Travel: National Pie Day visit to Pie Town, NM


Pie Town

Jefferson Graham visits Pie Town, New Mexico for the Photowalks TV series

At the top of the Continental Divide on New Mexico’s Route 60, nearly 8,000 feet in the air, you come across this tiny village with a Willy Wonka like name: Pie Town.

Pie Town? As in, all the currency is in crust? The town council’s motto is “In Lard We Trust?” The streets are named Apple, Blueberry and Peach? 

You get the idea. That’s the fantasy. How’s the reality?

Who wouldn’t want to pull over and check it out? 

Naturally, I did, and to my utter disappointment, all three pie stores were closed when I zipped through town. One of the stores was for sale. But another said it would be open on Sunday. 

So I continued on to my destination in Sorocco, NM, home base for my recent bird photography adventure at the Bosque Del Apache nature preserve. However, I would be coming back this way in a few days, so I contacted the restaurant, the Pie-O-Neer, to confirm that their doors would indeed be open for visitors and made plans to visit. On an empty stomach.  

So after watching the morning “blast-off” of 20,000 or so birds for a few days in the great migration at Bosque, I left the small town of Socorro (the largest “city” near Pie Town, pop. 8460) and drove up the hill 90 minutes or so, for my return visit to Pie Town, video camera by my side for my PhotowalksTV travel photography series on YouTube. 

First of all, while there is a sign in town that says :”The secret to life is lard and pie,” not everything is really about pie. There’s a post office. An emergency fire department. A few gift shops.

One pie shop did indeed close, and another just shut down. Pie-O-Neer, was shuttered for a year and a half, due to COVID, untill Sarah Chavez came to the rescue and bought the place. 

She had moved from Phoenix to retire, but when she saw the opportunity that was the Pie-O-Neer, she decided to go all in and bring pies back to travelers. 

That’s how the town got their name. Back in the 1930s, there was a little gas station at the top of the hill where people would stop to fill up, and eat a slice of heavenly pie. Because the pie was so good, the area got known for it, and the local townspeople petitioned to name their city Pie Town. 

Now, there are highway signs that confirm the existence of Pie Town, even the local post office dignifies it with its own zip code. 87827. 

The streets are not in fact named after fruit, although I did encounter Key Lime Street and Custard Lane, and the Pie-O-Neer is not one of those places that hits you over the head with so many different varieties of pie that you can’t make a decision. (That happened to me when I visited the Grand Canyon Cafe in Williams, AZ, which has over 50 varieties.) 

Pie-O-Neer had several varieties on display, include Blueberry, Ginger Peach and the main attraction, New Mexico Apple Pie, which is the traditional pie with green chili. They have regular Apple Pie as well, and cholcoate pie with green chili, which tasted fantastic. 

The Pie-O-Neer is a a homey diner, with Route 60 and 66 memorabilia, old photographs from the 1930s on the wall, big red booths, and a seperate room to the side called the “Music Room,” with a piano and record covers on the wall. People are encouraged at any time to come in and play. 

Beyond pie, Chavez offers stew (chili, of course) and homemade bread, and on Sundays serves a multi-course dinner that includes everything from pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, along with a slice of pie. 

Business is booming, she says, thanks to the non-stop parade of travelers coming up the road, who are thrilled to find an open restaurant in Pie Town. It’s a long climb to the top of the road, so that makes sense. Plus, once you’ve entered the inside, as you can see in the video, you never want to leave.

Meanwhile, what’s with our fascination for pies? Chavez has the answer. 

“It;’s nostalgia,” she says. “Pies bring us back to another, simpler time.”

There’s always time for crust, I say, whether that’s a chicken pot pie (one of my all-time favorites) or chocolate or banana cream. What’s your favorite pie? Ands where can you find the best pie in the South Bay? Let me hear from you. 





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Racers On A Roll – Face EIU In Charleston On MLK Day


Opponent: Eastern Illinois Panthers
Site (Venue): Charleston, Ill. (Lantz Arena)
Date/Game Time: Monday, Jan. 17, 2022/3:30 p.m.
Audio: WFGS Froggy 103.7FM (PxP: Neal Bradley Analyst: Kenny Roth)
TV(Live Streaming): None(ESPN+)
Live Stats: GoRacers.com/Coverage
Twitter In Game: @MSURacers
MUR Record (Streak): 14-2, 4-0 (Won 4)
EIU Record (Streak): 2-13, 0-2 (Lost 6)
MUR Last Game: Won 82-60 at Belmont (Jan. 15)
EIU Last Game: Lost 66-53 at home vs SIUE (Jan. 13)
All-Time Series vs. EIU: Racers lead 49-14 (19-9 at EIU)
First Meeting: 1981 Home Racers Won 71-70
Last Meeting: Lost 68-59 -26 Neutral 97-71
Last Five vs EIU: MSU trails 2-5
Next MSU Game: Jan. 20 home vs EIU
Next MSU Road Game:  Jan. 27 vs Tennessee Tech 

Game 17 Takes Racers To Eastern Illinois For MLK Day Game 

Because of Covid’s influence on college basketball, the Murray State Racers get a rare opportunity to play a game on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. The Racers (14-2, 4-0 OVC) travel to Charleston to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers (2-13, 0-2 OVC). Tip time on the national holiday of MLK Day is set for 3:30 p.m. at Lantz Arena. Both MSU and EIU have experienced Covid postponements. This game was originally scheduled for Jan. 6, but was backed up to today. That means EIU and MSU will play twice this week as the Panthers make their trip to Murray this week on Thursday. The Racers are coming off a big win Saturday at Belmont 82-60 and EIU will be playing for the first time since last Thursday (Jan. 13) in a 66-53 loss at home against SIUE. 

Racers Look For Reversal

The Racers are looking to snap a three-game losing skid to the Panthers. Prior to the last three meetings, the Racers had won 15-of-18 since 2011, but lately, EIU has had the Racers’ number. Part of the reason the Racers had trouble with EIU was Jordan Skipper-Brown. However, he became one of the first players in the OVC to transfer within a conference and he is playing his final season with the Racers in 2021-22. The Racers lead the all-time series with EIU 49-14 and are 27-4 at Lantz Arena.

Justice Hill Brings The Juice

When the Racers defeated Belmont Saturday to stay unbeaten in the early part of the OVC season, there was Justice “Juice” Hill having an amazing night that deserves further investigation. His 36-point night in Nashville is the highest scoring game in the OVC this season as he bested the 34 points Eric Reed, Jr., had against Austin Peay (Jan. 1). Hill was the definition of a player that was on a roll and hardly missed. He was 6-of-6 from the 3-point line in the first half and had 25 points. For the game, he hit 10-of-19 from the field, including 8-of-11 from three point range. He hit eight free throws and dished out three assists. Hill is the 34th Racer in program history to score 36 points or more. MSU’s single-game gold standard continues to be the 45 points scored by MSU Hall of Famer, Marcus Brown in 1995 at old Racer Arena against Washington U. of St. Louis. Brown has been a welcome addition to Coach Matt McMahon‘s staff since he joined the program as Assistant to the Head Coach last summer.

Busy Schedule Continues With Three At The Bank

With a couple of Monday make up days on the schedule, the Racers continue their eight games in 16 days run after the Monday game at EIU. The Racers host three-straight home games this week including EIU visiting the CFSB Center Thursday. UT Martin is town Saturday on Coach Ron Green Day and next Monday (Jan. 24) Tennessee Tech visits for a Monday game.



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Winter storm snarls travel, gives some schools the day off | News, Sports, Jobs



Postman Josh Ashley fights the driving snow and cold weather, as he make his way up Main Street in Fairhaven, Mass., using a cart to deliver mail on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the South with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the Northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. (Peter Pereira/The Standard-Times via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — A winter storm that had already blanketed parts of the South in snow moved into the Northeast on Friday, snarling air travel, crushing morning commutes and giving hundreds of school districts struggling to keep kids in the classroom during a wave of new coronavirus cases an excuse to shut down for a one-day respite.

Schools in Boston closed, and Providence, Rhode Island, public schools switched to distance learning, but New York City kept the nation’s largest public school system open.

“Children need to be in school. We don’t have any more days to waste” after the many closures and remote-learning days of the pandemic, said Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat dealing with his first major storm after taking office Saturday. He also noted that many children rely on in-school meals and that some working parents can’t stay home.

But there was a sense of relief for some educators.

Michael Gow, a middle school social studies teacher in Medfield, Massachusetts, called Friday a “snowvid day” and acknowledged it gave parents and teachers a reprieve from the daily dilemma of whether to continue with in-person instruction as the pandemic rages.

“This is a well deserved break for all of the teachers, staff, and students dealing with the surge of omicron,” Gow tweeted.

In central Pennsylvania, Ericka Weathers, a Penn State University education professor, scrambled to finish a fellowship application while her two kids were home from school because of the snow. She started working around 5:15 a.m. to try to ensure she’d have enough time to finish by the deadline Friday evening.

“I’ve been trying to juggle,” she said as her 7-year-old sledded on the hill outside and her 4-year-old didn’t want to go out. “Every five minutes, someone’s asking me a question.”

By midday on the East Coast, airlines had scrubbed more than 2,400 flights, with the largest numbers at airports in Boston and the New York City area, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Airlines have struggled with staffing shortages caused by an increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. In the U.S., cancellations had eased a bit this week after peaking at more than 3,200 on Monday.

By midday Friday, some spots in New England including Danielson, Connecticut, Norwood, Massachusetts, and Burrillville, Rhode Island, had received well above a foot (30 centimeters) of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Drivers were urged to stay off the roads, but there were reports of crashes around the region.

Plow driver Michael D’Andrea got a firsthand look at the mess on the roads. He saw plenty of vehicles spin out as the thick snow fell.

“The first storm is always a bit more dangerous,” said D’Andrea, 34, of Norwood, Massachusetts. “No one has driven in this weather for like six months. People have to relearn how to drive in this. And it’s usually not a foot of snow the first one. This is almost a blizzard with how fast it came down. 2022 is off to a bang, but I suppose we were overdue.”

A driver died at about 7:30 a.m. when a car went off Route 140 in Freetown, Massachusetts, state police said.

A commuter bus spun out of control and blocked lanes on the Massachusetts Turnpike just outside Boston early Friday. No injuries were reported, but the bus caused a huge traffic jam.

A tractor-trailer jackknifed in Greenwich, Connecticut, and forced a temporary closure of southbound Interstate 95, state police said. There were no indications of mass strandings on the major north-south thoroughfare, as happened after snow in Virginia earlier this week left hundreds of motorists marooned for hours.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday night declared a state of emergency and delayed opening state offices for nonessential employees until 11 a.m.

But the snow had ended by 10 a.m. in New Jersey, allowing plows to do their thing. Preliminary snowfall amounts showed 6 inches had fallen in Berlin, with 5 inches in Howell.

The National Weather Service said 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) of snow fell on New York City’s Central Park and 8.4 inches (21 centimeters) at LaGuardia Airport.

Snowfall totals were much more modest in northern New England, with about 4.5 inches (11 centimeters) in Nashua, New Hampshire, and about 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) in Hollis, Maine, by late morning, according to National Weather Service spotters.

The storm also affected coronavirus testing sites, many of which have been overwhelmed with long lines and waits for days. Some testing sites in Rhode Island delayed their openings until later in the day, when the storm was expected to start tapering off.

In Connecticut, most state-sponsored testing sites that are usually open on Fridays closed because of the storm, but some sites run locally and by pharmacies, remained open.

The storm brought record-setting snow to some areas of the South on Thursday.

Nashville saw 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) Thursday, shattering the city’s previous Jan. 6 record of 4 inches (10 centimeters), which had stood since 1977, the weather service said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear closed state offices at noon Thursday and later extended the closure through Friday.

The largest snowfall in Kentucky was nearly 10 inches (25 centimeters) in Lexington, according to the weather service.

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This story has been updated to correct that not all testing sites in Connecticut were closed.

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York; Shawn Marsh in Trenton, New Jersey; Dave Collins in Glastonbury, Connecticut; Philip Marcelo in Norwood, Massachusetts; and Bill Kole in Warwick, Rhode Island; and AP Business Writer David Koenig.



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Cold And Wintry New Year’s Day Across Green Country


Bundle up! Some Arctic air is surging into Green Country to kick off the new year.

Temperatures are in freefall mode Saturday. In the Tulsa metro, we’ll drop into the 20s during the afternoon with stiff north winds pushing wind chills into the teens and single digits.

Any afternoon precipitation will be much lighter than what we had early this morning, but some patches of freezing drizzle will be possible across northeastern Oklahoma.

A secondary band of light to moderate snow will move across eastern Oklahoma later tonight, most likely from about the 9 p.m. to midnight timeframe. Any accumulation would be minor for most of us, but a few localized areas west and southwest of Tulsa could see a quick coating of ½” or so of snow on grassy surfaces.

Jan. 1, 2022 WX blog

That snow will taper off to flurries early Sunday morning with bitter cold conditions. We’ll have lows in the lower teens with wind chills below zero Sunday morning.

WX blog Jan. 1, 2022 3

I hope you have a great New Year’s, Green Country! We’ll be keeping you updated throughout the day on our cold and wintry New Year’s. You can follow me on Twitter @StephenNehrenz as well as my Facebook page Meteorologist Stephen Nehrenz to stay up to date with the very latest.  



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Arsenal vs. Manchester City time, TV channel, stream, lineups, betting tip & pick for New Year’s Day


The last time Arsenal and Manchester City matched up, it was clear who the better side was. But this isn’t late August anymore.

The Gunners will put their fine form to the ultimate test as they host English Premier League leader and title favorite Manchester City at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. They will hope to show off the marked progress made since a 5-0 loss to the Citizens on Aug. 28, when a first-half red card sabotaged Arsenal’s bid for a result.

Since the integration of some key summer signings, Arsenal (4th place, 35 pts) has surged into a Champions League spot on the heels of four straight wins. All four were pleasing to the eye as they topped Southampton, West Ham, Leeds United, and Norwich City by a combined 14-1 scoreline. However, the opponent will be of a different caliber this time around.

MORE: Betting picks for the Premier League weekend

Man City (1st place, 50 pts) enters on a whopping 10-match league winning streak which began with a 2-0 Manchester derby win in early November. Six of those 10 victories came via a clean sheet as Pep Guardiola’s squad appears virtually unbeatable. Now holding an eight-point lead atop the table, the next two games could be decisive in the title race as Arsenal and Chelsea will provide stiff competition and perhaps a window of opportunity for those below to gain ground should City slip.

How to watch Arsenal vs. Man City

  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 1
  • Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
  • TV channel: USA Network
  • Spanish-language TV: Universo
  • Streaming: fuboTV, NBCSports.com (authenticated users)

The Saturday match between Arsenal and Man City from the Emirates will be broadcast on USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish) in the USA.

It’s first match of a USA Network tripleheader on New Year’s Day with Jan. 1 marking the Premier League’s permament move to USA Network as its new English-language TV home.

MORE: What happened to NBCSN? EPL now on USA Network

Both USA Network and Universo can be streamed on fuboTV and new users can take advantage of a free 7-day trial.

Arsenal vs. Man City projected lineups

Arenal is again without the out-of-favor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was allowed to travel early to join Gabon for the Africa Cup of Nations. Sead Kolasinac will return to training in January from his long-term injury, while the trio of Calum Chambers, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Cedric are all out after positive COVID-19 tests.

That’s it for Arsenal, who looked fantastic against Norwich City last time out and has a mostly healthy squad. Alexandre Lacazette should continue to lead the line up front, with few changes expected from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. There will probably be no room once again for Nicolas Pepe with both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in great form on the wings.

Arsenal projected starting lineup (4-4-2, left to right): Ramsdale (GK) — Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, White — Partey, Xhaka — Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka — Lacazette.

MORE: Key facts to know about the transfer window opening

The Man City squad news is less about who is injured and more about predicting who from his bursting squad Pep Guardiola will select on any given day. Only John Stones and Kyle Walker have question marks around their availablility due to a lack of fitness, while Rodri is missing after a positive COVID-19 test. Otherwise, the entire selection of players is available to Guardiola. It’s possible that Joao Cancelo is given a break after suffering a recent assault, but there are no natural right backs to replace him unless Walker recovers in time.

Oleksandar Zinchenko was rested for the Brentford match, but should return to left back with Nathan Ake not exactly lighting the world on fire as his replacement. Fernandinho, who is no longer a regular starter in the side, could drop to the bench for Ilkay Gundogan, while Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez also see opportunities to make a return to the first-choice side.

Man City projected starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Ederson (GK) — Zinchenko, Laporte, Dias, Cancelo — Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva — Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez.

Arsenal vs. Man City betting pick & prediction

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Pep Guardiola has never lost to Arsenal in a Premier League match since taking charge of Man City in 2016. The last time Arsenal beat Man City in league play was December 2015, when Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott scored to beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side captained by Yaya Toure. Since that victory, it’s been two draws and 10 defeats, including nine straight losses for the Gunners. The last time these two teams matched up, Man City blasted the Gunners 5-0.

The situation is completely different now. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta seems to have finally found a consistent starting XI that clicks, and Man City’s recent run of dominant results against the Gunners will be challenged. Arsenal has won four league games in a row, and while it still has yet to prove its worth against a top Premier League side this season, now would represent the perfect time.

MORE: Football docuseries and other movies to watch for fans

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard are all in fine form, and the Gunners are a good enough footballing team that they should be able to keep pace with Man City in a shootout. And they should also be competitive in a lower-scoring contest — for all their attacking prowess, Pep Guardiola’s men are also defensively solid and more than comfortable winning 1-0 or 2-0 — which justifies a gamble on Arsenal and the +1 spread at plus-money. The stake is returned in the case of a one-goal Arsenal loss.

Pick: Arsenal +1 Asian Handicap (+100)

Prediction: Arsenal 1, Man City 1

  • Moneyline: Arsenal +500 / Draw +360 / Man City -195
  • Spread: Man City -1.5 (+150) / Arsenal +1.5 (-170)
  • O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -170 / Under +140
  • Both teams to score: Yes -150 / No +115





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Hazardous Travel Conditions Expected for New Year’s Day | Local News


The National Weather Services is warning of hazardous winter travel conditions on New Year’s Day.

Snow accumulation and strong winds are expected across Northern Illinois. Icy mixed precipitation is expected south of the I-80 corridor. Slowed travel is expected as a result.

Anyone planning on traveling should prepare accordingly and keep an emergency kit stocked in their vehicle. DeKalb County Emergency Services Director Dennis Miller says people should also make sure their vehicle is ready.

It’s also a good idea to give yourself some extra time to arrive at your destination safely. Miller spoke to WSPY news about it last month.





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