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10 places to spend the holidays away from home

Published: Monday, November 27, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

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In the mood for a new adventure or looking for a change of scenery? The holiday season is the perfect time to explore a new destination, see new things and learn about different cultures. 

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Here are 10 places to consider visiting: 

1. Tromso, Norway

ALTA, NORWAY - MARCH 29: A general view of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights between Jokelfjord and Alteidet on March 29, 2017 in Troms, Norway. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)(Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

If you like the night life, Tromso is the place for you. Daylight during the holiday season is just a couple of hours long.

But the darkness is lit up by incredible views of the northern lights (look for them between 6 p.m. and midnight) and a chance to say you’ve been to the North Pole -- well, the Arctic Circle, anyway -- for Christmas.

2. Prague, Czech Republic

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - APRIL 12: The Moldau River flows under the Charles Bridge (2nd from bottom) and past buildings in Old Town on April 12, 2009 in Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is among Europe's major tourist destinations. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Seeing “The Nutcracker” is a great experience. Seeing it in Prague, one of the homes of ballet, is an even more noteworthy experience.

After leaving the Czech ballet, enjoy historic Nerudova Street in Mala Strana, which is filled with Gothic and Baroque architecture. Don’t miss the holiday markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

3. Lapland, Finland

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Entrance of Santa Claus' Main Post Office in Santa Claus' Village on November 27, 2006 at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Province of Lapland, Finland. Each year over 600,000 letters are received from children in over 150 countries, particularly Great Britain, Poland and Japan. The staff speak many languages and endeavour to reply on Santa's behalf to all those who provide a return address.(Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Want to walk in a real winter wonderland? Urho Kekkonen National Park, a 90-minute flight from Helsinki, is the real thing. Cross the frosty landscape via a reindeer-pulled sled or go cross-country skiing on the Saariselkä trails.

If you want to watch the northern lights warmly, some of the igloos at Hotel Kakslauttanen are made of thermal glass.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Snow covered alpine mountains seen from a commercial flight from Athens International Airport to Heathrow Airport on February 21, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)(Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

One of the most beautiful cities in Europe believes in lighting up the holidays. A display of 12,000 crystal lights are turned on to mark the season starting in late November.

On the eve of Dec. 19, children set candles afloat on the Limmat River near City Hall. And don’t miss the Conelli Christmas Circus.

5. Charleston, South Carolina

Market Hall is a Greek Revival style building and is part of a Colonial era historic market complex in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Located on Meeting Street, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a National Historic Landmark.(John Coletti/Getty Images)

If you’re not in the mood for Europe, Charleston has its own spin on the holidays. Pecans roasting instead of chestnuts, eggnog spiked with bourbon, and choirs singing spirituals at Drayton Hall plantation are among the signs of the season.

The city has an extensive list of events at

6. Reykjavik, Iceland

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND - APRIL 07: Tourists visit a geyser Ioutside of Reykjavik on April 7, 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Tourism is one of Iceland's most important sectors with thousands visiting every year to indulge in nature and to see the Northern Lights. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Iceland has been a hot vacation spot for the last several years, and the center of that is Reykjavik, the capital city. It’s another northern location where daylight is a four-hour affair and the aurora borealis is the biggest holiday light of them all. Statues of the 12 Yule Lads -- the Icelandic version of Santa Claus -- peek around every corner and from every window.

7. Santa Barbara, California

SANTA BARBARA, CA - MAY 07: Butterfly Beach on May 7, 2009 in Montecito, just south of Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)(David McNew/Getty Images)

So you’d rather be warm for Christmas -- who wouldn’t? Hotels in the Santa Barbara area can give you the New England winter lodge feeling just steps from the beach.

If you are there on a Sunday, check out the Sunday Arts & Crafts Show for last-minute shopping.

8. Boston

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 13: A girl sleds on Boston Common following a winter storm February 13, 2017 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)(Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

If you want New England’s Old World ambience with snow, Boston is the place to go.

Enjoy Beacon Hill’s cobblestone streets dusted with snow, and celebrate the ghosts of Christmases past with the Christmas Revels at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. Get some skating in on Boston Common.

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 07: A general view of Edinburgh Castle on February 7, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle dominates the city skyline was built on top of an extinct volcano, and has had a human settlement on the castle site since 900BC. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Fireworks lighting up over Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse? Yes, please. Add in bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” around the Sir Walter Scott monument, and the sounds of the season are fully engaged here.

10. Taos, New Mexico

Rio Grande by John Dunn Bridge in Arroyo Hondo in Taos County, New Mexico. A popular recreational spot for locals and tourists alike for hiking, biking, swimming and fishing.(Mona Makela Photography/Getty Images)

For a unique holiday season, light a farolito (little lantern) in Taos. The Native American and Hispanic influences are prevalent, bringing a multicultural twist to the holiday season with activities like the lighting of Ledoux Street with the tiny lanterns.

In the days before Christmas, the town also celebrates the Hispanic tradition Las Posadas.

Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 2:01 PM

Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

You've probably heard winter health myths for years and you may have even accepted some of them as fact.

From being told to bundle up, so you don't catch a cold to your neighbor swearing he got the flu from his flu shot, these myths make the rounds every winter.

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We separate fact from fiction with the following five winter health myths:

Cold weather can make you get sick.

Mom always warned you you'd get sick if you didn't bundle up before heading out in cold weather. Her advice wasn't exactly horrible, since you'll certainly be more comfortable and protected from frostbite. But cold by itself doesn't make you more likely to get sick, according to The Weather Channel. Most experts think we're more likely to get sick in colder months, but that's because we're all cooped up together, exchanging germs. Cold weather also dries out your nasal passages, reducing their ability to filter out infections. Despite evidence to the contrary, moms will probably keep warning their kids to bundle up. It's what they do.

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You lose 90 percent of your body heat through your head.

Of all your body parts, your head is more likely to be exposed in cold weather. But that doesn't mean the myth about losing 90 percent of your body heat through your head is true, according to Business Insider. Sure, wearing a hat in cold weather will help you stay warm, but that's just because you're covering an exposed body part, not because there's anything special about your head. You could cover up any other exposed body part and also feel warmer.

You don't need sunscreen in the winter.

If you think you only need sunscreen in hotter weather, you've probably packed your lotion away by the time winter comes around. But even when the weather's overcast in the winter, up to 80 percent of the sun's rays can still penetrate the clouds, according to Reader's digest.

UVA rays are always present - even in winter - and they can damage the deeper layers of your skin, increasing your risk for skin cancer and causing premature aging of your skin. And if you're planning a ski trip, you should be even more careful. UV radiation increases with elevation, and snow reflects and intensifies sunlight. So whatever the season, wearing sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF is the safest way to go.

Feed a cold, starve a fever.

The origin of this myth may be rooted in antiquated beliefs about colds and fevers, according to CNN. It was once believed that your body literally became colder if you had a cold, so it needed to be "warmed up" with food. Fever was thought to need "cooling down" by not eating.

In reality, you need to eat whether you have a cold or a fever. Good, nutritious foods are important, but it's OK if your illness suppresses your appetite a little. Staying hydrated is most important, especially if you have a fever. You may need to replenish electrolytes, so sports drinks can be a good choice. Good ol' chicken soup will keep you hydrated while also helping to clear your nasal passages.

RELATED: Your guide to an (almost) allergy-free home

The flu shot can give you the flu.

This isn't true, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). Flu shots are made with either an inactive form of the virus or no flu virus at all. Neither type can give you the flu. You may have a sore arm after getting a flu shot and some people report having a low-grade fever and aches for a day or two, but it's not the flu.

On the other hand, you may still get the flu even if you've had a flu shot, but the odds of getting it are much lower and, if you do get the flu, the symptoms will likely be less severe.

Betsy DeVos: Common Core is dead at U.S. Department of Education

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech today in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.”

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She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency.

DeVos also decried the federal government’s initiatives to improve education. “We saw two presidents from different political parties and philosophies take two different approaches. Federally mandated assessments. Federal money. Federal standards. All originated in Washington, and none solved the problem. Too many of America’s students are still unprepared,” she said.

And she touched on a favorite topic, school choice.

“Choice in education is not when a student picks a different classroom in this building or that building, uses this voucher or that tax-credit scholarship. Choice in education is bigger than that. Those are just mechanisms,” she said. “It’s about freedom to learn. Freedom to learn differently. Freedom to explore. Freedom to fail, to learn from falling and to get back up and try again. It’s freedom to find the best way to learn and grow… to find the exciting and engaging combination that unlocks individual potential.”

Baby found abandoned on airport bathroom changing table

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 3:13 PM

FILE PHOTO (Lanz-Andy/Pixabay license
FILE PHOTO (Lanz-Andy/Pixabay license

Authorities are trying to find the person who abandoned a baby in an airport bathroom. 

Police at Tucson International Airport are now combing through surveillance footage, trying to find out who left the a newborn baby boy on a woman’s bathroom changing table Sunday, AZCentral reported.

Not only are they trying to find the mother of the baby to find out what happened, but also to find out if she needs help.

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The newborn was only hours old and was in good health, Tucson Police spokeswoman Jessie Butler told AZCentral.

The baby was clean and swaddled, KMSB reported.

Arizona is a state that offers Safe Haven for babies, meaning they can be dropped off at specific locations like staffed fire stations, hospitals and churches. Parents can be anonymous but they have to answer questions about the baby and its health, KMSB reported. According to the Safe Haven law, babies can be up to three days old.

Since the program started in 2001, 40 babies have been taken in by Safe Haven, KMSB reported.

An airport is not listed among the legal locations, but there was a fire station nearby, AZCentral reported.

If found, the mother could face charges after police investigate why she left the baby.

Doctor arrested for showing up for surgery inebriated, police say

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 2:49 PM

Kentucky Surgeon Arrested For Arriving To Work Drunk

A plastic surgeon showed up for surgery Monday while intoxicated and was arrested, according to police. 

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Dr. Theodore Gerstle was confronted by the chief medical officer at Baptist Health Lexington and then left the hospital on foot, according to WKYT

Police were then called and took Gerstle into custody. Gerstle was charged with public intoxication.

“Patient safety is always our number one concern,” Ruth Ann Childers, hopsital spokeswoman, told WKYT. “This will be thoroughly investigated.”