The Last Tortoise
QUITO, Ecuador - The beloved Galapagos Islands giant tortoise known as Lonesome George will remain a tourist attraction even in death. Ecuador's environment minister says the reptile will be embalmed and placed on display on Santa Cruz island.
Lonesome George was believed to be about 100 years old. The last of the Pinta Island giant tortoise subspecies, he failed to leave offspring despite the best efforts of conservationists. He was discovered in 1972 discovery on Pinta Island and became an ambassador of sorts for the archipelago off Ecuador's coast whose unique flora and fauna helped inspire Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.
WASHINGTON - This year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival is featuring a series of evening concerts on the National Mall, beginning with a group from West Virginia University. The
10-day festival began Wednesday and concludes July 8. It's centered on the mall between seventh and 14th streets. The evening concerts begin at 6 p.m.
On the opening day, an evening concert featured West Virginia University's Steel Band Drum Ensemble and drummer Ellie Mannette. Mannette is a National Heritage Fellow and is considered the "father of the modern steel drum." He started the university's steel drum ensemble in the 1990s.
Walk D.C. more
WASHINGTON - The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is growing and the planned extension will connect many of Washington's favorite locations. A $10 million grant from the Department of Transportation will fund a four-mile extension that will connect 16 waterfront communities, including Nationals Park, RFK Stadium, the Navy Yard and the National Arboretum. The project will include measures to prevent polluted runoff from entering the Anacostia River and the construction of five bridges.
Drive West Tenn.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A self-guided driving trail connects farmland and small towns in nine West Tennessee counties. The Cotton Junction Trail starts in Memphis and heads east and north along 320 miles of roads through Carroll, Crockett, Fayette, Gibson, Haywood, Madison, Shelby, Tipton and Weakley counties.
Travelers can stop at Brownsville's West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and see Flagg Grove School, where singer Tina Turner attended grade school; the world's largest tea pot collection in Trenton; and the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum in Jackson.
WASHINGTON - The Newseum its waiving its admission fee for visitors ages 18 and younger during the summer months. The museum about journalism and the First Amendment will be free for children July 1 through Sept. 3. That's a savings of $12.95 per child.