Maggie: Hey guys! Coming up in the show,I am going to tell you where this is, and you are going to tell me what state I am in. I am Maggie Rulli, and Channel One News starts right now.
Tom: Nice seeing a little Maggie to get us started today. I am Tom Hanson.Let's jump right into what is making news. First up, residents in the country of Italy are still trying to pick up the pieces after a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck several towns and villages in the mountains of central Italy about 100 miles northeast of Rome.
The U.S.Geological Survey says the quake struck at 3:30 in the morning Wednesday while most Italians were asleep. More than 150 people were killed and thousands left homeless.Frantic residents and emergency workers used buckets, bulldozers and even their bare hands to dig through the debris.
But among the tragedy there have been stories of hope, like when this little girl was carried to safety. Rescuers are still digging, hoping to find survivors.
The town of Amatrice was among the hardest hit. It is an area that is popular for vacationing because of its beautiful mountains, but those are what is making the rescue effort so hard. It has been slow going getting heavy equipment and even ambulances in and out of the mountains. The area is not far from where a deadly earthquake struck in 2009, killing more than 300 people.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis led a special prayer in honor of the victims.
One of Hawaii's most popular tourist activities could be coming to an end; there may be no more swimming with wild dolphins. Federal regulators yesterday proposed a ban on swimming with Hawaii's spinner dolphins. The National Marine Fisheries Service, part of NOAA, says the playful creatures are active mostly at night and are not getting enough rest during the day because tourists and boats are following them.
The ban would reach 2 nautical miles off the main Hawaiian Islands and keep boats and swimmers at least 50 yards away from the mammals. A final decision is expected next year.
And another ban is causing controversy on the campus of Stanford in California: a new ban on hard alcohol at parties, even for those students who are over 21. The university says the ban on hard alcohol at undergraduate campus parties is aimed at curbing binge drinking — when students drink three to five drinks in a short period of time.
Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and even death. And the university is hoping to stop some of the bad behavior that is linked to being drunk.
Michele Dauber: However well intentioned this may have been, we're not going to stop students from consuming hard alcohol. What we can do, though, is increase the riskiness of the situation inwhich they do that consumption.
Tom: But even students who welcome the change wonder if too much is being blamed on the alcohol itself.
Chris De Sa: We have to be careful to not take the emphasis off of personal responsibilityand to not say that having drunk alcohol diminishes the responsibility of people who do terrible things while they're drunk.
Tom: All right, after the break: They are called the Mighty Five, some of America's most iconic national parks. We are heading out there for a Geo Quiz.
Tom: It has been called "America's best idea": setting aside wilderness for the enjoyment of the people — what we now know as our national parks system. Well, today is the 100th anniversary of the national parks.Nature lovers across the country will be gathering to enjoy the beauty in our own backyard.
Maggie Rulli is definitely a nature lover, and she is at one of our national parks.Let's see if you know where.
Maggie: We are here in Zion National Park, just one of five national parks in this state. So what state am I in?
You have got 10 seconds.
Theright answer is c,Utah. Zion National Park was the first national park here in Utah, but they added four more soon after. Today they make up the Mighty Five: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches. Millions of visitors every year come to see the Mighty Five's canyons, cliffs and arches. And the gigantic red-and-white rock of Zion towers above everything else.With cliffs that are more than 2,000 feet high, often the best view is up.
Hiking through the first national park in Utah, and also the oldest.Walking through Zion, we are surrounded by rock that is made up of layers and layers of sandstone that is thousands of years old, with some layers of rock reaching as far back as 150 million years.And all that rock comes to an iconic point in the narrowest section of Zion Canyon.
We are here in The Narrows, one of the most famous areas inZion National Park. When it rains, the rock can't absorb any water, so it causes flash floods that are so powerful they can even move boulders.
The Virgin River serves as The Narrows trail, so roll up those pants and expect to get your feet wet as you hike in the shadows of stones the size of skyscrapers. Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
Tom:Definitely looks like a fun trip.
All right, after the break we are checking out another national park and one group that is trying to save its killer views from being outshined.
Tom: Okay now, have you ever gone outside on a nice, clear night and looked up at the stars? Yeah, well, you are probably not even seeing half of the stars you could be, and that is because of something called light pollution, right, Keith?
Keith: Yeah,Tom. Now one group is trying to change that. The International Dark-Sky Association wants to protect the natural sky from manmade glare. And this summer it set its sights on another national park — the Grand Canyon. Check it out.
With its red rocks and roaming Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is beautiful enough by day. But seeing the park this way is only half the story. Astronomers gathered for a "star party"— high-powered telescopes set up to stare deep into outer space. It is an event that is historic this summer because the Grand Canyon was just named the newest park to be certified as "Dark Sky.”
John Barentine: It is a big deal. I mean, you're talking about one of the most well-known national parks in the world. And now to have added something like this is a huge accomplishment for this park. We're very excited.
Keith: As evening fades over the park, you see firsthand why the project was so important.
Barentine: Now you're really starting to get the full effect of what it's like to be out here at night.
Keith: And as the last clouds cleared, the full scope of a clear night sky emerged. The moon, Mars, Jupiter. Beyond that, brilliant star clusters and the unmistakable glow of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Barentine: The fraction is on order of probably two-thirds of people in the world live in places that are too light-polluted to see the Milky Way. This connects us to something in our past that we are rapidly losing touch with. And that's the sense of common humanity that we had in the era before internet and before radio and television, when we sat outside under the stars at night and we told our stories.
Marina Coreara: Do you guys want to see a red star?
Keith: Amateur astronomer Marina Coreara knows the feeling well.
Coreara: I'm from the Phoenix area, so we have extreme light pollution there; like, it's a big city.There's lights everywhere. You can't really see much out even in the suburbs. And when you come out here, and you can just look up and see the Milky Way and, like, these incredible dark skies, it's, like,“Wow, we should really just turn off our lights more often.”
Keith: Getting named Dark Sky is a long process that will take a park this big more than 5 years in total to complete. And that means many of the 5,000 lights in the park have to be replaced. These new lights are good; they only shine light where needed. But the majority of the lights cast too big a glare. Even the smallest amount of light can ruin your view of the night sky.
At star parties there are no white lights allowed; it is just these red ones. And that is because if you see a white light, your eyes will reset, and it then takes another
20 minutes to get used to the dark skies.
Astronomers and tourists took in views that are timeless — and for many, fast fading. John Barentine hopes the Grand Canyon's historic Dark Sky certification serves as an inspiration around the world.
Barentine: There's something that so intimately connects us to nature and to the universe by being out under a starry sky, and if I have kind of a personal mission in the work that I do for the organization, it's that every kid in America or even around the world would be able to experience that because, for somebody who comes from a place that‘s light-polluted, it's really life-changing.
Keith: Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.
Tom: Amazing. Definitely need to take a trip out there. Now, we are keeping our national parks celebration going.Do you know which was the first national park? Take our quiz over at ChannelOne.com to find out.
All right, guys, that is going to do it for us.Make today a great one, and we will see you tomorrow.
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