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National
Washington Monument reopens after 3-year, $15 million renovation
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Washington Monument reopens after 3-year, $15 million renovation

Washington Monument reopens after 3-year, $15 million renovation
Photo Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
The Washington Monument at sunrise in Washington, DC. The popular tourist destination just reopened after a 3-year, $15 million renovation.

Washington Monument reopens after 3-year, $15 million renovation

The iconic Washington Monument on the National Mall has reopened after a three-year, $15 million renovation.

>> Read more trending news 

First lady Melania Trump took part in the reopening ceremony Thursday as schoolchildren crowded around, then headed to the top of the famous tower in the “first ride” on the newly renovated elevator, CBS News reported.

The 555-foot-tall marble obelisk, a popular tourist destination that dominates the capital’s skyline, was damaged in a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011. Following repairs on dozens of cracks, it reopened but closed again in 2016 when an elevator cable snapped. 

Part of the repairs included a permanent security screening building.

"The new glass and steel facility will offer full ballistic and blast protection and includes queuing space for 18-20 visitors at a time, screening equipment, an accessible restroom for National Park Service and US Park Police staff and a security office," according to a news release for the NPS, CNN reported

The soaring tower, once the tallest structure in the world, was named after the nation’s first president and built in two phases between 1848, when construction first started, and 1884 when the famous landmark was completed.

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  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is celebrating the important relationship between NASA science and art at the inaugural Taste of Space: A Collection of Art & Food event. October 19 and 20, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, there will also be food truck samplings, beer and wine and space-inspired art stations. Plus, fine art from the NASA archives on display for a limited exhibition.  For pricing, VIP package information and to purchase tickets, click here
  • A 23-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, man is behind bars after police say he shot and killed his father with a crossbow and struck his sister in the head with a frying pan. >> Read more trending news  The manhunt for Gerald Beavers III began just after 1 p.m., when the Louisville Metro Police Department responded to a call from the Petty Jay Court home and found one man dead and the injured woman, WLKY reported. According to WDRB, Beavers was apprehended around 5 p.m., and police spokesman Dwight Mitchell told the station a motive for the attack is currently unknown. While the authorities did not name the victim, a statement released by Radcliff, Kentucky-based USA Cares identified the deceased as Gerry Beavers, WDRB reported. “Not only was Gerry an employee of USA Cares, he was also a lifelong friend. We went to school together, served in the Army together, and worked at several organizations together,' USA Cares President and CEO Trace Chesser said in the statement. The nonprofit provides financial and advocacy assistance to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans and their families. The elder Beavers served as the organization’s director of career transition, WDBR reported. “Right before he joined USA Cares, he expressed to me that working with veterans and being able to create positive change in their lives was truly a dream job for him. I am thankful that he had the opportunity to do exactly that, and he will be missed dearly by all of us at USA Cares and by those who were blessed to know him,” Chesser’s statement continued. Authorities have not yet said what charges may be brought against the younger Beavers. Although the female victim’s injuries are serious, Louisville Metro police spokesman Dwight Mitchell told WDRB she is expected to recover.
  • The district attorney's office says a Memphis man who had a history of sexually abusing children has been sentenced to 110 years in prison.  >> Read more trending news  On Oct. 16, Jimmie Liddell, 53, was sentenced after being convicted of sexually molesting four boys and two girls, all under the age of ten, in April 2016.  Officials said Liddell invited their parents for a barbecue, and he committed the crimes while they tended the grill outside. Liddell was convicted in August on four counts of sexual battery, one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery, and one count of solicitation of a minor. Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee called Liddell's behavior 'unconscionable.' 
  • An animal services officer caught a rare American crocodile in front of a Sarasota home on Wednesday. According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Officer Scott Meyer safely captured the reptile and transferred it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which will relocate it.  American crocodiles are classified as threatened, and are shy and reclusive, according to the FWC.  They live in brackish or saltwater areas and South Florida is the northernmost part of their range, which extends through the Caribbean.
  • A 50-year-old Orlando man was arrested after deputies said he touched a child inappropriately at Disney's Magic Kingdom. James Anthony Jones was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation and booked into the Orange County Jail early Thursday. The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened Wednesday inside the park's Ye Old Christmas Shop.  According to police, the child told their mother and they reported the incident to guest relations where deputies were called to search for Jones.  Investigators believe Jones is also the suspect in another Disney incident.  A judge set Jones' bail to $50,000 and ordered him to not return to Disney or any other place where children gather.

Washington Insider

  • After clearly acknowledging to reporters on Thursday that President Donald Trump had withheld military aid for Ukraine partly in hopes of spurring an investigation into a 2016 GOP election conspiracy theory, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tried a few hours later to erase those comments, drawing fire from Democrats in Congress. 'That's why we held up the money,' Mulvaney said in an afternoon briefing at the White House, telling reporters that President Trump had made clear he wanted Ukraine to find the DNC computer server - which had been hacked by Russian Intelligence in 2016 - as the President believes it was somehow moved and hidden in Ukraine. 'Did (Trump) also mention to me the corruption related to the DNC server?' Mulvaney asked.   “Absolutely, no question about that.” The remarks put Mulvaney fully on board with an evidence-free allegation pushed by some Republicans - and embraced by President Trump - which says the hacked DNC server was taken from Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C., and hidden in Ukraine by the computer security firm CrowdStrike. A few hours later, Mulvaney put out a written statement in which he said the press was twisting his words, as he tried to back away from his statement that President Trump wanted aid to Ukraine linked to 2016 investigations by that country's government. “There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server,' Mulvaney said in a written statement issued by the White House, hours after the Mulvaney said the exact opposite about what the President wanted from Ukraine. 'Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump,' Mulvaney said - though Mulvaney's words were very clear in the White House Briefing Room about the President wanting Ukraine to investigate. 'The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that (the President) was worried about,' Mulvaney said. During his briefing, Mulvaney scoffed at reporters who questioned whether the President was trying to get something from the Ukrainian leader by withholding aid money. 'Get over it,' Mulvaney said at one point. After Mulvaney tried to take back his words - which were broadcast live on all the cable news networks - Democrats said it was obvious that the only mistake Mulvaney had made, was the mistake of telling the truth. 'Mick Mulvaney needs to testify,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). 'Mick Mulvaney has confirmed what we knew all along,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).  'There is no doubt anymore,' said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA). 'The President’s top advisor says withholding foreign aid in exchange for political favors is 'absolutely appropriate.'' 'We condition aid to advance the national interest,' said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). 'Never the partisan interest of the president.' In his July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine, the President clearly mentioned the DNC server and CrowdStrike. 'The server, they say Ukraine has it,' Mr. Trump said, according to a document released by the White House. Mulvaney's remarks came at a briefing where the White House announced that the U.S. would host the G7 summit at President Trump's Doral golf resort in Florida. Democrats said both the G7 Summit decision and the Ukraine investigation could well become part of impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.