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February 21, 2012 | By Steve Padilla
There was a time when churches prepared for Ash Wednesday by burning the dried palms from the previous Palm Sunday. Many still do. More and more churches, however, are buying commercially produced ashes online. But there's a catch: Order early. “We just had a call 10 minutes ago,” said Mark Gould, owner of Religious Supply Service in Davenport, Iowa. “We've had them all day long.” Gould was speaking Tuesday, one day before the start of Lent. A few days earlier, Religious Supply Service had posted a note on its website saying, “Sorry, sold out for the season.” That didn't stop churches from calling the company for a last-minute shipment.
April 27, 2014 | By Homero Aridjis
The first time I met Gabriel García Márquez, then an unknown writer in Mexico, was on July 6, 1962, in the office of the producer of Luis Buñuel's movie "Viridiana. " I remember the date well because after noticing the headline, Gabo asked to borrow the evening paper I had just bought, exclaiming "Dammit, today my master died," referring to William Faulkner. Faulkner famously detested intrusions in his private life, and the funeral in his native Oxford, Miss., was sparsely attended by several dozen family members, his publishers and a few writers.
February 20, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Fat Tuesday is your last hurrah, folks, so let the carbo loading begin. Fat Tuesday will give way to a more solemn occasion -- Ash Wednesday -- and then a 40-day period of self-sacrifice known as Lent. Fat Tuesday, the English translation of the French " Mardi Gras ," signals the official end of Carnival season, billed as a hedonistic frenzy of food, booze, parades, masked celebrations and things that can't be printed in a family newspaper. Fat Tuesday is kind of like a hangover helper -- and a way to get ready for what lies ahead.
April 21, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel laureate who died in Mexico City on Thursday, has been cremated and his ashes could be shared between two countries, according to Mexican media reports . The Colombian novelist spent five decades of his life in Mexico but never gave up his Colombian citizenship. On Friday, Colombia's ambassador to Mexico, Jose Gabriel Ortiz, told reporters gathered outside the late author's Mexico City home that part of his remains might return to Colombia.
May 7, 2013 | By Alexandra Zavis
Four German tourists and one of their Filipino guides were killed Tuesday when one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes started spewing large rocks and ash, officials said. The group was climbing the Mayon volcano when an explosion happened at about 8 a.m., lasting just over a minute, the Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement . Rocks “as big as a living room” came raining down, guide Kenneth Jesalva told ABS-CBN TV, according to the Associated Press.
May 3, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A volcanic eruption in southern Chile triggered tremors and spewed ash two miles into the air, prompting evacuation of hundreds of people. Ash fell over the town of Chaiten, about 700 miles south of Santiago and six miles from the volcano. Some schools were closed and hospitals treated people for eye irritation and breathing difficulties. Trucks were sent with clean water.
November 18, 2010
  2008 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir "Dussin Vineyard" It's a beautiful Pinot Noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley and winemaker Lynn Penner. The fruit is dark and ripe, but there's no trace of jam in this elegant and lush wine from the vineyard that surrounds the estate's cellars. But there's more than just fruit ? sweet spices, a hint of vanilla and smoke. Save this bottle for dinner with someone who will appreciate its finesse. I'd serve it with roasted chicken with truffle butter, or even better, truffles slipped under the skin.
April 16, 2010 | By Henry Chu
Planes across northern Europe remained grounded Friday as ash from an Icelandic volcano continued to waft through the atmosphere, with no firm predictions of when the eruptions -- and the travel delays -- would end. Britain kept almost all of its airspace empty through the morning, allowing only a few flights to operate out of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Authorities said most non-emergency air travel would be banned through at least 7 a.m. Saturday London time, although a large part of Scotland's and Northern Ireland's airspace would be open to travel at 7 p.m. Friday.
April 19, 2010 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The British government announced Monday that it would dispatch navy warships to bring home Britons prevented from flying home from the European mainland by the cloud of volcanic ash. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the navy would send two ships to pick up civilians from ports along the English Channel and a third to Spain bring back British troops trying to return from duty in Afghanistan. It was unclear, however, how quickly the evacuation could be mounted, given the logistics of putting the ships into action and working out arrangements with border authorities in Britain, France and Spain.
May 22, 2010 | By Jane Engle, Times staff writer
As drifting ash from the Icelandic volcano played havoc with flight schedules again this week, worried travelers continued to besiege trip insurers with one question: Am I covered? No event in recent memory, not even the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has disrupted travel like the ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which at one point last month grounded nearly 30% of the world's air traffic and stranded millions of fliers for days in northern Europe and elsewhere. For those holding travel-insurance policies, the finer points of terms such as "unforeseen event" can mean the difference between getting thousands of dollars in refunds from deposits on interrupted and cancelled trips or nothing.
March 16, 2014 | By David Zucchino
MONCURE, N.C. - While poring over regulatory documents for Duke Energy coal ash ponds, environmentalists at the Waterkeeper Alliance grew suspicious of the way the giant utility was handling the toxic ash waste left over from burning coal. They decided to send up a team in an aircraft to photograph Duke's shuttered Cape Fear coal-burning power plant and ash ponds, tucked into piney woods in this tiny community in central North Carolina. The photos revealed what the Waterkeeper Alliance says is evidence that Duke, the nation's largest electric utility, is deliberately pumping toxic coal ash wastewater from the containment ponds into a canal that eventually feeds into the Cape Fear River, a source of drinking water for downstream cities.
March 3, 2014 | By David Zucchino
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - After weeks of downplaying a massive coal ash spill, North Carolina regulators issued violation notices Monday to five more Duke Energy power plants, in addition to two citations late last week at the site that polluted the Dan River a month ago. Also Monday, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources described the Feb. 2 spill as an “environmental disaster.” The latest five citations focused on Duke...
February 28, 2014 | By David Zucchino
DURHAM, N.C. -- Nearly a month after a massive coal ash spill at a Duke Energy plant contaminated the Dan River, state regulators in North Carolina announced late Friday that they have cited Duke for violations of environmental laws. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been accused by environmental groups for failing to take action against Duke Energy and cooperating too closely with the giant utility in dealing with the Feb. 2 spill. In a news release issued at 6 p.m. Friday, the agency said it had issued notices of violation against Duke Energy earlier in the day for its handling of a 27-acre coal ash basin at a retired Duke coal-fired plant on the Dan River near North Carolina's border with Virginia.
February 21, 2014 | By David Zucchino
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A second ruptured stormwater pipe that has been spilling toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia has been sealed,  North Carolina officials announced late Friday. The state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Duke Energy, whose coal ash containment basin in Eden, N.C., is the source of the ash, managed to block the discharge with a concrete plug. The 36-inch pipe has been leaking coal ash since since approximately Feb. 14, spilling arsenic and other heavy metals into the river.
February 14, 2014 | By Alexandra Zavis
At least three people were killed and tens of thousands forced to flee their homes when a volcano erupted on Indonesia's most populous island, shutting down airports and showering the region with ash and grit. The eruption of Mt. Kelud in Java began late Thursday night and could be heard as far as 125 miles away, according to local news reports . “The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding,” Ratno Pramono, a 35-year-old farmer from the nearby village of Sugihwaras, told the Associated Press.
February 13, 2014 | By David Zucchino
DURHAM, N.C. - North Carolina's environmental regulatory agency is under federal criminal investigation for its handling of a massive toxic coal ash spill into the Dan River near the Virginia border. The U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh issued a subpoena Monday that includes 13 separate requests for documents from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources related to Duke Energy and the spill, which was discovered Feb. 2. Tons of toxic heavy metals from a containment basin spilled into the river.
April 23, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Volcano ash can wreck jet engines, poison freshwater lakes and damage lungs. But it helps fertilize oceans, volcano researchers and marine chemists say. "The ocean is gonna be happier" because of the Iceland eruption, said Ken Johnson, senior scientist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "Plants will grow more" — although how much more, he said, is unclear. About 30% of the oceans are what scientists call iron-limited — rich in many nutrients but missing iron, a crucial trace element for plants.
July 14, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A fishing vessel rescued 10 people after a volcano erupted, sending rock and ash down on a cattle ranch on remote Umnak Island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The Tara Gaila picked up the people after receiving an urgent call from the Coast Guard on Saturday night. The boat brought them to Dutch Harbor, about 65 miles away, where they were staying at a hotel. There were no reported injuries, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read.
February 11, 2014 | By David Zucchino
RALEIGH, N.C. - State regulators in North Carolina have asked a judge to delay what environmentalists claim is a sweetheart deal with Duke Energy designed to protect the nation's largest electrical utility from heavy fines for allowing coal ash into the state's rivers. The move came a week after a massive spill dumped up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River from a Duke Energy containment basin at a shuttered coal-fired plant in Eden, N.C. Duke and state regulators have downplayed the severity of the spill.
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