- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- State declares test results for schools invalid (10/4/17)2
- Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody (10/12/17)
- One of Cape's oldest mom-and-pop restaurants opens in new location (10/10/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
Big Ben's bongs fall silent for repairs
LONDON -- Big Ben's bongs fell silent Saturday as workers rappelled down Parliament's iconic clock tower, beginning a month of maintenance work on the clock and its world-famous bell.
Time briefly stood still as the clock's hands were frozen shortly after 8 a.m. They then were wound to 12 o'clock as a team of specialist "industrial rope-access technicians" descended to clean the clock's four latticework faces, part of maintenance ahead of its 150th anniversary in 2009.
Although the clock soon will be ticking again, the famed bell that sounds the hour at Britain's Houses of Parliament will be silent for four to six weeks as engineers replace bearings in the clock mechanism.
This is the first time since 1956 that both Big Ben's sonorous hourly bongs and the chimes that mark each quarter-hour will be silent, robbing London of one of its most distinctive sounds.
Parliament's neo-Gothic clock tower is popularly known as Big Ben, although the name refers only to the 13.5-ton Great Bell inside.