Area Life

Travel briefs

California Disneyland employee, 81,     set to mark 60 years at park ANAHEIM — An 81-year-old Disneyland employee is set to celebrate his 60th anniversary of working at the California theme park. KABC-TV reports Oscar Martinez works at Carnation Cafe along the park’s Main Street, ...

Earth Matters: Even now, dangerous PCBs haunt the environment

I hated my high school chemistry class. Ironically, as my college and professional careers rolled along, I realized many environmental issues had chemistry connections. Like it or not, if I was to understand those issues, I had to understand the chemistry. Awareness and apprehension over the ...

Want a hippo for Christmas? The story of a girl who got one

LOS ANGELES — All a cute, curly haired 10-year-old girl named Gayla Peevey wanted for Christmas in 1953 was a hippopotamus. And amazingly enough, after “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christ-mas” became the biggest hit song of that holiday season, she actually got one, a 700-pound baby named ...

‘La La Land’s 7 noms top Globes

Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical “La La Land” sang and danced its way to a leading seven Golden Globes nominations, with Barry Jenkins’ celebrated coming-of-age tale “Moonlight” close on its heels with six nods. “La La Land” earned nominations for its lead actors, Emma ...

A ‘local’ book makes a great gift: History, sports, romance and more

If you’re struggling with finding a Christmas gift for the one who has everything, consider a book with a central Pennsylvania theme or one written by a local author. Dozens of options are available in different genres, from history to sports to romance. Even for recipients who ...

Houston role ‘in good hands’

NEW YORK — There’s one important person to thank for Deborah Cox stepping into Whitney Houston’s shoes for the national tour of “The Bodyguard.” That person would be Whitney Houston herself. Cox and Houston were label-mates and friends, with the late pop star mentoring the Canadian ...

Trump remains producer on ‘New Celebrity Apprentice’

LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump is gone from the boardroom of NBC’s reboot of “Celebrity Apprentice” but he’s kept a business connection to the reality show. President-elect Trump has an executive producer credit on “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” said Clare Anne Darragh, a spokesman ...

Parton organizing telethon for wildfire victims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country icon Dolly Parton has organized a musical telethon to raise money for victims of the Tennessee wildfires that destroyed more than 1,700 homes in the Gatlinburg. The event, which will air Dec. 13 on Great American Country, will include performances by Reba ...

Popular poinsettia: Iconic Christmas decoration has a colorful history

Called “cuetlaxochitl” by the Aztecs who discovered it in the wild, the bright red plant that we call poinsettia today took hold in American society after it debuted at the inaugural Philadelphia Flower Show in 1829. Today, not only is it an iconic Christmas decoration, it’s the most ...

Garden Notes: Buyer beware, and other random thoughts from the garden

Shopping the Salvation Army store, I find I can control my urge to shop. Occasionally, I find a terra cotta pot or a watering can. Once, I found a bulb vase. This past spring, I’d been using a wood skewer when transplant­ing seedlings into small pots. I’d stab the skewer down into the ...

Cresson Lake Playhouse receives grant

LORETTO — Cresson Lake Playhouse is the recipient of a 2016 Penelec Sustainable Energy Development grant to be used to upgrade its halogen theater lights to LED lighting instruments. The $10,000 grant enabled CLP to convert half of their 50 lighting instruments to the newer technology, ...

‘The Nutcracker’: Allegheny Ballet Company presenting holiday classic

For the 35th year, the Allegheny Ballet Company is presenting the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” at the Mishler Theatre next week. Shows on Dec. 16 and 17 are at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee is at 1 p.m. on Dec. 18. Tickets are $15 and $20. About 60 dancers from the company, ages 3 to 18, ...

Experiences count: Go outside the box in gift-giving

The best Christmas gift I ever gave was a tandem skydiving experience for my sister a few years ago. Of course, I wasn’t going to let her jump out of that perfectly fine airplane with strangers, so I got one for me, too. It was an experience that neither one of us will ever forget ...

Trump is Time magazine’s Person of the Year

WASHINGTON — Time magazine on Wednesday named Donald Trump its Person of the Year, bestowing what the president-elect called an “honor” even as he derided the idea that he’ll lead “the Divided States of America.” That was a reference to Time’s cover line — “Donald ...

Grapevine

Temple’s tap shoes sold DALLAS — Two pairs of tap shoes belonging to the child movie star Shirley Temple have sold at auction for $20,000. Heritage Auctions says a diamond ring given to the child who sang and danced her way into moviegoers’ hearts by her father fetched $137,500. The ...

Obama lauded at Kennedy honors

WASHINGTON  — The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn’t reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honors presentation: President Barack ...