Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns: Davis, West Virginia

first_imgDavis is perhaps the region’s best year-round adventure hub, in the heart of Tucker County, West Va. During the winter, the town and surrounding Canaan Valley receives around 150 inches of snowfall, making it one of the top snowsports destinations in the South. Two of Appalachia’s best resorts are within striking distance of Davis.During the warmer months, Davis is a world-class mountain biking and hiking destination, with epic singletrack in Canaan Valley, Blackwater Falls State Park, and Monongahela National Forest.At an elevation of 3,200 feet, the small mountain town of Davis, West Virginia, was once home to a bustling logging industry. Today outdoor recreation and tourism drives Davis’s economy and attracts visitors from around the world. It’s also an up-and-coming microbrew scene.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? The Dolly Sods Wilderness area, a crown jewel of the Monongahela National Forest, affords hikers entrance into a remote wilderness setting where elevations vary from 2,700 to over 4,500 feet, and the ecosystems are more reminiscent of those found in southern Canada.Vote now at!davis-trail-sign-ablast_img read more

Armed Civilians: The Maduro Militia

first_imgBy Ricardo Guanipa D’erizans / Diálogo January 16, 2020 In late 2019, Nicolás Maduro swore in thousands of civilians as new members of the so-called National Bolivarian Militia. Dressed in beige uniforms, men and women joined the special corps that complements the National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB, in Spanish.)“We have reached 3.3 million organized militia members who are trained, armed, and ready to defend Venezuela’s union,” Maduro said during a ceremony held on December 8.One month earlier, Maduro had ordered the delivery of more than 330,000 rifles to “our militia members” to facilitate troop deployment and to support a peacekeeping security plan during the year-end holiday season. Some rifles were also sent to militia members in Guayana state, an area rich in gold and diamonds, to defend basic industries.The weapons delivery alarmed the National Assembly, which, during a session in late November, considered the measure as being “illegal.” In April 2017, Maduro had promised to give “a rifle to each militia member.”Nicmer Evans, a Venezuelan political analyst and leader of the Democracy and Inclusion movement, rejects Maduro’s figures. However, he acknowledges that the militia phenomenon has expanded throughout Venezuelan territory.“It’s very difficult to know how many there are,” Evans told Diálogo. “Based on my calculations, there are 300 to 350 paramilitary organizations at the national level; each of which can bring together dozens of militia members. But the regime exaggerates by saying it has 3 million armed militia members.”The origins of the militiaVenezuelan Navy Vice Admiral Mario Iván Carratú Molina, chief of the Military House under the government of former President Carlos Andrés Pérez, said that the history of paramilitary groups in Venezuela starts with the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, a leftist organization created by Hugo Chávez in the 1980s. The group attempted two failed coups against Pérez in 1992, before Chávez took office after winning the elections in December 1998.“From the Fort Tiuna military installation […] they began to distribute weapons to civilians in some of Caracas’ housing developments to be able to confront a social reaction from changes in the judicial and political system that the dictatorship has been making since 1999,” Vice Adm. Carratú told Diálogo.According to the 2016 report of Venezuelan nongovernmental organization (NGO) Citizen Control, the National Bolivarian Militia, an unconstitutional armed group, the Chávez government emphasized people’s participation in national defense from the beginning, and the National Bolivarian Militia was officially created in 2008, after a reform in FANB’s organic law.The incorporation of the Bolivarian Militia as a FANB component is not found in the constitution, since Venezuelans rejected the proposal in a 2007 referendum. In April 2019, Maduro said he wanted to give constitutional status to the Bolivarian Militia in 2020.Armed groupsThe weapons provided to militia members, according to several Venezuelan media reports, come from FANB’s surplus. In 2010, Chávez announced that he would provide the Bolivarian Militia with RPG-7 rocket launchers and AK-103 Kalashnikov assault rifles, however, the NGO said this did not happen and that militia members use the Army’s FN FAL rifle as their personal weapon, in addition to the Russian-made Mosin-Nagant rifle (the NGO specifies that FANB did not have the Mosin-Nagant in its inventory).Training exercises, says Citizen Control, are mainly conducted at Fort Tiuna, where militia members spend a couple of days learning to use their weapons and rehearsing some attack maneuvers. Militia members also take part in training exercises, such as Operation Sovereignty and Peace (Operación Soberanía y Paz) 2019, which consisted of border protection.In the 2010s, authorities created courses for militia members in many of the country’s schools for security forces. During this time, militia members began to control security at public facilities throughout the country, such as hospitals and schools. Today, they are involved in the food distribution program known as CLAP.“For the government, the enemies are the Venezuelan people themselves within Venezuela,” said Vice Adm. Carratú. “Faced with the humanitarian crisis caused by the government, it seeks to buy loyalties. In addition to being given weapons to defend the government, they [militia members] have been assigned wages, turning them into mercenaries.”last_img read more

Netflix Says Ready to Pay Tax After Vietnam Complaint

first_imgThe minister’s criticism against Netflix also focused on its content.Hung said some of its shows feature “violence, use of drugs, and pornography,” violating censorship laws that govern Vietnam’s tightly controlled film industry. He also specifically singled out a Vietnam War documentary for its “wrong reflection of history”. Separately, in 2017 Netflix removed the Stanley Kubrick classic Full Metal Jacket from its catalogue after a request from the government. Vietnam is hoping to build a reputation as a Southeast Asian hub for fintech, but is hampered by draconian laws governing media and digital spaces. Netflix’s run-in with the Vietnamese authorities comes amid growing concern in countries around the world about taxes paid, or not, by US tech giants. Amazon, Google, and Facebook have all come under fire for paying seemingly negligible tax on huge revenues.Earlier this month, Spain said it is preparing legislation that would impose a five percent tax on platforms such Netflix, with the aim of using the funds to boost domestic film production.Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment. Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Netflix insisted Wednesday it was prepared to pay tax in Vietnam after a government minister accused the streaming giant of dodging its obligations to the communist nation.The information minister this week singled out Netflix and newcomer Apple TV for not paying tax, saying foreign platforms earn an estimated $44 million (roughly Rs. 300 crores) a year in revenues from a skyrocketing subscriber base across Vietnam.- Advertisement – “However today such a mechanism does not exist.”The streaming juggernaut’s entry into Southeast Asia has had a major impact on viewing habits. The massive popularity of the service has pushed Netflix to invest in locally produced shows and films, such as Vietnamese martial arts movie “Furie”.- Advertisement – “Some cross-border platforms have neither paid taxes nor operated in accordance with the laws, creating unfair competition,” Nguyen Manh Hung told Vietnam’s national assembly Tuesday.But a Netflix spokesperson told AFP the company complies with relevant Vietnamese laws and is in talks with authorities on the issue. “We are supportive of the implementation of a mechanism that will make it possible for foreign service providers like Netflix to collect and remit taxes in Vietnam,” they said in a statement. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Veterans lead race to Modified checkers at Winston

first_imgBy Rick Staley WINSTON, Mo. (Aug. 24) – Veteran drivers r0se to the top three spots in the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature Saturday at I-35 Speedway in Winston.Jim Cameron made it two feature wins in as many weeks as he drove the Steve Starmer-prepared no. 96c to victory circle. Buz Kaster made his way through the pack to place second while fellow veteran Johnny McGinnis ran an impressive third. Point leader Steven Glenn worked the high line to fourth with John Hanson finishing fifth.Bruce Fair held the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car lead until the last turn of the last lap as point leader Dean Wray edged past by a fender at the line to finish. Jeff Dixon battled Wray and Fair every inch of the way to come home in a solid third. Greg Keuhn contended for the lead early on before fading to fourth and Jake Cameron rounded out the top five.The Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods raced clean and green with only one caution during their feature event. Mitch Booher jumped from his outside front row start to gain the early advantage, leading almost every lap.Booher slipped high in turn four while coming to the white flag, which opened the door for point leader Randy Ainswort to capitalize and pick up the feature win. Booher placed second as Jeff Stotts made his presence felt with a solid third place run. Tony Manley held off Jeremy Pittsenbarger for fourth.For the second week in a row in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Mich Ross found his way to McCarthy Auto Group Victory Lane. After winning the heat race, Ross held off challenges of Lee Farmer and Kenny Champ as a blanket could cover the top three at any given time during the feature. While coming to the checkers off turn four, both Farmer and Champ spun. No contact between the two was made as Champ maneuvered his way to finish second and Farmer recovering to place third. Billie Hoover placed fourth and David Truskett rounded out the night’s top five. Austin Johnson was the Grand Nationals winner and Tom Brown returned to victory lane in the Midwest Lightning Sprints.last_img read more

For Mickelson, it’s not easy being rich

first_imgby Tim Dahlberg AP Sports Columnist It’s not always easy being rich, as Phil Mickelson reminded us the other day. There are taxes to pay — apparently lots of them — and the price of a tank of jet fuel seems to go up every day.A million dollars a week just doesn’t go as far as it used to, now that the wealthy are paying more in taxes. For Mickelson, things have gotten so bad that he’s thinking of moving from California so the state doesn’t get a cut of the $47 million that Golf Digest estimates he made last year.Thankfully, it’s not quite to the point where Tiger Woods and his buddies need to hold a car wash to raise money for Lefty. He has, after all, made an estimated $400 million in the last decade and even the greediest of tax collectors doesn’t take it all.And he does seem to realize — though a bit belatedly — that one thing rich people shouldn’t do is complain to people who aren’t rich about the taxes they have to pay. Mickelson was barely done moaning about the taxman the other day when he began a round of apologies that continued Wednesday at his hometown tournament in San Diego.“I’ve made some dumb, dumb, mistakes, and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them,” Mickelson said.Not to worry. There are ways to stay put at home and still have enough left over for a few of the Five Guys hamburger franchises he loves so much.Among them are:WIN LESS: What good is winning when you have to pay so much of your earnings to the government? Sure, it goes against Mickelson’s competitive instincts, but there’s a good living to be made in the middle of the pack on the PGA Tour, where almost everyone is a millionaire. This week’s winning payout at Torrey Pines is $1,080,000, but why deal with the anguish of giving so much of it away? Luckily Mickelson has already taken an important step in that direction by winning only two times since capturing the Masters three years ago.THINK SILVER: Back in the days when the Tournament of Champions was held in Las Vegas and people still had silver dollars, the winner was paid every year with a wheelbarrow full of the coins. It might take a dump truck to hold enough silver dollars for today’s huge purses, but imagine the fun Mickelson could have when the IRS comes by to take its share. POOR PHIL–Phil Mickelson answers a question about comments he made about taxes during a news conference following his round in the Pro-Am at the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines on Jan. 23, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)last_img read more

‘Field of Dreams’…Surging Pirates slip by Cardinals 5-4 for 4th straight win

first_imgStarling Marte (6) scores from third on a sacrifice fly by Andrew McCutchen in the fifth inning of a baseball game as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz (48) waits for the late relay throw, in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington spent the hours leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline searching for a way to upgrade the team with the best record in baseball.The typically buttoned down Huntington even considered taking leave of his senses to do it.“We talk a lot about, we don’t want to do something stupid,” Huntington said Wednesday after the deadline passed. “We were willing to do something stupid. We just didn’t want to do anything insane.”At the moment, insanity might be defined as breaking up the chemistry the Pirates have spent the last four months cultivating.Russell Martin drove home Neil Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pirates rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 to extend their lead in the NL Central to 2½ games.Pittsburgh (65-42) has its best record entering August since the 1972 Pirates ended July at 60-35.Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker time to score from second and propel Pittsburgh to its 25th comeback win in an increasingly special season. Pittsburgh is 23 games over .500 for the first time since 1992.“We can win just about every way possible,” manager Clint Hurdle said.The Cardinals appeared in firm control of the division race two weeks ago but now find themselves staring up at the Pirates, who have taken the first four games of a five-game series.St. Louis broke out of a slump to put together 13 hits, but the Cardinals left 11 runners on base and dropped their seventh straight. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 but couldn’t hold on.“You always at some point during the season, every year, no matter what, go through a rough patch,” St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright said after failing to earn his 14th victory. “The good teams find a way to get out of that rough patch and find a way to get back to playing good quality baseball, and that’s what we’re going to do.”Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief of starter Jeff Locke. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save. Melancon is 3 for 3 in save opportunities since All-Star closer Jason Grilli went down with a right forearm injury last week.Matt Holliday had three hits and drove in two runs but St. Louis failed to score over the final five innings against Pittsburgh’s bullpen.“There’s something we’re not doing, and we know we’re not doing it and fixing it,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.Walker hit his seventh homer of the season off Wainwright in the first inning, starting a pattern that repeated itself throughout the night. The Cardinals found ways to score off starter Jeff Locke, but Pittsburgh kept chipping away.“It’s things we’ve done throughout the course of the season,” Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. “If we’re down early, we just keep working.”The teams with the two best records in the National League were mostly spectators before Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, though the Pirates acquired minor leaguer Robert Andino from Seattle.The past two seasons, the Pirates made somewhat aggressive moves meant to bolster their playoff chances, but instead contributed in part to a second-half swoon.This time, Huntington is keeping the group he called “one of the tightest” he’s been around intact. When the 4 p.m. deadline passed, the Pirates were huddled around a TV in the clubhouse. They weren’t anxiously waiting for news. Instead, they were watching Martin and first baseman Garrett Jones play video games.“The trade deadline is like a gossip magazine,” Watson said. “You take it for what it’s worth but it’s in one ear and out the other.”Pittsburgh needed to find a way after a rare off-night by Locke, whose rapid ascension from fifth starter to All-Star has fueled Pittsburgh’s relentless pursuit of the Cardinals. But St. Louis spent four innings pecking away at the left-hander’s usually deft mix of breaking balls.The Cardinals came in hitting just .155 (30-194) during their late-July swoon but peppered Locke for 10 hits, the most he has given up in 31 career starts.They came in various ways, from a hard-hit double by Beltran in the fourth to a swinging bunt by David Descalso that traveled 20 feet. Locke tied a season high by giving up four runs. He struck out six and walked one as his ERA rose from 2.15 to 2.36.“He was fighting uphill all night,” Hurdle said.Wainwright, however, couldn’t take advantage of the first signs of life by the St. Louis offense in a week. Every time the Cardinals would push in front, the Pirates would respond, eventually tying it on a sacrifice fly by McCutchen in the fifth. Wainwright left after seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking one.“(They) gave me the lead three times and I blew the save three times,” Wainwright said. “I can be better than that, I will be better than that.”NOTES: The Pirates placed reserve C Mike McKenry on the 15-day disabled after he underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Rookie Tony Sanchez, Pittsburgh’s top pick in the 2009 draft, will serve as the primary backup to Martin for the rest of the season … The series concludes Thursday with Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (3-2, 3.59 ERA) facing Joe Kelly (1-3 3.44). The Pirates are 5-1 in Morton’s last six starts.last_img read more

Community Garden Plans On Hold

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK – Borough residents who were hoping to plant their tomato plants and geraniums in a community garden will have to wait until next year, possibly, as plans for a garden on borough-owned property are on hold.Cindy Burnham, who has been leading the charge for establishing a community garden, said plans to establish a garden on a parcel the municipality owns on Marion Street have fallen through.Proponents would work to establish one for spring 2013, she said.Marion Street was not the location some gardeners had been seeking, insisting the borough council allow them to use 94 West Front St., a 2,400 square-foot plot, next to the borough’s public library and overlooking the Navesink River.But borough council members said the Marion Street site was the most viable location of any owned by the town. Council members have opposed using the property next to the library, saying that given the limited amount of green, open recreational space in the borough, that site should remain available for more than the handful who would have access to a community garden.Supporters have been arguing the location is the most ideal of the borough-owned sites because of its accessibility and size. They also have contended that officials have not offered any adequate reason why the site can’t be used for a garden and have questioned whether officials have other plans for the property, possibly selling it off. Mayor Pasquale Menna in the past had denied that assertion.Burnham acknowledged there wouldn’t be a garden, “not this summer,” because two potential financial benefactors have dropped their support. “They realized this is not the appropriate site for a first community garden,” she said, referring to the approximately 129 foot by 40 foot Marion Street location, a former water utility pumping station, on the borough’s eastern border with Fair Haven.Several thousand dollars would be needed to remove and dispose of the site’s existing asphalt sections and install water to get the site ready for planting. The benefactors, who Burnham declined to identify, have said, “They don’t even want to be involved with Marion Street,” Burnham said.Borough Councilwoman Kathy Horgan, who is the council’s liaison to the environmental commission, said last week it was up to Burnham to let the council know about the plans for the Marion Street site. “She hasn’t presented us with anything,” Horgan said.When informed about Burnham’s take on the issue, especially the money needed to get the garden up and running, Horgan said, “But you know these are things that could have been done nearly a year ago.”The debate over a community garden had gotten remarkably contentious and heated over the last two years as Burnham and others locked horns with the governing body over its potential location.Borough officials continued to oppose as inappropriate the West Front Street location, along with plots at Maple Cove’s natural area overlooking the river at the northern tip of Maple Avenue and a spot in Marine Park, a municipally owned and maintained public park. Propon­ents of the garden had suggested the three sites proposed as the best choices.Council members, Horgan said, insisted they support the garden but in a space that would be accessible and available in a borough that is almost entirely built out.“The organizing people in a community garden wanted it in a certain space and they weren’t happy with it any place else,” Horgan said.Burnham, who lives in Fair Haven but owns a rental property in Red Bank, has regularly challenged the governing body on a variety of issues over the last few years.The garden supporters will look for available funding to work on next year’s plan, she said.last_img read more

Cramer nets four points to lead Nelson past Grand Forks 8-6

first_imgBrendan Smith, Austin Seaman, Dylan Williamson and Darnel St. Pierre also scored for Nelson, which led 5-2 after 40 minutes.Along with Newton, now tied for top spot in KIJHL scoring with Paul Lautard of Summerland and Castlegar’s Bryan Lubin, Keven Moreau, Matt Lucero and Michael Rand, also scored for Grand ForksNelson Minor Hockey grad Coleton Dawson, playing for Grand Forks was held off the scoresheet.Brett Soles was back between the pipes after getting over the flu to register the win. Nelson outshot the Bruins 32-26.Kiernan Matsuba took the loss in goal for Grand Forks.Nelson, 10-3-2-1, increased its lead in Murdoch standings to four points over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.The Hawks lost in overtime to Golden 4-3 while Castlegar was edged 4-3 by Fernie.Nelson, winners of three straight games, host the Golden Rockets Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena. The Nelson Leafs couldn’t keep Max Newton under wraps as the Bruins sniper scored three times.However, Nelson had the offence firing on all cylinders, scoring eight times during an 8-6 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Border Bruins Friday in Grand Forks.Nelson’s game star Robson Cramer led the assault, scoring twice while adding a pair of assists before an announced crowd of 351 in the Boundary City.Matt MacDonald also finished with four points, scoring once while adding three assists.last_img read more