News from around our 50 states

A rendering imagines the Atari Hotel planned for Phoenix.

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Alabama

Opelika: The city is developing a new a system of pedestrian and bicycle paths. The Opelika City Council recently voted to hire a Birmingham firm to develop a master plan for the path system, The Opelika-Auburn News reports. The aim is to create a network of paths that get people where they want to go, City Planning Director Matt Mosley said. Sain Associates will be paid $150,000 by the city, which will recoup 80% of that cost through a state transportation grant, the newspaper reports. By using a map of the city, the firm will be able to identify potential paths, while also taking into account other infrastructure plans the city may have in mind for those areas, City Engineer Scott Parker said. The project is separate from the Creekline Trails multipurpose path plan, Parker said.

Alaska

Bethel: Two animal groups plan to help a small village clear out all its stray dogs, officials said. Bethel Friends of Canines and Alaskan Animal Rescue Friends hope to catch and remove the wandering animals from Tuntutuliak on Friday, Alaska’s Energy Desk reports. After volunteers vaccinate the dogs, some will be given to homes in Bethel, while most will be transported to animal rescues in Anchorage, officials said. Tuntutuliak residents should keep their pets inside during the sweep so they are not mistaken for strays, coordinator Jesslyn Elliott said. The organizations said the village’s traditional council contacted them with a request to help remove the dogs. Ravn Air Group, Grant Aviation Inc. and Northern Air Cargo LLC are expected to transport dog kennels to the area and donate space to fly the dogs to Anchorage, while a website has been set up to help collect funding for the effort.

Arizona

A rendering imagines the Atari Hotel planned for Phoenix.

Phoenix: Atari is bringing its virtual experience to life with video game-themed hotels, and the first location will be in the Valley of the Sun. The first Atari Hotel is slated to break ground this year. The gaming pioneer, known for classic arcade games such as Asteroids and Pong as well as the Atari 2600 console, plans to build in downtown Phoenix, says Shelly Murphy of GSD Group. Phoenix is ideal because it’s close to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco, and it’s where the hotels’ developers, GSD Group and Truth North Studio, are located, Murphy says. Fans of gaming can sign up online to become Atari Hotel members and get discounts on hotel stays, apparel and events. The site will host national esports competitions and local tournaments and offer spaces for private parties. Local visitors won’t need to have a hotel reservation to play games there, Murphy says.

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