MGM Resorts unveils free Wi-Fi in public areas

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

MGM Resorts is unveiling vast Wi-Fi networks that will allow visitors at its Las Vegas casinos free wireless Internet access in public areas.

The company announced the project Tuesday, saying the system is already in effect at the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. It's expected to be installed this year in the Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur.

Company officials say basic Internet access is available to anyone who comes into public areas such as the lobby, pool area, casino and restaurants and doesn't require a password.

Hotel guests get an upgraded service, and convention attendees can upgrade to top speeds.

MGM representatives say the system will turn entire properties into hot spots and support tens of thousands of guests with multiple Internet-enabled devices.

Tube park opens at Canaan Valley, in W. Va.

Visitors to Canaan Valley Resort State Park in West Virginia have another option for sliding down its snow-covered slopes.

The new Canaan Valley Tube Park opened Friday. It has space for up to 16 lanes with a down slope of 1,200 feet. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says the tube park has a 1,000-square-foot warming station with restrooms, a fireplace, lounges, viewing area and an outside plaza with a fire ring. Boardwalk conveyers make getting back to the top of the hill an easy ride.

There are also dozens of other slopes for skiers and snowboarders.

New, too, are horse-drawn sleigh rides, which can accommodate five to eight people.

Nebraska refuge offers ice fishing, wildlife viewing

Winter is a great time to visit Nebraska's DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge just north of Omaha for ice fishing and animal viewing.

The ice-fishing season at the refuge about 30 miles north of Omaha near the Iowa border runs through the end of February. But individual fishermen have to determine whether the ice on DeSoto Lake is safe.

For people who don't like to fish, the refuge offers a great place to watch wildlife. And the visitors center has gallery windows to watch eagles, ducks and geese on the pond.

Anyone visiting the DeSoto refuge or the nearby Boyer Chute refuge must have an entrance permit. Those cost $3 for private vehicles.

Battery-powered toothbrush prompts airport scare

The tick-tick-ticking sound of a bag alarmed employees in Atlanta at the world's busiest airport, but it turned out to be nothing more than a passenger's toothbrush.

The battery-powered toothbrush was responsible for the sound that gave rise to fears of a bomb at Atlanta's airport last week. It led police to cordon off a section of the north terminal while a bomb squad responded.

Airport spokeswoman Myrna White says AirTran employees heard the ticking sound after the bag was dropped off shortly before 7:30 a.m. at the airline's kiosk, near the curbs where cars and buses pull up to the north terminal. White said some travelers were diverted to the south terminal and normal operations in the area resumed by 8:10 a.m.

- Wire reports

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