Steamboat Geyser sees rare eruption

— Old Faithful it’s not.

Yellowstone National Park’s Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest, has erupted for the first time in more than eight years.

The nine-minute blast sent steaming hot water an estimated 200 to 300 feet in the air, park geologist Hank Heasler said last week.

Unlike the park’s popular and famous Old Faithful geyser, which spews water like clockwork every hour-and-a-half, no one knows when Steamboat will erupt next.

In the past, it’s gone as long as 50 years without a major event. In 1964, it erupted a record 29 times. The last blast came in 2005.

Steamboat is one of more than 500 geysers at Yellowstone, which boasts the largest collection of hydrothermal features in the world.

Franklin Museum reopens after work

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia museum dedicated to the city’s most famous Founding Father is reopening after nearly two years of renovations.

The new Benjamin Franklin Museum will welcome its first visitors Aug. 24.

The 7,000-square-foot underground facility had opened in 1976 at the downtown site where Franklin’s house once stood.

The new museum features artifacts, computer animation and interactive displays.

The location also includes a ghost structure outlining the size of Franklin’s three-story brick house.

The National Park Service says the museum’s official grand opening celebration is scheduled for Sept. 19.

Latvia unveils museum to WWII Jew rescuers

— Israeli President Shimon Peres took part in a ceremony last week to open a museum honoring a couple who saved some 50 Jews from extermination in Nazi-occupied Latvia.

The museum in downtown Riga, Latvia’s capital, is next to the property once owned by Zanis Lipke, a port worker who together with his wife hid Jews in an underground pit measuring some 90 square feet.

The three-story museum of dark gray wood resembles an overturned ship and is designed to give visitors a claustrophobic sense of life in a tiny bunker.

Peres took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony together with his Latvian counterpart, Andris Berzins.

In 1966, Yad Vashem, an Israel-based center for studying the Holocaust, recognized Zanis and Johanna Lipke as rescuers of Jews.

Lipke died in 1987 and his wife in 1990.

N.Y. baseball stars pitch summer vacation in city

ALBANY, N.Y. — Yankees star relief pitcher Mariano Rivera and Mets slugger David Wright bolster the lineup for the newest “I Love NY” advertising campaign to encourage summer tourism in New York.

They’re among the Yankees and Mets who are featured in short TV ads to run on the Yankees’ YES Network and SportsNet New York, which carries the Mets’ games.

The ads will include Yankees manager Joe Girardi and relief pitcher David Robertson as well as Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy and pitcher Matt Harvey.

The ads seek to entice New Yorkers and out-of-state tourist to plan summer vacations that include Mets and Yankees games and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But the spots also promote New York attractions from Niagara Falls and the Adirondack and Catskills mountains to the beaches of Long Island.

Wright, the Mets third baseman, urged tourists to visit New York’s vineyards, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and lakes while Girardi extolled the virtues of “more than 38 dazzling waterfalls” and 5,500 national historic sites. Murphy urged tourists to visit beaches, hiking trails and attend festivals and rallies.

Associated Press