WASHINGTON (AP) — A much-awaited economic boom coming off the pandemic recession appeared to edge closer to reality Thursday with fresh data showing the pace of layoffs dwindling, consumers spending freely and manufacturing rebounding.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — After over three years living in a Salt Lake City church to avoid being deported, Honduran immigrant Vicky Chavez stepped outside Thursday with tears in her eyes as church congregants and friends cheered, celebrating her newfound freedom.

Virtual concert to broadcast from Pocatello

Question: I recently purchased begonia, lily, dahlia and gladiolus bulbs. Which can I plant outside now, and which should I wait to plant?

A glazed ham is an easy way to prepare a celebratory dinner — or any dinner, for that matter. It's also a gift that keeps on giving, yielding a generous portion of meat that can be shared and repurposed in sandwiches, eggs, hash, soups and salads.

CLEMSON, S.C. — On the sloping side of a cemetery on the campus of Clemson University, dozens of small white flags with pink ribbons have replaced the beer cans that once littered a hill where football fans held tailgate parties outside Memorial Stadium.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — After enduring 40-knot winds and freezing sea spray, jostled health care providers arrived wet and cold on two Maine islands in the North Atlantic late last month to conduct coronavirus vaccinations.

I.F. Symphony to present ‘Heavenly Visions’ concert

The name of this dessert is potentially misleading. It's not exactly a cake, nor is it a bowl of fluffy mousse. But imagine the two concepts combined in a sublime chocolate confection that literally melts in your mouth. It's flourless, too, which is wonderful for gluten-free diets, Passover,…

PHOENIX (AP) — America is starting to claw its way out of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but food insecurity persists, especially for children and older adults.

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A handful of coins unearthed from a pick-your-own-fruit orchard in rural Rhode Island and other random corners of New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases.

PHOENIX (AP) — The helmet-wearing Idaho man photographed dangling by one hand from the Senate’s balcony during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol turned himself in six days later. While buckled in the vehicle delivering him to the Boise jail, Josiah Colt made a video apologizing and express…

‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ to be performed at Colonial

Question: My lawn is not turning green as soon as it did last year. What kind of fertilizer would be best to get my lawn green? Is now a good time to fertilize my trees and shrubs? What kind of fertilizer should I use?

Spring is right around the corner, and while the weather might not look like it's received the memo in some areas, this recipe is a bit of spring inspiration that will surely lighten up your dinner plate no matter where you sit. It's a fresh and lovely pasta dish, bright with citrus and brim…

GENEVA (AP) — A team of international and Chinese scientists is poised to report on its joint search for the origins of the coronavirus that sparked a pandemic after it was first detected in China over a year ago — with four theories being considered, and one the clear frontrunner, according…

HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — Elmer Maldonado spent a week in immigration custody with his 1-year-old son after crossing the Rio Grande through Texas to request asylum. One night, the Honduran father and son slept on the dirt under a bridge shivering from the cold temperatures at an intake site wh…

The U.S. must seriously consider the idea of tinkering with the atmosphere to cool a warming Earth and accelerate research into how and whether humanity should hack the planet, the National Academy of Sciences said Thursday.

Here is something for your winter dinner rotation: chunky vegetables and slow-cooked beef swimming in a stock of beef and beer. This hearty no-nonsense beef stew is a must-have for a dreary winter night. And, while this stew is indeed simple and humble in ingredients, there are a couple of i…

Question: I plan to plant more perennial flowers this spring so I don’t have to replant every year. Could you share with us some of your favorite perennial flowers? How do they bloom in comparison to annuals?

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The coughing among the western lowland gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January was the first warning sign. Soon the fears were confirmed: A troop of gorillas became the first apes known to test positive for the coronavirus.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. government has stopped taking immigrant teenagers to a converted camp for oil field workers in West Texas as it faces questions about the safety of emergency sites it is quickly setting up to hold children crossing the southern border.

Tylor and the Train Robbers to perform in I.F.

How do you define comfort food? For me, it's a meal or dish that is easy to make and undemanding, yet deeply flavorful and homey, as though it has been tended to for hours to reap delicious results. Sheet pan recipes often fall into this category.

Question: When I asked my neighbor why her plants grow better than mine, she said it is because she has improved her soil. Can you give me suggestions how I can improve my soil?

MIAMI (AP) — Doramise Moreau toils long past midnight in her tiny kitchen every Friday — boiling lemon peels, crushing fragrant garlic and onion into a spice blend she rubs onto chicken and turkey, cooking the dried beans that accompany the yellow rice she’ll deliver to a Miami church.

Author Jeff Wheeler has more than a thing or two to say when it comes to fantasy fiction. In fact, the prolific Wheeler has written more than 30 epic novels, has sold millions of copies of said novels and even has wound up on some pretty prestigious bestseller lists. We’re looking at you, Wa…

I.F. Symphony presents virtual piano recital

Question: I have a problem with the annoying flying gnat-type insects that are on my indoor plants. I have tried several things, some of which have been temporarily helpful, but they are back in a few days. Is there a way to get rid of them forever?

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jean Andrade, an 88-year-old who lives alone, has been waiting for her COVID-19 vaccine since she became eligible under state guidelines nearly a month ago. She assumed her caseworker would contact her about getting one, especially after she spent nearly two days stuck …

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — With Democrats controlling the presidency and Congress, Republican state lawmakers concerned about the possibility of new federal gun control laws aren’t waiting to react.

Christian country singer scheduled to perform Sunday

Even this deep into winter, I still crave the flavors coaxed from winter vegetables. Root vegetables, such as turnips and parsnips, easily transform into roasted sides, soups and mashes. Potatoes offer exquisite comfort in any form. Cabbage, one of the world’s most versatile vegetables, sing…

Question: I have noticed that individuals working from home in news broadcasts seem to almost always have live plants and flowers in the background. Is this just because of the pandemic, or are people using plants more in home and office situations?

MEXICO CITY — The number of monarch butterflies that showed up at their winter resting grounds in central Mexico decreased by about 26% this year, and four times as many trees were lost to illegal logging, drought and other causes, making 2020 a bad year for the butterflies.

ATLANTA (AP) — With her children struggling in many classes last spring, Kelli Rivera became so frustrated with how her suburban Atlanta district was handling the coronavirus pandemic that she withdrew them to home-school them. They’re back in public school and mostly attending class in pers…