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Ruby slippers shifting to a new exhibit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" are being removed from a Smithsonian exhibit to be conserved.

Curators say the famous shoes are old and need to be prepared for a future display at the National Museum of American History. The last day to see the slippers in their current exhibit is Wednesday. They will return to public view April 5 in a new exhibit called "American Stories."

The slippers were donated anonymously to the museum in 1979 and have been on display almost continuously since.

The 1939 movie's costume designer altered red shoes by attaching netting on their tops and heels and covering them with red sequins. Curators say they were made quickly and cheaply.

While the shoes are gone, "Oz" will be represented by the Scarecrow's hat.


Far-right radio flap spurs university policy

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Officials at an Ohio university have ordered that radios on campus shuttle buses be locked into one station and volume restricted after a student complained a driver was a playing a "far-right Christian political" channel at high volume.

The Blade newspaper reported that the policy was suggested by the University of Toledo's manager of transit services and gives drivers only an on/off option. In a memo, the manager, Steven John Wise, describes the selected station as "nonoffensive, workplace type music, helpful weather info." Radio volume also is being restricted as a safety measure.

The student made the complaint to university president Lloyd Jacobs on Jan. 26 and said the bus had become "a mobile proselytizing unit." The student said those attending a state university expect to be free from forced religious and political views.

"The content of these broadcasts is blatantly offensive, derogatory, and abusive to anyone not in line with the very extreme views of those speaking," the complaint said.


Climate trend blamed for death of cedar trees

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A U.S. Forest Service study confirmed that climate warming is the culprit in the extensive deaths of valuable yellow cedar trees in southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

The trees can live more than 1,000 years and defend themselves against bugs, disease and injury to their bark, but their shallow roots are vulnerable to freezing if snow is not around to provide insulation.

As snow patterns have shifted, yellow cedar has been hit hard. Forest Service researchers said yellow cedar have died on nearly a half-million acres in southeast Alaska and another 123,000 acres in British Columbia.

The study appeared this month in the BioScience.