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AAA is opening another electric car charging station in the Tristate.  The new one is on Orphanage Road in Fort Wright.  Spokesperson Cheryl Parker says AAA members and non-members alike can charge up their vehicles, free of charge.

“We want to provide a service to a growing motor vehicle population,” she says.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati's Hilton Hotel has earned AAA's highest award. It's now Ohio's only five diamond restaurant.

Executive Chef Todd Kelly says he was determined to do all he could to earn the lofty designation.

"Every chef, as they're growing up, dreams of awards and accolades like this," says Kelly.

To earn the rating, Kelly says he and the staff had to make some changes to their menu and how they operate.

Plan ahead if you plan to travel over Christmas. AAA says the roads will be extra busy this year, especially Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Cheryl Parker says 3.8 million Ohioans plan to travel 50 miles or more, up 5 percent from last year.

"The increase marks the highest travel volume ever recorded for the region," says Parker.

She says low gas prices are likely driving the higher travel numbers. Nationaly, she says, we've seen 88 consecutive days of falling prices.
 

Snow can turn the world into a winter wonderland, which is great if you don’'t have to drive in it. But even though we all know its coming - it happens every year about this time - so many Cincinnati drivers seem completely unprepared for driving in snow or icy conditions. Here to share tips on how to survive the drive this winter and give us some information on holiday road travel is AAA Allied Group Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Jim Hanni.

Michael Keating

If you're packed and ready to take a trip for the Fourth of July, you'll be in good company.  AAA projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home for the holiday weekend.  AAA Corporate Public Affairs Manager Cheryl Parker says that's a 1.9 percent increase from last year and a 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day travel period.

"The majority of travelers, as we've see in in the past, will be traveling by road--8 out of 10-- 34.8  million Americans traveling by automobile," says Parker.  "This is the highest number of travelers since 2007."

If you're traveling for Memorial Day, you'll have a lot of company on the roads and in the air.  AAA is estimating more than 1.34 million Ohioans plan to travel this weekend, a 0.6 percent increase from last year.  The figure is 36.1 million across the country, a 1.5 percent increase and the highest number since the recession. Cheryl Parker with AAA in Cincinnati chalks it up to cabin fever.

Lots of people will be hitting the roads or heading to the airports this Thanksgiving, but not quite as many as last year.  AAA is forecasting more than 43 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday.  That's a 1.5 percent drop from last year.  In Ohio, 1.6 million will be traveling, down 1.7 percent. 

Why the decrease in travel?  AAA spokeswoman Cheryl Parker says while the economy has been improving  it's still sluggish.

If you're going out of town for the Labor Day weekend, you'll have lots of company.  AAA is projecting  34.1 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home, a 4.2 percent increase from last year. Nearly 1.4 million Ohioans will also be traveling, up 3.3 percent. 

"This is the highest number that we've seen for Labor Day travel since the decline during the recession," said Cheryl Parker, AAA Corporate Public Affairs Manager.  "It appears the improving economy is helping to get more people feeling more comfortable about taking a road trip for this holiday weekend."

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

With kids starting to head back to school, AAA, local school officials and police are launching the School's Open - Drive Carefully campaign.  The kickoff was held Thursday at Mariemont Elementary School.  District superintendent Steven Estepp said this back-to-school time of year presents a great opportunity to remind people to be mindful and vigilant while driving near school buildings.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

After a slow start, summer in Southwest Ohio is starting to feel more normal... and by normal we mean HOT.

Heat advisories and watches are in effect for Wednesday and Thursday.

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