Moving a Monument

Article excerpt

NEW CONCORD, Ohio (AP) -- The house where John Glenn built model airplanes as a boy was hauled on a flatbed truck through town to its new location on Main Street, where it will be turned into a museum. Glenn, the former astronaut and senator, and about 500 others watched Monday as the two-story, white frame house his father built in the 1920s traveled through the tree-lined streets of this city about 70 miles east of Columbus. "You have a lot of emotion, when you see the house you grew up in coming down the road," said Glenn, 79.

The crowd included many students from who left classes to see the hometown hero. "He's just cool, I think," said Becca Ratliffe, 10, who stood huddled against the wind with her mother waiting for Glenn to arrive.

The nine-room house, which Glenn donated to Muskingum College in 1999, will be restored to the way it looked during Glenn's boyhood in the 1930s. The house was moved about a half mile from Friendship Drive -- named after Glenn orbited Earth in the capsule Friendship 7. A space exploration complex will eventually be built next to the house.

Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on Feb. 20, 1962. In 1998, at age 77, he returned to space on shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest space traveler in history. Later that year, the Democrat retired from the U.S. Senate after representing Ohio for 24 years. Born in nearby Cambridge in 1921, Glenn moved two years later to New Concord, where he would show a fascination with science. "I was interested in building model airplanes back in those days. This is when you used to cut them out yourself -- you didn't glue plastic pieces together. I had half a dozen of those always hanging from the ceiling of my room," Glenn said.

Glenn returned to this city of about 2,100 for many of the milestones in his career, including to announce his campaigns for the Senate and his unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1984.

Spurring tourism with a spa

ASHEVILLE N.C. (AP) -- A $40 million, 40,000-square-foot spa at the Grove Park Inn and a new hotel on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate are expected to boost tourism in western North Carolina. Grove Park Inn officials claim their spa, which opened in late February, is the best at any resort in North America. Guests will get everything from four-handed massages to facial treatments with champagne and caviar, .

Gene Brothers, an associate professor in the department of parks, recreation and tourism management at North Carolina State University, says a spa is a new twist to lure guests back to a resort or hotel. "If resort destinations don't continue to add to their product, the competition just walks away with their guests," he says.

Meanwhile, at the Biltmore Estate, guests soon won't have to walk away after a visit. They can stay. The Inn on Biltmore Estate, opening March 16 on a hill near the winery, will have 213 guest rooms and a 150-seat restaurant. Room rates will range from $189 to about $279 per night, depending on the season and other factors, said Michael Chaffin, vice president and general manager.

While the inn will have some facilities to handle "the very high end" of small business meetings, its focus is on leisure travelers. Chaffin said the inn allows an affirmative answer to a question visitors have asked for decades: "Can we stay on the Biltmore Estate?"

Those were the days

NEW YORK (AP) -- Today is the 66th day of 2001. There are 299 days left in the year. Here are some business and legal highlights from this date in history:

In 1850, in a speech to the U.S. Senate, Daniel Webster endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a means of preserving the Union.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.

In 1911, the United States sent 20,000 troops to the Mexican border as a precaution in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. …