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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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California’s feared surge of virus cases hasn’t happened

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Near the end of September, with coronavirus cases falling and more schools and businesses reopening, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration urged restraint, citing a statistical model that predicted a startling 89% increase in virus hospitalizations in the next month.

Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions because of the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.

Virus still throwing theme park attendance for a loop

Theme park operators who spent months installing hand sanitizing stations, figuring out how to disinfect roller coasters seats and checking the temperatures of guests at their gates so they'd come back in the midst of the pandemic are finding many reluctant to return.

Parades, close-ups with Mickey out as Disney World reopens

Forget about up-close “meet-and-greet" sessions with Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck when Walt Disney World parks reopen. There will be no firework shows or parades — those would draw too many people together — and both visitors and employees will be getting temperature checks when they enter.

With parks closed, Disney starts furloughs in 2 weeks

Saying they don’t know when they’ll be able to re-open many of their businesses with the coronavirus spreading, Walt Disney Co. officials announced they will start furloughing some workers in two weeks at its theme parks resorts in Florida and California.

Silverwood’s Scarywood Haunted Nights

Guests wait to enter Silverwood's Scarywood Haunted Nights on Friday, Sep 30, 2016, at Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, ID. The annual Halloween event opened Friday and runs until the 29th of October. It features several themed "scare zones," -- mazes that visitors must navigate under duress -- and rides, including a zombie-slaughtering train ride called "Zombiewood Express."

SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas, making them perform tricks

ORLANDO, Fla. – Finally bowing to years of public pressure, SeaWorld announced Thursday it will immediately stop breeding killer whales, and soon stop making them perform theatrical tricks. SeaWorld’s 29 orcas will remain on display at the company’s theme parks, but in “new, inspiring natural orca encounters,” the company said.

‘Swamplandia!’ author Karen Russell, headed to Spokane

To see childhood the most clearly required a certain number of years for Karen Russell, whose novel “Swamplandia!” – this year’s Spokane is Reading pick – stars an adolescent girl who lives among alligators and maybe ghosts. Writing in her 20s, Russell said, her perspective was just close enough and just far enough from her own south Florida childhood to remember it well:

Theme parks are unveiling a bevy of new attractions

ORLANDO, Fla. – If there’s ever been a summer to visit a theme park – or two, or three – this is it. High-speed wooden roller coasters? Thrilling, sense-assaulting rides? Penguins?

Storm washes away much of ‘Jersey Shore’ town

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — The waterfront rides on Casino Pier are gone, swallowed by the sea. A roller coaster bobs lazily in the waves. Sand, leaves and debris choke roads lined with houses that rest on their sides. The barrier island home to Seaside Heights and other communities where legions of vacationers from New Jersey and beyond made summer memories is a scene of devastation days after superstorm Sandy's surge enveloped it.

Storm washes away much of ‘Jersey Shore’ town

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — The waterfront rides on Casino Pier are gone, swallowed by the sea. A roller coaster floats lazily in the waves. Sand, leaves and debris choke roads lined with houses that rest on their sides. The barrier island home to Seaside Heights and other communities where legions of vacationers from New Jersey and beyond made summer memories was a scene of devastation Wednesday, two days after superstorm Sandy's surge enveloped it.

Man’s roach-eating death raises question: Why?

MIAMI (AP) — As a Florida medical examiner tries to determine how 32-year-old Edward Archbold died after eating insects during a contest to win a snake, people around the country are asking: Why? Why would anyone eat a live cockroach? Why did he die when several others in the contest ate the same bugs without incident? What inspired Archbold — who was described by the snake store owner as "the life of the party" — to shovel handfuls of crickets, worms and cockroaches into his mouth?

Man’s death after eating roaches raises questions

MIAMI (AP) — As a Florida medical examiner tries to determine how 32-year-old Edward Archbold died after eating insects during a contest to win a snake, people around the country are asking: Why? Why would anyone eat a live cockroach? Why did he die when several others in the contest ate the same bugs without incident? What inspired Archbold — who was described by the snake store owner as "the life of the party" — to shovel handfuls of crickets, worms and cockroaches into his mouth?

New swing rides, roller coasters ready to entertain visitors

Massive swings at Cedar Point, Kings Island, Dollywood and a Six Flags in California, plus coasters at Six Flags with a Green Lantern theme and a new Little Mermaid attraction at Disneyland are among the new attractions awaiting visitors this season at theme parks around the country. Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio, and Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., all are rolling out a thrill ride called Windseeker, which spins riders nearly 30 stories in the air in two-person swings that flare out and rotate around a tower.