will be likely as temperatures soar into the lower 50s.
TUESDAY: A colder, blustery day with the chance for a few passing snow showers or flurries. Highs will be in the mid-30s, but will feel like the teens and 20s.
WEDNESDAY: Some sunshine make a return, but it will still be breezy and cold in the upper 30s.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:23 PM
Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:11 AM
WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down Saturday for the first time since 2013 late Friday, with a handful of Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate opposing efforts to keep the federal government running for another month.
By a vote of 50-48, Senate Republicans fell far short of the 60 votes needed to end floor debate and clear the way for a vote on a bill approved Thursday by the House which would keep the federal government open until the middle of February.
Hundreds of housands of federal workers faced the possibility of being furloughed during a shutdown.
While most of the functions of the federal government will still operate – the mail will be delivered, Social Security checks will still go out, the military will still function – workers deemed “non-essential” would be asked not to go to work, and would be paid only after the federal government resumed operations.
At issue was what would be the fourth temporary spending bill passed by Congress since the fiscal year began in October.
That bill would also extend the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, for six years. Republicans included the measure as a sweetener aimed at attracting Democratic support.
At first, the plan seemed to work, with Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio indicating he’d likely support the bill. But Brown joined most Senate Democrats Friday in blocking a floor vote.
Brown was influenced in part by the announcement Friday that a handful of Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona did not plan to vote for the bill. They had been working toward a separate measure aimed at extending a program that allows people brought to the United States illegally as children to stay, and called for a short-term bill that would keep the government open through early next week, expressing confidence that they could come up with a long term plan during that time.
Brown jumped, saying he’d support the shorter-term plan.
“We are very close to a bipartisan agreement, and we owe it to the people we work for to keep working and get the job done,” said Brown.
But in agreeing to the shorter-term plan, he became the object of derision from Republicans who hope to unseat him later this year. They said by opting not to support the bill passed by the House, he was effectively voting against the six-year extension of CHIP.
Blaine Kelly of the Ohio Republican Party said Brown’s decision not to vote for the GOP plan “is a flip flop beyond belief, and puts the health insurance of nearly a quarter million Ohio children at risk.”
Jennifer Donohue, communications director for Brown, replied that CHIP would have passed “months ago” if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, “had listened to Senator Brown, but instead they’re holding the program hostage and using Ohio kids as political leverage.”
Last December, Brown voted against a temporary spending bill that kept the government open because it only extended CHIP money for three months instead of five years.
While Republicans blamed Senate Democrats for the shutdown, a Washington Post-ABC News Poll released Friday indicated most Americans blamed the party in power: 48 percent of those polled blamed Republicans while 28 percent blamed Democrats.
Ohio Democrats, meanwhile, pointed out that Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, who is challenging Brown for Senate, voted for the measure that led to the federal government shutdown in 2013.
“If the government shuts down tonight, the blame will lay at the feet of Republicans in control of Washington, like Rep. Jim Renacci, who irresponsibly govern by crisis and play political games,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jake Strassberger.
Renacci and Senate Republican candidate Mike Gibbons were quick to strike back. James Slepian, a Renacci aide said “after Sherrod Brown vowed to shut down the government, cut off funding to our troops and deny health insurance to 9 million low income children, Senator Brown and his lackeys at the Ohio Democratic Party are terrified by the hell he’ll pay with Ohio voters.”
Gibbons said that “Sherrod Brown and Chuck Schumer are playing politics with people's lives for partisan advantage.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” seemed puzzled that Democrats were holding up the bill in large part because of the immigration issue, saying “it’s an issue that hasn’t been resolved yet and it will take a little more time.” He backed moving the bill forward.
“This is not a good way to score political points,” Portman said.
Despite the shutdown, much of the government will remain effectively operational, albeit on a smaller scale, at least in the short term. The mail will still get delivered, the post offices will remain open, the Army, Navy and Air Force operate as usual but active duty members will not be paid until the shutdown ends, and Americans receive their Social Security checks. Medicare and Medicaid continue to function.
The state in 2016 had 77,400 federal employees, of which 5,250 were on active duty with the Air Force. Air Force civilian employment was 13,838, almost all at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.
During past partial shutdowns, some civilian workers were furloughed, although they were paid when the government re-opened. In the 2013 shutdown, 50 workers at the Defense Supply Center in Whitehall were furloughed.
In part, Democrats have adopted a strategy aimed at their political base which is demanding action on the Dreamers and wants more confrontation with Trump. By doing so, they are emulating the Republican strategy of 2013 in which the GOP closed the government in a futile effort to convince President Barack Obama to scrap his 2010 health law known as Obamacare.
“Smart Republicans have learned how stupid it is politically to shut down the government,” said one longtime Republican lobbyist in Washington. “You don’t win when you shut down the government.”
The Republican said the Senate Democrat strategy was complicated when House Republicans overcame their vast differences and passed the temporary spending bill Thursday. Until then, Senate Democrats could justifiably argue that the GOP-controlled House could not keep the government open.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:54 AM
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Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8:34 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 8:20 p.m.: DP&L crews are continuing to search for a possible cause of the power outage along Brown Street that affected 1,325 customers in total, spokesman Kevin Hall said.
The outage hit about 6:50 p.m., he said. Electric service was restored to all affected customers shortly after 8 p.m.
UPDATE @ 7:39 p.m.:
The DP&L online outage map now shows 126 customers without power along Brown Street, near Miami Valley Hospital and the UD student neighborhoods, from Chambers Street to U.S. 35.
A hospital administrator at MVH said the hospital is operating on generator power.
Elevators there stopped immediately when the outage struck about 6:45 p.m., she said. Workers and security were able to get everyone off the cars, she said.
No patients were put in danger because of the outage, she said.
Hundreds of businesses and residences along Brown Street, near Miami Valley Hospital and the University of Dayton student neighborhoods, are without power.
According to the Dayton Power & Light online outage map, nearly 1,200 customers are affected.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Guest lists being checked to track drug dealers
Calls began coming into the newsroom just before 7 p.m.
We’re hearing the outage extends along Brown Street, from Chambers Street west to U.S. 35.
Jimmy’s Ladder 11, in the 900 block of Brown, and Subway, in the 1100 block, are among the businesses in the dark.
We have a call into DP&L for details about the possible cause of the outage.