QuikTrip set to open second location in Alabama, third travel center coming in fall


QuikTrip, a national chain of convenience stores and gas stations, plans to open its second location in Alabama in late May.

Construction on the travel center is underway in Calera, off Shelby County 84 about 30 miles south of Birmingham. It’s near Interstate 65 and Alabama 31, south of the Walmart Supercenter.

Aisha Jefferson-Smith, a spokeswoman for the company, confirmed the target date for the opening and said another QuikTrip location is set for Opelika in the fall.

QuikTrip opened its first Alabama location in February, off Interstate 20 in Cottondale, near Tuscaloosa. It includes 20 gas pumps and diesel bays for trucks. One of the main attractions for travelers is the QT Kitchen, with a menu that includes barbecue sandwiches, breakfast tacos, pizza and soft pretzels. QuikTrip also sells grab-and-go snacks such as salads, wraps and doughnuts, plus coffee, tea and other beverages.

QuikTrip Corporation, founded in 1958 in Oklahoma, has more than 900 stores in 15 states, according to its website. That includes more than 100 stores in the Atlanta metro area. QuikTrip has a strong fan base — some have called it a cult following — and is touted for its made-to-order food, customer service and clean restrooms.

The chain’s motto, “More than a gas station,” was showcased in a series of 2021 ads that paid homage to classic sitcoms such as “Seinfeld” and “Saved by the Bell.” The ads focused on characters eating “snackles,” the company’s word for a satisfying food item that “bridges the gap between snacks and meals.”



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ATM 2022: Abu Dhabi set to unveil new summer campaign and global partnerships – Breaking Travel News



ATM 2022: Abu Dhabi set to unveil new summer campaign and global partnerships  Breaking Travel News



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Residents upset as Niangala waste station set to close, forcing locals to use Dungowan dumps – The Northern Daily Leader



Residents upset as Niangala waste station set to close, forcing locals to use Dungowan dumps  The Northern Daily Leader



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Paradise Valley man accused of killing wife, trial set for July


Lawrence Rudolph’s girlfriend, Lori Milliron, is also facing charges.

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — The Paradise Valley man accused of killing his wife while on safari in Africa claiming she accidentally shot herself is scheduled to go to trial in July.

Lawrence Rudolph is charged with foreign murder and mail fraud. He was arrested in December, five years after his wife Bianca’s death in 2016.

RELATED: Paradise Valley man accused of killing his wife on a hunting trip to Africa 5 years after her death

Now, Rudolph’s girlfriend, Lori Milliron, is being charged, too. The two have been living together in Paradise Valley since the weeks after Bianca’s death, according to court records.

Milliron is charged with comforting and assisting Rudolph to hinder his trial and punishment. She’s also charged with multiple counts of providing false testimony.

Milliron’s attorney, John Dill, released the following statement to 12 News:

“Ms. Milliron did not commit any crime and completely denies the government’s charges. She is a hardworking grandmother who the government has falsely charged without knowing the facts. She looks forward to being exonerated, but the shame in this case is that she is even forced to defend herself against allegations based totally on rumors and gossip.”

The hunting trip that ended in death

In 2012, Lawrence and Bianca Rudolph moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Records show Lawrence would travel back and forth from Arizona to Pennsylvania to run his dental practice.

In 2016, Lawrence and Bianca Rudolph embarked on a hunting trip to Africa, a place they had visited several times. On this trip, they went to Zambia with the goal of killing a leopard. They brought two guns with them – a Remington .375 Rifle and a Browning 12-gauge shotgun.

At the end of their trip, tragedy struck. Bianca was shot in the chest and died.

Lawrence told African officials she had accidentally shot herself while trying to pack the shotgun into its case.

Her death was ruled an accident by African officials. But red flags were raised by some right away.

According to federal records, the consular chief who interacted with Lawrence following Bianca’s death said Lawrence was “livid” they had taken photographs of Bianca’s body.

Lawrence insisted on cremating her in Africa before returning home and paid cash to rush the process. 

A friend of Bianca’s notified the FBI that Lawrence had been having an affair at the time of her death with Milliron.

Once Lawrence returned home, he began claiming her life insurance policy and cashed out close to $5 million.

Since then, county property records show Lawrence Rudolph has been living in a home in Paradise Valley.

But in December, five years after Bianca’s death, authorities arrested him in connection with her death.

Records show a former employee of Rudolph’s dental practice told federal investigators she knew Rudolph’s girlfriend, Milliron, who claimed to have dated him for 15-20 years while he was married to Bianca. She alleges Milliron stated she gave Rudolph an ultimatum of one year to sell his dental office and leave Bianca.

The federal case is being handled in Colorado where Bianca’s insurance company is based.

An Arizona bartender allegedly overhears a confession

According to federal court records, a tip from an Arizona bartender is now playing a role in the case.

In January, a month after Rudolph’s arrest, the FBI received a tip from a restaurant employee who reported a colleague of Rudolph heard him confess to killing his wife while talking to Milliron.

The FBI reported it and then spoke with that bartender. 

The bartender stated Rudolph and Milliron were regulars at the Arizona restaurant they worked at. One night, the bartender claimed when Rudolph was talking to Milliron, Rudolph loudly stated, “I killed my f***ing wife for you.”

The bartender said the statement was so shocking, that they immediately told colleagues. A nearby family also allegedly overheard.

Rudolph remains in custody in Colorado. He and Milliron’s trial is set to begin on July 11.

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RELATED: Phoenix PD releases video showing moments leading up to shooting that left a veteran officer injured

RELATED: Arizona allows people who aren’t medical doctors to perform liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts.



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Diamond Head in Hawaii: Visitors will soon need to set reservations


Editor’s Note — Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get news about destinations opening and closing, inspiration for future adventures, plus the latest in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.

(CNN) — It’s one of the most popular spots in Hawai’i, and soon anyone from out-of-state will need a reservation to visit.

The new system for iconic Diamond Head State Monument — or Lē’ahi, to natives — will become effective May 12, the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announced in a Monday news release.

On the island of O’ahu, Diamond Head is one of the state’s most visited sites, the DLNR said, and is renowned for the stunning views along its hiking trail.

The system is slated to activate on Thursday, April 28, and will allow for reservations beginning 14 days ahead.

Starting May 12, people without a Hawaii driver’s license or ID must have secured a reservation to enter the park, the news release said. State residents will have free access without reservations, but entry might depend on whether parking spaces are left.

Why is this happening at Diamond Head?

Hawaii is simply facing the same problem some US national parks and Venice, Italy, are having: Too many people crowding into the same space at the same time.

Overcrowding can sour the travel experience and damage the very things people want to see.

“The new reservation system will mitigate environmental impacts sustained by foot traffic, reduce vehicle congestion in the park and surrounding neighborhoods, improve the experience of kamaʻāina and visitors enjoying the monument,” the news release said.

This is the third state park to require reservations, the release said. The other two are Hā’ena State Park on Kaua’i and Waiʻānapanapa State Park on Maui.

Reservations are also required at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on O’ahu.

“We commend DLNR for bringing this reservation system to fruition, to support the efforts to manage the flow of visitors and residents into Diamond Head State Monument, and make the experience more enjoyable for all,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, executive director of the O’ahu Visitors Bureau.

Top image: An aerial view shows Diamond Head crater on February 23, 2022. (Photo by Daniel Slim / AFP via Getty images)



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Tips to make sure you are all set for your trip




The Easter long weekend marks the first short holiday of the year, resulting in many families planning short vacations across South Africa.

Sadly, Easter is also a time of carnage on South African roads with many crashes and fatalities that take place during this period.

This year, Easter begins on Friday, 15 April and ends on Monday, 18 April.

The Automobile Association (AA) is urging all road users to obey the rules of the road, and be courteous to each other.

“Given the increase in traffic on main routes during the long weekend, there is always a spike in crashes and fatalities on our roads during this time.

It’s important for all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians – to remain focussed on the road and to obey the rules for their own, and others’ safety, on the road,” said the AA.

AA travelling tips this Easter

• Ensure your car is in a good working condition and that all the parts of the vehicle are functioning as they should.
• Tyres are a critical safety feature on vehicles (including those on trailers and caravans and including all spare tyres).

Ensure all tyres are in a good condition and that they have sufficient tread for your journey.

Also, ensure you have all the tools to change a flat tyre just in case you might need to.

Check that all are correctly inflated (check the owner’s manual for guidance) and that your tyres are balanced and aligned.

• Check your wiper blades (front and back) to ensure they function properly.

• Plan your route. Know where and how often you will stop on your journey (at least every two hours or every 200kms), how many times you will need to fuel up, and if you will need overnight accommodation.

• Roads can be congested over the holiday period with everyone trying to get to their different destinations. Leave earlier or later for your destination to avoid holiday traffic if you can.

• It’s always easier to travel with more than one driver to alternate driving duty. If that is not possible, stop to refresh, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air.

• Remember the rules of the road apply even if you are on holiday. Be courteous and patient with everyone that you share the road with.

• Make sure that your insurance and membership fees are paid up in case you need to make that emergency call.

• If no one will be home while you go on holiday. Make sure that there is adequate security so that all your belongings are still there when you come back.

“Easter is an important time of the year for many South Africans and should be a time of joy and celebration.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has launched this year’s Easter Weekend safety campaign.

“I am pleased with the strides that the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga have taken to introduce a 24/7 shift system for traffic officers in their respective Provinces.

“This will assist in improving the visibility of traffic officers on the roads at all hours of the day,” said Mbalula.

NOW READ: What to do and where to go for the Easter Weekend





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Experts set to travel to Ukraine to identify the war’s dead | News


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An international organization formed to identify the dead and missing from the 1990s Balkan conflicts is preparing to send a team of forensics experts to Ukraine as the death toll mounts more than six weeks into the war caused by Russia’s invasion.

Authorities in Kyiv have reached out to the International Commission on Missing Persons to help put names to bodies that might otherwise remain anonymous amid the fog of war.

A team made up of a forensic pathologist, forensic archeologist and an expert on collecting DNA samples from bodies and from families to cross-match, is expected to travel to Ukraine early next week, Director-General Kathryne Bomberger told The Associated Press on Friday.

They will help identify the dead, but also document how they died — information that can feed into war crimes investigations in the future. The organization’s laboratory in an office block on a busy street in The Hague will build a central database cataloging evidence and the identities of the missing.

“Having this centralized capability is absolutely critical because you have to look at this as an investigation into a gigantic crime scene that is taking place across Ukraine,” Bomberger said.

The team will have plenty of work to do when it deploys to Bucha, where images of bodies lying in the streets after Russian forces withdrew shocked the world.

Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said Thursday on Ukrainian television that at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians during the Russian occupation have been found. Fedoruk said hundreds have been killed and investigators are finding bodies in yards, parks and city squares.

The commission, known by its acronym ICMP, already has a working relationship with the prosecution office of the International Criminal Court and other crime-fighting agencies like Interpol and Europol to share evidence. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan already has opened an investigation in Ukraine.

“We want to make sure that we work together with the Ukrainian authorities to properly excavate these crime scene sites to identify the mortal remains so that evidence can be provided in the future for criminal trial purposes, not only potentially to the ICC, but also potentially within domestic courts in Ukraine,” Bomberger said.

The organization is at the forefront of using new technology in their painstaking work to identify bodies from even the smallest samples.

“We have implemented a new extraction technique, which allows us to extract more DNA from smaller or more damaged fragments of bone sample,” said DNA Laboratory manager Kieren Hill. “This is quite a unique method in terms of its application into the missing person’s context.”

On Friday, lab staff in white clothes covered with blue plastic overalls, hair nets and gloves were meticulously working on other cases, grasping small shards of bone in pliers and grinding away their surfaces in search of DNA.

The ICMP has an online portal where people in Ukraine can anonymously report locations of bodies, and will help family members of the missing to provide DNA samples to help identify them.

The commission was established to trace the dead from the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Its sterile, high-tech laboratories are a world away from the muddy mass graves where the organization’s experts first rose to prominence among the decomposing dead of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

They helped put names to bodies that in some cases were torn apart and spread across multiple mass graves as Bosnian Serb forces buried and then re-buried the dead in an effort to cover traces of their genocidal attempt to wipe out Srebrenica’s Bosniaks.

The commission made sure they failed to cover their tracks. Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic and his political master, Radovan Karadzic, are now serving life sentences for crimes including genocide. Both men were convicted in part thanks to evidence gathered by the ICMP.

Funded by voluntary contributions from governments, the organization has since helped national governments put names to thousands more people whose anonymous remains were recovered from sites including over 3,000 mass and clandestine graves.

It has worked at crime scenes and disaster sites around the world, including Syria, Libya and Iraq. The organization also helped to identify victims swept away by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and extracted DNA from bone samples of 250 people killed when Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana in 2005.

Ukraine could prove to be one of its biggest challenges yet, as the organization works together with Ukrainian authorities to investigate and build cases amid an ongoing war.

“So ensuring that this process moves in accordance with proper investigations, that these sites are properly documented, the proper chain of custody is obtained, will be a challenge,” Bomberger said. “I think under the circumstances while there’s an active conflict.”



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Experts set to travel to Ukraine to identify the war’s dead | News, Sports, Jobs



A forensic expert handles a piece of bone used for extracting DNA at the laboratory of the International Commission on Missing Persons in The Hague, Netherlands, today. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An international organization formed to identify the dead and missing from the 1990s Balkan conflicts is preparing to send a team of forensics experts to Ukraine as the death toll mounts more than six weeks into the war caused by Russia’s invasion.

Authorities in Kyiv have reached out to the International Commission on Missing Persons to help put names to bodies that might otherwise remain anonymous amid the fog of war.

A team made up of a forensic pathologist, forensic archeologist and an expert on collecting DNA samples from bodies and from families to cross-match, is expected to travel to Ukraine early next week, Director-General Kathryne Bomberger told The Associated Press today.

They will help identify the dead, but also document how they died — information that can feed into war crimes investigations in the future. The organization’s laboratory in an office block on a busy street in The Hague will build a central database cataloging evidence and the identities of the missing.

“Having this centralized capability is absolutely critical because you have to look at this as an investigation into a gigantic crime scene that is taking place across Ukraine,” Bomberger said.

The team will have plenty of work to do when it deploys to Bucha, where images of bodies lying in the streets after Russian forces withdrew shocked the world.

Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said Thursday on Ukrainian television that at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians during the Russian occupation have been found. Fedoruk said hundreds have been killed and investigators are finding bodies in yards, parks and city squares.

Vladyslav Atroshenko, the mayor of Chernihiv, said about 700 military personnel and civilians have been killed in the northern city during the war, and that 70 of the bodies remain unidentified, Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform reported.

The commission, known by its acronym ICMP, already has a working relationship with the prosecution office of the International Criminal Court and other crime-fighting agencies like Interpol and Europol to share evidence. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan already has opened an investigation in Ukraine.

“We want to make sure that we work together with the Ukrainian authorities to properly excavate these crime scene sites to identify the mortal remains so that evidence can be provided in the future for criminal trial purposes, not only potentially to the ICC, but also potentially within domestic courts in Ukraine,” Bomberger said.

The organization is at the forefront of using new technology in their painstaking work to identify bodies from even the smallest samples.

“We have implemented a new extraction technique, which allows us to extract more DNA from smaller or more damaged fragments of bone sample,” said DNA Laboratory manager Kieren Hill. “This is quite a unique method in terms of its application into the missing person’s context.”

Today, lab staff in white clothes covered with blue plastic overalls, hair nets and gloves were meticulously working on other cases, grasping small shards of bone in pliers and grinding away their surfaces in search of DNA.

The ICMP has an online portal where people in Ukraine can anonymously report locations of bodies, and will help family members of the missing to provide DNA samples to help identify them.

The commission was established to trace the dead from the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Its sterile, high-tech laboratories are a world away from the muddy mass graves where the organization’s experts first rose to prominence among the decomposing dead of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

They helped put names to bodies that in some cases were torn apart and spread across multiple mass graves as Bosnian Serb forces buried and then re-buried the dead in an effort to cover traces of their genocidal attempt to wipe out Srebrenica’s Bosniaks.

The commission made sure they failed to cover their tracks. Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic and his political master, Radovan Karadzic, are now serving life sentences for crimes including genocide. Both men were convicted in part thanks to evidence gathered by the ICMP.

Funded by voluntary contributions from governments, the organization has since helped national governments put names to thousands more people whose anonymous remains were recovered from sites including over 3,000 mass and clandestine graves.

It has worked at crime scenes and disaster sites around the world, including Syria, Libya and Iraq. The organization also helped to identify victims swept away by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and extracted DNA from bone samples of 250 people killed when Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana in 2005.

Ukraine could prove to be one of its biggest challenges yet, as the organization works together with Ukrainian authorities to investigate and build cases amid an ongoing war.

“So ensuring that this process moves in accordance with proper investigations, that these sites are properly documented, the proper chain of custody is obtained, will be a challenge,” Bomberger said. “I think under the circumstances while there’s an active conflict.”



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