Area Life

Millions in spat over ‘I Love NY’ signs

ALBANY, N.Y. — The big, blue “I Love NY” signs lined up in groups of five along New York state highways and roads are hard to miss. And that, say federal transportation officials, is the problem. The 500-plus tourism signs the state has installed from Long Island to Buffalo are at the ...

Cereus: a cactus that blooms just a few nights a year

I recently had the honor of being invited to what sounded like a “serious” little party. Actually, it was a “cereus” party, named for a night-blooming cactus. This party was called at the spur of the moment to coincide with the plant’s blooming, which occurs for just a few nights ...

Promoter: Pink admitted to Sydney hospital, cancels show

SYDNEY (AP) — Pop superstar Pink was admitted to a Sydney hospital on Monday with a virus, forcing her to postpone a second show, her promoter said. The singer’s “Beautiful Trauma” world tour’s first concert in Sydney was scheduled for last Friday, but she canceled that show on ...

PBS special celebrates Betty White

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Betty White sees no point in slowing down at age 96, as long as her phone keeps ringing with offers to work. The actress known for her roles in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls” is marking her 80th year in show business with a PBS special ...

Tim Allen: ‘Last Man’ not vocal Trump fan

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “Last Man Standing” isn’t rushing to pick up the “Roseanne” pro-Trump mantle when it starts life at its new network this fall. Tim Allen, star of the comedy that was axed by ABC and picked up by Fox, said his character is a centrist who would support Trump ...

‘Simpsons’ creators left to handle Apu criticism

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Creators of “The Simpsons” have the freedom to handle the show’s depiction of Indian shop owner Apu in the right way for their show, a top Fox executive said Thursday. Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart clerk who has sold expired food and ripped off customers in the ...

JFK’s pens, other memorabilia up for grabs

BOSTON — Some of the most iconic items associated with the late President John F. Kennedy are going on the auction block. Eldred’s auction gallery in East Dennis, on Cape Cod, took bids on a rocking chair that JFK used in the Oval Office, a tie clip in the shape of the PT-109 torpedo boat ...

Ernest Hemingway story from 1956 published for first time

NEW YORK — The themes and trappings are familiar for an Ernest Hemingway narrative: Paris, wartime, talk of books and wine and the scars of battle. But the story itself has been little known beyond the scholarly community for decades: “A Room on the Garden Side,” written in 1956, is ...

Loss of milkweed habitats lead to decline in monarch butterflies

Some facts about monarch butterflies and the milkweed plants they need to survive: The Butterfly — The migratory monarch population that overwinters in central Mexico from eastern Canada and the U.S. declined 84 percent between 1997 and 2014. A similar decline was observed for the smaller ...

Top-notch entertainment

TYRONE — Marge and Douglas Bradley of Duncansville celebrated their 42nd anniversary a day early July 8 by doing something new — experiencing a delicious buffet and top-notch entertainment at The Iron Bridge Dinner Theatre. “We thoroughly enjoyed our evening and plan to go back,” ...

Taking Mass outside

LORETTO — With birds singing and the wind whispering through the trees, the outdoor Sunday Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Alleghenies draws parishioners from throughout the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, said Diane Gowen. Gowen, her mother, Janet Bloom, and sister, Patty Fox, walked ...

Fun Fest leads to year-round ministry

What was born as an end-of-the-summer festival has grown into a year-round ministry at Altoona Alliance Church. Last August, the church held its first Summer Fun Fest as a way to provide a day of fun activities for children and adults in the community. It was an overwhelming success, ...

Who do you appreciate?

What do you want, a medal? Chances are, you’ve been asked that question before. Chances are even greater that it was asked in a sarcastic manner. The truth is, all sarcasm aside, most of us really would like a medal, unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll ever receive one. ...

Spiritual Notes

Flood victims dinner A flood victims dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Duncansville Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1200 Fourth Ave., Duncansville. The free dinner is for those affected by the recent flooding and includes baked chicken, hash brown casserole, tossed salad, corn on the ...

Under surveillance in communist Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian secret police agents eavesdropped on her, persuaded friends to snoop on her and filmed her when she was in her underwear. Some 70 informants and spies kept tabs on Katherine Verdery, now an anthropology professor at City University of New York, when she visited ...

Offensive tweets set up teaching moments

NEW YORK — At 13, Charlie Fish in Cincinnati has just been given the parental go-ahead to use social media for the first time. He’s also a competitive golfer, avid “SportsCenter” watcher and well aware of the attention received by offensive tweets posted years ago by some Major League ...

Amid cancer treatment, Irrfan Khan finds new perspective

LOS ANGELES — Actor Irrfan Khan is a Bollywood star and Hollywood chameleon, who has bounced between the two with ease for decades, working with everyone from Mira Nair to Wes Anderson and Ang Lee and stealing scenes in both Oscar-winners (“Slumdog Millionaire”) and blockbusters ...

Never let self doubt ruin a beautiful moment

Life is made up of little snapshots that can either be forgotten or treasured over time. Some shine bright because of the memories they’ve helped to create, while others slowly fade to black. These moments often occur without you being fully aware of what’s going on — or even knowing ...