Monday, June 17, 2013
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Gerry Siekirski, co-owner of Warwick Travel in Newport News, said Monday that she is one of nine passengers who made it home early Sunday morning.
The 13 who were left behind — dubbed the "Cairo 13" by the travel agency — landed safely in Cyprus on Monday and will get to Norfolk about midnight Tuesday.
"Oh, yes, we're gonna be there," Siekirski said about meeting the group at the airport. "I'm alerting families right now."
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo began flying citizens to evacuation points in Europe on Monday. Unrest in Egypt had halted flights and snarled travel out of Cairo since Jan. 25, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
They are citing social, economic and political injustice for decades. At least 100 Egyptians have died since protests began.
Also in Egypt is a College of William and Mary student studying at the American University in Cairo, according to spokesman Brian Whitson. The student arrived there a week ago, Whitson said, and is now waiting at the airport in Cairo for a return flight to the United States.
American University has about 500 American students in Cairo, of which 350 are in study abroad programs, said university spokeswoman Morgan Roth.
"They have a few more days to confer with their parents and decide whether to leave, whether to leave and come back when classes resume, or whether to stay indefinitely," Roth wrote in an e-mail. "We will provide access to the airport for students as long as the Department of State is providing flights out."
The first plane-load of students arrived in Istanbul Monday morning she said, and airlifts will continue for several days.
The Cairo airport is jammed this week with thousands of foreigners seeking to flee the unrest, Siekirski said.
"Some were sitting on top of their luggage, some laying beside their luggage, some pushing their luggage," she said. "It was a mass exodus of people trying to get back."
As co-owner of Warwick Travel, Siekirski said she tried to trade place with a client when her name was called out for a Delta flight leaving Cairo, but the airline refused to let her. The remaining local tourists are with co-owner Nancy Alligood, she said.
Countries evacuating their citizens from Egypt include the United States, Israel, Russia, the Czech Republic, and even Iraq, which is flying home for free all citizens, including refugees, who want to return.
There's no clear indication of when protests may end. Mubarak has held power for nearly 32 years and has ignored protestor demands that he step down. Instead, he named a vice president Saturday for the first time in his presidency. He also fired his entire cabinet then swore in a new one.
Protests are ongoing, though, with Egyptians making it clear they want Mubarak gone. Chants in Arabic include "Irhul Mubarak," or "Get out, Mubarak."
According to news reports, more than 40 percent of the Egyptian population of 80 million lives on $2 a day or less, and unemployment is rampant. Citizens are reportedly organizing a million-man march for Tuesday or Wednesday.
Siekirski said she and her group did not see any of the protests since they were in a hotel near the airport, rather than the center of the city. She called her clients "troopers."
"These people have traveled all over the world with me, this is just one more adventure," she said. "It turned out to be a greater adventure than we anticipated."
Friday, October 1, 2010
Here's a drug-sniffing dog namesDemi who sniffs chocolate.....or maybe drugs. But read below the arrest Customs and Border Protection agents made on September 9.
The marijuana was headed to New York. It has an estimated street value of nearly $17,000.
Officials say the dog, named Demi, alerted for a mailbag that arrived from Mexico City. One of five boxes in the sack contained marijuana.
The marijuana will be destroyed.September 9, 2010
STERLING, Va. - Customs agents see foreigner travelers try to bring a lot of unusual items into the U.S., but one slimy seizure over Labor Day weekend could have been devastating to crops.
A traveler from Ghana tried to bring 14 Giant African Land Snails into the U.S. at Washington-Dulles International Airport Sunday.
The snails, which were as large as a child's fist, are said to be one of the worst invasive species in the world and have caused economic damage to crops.
The snails are known to eat at least 500 different types of plants and to reproduce rapidly. They can grow to be nearly 8 inches by 4 inches big.
The traveler declared the snails, but they had to be destroyed because they are illegal in the U.S.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
That's right, the 34-year-old businessman always travels with Barkley, a stuffed beagle. No, it's not for his two daughters. No he doesn't sleep with a nightlight and no he isn't smuggling drugs.
Seven years ago Hardy's then girlfriend, now wife, gave him the doggie as a reminder of her.
"I travel enough that it's a nice reminder of home," said Hardy who runs an online legal notice company, Top Class Actions.
Housekeepers like to put it on top of his pillow or prop it up prominently on the night stand.
Even when Hardy travels on an annual guys trip -- a beach trip to Mexico this year -- Barkley comes along.
"I've had some friends who are like, 'What's with the stuffed animal?'" the Phoenix-area man said. "It's just a reminder of my beautiful bride."
"Barkley stays in the suitcase when I'm home," Hardy added. "He only comes out for trips."
Hardy isn't the only adult traveling with a stuffed animal. In fact, as many as one in every four grown men might just have a teddy bear tucked away in their suitcase.
Well, in the last 12 months, British hotel chain Travelodge has reunited more than 75,000 bears with the owners. That's a lot of stuffed animals left at its 452 hotels in the United Kingdom and Spain. So the company decided to investigate a bit further.Travelodge surveyed 6,000 Britons and discovered that 35 percent of adults admitted they sleep with their teddy because they found cuddling their bear comforting. Additionally, many said the calming feeling of a bear hug helped them lower their stress level after a hard day.
And it turns out that a large number of the bear-toting travelers are men.
Travelodge said that 25 percent of men reported they take their teddy bear away with them when going away on business. The stuffed animal supposedly reminds them of home and -- some say -- helps fill a cuddle-void left by distant partners.
Men Travel with Stuffed Animals
One in ten single men surveyed admitted they hide their teddy bear when their girlfriend stays over and 14 percent of married men reported they hide their teddy bear in the wardrobe or under the bed when any family and friends come to visit.
Fear not, it's isn't just men who travel with stuffed animals.
Laurie Luck has a stuffed dog that she sleeps with every night -- at home or on the road.
"Puppy goes everywhere I go. He's kind of my security blanket," Luck said. "He's been everywhere. I sleep with him every night. I know that sounds terrible for a 42–year-old woman to say, but it's true."
Puppy has been camping, on a cruise. He's gone everywhere that Luck has been in the last 26 years.
Yes, that's right, Puppy isn't a holdover from childhood, but a more-recent acquisition.
"I was never allowed to have a stuffed animal or a blankie as a kid because my mom didn't want me to leave it and then not be able to sleep without it," said Luck, an animal trainer. "So 26 years ago, a friend gave me this. It sort of resonated with me. It was the stuffed animal I was never able to have as a kid."
She has never lost the stuffed animal when traveling but said to do so would be "disastrous."
"Puppy is more of a priority than my cell phone or purse," she said, adding, "I know I probably sound like an overgrown child."
Today, Luck said her friends and family accept her bunkmate when they learn about Puppy's existence.
"I made sure my husband was okay with it before we got married," she said. "I had to sort of break the news: I sleep with a stuffed animal. This is what I do and I hope there won't be a problem."
Sunday, July 18, 2010
They will close one-lane of the eastbound span of the Bay Bridge at 9 p.m. Sunday evening, and close the entire eastbound span before midnight Sunday, according to a transportation department official. The span will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday morning to accommodate repairs. Two-way traffic will operate on the westbound side of the bridge when the entire eastbound portion is closed.
Transportation officials also warn motorists to expect single-lane closures on both the eastbound and westbound portions of the bridge from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday while maintenance work and routine annual inspections occur.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Today, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is the nation's 23rd busiest.
The airport, dedicated by President Harry Truman as Friendship International Airport, now serves about 21 million passengers and handles more than a quarter-million takeoffs and landings a year. BWI is an important base for low-cost carriers and is estimated to support about 22,000 jobs. It was one of only two large U.S. airports to grow in 2009.
"We are the low-cost-carrier airport," said BWI Chief Executive Paul Wiedefeld, pointing to the strong growth of such carriers as Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways.
Friendship replaced Harbor Field, a 360-acre municipal airport on the site of what is now the Dundalk Marine Terminal.
Mayor Theodore McKeldin appointed a committee to study the idea of building a new airport in 1943. The site that was selected is between Baltimore and Washington, which at the time was served only by National Airport, on a plateau high above sea level, which reduces the dangers of fog.
In 1945, the city created the Baltimore Aviation Commission to oversee construction of the airport. Its cost would eventually run to $15 million about $136 million in current dollars.
For all its cutting-edge features in 1950, Friendship did not remain a paragon of modernity for long. Though passenger growth remained strong through the 1960s, Friendship would be eclipsed by more advanced facilities soon after it opened. Once jets began commercial operations in 1957-1958, Bentley said, "you had the airports all over the country mushrooming."
In the 1970s, the state spent $36 million to take over the airport, renamed it Baltimore-Washington International to capitalize on its location and launched a $70 million rebuilding program.
In 2001 a $1.8 billion expansion began with a long-term hub for Southwest Airlines, which began flying out of BWI in 1993 and is now the airport's biggest customer.
But BWI has retained some of the feel of the original airport with less "tenseness" than some of its rivals, Wiedefeld said.
"We did not lose sight of the personal connection the people feel you have compared with other airports," he said. "It's still Friendship Airport in a lot of people's minds.