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

Peru Opens the First Military Base to Combat Narcotrafficking in VRAEM

first_imgBy Dialogo February 18, 2015 Colombian National Army scores victories against ELN, FARC Colombian National Army Soldiers dismantled a cocaine-producing laboratory operated by the National Liberation Army (ELN), and in another operation, seized a weapons cache belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Army News Agency announced February 16. The FARC and the ELN are the nation’s largest guerrilla organizations. Both illegal groups engage in narcotrafficking to finance their terrorist activities. The Army did not immediately disclose whether Soldiers captured any suspects during the operations. Colombian National Army scores victories against ELN, FARC In the Department of Norte de Santander, Soldiers with the Vulcano Task Force seized about 200 gallons of coca syrup, 375 kilograms of chopped coca leaves – the main ingredient used to make cocaine – and 100 gallons of gasoline from a clandestine laboratory. And in the municipality of Rioblanco in the Department of Tolima, Troops with the Ground Combat No. 66 Unit of the Army’s Fifth Division found 300 ammunition cartridges for rifles belonging to the FARC’s Libardo Rojas Company. The FARC and the ELN are the nation’s largest guerrilla organizations. Both illegal groups engage in narcotrafficking to finance their terrorist activities. The Army did not immediately disclose whether Soldiers captured any suspects during the operations. About half of the cocaine produced illegally in Peru every year – about 450 tons in total – is flown to Bolivia by plane before being routed internationally. The government plans to build 12 bases this year in the VRAEM, the country’s largest cocaine-producing region encompassing four areas: Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junín. Colombian National Army Soldiers dismantled a cocaine-producing laboratory operated by the National Liberation Army (ELN), and in another operation, seized a weapons cache belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Army News Agency announced February 16. “We have enough Soldiers and officers to achieve territorial control in this area, where narcotrafficking is allied with terrorism,” Defense Minister Peter Cateriano Bellido said during the base’s opening ceremony. About half of the cocaine produced illegally in Peru every year – about 450 tons in total – is flown to Bolivia by plane before being routed internationally. The government plans to build 12 bases this year in the VRAEM, the country’s largest cocaine-producing region encompassing four areas: Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junín. “We have enough Soldiers and officers to achieve territorial control in this area, where narcotrafficking is allied with terrorism,” Defense Minister Peter Cateriano Bellido said during the base’s opening ceremony. The Boca Anapati base has a heliport, which is important, since drug traffickers transport about 90 percent of all cocaine produced in the VRAEM by plane. It will also house Navy vessels that will patrol nearby waters. The Peruvian Armed Forces recently inaugurated the Boca Anapati base in the Province of Satipo in the Junín region to bolster the Military’s fight against narcotraffickers in the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) region. The Peruvian Armed Forces recently inaugurated the Boca Anapati base in the Province of Satipo in the Junín region to bolster the Military’s fight against narcotraffickers in the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) region. In the Department of Norte de Santander, Soldiers with the Vulcano Task Force seized about 200 gallons of coca syrup, 375 kilograms of chopped coca leaves – the main ingredient used to make cocaine – and 100 gallons of gasoline from a clandestine laboratory. And in the municipality of Rioblanco in the Department of Tolima, Troops with the Ground Combat No. 66 Unit of the Army’s Fifth Division found 300 ammunition cartridges for rifles belonging to the FARC’s Libardo Rojas Company. The Boca Anapati base has a heliport, which is important, since drug traffickers transport about 90 percent of all cocaine produced in the VRAEM by plane. It will also house Navy vessels that will patrol nearby waters. last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULE-PIRATES-CARDINALSTucker sparks Pirates in 4-3 win over Cardinals ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cole Tucker drove in the go-ahead run and also scored in extra innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 in a doubleheader opener Thursday. — The NHL has postponed the next two days of playoff games. There has been criticism from Black players who said the league was slow to acknowledge the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. The joint decision reached by the league and the NHL Players’ Association was made after members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance asked the NHL to postpone the playing of games.— Several NFL teams canceled practices. The Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans and Washington Football Team all decided to not take the field Thursday. — The tennis tours paused play Thursday at the Western & Southern Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.— Football practices were canceled at Boston College, Kentucky and South Florida in joint decisions made by coaches and players. The teams were inspired by NBA players who decided against playing to protest racial injustice. MLB-BLUE JAYS-MARINERS TRADE Mariners trade Walker to Blue Jays for player or cashSAN DIEGO (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have traded right-hander Taijuan Walker to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player or cash. The trade was announced Thursday, about three hours before Walker had been scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres. The first game of the doubleheader was a makeup of Wednesday night’s game, which was postponed after Mariners players voted not to play to protest the shooting of a Black man by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.(backslash)Walker was 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA in five starts this season, with 25 strikeouts and eight walks. He is 33-33 with a 3.95 ERA in parts of eight big league seasons. COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NEWS No. 4 Georgia loses WR Blaylock to season-ending knee injuryUNDATED (AP) — Georgia wide receiver Dominick Blaylock will miss the 2020 season following his second serious knee injury in two years. Blaylock, a part-time starter in 2019, was one of the team’s top returning receivers and return specialists.Georgia says Blaylock, a sophomore, hurt his left knee on Wednesday in a non-ontact drill. Blaylock will need surgery and is expected to make a full recovery for the 2021 season. He also suffered a serious knee injury in last season’s Southeastern Conference championship game loss to LSU. In other college football news:— A group of Nebraska football players filed a lawsuit Thursday asking a jury to force the Big Ten Conference to reinstate a fall football season. The lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court in Lincoln contends, among other things, the players lost opportunities for development in football, will lose exposure for possible professional football opportunities and won’t be able to market themselves in order to eventually capitalize on name, image and likeness revenue opportunities. The Big Ten had no immediate comment. NEW YORK (AP) — Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 16-year-old Coco Gauff could face each other at the U.S. Open again. The tournament draw set up a possible third-round rematch. The U.S. Tennis Association quietly posted the women’s and men’s singles draws online. The draw was announced on the same day all matches in the Western & Southern Open. being played at the U.S. Open site because of the pandemic, were called off following Osaka’s decision to drop out of her semifinal in response to the shooting of a Black man by police in Wisconsin. Other potential women’s quarterfinals: No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova vs. No. 8 Petra Martic; No. 2 Sofia Kenin vs. No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka; and No. 3 Serena Williams vs. No. 7 Madison Keys.Only two of the top eight women in the WTA rankings entered the hard-court tournament. Among those missing are No. 1-ranked Ash Barty and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu.The defending men’s champion, Rafael Nadal, and 20-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer are also among those absent in New York this year. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic did decide to play, though, and was drawn to face 107th-ranked Damir Dzhumhur in the first round. Associated Press President Donald Trump criticized the NBA’s action, telling reporters that the NBA has become like “a political organization.”The WNBA also called off its three games for a second night.In related developments:—The New York Mets and Miami Marlins jointly walked off the field after a moment of silence, draping a Black Lives Matter T-shirt across home plate as they chose not to play. Mets outfielder Dominic Smith — a Black man who wept Wednesday night while discussing the shooting by police of a Black man in Wisconsin — led New York onto the field. Players took their positions, then reserves and coaches filed out of both dugouts and stood silently for 42 seconds. Both teams then left the field, leaving only the black T-shirt at home.— The Oakland Athletics have decided not to play their series finale at Texas to show support for calls for racial justice. Oakland’s decision not to play Thursday night came a day after three Major League Baseball games were postponed in response to the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin last weekend. Update on the latest sportscenter_img August 27, 2020 RACIAL INJUSTICE-SPORTS2nd day of NBA playoff games halted over racial injusticeUNDATED (AP) — An unprecedented walkout over racial injustice has postponed a second day of the NBA playoffs. The NBA decided to postpone three more games Thursday to join the three that weren’t played Wednesday, when players from six NBA teams decided not to play postseason games in a boycott that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues. The Milwaukee Bucks initiated the action in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league hoped to resume Friday or Saturday. He added in a statement that a group of players at the NBA bubble at Disney World would hold a video conference with representatives of the owners, including Michael Jordan, and National Basketball Players Association to discuss the next steps. NFL-JAGUARS-CONLEY’S CHARGEJaguars’ Conley calls on NFL QBs to lead charge for changeJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Chris Conley called on “figures who are the face of the league” to do more to help fight social injustice.The sixth-year pro made it clear Thursday he was talking about the NFL’s top quarterbacks, the ones who have the most influence in games, in locker rooms and in communities. Think Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson, for starters.Conley said those in the NFL “who are irreplaceable” need to step up but he doesn’t see it happening. He says there are leaders in the league who are speaking up and willing to make a sacrifice. In other NFL news:—The missing father of Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander turned up early Thursday at a ranger station at a Florida state park. The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said in a Twitter post Thursday morning that 65-year-old Jean Alexandre walked up to the ranger station at the Kissimmee (kih-SIH’-mee) Prairie Preserve State Park. He was reported to be in good health and will be reunited with this family. His son, cornerback Mackensie Alexander, was jailed Wednesday on a misdemeanor battery charge after deputies say he beat up a man who had last seen his father.— San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan called off practice after losing two more key players this week to injuries. Shanahan opted to hold a walkthrough instead of a full practice a day after a physical session with a roster with a number of players hurt.TENNIS-US OPEN-DRAWOsaka-Gauff rematch could happen in US Open’s 3rd round The seven-inning game went to extras tied at one, and Tucker scored automatic runner Jarrod Dyson with a single off John Gant. Pittsburgh added two more runs with two outs on an RBI single by Bryan Reynolds and an error by third baseman Brad Miller. St. Louis scored on a sacrifice fly by Kolten Wong and single by Paul Goldschmidt that bounced off Rodriguez. It was the fifth extra-inning game this season for Pittsburgh and the first for St. Louis. This was the Pirates first victory in the new format, and dating to last season, they had lost 11 straight extra-inning games. In other Thursday action:— Wil Myers hit a walkoff three-run homer with two outs in the seven-run seventh inning for the San Diego Padres, who got two homers and four RBIs from Manny Machado in beating the Seattle Mariners 10-7 in the first game of a doubleheader. The first game was a makeup of Wednesday night’s game, which was postponed after the Mariners voted unanimously not to play as a protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. —Clayton Kershaw struck out four over six scoreless innings, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants 7-0 a day after he spoke out in support of his Black teammates as the clubs decided not to play in protest of racial injustice. AJ Pollock hit a two-run homer and Dodgers star Mookie Betts reached 1,000 hits in his 824th game with his sixth-inning single. The souvenir ball was quickly retrieved, authenticated and put in a protective box. The men’s quarterfinals could be Djokovic vs. No. 7 seed David Goffin; No. 2 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 8 Roberto Bautista Agut; No. 3 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 6 Matteo Berrettini; and No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. No. 5 Alexander Zverev.The U.S. Open begins Monday.last_img read more