The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

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The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.


WVAS Local News

Mar 7, 2013

A judge has extended an order preventing Governor Robert Bentley from signing a private school tax credit bill.  Circuit Court Judge Charles Price ruled Wednesday that a temporary restraining order will remain in effect until a court hearing on March 15th.  Both Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mike Hubbard criticized Judge Price for getting involved in the legislative process.  The GOP leaders have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to reverse the order. 

Abortion Bill

A bill setting stricter standards for Alabama's five abortion clinics is getting closer to becoming law.  The Senate Health Committee approved the bill 7-3 Wednesday.  The yes votes all came from Republicans and the no votes from two Democrats and one independent.  The sponsor, Republican Representative Mary Sue McClurkin says it will make clinics safer.  The bill requires abortion clinics to use doctors who have approval to admit patients to hospitals in the same city.  It also sets stricter building standards.  The bill has already passed the House and now goes to the state Senate for a vote. 

Montgomery's Violent Crime Rate

Violent crime has surged in Montgomery since the start of 2013.  At a Montgomery City Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Todd Strange said the number of homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults are up 22 percent form the same period one year ago.  There have been 13 homicides in the Capital City since January 1st.  Only five murders were reported thru the end of February 2012.  The number of burglaries and thefts are down so far this year. 

Firearms Training

Prattville police are responding to a surge in firearms purchases by offering gun ownership and safety courses.  Officials say the five-hour courses will be offered on the last Saturday of each month through October at the department's gun range.  Police say the March class roster is already full.  Officials say participants must be 21 or older and pass a criminal background check.  Participants are asked to bring 50 rounds of ammunition and a belt holster.  The course costs $10 dollars.  The fee is used to pay for targets and other supplies. 

Youth Offender Status

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to exclude those charged with the most serious crimes from having their cases settled under youthful offender status.  Youthful offender status means young people, usually younger than 21, can in most cases keep their convictions secret.  The sponsor says the bill would send a  message to young people that if they commit certain crimes they will be treated as adults.  The bill goes to the House for debate.