40 veterans have died at Massachusetts Holyoke veterans’ home facing 2 investigations

first_imgoonal/iStock(HOLYOKE, Mass.) — The number of veterans who have died at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, during the novel coronavirus pandemic has jumped to 40, according to state officials.Of the 40 veteran residents who have died since late March, 33 tested positive for coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services on Monday. Seven of the residents who passed tested negative, according to the office.A week ago, the number of residents who had died was 25.The Soldiers’ Home, a state-run healthcare facility for veterans, is now the center of two investigations after the growing number of deaths and accusations from the staff that management did not properly protect those inside.The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are conducting a joint investigation, the agencies announced last Friday. That investigation will determine whether the facility “violated the rights of residents by failing to provide them adequate medical care generally, and during the coronavirus pandemic,” according to a statement from the agencies.Gov. Charlie Baker has also called for an independent investigation by Attorney Mark W. Pearlstein, which will focus on “the events inside the facility that led to the tragic deaths of veterans in the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, and on management and organizational oversight of the COVID-19 response.”Employees previously described to ABC News grim circumstances inside the home for both staff and residents.The employees said they were not provided masks while tests results were pending for one resident, who they said displayed coronavirus symptoms. When that test did come back positive, the employees said they were not immediately told and that the roommates of the veteran who tested positive were taken out of that room and shuffled around to other rooms, leading to overcrowding and possible further spreading.“They got moved into other bedrooms where other healthy veterans were. These veterans may be infected and now they’re infecting others,” Joe Ramirez, a certified nursing assistant who works at the facility and is among the staff who have tested positive, said in a previous interview.As of Monday, 88 residents had tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Office of Health and Human Services.There are 84 residents who tested negative and 11 residents who have pending tests, the office said.The staff have also been tested, with 78 employees testing positive and 222 testing negative.The Office of Health and Human Services said in the statement that veterans are being “moved and cohorted appropriately within the facility, and social distancing continues to be urged.”An extra four contracted staff and one nursing executive have also been onboarded to help support employees at the Soldiers’ Home.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

College students try to tackle shortage of referees

first_img WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – March 9, 2021 0 337 Pinterest Google+ Google+ Facebook By Batistaya (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons A shortage of referees is still a big problem at the high school and college levels. A first-of-its-kind competition among college students will try to help solve the issue.The IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute is hosting the challenge, which has 25 teams from 22 different schools pitch ideas to a group of judges on the topic that not very many people know about.“No one’s surprised that there are referees, but very few people, except for a handful of administrators where it really impacts their daily job, even know that this is an issue,” David Pierce, the director of the institute, told Inside Indiana Business.Pierce says having Indianapolis host the entire NCAA Tournament this year is a great learning experience for the students.“You couldn’t just roll the tournament out the same old way that we’ve rolled it out for the last 35 years,” he said. “People are having to be creative. They’re having to be quick problem solvers, they’re having to be innovative, they’re having to think outside the box.”In the competition, each team will submit a 300-word written pitch, followed by a five-minute video pitch by March 19. Judges will selected four finalists on March 26, then those finalists will make a live video pitch during the virtual NCAA NextGen Innovation Summit. Two teams will be declared winners — one chosen by the judges and one chosen by the audience. Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest IndianaLocalNews College students try to tackle shortage of referees Previous articleAG Rokita joins lawsuit against Biden environmental “overreach”Next articleFBI: Whitmer kidnap plotters attended BLM rally to protect protesters Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

The Next Great Mountain Towns

first_imgFontana Lake outside of Bryson City, N.C. Photo: Tom Branch/Bryson City CVBYou already love towns like Charlottesville, Asheville, and Fayetteville for their outdoor vibe, but the Southern Appalachians are full of lesser-known small towns that boast vibrant scenes and access to incredible adventure. Here’s a short list of candidates poised to become the South’s Next Great Mountain Town.BLUE RIDGE, GEORGIABlue Ridge (pop. 1,200) has been a tourism hotspot since the scenic railroad started operating in the mid-90s but has somehow managed to keep its small town vibe.“The town has done a good job of keeping the ‘Applebees’ out of the city limits, so people can still come here from Atlanta to spend a day in Mayberry,” says Sam Curlee, owner of Cycle South and Blue Ridge resident since 1998.While the chains have been kept at bay, outdoor lovers have been welcomed with open arms. More than 40 percent of the county surrounding Blue Ridge is occupied by the Chattahoochee National Forest, and in the last few years, a younger, more active crowd has discovered that this hamlet, an easy 90-minute drive from Atlanta, is perched at the edge of some of North Georgia’s best recreation. With the development of new businesses like a brewery and a paddleboard surf shop, you’ve got the makings of a mountain town on the rise.Play: Hikers can pick up the Benton Mackaye Trail off Highway 60 and hike three miles to the Toccoa River suspension bridge. Bring lunch and take a dip. Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters also offers guided hikes to more adventurous spots inside the Cohutta Wilderness. Cycle South owner Sam Curlee says the Aska Trails, 15 minutes outside of town, are the toughest in Georgia: “Expect steep and rough riding, but true singletrack.” You can piece massive rides together in the 20-mile trail system, but start with the Flat Creek Trail for a self-contained loop. Rent a stand up paddleboard from Surf Blue Ridge and head downriver on the Toccoa below the dam for some fun class I-II river running, or cruise the 3,000-acre Lake Blue Ridge for a more mellow vibe.Eat: For coffee and a homemade muffin, L&L Beanery (706-632-3242) downtown is a local institution. Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta (706-632-4936) has casual Italian with hefty portions, which could be just what you’re craving after a full day on the trails.Stay: The Morganton Point Recreation Area has camping on Lake Blue Ridge 15 minutes from town. The Aska Lodge B&B is only two miles outside of downtown and features a bottomless cookie jar.Events: Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race attracts the best teams from the Southeast. The ever-evolving course typically includes 46 miles of running, mountain biking, and kayaking through the Chattahoochee National Forest.Culture: Bill Oyster makes top-notch bamboo fly rods in his downtown shop and teaches classes where you build your own bamboo rod.Mingle: Head to Blue Ridge Brewery, just off Main Street, for an outstanding beer selection. Join the weekly local group rides of Aska or the Whitewater Center on the Ocoee.MARLINTON, WEST VIRGINIAThe former timber town has a picturesque main street sitting on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest just half an hour from Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and yet it’s still a sleepy burg with cheap real estate and vacant store fronts.“Marlinton is still off the radar,” says Kristy Lanier, a pro biker who opened Dirt Bean, a coffee house and bike shop in downtown seven years ago. Since then, Lanier has turned the shop into a renaissance hub, offering spin classes, yoga classes, sandwiches, coaching, and lodging just to make ends meet.But what Marlinton lacks in economics, it makes up for in potential. The town is minutes from some of the best singletrack in the state, has a 77-mile long greenway running through its city limits, and is a half-hour from some of the best downhill skiing in the East.“Marlinton doesn’t have all the amenities yet, but it has the potential to be a great mountain destination,” says Todd Kahler, a fresh transplant to Marlinton and proud owner of the town’s first legit watering hole.That potential is just now beginning to be realized. Thanks to Kahler’s new pub, you can finally get a decent beer in town; Dirt Bean is now offering shuttles for the Greenbrier River Rail Trail; and the younger minds are joining forces to create mountain bike retreat weekends that could help put Marlinton on the map.Play: Most bikers hop on the flat and beautiful Greenbrier River Trail. Get dropped off in Cass and pedal 25 miles back into Marlinton. For technical singletrack, head to the Gauley Mountain Network off the Scenic Highway. Tea Creek Mountain and Bear Pen are classic Monongahela singletrack with hairy descents. For more cross country style biking with bigger climbs and smoother, faster descents, check out the Laurel Run Trail, 12 miles outside of town toward Virginia. In the winter, head up Route 219 to Snowshoe for primo downhill. If there’s enough fresh powder, ski right out of town on the Greenbrier River Trail.Stay: For hostel-style lodging, take up residence at the Dirt Bean’s adjacent hotel. For higher-end digs with an in-house masseuse, check out the Locust Hill B&B. If you’re looking to camp gratis, Stillwell Park has riverside camping and showers just a mile outside of town along the rail trail.Eat: For healthy sandwiches and wraps, Dirt Bean is your go-to café. Also stock up on their homemade Super Cookies. They’re like energy bars, except tasty. If you’re in the mood for classic meat and three, the Greenbrier Grille is the ticket.Events: The Greenbrier River Race kick starts the cycling season the last weekend of April. Teams and solo competitors begin in Marlinton and run, canoe, and bike the length of the Greenbrier to White Sulphur Springs.Culture: Marlinton’s historic Pocahontas Opera House hosts regionally produced dramas and jazz orchestras.Mingle: The new River Pub has a solid micro brew selection, good pub food, and the occasional open mic pickers night. “I’m a mountain biker, canoeist, skier. So I created a pub that people like me would like,” says owner Todd Kahler.LURAY, VIRGINIAIf you know Luray, Virginia for anything, you probably know it for the show caverns located on the edge of the city limits. The underground labyrinth is impressive, even if you like your caves a little less “showy,” but we like the town of Luray for what it’s got going above the surface, not beneath. Luray is bordered by Shenandoah National Park on one side and the George Washington National Forest (G.W.) on the other. As if that’s not enough, the Shenandoah River runs through the middle of those two public swaths of land, just a few miles outside of town. Luray’s natural attributes lured Gary Drum to town several years ago to open Appalachian Outdoor Outfitters.“The location couldn’t be better,” Drum says. “You’re 15 minutes from trail systems inside the G.W., and 15 minutes from the A.T., Skyline Drive, and the trails within the park.”In a town of less than 5,000 people, the city has 300 acres of parks. The most impressive is the Luray Hawksbill Greenway, a two-mile path that has connected the community and led to the creation of several pocket parks throughout town.Play: Shenandoah River Outfitters has been sending boaters down the South Fork Shenandoah for 41 years. A scenic, class II, 11-mile canoe trip starting at Bealer’s Ferry is a must. You can pick up the A.T. inside Shenandoah National Park at Thornton Gap eight miles east of town. Head south on the A.T. for less than a mile for a side trip to Mary’s Rock, with stellar views. For more rugged hiking or trail running, head west to Massanutten Mountain, an extensive trail system within the George Washington National Forest known for its rugged and remote character. Start at Camp Roosevelt off Route 675 and tackle a nine-mile loop of Stephens Trail and Massanutten Trail that includes 365-degree views from a lookout tower on Kennedy Peak. Mountain bikers should head north to Shenandoah River State Park, which has a 23-mile trail system, much of which is open to bikers.Stay: Outlanders River Camp has tent sites on the banks of the Shenandoah River. Luray has recently been dubbed Cabin Capital of Virginia.Eat: Gathering Grounds has excellent coffee, pastries, and quiche for breakfast. The West Main Market is the go-to spot for hand-crafted deli sandwiches. For comfort food in a swanky setting, you can’t beat the Speakeasy at the Mimslyn Inn.Events: In 2010, the bike shop produced the inaugural Luray Crit and Luray Caverns Cross, and in May, the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run draws ultra runners from all over the region.Culture: Local artists have painted a dozen murals on buildings along the Hawksbill Greenway, most of which pay tribute to Luray’s agricultural roots. See that culture thrive at the Luray Farmers Market at the train depot on Saturdays.Mingle: Group road rides start at 7:30 on Saturday mornings at Ruffner Plaza downtown.SPRUCE PINE, NORTH CAROLINAThe former mining town of 2,000, tucked deep into the Western North Carolina mountains, is most famous for its minerals—as well as its outdoor opportunities. Anglers flock to Spruce Pine’s nearby rivers, while big-time outdoor destinations like the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Linville Gorge are less than 20 minutes away.“I can fly fish on my lunch break,” says Bryan Freeborn, director of Spruce Pine’s Downtown Initiative. “There’s a great hole less than 200 feet from my office. In downtown. How many people can say that?”The fact that Spruce Pine (which is only four blocks) has a downtown initiative should tell you a lot about the progressive attitudes in this mountain town. While some cities are desperately trying to lure manufacturing back, Spruce Pine has chosen to put their eggs in the natural resource basket, creating a pedestrian and bicycle plan to connect their neighborhoods, and looking at the surrounding watershed for trail development. The downtown is also home to several culinary hotspots, and a new brewery has recently opened.Play: You’ll find the high elevation balds of the Roan Highlands 30 minutes north of Spruce Pine off Route 261. Strike out on the A.T. from Carver’s Gap for miles of spectacular 360-degree views. Rhodo blooms in the late spring/early summer, and heavy snows during winter turn the Roans into a cross country ski mecca. Head south on Route 226 to the Blue Ridge Parkway for road biking. For crowd-free adventure, explore the privately-owned trail system on Springmaid Mountain. The 400 acres of loop trails are open to the public and less than ten minutes from town. Consider fishing a stretch of the North Toe, which runs through town, for browns, rainbows, and brook trout.Stay: Carolina Hemlocks has tent sites along the North Toe at the base of Mountain Mitchell just 20 minutes away. The Richmond Inn offers classic B&B digs near the heart of downtown.Eat: Kick start your adventure with coffee from Blue Ridge Java. Knife and Fork is a farm to table restaurant that sources everything from extremely local growers.Culture: The mountains surrounding Spruce Pine have a reputation for producing artists of all kinds. Check out the work of local artists at the Toe River Arts Council Center Gallery on Oak Avenue.Events: The Roan Moan metric century starts in nearby Bakersville and climbs 7,100 feet, including the beastly push up to Carver’s Gap. The Springmaid Splash is a popular trail 10K with steep climbs and river crossings.Mingle: The new Dry County Brewing Company offers hand-crafted beers and hand-crafted pies. Try the Scotch Ale. Quizzo night on Thursdays gets packed.WHITESBURG, KENTUCKYYou probably wouldn’t expect a small town in coal country to be a thriving arts community. And yet Whitesburg is widely recognized as one of the greatest arts communities in the Appalachians. Not bad, especially since just a few years ago, the town was in dire straits.“When pawn shops close down, you know the town is in trouble,” says Derek Mullins, a musician who works for Appalshop, a local non-profit that produces films, theater, and books. “Main Street was dead. The town was in trouble. But within the last few years, there’s been a revival.”According to Mullins, the town started coming back to life in 2007 when local alcohol laws were revised to allow restaurants to serve liquor.“That opened up the town considerably, allowing the opportunity to create social venues,” Mullins says.Today, Whitesburg has a legitimate bar, studio space, and performance venues that attract big- name acts and an impressive variety of artists and musicians. And all that energy sits at the base of Pine Mountain, a 125-mile long collection of ridges, cliffs, and hiking trails.Play: Bad Branch Gorge has dramatic hikes less than 10 miles from town. Take the mile-long Preserve Trail through the gorge to Bad Branch Falls, a 60-foot waterfall tumbling over a sandstone cliff. Kingdom Come State Park, 25 miles south on Route 119, sits on top of Pine Mountain. Go there to mountain bike the Little Shepherd Trail, a 38-mile long primitive road that follows the crest of Pine Mountain past countless overlooks and “hogbacks,” bizarre spine-like rock formations. The Pine Mountain Trail will eventually be a 110-mile-long wilderness route that connects Break Interstate Park with Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Currently, 44 miles are open for hiking less than 20 minutes from downtown Whitesburg. Hike a piece of the 16-mile Highlands section for bogs and cliff-line views, or knock out a chunk of the 28-mile Birch Knob section, which rolls along the crest into Breaks Interstate Park.Stay: The Salyer House Bed and Breakfast has nice digs at reasonable prices. For camping, check out Carr Creek State Park, with campsites on a lake 12 miles west of town. Wiley’s Last Resort offers shuttles to Pine Mountain trailheads and camping near the trail.Eat: The Courthouse Café is the go-to spot in town for lunch or dinner, with homemade soups, classic southern fare, and vegetarian options, most of which are made from local ingredients.Events: Appalshop’s Seed Time of the Cumberland is a two-day festival of live music, movie screenings, and performances.Culture: Tune your radio to WMMT 88.7, Appalshop’s community radio station where volunteers spin the music they like. Head to the Underground Galleries at 229 to see regional artists on display. Try to time your visit with one of Whitesburg’s Art Walks, where several local businesses display local and internationally acclaimed art.Mingle: Summit City Lounge is an art gallery, bourbon bar, and performance venue that pulls in national acts of all ilk.LEWISBURG, WEST VIRGINIAThere’s no obvious reason for Lewisburg to be as cool as it is. It’s not as if there’s a large university pumping forward thinkers into the community, or a ski resort attracting hipsters, and yet, it’s undeniable: Lewisburg is cool. While West Virginia has a statewide problem with retaining youth, Lewisburg has a vibrant, young population. While many other towns bend over backwards for the mining industry, Lewisburg has passed a resolution to halt fracking. And the arts scene is hopping, with galleries, live music, and regular arts-based events that bring thousands to this small town on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest.Mike Costello, the campaign coordinator for the West Virginia Wilderness Association, credits old school hippies for Lewisburg’s vibe. “This was a big destination in the 1960s for ‘back to the landers.’ Some of the them stuck it out and still live here, and that influence has really shaped the town,” says Costello, who made Lewisburg his home last year. “Lewisburg has a really progressive feel downtown. It’s small, but there’s always something going on.”Just outside of town sits Monongahela’s newest wilderness area, sweet mountain biking, and fly fishing on the Greenbrier River.Play: Big Draft Wilderness is 10 miles from downtown. Hike the Blue Bend Trail, a five-mile loop that passes through old growth before climbing to a ridge for views. The Greenbrier River Trail’s southern terminus is a few miles outside of town in White Sulphur Springs, offering flat, riverside biking and running year round. If you’re in town during spring, consider a mellow paddle down the Greenbrier. For mountain biking, head east to 5,000-acre Greenbrier State Forest, which offers more user-friendly terrain than the Monongahela. Check out Rocky Ridge, a two-mile mostly downhill bomb off the top of Kate’s Mountain.Stay: Greenbrier State Forest has camping and cabins. Take your pick of B&B’s in and around Lewisburg. And the famous Greenbrier Resort is just outside of town if you’re wanting fancy digs.Eat: For coffee and breakfast burritos, head to the Wild Bean. Try The Market for salads with fresh greens and no-nonsense sandwiches and head to the General Lewis Inn for local trout served in a fine-dining atmosphere.Culture: Plan your visit for the first Friday of each month, when downtown shops and galleries open their doors with wine tastings, live music, and expanded gallery shows.Events: All downtown shops and restaurants join forces to offer a Chocolate Tasting Extravaganza for the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival in April.Mingle: The Irish Pub is the go-to joint for beer, shepherd’s pie, and live music. The Greenbrier Valley Bicycle Club has a regular group ride each Wednesday from the courthouse.BRYSON CITY, NORTH CAROLINAIn the last several years, more travelers and transplants have discovered what a few locals have known all along: Bryson City is an outdoor oasis. The small, historic downtown is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has play-boating within its city limits, and sits less than half an hour from class-III whitewater and world-class biking and trail running.Downtown, a new brewery has opened along with a new bike shop, yoga studio, and wine bar.“When I moved here in 1991, there was some resistance to some of the new ideas. Even the Nantahala Outdoor Center was considered an outsider,” says Olympic boater Chris Hipgrave. But those walls aren’t present today. The town embraces the outdoors now.”Play: Because of its proximity to the Nantahala River, Bryson City has an unusually large percentage of top-notch boaters. Rub plastic with them at the Devil’s Dip, a play-spot on the Tuckasegee right in the heart of downtown. If you haven’t paddled the class II-III Nantahala, 20-minutes south, it’s a must. If flat-water kayaking is your bag, Fontana Lake has finger-lakes paddling along the undeveloped shores of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For hiking, head to the Deep Creek area of the Smokies, where less crowded trails await. The Indian Creek Trail will take you deep into the park’s backcountry. The Tsali Recreation Area is a nationally-known mountain bike destination. Pedal a piece of Tsali’s rolling singletrack with views of Fontana Lake and see what all the hype is about for yourself.Stay: Deep Creek Campground sits on the edge of an ice-cold creek between Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For luxury cabins on the mountains surrounding town, check out Watershed Cabins.Eat: The new Cork and Bean has become the place to eat. The coffee shop/wine bar has organic, fair trade coffee and specialty crepes. Anthony’s Pizza, a Bryson City institution for decades, has arguably the best New York-style pizza in Western North Carolina.Events: Tsali plays host to a variety of bike and multi-sport races throughout the year.Culture: The nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association is building a cultural center in Bryson City that will host historical and cultural programs. Stop in to find out more about the communities that once thrived in the area before the park and lake were established.Mingle: Belly up to the bar in the Nantahala Brewing Company’s new tasting room for craft beer goodness. NOC guides and pro boaters who call Bryson City home have adopted the brewery as their own.GALAX, VIRGINIABluegrass aficionados have been flocking to Galax for decades. The town’s list of Appalachian music credentials, which includes the world’s most renowned fiddler’s convention, has led Galax to be dubbed the “old-time music capital of the world.” In recent years, the town has also been gaining the reputation as an adventure hub.“It’s definitely on its way,” says life-long local and road bike racer Fred Mitchell. “Every year, more people use Galax as their base camp for all kinds of adventures.”Galax is a town that has retained its Mayberry charm with a small, but vibrant main street And it’s within striking distance of some of the best road biking and hiking in Virginia. The New River Trail starts in town; the A.T. is less than an hour away; the Blue Ridge Parkway is only seven miles from town; and Grayson Highlands State Park is just a 45-minute drive west. And surrounding Galax are hundreds of miles of low-traffic country roads for road biking.Play: Pick up the Parkway just outside of town and ride in either direction until your legs fail, but the surrounding country roads are just as scenic. Ride through neighboring Fries and you’ll pass farms, churches with bell towers, and one-room school houses. The 57-mile New River Trail begins in Galax and heads north. Tackle a piece as short as the 2.2-mile stretch to Cliffview, or hire a shuttle and knock out a longer chunk of this former rail line. For hiking, head into Grayson Highlands State Park for big views, rocky outcroppings, and wild ponies.Stay: The Fiddler’s Roost B&B has private rooms and cabins. If you’re looking to rough it, Cliffview has primitive camping off the New River Trail a couple of miles from downtown Galax.Eat:Check out String Bean Coffee Shop on Main Street for your caffeine fix. The state barbecue championships are held in Galax every year, and the Galax Smokehouse sets the standard.Events: In August, the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention draws thousands to see a massive display of Appalachian music at its finest.Culture: Every Friday night, live bluegrass is broadcast from Galax’s world-famous Rex Theater. The 475-seat theater has been revitalized in recent years, and when nationally acclaimed bluegrass pickers aren’t playing, you can find vintage movie nights and community plays.Mingle: Saturday nights, the String Bean Coffee shop turns into a small, acoustic venue for regional bluegrass bands. The owners even run a small studio and label attached to the café.OHIOPYLE, PENNSYLVANIARoughly translated, Ohiopyle is Native American for “white frothing water.” It’s an appropriate description, given the town’s proximity to the 18-foot Ohiopyle Falls that stretches across the Youghiogheny River in downtown. Tucked into Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, the tiny town of 75 sits inside the 20,000-acre Ohiopyle State Park, with trails stretching in all directions from downtown. The mighty Yough runs a loop around town, offering amazing kayaking and commercial rafting during the spring, summer, and fall. And in the winter, Sugarloaf Knob, one of the tallest peaks in Pennsylvania, offers cross country and backcountry skiing.“It’s a small town, but thanks to the outdoors, I never got bored as a kid,” says Eric Martin, a local whose parents started Wilderness Voyageurs, the first rafting company on the Yough, in the 1960s. “There weren’t a lot of other young people when I was growing up, but today, we’ve got a thriving young 20-something community, and summers are full of nonstop boating and biking.”Play: Cruise the Great Allegheny Passage, a 135-mile rail trail that runs through town, or head for the McCune Trail for sweet singletrack that rips up and down Sugarloaf Knob inside Ohiopyle State Park. Hikers should check out Jonathan Run, a little-used creek-side trail accessing multiple waterfalls. Kayakers need to paddle “the Loop,” where the Yough forms a horseshoe around the city. There’s 400 yards of land between the legs of the river, so you can paddle 1.5-miles of class III whitewater (including the falls), take out, and walk 400 yards back to the put in. In the winter, Ohiopyle gets 100 inches of Lake Effect snow, and sits half an hour from Seven Springs Resort and Wisp Resort.Stay: If you’re looking for high-end digs, consider the five-star Namoclin Woodlands Resort outside of town. Ohiopyle State Park has camping and cottages.Eat: Rapid Java (on the porch of Wilderness Voyageurs) has your a.m. organic coffee. Check out the Firefly Grill for tasty wraps and healthy fare. Ohiopyle House Café offers white table-cloth dining adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.Culture: The country’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed two homes nearby. Check out Falling Water to see an example of how he blended architecture with nature.Events: In August, boaters race the Yough for the Over the Falls Festival.Mingle: Hundreds of people hang out on the rocks next to the Yough doing nothing more than sunbathing. At night, the same crew heads to the Falls City Pub for the selection of microbrews and pub grub.SEWANEE, TENNESSEEOnly a few universities can boast rock climbing and hiking on their campuses. Even fewer still have such extensive trail and cliff options that they warrant full-fledged hiking and climbing guidebooks. Such is the case for The University of the South, a 150-year-old college that sits on top of the Cumberland Plateau and has given birth to the small town of Sewanee, Tennessee.The town actually sits on school grounds, its buildings owned by the university and leased to private business owners. As a result, town growth has been kept in check while the 13,000 acres of surrounding forest the university owns have been protected for recreation.“The town itself has changed surprisingly little in my 46 years,” says Stephen Alvarez, a native Sewanee-an and professional adventure photographer. “It’s a place where your kids can walk out the door in the morning on a summer day, and not come back until the dinner bell rings.”Adventure begins on the edge of town. The campus, dubbed the Domain, offers 50 miles of hiking trails and 15 miles of sandstone cliffs to explore and the patchwork of state parks that make up the South Cumberland State Recreation Area begin 15 minutes outside of town.Play: Backpack the entire 20-mile Perimeter Loop for the ultimate Domain experience. You’ll pass bluffs, creeks, views, lakes, and do it all without too much elevation gain. For a shorter hike, check out Bridal Veil Falls, a two-mile round trip that drops 400 feet off the Cumberland Plateau to a 50-foot waterfall that cascades over a sandstone cliff before disappearing into a sink hole. For mountain biking, pedal the 7.5-mile loop on the St. Andrews Campus for hilly, but sinuous singletrack. Venture beyond campus and backpack the 17-mile Fiery Gizzard Trail, which begins in Grundy State Forest and cruises through a creek gorge with waterfalls and massive boulders. And some of the best sport climbing in the South can be found about 30 minutes outside of town at Foster Falls, a state park with two miles of steep, technical cliff line.Eat: Fuel up in the morning at the Blue Chair, which also has a killer pimento cheese sandwich for lunch. For dinner, Crust Pizza is the ticket with its cracker-thin crust.Stay: The Red Oak Hollow is a guest suite and cottage on 30 acres near campus, and neighboring town Monteagle has hotel options.Culture: The university brings an array of guest speakers to town throughout the year, and old-time music jams and farmer’s markets sprout up at the school’s Community Center.Mingle: Shenanigans has inventive burgers and sandwiches and good craft beer along with live music wrapped up in a relaxed college town atmosphere. Join the Tuesday morning group mountain bike ride or the Thursday morning road ride from Woody’s Bicycles.FROSTBURG, MARYLANDDon’t go to Frostburg looking for adventure camaraderie. You’re not going to find cars loaded with kayaks and mountain bikes in downtown Frostburg yet. This small town in the western corner of Maryland could still be considered quaint, with a small university (Frostburg State) and historic main street that are still very much off the radar of most adventure-loving travelers.“It’s a college town through and through, with the university acting as the main economic engine,” says Mike Dreisbach, owner of the Savage River Lodge, a destination in its own right 10 miles west of town on top of Big Savage Mountain. “But to be honest, Frostburg is a real quiet town that most tourists pass right by.”Fine by us. While most adventure tourists are flocking to more crowded options, Frostburg sits quietly on the edge of the Great Allegheny Passage, a rail-trail that offers 135 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, Md., and Pittsburgh, Pa. The Great Allegheny Passage is just a few miles from Big Savage State Forest, one of the largest state forests in the U.S. Big Savage offers 50 miles of trails, including 10 miles of cross country ski trails, as well as 12,000 acres of designated wildlands with pristine trout streams and primitive backcountry hiking.Play: Connect the 10 miles of bike-friendly single and double track within New Germany State Park, a 400-acre piece of the massive Savage River State Forest, for a tame, but scenic cross country ride. Highlights include the steep downhill on Red Trail and the tight, twisty switchbacks on Dog Leg. Cast a fly in the Savage River, a narrow stream that drops 85 feet per mile on its way to the Potomac, boasting healthy populations of wild trout along the way. The Great Allegheny Passage runs through town, connecting to the C&O Canal Towpath in neighboring Cumberland. The two rail trails combined offer 320 miles of traffic-free pedaling between Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. Pedal the 15 miles to Cumberland, then catch the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad back to Frostburg. In the winter, head to Savage River Lodge and the Mt. Aetna Tract for miles of groomed cross country skiing.Eat: Grab coffee and an organic bagel at Mountain City Coffeehouse on Main Street. For fried chicken and fresh seafood, head to the Hen House, a Frostburg institution.Stay: The Trail Inn B&B has reasonable rooms and a campground. If you’re looking for upscale lodge digs with a trail system right out the front door, look no farther than Savage River Lodge inside the Savage River State Forest.Culture: Main Street Books (301-689-5605) is an impressive independent book store that hosts regular author readings. The Palace Theatre is a restored movie house with live performances and independent movie nights.Mingle: Sand Springs Saloon. Steak nachos, chicken wings, and a full bar in a college town. Need we say more? Okay, how about Shut Up and Drink Night, which features $10 unlimited drafts.Classic Mountain Towns You Already LoveDamascus, Va.The A.T. runs through the heart of Trail Town U.S.A., as does the Virginia Creeper Rail Trail and Iron Mountain Trail. Nearby Mount Rogers boasts 400 miles of trail.Brevard, N.C.Picturesque main street is surrounded by Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest, both chock full of waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, and epic trails.Davis, W.Va.During winter, Davis is the most authentic ski town in the South, with cross country, backcountry, and lift-served downhill terrain. During summer, mountain biking takes over while the surrounding wilderness areas are havens for backpacking.Blowing Rock, N.C.The High Country town is packed with upscale shops and restaurants, and it’s bordered by Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Epic road rides begin in town, the popular carriage trails of Moses Cone are just outside the city limits, and three ski slopes are nearby.Ellijay, Ga.This mountain town sits an hour north of Atlanta, offering access to cherished bike trails like Bear Creek and Mountaintown, and class II-III whitewater on the Cartecay.Hot Springs, N.C.This quaint mountain town (population: 635) sports an outfitter, an ice cream shop, several restaurants, a selection of accommodations,  and world-class recreation with the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River running through town. It also has one of the South’s few natural hot springs.  Black Mountain, N.C.The East’s tallest mountains provide the backdrop to Black Mountain, which has easy access to Mount Mitchell and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Classic mountain bike rides like Kitsuma and Heartbreak Ridge begin outside of town.McHenry, Md.McHenry, a.k.a. Deep Creek Lake, sits in the heart of Maryland’s most vibrant mountainscape. It’s surrounded by state forests; the Adventure Sports Center now includes whitewater rafting; and Wisp Resort offers over 100 acres of downhill and cross country skiing.last_img read more

La Liga announces partnership with Perform Group to ‘enhance the delivery of competition data’

first_imgShare StumbleUpon In a deal designed to broaden the availability of data from Spanish football,  La Liga and Perform Group has announced the creation of the ‘La Liga official data centre’.Jointly led by Perform and LaLiga, the newly created LaLiga official data centre will be responsible for ensuring La Liga maximises the use of official match data across multiple sectors and channels.Throughout the five-year agreement, La Liga will utilise Perform’s sports data collection, distribution and commercialisation expertise in the media, professional analysis and betting sectors.Perform CCO Jacopo Tonoli said: “We are delighted to be broadening our relationship with one of the world’s most exciting football leagues. The innovative partnership will see us working with La Liga to deliver the best quality sports data globally, across multiple sectors and channels.  “It gives LaLiga control over their data rights, with full access to the industry expertise and sales network of Perform. We are thrilled to be able to add La Liga to our official data rights portfolio.”Melcior Soler, director of audiovisual at La Liga said: “This agreement deepens the relationship between LaLiga and Perform, two innovative brands. The La Liga Official Data Centre will allow us to enhance the delivery of competition data across the world through internal and external channels, taking advantage of Perform’s distribution and commercial reach and experience.”The partnership will allow La Liga to facilitate innovation across broadcast graphics and production workflows, develop digital data visualisations, fantasy and gaming concepts, as well as supporting a commitment to data editorial and performance data analytics. Opta will provide accurate and granular match data to power various La Liga channels, including broadcasts. The Opta team of data scientists and editorial experts will continue to experiment with in-game data, developing new metrics to offer even greater fan engagement opportunities, benefiting league and club digital and social properties, creating assets for LaLiga commercial partners to connect with fans around the world. This agreement expands on the partnership between Opta and LaLiga to provide the best data for coaching purposes to LaLiga Santander an LaLiga 123 teams through LaLiga mediacoach tools.For bookmakers, this partnership will provide exclusive official accreditation for the RunningBall network of highly experienced and qualified scouts, in every stadium. This will allow the operator to collect and distribute fast, reliable Spanish data to power live betting experiences for bookmakers from across the globe.Perform’s integrity operations team will support La Liga in its approach to preventing match manipulation and betting fraud through monitoring and intelligence. The partnership covers the following competitions organized by LaLiga and the Spanish Federation:  Liga Santander, Liga 1|2|3, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, Second Division B, and the Spanish Women’s League. Share Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Submit Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

More voices in the media chorus

first_imgHere’s a personal quirk: I like start-up businesses. I particularly like start-up media businesses.So you will have to forgive me when I tell you that tears welled up in my eyes at precisely 7pm on 1 June 2008. It was a great day. South Africa’s first independent 24-hour news channel, eNews Channel, went live on air – and I was lucky enough to be there to witness and participate in it.Veteran broadcaster Jeremy Maggs, cool as a cucumber and smooth like no one’s business, said the first few words. Then the pack of journalists and technical staff holding their breaths in the background stood up in unison and applauded. Once again, brave business and media people had stuck their toes into uncharted waters and launched yet another news outlet.Something happens when a new newspaper, magazine, website or television channel is launched. It is a bit like a child being born. We hold our breaths. We wait for that first edition or that first broadcast and pray for all of it to go well.It rarely ever does. With newspapers, the printed edition comes back with spelling errors and wonky design. With radio and television, presenters fluff their lines and there are silences on air as transmitters skip a beat or two. Editors shout and young rookies think their careers are finished.But one thing that stays with me about these media start-ups is this: I can feel the weight and importance of the fact that a new voice is being added to our society. Every time some brave soul launches yet another media business, I feel like the foundations of our democracy are being dug even deeper into this country’s soil.It is often said that many democracies take their freedom for granted. South Africa is fortunate that it has so many media outlets who are free to speak their minds on any and all issues. Nothing is off the agenda. Politicians are criticized, businessmen kept on their toes and ordinary citizens shown the errors of their ways – or the exemplary nature of their deeds.It is all thanks to the vibrancy of the media. It is all thanks to the fact that from John Tengo Jabavu, who founded Imvo Zabantsundu (“Black Opinion”) in the late 1800s, we have been starting newspapers, failing at it and starting them all over again.In 1985, a century after Jabavu founded Imvo to speak up against colonialism, the Mail and Guardian was founded by young journalists to stand up against and expose apartheid’s atrocities. Along with it was the New Nation and other, smaller but equally feisty magazines and small journals printed by night. It is worth remembering today that it was exactly these newspapers who were at the forefront of exposing the worst of apartheid South Africa’s atrocities and bringing down the National Party government.I think the vibrancy that started with Jabavu and others way back then exists and continues today. I have lived through several births and deaths of newspapers and magazines, and still feel the elation and the dejection acutely.Information is the bedrock of a democracy. Without an informed citizenry, without the free flow and exchange of ideas, democracies flounder and die. A democracy is only as good as the number of people in it who are informed and have the ability and choice to contest ideas.It is a measure of South Africa’s maturity and sophistication as a democracy that there are so many news outlets in the country. A plethora of newspapers exists both at the top end of the market and at the tabloid level.Only recently, in a market that many did not believe could sustain another newspaper, the Sunday Times launched a daily version called The Times. A year down the line, it is healthy and gaining momentum. In KwaZulu Natal, an isiZulu-language newspaper called Isolezwe continues to grow in leaps and bounds.The launch of eNews Channel is only a beginning of the activity in television. New pay-television licensees including Telkom Media and ODM are working feverishly to launch new bouquets to take on the market leader, Multichoice, which already has more than 170 channels.And the blogosphere. Well, if you want to get angry, happy and everything else in between, read the South African blogosphere. Young and old alike are blogging on everything from fashion to politics to business to golf. And with broadband access being rolled out fast, we are set to see more activity as fast internet connections increase.We are a fortunate country to have all these. If there are any doubts about the strength of South Africa’s democracy, one need only look at the competitiveness and vibrancy of the South African media landscape.It is a place to make you smile.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer.last_img read more

Rockets beat Nuggets for 12th straight win

first_imgRead Next View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving LATEST STORIES Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico MOST READ His step-back jumper with 46 seconds left clinched it for Houston.   /kgacenter_img Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes up to shoot against Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee (24) and Malik Beasley (25) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, February 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)DENVER — James Harden had 41 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul scored 23 points; and the Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 119-114 on Sunday night for their 12th straight victory.Harden had 27 in the first half and seven in the fourth quarter, when the Rockets held off a late Denver rally. Harden has scored 40 or more points nine times this season. He finished with seven assists.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Greek match postponed after coach injured by toilet roll John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Denver, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Will Barton added 25 points.The Rockets are 21-4 since December 29 and own the best record (46-13) in the NBA. They are outscoring teams by an average of 12.5 points during the 12-game winning streak. The five-point win Sunday was their closest game during the streak.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHarden scored 14 points in the last 2:47 of the first quarter and assisted on Houston’s other two baskets to end the period when the Rockets extended the lead from five to 13.Houston led by as many as 18 but Denver rallied in the fourth. Jokic’s tip with 2:12 left made it 110-106 and after Joe Johnson missed from the corner, Gary Harris had a chance to cut it to a point with a 3-pointer. But the Nuggets’ leading scorer, who finished with six points on 2-of-12 shooting, misfired and Harden hit two more free throws to make it 112-106 with 1:17 left. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatuslast_img read more

Time for federal parties to take action on privacy expert says

first_imgCavoukian wants to see the issue addressed in the October election campaign, and believes Canada should adopt a privacy-by-default policy.“People shouldn’t have to search through all the legalese and the terms of service and the privacy policy to find the opt-out box for privacy. They should get privacy automatically.”The commissioners’ report finds Facebook failed to have proper safeguards in place when more than 50-million users had their data harvested in the Cambridge Analytica controversy. Facebook denies it broke the law and says it has taken steps to better protect people’s information.“If you value your freedom, then you value privacy,” Cavoukian says. “We’ve got to stand up for that.”The report finds major shortcomings in the social media giant’s practices and highlights the need for legislative reform to protect Canadians.The complaint that prompted the probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal information, and that some of the data was then shared with others, including Cambridge Analytica. OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – A day after the federal and B.C. privacy commissioners declared Facebook broke Canada’s privacy laws, one expert is applauding the report and hopes federal parties make privacy a campaign issue this fall.“Facebook’s privacy framework is empty,” Privacy Expert Ann Cavoukian, a Senior Fellow of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson University, says. “They’re not walking the talk. They do a lot of talking, making you believe that they have strong privacy in place, but they don’t.”She tells CityNews it’s about time privacy commissioners take action against Facebook, and she hopes the Trudeau government and Opposition parties take this seriously.Watch: Canadian privacy watchdog says Facebook broke the lawlast_img read more

Opposition to Jesuit school in Winnipegs north end growing

first_imgAPTN National NewsOpponents of a news religious school in Winnipeg’s largely Indigenous north end have found some new allies.Last night they presented their case opposing the school to Manitoba’s largest school board.And as Dennis Ward reports, they’re also calling on the pope to [email protected]last_img

DEMA Hosts International Coastal Cleanup Day Fighting for trashfree seas

first_img Recommended for you Clement Howell High get their hands dirty for World Wetlands Day 2016 Climate Change blamed for seawater woes in Grand Turk Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE16 September 2014DEMA hosts International Coastal Clean-up Day: “Fighting for trash-free seas”Everyone who lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is invited to take part in the International Coastal Clean-up hosted by Department of Environmental and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) this Saturday, 20 September 2014.This initiative will encourage people across TCI to remove shoreline litter to help create cleaner waters for everyone, including the wildlife and communities that depend on them.Schools and organisations can get involved by getting a group together and spending sometime of your day cleaning up a beach, bush, path, road or sea-bed in your local area.If you do not have a group but wish to participate, please contact Amy Avenant to find out about groups you may join and be put in contact with the District Commissioner in your island. Please forward this invitation on to anyone you think may be interested in participating.​WHAT TO DO NOW:Register your commitment in taking part with Amy Avenant, DEMA Environmental Outreach Co-ordinator [email protected] ​ or 649 341 4321.​HOW TO GET INVOLVED:​Co-ordinate an underwater / beach / bush clean-up in your chosen area.WHEN:8:00am, Saturday 20 September 2014 (to beat the heat!)WHAT YOU WILL NEED:· Gloves· Water (make sure everyone remains properly hydrated – BUT we would like to encourage the use of re-usable water bottles, not single-use water bottles)· Trash Bags· You may want to keep a first aid kit handy in the event of cuts or scrapesWHAT TO DO ON THE DAY (and a few days before):· Arrange for proper disposal of the collected trash· Submit the following information to DEMA: o Organisation name o Number of clean-up participants o Location of trash collection (and whether it was underwater/beach/bush) o Number of bags collected o Amount of time spent collecting trash o Photographs of you / your organisation and the trash collected.Please help us in the fight for trash-free seas! Together we can all make a difference!ENDS Emergency action in Grand Turk due to sea surges Related Items:amy avenant, coastal cleaning, demalast_img read more