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Beech Mountain in June is Hard to Beat

first_imgFor the all of June, the folks in Beech Mountain, N.C. have an entire month of family-friendly events and outdoor adventures lined up.Located about two hours from Asheville, two and a half hours from Charlotte, and an hour from Johnson City, Beech Mountain is an easy day trip for families in the surrounding areas. Popular for its mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter, many of you are already familiar with the place.June is the time to bring the entire family for some unique fun in this picturesque outdoor paradise. From guided bike rides and hikes to races and movie nights, there is something for everyone to do. They are also offering special lodging rates for families looking to come play.This month’s special events include:Friday Field DaysFamily Friendly ConcertsThe Annual “A Cool 5 Race”Movies Under The Stars47th Annual Roasting of the HogMile High Fourth Of JulyHiking and BikingThe trails around Beech Mountain have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely family stroll or wanting to charge some epic downhill on the bike, there is a trail for you. For family fun month, they have specials on mountain biking lessons and guided rides. There are guided hikes on June 7 and June 21 along the Grassy Gap Creek and Emerald Outback trails.Paddling and FishingFamilies visiting Beech Mountain for family fun month have access to free canoe and paddleboat rentals at Buckeye Lake. They provide the paddles and lifejackets as well. All month long, there are guided trout fishing tours with Rec Center staff. They provide the rods and reels.Other ActivitiesAlong with your traditional outdoor recreation opportunities, family fun month also has several other fun outdoor activities. Families can challenge themselves playing Mini-golf, disc golf, and pickleball all month long.For a full lineup of events and list of lodging specials, learn more about family fun month here.last_img read more

Uniondale Man Convicted of Murder Near Church

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A gunman has been convicted of shooting a 34-year-old man to death near a church in the victim’s hometown of Uniondale last year.Judge George Peck found Jonathan Mack guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.Prosecutors said the 20-year-old Uniondale man gunned down Isaac Andrews after the victim intervened in an argument Mack was having with a woman on Hill Street near where parishioners were gathered for Sunday services on June 30, 2013.Four shots that Mack fired all hit Andrews, who died shortly later at Nassau University Medical Center.Police apprehended Mach in Florida a month later.He faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 8.last_img read more

‘Don’t panic’: Nuclear agency urges controlled reaction to radiation in South Tangerang housing complex

first_img“For the time being, we have not focused on investigating the location of the source, where it came from, why it was there, who brought it. At the moment the joint team is still focusing on clearing the scene,” Qohhar told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.He added, however, that the team’s initial findings indicated that the radiation did not come from a nuclear reactor leak. The Puspiptek building, which is located about five kilometers away from the Batan Indah complex, houses several small reactors used for experimental purposes. “The source of radiation that we found [in the complex] is Caesium-137, which is frequently used for industrial purposes,” he said. “Caesium-137 is also one of the substances that will contaminate the environment when there is a reactor accident, such as at Chernobyl or Fukushima. But in addition to Caesium-137 there would also be other substances [in a reactor accident]. In this case, the only radiation source is Caesium-137, so the hypothesis that this incident is due to a reactor leak is baseless.”Qohhar added that when radiation exposure rate went above a certain threshold, the effects would be felt by humans, with symptoms such as changes in skin color, dizziness, nausea or even death.“The exposure rate in Batan Indah is far below this threshold,” he said.A resident of Batan Indah complex, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she received a letter from the neighborhood unit (RT) earlier this week informing her about the radiation. She felt everything was under control. “I think there is no need to panic. I believe that the authorities are doing their best to solve the problem. And if they thought it was dangerous, they would have warned us. But so far there is still no warning, so we’re safe,” she said.She said that she passed the volleyball field every day during her morning walk and that besides the yellow barrier tape around the vacant lot, everything looked normal.Heru said that Batan was currently in the process of cleaning up the exposed area and had collected 52 drums of soil and vegetation from the locations.“The results of the cleanup showed that the material causing the radiation had mixed with the soil. The findings are currently being analyzed in the Batan laboratory,” he said.He added that after the cleanup, the radiation levels fell by 30 percent, from 149 microSieverts per hour to 98.9 microSieverts per hour. The normal exposure rate from background radiation is around 0.03 microSieverts per hour.The clean-up process, Heru said, started on Feb. 12 and would continue until early March.He added that the team would soon conduct a radiation test known as “whole-body counting” on residents who lived in the exposed area to measure their bodies’ radioactivity levels.”We will keep doing the cleanup until the area is thoroughly clean and there is no longer any danger to the people and the environment,” Heru said.Topics : The Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) first detected the radiation during a routine check meant to ensure that the agency’s mobile radiation detection unit was working properly.“From Jan. 30 to 31, Bapeten conducted a function test with target areas of Pamulang, the Puspiptek [Center for Science and Technology Research] housing complex, the Muncul area, the ITI [Indonesia Institute of Technology] campus, the Batan Indah housing complex and the Serpong train station,” Bapeten spokesperson Indra Gunawan said in a statement on Friday. He said that all of the areas showed normal radiation levels except for a vacant lot next to the volleyball court at Block J of the Batan Indah complex.“A joint Bapeten and Batan team conducted a search to find the source of the high radiation on Feb. 7 to 8 and found several radioactive fragments,” he said, adding that after the fragments were removed, tests showed that the radiation levels in the area had decreased but were still above normal levels. “Based on those results, we concluded that the contamination had spread in the area and decontamination efforts had to be conducted by removing or dredging contaminated soil and removing contaminated trees and other vegetation.” Bapeten spokesperson Abdul Qohhar Teguh said that the agency was not yet able to confirm the source of the radioactive fragments found in the area.center_img The National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) has asked residents of the Batan Indah housing complex in South Tangerang, Banten, to remain calm after finding high levels of radiation within the complex.Agency spokesperson Heru Umbara said locals should not panic because the case was being handled by the relevant authorities.”Residents can carry out activities as usual, as long as they do not enter the area that has been marked as contaminated. If managed properly, exposure to this radiation will not endanger the residents,” Heru said in a statement on Saturday.last_img read more

Swedish church fund amends strategy as returns fall

first_imgKyrkans Pensionskassa, the pension fund for the Swedish Church, is adapting its strategic portfolio to account for lower return expectations, after first-half results for 2015 fell sharply compared with 2014.In its interim report, the pension fund said its total return for January to June 2015 fell to 2.7% from the 8.7% achieved in the same period last year.For the whole of 2014, the pension fund produced a 19.2% return.The pension fund said it was changing its strategic investment aims because of the low-yield environment. Carl Cederberg, Kyrkans Pensionskassa’s chief executive, said: “The lower yields mean it will probably become much tougher to achieve returns that will adequately match the pension fund’s liabilities.”Because of this, the pension fund hae proactively changed its investment guidelines to minimise its sensitivity to rising market yields, he said.“For this reason we have started to adjust the strategic portfolio for possible lower expected returns,” Cederberg added.He said the pension fund’s financial position had strengthened over the latest six and 12-month periods, as a result of which, the bonus rate had been hiked twice and now stands at 14%.It was an advantage for the pension fund to be in such a strong financial position given current low yields, as it increased the opportunity to take risk and allocate assets in the best way, he said.Kyrkans Pensionskassa’s solvency level rose to 168% at the end of June from 162% at the end of December 2014.Among the pension fund’s four asset classes — equities, fixed income, property and alternative investments — equities generated the highest return in the first half, with 10.7% compared to 10.3% in the same period last year.Fixed income showed the weakest performance, with a 2% loss against an 8.4% profit in the first half of 2014.On the business side, the pension fund’s premium income was up significantly in the first half of this year, rising to SEK560m (€58.4m) from SEK160m in the first half of 2014, and up from SEK185m in the whole of 2014.Total assets grew to SEK14.9bn from SEK14.1bn.last_img read more

Why homes in this estate are a little bit different

first_imgGreater AscotGREATER Ascot does homes a little bit differently – using low front fences, patios and laneways the estate fosters a community feel perfectly suited to families.The estate by Parkside Developments is located in Shaw off Dalyrmple Rd and is home to 380 families but will eventually have more than 2000 houses.The estate has proved popular with families and those that have a strong connection to Kirwan either through where their children go to school or their workplace.Parkside Developments marketing manager Fiona Montgomerie said Greater Ascot’s convenient location and the requirement that homes have front fencing and patios set it apart from other estates in Townsville.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Greater Ascot“What makes Greater Ascot a great place to live can be seen from how the homes in Greater Ascot look, their street appeal – they have low front fences, the patios are spaces people can use and we offer laneways in our street design,” she said.“Another feature for Greater Ascot is our Central Park. A large park that has plenty of open space as well as covered climbing equipment and a small basketball layup area. Several events are held here every year.“Another key feature that makes Greater Ascot desirable is its location. It is so close to Kirwan and with the completion of the bridge to cross the Bohle River it has excellent access in all other directions, North and South St Benedicts Catholic Primary School opened this year and this has been a welcome addition to the community and area.”As Greater Ascot continues to grow the land near the river will be developer offering larger lots, walking tracks, more open spaces and play areas.There is also plans for sport playing field where local sport groups will be able to base themselves.last_img read more

Attorney for family of 2-year-old who fell from cruise ship denies grandfather dropped her

first_imgAn attorney representing the family of the 2-year-old who died after falling 11-stories from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship is reporting that the grandfather did not drop the child  as was initially reported by officials in Puerto Rico.On Monday Puerto Rican officials reported that the child fell several stories onto the ships dock after the grandfather “lifted her out of the open window and lost his grip.”The families attorney, Michael Winkleman is reporting, however, that the child actually fell through an open glass pane that should have been closed securely.Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman José Carmona says the grandfather, Salvatore Anello, sat the child on the edge of the window in the dining hall before she fell and that they are now investigating whether the window was already open when the incident occurred and who opened it.Officials also reported that they are still investigating the grandfather and that the family will remain in Puerto Rico until the investigation has concluded.Royal Caribbean Cruises called the incident a tragedy and is working with the family but a spokesperson for the cruise line is reporting that ship has since left Puerto Rico for St. Maarten on a new itinerary. No other comment was made available.last_img read more

Defending champion Kerber stunned by Japan’s Osaka

first_imgBy Julien PretotNEW YORK, USA (Reuters) – Angelique Kerber became the second women’s defending champion to lose in the U.S. Open first round when she was crushed 6-3, 6-1 by 19-year-old Japanese Naomi Osaka yesterday.The German sixth seed, who has not won a title since winning at Flushing Meadows last year, never got into the match against the 2016 WTA newcomer of the year.The last defending women’s champion to lose in the first round in New York was Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.“I was always believing until the end that I could turn around the match because I turn around a lot of matches,” Kerber told a news conference.“She played good, especially also at the end of the match. I’m always trying to go for it when I had the chance.”Kerber, however, barely got that chance as Osaka, who last year had been described by 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams as ’very dangerous’, put her on the back foot with her aggressive play.“Today she went for it. I think she took the chances, and she played a very good match. But for me it was for sure not the best day and not the best match,” said Kerber.Osaka, who grew up in New York, broke for 5-3 and sealed the opening set with a sizzling winner down the line under the closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.World number 45 Osaka broke in the first game of the second set when her opponent made a mess of a routine backhand, and she continued to pepper the court with winners to hold for 2-0.Kerber had four break points but failed to convert any as Osaka completed her demolition job to claim her first career victory against a top-10 player.She next faces either Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson or Czech Denisa Allertova, with a potential fourth-round clash against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko looming.last_img read more

WLAX : SU to rely on offense while young goaltenders find comfort zone

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: | @DBWilson2center_img Last year, Syracuse called on its defense to prevent other teams from scoring while its young offense continued to develop. Though the defense wasn’t great, the offense was the bigger liability for the Orange.A year later, SU is leaning on its offense, which has transformed from youthful and inexperienced to a unit defined by depth.‘It’s definitely a great thing to have,’ midfielder Sarah Holden said. ‘It’s going to be hard to scout us just because we’re going to have a well-rounded attack.’SU entered nearly every game with Liz Hogan in net last season. The All-American led the Big East in save percentage and was 10th nationally. Meanwhile, the offense ranked in the bottom half of the nation in goals per game with just more than 12. But now, even with Hogan gone, No. 12 Syracuse still has lofty expectations with nine starters and four of its five leading scorers returning from last season.Michelle Tumolo is the unquestioned leader of that bunch. The junior attack, who was named the Big East’s Preseason Offensive Player of Year, was Syracuse’s leading scorer a season ago with 63 points. Tumolo also set SU’s single-season assist record for a sophomore last season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith a talented and capable cast surrounding her, Tumolo is excited to spearhead the offensive attack.‘It’s good because then the defense on the opposing team doesn’t know who to mark,’ Tumolo said. ‘It’s great to have everyone who scores because if I’m covered, Alyssa (Murray) can score. If Alyssa’s covered and I’m covered, we’ve got Katie Webster. Everyone’s an option and everyone’s a weapon. It’s great to have balanced scoring.’Webster and Holden could benefit the most from Tumolo’s stellar passing. The midfielders finished tied for second on the team in goals last season with 32 apiece — a plateau neither feels would have been attainable without Tumolo.‘I love when Michelle has the ball down low,’ Webster said. ‘You know she’s either looking to go 1 v. 1 because she’s quick or she’s got that quick pass. She’s a great assister.’The fourth cog to this potential offensive machine is Murray. The sophomore was second on the team in assists last season to give the potent duo of Webster and Holden yet another distributor.But what makes expectations so high for Murray and Webster in particular is the progress expected between their freshman and sophomore seasons.Last year, they were thrust into action as freshmen for a mediocre offensive unit. Though the young Orange had an up-and-down 2011 campaign, it could pay off this season. With a year of full-time experience under their belts, the sophomores are a year ahead of where most sophomores are expected to be.‘It definitely helps all of us,’ Murray said. ‘We all learned, whether we were on the offensive side or the defensive side. … You just learn a lot just being on the field, knowing the experience, getting all the nerves out that way when you come back the next year. You’re like a vet.’The biggest question this season is how the team replaces Hogan. Though SU head coach Gary Gait has been impressed with the play of Alyssa Costantino and Kelsey Richardson in net, it’s impossible to replace a goaltender like Hogan.So the Syracuse offense will have to pick up the slack and carry the team as it adjusts in net.‘Our coaches are really stressing the importance of going hard all the time, and I think you’re definitely going to see a lot more goals with us, and we’ve been working on our shooting, so hopefully we’ll be better finishing,’ Holden said. ‘… Look to see a lot of goals and hopefully less goals on the defensive end.’dbwilson@syr.edulast_img read more

Softball: Despite ‘rookie team’ status, Badgers looking to make big splash in 2016

first_imgIn one of the most promising starts in program history, the University of Wisconsin softball team is hitting the ground running this year in hopes that they will finally secure their place as a top competitor in the Big Ten.The Badgers (18-14-1, 3-2-1 Big Ten) are off to one of the best starts in the history of the program, even though they just played their first home game March 30.Being on the road for two months on opposing or neutral sites meant that the Badgers couldn’t rely on their home audience. They needed to find their own momentum and that required a lot of hard work, resulting in some very hard fought games.That being said, the Badgers are still viewed as a relatively new team coming in the Big Ten. Considering teams like the University of Michigan and Ohio State have had their softball programs for around 38 years, Wisconsin’s 19-year-old program makes them newcomers in some eyes.Head coach Yvette Healy knows that having this “rookie team” status means that the Badgers need to fight for the same respect that Michigan and Ohio have earned over the years.Healy knows that her team is willing to play the big teams to help them earn their stripes.“I think this team just wants to take a swing at the big teams and see if we can get a little bit of respect out of it,” Healy said. “While softball is not only a relatively new sport within the Big Ten, it is a fairly new sport to Wisconsin itself.With the team having less than 20 seasons in Madison, Healy knows that being this new to the school means that sometimes softball gets overlooked on campus. Her goal is to get softball to be the same kind of powerhouse team that men’s basketball or football has been for the university.“Softball is not a sport here that’s been a powerhouse yet,” Healy said. “It’s not a men’s basketball that goes [to the NCAA tournament] every year or a football that’s always been in a bowl game. We’re trying to become that type of team. There’s nothing about it that’s easy, especially when you’re a warm weather sport playing in the cold and spending your first 30 games on the road. You have to work for it.”With only two NCAA tournaments under their belt, Healy knows that there is a lot of work cut out for her and her team to get to the same level as men’s basketball at UW, but this season has shown that significant progress is being made toward reaching that goal.One thing this team has going for them is that they don’t take national tournament appearances for granted. At the end of last season, when the team knew that they would not go on to the Big Ten tournament, they worked to come back even stronger this season, and Healy has taken notice.“I think they just want it,” Healy said. “The senior class especially, they’ve been to two NCAA tournaments so last year was a tough year, but they want to get the program back on track. They’re fighting for it.”And the way the players have been swinging their bats has really helped them bounce back, as it has become quite clear throughout the start of the season that this year’s Badgers have improved immensely on offense.For several games this year, the Badgers walked off the diamond with a 10-1 score, which sophomore utility player Kelsey Jenkins knows is both a combination of luck and determination.“One inning, the rails just come off and you just keep going,” Jenkins said. “Everything finds a hole and everything finds the bat. We’ve put a lot of work in this season, especially with the [quality at-bats]. It really enforces us to just really push the pedal. We work towards those and the beginning [of the winning process] comes from that.”As the season goes on, and if Wisconsin keeps putting up the numbers that they have been putting up, it is only a matter of time before the Badgers find themselves in the position they want to be in.Healy knows that one of the best motivators this team has going for them is the way last season ended.“I think they just want it,” Healy said. “This is a group that, the senior class especially, they’ve been to two NCAA tournaments. Last year was a tough year, but they want to get the program back on track. I think there’s a lot of pride that they came here trying to get Wisconsin to be a nationally ranked team.”last_img read more

Bourke believes reform of Senior Football Championship is on the way

first_imgTipp’s top elected official doesn’t think there’s anything to fear in what’s on the table… The County Board Chairman says he thinks the proposals to reform the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship will be adopted.Although some of what is being suggested by GAA Director General Paraic Duffy has attracted considerable criticism Michael Bourke is convinved the new format will get the required support at Congress.It has been suggested that replacing the quarter-finals with a group stage wouldn’t be good for so-called weaker counties.last_img read more

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