Disney to open 'Car Land'

Disney officials say a new area called Cars Land will open in June at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim.

Walt Disney Co. President and CEO Bob Iger announced the opening during a conference call with investors last week.

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The Orange County Register reports the 12-acre area will conclude the park's $1 billion makeover project.

Cars Land will have three rides, a man-made mountain range, restaurant and stores, all designed to resemble Radiator Springs, the fictional town in the "Cars" movies.

Theater opens

Lincoln museum

The theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated is preparing to open a new museum and education center in downtown Washington to explore the 16th president's life and lasting legacy.

The Ford's Theatre Center for Education and Leadership has been constructed in a building across from the famous theater and next door to the row house where Lincoln died. The new museum is part of a $60 million project to create a destination for learning about Lincoln. Exhibits will address the aftermath of Lincoln's death and the evolution of his legacy. There is workshop space for teachers and students, and a distance-learning lab.

The center opens to the public today, on Lincoln's birthday. It hosts another free open house on President's Day before beginning normal tours Feb. 21.

Cedar Rapids

has an app

The city of Cedar Rapids boasts more than 1,000 downloads of its new custom-designed smartphone application in the first month and the acronym of CR App has turned out to be a rather effective marketing tool.

City spokeswoman Cassie Willis told the Gazette that the name will remain unchanged even though it might be the subject of jokes and giggles. She says it's good if the nickname gets some buzz and encourages more people to use it.

The free app allows citizens to take pictures and report junk. It uses a smartphone's location to show the user a designated garbage collection day, city council voting district, and zoning classification. It also will locate the nearest park, pool, golf course, library and fire station.

U.S. simplifies visas for Chinese

The U.S. Embassy in China is promising to streamline visa requests and hire more people to process applicants as part of President Barack Obama's push to boost tourism to the United States.

The embassy said in a statement Thursday that it will expand its visa processing capacity by opening new facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai and adding around 50 new consular officers across the country.That would be a 50 percent increase in staffing.

The embassy says it will launch a program on Monday to allow officers to waive interviews for some qualified applicants who are renewing their visas.

It says it processed 1 million non-immigrant visa applications in China last year, up 34 percent from the previous year.

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