The Blue Ridge is home to some of the most spectacular wildlife in the world. Here are a few of the rare, endangered, and iconic species.Elk Elk are one of the most massive members of the deer family, with bulls weighing up to half a ton and growing antlers up to four feet long. During the rutting season, which runs from late August to early October, they fill prairies and mountain valleys with high-pitched calls—a behavior known as “bugling”—and ritualistic jousting matches that establish breeding rights. “It’s like National Geographic is unfolding right in front of you,” says Esther Blakely, owner of Cataloochee Valley Tours in Waynesville. Added to that is the novelty of seeing an animal that had mostly vanished from the landscape for decades and even centuries. Hunting wiped out elk by 1880. Naturalists began reintroducing elk to Kentucky in the late 1990s, and the state’s thriving population of 11,000 has strongholds in both the eastern and western regions. Viewing options include driving a short paved loop at the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, which straddles the Kentucky/Tennessee line northwest of Nashville. The state also offers elk-viewing tours at both the Jenny Wiley and Buckhorn state resort parks in eastern Kentucky.Though the herd in the Smokies is much smaller, containing between 150 and 200 elk, they are easy to see with or without paying for a private tour, both near the Oconaluftee Visitors Center and in the more remote Cataloochee Valley. Visitors should keep a distance of at least 50 yards, and as always, refrain from feeding the animals.Synchronous firefliesCataloochee Valley is also one of the meccas for this rare species, says Blakely, who has a long waiting list for her tours, which are confined to the insects’ three-week adult lifespan that typically begins in late May. She and her husband, Tim, drive their clients to remote (and secret) locations in the interior of the Smokies to find total darkness. That’s one of the distinctive qualities of the species: they don’t light up at dusk but only when the sky is black. More famously, they do not flicker at random intervals, but in unison, the effect of which is sometimes compared to a flashing Christmas light display or a sky full of stars switching on and off.“It’s not like when you are a child and you are chasing lightning bugs. It’s like you are in the midst of it; you are surrounded, and then, boom! Just as quickly as it starts, it stops.” Blakely books only small groups for her tours and insists on darkness not only for effect, but because of the harmful effect of light pollution on fireflies.Another popular synchronous viewing area in the Smokies is Elkmont Campground, where the park sells a limited number of passes for parking at the nearby Sugarlands Visitors Center and for the shuttles it runs. A lottery for these openings, available online at recreation.gov, opens in late April, will be posted once park biologists have determined the timing of the season. To limit impact on the species, the park service asks that flashlights be covered with colored cellophane and used only when walking, not when viewing. And of course, catching fireflies is forbidden.Blue Ghost FirefliesAnother regional lightning bug that inspires rhapsodic descriptions, the tiny blue ghost is distinguished by its steady, blue-tinted glow that can be seen only in late May and early June. Brevard College biology professor Jennifer Frick-Ruppert has a novel suggestion for mountain residents seeking these tiny-but-spectacular lightning bugs: Don’t go anywhere special. “Blue ghosts are common throughout the southern Appalachians and we really encourage people to get out and look around anywhere they may be,” she says. The bugs’ preferred habitat is low-lying, moist ground with abundant leaf litter, she said. Wildlife viewers who want more guidance can sign up for tours offered at the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site in Pisgah National Forest. The cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children younger than 9 years old; the tours are capped at 100 and pre-registration at cradleofforestry.com is required. The paved trails at the viewing site limit the danger of trampling, says Adam DeWitte, Cradle of Forestry tour supervisor. And, he adds, the moist conditions are ideal for producing spectacular displays: “It’s like little fairies are coming out of the woods and they are all carrying these little blue torches. It’s really something else.”Red WolvesRed wolves are one of the world’s most endangered species. The only wild population lives in and around the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina, and, 31 years into a now-stalled reintroduction program, this group has dwindled to fewer than 25 animals. In the summer, the refuge hosts howling tours (Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.) that offer a shortcut to a true wild encounter. These tours, which cost $10 for visitors 13 and older, start with an explanation of the reintroduction program and the species, including a display of pelts and skulls of the wolves and their canid cousin, the coyote. Tour leaders then take visitors into the darkness near the refuge’s small population of captive wolves. The wolves sometimes howl spontaneously when they sense the presence of humans, says Cindy Heffley, Visitor Services Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Other times tour leaders, and then visitors, howl into the night to provoke spine-tingling responses from the wolves.Black BearsLittle known fact: there are more bears along the coast of North Carolina than in the mountains. That’s why Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge might offer the surest and least intrusive method for viewing bear. The refuge is home to one of the largest concentrations of black bears in the Southeast, supporting as many as three bears per square mile. Along with regular tram tours, the refuge offers guided van tours ($30 for adults, $20 for children 6-12) on Wednesdays and Thursday evenings. Closer to home, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more bears per square mile than any other national park in the country.Sea TurtlesThe all-volunteer Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) offers a chance to not just see the five species of endangered or threatened turtles that frequent the North Carolina coast but to help them survive. After a short training session conducted by the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission, one group of volunteers conducts pre-dawn patrols of beaches, looking for new nests or tracks of egg-laying mother turtles. Other NEST members then take over, moving eggs if they are laid below the tide line, marking nests with warning tape, and monitoring them over the 55- to 80-day germination period. Then comes the payoff, a frenzy of hatching known as a “boil.” A small hole appears in the sand as the turtles begin to emerge, and over the next 24 hours, hatchlings make their way from the nest to the ocean, volunteers standing by to shoo away predators and careless humans. The young turtles “are about the size of an Oreo cookie,” says veteran NEST volunteer Charlotte Alexander. “They’re stepping all over each other. It’s really exciting… everybody says it’s on their bucket list.” The group also works with the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island to rehab turtles—usually loggerheads, but sometimes rarer leatherbacks and Kemp’s Ridleys—that are stunned by the cold, injured by boat strikes, suffering from disease, or previously caught or injured in fishing nets. For more information, visit nestonline.org.Hawk MigrationThe Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) offers another chance to not only see wild animals, but to support their preservation by helping scientists who study them. It relies on volunteers who gather along the migration routes of hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures to count the species and individual birds passing overhead during spring and fall migrations.The HMANA website lists dozens of watch sites, which tend to be at high elevation. Hot spots in the southern Appalachians include Caesar’s Head in South Carolina, Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Mills River Valley Overlook in North Carolina, and Harvey’s Knob in Virginia.Novices are welcome and will likely quickly learn to identify raptors from experienced birders at watch sites, said Jane Ferreyra, HMANA’s Executive Director. This data contributes to population and migration studies.In the Southern Appalachians, broad-winged hawks are the featured attraction. They take advantage of mountain updrafts and ride these “little elevators of warm air” in “kettles,” says Carlton Burke, an interpretive naturalist from Mills River, N.C. “They are called that because it looks like a mass of something boiling.”Watching takes patience, he said. “Come with your food and your water and an easy chair.” And, like anyone who seeks out wild animals in their own habitat, hawk watchers need to be prepared for disappointment. “I’ve been on hawk watches when I didn’t see a thing,” says Susan Goldsworthy, of Brevard, N.C. who has watched hawks in several states. “And I’ve been on watches where there were so many birds you could hardly see the sky.”
Financial Readiness is something we all champion when promoting our credit union values to each of our members. Everything from building a “rainy day” fund and saving 3–6 months of pay to getting out of debt and saving for retirement to and practicing delayed gratification and avoiding credit. These are all sound financial practices, and we should always support efforts that educate and foster these ideals.The good news is that each of these principles and practices apply to each of our member credit unions, particularly as credit unions continue to find ways to cope with the great economic shutdown of 2020. Fortunately, many of you have told me you will be okay in the short-term. Yet, we are still waiting to see how mortgage forbearances will play out, whether entire industries will vanish along with many jobs, and the prospect of looming tax increases to help pay for it all.The bad news is the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. In fact, Europe is in the middle of another economic shutdown. Worse, the United States is on the brink of what some leaders are describing as a “dark winter.” Whether this vision is true or not, we need to be prepared. As such, each credit union will need to adapt and have access to a variety of tools, methods, and policies that will enable their continued recovery and success.One such resource is the NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility (CLF). The purpose of the CLF is to provide enrolled credit unions with a sustainable source of liquidity. To bolster the CLF’s impact, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted several important changes to the CLF. These include: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This is placeholder text continue reading » This post is currently collecting data…
Human Services, Press Release, Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Department of Human Services (DHS) launched a Community Living Waiver effective January 1 to make services available to approximately 1,000 more individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) or autism in the commonwealth.“Since I took office I have been committed to expanding access to care, getting people off of waiting lists for care and increasing home and community care,” Governor Wolf said. “These waivers are a means to reduce the waiting list and provide people with high-quality care in their communities without a lot of bureaucratic red tape to make that happen.”DHS administers multiple Medical Assistance waivers so Pennsylvania can provide supports and services for people in their own communities with federal funds that would otherwise be available only for institutional services. Waiver programs offer an array of services and benefits from a choice of qualified providers that offer in-home supports, durable medical equipment and medical supplies, and home modifications.The Community Living Waiver will support individuals to live more independently in their homes and participate more fully in their communities through services that support independent living, employment in a competitive job, and full engagement in community activities.“The goal of the waiver is to provide eligible Pennsylvanians with a disability and their families access to high-quality services,” said acting DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “People with disabilities want to have a good life, to live and work in their communities, like everyone else.”The waiver services are available to individuals who have an intellectual disability or autism and have been determined eligible through application to the local county assistance office for people with ID and autism.“This waiver will help foster more opportunities for individuals with a disability to thrive in our communities, and our society will be richer as a result.” Governor Wolf said. “Although there is still work to be done, I am proud that DHS is creating opportunities and initiatives to help individuals throughout the commonwealth live happy and healthy lives in their location of choice.”The Community Living Waiver is one of numerous initiatives developed to implement Governor Wolf’s enacted fiscal year 2017-18 budget, which provides $26.5 million to serve more people in the community and strengthen Pennsylvania’s support for adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.Other initiatives include moving people from state centers to home and community-Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Services to People with Disabilities to Reduce Waiting Listbased services, serving more individuals with intellectual disabilities, adults with autism spectrum disorders, and eligible individuals with autism on the intellectual disabilities waiting list, and investing in bio-behavioral units for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism.For more information on the Community Living waiver, visit www.dhs.pa.gov. January 08, 2018 Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Services to People with Disabilities to Reduce Waiting List SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
15 Logan Street, North Booval sold for $149,000 when its vendor decided it was time to sell, regardless of the “tree feature”.AN unexpected set of circumstances involving a tree, a storm and a roof forced this vendor to sell his home for $100,000 under his suburb’s median house price. Ray White sales agent Neil Mundy just sold a bargain buy in North Booval, a three-bedroom home on a 607sq m block for $149,000 and all done with a bit of tongue in cheek.Marketed as the “Ultimate Tree Change”, Mr Mundy meant what he said, as the home has a tree smack bang in the middle of the living room.The tree isn’t an added feature, more an unexpected visitor.The 15 Logan Street home, was an investment property that fell victim to one of the big storms to hit Ipswich earlier this year.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago15 Logan Street, North BoovalThe vendor decided to sell as is and a second investor seized the opportunity.Mr Mundy said while it was rare to find a home this cheap, selling at land value, North Booval did offer fantastic entry level properties with more owner occupiers than investors in the area.“North Booval is a nice quiet suburb, close to shops, short walk to the train station, medical facilities, restaurants and sporting clubs,” Mr Mundy said.“This suburb is a really niche market that hasn’t seen its full potential yet.” Mr Mundy said North Booval was an up and coming area and to highlight the affordability of the region Ray White were hoping to auction off 20 homes in the suburb for under $250,000 on Friday July 21.So far 10 homes have been secured to go under the hammer, Mr Mundy is urging anyone in North Booval, who wants to sell in that price bracket, to get in touch.
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Batesville Bulldogs softball team traveled to Shelbyville Saturday for their annual softball invite.In the first game they took on the Hamilton Southeastern Royals and taken to school in the second inning where they gave up 9 runs on only 3 hits but committing 6 errors. The final was 16-4. Performing for the Bulldogs were Whitney Axsom going 3-4 and 2 RBI, and Kylie Paul and Gabi Garcia went 1-3.In the second game the Bulldogs took on Beach Grove and brought there bats with them. Scoring 8 runs in 5 innings and defensively held their opponents to just 2 runs the Bulldogs appeared to be in control. Beach Grove however had different plans as they scored 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th before Kelsey Huffner shut the door making the final out on a nice play at short. The final was 8-7. Key performers for the Bulldogs were Kara Obermeyer going 2-3, and Gabi Garcia, Bre Hartman, Kylie Paul, and Whitney Axsom all going 2-4.The Bulldogs are now 5-14 on the season. They will host East Central on Monday evening at 730pm in a makeup from last weeks rain out!Courtesy of Bulldogs Todd Reed.
DAVENPORT, Iowa (May 19) – The IMCA Modified Madness 50 special, scheduled for tonight (Friday) at Davenport Speedway, has been postponed due to weather. The event will be run next Friday, May 26.The event features IMCA Modifieds racing for $2,000 to win purse. Also racing will be the Petersen Plumbing & Heating IMCA Late Models, the Koehler Electric Street Stocks and the Hawkeye Auto IMCA SportMods competing for weekly track points.Davenport Speedway is located at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, on West Locust Street in Davenport. Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5 p.m., with hot laps at 6:15 p.m. and racing at 6:45 p.m.For more information, visit the davenportspeedway.com website or call 563 652-5302.
By Dusty WiegertSALINA, Kan. (May 22) – Despite some morning showers, things are looking up for the Salina Speedway as racing will happen tonight (Friday).With only one race in the books so far, on May 1, Mother Nature has prevailed each of the last two weekends. Anticipation from race fans and race teams have prompted track officials to do everything in their power to get people back on track as the season hopes to now set in full swing.Six divisions will be in action tonight: BSB Manufacturing NeSmith Late Models, 1st Class Chassis IMCA Modifieds, Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars, Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Northern SportMods, Auto House Mod Lites, and Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks.As a result of area rainouts, all new drivers registering tonight will have their registration fee waived.The event is sponsored by Will Electric and Glass Masters. Adult grandstand admission is $10, seniors (55 and over) are price, and kids 15 and under and both active and retired military personnel are free.Pit gates open at 5 p.m., the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. and hot laps are at 7:15 p.m. with racing to follow.
highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. “Since the new manager came in there is a new flow, they played good games and have won a lot and that is building confidence in the team,” said Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.”It’s also a home game for them so they will have a lot of confidence as they don’t have the problems they had before.”Solskjaer has lifted his side into the Champions League places and knows any chance he has of becoming the next permanent manager probably hinges on staying there.But defender Luke Shaw says the interim boss, known for his sunny demeanor, is capable of showing some steel.”You know, Ole does it at the right time (shows another side),” Shaw told MUTV.”He knows how good we can be and, if we’re not up to his standards or the standards of Manchester United, he will certainly let you know.”We’ve had a few moments like that where we might have been comfortable in a game but got a bit sloppy. He’s the manager and he tells the players what he wants. It’s good and what we need sometimes, a kick up the backside from the manager, if we’re getting too comfortable.”Despite showing incredible tenacity to stay on the edge of the Premier League title race, Tottenham has gone under the radar, with Manchester City and Liverpool the constant focus. But four straight league victories have kept Spurs in the hunt for their first English top-flight title since 1961 — and they are getting ready to welcome talisman, Harry Kane, back into the fold.”He is doing very well and maybe he is going to be available at Burnley (on Saturday),” said Pochettino.”Harry is an animal and wants to be ready as soon as possible. In the last 10 days he has been fantastic and having him back available is a fantastic boost for everyone.”Roy Hodgson will become the oldest manager in Premier League history when Crystal Palace take on Leicester.The former Liverpool and England boss will break Bobby Robson’s record for the Premier League era, which has stood since Robson’s final game at Newcastle in August 2004.He will be 71 years and 199 days old on Saturday.The pair are among four managers to take charge of a Premier League game in their 70s, with former United boss Alex Ferguson and Cardiff’s Neil Warnock also part of the exclusive club. Liverpool will be up against United on Sunday. Manchester City will be playing Chelsea. Currently, Liverpool is table toppers. New Delhi: Liverpool will be up against Manchester United on Sunday of what could be their toughest challenge in Premier League. As of now, Liverpool tops the table with Manchester City occupying the second spot. Going forward, every point will be crucial for men-in-red as they look to continue their dominance.On the other hand, Manchester City will lock horns against Chelsea in the League Cup final. Interestingly, the encounter will be played on the same day as of Liverpool. The team will be looking to regain the momentum to open up a three-point lead.In the last encounter between two sides, Liverpool was at its best as they thumped 3-1 at Anfield in the last match of Jose Mourinho’s reign in December but they are transformed under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are back in the top four.If Spurs beat Burnley and Liverpool slip up, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be just two points behind City and Liverpool, with all three clubs having played 27 matches.AFP Sport picks out some of the main talking points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.Liverpool knows that a win at Old Trafford — where they have won just twice in the league since 2004 — would be a huge statement of intent as they hunt their first English top-flight title since 1990.Klopp’s men are 14 points clear of United but they will be facing a different team from the one they demolished in December, courtesy of a goal from Sadio Mane and two from Xherdan Shaqiri.
United States : Canadian sensation Bianca Andreescu toppled sixth-ranked Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 on Friday and will face Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber for the WTA title in Indian Wells. Germany’s Kerber, ranked eighth in the world, ended Belinda Bencic’s 12-match winning streak with a 6-4, 6-2 victory to reach the final in the California desert for the first time in her third semi-final appearance.Kerber won the last four games of the opening set and the last three games of the second to subdue Bencic, who was coming off her first WTA title in four years in Dubai. The 22-year-old Swiss, whose career was disrupted by a string of back and wrist injuries, had beaten six top-10 players in her winning streak, including world number one and defending Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in the fourth round here.But she couldn’t find a way past Kerber, who broke Bencic from 30-0 down in the final game of the opening set. Kerber dropped her serve in the opening game of the second set but broke Bencic twice to lead 3-1 before the Swiss clawed back another break. But Kerber, taking full advantage of Bencic’s 27 unforced errors in the match, won the next three games, to clinch it.”It’s always tough to play against Belinda,” Kerber said.”She played so great in the past few weeks.”I was trying to focus only on my side of the court. I was trying to play concentrated, and going for it when I had the chance.”I really enjoy the semi-finals here – it was already twice here, and I’m really happy to be in the final for the first time now.” Kerber, 31, will be playing 18-year-old Andreescu for the first time.”I’m really looking forward to a really tough battle. She’s here as a wild card, and she beat a lot of good players,” Kerber said. “She has nothing to lose, she enjoys her tennis and she’s a great player.” Andreescu, ranked 60th in the world after starting the year at 152, continued a stellar run that included a quarter-final victory over former world number one Garbine Muguruza. She’s the first wild card to reach the women’s final at Indian Wells. Bianca Andreescu toppled sixth-ranked Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.Kerber won the last four games of the opening set and the last three games.The 22-year-old Swiss, whose career was disrupted by a string of back and wrist injuries, had beaten six top-10 players in her winning streak. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.