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December 30, 2020


first_img For a special personal challenge, visit all the parks. You can find a unique challenge hiking the highest andlowest points in Virginia. Beaver Lake Trail – A half-hour from the state capital,Pocahontas State Park has 11 hiking trails over 5 miles long. At 2.3-miles,Beaver Lake Trail is a moderate loop with slight elevation changes. For anadditional challenge, head over to the 4 miles Co-op Trail. With views of SwiftCreek Lake, you’ll see why this is quickly becoming the most popular trail inthe park.   Stroll along the Atlantic Ocean at Virginia’s lowest point in False Cape State Park. The West Dike, Barbour Hill, Sand Ridge Beach Loop is an 8.9-mile hike through remote sand along the Atlantic Ocean. This is not a hike for beginners, but it delivers. Carry plenty of water. Trails are closed Nov. 1 – March 31. Mount Rogers is Virginia’s highest point at 5,729 feet. And Old Rag is 3,284 feet. But between them, Virginia’s second-highest point is in Grayson Highlands State Park, at an elevation of more than 5,000 feet. Spend the night in a yurt and enjoy the park’s 13 hiking trails leading to panoramic vistas, scenic waterfalls and a 200-year-old pioneer cabin. The park also offers access to the Appalachian Trail and trails in the surrounding Jefferson National Forest. When it comes to hiking, regardless of your experience level, you’ll find an adventurous and challenging hiking trail in a Virginia State Park. Douthat State Park is another mountain park with fun and challenging hikes. Mountain Side Trail is narrow and mountainous; it’s not for children or the inexperienced. From the 1.2-mile trail, take the equally difficult 2.4-mile Mountain Top Trail. Serious hikers strap on a pack and hike the 16 miles of trails on the park’s perimeter. Travel across Virginia and you’ll find a Virginia State Parkalong the way. Every region offers distinctive state parks — from the mountainsto the Atlantic Ocean, from the Valley to Southside Virginia. Find your parkand find your adventure. You’ll earn five different and attractive pins. Get one foryour first park visit and others after visiting 5, 10, 20 and all 38 parks. Areyou up for the challenge? Shenandoah River State Park offers 24 miles of trails from one edge of the park to the other. On the park’s west side, take Culler’s Trail, to Shale Barrens Trail, to the Bear Bottom Loop for a stimulating 8-mile hike. Enroll in the Virginia State Parks Trail Quest program and be rewarded when you visit parks. More than 160 miles of the park system’s 626 miles of trails are reserved for hiking, and hiking is allowed on more than 397 miles of multiuse trails.last_img read more

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October 19, 2020

Australian bushfires extinguished, but climate rows rage on

first_imgBut the after-effects will endure, and national soul searching has already begun.”We know events like these can challenge the way we think about the world, undermine our perceptions of safety, and rupture social bonds,” said disaster response expert Erin Smith. Dozens of families have lost loved ones, thousands of homes and farms have been gutted, swathes of the east coast are scarred charcoal-black and millions have had their sense of security shaken.”It will likely take years and a great deal of imagination for us to figure out where we go from here,” said Smith. The question of what is next for Australia is already being asked, most of all of political leaders, and it is being met mostly with finger-pointing and recrimination.’Heads above the parapet’While scientists agree climate change created favorable conditions for the blazes, politicians of all stripes are acutely aware how sensitive the issue is in Australian politics.In an arid nation whose economic strength is intimately tied to the mining and export of fossil fuels, at least four prime ministers have been ousted in part over their climate policies.In recent weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has seen his ruling conservative coalition threatened by members in rural constituencies demanding funding for more coal-fired power plants.At the same time, the centrist wing of his party has criticized his climate targets as inadequate.Meanwhile rebel members of opposition Labor met secretly to steer the center-left party’s leadership toward a more overtly pro-coal stance.The party’s deputy leader awkwardly refused to rule out more coal subsidies, months after vowing they should end.”They don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet, at least when it comes to suggesting substantive policy,” said Matt McDonald, an expert in climate politics from the University of Queensland.One reason, he explained, is that while the hot and dry Australian continent is uniquely susceptible to the impact of climate change, it is also a world-beating source of coal.Coal accounts for around 75 percent of Australia’s electricity generation and exports of the fossil fuel are worth Aus$60 billion a year, the country’s largest export after iron ore. People in affluent suburbs may call for emissions cuts and green energy, but coal accounts for thousands of jobs in election-deciding districts of Queensland and New South Wales, and many more in the related aluminum smelting business.Independent MP Zali Steggall — a former barrister and Olympic medal-winning skier — who ousted climate-sceptic former prime minister Tony Abbott from his Sydney seat at the last election, wants to take some heat out of the debate.She has introduced a bill that would reduce Australia’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and divert some contentious issues to an independent expert body.”The debate has been very divisive,” in part because of the blame game, Steggall told AFP. “There was a certain defensiveness in the early days of this debate because the finger was so squarely pointed at coal and fossil fuels.” “You have to think about a generation that worked really hard at building Australia’s prosperity on fossil fuels. You have to be very careful in the debate about apportioning blame. It’s not like it was done on purpose.””It’s about recognizing and being thankful for that contribution, but acknowledging that we do need to evolve,” she added. “We’re all going to get there in the end.”With bushfires projected to get ever more deadly and the next season a little over six months away, the risk, Steggall says, is that politicians take so long to reach consensus “it will be too late to do anything”. Australia’s “black summer” of devastating bushfires is finally coming to a close, but bitter arguments over how to tackle climate-fuelled disasters are raging on.When firefighters announced this week that all blazes in the hard-hit state of New South Wales were under control for the first time since September, the relief was palpable.In other regions, a few fires are still being contained, but most Australians can finally abandon the grim rituals of the last half-year — morning checks of smog monitors and “Fires Near Me” apps, deciding whether the kids can play outside, whether to flee or defend their homes. center_img Topics :last_img read more

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September 18, 2020

Jaguars resume training, ahead of another gruelling four-day title defence

first_imgWITH  Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Four-Day tournament set to bowl off  on January 9, 2020, defending champions Guyana Jaguars will be keen on shifting into play mode as they recently resumed training for the long season ahead.Guyana have reigned supreme for the last five seasons, going virtually unmatched in the longest version of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) 4-Day tourney. Chasing the elusive Super50 title went left for the Jaguars, who managed to lose in the semis, thus adding another year into their decade-plus pursuit of the title they held twice back in the days.Obviously more suited for four-day cricket, Leon Johnson and his men have seemingly shrugged off their woes from their failed attempt at recapturing  Super50 title and have now placed all their emphasis back on training and successfully defending the title for a record 6th straight year.The team restarted their usual weekly training last week and will continue to put in work heading into the Christmas holiday season, when they will break their camp and spend time with their families for the holiday.Much different to years when the season had already begun and the break would have been taken a few rounds into the tournament, ahead of Christmas, franchises will now have adequate time to keep fit, enjoy Christmas and immediately get back to training, as the tourney will get underway roughly the first week of January.Guyana, like other teams will get no rest, following the holidays, as they open their defence campaign on the road in Antigua when they play Leeward Hurricanes on January 9 when Round 1 of the tournament bowls off.Off-and-on season training leading up to the tournament has always been crucial for Guyana during their 5-year reign. Their intense training programme has further played a huge role in their approach throughout the competition, as they managed to go unbeaten for all 10 rounds a few seasons back.Arguably one of the fittest franchises in the PCL, Jaguars will be putting in 4 mandatory days of work each week while players will continue to work independently; whether at their respective clubs or with the academy coaches.  With a team packed with current Windies players; Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Shimron Hetmyer and Chandrapaul Hemraj, Guyana will be favourites again this year should their top tier group of stars be available during any period of the 10 rounds.Barring injuries or international fixtures, Guyana will likely feature about 75 percent of their usual suspects who have been instrumental in their 4-Day success over the past 5 years.Newbies, the likes of wicketkeeper/batsman Kemol Savory and fast-bowler Niall Smith, could also break into the side following successful Regional Super50 debuts, as a number of spots in the team could open up following the upcoming West Indies schedule for 2020.Also, with pacer Ronsford Beaton banned from bowling due to a suspect action, the blow has now left a huge void in the fast-bowling department, which could likely see his Super50 replacement in either all-rounder Ronaldo Alimohamed or young speedster Smith making a possible debut in the team. (Clifton Ross)last_img read more

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August 28, 2020

WATCH PHOTOS: Bukom Banku and Ayittey Powers sign to fight on April 25

first_imgA signing ceremony at the Accra Stadium on Thursay, this was characterized by chants of various local cheer songs in the local language Ga by fans of both Banku and Powers. The verbal exchanges between the two boxers ahead of signing the contracts were clean and devoid of the earlier heated taunts that flooded the airwaves. Bukum Banku(in all black) warming up with his fans before signingAyittey Powers(in all white) also warms up before signing Banku and Powers in a handshakeBanku and Powers warn each other The two boxers finally signlast_img

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January 6, 2020

AFC’s Odera dedicates award to late mother

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards forward Ezekiel Odera poses with his March SJAK Player of the Month Award alongside new coach Radolfo Zapata and outgoing coach Dennis Kitambi on April 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24- On March 2 as he sat quietly in the AFC Leopards team bus on their way to Awendo to face Sony Sugar, forward Ezekiel Odera received the most devastating news; his ailing mother had passed on.For anyone, that would be crushing news but for Odera, he took it bravely and when Ingwe played the sugar millers two days later, he hit the opening goal and played part in the second as AFC ran off 2-0 winners. “It was shocking to receive the news on the way and I didn’t tell anyone, even my teammates. After the match, that’s when I told them. I told myself that if my mum would have been alive, her wish would have been for me to play,” Odera explained.“I decided to continue playing since staying at home would have been harder emotionally because of all people coming to say sorry and all. I decided to soldier on for her,” the former KCB and Gor Mahia forward further stated.His decision to keep playing proved to be a masterstroke as he went on to score three other goals in the month of March and provided two assists, form that has seen him awarded as the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) player of the month for March.He is the first AFC Leopards player to win the award since its inception.AFC Leopards forward Ezekiel Odera is congratulated by teammates Robinson Kamura and Duncan Otieno after picking his March SJAK Player of the Month Award on April 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“I dedicate this award to her (mother), my teammates and the coaches who helped me to stay strong in that time. It was a difficult period for me and the daily words from the coaches and mates helped me through it,” Odera noted.The 30-year old won the coveted gong ahead of Mathare United’s Cliff Nyakeya and Elvis Rupia of Nzoia Sugar who equally performed well in March, garnering eleven votes to Nyakeya’s seven while Rupia polled six.Odera scored for Leopards in victories over Sony Sugar, Mathare United, Wazito and Kakamega Homeboyz.His challengers for the gong, Nyakeya had three goals and an assist that helped keep Mathare United on the league summit. Rupia’s four goals were instrumental in lifting Nzoia from the relegation pit.With the award, Odera who has hit the back of the net six times already hopes he can challenge for the golden boot. The closest he has come to the award was when he was runner up during his breakout season at KCB in 2010.New AFC Leopards coach Radolfo Zapata congratulates forward Ezekiel Odera after picking his March SJAK Player of the Month Award on April 24, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“I am now more experienced and I am playing in a bigger team so I believe I have a good chance. I have started the season well and I am only two goals behind the leader. I need to keep working hard and ultimately I want to give a shot at that golden boot,” the soft-spoken forward added.Outgoing coach Dennis Kitambi was full of praise for the forward, saying the results came through because of his sheer hard work.“His work ethic is good and this is a reward you get for that. At least it will give the team motivation moving forward and hopefully now we get back to winning ways,” said Kitambi who will hand over the mantle to Argentine Radolfo Zapata from May 1.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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December 2, 2019

Row Over U.K.-India Meet Postponement


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