It's Thursday, February 11, 2016 and here are my favorite stories on my mind for today from the Associated Press:
"GAME OF THRONES" - IRELAND SITE
Authorities in Northern Ireland say they will do what they can to keep the fantasy alive for fans of the hit TV series "Game of Thrones." It seems road maintenance crews painted a white line down the middle of the Dark Hedges, the country road that winds through the make-believe world of Westeros. That didn't sit well with the show's fans - who flock to the area to see it and take photos. Officials say the line was painted by mistake - and will be removed. The lane markings wouldn't have affected the show, though. Game of Thrones uses special effects to mask the road's paved surface.
"GILMORE GIRLS" REDUX
Some of the residents of Stars Hollow will be in their familiar places when "Gilmore Girls" returns. Netflix has signed deals bringing back at more than a few cast members for the four-episode remix, including Milo Ventimiglia (vhen-TEE'-mihl-ya) as Jess Mariano and Matt Czuchry (ZOO'-kree) as Logan Huntzberger. You can also look for Liza Weil and Yanic Truesdale to return. Netflix had already said Lauren Graham and
Alexis Bledel, would be part of the reboot of Gilmore Girls. But the network hasn't said what the new shows' title will be - or when it will make its debut.
HAWAII-BIG WAVE SURFING
There was something missing at Hawaii's big-wave surfing competition -- the waves. The contest was called off yesterday because the waves weren't there. The competition's strict requirements call for 40-foot-high swells that last for hours. But the towering breakers are a no-show. The contest is named for legendary surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau. He died while attempting a rescue in 1978. The competition has only been held eight times since its inception in 1984.
JACK DANIEL'S EXPANSION
There's a lot of jack -- going into the historic Jack Daniel's Distillery. The maker of the Tennessee whiskey is planning a $140 million expansion project to help meet global demand. The investment announced yesterday by Gov. Bill Haslam will be used to build two new barrelhouses and support the increasing number of visitors. Officials say more than 275,000 tourists visited the distillery in Lynchburg last year. The Jack Daniel's Distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the country.
Taylor Swift will open the 58th annual Grammy Awards with a performance from her nominated album, "1989," while Alabama Shakes, Miguel and 12-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander will also perform. The Recording Academy on Thursday announced the final round of performers for Monday's awards show in Los Angeles. LL Cool J is hosting the Grammys, which will be aired live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST. Swift is one of the year's top nominees with seven nominations, including album of the year, record of the year and song of the year. She previously performed "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," at the beginning of the Grammy Awards show in 2013. Previously announced performers include Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Stapleton, Rihanna, The Weeknd and the Broadway cast of "Hamilton."
WOODSTOCK 50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
One of the organizers of the original 1969 Woodstock music festival says talks are underway to stage a 50th anniversary concert. Michael Lang tells the Poughkeepsie Journal (pojonews.co/1T9aUPV) that discussions have started with potential partners and the idea of staging anniversary concerts at different locations in 2019 is being explored.The original Woodstock was held Aug. 15-18, 1969, in rural Bethel in Sullivan County, New York. Lang was the promoter of the seminal '60s event that drew 400,000 rock music fans to Max Yasgur's farm. Woodstock anniversary concerts were held in 1994 in Saugerties (SAW'-ger-teez) in the Hudson Valley and in 1999 in Rome in central New York.
IN THE NEWS: TWITTER WOES
It used to be considered an online trendsetter, marching ahead of the competition in the field of microblogging. But these days, Twitter seems more like a soldier marching in place, marking time. The company reported no user growth in the fourth quarter of this past year. That's a sign it's having trouble carving out a significant niche in the online marketplace. It currently is holding at 320 million monthly users - about a-fifth the size of Facebook. It also lost another $90 million in the last three months of 2015. It has yet to turn a profit in its history.
BURGER KING-HOT DOGS
Burger King is looking for a new crown: Hot Dog King. The Miami-based chain says it plans to put hot dogs on its menu nationally for the first time, starting Feb. 23. Burger King says it will offer hot dogs at all 7,100 of its U.S. restaurants, after testing the idea in a handful of cities last year. It says its ability to flame-grill meat makes hot dogs a natural fit on its menu.The move comes as Burger King works to push up sales amid intensifying competition, with McDonald's now making breakfast items available all day and Wendy's offering a "4 for $4" deal to get customers in the door. Burger King's "Grilled Dogs" will come in two varieties. The "classic" hot dog will be topped with ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and relish, and 310 calories. The company is suggesting franchisees sell it for $1.99. A chili cheese version has 330 calories, with
a suggested price of $2.39.