- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014
Persistent below-zero temps visit Midwest again

CHICAGO (AP) - Another winter day, another below-zero high temperature for many parts of the Midwest - at least, it seems that way. The deep chill has returned, bringing with it wind chills ranging from the negative teens to 40s, school cancellations and sighs of resignation from residents who are weary of bundling up.

A persistent weather pattern that’s driving Arctic air south will drop temperatures for about 2½ days, starting overnight Sunday. Actual temperatures will range from the teens in northern Kentucky to double-digits below zero in Minnesota, but wind chills will be even colder - minus 43 in Minneapolis, minus 23 in Chicago, minus 18 in Dayton, Ohio, minus 14 in Kansas City, Mo., and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky.

“I’m sick of it,” Chicago resident Matt Ryan, 19, said Sunday on his way to his family’s home in the suburb of Oak Park.

“I came home to steal a scarf from my parents,” he said. Ryan’s plan for Monday, when the high is forecast to be a mere minus 4 degrees and the wind chills could dip to 40 below: Dress in layers, carry hand warmers and wear long underwear.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Blair stopped short of calling the latest round of cold part of the polar vortex, a system of winds that circulate around the North Pole.

“There’s really nothing abnormal about the air that’s coming into the area,” he said. “It’s just been a very persistent pattern” of cold air.

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USS Monitor work goes dark as US dollars dwindle

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - When the turret of the USS Monitor was hoisted from the ocean floor in 2002, the real heavy lifting was just beginning: conserving and restoring more than 200 tons of Civil War ironclad artifacts.

The task went to The Mariners’ Museum. Now, diminishing federal dollars have darkened a lab containing the revolving turret and other large pieces, closing to the public a window on the nation’s maritime history and delaying possibly by decades their public display.

The museum has seen a steady decline in annual funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amid budget cuts and shifting federal priorities. The private museum was designated by Congress as the official repository for the artifacts, but museum officials say they can’t do it alone.

The museum’s president and CEO, Elliot Gruber, said the 5,000-square-foot lab containing the turret, two Dahlgren guns and the Monitor’s steam engine will remain dark until the federal government restores funding levels. The museum, he said, can’t pour more money into the project while sustaining its own vast collections of maps, books, paintings and other exhibits - 35,000 pieces all told.

Gruber framed the dilemma.

“How do we continue with the conservation effort in an era when funding is harder and harder to obtain, and how does NOAA honor its obligation to the American people to continue the conservation work and put these on display?” he asked in an interview.

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Ky. residents brace for below freezing temps

JACKSON, Ky. (AP) - Weather officials are urging residents to prepare for an arctic blast expected to affect most of Kentucky this week.

Temperatures were expected to start dropping Sunday night, and forecasters predicted some parts of the state could see wind chills down to 15 below over the next three days. They say most of the state should see lows near or slightly below zero till Thursday, when temperatures are expected to be in the low teens.

Meteorologist Chuck Greif with the National Weather Service in Jackson says residents should wrap exposed pipes and make sure pets and livestock are cared for.

Greif says there will be some precipitation in parts of the state, but little accumulation is expected.

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200th anniversary planned for historic mansion

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) - The Winchester-Clark County Heritage Commission is making plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic James Clark mansion.

Heritage Commission representative Debbie Barnes told the Winchester Sun (http://bit.ly/19VYKpO) that festivities will begin Feb. 14 with an art show.

Other celebrations will be planned for the summer and fall.

Barnes said tentative plans have been made to open the house, also known as Holly Rood, during the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival Labor Day weekend. Barnes said she hopes to have guides in period costume sharing the history of the house with visitors.