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'Bachelor' star: I'll take the heat

LOS ANGELES | ABC's "The Bachelor" says he's willing to take the heat for dumping Becca Kufrin to find true love with runner-up Lauren Burnham.

"Would I do it all again and face this scrutiny to be with her? Absolutely," Arie Luyendyk Jr. said Wednesday during a teleconference with reporters.

His decision to break up with Kufrin during Monday's season finale after he'd proposed drew headlines including the words "horror," "brutal" and "gut-wrenching."

Luyendyk defended the spectacle of ending their engagement on network TV.

"I wanted everyone to know that the breakup was on me and that I made a mistake," he said, adding that the relationship started on camera and it was appropriate to end it there.

Although she handled it graciously for the show, Kufrin unloaded afterward about having her romantic dreams publicly crushed.

"It was like a slap in the face," she told People magazine. But she defended Luyendyk, sort of, saying she didn't think he threw her over for Burnham to "maliciously to break my heart."

She got a boost from billboards reportedly put up by fans in her native state: "Becca, you'll always have a rose from Minnesota," one digital message proclaimed.

Kufrin, whose consolation prize is starring in the next season of "The Bachelorette," was to have joined in the ABC conference call but dropped out for scheduling reasons, the network said.

That left Burnham to defend her man, who'd proposed to her on Tuesday's "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" after reaching out to her behind the scenes while engaged to Kufrin.

"It did take some reassurance, but the fact he was willing to take that risk meant a lot to me," she said. She's moving from Texas to Arizona to be with Luyendyk as they plan their wedding.

Janet Lake submitted this photo of a frost-covered tree in Sundance, Wyo.

03 08 history

ON MARCH 8, 1965, the United States landed its first combat troops in South Vietnam as 3,500 Marines arrived to defend the U.S. air base at Da Nang.

In 1618, German astronomer Johannes Kepler devised his third law of planetary motion.

In 1702, England's Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III.

In 1854, U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry made his second landing in Japan; within a month, he concluded a treaty with the Japanese.

In 1917, Russia's "February Revolution" (referring to the Old Style calendar) began; the result was the abdication of the Russian monarchy in favor of a provisional government, which was overthrown later the same year by the Bolsheviks. 

In 1948, the Supreme Court, in McCollum v. Board of Education, struck down voluntary religious education classes in Champaign, Ill., public schools, saying the program violated separation of church and state.

In 1979, technology firm Philips demonstrated a prototype compact disc player during a press conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

In 1983, in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Orlando, Fla., President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire."

In 1988, 17 soldiers were killed when two Army helicopters from Fort Campbell, Ky., collided in mid-flight.

In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, vanished during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, setting off a massive search. (To date, the fate of the jetliner and its occupants has yet to be determined.)

Two Cents comments for March 8

Not sure why it is necessary to debate SB 214, the bill giving legislators a raise. It was a foregone conclusion once the bill was submitted that they would vote to give themselves an obscene raise.

People shop downtown and cry if there’s no parking in front of a store, and people are crying because they will have to walk to see a show at the civic center. If you’ve ever been to an event besides here, you have to walk.

Instead of walking out how about parents encourage students to sit with someone they don't know at lunch and talk to them.

I hope little children are allowed to decide for themselves whether or not they want to shoot rabbits, squirrels and fawns, as this new law allows, for fun. Perhaps they should be required to watch "Bambi” first.

The white lines on the streets are hardly visible because they have worn off with snow, etc. Next time the lines need to be painted yellow — at least parts would be easier to see.

I'm just wondering who will pay the legal bills if a teacher's gun discharges and kills an innocent student? Will the local school board finance a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or just cut the teacher loose? 

Hops and hopes: Female brewers toast Women's Day

Female brewers worldwide are raising a stein to International Women's Day.

Thousands of women in the beer business and female homebrewers are brewing together around the event, which is today, seeing it as a way to raise the profile of women in a male-dominated industry.

"There's a spot for everybody in brewing and especially in learning about brewing," said Emily Engdahl, executive director of the Pink Boots Society, a U.S. nonprofit that supports women in the brewing industry. "It's important we all help each other."

British brewer Sophie de Ronde began encouraging women to brew together on March 8 five years ago to promote female brewers and beer drinkers, and to draw others in.

It has grown globally, with about 160 breweries, homebrew clubs and other beer lovers in 12 countries hosting a free International Women's Collaboration Brew Day this year. The theme is exotic ingredients. They call their beer "Unite ."

The Pink Boots Society used to collaborate with de Ronde but now runs its own event to raise money for educational scholarships for its members and to comply with rules for nonprofits. More than 200 breweries are participating in the society's collaboration brew day, which is up from 115 last year.

Seeing the number of women getting involved is heartwarming, said de Ronde, head brewer at Burnt Mill Brewery in Suffolk, England.

"Having the unity of people brewing on the same day is wonderful," she said. "But having people get involved, no matter what the day is, is what the whole event is about, really."

The women's day brewing events are complementary, Engdahl said.

"It's a natural way for us to get together, share ideas and have a creative collaboration," she said. "And who doesn't want to make a beer that tastes great?"

Black Pond Brews in Danielson, Connecticut, hosted homebrewers and beer enthusiasts on Sunday for a Pink Boots event.

The industry benefits from bringing in more people with different ideas, said co-owner Mike Teed.

"It's dominated by white men. There's no question about it," he said. "Any way we can encourage any and all diversity, it's going to be better for all of us."

Studies in recent years have found that women hold about a quarter of brewery jobs in the United States.

About 20 people attended the Connecticut event. Shannon Jutras, president of the Quiet Corner Homebrew Club, said she is encouraging more women to brew as a hobby, which could eventually lead to more women seeking jobs in the industry and shattering the stereotype that it's a manual job for men only.

"To have a room full of women, all eager and interested, who were developing a little bit of confidence to maybe try this independently, was not just exciting for me, it was a little emotional," she said. "It was the first time we've gotten that many women in the room."

Most of the breweries working with Pink Boots are in the United States, with 40 events in California alone and about 25 more in Massachusetts. There are participants in nine other countries, with the most in Canada and Brazil.

They're using a blend of hops created for the brew day to make various beer styles. Both women and men, Pink Boots members and nonmembers, can brew for the day. Many events take place today.