News from around our 50 states

Alabama

Montgomery: Alan Eugene Miller, 57, a truck driver convicted of killing three men in a workplace shooting rampage more than two decades ago is set to be put to death on Sept. 22, the Alabama Supreme Court said. The clerk’s office announced the scheduled execution date of Miller, who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the slayings, which occurred in Shelby County in 1999. Testimony indicated Miller was delusional and believed the two men he killed were spreading rumors about him, including one that he was gay. Although a defense psychiatrist testified Miller was mentally ill, he also said Miller’s condition wasn’t bad enough to use as a basis for an insanity defense under state law. Another Alabama inmate already is set for execution later this month. A federal judge last week ruled the execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. could go ahead as scheduled on July 28, refusing the condemned man’s request for a postponement. James was convicted of killing his former girlfriend, Faith Hall, in Birmingham, almost three decades ago.

Alaska

Anchorage: Officials ended their search for a woman whose 2-year-old grandchild was found alone last week in a locked car stuck in mud on a rural road, authorities said. No clues to the whereabouts of Mary Dawn Wilson, 69, have emerged since her Ford Focus was found last Thursday with the child and personal items believed to belong to Wilson, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said in a statement Saturday. Authorities believe the child was alone in the car for two days. The search was changed from “active” to “reactive,” meaning that a search could be launched again if officials receive new information or evidence, the statement said. The statement added that at “this time, there is no evidence

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Here are the best towns for a day trip near Charlotte NC

Mount Holly has a vibrant downtown about 12 miles from Charlotte, offering restaurants, retail, beer shops and greenway access.

Mount Holly has a vibrant downtown about 12 miles from Charlotte, offering restaurants, retail, beer shops and greenway access.

CharlotteFive

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Downtown vibes

If you’ve lived in Charlotte for long enough, you already know one of the best parts about road trips involves passing through the charming small towns across the Carolinas. We actually have so many quaint towns and cities that even a Carolinas native may not have visited them all. Explore them in this series.

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If you’ve lived in Charlotte for long enough, you already know one of the best parts about road trips involves passing through the charming small towns across the Carolinas. We actually have so many quaint towns and cities that even a Carolinas native may not have visited them all.

So when two of our best landed on HGTV’s list of the 30 most charming downtowns in America (Concord in North Carolina and Greenville in South Carolina), we wanted to know which other small towns could have easily been on that list.

So we asked you: What’s your favorite small town downtown in North and South Carolina? We got more than 200 responses. Many of your favorites are arguably not “small” — but all of them quaint, so we decided they should count.

Here are the 55 cities and towns that you recommend in the Carolinas, and what to do at each:

Aiken, SC

Location: 144 miles from Charlotte

What to do:

Apex

Location: 153 miles from Charlotte

What to do:

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Sania Khan’s Killing Sparks Conversations About the Stigma Around Divorce in South Asian Communities

Sania Khan

Sania Khan

Sania Khan Credit – Courtesy of Jessica Henderson-Eubanks

In the months before being fatally shot by her estranged husband on Monday, Sania Khan was open on TikTok about the painful process of divorce as a 29-year-old Pakistani American woman. She spoke about pushback from her community and family members not just about her decision to leave her marriage, but also about sharing her experience so candidly. “Going through a divorce as a South Asian woman feels like you failed at life sometimes. The way the community labels you, the lack of emotional support you receive and the pressure to stay with someone because ‘what will people say’ is isolating,” Khan wrote in a TikTok posted in June. “It makes it harder for women to leave marriages that they shouldn’t have been in to begin with.”

Chicago police reported that they discovered an unresponsive 29-year-old woman and 36-year-old man at a home in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood around 4:30 p.m on Monday. Both had gunshot wounds to the head; the woman was pronounced dead on the scene while the man was transported to Northwestern Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Law enforcement is still investigating the case, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office listed Khan’s death as a homicide and her estranged husband Raheel Ahmad’s death as a suicide.

Police in Alpharetta, Georgia said a relative of Ahmad contacted the agency to report him missing; the agency ended up contacting Chicago police to conduct a welfare check at the location, where he was later found.

The news of Khan’s death has prompted conversations among South Asians in the U.S. about the ways in which their communities often stigmatize leaving marriages—even dangerous ones. “In South Asian communities, there’s this concept of saving face and preserving family honor—not

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At Home: Gear, toys, tips to help beat the heat outdoors

The thermostat has officially hit swelter. Whether you’re trying to play in the backyard or just chill outdoors, there’s a bunch of new ideas and gear designed to help everyone — pets included — stay cool.

First, architects recommend some simple ways to make an outdoor space more heat-wave friendly.

Start with surfacing: Not too dark and not too light. Ron Radziner, one of the principals of the Los Angeles design firm Marmol Radziner, says most stone, tile and concrete will be fine no matter where you live, “but you don’t want to use a dark material in a hot climate. It shouldn’t be too light either – it’ll be blinding in the sun.”

Overhead protection from sun and rain, and some wet element are also important in outdoor spaces, says Jeffrey Dungan, an architect in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

“I advise our clients that if it isn’t covered, you’re much less likely to use it,” he says. “We all love open terraces and lawns, but for long-term functionality we really need some respite from the sun — an awning or a porch.”

While a swimming pool is lovely, he says, “I’ve found that the sound of water all by itself is refreshing.

“So we’ll frequently add a font, spillway, fountain or a rill — just something as simple as an old urn with a small pump to move the water up and around can add life and a sense of calm coolness to the warmest summer day.”

If you’ve got a pool, lucky you. But even just a hose or tap can turn on some watery relief.

Of course, designers and retailers are happy to take that up a notch. Some suggestions:

FOR THE KIDDOS

Keep little ones busy on a steamy day with Step2’s water and sand table, or

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Cambridge Beaches, a One-of-a-Kind Resort Arrives on Bermuda

Viral photos from inside airports around the world this summer have been shocking, yet for those still hankering for a getaway, there’s always Bermuda. A two-hour nonstop flight away from New York City, the island is getting a new hotel just in time for late summer travel. Spanning across a 23-acre peninsula, Cambridge Beaches is being opened by hospitality group Dovetail + Co., with interior design by former Soho House Design Studio designer Kellyann Hee.

“Cambridge Beaches was established in 1923 as Bermuda’s first cottage-style accommodations when Mr. Hugh Gray owned the first cottage and started hosting overseas guests,” explains the hotel’s general manager, Clarence Hofheins. “Over the years, he purchased the surrounding land and other cottages and by 1943 he operated accommodations housing over 50 guests at a time.”

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Some 20 years later, Gray sold the property to Sir Howard Trott, and it stayed in the Trott family for more than 70 years until Dovetail + Co.’s recent purchase. “Throughout the estate, there are architectural details dating back to 1663, including reception, which features original cedar beamed ceilings and a board highlighting the number of repeat guests since its inception in 1923,” adds Hofheins. “Cambridge Beaches is truly the last Bermuda-style resort on the island — the architecture, beaches, coves and gardens all tell a story about Bermuda that is unique and special.”

Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda.

Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda.

The Cambridge Beaches of today comprises a mix of freestanding cottages and guest rooms, with four private beaches, two private coves, a swimming pool, spa, tennis courts, three on-site restaurants (accessible by both land and sea) and more.

“My wife and I fell in love with Bermuda seven years ago when we visited in January,” says Phil Hospod, chief executive officer and founder of Dovetail +

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Out & About: Area entertainment and cultural events starting Wednesday, July 27 | Lifestyles

Calendar items may be sent to [email protected], brought to the newsroom at 19 E. Church St., Martinsville, or mailed to P.O. Box 3711, Martinsville, Va., 24115. Pictures are welcomed. Dates and times must be included.

The Patrick & Henry Community College Patriot Players and Charity League present “Seussical Kids” at 7 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. The musical caper features a cast of 47 children and teenagers who participated in a week-long theater camp. Each half-hour performance will be held in the Walker Fine Arts Theatre on the campus of P&HCC. Tickets cost $10 in advance over phccpatriotplayers.square.site and $12 at the door. Children 3 years old and younger who sit on a ticket-holder’s lap are admitted free.

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Greater Bassett Family Fun Float will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at River Walk, 3321 Fairystone Park Hwy, Bassett. It will feature live music, food trucks, vendors and shuttle service. Bring chair/or blanket to listen to music, and your kayak or canoe to go on the water.

276 Adult Field Day will be held Saturday at Fisher Farm Park in Ridgeway. It features dodge ball, spoon egg race, tug-of-war, potato sack race, relay race and kickball. “Leave them kids at home,” warns host M.L. Venable — this is only for adults 21 and older, and proof of age is required.

Heads of State will host the Third Annual Summer Fest Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Smith River Sports Complex Amphitheatre. Gates open at 1 p.m. and a judging of what organizers bill “the biggest car & bike show to hit Southside” as well as the talent show will begin at 3 p.m. The entry fee for vehicles is $25. It also will feature The Incredible D.J. Joe,

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Facing my fears and flying above seagulls on the island of Mljet

Ah, that island, that Mljet! Without doubt my favourite destination in the south of Croatia is a magical green island that seemingly floats on the turquoise sea. It is an island that very quickly stole my heart, it was love at first sight. And it is an island that, unfortunately, I haven’t had much chance to visit in recent years due to work commitments. So when the opportunity to visit and indeed work on the island for a few days reared its head I grabbed it with two hands.

I had thought I had seen everything there was to see and experience on the former home of Odysseus, I was wrong. So the reason for my escape to Mljet was to film some promo videos. Now, whilst the island is incredibly photogenic, a supermodel amongst Dalmatian islands, many visitors don’t dive deeper into the island and discover its hidden gems.

mljet view 2022

Hence some promo videos. One of these was entitled “active & adventure.” “There is a couple near Polače that do kayaking, hiking and abseiling tours, maybe you should meet them,” stated my contact on Mljet. And so I did. OK, kayaking and hiking not a problem, but I hope that the abseiling isn’t too extreme. Tea and Lukša were the adventure couple, and this hard-working pair live in a tiny bay away from the world, imagine of Robinson Crusoe got married and you’ll see the picture.

“A short kayak ride of 15-minutes to a deserted inland and there we’ll go abseiling,” said Lukša. “Maybe 15 minutes for you,” I joked. “Your arms are the size of my legs,” I added. We jumped into out kayaks and set sail. I took so getting used to but once I had the hang of it I have to admit that I enjoyed it.

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The oddest islands to add to an island-hopping odyssey

The swimming pigs of Exuma in the Bahamas. Photo / Forest Simon, Unsplash

There’s nothing like an island for capturing the imagination. Thomas Bywater suggests five stops to add to an island-hopping odyssey.

Socotra, Yemen

Full of scaly dragon blood trees and desert blooms – Socotra has been described as the Galapagos of the Middle East. Its position in the Indian Ocean, between Yemen and Somalia, has kept it off the radar of all but the most adventurous travellers. Since gaining weekly direct connections from Abu Dhabi it’s a little more accessible but not much. The Greeks claimed it was home to the mythical phoenix. You’ll not find any magical firebirds but there are plenty of other weird and wonderful plants and animals.

Socotra is the Galapagos of the Middle East. Photo / Andrew SVK, Unsplash
Socotra is the Galapagos of the Middle East. Photo / Andrew SVK, Unsplash

About 800 endemic species, according to Unesco. It’s not an easy place to get to and there’s not much in the luxury range, however Engage Socotra runs guided eco-tours to the island and helps run a conservation and community fund for the world heritage site.
engagesocotra.com

Aerial view of the island 'Pulau Padar' at the famous Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia. Photo / Getty Images
Aerial view of the island ‘Pulau Padar’ at the famous Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia. Photo / Getty Images

Flores Island, Indonesia

Yes, here be dragons, but here also be underground caverns, volcanic pools and funnel-shaped padi fields.

Flores is famous for its reptile neighbours from the nearby islands of the Komodo National Park. The largest lizards in the world, the Komodo monitor can weigh in at more than 150kg. Guided tours are a must for naturalists.

Once you’ve satiated your Jurassic Park fantasy you don’t want to overlook the other amazing natural features of the lesser Sunda Islands. The Liang Bua caves are remarkable karst tunnels that, at one point, were home to tiny prehistoric humans. Yes,

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The best places to stay in Langkawi, as told by this travel-loving editor

Langkawi Island, the Jewel of Kedah, is known for its white-sand beaches and jungles that are home to over 200 bird species and monkeys. Many Malaysians and tourists worldwide also flock to this island, thanks to its duty-free status, awarded in 1987.

It’s so easy to travel to Langkawi from Singapore, as many airlines offer a direct route which only takes about an hour and 25 minutes. As I’ve just returned from Langkawi with tons of travel tips to share (see suggestions for food and activities below), it would also be in your best interest to know the cheapest months to travel to Langkawi this year are August and September. According to Skyscanner, if you fly with Scoot on 23 August and 19 September, one-way fares are only S$49 and S$53, respectively.

Explore activities in Langkawi

Here are some coveted stays you should bookmark for your next great trip.

For the luxe nomad

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi

Book a night here

(PHOTO: The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi)

(PHOTO: The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi)

Set within a 10-million-year-old rainforest on the edge of the Andaman Sea, five-star resort The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi steers travellers into a pocket of the world where luxury and nature intersect. Hike through the dense, dynamic jungle or listen to the forest’s whispers from your sundeck. If you’re into water activities, kayak or try the stand-up paddling through mangroves.

Ed’s notes: I stayed here for three nights and was surprised to be given a room upgrade to a suite. The staff were very attentive to your needs; from making sure we had buggy rides to our villa to topping our breakfast spread. It’s a little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Cenang area, for sure.

The Datai Langkawi

Book a night here

The Datai Langkawi. (PHOTO: Klook)

The Datai Langkawi. (PHOTO: Klook)

The 5-star resort The Datai Langkawi is located

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4 Great Travel Deals for August

The Harbor Club in St. Lucia is offering a fifth night free when you book four. Photo courtesy the Harbor Club.

Something New in the Big Apple 

Where: Crowne Plaza HY36, 320 West 36th St., NY; 877-666-3243.

What’s special: Adjacent to New York City’s trendiest and newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards, this Crowne Plaza is less than a 5-minute walk to Penn Station, with easy access to all subway lines, and a short walk to major attractions, including the Empire State Building, the High Line, Bryant Park, and Times Square. Check out the Vessel, the centerpiece of Hudson Yards; the spiral staircase features 154 interconnecting flights of stairs and great views. Also nearby is the Edge Skydeck which, at 1,000 feet in the air, is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. Hotel amenities include some of the largest guest rooms per square foot in Manhattan, spacious spa-like showers, and a state-of-the-art fitness center featuring Peloton bikes and Woodway treadmills. Burgerology, the onsite restaurant, has a variety of food and drink from fine dining to light meals options throughout the day. 

The deal: The “Fuel Up On Us” package includes a $50 gas gift card and a discount on daily parking at the neighboring garage (you pay $20 a night versus the usual $67). In addition, all hotel guests receive a complimentary CitiBike pass (for up to two adults per stay) providing unlimited 30-minute rides within a 24-hour period. Washingtonian readers will also receive 10 percent off the best flexible rate for any room type when they book a two-night stay, plus two complimentary cocktails at the Burgerology when booking through this exclusive link. Rates start at $294 per room per night. 

When: Valid for stays through August.

Staycation at the Wharf

Where: InterContinental Washington DC—The

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