On the road again: summer travel resumes in big way | Local News


The unofficial start of summer is off to a roaring start this Memorial Day weekend, despite rising travel costs and COVID-19 concerns.

“We’re going to have 1.2 million more people traveling,” said Jim Garrity, director of public affairs for AAA. “It’s almost 7% more than last year. Consumers are ready to travel again, especially those who didn’t make a trip last year, maybe haven’t seen certain members of their family or friends for a couple of years. They’re thinking to themselves, ‘This is the year I’m going to get back out there.’”

Of course, those who want to get away are dealing with a few factors that may cause some hesitation, such as the price of airfare and gasoline.

According to figures released by AAA, the lowest average airfare is 6% more than last year and mid-range hotel rates have increased by about 42%.

And gasoline prices have eclipsed 2021’s numbers in a big way.

According to AAA, the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania the week of May 22 was $4.70 per gallon. The average price during the week of May 24, 2021, was more than $1.50 less – $3.178 per gallon.

This week’s average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline was $4.699 in Washington and $4.687 in Uniontown.

“Airfare and gas are out of sight right now,” said Sandy Davis, owner of Davis Travel Agency in Monongahela. “I was looking for someone for airfare to Florida and it was $800. That’s crazy. It’s just ridiculous.”

Still, she said, more people are booking trips this year than the last two years. COVID fears seem to be less.

“I just came back from Europe and you would never know it,” Davis said. “I was in five countries in 12 days, and really you would never know it.”

Carl Brandtonies, owner of Worldview Travel in Washington, also said more people are traveling but said the rising gas prices may curtail that a bit.

“We’re seeing more people going out, but the gas is going to start affecting it and airfares are starting to grow,” he said. “They’re looking to book trips, but the airfares are starting to increase pretty good right now.’

Garrity said AAA conducted a survey in February as gas prices began to climb.

“What we found is that around the $4 mark is when consumers would start making changes in their daily habits and behaviors so they could still prioritize things like travel, summer road trips, vacations, going to see family and friends, maybe now more than ever for consumers who haven’t been able to do so over the last few years,” he said. “Despite those higher gas prices, more people are traveling.”

Something that did occur during COVID was the rediscovery of the outdoors. Local attractions such as Mingo Creek County Park should be quite popular throughout the summer.

“If the weekend turns out to be a beautiful weekend with the weather, I have no doubt that Mingo is going to be packed with people,” said Lisa Cessna, Washington County planning director.

Cessna said permit applications for Cross Creek Park Lake have increased, especially for motorized boats, paddle boats and kayaks. Plus, shelter rentals are going strong.

“It used to be just the fisherman’s lake, but now we have a lot of people doing some recreational activities that we had never seen before,” she said. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a shelter on the weekend throughout the summer. There are still some available during the week. We’re pretty much booked solid with all of our shelters on the weekends throughout the summer.”

Bret Moore, Greene County’s recreation director, said there was solid participation in outdoor events, as well as good crowds at the Greene River Trail during the pandemic. Now, it’s picking up even more.

“Most of our events are very well-attended,” he said. “The drag races are scheduled for the airport (Sunday), and we’re assuming there’s going to be a very large turnout.

Moore also said pavilion rentals and pool parties are booked throughout the better part of the summer.

It does seem as if people want to be out and about again.

“Our travel advisers have been very, very busy, and a lot of the time it’s just people calling in and asking what’s available,” Garrity said. “The wanderlust is starting to take hold and the urge to go out and go anywhere – a lot of people are starting to feel that again. It’s exciting to see.”



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Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau offers tips for local getaways, giveaways – Press Telegram


Last year, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau offered a new service, providing themed itineraries for vacationers to experience the area “like the locals do.”

That program won awards — and is back for summer 2022. And with an addition. Now, when the itinerary of the month is unveiled, it will be accompanied by a chance to win prizes through the CVB’s Instagram account, @VisitLB.

This month’s trip is called Aquatic Adventure, highlighting all the ways to enjoy Long Beach’s 11 miles of waterway and coastline. The prize is aquatic-themed as well, with a family four pack of whale watching tickets from Harbor Breeze Cruises and four tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The day at the aquarium comes with an added perk: a family “Animal Encounter” with sharks and rays, or with some of the aquarium’s feathered friends.

A new specially curated itinerary will be released once a month for the next three months, according to Samantha Mehlinger, CVB’s vice president of communications.

“Our Long Beach Days & Getaways let you explore Long Beach like a local, showcasing unique attractions and activities alongside hidden gems that’ll make your friends say, ‘Where is that, and when can I go?’” she said in a release. “Be sure to follow us on Instagram for a chance to win prizes all summer long.”

Each itinerary will be revealed with an original video and giveaway on Instagram. To qualify for the prize drawing, go to @VisitLB on Instagram, spot the new video, tag two friends in the comments and follow @VisitLB.

For more ideas about things to do, go to visitlongbeach.com and visit the “This is Long Beach” blog on that website.

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Lane closures suspended for Memorial Day travel | Local News


Road construction won’t delay motorists traveling Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at noon May 27 through 6 a.m. on May 31. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.

“Suspending construction-related lane closures during the Memorial Day weekend will lessen congestion and delays on Tennessee’s major highways,” said interim TDOT Commissioner Joe Galbato said. “We want to do our part to help everyone have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend and keep traffic flowing as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”

Motorists may still encounter some lane closures or restrictions while traveling through long-term construction projects. In addition, drivers should know reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.  

Despite historically high gas prices, nearly 87% of Tennessee Memorial Day travelers plan to drive. AAA predicts 698,000 Tennesseans are forecast to take a holiday road trip. That’s 4.1% more than last year’s holiday weekend.

Get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras from a desktop or mobile device at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any landline or cellular phone for travel information, or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel. 

Drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and “Know Before You Go!” by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.





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Eating, drinking and adventure in Chaffee County: Local tips for your next trip | Summer Fun Guide


“Now THIS is Colorado,” reads the highway sign welcoming visitors to Chaffee County. And it’s easy to see why.

With the Arkansas River connecting the idyllic, artsy towns of Buena Vista and Salida, this is a mecca for whitewater rafting and fishing. With an impressive cluster of 14,000-foot peaks, it’s a land that calls also to high-altitude climbers. Off-roaders get their thrills on rough and rowdy tracks such as the one on Mount Antero, while other sightseers follow the winding pavement of Cottonwood Pass over the Continental Divide.

Did we mention mountain biking? And hiking and camping?

“If you want to be alone in the woods, this might not be for you,” longtime Buena Vista resident Laura Hart says.

But if you want adventure and don’t mind a crowd, look no further than Chaffee County. Here are helpful tips from locals:

P.T. WOOD former Salida mayor, owner of Wood’s High Mountain Distillery

• Starting out: I love the crack-of-dawn tour up on (Monarch) Pass. Get up there and watch the sunrise with a baked good from Little Red Hen (1).

• Best stretch of water: The Numbers is probably my favorite in the whole world. Just super solid Class 4, beautiful whitewater for kayaking. And then the more casual day run is Browns Canyon (2). Low stress, high fun, and it’s really pretty in there as well.

• For mountain biking: Go up the Salida Mountain Trails (3). Just head up Frontside Trail (from downtown). There’s a kiosk with a map there. You can choose your adventure. Unkle Nazty is a pretty challenging, full-suspension type of descent. Or you can head out and wrap around to Cottonwood Trail, which is a longer loop I love.

• For lunch: Amicas (4) is one of my favorites: amazing salads, wood-fired pizzas.

• For later: If you’re looking for fancier, the Fritz (5). Benson’s for more of a bar hangout. High Side for live music.

• What else: There’s a number of spots up Chalk Creek, past Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort (6), that are either overnight rental cabins or vacation rentals that will have private hot springs with them. Cabins at Chalk Creek is one that comes to mind.

LAURA HART mother, community organizer in Buena Vista

• Wild time with wildlife: Go up the road to St. Elmo (7). They’ve got so many chipmunks all over. They’re well-known for the chipmunk feeding. That’s something you have to do.

• Perfect afternoon: There’s a little restaurant at River Runners, which is a rafting company. Right on the sand, they do live music, and it’s like hanging out at the beach.

• On the water: People love to rent paddleboards (8) from CKS on Main Street and take them over to the lake. There’s some really cool eddies right there on the river at the end of Main Street that people like to bring kayaks and paddleboards to. It’s even fun just to watch.

• A great tradition: Farmers market every Sunday during the summer at McPhelemy Park.

• For ice cream: K’s (9) is the nostalgic thing to do, but my favorite is Louie’s on Main Street (10).

• What else: My family is avid off-roaders, and I love to pack the kids and get on the trails. You definitely want to make sure you know what you’re doing and are prepared. There’s a lot of people that come and think they can do a trail. They’re called mountains for a reason.

JENNIFER DEMPSEY Salida Circus founder

• Ideal day: I would go rent a yurt at Joyful Journey (Hot Springs Spa in Moffat). Then I would come back into town and have a really delicious dinner at Little Cambodia. Then I would go hear music at (pour-your-own) 146 Taphouse (11), and I would have 12 different sips of beers.

• Fun hangout: Velveteen Lounge (12). It’s like you’re in 1920s Paris. You get all these designer cocktails, wine or beer, and they have all these cool events.

• Mark your calendar: The month of July will be the Salida Goes Surreal Festival. All through July there will be surrealism art shows at the SteamPlant and alleyway art installations throughout town.

• Shopping: Definitely The Beekeeper’s Honey Boutique. We’re full of consignment shops here. Free the Monkey, Ruby Blues, those are very interesting. Another place that families must stop by is Kaleidoscope Toy Shop (13).

• What else: Everybody who comes to Salida must stop by Box of Bubbles. Ken Brandon, he’s a native. It’s an art and community workshop space that he also lives in. It’s called Box of Bubbles because he wanted a place for people to come and talk about their ideas without their bubbles getting burst.



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Local tips to know before going to Croatia


With its glittering Adriatic coastline, 1244 islands, endlessly fascinating cities and extraordinarily dramatic landscapes, Croatia has been steadily making its way up people’s must-go list. 

Naturally, tourists are drawn to those beautiful Adriatic beaches that easily hold their own against their Mediterranean rivals. But inland Croatia is just as captivating, from the hilltop villages of Istria to the elegantly buzzing capital, Zagreb. Before you go, have a look at these travel tips to make the most out of your Croatia trip.

Planning your trip to Croatia

Make certain you have the right currency

Although Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, it won’t be joining the eurozone until 1 January 2023. In the meantime, carry on using the Croatian kuna, which you can buy in advance outside the country as well as from the banks and ATMs once you arrive. Some shops and restaurants will accept euros, but you’ll get your change in kuna, and not at a very attractive rate.

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Don’t overstretch yourself when planning an itinerary

It might be tempting to squeeze in as many destinations as possible into one trip, but you won’t be doing yourself any favors unless you’re staying for at least two weeks. If you’re planning to visit more than one Adriatic island, think realistically about how much time you can spend in each place and how you will be getting around. Get to know the schedule of the national ferry operator, Jadrolinija, if you intend to do some island-hopping. Croatia has an extensive bus network, but factor in some long journey times if you’re traveling along the Adriatic coast.

People eat at a patio restaurant nestled in a historic alleyway in Dubrovnik
Unsure what to tip at a Croatian restaurant? 10% is customary  ©paul prescott/Shutterstock

How much do you tip?

Croatia’s tipping culture is more laid back than in other countries. Having said that, it’s customary to leave at least 10% in restaurants and for beauty and spa treatments. In bars and cafés, just round up the bill. Tour guides appreciate a few kuna at the end of a tour, and taxi drivers don’t expect a tip, but, again, if you want to round up a fare from, say, 22 kuna (US$3.15) to 25 kuna (US$3.57), it’s appreciated. If you’re filling up your car and notice a few students cleaning car windscreens, give them a few kuna, as they’re working for tips only.

How safe is it to travel in Croatia?

Croatia is a relatively safe country, with low levels of violent crime. The most prevalent issue for tourists is pickpocketing, but even that’s on a much lower scale than in other European countries. Female solo travelers should feel safe on their own, although it’s wise to get some information from accommodation providers on areas to avoid, if any. When using taxis, all travelers should make certain they’re using a licensed car either from an official taxi rank or ordered from your hotel.

What’s Croatia like for LGBTQI+ travelers?

In this relatively conservative country, homosexuality is tolerated but LGBTQI+ travelers should be discreet. Public displays of affection could raise a few eyebrows, and some travelers have experienced hostile reactions. Zagreb’s gay scene is growing, however, and both Zagreb and Split hold Gay Pride festivals every June.

Buy some swimming shoes

Most of Croatia’s beaches are pebbly or rocky and can be hard to enjoy in bare feet. Just pick up a pair of those neoprene or plastic swimming shoes you see in all the resorts and you’ll also be protecting your feet from sea urchins that lurk under rocks and pebbles.

Be prepared for lots of bare flesh

Naturist beaches are popular in Croatia, and sometimes you won’t know you’re on one until people start stripping off. Most are marked with FKK – the German phrase “Frei-Körper-Kultur” meaning free body culture – not surprisingly, as Germans make up some of the biggest numbers of tourists in Croatia. Away from the FKK beaches, topless bathing is quite common.

Can you avoid the crowds in Dubrovnik?

Although the number of cruise ships docking in Dubrovnik isn’t at pre-pandemic levels, there could still be times when up to 8000 people might descend in one day. That’s the cue to stay away from the Old Town until the cruise passengers leave in the late afternoon. Keep an eye on the Dubrovnik Port Authority’s website for cruise arrivals.

Can I use my mobile phone in Croatia?

Croatia is part of EU roaming, which is handy if you have a contract that allows you to use your data abroad. It’s easy to find Wi-Fi in cafes and bars: just ask the server for the password (šifra).

People in swimsuits sunbathe on the pier in Adriatic coast with sailboats, ship and houses in the distance behind them
Do as the Croatians do: save the swimsuits for the beach © AlexLinch / Getty Images

Etiquette in Croatia

Make an effort to dress appropriately

If you’re visiting churches and other sacred sites, keep your shoulders covered and, if you can, avoid bare thighs. If you’re wearing a hat, take it off when you’re in a church. Even though dress codes are relaxed on the coast, Split, Dubrovnik and Hvar have passed laws against walking around the city in swimwear or bare-chested. Croatians like to dress smartly and take great pride in their appearance, so you don’t want to look too scruffy if you can help it.

Don’t get drunk in public

After years of enduring hordes of drunken tourists, the mayor of Hvar Town had had enough. In 2017, the destination started to issue fines to people behaving badly – public drunkenness is not only frowned upon, but also subject to a fine of up to €700 (US$755). Same goes if you pass out and fall asleep in a public place such as a park bench. 

Get to know the Croatian character

Croatians can be quite reserved people, sometimes appearing brusque. It’s nothing personal, especially when you get to know them better and the initial reserve melts to reveal a warm and friendly side.

Be tactful when talking about Croatia’s war of independence

The 1990s war that splintered the former Yugoslavia is a topic that needs careful handling. If people show a willingness to talk about it, then by all means ask sensible questions. But don’t be intrusive, and bear in mind that Croatians won’t take too kindly to being called either Yugoslav or Balkan. Similarly, in this predominantly Catholic country, be mindful of making loud statements against religion. 

A red car drive around a bend with Dubrovnik in the background
When driving in Croatia, don’t forget those headlights! © Dallas and John Heaton / Getty Images

Health and safety in Croatia

Can you drink the tap water?

Tap water in Croatia is perfectly safe and very drinkable. 

What about earthquakes?

Croatia has a history of earthquakes going back centuries, but two recent ones in 2020 caused significant damage. The quake that shook Zagreb damaged thousands of buildings, many in the old town including the cathedral. Soon after, the city of Petrinja, about an hour’s drive south of Zagreb, was severely damaged in a quake whose aftershocks rippled throughout the region.

Are there any safety concerns to keep in mind?

There are still parts of the country in the hinterlands of Northern Dalmatia and Lika where landmines remain from the 1990s war, but these will be signposted with a skull and crossbones symbol. Don’t be remotely tempted to go near them.

What’s the best contact for an emergency?

Dial 112 for general emergencies, 192 for police, and 194 for an ambulance. If you fall ill in Croatia and you’re an EU citizen with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a UK citizen with a Global Health Insurance Card, you’re entitled to vastly reduced health care – for example, a doctor’s appointment is only 10 kuna (US$1.50). But even with this cover, you should still take out travel insurance.

Any special driving laws to know about?

If you’re driving in Croatia from November to April, it’s compulsory to have your lights on during daylight hours as well as at night.



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La Salle library virtually hosts Illinois travel author to share her adventures – Shaw Local


The La Salle Public Library will virtually host Illinois author and librarian, Raluca Barbu, at 6 p.m. Monday, May 23, for her unique program about her newly-published book, “American Vacation: 12,000 Miles Into the Wild West.”

Barbu’s book pays homage to the great American outdoors and reminding readers of the amazing natural wonders found in the American West. It is the first book to tell the story of a writer, from an ex-communist country, who experienced the wide-open spaces of the emblematic American West. She and her husband traveled 12,000 miles for 45 days across 19 states. They visited 35 national, state, and tribal parks and hiked 170 miles, through natural landmarks, from 260 feet below sea level to 14,000 feet of altitude.

In this virtual program, Barbu will share about her travel adventures and writing experiences, read from her book, answer questions, and present a slideshow photo presentation that captures the natural beauty and animal encounters she witnessed on her travels.

Barbu is a librarian at Fox River Grove Memorial Library and the Wauconda Area Library. She is a published author of four books in Romania, her home country.

The program will be presented via Zoom and is free and open to all. Register at https://bit.ly/371B8o3. For more information, contact the La Salle Public Library at 815-223-2341.



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Big Spring Police looking for man accused of making threats at local radio station


Big Spring, Texas (KOSA) -Big Spring Police are looking for identifying a man accused of making terroristic threats at a local radio station.

On April 28, 2022, at approximately 2:41 p.m., officers with the Big Spring Police Department responded to KBST Radio Station located in the 600 block of Johnson in about a terroristic threat. Upon arrival, officers learned that an unknown white male wearing a white shirt and black shorts entered the building and spoke with the front desk clerk. The unknown male began to make death threats toward the employee and anyone inside the building before exiting the building and leaving in an unknown direction of travel.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) involved in this case. Remember no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous.

Do not leave your tip on Facebook messenger. Use the “submit a tip” icon on our page.

Do not lose your tip number, you will need it to claim your reward

You can also call the TIPS line at 432-263-8477 (TIPS) you will remain anonymous and no caller ID is ever used. Or, use the p3tips.com software; you can submit your tip online and it is also completely anonymous.

Please reference case # 2-22-01334 in your tip.

Web Tip Link:

Https://www.p3tips.com/1277

Copyright 2022 KOSA. All rights reserved.



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3 Tips to Know When Traveling Out of State With a Firearm – Shaw Local


There are plenty of reasons to travel with your firearm. You may be going on an out-of-state hunting trip or visiting a different shooting range, or you may want to maintain the ability to protect yourself while on vacation or on a business trip. Whatever the case, it’s important to know how to properly travel with a firearm.

1. When traveling between states, there aren’t any specific federal laws regarding traveling with a firearm, outside of normal firearm restrictions such as NFA (National Firearms Act) items. What will be important is to understand the local laws and regulations of the states and cities you’re traveling through, with regards to what can be transported and in what manner.

2. Just like at home, it’s best to properly and safely store firearms while traveling so that you reduce the risk of an accident. Store your firearms in locked containers, unloaded, and perhaps even separately from ammunition and magazines. It’s also best to keep any paraphernalia out of sight if it’s in your car, and try to minimize the time you spend away from your car if you have firearms inside it.

3. If you possess a concealed carry weapon permit and wish to carry your self defense firearm with you while road tripping, make sure you look up which states will honor Illinois’ CCW permits as valid, and which won’t. As of right now, 30 states will honor an Illinois CCW permit as valid, including all states that are adjacent to Illinois, but make sure you research your destination and route to make sure you’re carrying legally the whole way. If you have a permit from another state, it’s important to note that Illinois will not honor it as valid.

Although it may be confusing to keep track of all the rules and procedures, if you do your research ahead of time, traveling with your firearms can be a piece of cake. For more information about traveling with firearms, please contact Dennis Leifheit at:

Northern Illinois Carry, LLC

405 Somonauk St.

Sycamore, IL 60178

Phone: (815) 501-9421

www.northernillinoiscarry.com

Northern Illinois Carry Logo



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‘Emily in Paris’ Star Ashely Park Shares the Moment She Felt Like a Local in the City of Light


‘Emily in Paris’ Star Ashely Park Shares the Moment She Felt Like a Local in the City of Light | Travel + Leisure

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‘Travel Back in Time’ May 15 | Local News


WILLIAMSPORT — Elaine Decker will present “Travel Back in Time” during a society program to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in the Community Room of the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society, 858 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.

A native of Williamsport, Decker is a local historian, professional photographer, and author. Her recently published book, “Past and Present Williamsport,” illustrates streetscapes and buildings from the last two centuries and their present incarnations through her photography.





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