Daily Dirt: New Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent, World Record Fish, and National Headlines

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for August 8th, the day President Richard Nixon announced he would resign, proving that not even the President of the United States is above breaking the law, lying about it, resigning to avoid impeachment, and getting pardoned by the next guy:Blue Ridge Parkway Gets New SuperintendentThe Blue Ridge Parkway is having some trouble. A giant crack forced the closure of a large portion of the byway outside Asheville, cuts have forced the BRP to cut back it’s already low budget for basic upkeep, and there is a 10-year, $450 million deferred maintenance backlog to deal with. Well, now all those problems have new shoulders to rest on, albeit capable ones. Mark Woods was named the new Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent Wednesday, replacing Phil Francis, who retired in April – Monika Mayr had acted as interim superintendent during the gap. The 53-year-old Woods is a 33-year veteran of the National Park Service, having worked at several parks across the South. His most recent gig was superintendent of Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and the similarities between the two entities should set him up nicely to succeed. Both span multiple states (Cumberland is known as the Gateway to the West and incorporates Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee), which will also help his relationship with gateway communities with different needs. He is also a native of South Carolina, and has worked mainly in the South as previously mentioned, so there shouldn’t be any complaints about a “Yankee coming down here and messin’ with how we do things our way, blah, blah, etc.” Woods certainly has his work cut out for him, but with a capable staff, not to mention his $125K salary, he should be able to lead the BRP into an uncertain future.More can be found at the Citizen-Times.Virginia Snakehead Sets World RecordBack in June, we told you about Virginia native Caleb Newton and the 17 pound northern snakehead fish he caught out of the tidal Potomac River in Stafford. If you have forgotten about Newton, or the snakehead, let me refresh your memory: “Caleb Newton held the rod while Phil Wilcox held the net as they landed the possible world recored Northern Snakehead out of Aquia Creek in Stafford, Virginia Saturday. The (ugly-as-sin) fish weighed in at 17.6 pounds, topping the previous record – caught in Japan in 2004 – by a couple of ounces. The northern snake head is, in a word, gross: they can live for days out of the water, can move on land, excrete mucus, smell terrible, have sharp teeth, are as hard to kill as the Terminator (T-850, not the T-1000) and are just plain ugly. They are also an invasive species, and if caught in Virginia are required by law to be, well, terminated. ” Well, according to the Free Lance-Star, word has come back from the International Game Fish Association confirming that the fish is a world record. Newton is aiming to turn his new-found semi-fishing fame into an endorsement deal, because, why not?Noteworthy National Outdoor NewsSeveral national stories of note have come out in the past few days.First, is this cool article on the Daily Beast examining the science and studies currently being conducted on why mosquitos target some people and not others. This obviously has huge implications for us in the South, and could lead to better protection from the pests in the future, including the spread of diseases like dengue fever and malaria. LINKHere is an audio story from NPR about something that has become a hot topic in the East, although this piece concentrates on the West: Ski resorts catering to mountain bikers in the summer in an attempt to find a four season revenue stream. LINKHere is another NPR story about sleep patterns and how a week of camping can reset your internal clock to help you sleep better at night. LINKAnd here is some sad news from the digital media file: Contour has mysteriously and unexpectedly closed up shop. Employees arrived on a typical work day to locked doors and a note saying they were no longer employed by the action video camera company. Contour has positioned itself over the last few years as the most serious contender to GoPro in the market of action POV cameras, so the sudden closing is a surprise. LINKlast_img read more

Novak Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus after organizing Adria Tour

first_img“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested,” Djokovic said in a statement. “My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from south-eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus. The 33-year-old and his wife Jelena returned tested positive after returning from the Adria Tour, while his children tested negative. The 17-time grand slam singles champion is asymptomatic and will now isolate for 14 days.  View this post on Instagram “The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this. We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”A post shared by Adria Tour (@adriatourofficial) on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:28am PDTMORE: Nick Kyrgios slams ‘boneheaded’ Novak Djokovic-led Adria Tour eventDjokovic was a driving force behind the creation of the Adria Tour, which took place in Serbia and Croatia in front of large crowds and saw players shaking hands despite concerns over social distancing. However, the final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled when Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19 and Borna Coric later confirmed he too had contracted coronavirus. Viktor Troicki, who played in the tournament in Belgrade, and his wife also tested positive for the virus.The decision to hold the event during the pandemic has been criticized by Tour players including Nick Kyrgios and Dan Evans, while long-term rival and friend Andy Murray described the fall-out as “a lesson for all of us.” Kyrgios was a bit more direct with his anger.🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️ Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020As for Djokovic, he provided some additional thoughts on the tournament.”We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease in time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”last_img read more