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minnesota state parks get 2 new campgrounds for 2017


st. paul, minn. — new campgrounds, a new water trail and a new chance to see bison are coming to the minnesota state parks and trails system this year.the department of natural resources says two new campgrounds will open this summer at the lake vermilion-soudan underground mine state park in northeastern minnesota and whitewater state park in the southeast.a yearling bull has joined the bison herd at minneopa state park in south-central minnesota. the animals can often be seen on a two-mile drive through the park's new bison range.for paddlers, the new 20-mile shell rock river state water trail begins at fountain lake in south-central minnesota.minnesota state park visits hit a record 10 million in 2016. gov. mark dayton's budget includes fee increases to help maintain the system.






teen finds 7.44-carat diamond at arkansas park


closeskip in skipxembedxshare a pastor discovers a huge diamond in sierra leone. elizabeth keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. buzz60this saturday, march 11, 2017, photo, provided by the arkansas department of parks & tourism shows kalel langford holding a 7.44 carat diamond he found at crater of diamonds state park in murfreesboro, ark. officials at the park said the diamond is the seventh largest found since the park was established in 1972.(photo: waymon cox, ap) 210 connectlinkedinemailmorean arkansas teenager hit the jackpot saturday when he found a 7.44-carat diamond at the crater of diamonds state park in arkansas.many people spend hours searching for diamonds at the park only to walk away empty-handed, but kalel langford, 14, had only been at the park with his parents for 30 minutes






teen finds 7.44-carat diamond at arkansas park


this saturday, march 11, 2017, photo, provided by the arkansas department of parks & tourism shows kalel langford holding a 7.44 carat diamond he found at crater of diamonds state park in murfreesboro, ark. officials at the park said the diamond is the seventh largest found since the park was established in 1972.(photo: waymon cox, ap) 5899 connectlinkedinemailmorean arkansas teenager hit the jackpot saturday when he found a 7.44-carat diamond at the crater of diamonds state park in arkansas.many people spend hours searching for diamonds at the park only to walk away empty-handed, but kalel langford, 14, had only been at the park with his parents for 30 minutes when he spotted a shiny, dark brown gem, according to a statement. kalel took the stone to the park’s diamond discovery center lat






teen finds 7.44-carat diamond at arkansas park


this saturday, march 11, 2017, photo, provided by the arkansas department of parks & tourism shows kalel langford holding a 7.44 carat diamond he found at crater of diamonds state park in murfreesboro, ark. officials at the park said the diamond is the seventh largest found since the park was established in 1972.(photo: waymon cox, ap) 3448 connectlinkedinemailmorean arkansas teenager hit the jackpot saturday when he found a 7.44-carat diamond at the crater of diamonds state park in arkansas.many people spend hours searching for diamonds at the park only to walk away empty-handed, but kalel langford, 14, had only been at the park with his parents for 30 minutes when he spotted a shiny, dark brown gem, according to a statement. kalel took the stone to the park’s diamond discovery center lat






this is what the storm damage in yosemite looks like, and this is what it means


the storm damage that closed two key roads into yosemite national park is likely to keep state route 41 closed for several more days and state route 120 shut for an unknown period that’s likely to be much longer.the closure of state route 41 means northbound park visitors need to make a detour once they reach oakhurst.that detour, by state route 49, will take drivers north to mariposa before they enter the park on state route 140, also known as el portal road.that detour, prompted by damage on the 41 just north of fish camp, is likely to last through march 10, caltrans updates indicate. travelers can check for updates here.yosemite roadslos angeles timesyosemite roadsyosemite roads (los angeles times)the troubled road in this picture, however, isn’t the 41. it’s state route 120 (also known






photos | super bloom at anza borrego


the desert is in bloom at anza-borrego state park.for borrego springs — the tiny town surrounded by the park — the super bloom has created a bit of pandemonium.joann maiter, a part-time employee of the borrego springs chamber of commerce, said she couldn’t remember how many phone calls she’d answered. dozens and dozens.“we’re swamped. you can’t even get into our visitor’s center right now,” she said, adding that nearly 300 people had already signed into the visitor’s log by noon on friday. “they’re coming from everywhere — absolutely everywhere: canada, minnesota, chicago.”(francine orr / los angeles times)mike lightner, of boulder, colo., photographs flowers at anza-borrego desert state park in san diego county.(francine orr / los angeles times) dune evening primrose blooms in the anza bo






state withdraws rfp to sell alcohol at hallock state park


a controversial request for proposal to sell alcohol at a visitors center of a state park in jamesport has been withdrawn after north fork officials objected to the sales, state and local officials confirmed tuesday.according to officials at the office of state sen. kenneth lavalle (r-port jefferson), the new york state parks department withdrew its rfp at hallock state park preserve, a 225-acre state park and nature preserve in riverhead and southold towns, following a discussion with lavalle.most populara news conference had been scheduled for wednesday at the park, where riverhead and southold town officials were to meet to publicly oppose the proposal.riverhead supervisor sean walter said pulling the proposal was “a total victory for the town of riverhead.”“it seems to me that when the






skorean court refuses to allow search of presidential palace


seoul, south korea — a south korean court on thursday denied a bid by prosecutors to force aides of impeached president park geun-hye to comply with a search on the presidential compound.the decision by the seoul administrative court was an apparent setback for the special prosecution team that must conclude its inquiry into park's corruption allegations by the end of the month.the prosecutors filed the lawsuit last week after park's aides blocked them from searching the presidential blue house although they had a search warrant.the court said the matter cannot be determined through an administrative lawsuit because park's aides blocked the search based on criminal litigation laws that allow sites containing state secrets to do so. it also said the country's laws don't allow administrative






headed to yosemite from socal? here's the detour you need to take


storm damages have temporarily closed california route 41 just south of yosemite national park, forcing northbound park visitors to make a detour through mariposa and el portal.that detour, which could remain in place through march 10, takes drivers up state route 49 from oakhurst to mariposa, then into yosemite valley via el portal on state route 140, adding 22 miles of mountain roads to the journey.because storm damages have also temporarily shut big oak flat road (state route 120) and tioga road is closed for the season, state route 140 from mariposa is the only way into the valley, the park’s website said.the caltrans closure of state route 41 (also known as wawona road) is at summerdale campground, 0.8 mile south of the yosemite national park entrance. the closure, which began five da






a sunny day in midwinter atop misery ridge is tough to beat.


terrebonne, ore. (ap) — it was midweek in mid-february, so i figured the trail up smith rock state park’s misery ridge would be pretty much free and clear of other hikers and sightseers.i was wrong.dozens of others were making their way up the trail, which follows switchbacks to the top of the ridge. on this day, the trail was muddy and icy.i should not have been surprised by the company, as plans are in the works to help deal with the increase in crowds at smith rock state park in recent years.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.even in the middle of the snowiest winter in decades, outdoors enthusiasts are flocking to the park.according to the oregon parks and recreation department, in 2015 about 750,000 guests visited the park during the day and about 22,000 stayed






colorado’s rocky mountain national park gets top ranking for 2016 visits – the d


estes park, colo. (ap) — colorado’s rocky mountain national park finished off 2016 as the nation’s fourth most popular national park with more than 4.5 million visitors.the reporter-herald reports that the u.s. department of the interior issued a news release saying the county’s national parks saw a record number of visitors last year. visitation topped 330 million in 2016, which marked the national park service’s 100th anniversary.rocky mountain national park ranked fourth among the nation’s parks for visitation, behind yosemite national park and ahead of zion national park. first place went to great smoky mountains national park, which saw 11.3 million visitors.






great wolf confirms water park purchase near mall of america


madison, wis. — wisconsin-based great wolf resorts inc. confirms that it has bought a water park and adjoining el near the mall of america in bloomington, minnesota.the madison indoor water park company said tuesday it will convert the water park of america and the radisson el bloomington into a great wolf resort. the cost of the project was not disclosed.great wolf lodge minnesota is expected to open next winter. it will be the company's 15th indoor water park resort in north america.the wisconsin state journal (http://bit.ly/2kez440 ) reports the resort will feature a 75,000-square-foot indoor water park, 404 el suites, a great wolf adventure park entertainment center and nearly 4,000 square feet of conference space.finance & commerce reported last week that great wolf paid $39.1 mil






this is what the storm damage in yosemite looks like, and this is what it means


as the image above makes clear, the storm damage that closed two key roads into yosemite national park is likely to keep those routes closed for several more days at least, forcing northbound park visitors to make a detour once they reach oakhurst on state route 41.the detour from the 41, by state route 49, will take drivers north to mariposa before they enter the park on state route 140, also known as el portal road.that detour, prompted by damage on the 41 just north of fish camp, is likely to last through march 10, caltrans updates indicate. travelers can check for updates here.yosemite roadslos angeles timesyosemite roadsyosemite roads (los angeles times)the troubled road in this picture, however, isn’t the 41. it’s state route 120 (also known as big oak flat road) in the western part






krka national park tour


krka national park tour helps you navigate on your next national park visit. the ar (augmented reality) view helps you navigate on the location skradinski buk, with information about restrooms, viewpoints, bathing area, souvenir shops, picnic, in-park transportation, bicycling, and other in-park activities. more than 50 unique points of interest (pois), with written details and galleries with more than 100 park images.detailed timetables for boat excursions in park. works without a wifi connection (because there isn't usually one in the park. ). gps-enabled map that works without a wifi connection and it is able for offline useother features include: easy-to-use interface, with menus based on general national park symbols requires an initial internet connection to p os and offline map (






33rd ward office in albany park burglarized, police say


the albany park office of ald. deb mell was burglarized early monday, chicago police said. about 3:25 a.m., a man forced his way into the office in the 3000 block of west irving park road through a glass front door, police said. the man left with computer equipment.no one was reported in custody.mell represents the 33rd ward, which includes the albany park, avondale, irving park, ravenswood manor, north park and north center neighborhoods. check back for updates. 






south korean court to rule on park’s fate on friday


seoul, south korea (ap) — south korea’s highest court says it will rule this week on whether impeached president park geun-hye should permanently step down over a corruption scandal or be reinstated to office.the constitutional court said wednesday that it will issue the ruling on friday. if the court formally unseats park, the country will have to hold a presidential election within 60 days.south korea’s opposition-controlled parliament voted to impeach park in december, following weeks of massive protests over suspicions that she conspired with a longtime confidante to extort money and favors from companies and allowed the friend to secretly manipulate state affairs.park has apologized for putting trust in her jailed friend, choi soon-sil, but has denied any legal wrongdoing.most read st






a-ok: ayo dosunmu delivers as morgan park beats hillcrest, gets back to state


junior guard ayo dosunmu had seen enough.dosunmu was held without a point tuesday night as morgan park trailed hillcrest 11-8 after one quarter.the 6-foot-4 dosunmu more than made up for it during the second quarter, exploding for 17 of his game-high 24 points to lead the mustangs to a 54-43 win in the class 3a joliet central supersectional.morgan park (24-6) advanced to the state semifinals at peoria's carver arena and will play at 12:45 p.m. friday against springfield lanphier (28-3), a 64-38 winner over centralia.the mustangs, who are attempting to win a third state championship in five seasons, were led by dosunmu. he shot 9-for-11 from the floor and converted three 3-pointers."i didn't get a lot of looks in the first quarter," dosunmu said. "i came out in the second quarter and wanted






oregon's crater lake national park robbed of thousands of rounds of ammunition


eugene, ore. -- the national park service is asking for the public’s help in locating the person responsible for stealing thousands of rounds of ammunition from a locked building at oregon’s crater lake national park.the register-guard reported thursday that the park service says in a news release the rifle and pistol ammunition was stolen from a building near the park’s headquarters.the ammunition was used as part of the park’s law enforcement program.it is unclear when the theft took place.the park service is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of whoever is responsible for the theft.






texas state park shares photos of beautifully strange ‘dr. seuss’ plant


photos of a wool sower gall shared on atlanta state park's facebook page are drawing a lot of interest because of the plant's resemblance to truffula trees in the lorax.(photo: universal pictures, ap)connectlinkedinemailmorephotos of a puffy, pink polka-dotted plant are sparking some seussical conversation on facebook.atlanta state park in texas posted two photos of the fluff ball on tuesday, after a ranger spotted the natural phenomenon sprouting among fallen leaves.post by facebook.commenters couldn't help saying the plant inspired scenes in dr. seuss stories, like the lorax.despite the uncanny resemblance, it’s not a truffula tree.the plant is actually created when a wool sower wasp lays its eggs in a white oak, the atlanta state park shared on facebook.“when the eggs hatch in spring, c






texas state park shares photos of beautifully strange ‘dr. seuss’ plant


photos of a wool sower gall shared on atlanta state park's facebook page are drawing a lot of interest because of the plant's resemblance to truffula trees in the lorax.(photo: universal pictures, ap) 6 connectlinkedinemailmorephotos of a puffy, pink polka-dotted plant are sparking some seussical conversation on facebook.atlanta state park in texas posted two photos of the fluff ball on tuesday, after a ranger spotted the natural phenomenon sprouting among fallen leaves.post by facebook.commenters couldn't help saying the plant inspired scenes in dr. seuss stories, like the lorax.despite the uncanny resemblance, it’s not a truffula tree.the plant is actually created when a wool sower wasp lays its eggs in a white oak, the atlanta state park shared on facebook.“when the eggs hatch in spring






west metro news briefs: excelsior city leaders return to state capitol seeking s


excelsior leaders are back at the state capitol for the fourth straight year, looking for approval of a half-cent sales tax to raise $7 million for improvements to the commons park along lake minnetonka.excelsior officials long have planned to revitalize the 13-acre waterfront city park, which has been in the public domain for more than 160 years. they want to improve park facilities and concessions to resemble those at minneapolis' lakes, such as the tin fish restaurant at lake calhoun.city leaders argue that the commons, which is used for free by visitors from outside excelsior, should be supported regionally and not just by the city's 2,100 residents.in previous years, the city had sought $5 million in state bonding. voters narrowly approved a sales tax increase of up to 1 percent for t






explainer: what's behind the impeachment of south korean president park geun-hye


after months of a political scandal that has crippled south korea, president park geun-hye on friday was stripped of her powers by the constitutional court.allegations that park's long-time friend and daughter of a cult leader with no official role in the administration pulled government strings from the shadows has united many in a state of boiling rage. other players who were caught in the widening scandal include park's advisers and the samsung heir. here's a breakdown:ties that bindat the center of the tempest is choi soon-sil, also known as choi seo-won, who is sometimes compared to rasputin, the russian mystic who gained power in the early 20th century through his influence over the tsar. park and choi met in the 1970s, around the time park was acting as first lady. her mother was ki






reusse: wayzata's last trip to state in 1959 was 'no time for a letdown'


there had been a long absence for the wayzata trojans from the state basketball tournament. they had to get past a long-standing rival in the lake conference for this opportunity.it finally happened on the first saturday of march, as the trojans played stout defense and ball-control offense to defeat “perennial power park’’ – as in st. louis park – for an upset victory in the district 18 title game.the year was 1959. it had been 32 years since the trojans won the district, and 33 years since they had reached the state tournament.“getting past park and out of the region was quite an accomplishment for us,’’ ray zitzloff said. “the lake conference was outstanding – richfield, edina, robbinsdale, bloomington, hopkins – and park was always a team to beat in basketball with lloyd holm as the co






reusse: wayzata's last trip to state in 1959 was 'no time for a letdown'


there had been a long absence for the wayzata trojans from the state basketball tournament. they had to get past a long-standing rival in the lake conference for this opportunity.it finally happened on the first saturday of march, as the trojans played stout defense and ball-control offense to defeat “perennial power park’’ – as in st. louis park – for an upset victory in the district 18 title game.the year was 1959. it had been 32 years since the trojans won the district, and 33 years since they had reached the state tournament.“getting past park and out of the region was quite an accomplishment for us,’’ ray zitzloff said. “the lake conference was outstanding – richfield, edina, robbinsdale, bloomington, hopkins – and park was always a team to beat in basketball with lloyd holm as the co






park stripped of right to be buried next to dictator father


seoul, south korea (ap) — a south korean court ruling that formally ended park geun-hye’s presidency friday has also stripped her of all the privileges she could have enjoyed as a former head of state, including the right to be buried alongside her late dictator father at a national cemetery.her father, park chung-hee, continues to divide south korea because he ruthlessly suppressed civic rights, though supporters say he spearheaded south korea’s dramatic economic rise during his 18-year rule. the senior park, who was gunned down by his spy chief in 1979, is buried at seoul’s national cemetery with his wife, former first lady yuk young-soo, who was killed in an assassination attempt on park in 1974.the daughter returned as leader to her childhood home, the presidential blue house, in early






freshman nimari burnett shoots morgan park past fenwick for 3a state title


the stars were seated, the freshmen were money and the overtime drama was everything anyone could hope for out of a state championship game.neither team did a particularly good job taking care of the ball, which only heightened the excitement that was morgan park 69, fenwick 67 in an extraordinary class 3a final on saturday afternoon at carver arena.freshmen led both teams in scoring, with morgan park's nimari burnett drilling six 3-pointers and scoring 24 points and fenwick's dj steward making every shot he took on his way to 26. mustangs senior cam irvin (12 points) ultimately sealed his uncle's third state championship in five years from the foul line with 9.1 seconds to play.morgan park (26-6) managed to win without its best player, junior point guard ayo dosunmu, who suffered a slight






shots fired on i-57 near calumet park, no one hurt


no one was injured but state police have closed down a section of i-57 in south suburban calumet park after someone fired shots from a vehicle, according to illinois state police.troopers were called to the southbound lanes at 127th street at 2:19 pm. because someone in a vehicle had fired shots at "other subjects,’’ said isp master sgt. dominick falcone.“no one was shot,’’ falcone said.the southbound lanes in that area remained closed about 4 p.m. as state police look for evidence and conduct their investigation, falcone said. no arrests have been made.






report: south korean prosecutors push to arrest ex-leader


seoul, south korea — media reports say that south korean prosecutors have decided to ask a court issue a warrant to arrest former president park geun-hye on corruption allegations.yonhap news agency reported monday that prosecutors reached the decision after they grilled park last week over suspicions she colluded with a jailed confidante to extort from companies and allowed the friend to secretly interfere with state affairs.a seoul prosecution office couldn't immediately confirm the report.park has denied any legal wrongdoing.the constitutional court removed park from office in earlier march, three months after she was impeached by lawmakers over the allegations.






federal government asks minneapolis park board to repay $5.3 million


the federal government wants the minneapolis park and recreation board to pay back more than $5.3 million in disaster aid, saying the agency did not follow federal procurement standards in awarding contracts for repair work after severe storms in 2014.an audit from the department of homeland security’s office of the inspector general said the park board did not follow federal guidelines when it spent a portion of the $8.4 million it received from the federal emergency management agency (fema).the audit said the park board awarded a contract worth more than $1 million without soliciting bids, did not complete some projects and misspent funds. the audit questioned the use of federal disaster aid for repair of the mudslide along west river parkway after the hillside had been stabilized.the pa






inbee park wins lpga singapore by 1 stroke with closing 64


singapore — inbee park won the hsbc women's champions tournament by one stroke on sunday.the south korean closed with a final round of 8-under 64 to finish on 19-under 269 at the sentosa golf club.ariya jutanugarn was second after a 66.sung hyun park, overnight leader michelle wie and no.1-ranked lydia ko, the final group of the day, were within a wedge shot into 18 when play was suspended for lightning.but none of those three could catch inbee park — sung hyun park was at 4-under on the day and 16-under on the tournament, while wie was even-par sunday and sitting five strokes behind. ko was also even on the day and at 12-under.canadian brooke henderson shot 66 to finish five behind inbee park in the lpga tournament.






coastal commission will consider plan to refurbish the last of 46 beach cottages


the california coastal commission on wednesday will decide whether to approve a $26-million proposal to renovate the last of 46 oceanfront cottages at the popular crystal cove state park in orange county.commissioners are scheduled to consider a development permit to refurbish 17 historic cottages that will increase overnight accommodations at the park, which occupies a stretch of scenic coastline between laguna beach and newport beach.when finished, the cottages will help relieve the park’s heavy demand for affordable rental units and complete the current project to renovate the crystal cove historic district. the commission staff recommends approval of the permit.“our organization, california state parks and the california coastal commission have been working together on this project for






ap explains: what's behind ouster of south korean leader


seoul, south korea — after months of a political scandal that has crippled south korea, president park geun-hye on friday was stripped of her powers by the constitutional court.allegations that park's long-time friend and daughter of a cult leader with no official role in the administration pulled government strings from the shadows has united many in a state of boiling rage. other players who were caught in the widening scandal include park's advisers and the samsung heir. here's a breakdown:___ties that bindat the center of the tempest is choi soon-sil, also known as choi seo-won, who is sometimes compared to rasputin, the russian mystic who gained power in the early 20th century through his influence over the tsar. park and choi met in the 1970s, around the time park was acting as first






ap explains: what's behind ouster of south korean leader


seoul, south korea — after months of a political scandal that has crippled south korea, president park geun-hye on friday was stripped of her powers by the constitutional court.allegations that park's long-time friend and daughter of a cult leader with no official role in the administration pulled government strings from the shadows has united many in a state of boiling rage. other players who were caught in the widening scandal include park's advisers and the samsung heir. here's a breakdown:___ties that bindat the center of the tempest is choi soon-sil, also known as choi seo-won, who is sometimes compared to rasputin, the russian mystic who gained power in the early 20th century through his influence over the tsar. park and choi met in the 1970s, around the time park was acting as first






west arvada dog park gets attention from city officials, residents


last month, evergreen’s elk meadow dog off-leash area attracted a lot of attention when jefferson county open space officials announced to the community that they would be closing the popular park as a result of hundreds of pounds of neglected dog poop. jeffco open space eventually agreed to keep open a small portion of the park while the rest of it undergoes rehabilitation in response to a flood of opposing e-mails and social media posts from concerned visitors.but it wasn’t only evergreen residents who were disconcerted by the elk meadow dog park debacle — it got arvada city officials thinking seriously about their own beloved dog park, which is in need of some restorations.“it’s very discouraging when you hear about the evergreen dog park and the one in downtown denver,” maria vanderkol






big sur parks may not reopen until june


big sur – following a month in which big sur saw 1,150 percent of its normal february rainfall, a relatively dry start to march means crews can start cleaning up to prepare for the summer camping season.some areas never reopened after the soberanes fire, which burned last year from july until october. most of the parks in the big sur area remain closed because of storm damage.“the impact’s really at andrew molera state park and pfeiffer big sur state park,” said john deluca, the california state parks big sur sector superintendent. “we are sort of in our winter mode, where we sandbagged restrooms and boarded up doors and are prepared for river flooding and protecting our structures.”both parks remain closed until further notice because of storm damage. only garrapata state park, well north






skorean court refuses to allow search of presidential palace


seoul, south korea (ap) — a south korean court on thursday denied a bid by prosecutors to force aides of impeached president park geun-hye to comply with a search on the presidential compound.the decision by the seoul administrative court was an apparent setback for the special prosecution team that must conclude its inquiry into park’s corruption allegations by the end of the month.the prosecutors filed the lawsuit last week after park’s aides blocked them from searching the presidential blue house although they had a search warrant.the court said the matter cannot be determined through an administrative lawsuit because park’s aides blocked the search based on criminal litigation laws that allow sites containing state secrets to do so. it also said the country’s laws don’t allow administr






10 surprising facts about south park


south park is among the most iconic (and irreverent) modern cartoons. take a look at ten amazing trivia facts about south park that even huge fans might not know.full story at youtube.more great animation. posted by josh urich






pokémon go on apple watch vs. pokémon go plus: which should you wear?


as a location-based game, pokémon go is perfect for when you’re on your commute, walking to a store, or just out and about. however, there’s one big h le to the experience: the need to have the app open and on your screen to track distance, ding nearby pokéstops, and try to catch pokémon. that makes it difficult to play when you are, for example, holding the hand of a small child, carrying bags, or just simply trying to watch where you’re walking. the pokémon go plus, released in september, helps with a lot of that. it’s a tiny wearable device, worn around the wrist or clipped onto clothes, that buzzes and lights up any time you’re near a pokémon or pokéstop, and can automatically snag items or try to catch the creature with a press of a on. it’ll also track all of your distance when act