Texas tops state fair attendance
Which are the largest state fairs in the United States, in terms of attendance?
We'll go with raw attendance figures here, even though the state fairs vary in length. The numbers are from 2010, courtesy of carnival warehouse.com, which tracks the largest 50 fairs of all kinds in North America:
1. Texas State Fair, 2,618,500 in 24 days
2. Minnesota State Fair, 1,776,211 in 12 days (so, No. 1 in average daily attendance)
3. Oklahoma State Fair, 1,100,000, 11 days
4. North Carolina State Fair, 1,091,887, 11 days
5. Arizona State Fair, 1,041,329, 24 days
6. New York State, 999,845, 12 days
7. Iowa State Fair, 967,381, 11 days
8. Indiana State Fair, 952,020, 17 days
9. Wisconsin State Fair, 876,020, 11 days
10. Ohio State Fair, 812,237, 12 days
The 2010 Florida State Fair, with an attendance of 354,000, didn't make the list. But in 2009 it was 18th among states with 466,733, and the 2011 version, which ended Feb. 21, drew 486,000, according to officials.
The biggest fair in the west-central Florida area is the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, which organizers say pulled in about 550,000 people in 2010. It started Thursday and ends March 13.
Few ills for kidney donor
I was very moved to read about the Wake Forest baseball coach donating a kidney to a player. What adjustments will coach Tom Walter need to make to his lifestyle, and are there any long-term complications in having only one kidney?
Once back to normal activity, there are minimal long-term risks for the donor, Dr. Bryan Becker, immediate past president of the National Kidney Foundation, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Most donor risks are associated with the surgical procedure, he said.
"There is a small chance that after 10 years or more, the donor might have increased (blood pressure) that needs treatment or an abnormal amount of protein in the urine that needs monitoring," Becker wrote. He said it is very likely that kidney function could be slightly decreased compared with individuals of the same age.
Convictions in bomb death
Has the mysterious case of the (Erie, Pa.) pizza deliveryman Brian Wells, who had a bomb strapped around him, ever been solved? The bomb killed him.
Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, 61, was convicted in November for plotting to kill Wells and sentenced to life in prison. Kenneth Barnes, 57, is serving 45 years in prison for pleading guilty in 2008 to his role. Of the others involved, one died of cancer and another was killed by Diehl-Armstrong, prosecutors said.
Wells was forced to rob a bank wearing a metal bomb collar that exploded shortly after the heist on Aug. 28, 2003, the Associated Press reported.