MSP down to one TSA checkpoint for three weeks
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has closed the general lanes at the south security checkpoint in Terminal 1, as crews began installing four "innovation lanes" that could speed screening by up to 40 percent in the long run. But for at least three weeks, all passengers who are not part of trusted traveler programs will have to pass through the north security checkpoint. Two lanes at the south checkpoint will remain open, but only for passengers with TSA Precheck or Clear. During installation and testing of the new automated screening lanes, there will be some extra long walks from the baggage drop to the gate. On the bright side, late August tends to see fewer travelers, and the next big crush won't occur until October.
National monuments to stay
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday he won't seek to rescind any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents. But he said he is recommending changes to a "handful" of sites, and suggested some monuments are too large. Twenty-seven monuments were put under review in April by President Donald Trump, who has charged that the millions of acres designated for protection by President Barack Obama were part of a "massive federal land grab." A tribal coalition that pushed for the creation of the 2,100-square-mile Bears Ears National Monument on sacred tribal land in Utah is prepared to launch a legal fight against even a slight reduction in its size, said Gavin Noyes of the nonprofit Utah Diné Bikéyah.
Chocolate in St. Lucia
St. Lucia's cocoa industry is undergoing a slow revival. This summer and fall, several cocoa farms and hotels are offering packages and deals that coincide with the island's first Chocolate Heritage Month in August. At the Jade Mountain resort, the Chocolate Alchemy package, which runs through Oct. 15, includes a fourth night free during a four-night stay (from $5,248 per couple) or two nights free during a seven-night stay (from $8,320) in a Jacuzzi suite. The package includes a cocoa estate tour, bean-to-bar chocolate tasting and lesson in basic chocolate-making techniques, along with a chocolate-infused spa treatment. Its sister property, Anse Chastanet, is offering a Dan Dous (sweet tooth in Creole patois) package during the same time period with similar activities and amenities, from $2,398 per couple for a four-night stay (fourth night free) or $3,730 per couple for a seven-night stay (two nights free).
New York Times
Deadline for senior pass
Sunday is the last day for people 62 and older to purchase the National Park Service's America the Beautiful senior pass for $10 before the price goes up 700 percent. On Monday, the lifetime pass will cost $80. The senior pass gives the holder plus vehicle passengers (up to three adults) unlimited entry to more than 2,000 sites. If you haven't purchased your $10 lifetime pass yet and you're 62 or older, you can apply online at yourpassnow.com before Monday. Cost is $20 ($10 for the pass, $10 fee for processing). Passes may also still be available at sites such as the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge office in Bloomington (check fws.gov/refuge/Minnesota_Valley or call 952-854-5900 for availability).