Travel briefs for July 28
TSA expands faster screening for travelers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is expanding the ways airline passengers can enroll in an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts and keep laptop computers in cases at security checkpoints.
Under the Transportation Security Administration’s Precheck program, only travelers who were members of the frequent flier programs of some air carriers were eligible for expedited screening. On Friday, TSA Administrator John Pistole said beginning later this year U.S. citizens will be able to enroll online or visit an enrollment site to provide identification, fingerprints and an $85 enrollment fee.
About 12 million people are currently enrolled in the program. Pistole said he expects about another 3 million people to enroll before the end of the year.
Bee swarm delays US Airways airplane
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A US Airways Express flight left three hours late from a North Carolina airport after a swarm of bees kept crews from rolling the plane back from the gate.
US Airways spokesman Davien Anderson says Flight 2690 to Indianapolis had boarded Wednesday afternoon and was ready for departure from Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Anderson says a worker approached the tug — which pushes the airplane back from the gate — and noticed the bees.
The worker couldn’t operate the tug in fear of being stung.
US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr says a beekeeper captured the bees. She says the 79 passengers and four crewmembers aboard left at 4 p.m. and arrived in Indianapolis about an hour later.
None of the bees got inside the cabin, and no injuries were reported
100-foot cell tower OK’d for Yellowstone
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — The National Park Service has decided that Verizon Wireless can build a 100-foot-tall cell tower near Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park.
A permit clearing the way for construction of the new cell tower was recently approved by John Wessels, the director of the Park Service Intermountain Region.
Cell phone service originating from inside Yellowstone is currently limited to the Mammoth, Old Faithful, Canyon, Tower-Roosevelt and Grant developed areas. The new cell tower will cover the developed area on the north side of Yellowstone Lake.
The Park Service says the tower won’t be visible from the nearby Lake Hotel, Fishing Bridge, Lake Lodge Historic Districts as well as area hiking trails.
Aggressive black bear euthanized in Glacier
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park rangers captured and euthanized a black bear that had been frequenting a campground, foraging for food and charging visitors.
Park officials said Tuesday that the 3-year-old female black bear had been hanging around the Fish Creek Campground near Lake MacDonald in the western part of the park for two weeks. Efforts to haze the bear away were unsuccessful.
Park rangers set traps near the campground, captured the bear on Sunday and euthanized it.
Park visitors are reminded to keep campgrounds and developed areas clean and free of food and trash that might attract bears.
Regulations require that all food, containers and cook wear be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or food locker when not in use and that trash be placed in bear-proof containers.
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