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Tom Vilsack  Secretary U.S. Department Agriculture addresses crowd during dedicatiChimney Rock National Monument Friday Sept. 21 2012 PagosSprings Colo.

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture addresses the crowd during the dedication of Chimney Rock National Monument, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Pagosa Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/The Durango Herald, Shaun Stanley)

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Updated: November 1, 2012 6:23AM

JFK airport plan targets services for traveling pets

John F. Kennedy International Airport is going to the dogs. And cats. And probably birds and horses. A new $32 million facility that will provide kenneling, grooming and other services for about 70,000 domestic and wild animals a year is going to be built at the airport. ARK Development LLC will use Building 78 at JFK, which is currently empty, as well as 14.4 acres of the grounds for the project. It will have kenneling and grooming services for dogs and cats, as well as a quarantine area for horses, an aviary, lawn space, a veterinary hospital and rehabilitation center. Officials said the project would create 190 jobs, and create $50.5 million in economic activity during a 20-year lease period.

Tour wineries in Michigan

The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association in northern Michigan beckons travelers to take part in their annual holiday “Toast the Season” winery tour weekends. Choose your dates, Nov. 3-4 or 10-11, for a self-guided tour of 18 member wineries. Participants may visit member wineries each day in any order desired, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. At your starting winery you’re given a commemorative glass, an LPVA holiday ornament and a holiday gift bag featuring local treats. The tour features a wine pour paired with a gourmet food item at each winery. Also along the trail: artisan craft shops and galleries. For tickets, $50-$75, visit Hotel packages are also available.

New national monument

A dramatic rock formation in southwestern Colorado that was home to ancestors of the Pueblo Indians 1,000 years ago now has protection as a national monument — a potential boost for tourism in a state key to the presidential election. President Barack Obama recently signed a proclamation creating Chimney Rock National Monument, preserving nearly 5,000 acres of high desert around the spires that hold spiritual significance for tribes. (Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress had worked for years to create the monument in the San Juan National Forest west of Pagosa Springs.) Ancestral Pueblo farmers in the Chimney Rock region built more than 200 homes and ceremonial buildings high above the valley floor to be near the sacred twin rock pinnacles. They inhabited the region for more than 1,000 years but had left by 1300. Their disappearance is still a mystery. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

Big ‘wheel’ for New York

The Big Apple is getting another “biggest”: the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, part of an ambitious plan to draw New Yorkers and tourists alike to the city’s so-called “forgotten borough.” The 625-foot-tall, $230 million New York Wheel is to grace a spot in Staten Island overlooking the Statue of Liberty and the downtown Manhattan skyline, offering a singular view as it sweeps higher than other big wheels like the Singapore Flyer, the London Eye, and a “High Roller” planned for Las Vegas. Designed to carry 1,440 passengers at a time, it’s expected to draw 4.5 million people a year to a setting that also would include a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel. Officials hope to have the wheel turning by the end of 2015.

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