AM Prep-Cooler Copy

October 26, 2017 - 3:05 am

SPACE STATION-POPE

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Pope Francis is making his first phone call off the planet — and into space. The pope will reach out today to the six astronauts on the International Space Station. It will be only the second time a pope phones the heavens like this. Pope Benedict XVI called the space station in 2011. A large Roman Catholic contingent led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, will gather at Mission Control in Houston for the long-distance chat.

WEIRD RUMBLINGS

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Officials are trying to determine the cause of some reported rumblings that shook areas of southern New Jersey. Residents in several counties reported hearing booms or feeling the ground shake early yesterday. But the United States Geological Survey didn't report any earthquake activity in New Jersey. And National Weather Service officials say there's "nothing weather-related" that would cause the booms. Officials say sonic booms have been caused in the past by military planes doing supersonic drills along the east coast, but it wasn't immediately clear if that's what happened.

TRACEABLE TURKEYS

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner: traceable turkeys. The nation's third largest turkey producer is trying to tap into the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. This Thanksgiving season, Cargill's Honeysuckle White branded turkeys in Texas grocery stores will have a tag with a code that buyers can either text or enter on a website. The information tells consumers where that individual bird was raised and includes a message from the farmer and photos of the farm. The pilot project marks the agribusiness giant's entry into a burgeoning farm-to-table movement driven by people who want to know how their food is produced. Turkey farmer Darrell Glaser says traceability allows farmers to connect with the consumer. Glaser is an independent farmer who raises about 600,000 birds annually for the company.

GEORGE WASHINGTON WHISKEY

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) — Expert whiskey makers from across the U.S. are converging on George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, working on a special recipe to honor the father of our country. The celebration today marks the tenth anniversary of the reconstruction of Washington's distillery. At the time of his death in 1799, Washington ran one of the largest distilleries in the U.S. The Distilled Spirits Council is sponsoring distillers from across the country to collaborate on a rye whiskey to mark the anniversary.

BALD EAGLE KILLING

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man who admitted he shot a bald eagle and then ran it over several times with an all-terrain vehicle has been sentenced to a month of house arrest. The Virginian-Pilot reports 62-year-old Allen H. Thacker also was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service at an area wildlife refuge and pay $500 in fines along with $1,500 in restitution. Thacker told officers he killed the eagle in March because he'd seen the bird killing small game and eating fish on his property.

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