- - Thursday, January 27, 2011

FLORIDA

Teen admits putting grand piano in bay

MIAMI | A 16-year-old looking to boost his art school application took a bow Thursday for being the one behind the grand piano that mysteriously showed up on a sandbar in Miami’s Biscayne Bay.

Nicholas Harrington said he wanted to leave his artistic mark on Miami’s seascape as the artist Christo did in the early 1980s when he draped 11 small islands in Biscayne Bay with hot pink fabric. And if it helped the high school junior get into Manhattan’s Cooper Union college, that would be OK, too.

“I wanted to create a whimsical, surreal experience. It’s out of the every day for the boater,” Mr. Harrington told the Associated Press.

“I don’t like it to be considered as a prank,” he said. “It’s more of a movement.”

On Jan. 2, Mr. Harrington, his older brother, Andrew, and two neighbors lifted the instrument, which had been trashed during a holiday party, onto the family’s 22-foot boat and took it out on Biscayne Bay. There, they left it on the highest spot along a sandbar.

NEW YORK

Jon Stewart to join 9/11 memorial board

NEW YORK | Jon Stewart is joining the board of the foundation building the Sept. 11 memorial in New York.

The comedian and activist was appointed to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum board at a meeting Thursday afternoon.

The host of the Emmy-winning “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central recently used his show to champion a federal bill that provided billions to treat people who became ill after working in the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Joe Daniels, the foundation’s president, said Mr. Stewart is an important public figure and a regular New Yorker who saw the world change on Sept. 11, 2001.

The memorial — twin reflecting pools set above the fallen towers’ footprints is set to open to the public by this Sept. 11.

NORTH CAROLINA

Century knocked off man’s sentence

CHARLOTTE | A judge has shaved more than 100 years off the sentence of the first man convicted under a key terror-fighting legal strategy.

The federal judge ruled Thursday that Mohamad Hammoud will spend another 25 years in prison for raising funds for the militant group Hezbollah. He was originally sentenced to 155 years in prison after he was found guilty of providing material support to a terrorist organization. That charge has become a go-to tactic for prosecutors in the war on terror.

Hammoud has been imprisoned for about a decade.

UTAH

Army post reopens after nerve agent found

SALT LAKE CITY | The Army says Dugway Proving Ground, where military weapons are tested, was locked down for hours because a small amount of a nerve agent was unaccounted for.

The military said in a statement Thursday the amount missing was less than one fourth of a teaspoon of VX nerve agent, which affects the body’s ability to carry messages through the nerves.

The missing vial prompted a lockdown late Wednesday afternoon that lasted until the agent was found early Thursday.

The Army says no one was in danger and the lockdown was ordered as a precaution. Between 1,200 and 1,400 people were inside the facility at the time.

VIRGINIA

Monticello makes ale inspired by past

CHARLOTTESVILLE | Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop home is teaming up with a local brewery to launch a new ale inspired by the past.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation said it’s working with Starr Hill Brewery to offer Monticello Reserve Ale, inspired by what was produced and consumed regularly at Monticello.

Brewing beer was among the plantation’s important activities, and the beer was one of the “table liquors” served with meals.

Monticello Reserve Ale is made from a combination of lightly hopped wheat and corn.

The ale will make its public debut Feb. 21 at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center museum shop.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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