• Holiday travelers greeted by cheap gas, storms

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    Some holiday travelers are giving thanks for the cheapest gas prices in years. But that's cold comfort to those beating a path through stormy weather, including a nor'easter affecting a wide swath of the East Coast. Alas, the yearly Thanksgiving trek, be it across the country or across town, may be a mixed bag of the usual travel headaches with a little extra pocket money as a consolation prize. A snapshot of what it's like out there: ___ START OF SOMETHING NEW Marc Miller and his wife Becky, of Loveland, Colorado, want their three children to see all 50 states, so this year for Thanksgiving they decided to pack up and head to the Grand Canyon, the Four Corners "and anywhere else we can come up with," Marc said.

  • Season's first snow storm hits flights, power

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The season's first major snowstorm lumbered into New Hampshire Wednesday, promising up to a foot of snow in some places, choking off travel plans and knocking out power to tens of thousands of people. Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered non-emergency state workers to go home by 3 p.m. to avoid heavy Thanksgiving holiday traffic and the peak of the storm, which was expected between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Snow totals from a few inches to up to a foot in some places were expected and by midday, some places were already over three inches or more. The National Weather Service predicted the snow would begin to taper off after midnight.

  • Traffic, police patrols expected to be higher

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Higher traffic volumes and a heavier police presence are expected on Michigan roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday period. About 1.5 million state residents are projected to travel at least 50 miles between Wednesday and Sunday — a 4 percent increase over 2013 — AAA Michigan said. State police also have boosted patrols. Wednesday morning found light traffic but a heavy police presence along Interstate 94 between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Electronic signs read, "expect enforcement," and several vehicles were pulled over. At a rest stop in Wayne County's Van Buren Township, Sean Ozier said it had been a "quiet morning" on his shift as a driver for the Michigan Department of Transpor

  • Winter storm snarls pre-Thanksgiving travel

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A winter storm in south-central Minnesota is creating difficult driving conditions on one of the busiest travel days of the year. The Minnesota State Patrol says troopers have handled nearly 400 crashes and more than 200 spinouts statewide as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. Fifty-five of those crashes involved injuries, including one with serious injuries. The National Weather Service reports 11 inches of snow had fallen northwest of Faribault by Wednesday afternoon. Other snowfall reports include 9.3 inches in Amboy. 8.5 inches in Fairmont, 8 inches in Winnebago and 7 inches in Mapleton and Mankato. And once travelers reach their destinations, they'll be in for a chilly Thanksgiving.

  • Snow makes Thanksgiving travel 'a little hairy'

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. By early evening, more than 700 flights had been canceled, the bulk of them in the Northeast, during what is typically one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thousands of flight delays were also expected as the snow from the nor'easter piled up. Some travelers tried to change their plans and catch earlier flights to beat the storm, and major airlines waived their re-booking fees. But most planes were already filled.

  • Snow makes Thanksgiving travel 'a little hairy'

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. By early evening, more than 700 flights had been canceled, the bulk of them in the Northeast, during what is typically one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thousands of flight delays were also expected as the snow from the nor'easter piled up. Some travelers tried to change their plans and catch earlier flights to beat the storm, and major airlines waived their re-booking fees. But most planes were already filled.

  • 9 counties that won't meet new ozone standard

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    The Obama administration is proposal stricter emissions limits on ozone, a pollutant that leads to smog and is linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The proposal calls for new ozone limits of between 65 parts per billion and 70 parts per billion, with the final level to be set next year. Because of existing pollution controls and emissions regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency projects that all but nine counties are positioned to meet a standard of 70 parts per billion in 2025 without taking any additional steps. That list excludes California, which is on a different timeline because its unique geography has led to smog levels that exceed those in most of the U.S.

  • US tightens smog limits in bid to protect health

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a fresh confrontation with Republicans, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The move fulfilled a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama but left environmental and public health groups wanting more. Business groups panned the Environmental Protection Agency's new ozone regulations as unnecessary and the costliest in history, warning they could jeopardize a resurgence in American manufacturing. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy argued that the public health benefits far outweigh the costs and that most of the U.S. can meet the tougher standards without doing anything new.

  • Ski season underway in sunny Southern California

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) — It's just a few runs, but ski season is underway in Southern California despite drought and sunny skies. The Mountain High resort in the San Gabriel Mountains opened Tuesday and Snow Summit at Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains followed on Wednesday. The Bear Mountain resort plans to open on Friday. The open runs are covered with man-made snow, although Mountain High did get a dusting of the real thing on Nov. 1. Snowmaking is possible because of cold mountain temperatures related to the dry Santa Ana winds that have been warming cities below with summerlike temperatures. The air flowing out of the western interior is cool before it heats as it descends toward the coast.

  • Missouri holiday travel off to semi-smooth start

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A small band of snow along a stretch of eastern Missouri briefly caused headaches for holiday drivers Wednesday, but otherwise it was smooth sailing for motorists on one of the busiest travel days of the year. At least a half-dozen semitrailers slid off Interstate 70 near Montgomery City while trying to make it up a hill before noon Wednesday, but there were no serious injuries, Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Paul Reinsch said. By early afternoon temperatures across the state had started climbing into the 40s and traffic on the interstate was getting heavier, Reinsch said. He said the Highway Patrol was increasing the number of troopers on the highways Wednesday afternoon and again on S

  • Slushy snow expected during holiday travel in RI

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Slushy snow is expected to fall through peak holiday travel times in Rhode Island. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory through 7 a.m. Thursday in Providence and western Kent counties. It says the worst of the storm is expected between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters say a heavy rain is expected to mix with snow and sleet. It's possible slushy snow of up to two inches will accumulate in the north and northwestern parts of the state. The weather service warns driving conditions are expected to be dangerous at times, with low visibility. Transit authorities report delays of 40 minutes or more on bus routes in northern Rhode Island due to accidents

  • Storm knocks out power to 16,000 in New Hampshire

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    CANDIA, N.H. (AP) — The season's first significant snowfall has knocked out power to about 16,000 people in New Hampshire. Public Service Company of New Hampshire reports most of its 13,000 outages are in the southern part of the state. Outages are being caused not only by heavy snow bringing down tree branches onto power lines, but also car accidents into utility poles. There's no estimate yet on when the power will be restored. Unitil reported about 3,000 New Hampshire customers without power as of 4 p.m. The storm was expected to dump upward of a foot of snow on the busy travel day before Thanksgiving.

  • Most of 248,000 blacked-out users have power back

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    BURNSIDE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan utility crews are working on Thanksgiving eve to finish restoring to the last of the 248,000 homes and businesses blacked out by a severe pre-winter storm that snarled traffic and caused multiple crashes that killed at least five people. High winds hit Monday as a cold front moved through the Great Lakes. Snow, ice and high winds made driving dangerous in many areas and contributed to three fatal accidents. In the latest, 29-year-old Robin Bissett of Deckerville lost control of her pickup truck on an ice-covered road in Lapeer County's Burnside Township on Tuesday morning and into the path of a truck. The Flint Journal says the other driver received minor injuries. The crash si

  • Areas of Pa. get more than a half-foot of snowfall

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The National Weather Service in central Pennsylvania is fielding snowfall reports from a few inches to more than a half-foot from the storm moving through the state. The agency in State College posted data Wednesday indicating amounts totaling more than 7 inches in Breezewood and more than 8 inches in Orbisonia. Most areas in the south-central region that includes Lancaster, Gettysburg and Harrisburg are reporting just a few inches by early afternoon. Meteorologist Paul Head says it's been a wet, sloppy snow, and in some areas much of it may disappear overnight because of a recent warm spell. He says the last flakes will probably fall shortly after dark in the Harrisburg area, and befor

  • A burden further south, snow makes ski areas giddy

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Ski areas across northern New England were giddy Wednesday at the prospect of a major Thanksgiving snowstorm that is bringing early season skiers to the slopes and offering a promising start to the winter season. Cold weather last weekend enabled the Mount Snow ski area in southern Vermont to make snow and open with some of the best early skiing the resort has seen in some time, said spokesman Dave Meeker. The slopes were closed Monday through Wednesday but reopen for the season on Thursday. "Coming off a weekend like that and now having a foot of snow in the forecast scheduled to fall the day and the night before we open full-time for the season is, like, a dream come true," Meeker said.

  • Snow and slush hit New Jersey, emergency declared

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency as snow and freezing rain have made for a sloppy ride for travelers heading to highways and airports for their Thanksgiving getaways. By mid-afternoon, snow was coming down on the northwest part of the state while other areas, including the area around the New Jersey Turnpike, were getting a slushy wintry mix. Christie called on drivers to be careful on all of the state's roadways. Wantage, in the northwest corner of New Jersey, had 7.5 inches of snowfall reported. That area is forecast to get a foot or more of snow. Utility companies reported scattered power outages affecting more than 10,000 residential and business customers.

  • Some schools, Pa. offices close ahead of snowfall

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — State workers and students across central and northeastern Pennsylvania are staying home as rain changes to snow. Gov. Tom Corbett's office Wednesday closed government offices under his jurisdiction in and around Harrisburg, Reading, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Forecasts of 6 inches or more also shuttered many schools. With the Thanksgiving holiday and Monday's start of deer rifle hunting season, some students won't be back in school for a week. Wilkes-Barre superintendent Bernard Prevuznak says early snow forecasts made cancelling classes an easy call. In Scranton, Ed Pikulski says his 9-year-old son Luke went to bed knowing school was cancelled, but woke up in a panic, afraid the lack of

  • Snow delays Pa., NJ rivals' Thanksgiving game

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. (AP) — A snowstorm is disrupting one of high school football's great Thanksgiving traditions. The annual Turkey day rivalry game between neighboring Easton, Pennsylvania and Phillipsburg, New Jersey is being postponed until Saturday. Officials at host Phillipsburg said Wednesday they're making the change to ensure fans and players are safe. Forecasters are expecting 5 to 10 inches to fall on the region by Wednesday night. Phillipsburg officials say Wednesday's community pep rally and fireworks display will be moved to 6 p.m. Friday. They say snow accumulation inside the stadium might force the event to a stadium concourse and nearby road. The rescheduled game is set to kick off at 2 p.m.

  • Malloy says 2nd shift state workers can stay home

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says most second-shift state employees should not report to work due to winter storm conditions in Connecticut. The governor said Wednesday that workers designated as "nonessential" can stay home due to precarious driving conditions on Thanksgiving eve, the busiest travel day of the year. He encouraged state employees to contact their supervisors for further guidance. Malloy said he made the decision after consulting with his emergency management team. Second-shift state employees have staggered start times, usually beginning in the early to late afternoon. First-shift employees were allowed to leave work at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

  • Parts of W.Va. hit with more than foot of snow

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A winter storm has left more than a foot of snow in parts of West Virginia on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Eastern West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle are the hardest hit areas. The National Weather Service says 14 inches of snow was reported Wednesday morning in Frenchburg and in Paw Paw. Augusta received a foot of snow. The West Virginia Department of Transportation advised motorists to avoid sections of U.S. 33, U.S. 220 and U.S. 250 in the region because of heavy snow. Online utility figures show the storm knocked out power to about 20,500 Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in the region. About 4,400 Appalachian Power customers in southeastern West Virginia als