Dozens wed, renew vows at ski area

GEORGETOWN - There was a ski helmet with sequins and a veil, plus suit jackets worn over snow vests.

Loveland Ski Area's Valentine's Day mountaintop wedding ceremony drew even more couples than last year to exchange and renew vows as snow fell Thursday.

The ski area said 88 couples showed up to ride a lift to 12,050 feet for the mass ceremony before skiing or snowboarding down the slope. Some wore formalwear over their snow gear. A tutu, a wig and a fairy costume also were spotted.

Last year, about 60 couples wed or renewed their vows at the annual ceremony.

Couples who preregistered for this year's event got 2-for-1 lift tickets and admission to a post-wedding reception with wedding cake and drinks.


2 named finalists in chip-flavor contest

MILWAUKEE - Two Wisconsin natives are competing for a $1 million prize for Frito-Lay's new potato chip flavor.

Karen Weber-Mendham of Land o' Lakes came up with cheesy garlic bread. She was inspired by her kids' love of garlic bread whenever the family goes to an Italian restaurant.

Also in the running is Brookfield native Christina Abu-Judom, who now lives in Phoenix. She chose chicken and waffles as her flavor because her 13-year-old nephew loves them.

Weber-Mendham and Abu-Judom are among three finalists out of 3.8 million entrants in the Frito-Lay "Do Us a Flavor" contest.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the winner will be chosen by voters on Facebook or Twitter or by text. Voting ends May 4.


Senate approves same-sex marriage

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois took a major step toward giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry Thursday, as the Democratic-led state Senate handed advocates an early win after a fervent debate over sex and morals.

Now the high-profile social issue moves to a House divided on whether people of the same sex should be allowed to marry- a question of equality for supporters and a matter of biblical proportions for opponents.

Illinois would become the 10th state to approve gay marriage if the bill makes it to the desk of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he would sign it. The push for same-sex marriage is unfolding rapidly in Illinois, where the first civil-union certificates were issued less than two years ago.

6 prisons to set up temporary housing

SPRINGFIELD - A prison watchdog said the need for inmate space in Illinois is "trumping security" as officials announced they plan to set up temporary bed space in a half-dozen mostly medium-security prisons.

The change was announced Thursday in a letter from the Department of Corrections to the main employee union.

John Maki of the prison observer John Howard Association says the six prisons targeted - in Centralia, Danville, Hillsboro, Canton, Vienna and Vandalia - are among the state's most crowded.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said the planned closure of the Dwight prison is forcing the move.


Man charged in threat posted on Facebook

WILMINGTON - A man was indicted Thursday on charges of threatening a witness at his brother's trial through Facebook, federal prosecutors said.

Thirty-five-year-old John Boney of New Castle was indicted on charges of witness tampering and interstate transportation of threats.

According to the indictment, Boney sent a message to the witness's brother on Facebook threatening the witness at 39-year-old William Boney's attempted-murder trial last month.

After authorities learned of the threat, federal agents arrested John Boney in the Wilmington federal building, where William Boney's trial was being held.

William Boney was convicted of attempted murder soliciting another person to retaliate against an informant on Jan. 29.

Wire reports