Park Service launches Civil War website
RICHMOND, Va. — The National Park Service has launched a website that provides an overview of the Civil War and a guide to more than 1,700 sites around the nation related to the war that divided the nation.
Among those 1,700 sites are more than 100 national parks with Civil War themes. The narrative on the war examines its root causes; biographies of major players, military and civilian; and places within the national park system that help illuminate the war.
The national parks included on the site range from Washington and San Juan Island National Historical Park to the Florida Keys and Fort Jefferson.
There are many S.C. sites, including Middleton Plantation and Magnolia Cemetery. You also can follow the adventures of a fictional Civil War-era correspondent whose daily reports are streamed to the website by Twitter.
Visit www.nps.gov/civilwar. Red Canyon center open on weekends
PANGUITCH, Utah — The Dixie National Forest’s Red Canyon Visitor Center is open on the weekends.
The center will be available Friday through Monday for the rest of April, then will stay open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week starting May 1.
The center features a bookstore, art gallery and displays on the night skies and the area’s geology.
Panguitch-area painter Virginia Valcourt will be the first to show off her work at the art gallery this season. Her art includes oil paintings and pen-and-ink drawings of the Red Canyon area.
Bruce Willis offers to donate Idaho ski area
KETCHUM, Idaho — Bruce Willis says he’s willing to give away his central Idaho ski resort to a nonprofit.
The action star has already put his lavish home in nearby Hailey, Idaho, on the market, along with his local bar and nightclub, The Mint.
Now the Idaho Mountain Express reports Willis may be severing another real estate tie to Idaho. The actor told Camas County leaders he is willing to give the Soldier Mountain ski area in Fairfield to the right nonprofit.
Willis, best known for the “Die Hard” series and “Sixth Sense,” has owned the ski area since the late 1990s. It boasts 1,150 acres of in-bounds terrain, and its three lifts give access to a vertical rise of 1,425 feet.
Soldier Mountain is popular with families, serving as a laid-back alternative to the swanky Sun Valley ski resort about 65 miles away.
At least one nonprofit has expressed interest in his offer.
John Palan, with the local Soldier Mountain Recreation Association, says his group is hoping to get enough help from donors to take over the ski area’s operations.
The ski area has been operating at a loss for several years, Palan said. He did not elaborate.
Indy airport opens 3 walking paths
INDIANAPOLIS — Travelers and employees at Indianapolis International Airport have three new walking paths to stretch their legs and improve their health.
The airport and the American Heart Association opened the paths. They say all visitors to the airport can traverse a quarter-mile path around the ticketing hall. Travelers who’ve passed through security checkpoints can walk half-mile laps around each concourse or a 1.1-mile lap around both concourses.
More than 20,000 travelers pass through the airport on an average day and about 10,000 people work there.
Gerald Ford graffiti pops up in hometown
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Former President Gerald Ford is remembered in his hometown of Grand Rapids by a museum and a stretch of interstate. Now, a graffiti artist has decided to memorialize the 38th commander in chief on the freeway that bears his name.
Several stenciled Ford images have popped up recently along east I-196 in the West Michigan city. One is accompanied by the phrase, “I am indebted to no man,” words spoken by Ford in 1974 after he took the oath of office. It was taken from the full quote, “I am indebted to no man and only one woman, my dear wife, Betty, as I begin this very difficult job.”
“They do seem fun and playful, ignoring the fact that it’s defacement of public property,” James Draper, registrar at the Gerald R. Ford Public Museum. Draper said he was speaking personally.
The museum isn’t taking an official position on the graffiti.
David Gianfredi, assistant professor of illustration at Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, said authorities ought to leave the graffiti in place. The use of the quote, for example, conveys something deeper than mere scrawl on the wall, he said.