By Carlo Klemm
Capitol Christmas Tree to Tour Northwest Montana
September 16, 2017
By Patrick Reilly - Daily Inter Lake
Excerpt: - As lawmakers, dignitaries, journalists and tourists make their way to the U.S. Capitol this December, they’ll all pass a tree from Kootenai National Forest.
The forest has been chosen to provide this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree. On Friday, the Forest Service announced dates and locations for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour.
Since 1970, the “People’s Tree” has been plucked from national forests and other protected areas around the country. Kootenai has had this honor once before, sending an Engelmann Spruce to the nation’s capital in 1989. The only other Montana forest to provide the tree has been Bitterroot, which sent a sub alpine fir in 2008.
This year’s not-yet-selected evergreen will be cut Nov. 8. Kootenai National Forest, with support from nonprofit Choose Outdoors and various state and national corporations, will then send it on a 3,000-mile cross-country journey.
By Carlo Klemm
'Holiday Express' train coming to 3 Arkansas towns before Christmas
September 15, 2017
by Brandon Riddle - Arkansas Online
Excerpt - Santa Claus is coming to three Arkansas towns around Christmastime aboard the festively adorned Holiday Express as part of a multi-state route.
The route includes a stop Dec. 6 in Ashdown at Main Street and U.S. 71, another Dec. 7 in Mena at 524 Sherwood Ave. and a final Arkansas visit Dec. 10 in Siloam Springs on Jefferson Street. The stops are set for 4 p.m. each day.
The six-car train affiliated with Kansas City Southern allows guests of all ages to board three cars that are filled with holiday displays, according to a statement Wednesday.
The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express was created in 2001 when volunteers transformed a retired freight train into the Christmastime spectacle for use in the company’s service territory.
Twenty-two communities in six states are part of this year’s schedule.
Over its 16-year tenure, the project has raised more than $1 million for gift cards that are then donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop.
By Carlo Klemm
U.S. Christmas Carols set of four to be issued Oct. 5 at ASDA show in New York City
September 14, 2017
By Michael Baadke - Linn's Stamp NBews
Excerpt:- The United States Postal Service will issue a four-stamp set celebrating popular Christmas carols on the opening day of the American Stamp Dealer Association’s Fall Postage Stamp Show in New York City.
The nondenominated (49¢) forever stamps each depict a scene and a phrase evoking one of four Christmas songs: Deck the Halls, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.
The issue date is the first day of the ASDA Fall Postage Stamp Show, taking place at the hotel Oct. 5-7. Admission to the show and the Thursday first-day ceremony is free.
Among those participating in the ceremony will be USPS director of Stamp Services Mary-Anne Penner, USPS brand marketing executive director Christopher Karpenko, and American Philatelist editor Jay Bigalke, who is leaving the American Philatelic Society staff in October to begin work as Linn’s Stamp News editor-in-chief.
The four stamps in the new set feature original artwork by Steve McCracken, whose previous stamp projects include the 1993 Circus set of four 29¢ stamps (Scott 2750-2753), the 44¢ Snowboarder stamp for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (4436), and the 34¢ Community Colleges stamped envelope issued in 2001 (U648).