Dog food delivered to Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Hundreds of dogs living in largely Alaska Native villages in southwest Alaska won’t go hungry this spring after more than 8,000 pounds of dog food were delivered, a humanitarian effort coordinated by two of the nation’s largest animal welfare groups in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 242, 30-pound bags arrived in Bethel, a southwest Alaska hub community, late Thursday on a cargo plane from Seattle. The single employee of the Bethel Friends of Canines worked Friday to break the pallets apart and ferry the bags back to their building. There, the food will be stored for eventual distribution to those in need, including dog owners from about 35 communities dotting southwest Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. “Well, it’s definitely needed, and I think we are just very aware that the supply chain might be damaged in the near future,” said Theresa Quiner, the Bethel shelter’s vice president. “So it’s really comforting to know that we have this stash of dog food now in case people aren’t able to get dog food.” The dog food drop from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States was necessary in roadless western Alaska because travel restrictions and dwindling supplies is making delivery of dog food to the region difficult during the coronavirus pandemic.
Zion latest national park to close
SALT LAKE CITY — The red rock vistas at Zion National Park were closed to the public Friday as the Utah site became the latest national park to lock its gates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Local leaders had called for the closure, and Gov. Gary Herbert said he consulted with the Interior Department to make the decision. “Those in the park have the rest of day to gather their belongings and leave,” Herbert said. “The next two weeks are very critical, so we’re taking a more aggressive stance.” The park had already closed its shuttle, campgrounds and part of a popular hiking trail to discourage crowds. But the mayor of the gateway community of Springdale and others called for complete closure. Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a statement that visitors kept coming from all over the country at numbers that made it difficult to maintain social distancing. Two roads that go through the park will remain open for local residents only with stopping at pull-offs prohibited, he said.
Hobby Lobby closes stores
OKLAHOMA CITY — The threat of the coronavirus pandemic has forced Hobby Lobby to close its stores until further notice, the arts and craft retail chain announced Friday. The Oklahoma City-based company said in a statement that it was furloughing all of its store employees and many of its corporate and distribution workers. Hobby Lobby officials initially resisted efforts to close their stores, saying the sale of fabric was essential. A team enforcing a shelter-in-place order in Denver, Colorado, issued citations to Hobby Lobby stores. On Thursday, deputies in Dallas County, Texas, served Hobby Lobby with a cease-and-desist order warning to would otherwise be found in violation of the county’s order closing all nonessential businesses.
Marvel remakes its calendar
NEW YORK — The Walt Disney Co. on Friday overhauled its release schedule by moving the dates of half a dozen Marvel movies, announcing a new one for the live-action adaption of “Mulan” and pushing the fifth “Indiana Jones” film another year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Black Widow,” the Marvel entry starring Scarlett Johansson, had been set to kick off the summer movie season. Instead, Disney said it will now open Nov. 6. Such delays have unique ramifications for Marvel movies because of their interconnection. With “Black Widow” on the move, that meant a domino effect, pushing all upcoming Marvel releases back about three months. “Black Widow” took the release date of “The Eternals,” which now moves to February 21 next year. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” departs that February date for May 7, 2021. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” shifts from May next year to Nov. 5, 2021. And “Thor: Love and Thunder” is pushed three months, to Feb. 18, 2022. Disney isn’t abandoning the summer completely. “Mulan,” which been scheduled for March and already had its red carpet premiere, will now open July 24. That release date, of course, is subject to movie theaters being reopened by then and the pandemic subsiding.
LOS ANGELES — Selena Gomez opened up about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder during a social media chat with Miley Cyrus. Gomez spoke about her diagnosis during a 20-minute conversation Friday on Cyrus’ “Bright Minded” series on Instagram. The singer says she “realized that I was bipolar” after she recently visited a mental hospital. The 27-year-old Gomez said understanding her disorder more “took the fear away.” “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me,” she said. “It doesn’t scare me once I know it.” Gomez revealed in 2017 that she underwent kidney transplant due t “I’ve seen some of it even in my own family, where I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I’m from Texas. It’s just not known to talk about mental health,” she said.