AM Prep-Kickers


TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Funeral homes are trying to shed their reputations as dark and somber places of the dead – by building party rooms where mourners can raise a glass, and their spirits, to celebrate the life of a loved one. Cremations, which are also on the rise, are less expensive, giving families flexibility in planning a memorial. And even in Idaho, it all adds up to the decline of the traditional, dressed-in-black funeral.


OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (AP) — The Maine town of Old Orchard Beach is considering adding additional public restrooms after getting complaints about people relieving themselves near the town beach and on private property. The Biddeford Journal reports that the town has public restrooms downtown but not at other access points to the beach. Some residents have even complained about visitors defecating in public places.


CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) —What does a wild bear do in the woods? The answer is obvious but the effects on an ecosystem may not be. A study by Oregon State University researchers concludes that brown and black bears, and not birds, as commonly thought, are primary distributers of small fruit seeds in southeast Alaska, spreading the seeds through their excrement. “Bears are essentially like farmers,” said Taal Levi, an Oregon State assistant professor. “By planting seeds everywhere, they promote a vegetation community that feeds them.”


UNDATED (AP) —Authorities in Germany say four men have been hospitalized after their attempt to bathe in a dump truck took a bad turn Saturday. Police in southwest Germany say the men filled the 35-ton truck’s bed with water as part of an internet stunt known as the “grill pool challenge.” Another man then reversed the vehicle while the men were in the makeshift pool, causing the water to slosh about and flushing the bathers out of the truck. Police said in a statement Sunday that the men fell from a height 8.2 feet), which caused some of them to get seriously hurt.


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of hardy Penn State students raised more than $10 million for pediatric cancer patients in the annual 46-hour dance marathon. The Thon, as it is known, is billed as the as the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. Money raised benefits pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Child cancer survivors and their families also participate along with the dancers, who aren’t allowed to sleep or even sit and are helped by thousands of other students in support roles. The event has raised more than $147 million since 1977.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Demand continues to rise for the 20 daily permits to hike a geological gem on the Arizona-Utah border called The Wave. It which features mesmerizing swirls of searing reds, oranges and yellow in bowl-shaped rock formations. The Salt Lake Tribune reports more than 160,000 people applied for the 7,300 yearly permits last year to take the hike, which crosses the state border in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area. The number of applicants is up from 87,000 in 2013.

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