Pennsylvania man pushes to make Slinky official state toy

Slinky countertop store display, 1957. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania has a state dog, a state insect, a state fossil, and even a state beverage.

Why, Bob Swaim wonders, can’t it also have a state toy?

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Designers say comfort is on trend for decor in 2019

NEW YORK – What trends will dominate home decorating in 2019?

When we asked interior designers about the colors, fabrics and styles likely to be popular this year, one message came through loud and clear: People are seeking comfort at home.

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Beatles fan’s collection has been growing for 50 years

Composite photo of Beatles upon their arrival in New York City, 1964. UPI photo in the public domain, acquired via US Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

WALTON, Ind. (AP) – “Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles.”

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Fond memories of childhood sparked radio premium collection

The first ever Tom Mix ring, which was offered by National Chicle Gum in 1933. Hake’s Auction image

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) – Anthony “Tony” Evangelista remembered sending for a souvenir from one of the radio programs he listened to in the 1940s. The ring from the Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters program set him back 10 cents and a label from Ralston instant farina.

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Cold case: death of African American artist Ellis Ruley

Ellis Ruley (USA, 1882-1959), ‘Autum (sic) Leaves,’ oil on board. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers archive and Material Culture

NORWICH, Conn. (AP) – Amid the sounds of birds chirping and water falling from a fountain on the quiet morning, a small group Sunday walked through Ellis Walter Ruley Memorial Park, the former home and painting spot of the late city artist.

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What do you do with 1,500 washing machines? ‘You tell me’

Salesman’s sample for the wood and brass washing machine known as ‘The Queen,’ manufactured by J.H. Knoll, Reading, Pa. Image courtesy of Showtime Auction Services and Archive

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – One of my pet peeves is how we so casually use the term “unbelievable!” as the catch-all for such amazing accomplishments as an NBA shooting guard draining an 18-foot fall-away jumper with a hand in the face.

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Deep origin of rare blue diamonds revealed in their flaws

Art deco natural fancy blue diamond and platinum ring, J.E. Caldwell & Co., which sold at auction for more than $1.4 million (hammer price) in 2013. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive

WASHINGTON (AP) – Blue diamonds – like the Smithsonian’s famous Hope diamond – are the rarest of all and how they formed more than a billion years ago is a bit of a mystery. Now scientists think they have a glimmer of an answer.

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Zsa Zsa and Elvis lived here and so can you, for $23.45M

The Bel Air home built by Howard Hughes and later home to Elvis Presley in the 1960s and Zsa Zsa Gabor from 1974 until her death in 2016. Image courtesy of

LOS ANGELES – It doesn’t get much better than Zsa Zsa, Elvis and a party with The Beatles — one of the most storied celebrity homes in America is for sale at $23.45 million. The Bel Air home was built in 1955 by eccentric playboy, wealthy businessman and aviator Howard Hughes — romantic friend of Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn and several more Hollywood stars. It was later Elvis Presley’s home who entertained The Beatles there in 1965. Zsa Zsa Gabor bought it in 1974 and stayed until she died in 2016. Guests who have visited the property include Queen Elizabeth, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. A house well known in the film industry, it was the location for the movies “Behind the Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and in the Oscar-winning film “Argo,” starring Ben Affleck.

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All-star recalls glory days in women’s pro baseball


Programs from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Scheerer McCulloch Auctioneers, Inc.

MILLSTADT, Ill. (AP) – Barbara Hoffmann owns a DVD copy of A League of Their Own, but has yet to watch it from start to finish.

She played two seasons for the South Bend Blue Sox of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which inspired the 1992 movie, but even at age 87 still has too much competitive vigor to relive it as a spectator.

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Texas bluebonnet season means great time for painting

Julian Onderdonk (American, 1882-1922), ‘Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets,’ oil on canvas. Price realized: $437,000 in November 2015. Heritage Auctions image

HOUSTON (AP) – A sea of yellow wildflowers recently cast a magical glow upon the flat pastureland just east of the Brazos River at Highway 290, but a dose of reality awaited on the west side of the bridge, under the “Welcome to Washington County” sign that usually draws a crowd this time of year: no hill of bluebonnets.

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