Hiking to Mount Rogers: The Best Day Hike in Southwest Virginia?

first_imgReaching the tallest peak in each state is a goal for some people, who need to develop the mountaineering skills to conquer Denali in Alaska as well as the patience to drive through the cornfields to Charles Mound in Illinois. Reaching all 50 provides impressive bragging rights—but there are a lot of “peaks” that wouldn’t be worth the trouble except for the fact that it happened to be the tallest in the state.That’s not the case with the Mount Rogers, which at 5,729 feet is the tallest peak in Virginia. But regardless of its position on some list, you’ll find one of the most interesting hikes in the state. The approximately nine-mile, out-and-back hike to the peak features not only incredible views of the surrounding George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, but also wild blueberries, wildflowers, rhododendron, and feral highland ponies that roam the area. The trail is long and challenging enough that it requires some planning and stamina, but not technically difficult, meaning just about anyone can enjoy the trip. While the competition is fierce with many iconic trails in Virginia, the case can be made that the trip up Mount Rogers is the best day hike in Southwest Virginia.US Forest Service – Southern RegGetting ThereThe 200,000-acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in southwest Virginia. Guide services provide shuttles to different trails in the area. Make your home base in nearby Abingdon, which offers everything from historic inns and bed & breakfasts to hotels and camping.Ryan SommaThe HikeYou’ll find more than 400 miles of trails in the Mount Rogers NRA, including the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail, two of the best-known trails in the eastern United State.For this day hike, however, you’ll want to start at Grayson Highlands State Park, which is located adjacent to the Mount Rogers NRA. It too features a wide variety of trails, where you can find scenic waterfalls as well as a 200-year-old pioneer cabin.Scott WilsonThe area supports two herds of free-roaming wild ponies, which are descended from Shetland ponies and were introduced to help prevent reforestation on the highland balds that provide those unobstructed views.Ryan SommaExploring Grayson HighlandsIf you have a chance to further explore Grayson Highlands and the surrounding area, do so. Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s second highest peak, also features some excellent trails with more stunning overlooks. Mountain bikers can find trails to explore, and equestrians can take advantage of the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.Hikers who plan ahead and come prepared will be hard pressed to find a more scenic hike. Is it the best day hike in Southwest Virginia? Give it a shot and you’ll understand why it’s certainly in the conversation.last_img read more

NCUA proposed rule: MBL flexibility for credit unions?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Billy BurnetOn June 18th, the board of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) unanimously approved five items, including a proposed rule aimed at modernizing member business lending (MBL). The rule would provide greater flexibility and autonomy for credit unions to better meet the needs of their members.Small business lending at credit unions has continued to increase over the last several years. According to data from the NCUA, total business loans rose dramatically over the span of a decade to $51.7 billion in 2014 from only $13.4 billion in 2004. Business loans’ percentage of total loans also grew to 6.8 percent from 3 percent during the same time period. In addition, the percentage of credit unions offering business loans has risen to 36 percent from 19 percent, and 93 percent of credit unions above $500 million in assets now offer business loans to their members.Even with the strong growth, credit unions have generally maintained safety and soundness in MBL, and delinquency and net charge-off rates have decreased to pre-recession levels. Further, of the credit unions that offer business loans, 98 percent are well-capitalized according to the NCUA. continue reading »last_img read more

Former NIADA President indicted for fraud that victimized CUs & banks

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A Pennsylvania grand jury indicted the former president of the National Independent Auto Dealership Association for allegedly running a four-year, multimillion-dollar auto loan fraud scheme that victimized credit unions, banks and General Motors.Andrew Gabler, 50 of Harborcreek, who served as president for NIADA for more than a year and owned two car dealerships outside of Erie, and his finance manager Chad Bednarski, 48, of Fairview, were indicted last week on 17 felony counts of bank, wire and mail fraud.According to the indictment, from January 2015, to January 2019, Gabler and Bednarski falsely said that customers made a down payment and then inflated their income on auto loan applications submitted to financial institutions on behalf of customers.The scheme allegedly victimized the $317 million Widget Federal Credit Union and the $111 million Tendto Credit Union, both of Erie, the $373 billion Capitol One Bank in McClean, Va., the $7.3 billion S&T Bank in Indiana, Pa., and General Motors.last_img read more

UK’s Johnson says will not ignore anger over racial injustice

first_imgBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged the “cold reality” behind angry protests against racial injustice, but warned he would not tolerate violence or the breaking of coronavirus distancing laws.Demonstrations have broken out across Britain following the death of George Floyd in the United States, most of them peaceful, although clashes in London left 35 police officers hurt.”We simply cannot ignore the depth of emotion that has been triggered by that spectacle of a black man losing his life at the hands of the police,” Johnson said in a statement late Monday. Topics : He said while Britain had made “huge strides… there is so much more to do — in eradicating prejudice, and creating opportunity, and the government I lead is committed to that effort.”However, he warned the country was “in a time of national trial” as it battled the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 40,000 people in Britain. ‘Bygone era’ “I will not support those who flout the rules on social distancing,” he said.”And no, I will not support or indulge those who break the law, or attack the police, or desecrate public monuments.”London protesters defaced the statue of World War II leader Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, and in Bristol, southwest England, crowds pulled down a statue of a notorious local slave trader.”We have a democracy in this country. If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election, or vote for someone who will,” Johnson said.London mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday announced a review of the capital’s landmarks, including statues and road names, many of which he said “reflect a bygone era”.”We must ensure that we celebrate the achievements and diversity of all in our city, and that we commemorate those who have made London what it is — that includes questioning which legacies are being celebrated,” he said. “In this country and around the world his dying words — I can’t breathe — have awakened an anger and a widespread and incontrovertible, undeniable feeling of injustice, a feeling that people from black and minority ethnic groups do face discrimination: in education, in employment, in the application of the criminal law.”And we who lead and who govern simply can’t ignore those feelings because in too many cases, I am afraid, they will be founded on a cold reality.”He continued: “And so I say yes, you are right, we are all right, to say Black Lives Matter.”And to all those who have chosen to protest peacefully and who have insisted on social distancing, I say, yes of course I hear you, and I understand.”last_img read more

Governor Wolf’s Week, November 20 – December 3, 2016

first_img December 02, 2016 The Blog,  Weekly Update Last week, Governor Wolf continued his Jobs That Pay initiative by announcing a major new plan and investment in the Port of Philadelphia that will create good, middle class jobs in Southeast Pennsylvania. The Administration also continued to make fighting the opioid epidemic a top priority. First Lady Frances Wolf joined Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas at Family First Health in Hanover, PA to discuss the Wolf Administration’s top priority of combatting the opioid abuse epidemic.This week, the Wolf Administration announced the first-ever ‘It’s On Us PA’ grants to combat campus sexual assault. Thirty-six colleges and universities were awarded up to $30,000 to implement programs and strategies that align with the goals of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign.As in years past, Governor Wolf’s office announced that he would not be attending Pennsylvania Society and, in lieu of his attendance, the Governor and First Lady Wolf will be volunteering in central Pennsylvania.In response to several incidents of racism and religious intolerance, Governor Wolf and his administration wish to remind Pennsylvanians, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or religion, that PA Has Your Back.Governor Wolf’s Week, November 20 – December 3, 2016Monday, 11/21/16Governor Tom Wolf Announces Disaster Assistance Approved for Victims of Severe Flooding in North-Central PennsylvaniaGovernor Wolf Takes Action on LegislationIn York County, First Lady Frances Wolf Discusses Efforts to Battle Opioid EpidemicTuesday, 11/22/16Governor Wolf Announces $300 Million Investment for Port of Philadelphia to Double Container Capacity, Create JobsMonday, 11/28/16Governor Wolf Reminds Pennsylvanians of New Criminal Record Sealing LawTuesday, 11/29/16Wolf Administration Awards First-ever ‘It’s On Us PA’ Grants to Combat Sexual AssaultGovernor Wolf’s Second Year: Progress on Schools, Jobs, and ReformGovernor and First Lady Wolf Invite Public to Attend 2016 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyWednesday, 11/30/16Governor Wolf Announces Mission Critical Solutions Manufacturing Expansion and New Job Creation in Bedford CountyThursday, 12/2/16Governor Wolf Announces Federal Disaster Funding for October FloodingHighlights from The BlogRecapping a Year of Historic Liquor Reform in Pennsylvania (VIDEO)From the Wolf Family Recipe Box: A Traditional Apple CrispKeep Yourself and Emergency Responders Safe This Holiday Travel SeasonA Thanksgiving Greeting from Our Family to YoursPennsylvania Has Your BackSupport Local Small Businesses by Shopping Small TomorrowGovernor Wolf Announces Investment in Infrastructure and Job Creation at Port of Philadelphia (Round-Up)Get Out, Give a Hand on Giving TuesdayHow Pennsylvania Certifies the Vote After Every ElectionGovernor Wolf Announces ‘It’s On Us PA’ Grants to Combat College Campus Sexual Assault (Round-Up)Responding to Senate Republicans Regarding Call Center ClosingsGovernor Wolf to Make Donations, Volunteer in Lieu of Attending Pennsylvania SocietyHighlight from TwitterGovernor Wolf: “To those who are worried or unsure, I want you to know that Pennsylvania has your back.” https://t.co/bU2bXisyf7 pic.twitter.com/0Ma5cJ5cLB— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 23, 2016 By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img Governor Wolf’s Week, November 20 – December 3, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

PA Office of Advocacy and Reform, PA Attorney General’s Office Team Up to Launch PA Trauma-Informed Network

first_img Press Release,  Public Health As a companion to the Trauma-Informed PA plan released last week by Governor Tom Wolf’s Office to guide the commonwealth and service providers statewide on what it means to be trauma-informed and healing-centered in PA, the Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) and the PA Attorney General’s Office have worked with over a dozen community-based ACEs and trauma initiatives to launch the “PA Trauma-Informed Network” on the ACEs Connection Platform.“There was a clear emphasis on building grass roots support and empowering people at the local level among the PA Trauma-Informed Think Tank members that mirrored my experiences with successful anti-poverty work over the years,” said Dan Jurman, the Executive Director of OAR. “When we saw what the Attorney General’s office had been working on, it was a no brainer to throw our support behind the great work.”The Network is one of the recommendations in the Trauma-Informed PA plan to connect ACEs and trauma-informed coalitions and movements in counties and communities across Pennsylvania, as well as organizations and individuals interested in building them.The Network will help connect all of Pennsylvania’s existing and future trauma-informed coalitions by sharing best-practices and lessons learned, and the resources to help people heal from and prevent trauma. The work on this initiative began in 2017 with the Attorney General’s Office under the leadership of Attorney General Josh Shapiro with the assistance of Robert Reed, Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of Special Initiatives, and was reinforced by the Trauma-Informed PA Think Tank and OAR this summer.“This network will serve as an invaluable tool to bolster existing trauma-informed coalitions and create new ones with a more well-rounded representation of all parties crucial to success including education, health, human services, law enforcement and criminal justice, among others,” said Reed.Current counties/localities whose ACEs and trauma initiatives have linked to the PA Trauma-Informed Network page include:ChesterDelawareErieCrawfordCumberland, Franklin, and Perry (South Central PA)LancasterLehigh, Northampton and Carbon (Lehigh Valley)Montgomery County (Pottstown)PhiladelphiaIndividuals or organizations interested in learning more or building their own initiative to connect to the network should go to https://www.acesconnection.com/g/pennsylvania-trauma-informed-network August 03, 2020 PA Office of Advocacy and Reform, PA Attorney General’s Office Team Up to Launch PA Trauma-Informed Networkcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Sirius hopes to spud Ororo-2 well in 4Q 2018 as rig maintenance drags on

first_imgSirius Petroleum, the Nigeria-focused oil and gas development and production company, is working towards achieving spudding of the Ororo-2 well in the fourth quarter of 2018.The company said on Friday that the COSL Force jack-up rig, contracted for the Ororo-2 drilling, was undergoing an extensive maintenance program under a recertification process conducted by COSL on station in Dubai.The program includes the examination of all major drilling equipment items and systems as well as repairs where necessary. The major systems include main engines, top drive, hoisting equipment, mud pumps, and the blow out preventer.At the moment, Sirius is waiting for the completion of maintenance which has taken significantly longer than originally envisaged since the drilling of the Ororo-2 well was supposed to begin back in April.According to the company, it is at an advanced stage of concluding its rig requirements in order to achieve spudding of Ororo-2 in Q4 2018.COSL decided to use the COSL Force jack-up rig back in March 2018, although that was not the first choice. The initial pick for the Ororo drilling campaign was the COSL Power jack-up, selected in May 2017. At the time, the COSL Force was described as being “ready to be mobilized to Nigeria shortly.”Also, Sirius amended terms for the COSL Force, extending the initial program to cover both the Ororo-2 and Ororo-3 wells for a lump sum of $9 million on the assumption that the duration of the work will not exceed 90 days. If the duration of the work exceeds that period, daily rates will apply.Sirius gained a 40% economic interest in the Ororo field through a joint operating agreement from August 2017. Its partners are Owena Oil & Gas and Guarantee Petroleum, who own 27% and 33%, respectively.last_img read more

Umar Sadiq: Man U interest is ‘no accident’

first_imgRangers flop Umar Sadiq has insisted that it’s “no accident” that he is being tracked by Manchester United.The Nigerian bombed at Ibrox with just four appearances under his belt and no goals during his time on loan from Roma. After having departed the Glasgow outfit and then the Italians, Sadiq has rebuilt his career at Partizan Belgrade.So much so that Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly had the striker watched as recently as last week with a move to a potential bid after he scored 17 goals in 35 games for the Serbians this term.Sadiq, though, reckons he has merited the interest from the Premier League giants after a good campaign.“Manchester United’s interest is a big compliment for me as a player,” he told Belgrade daily Republika.“But, believe me, nothing is accidental. “Partizan have helped me a lot in my career.“I found my way, and now I just follow what they ask of me.“I think this is just the beginning of my success, and the motivation is there.“We work thoroughly before every game.“We don’t only talk about tactics and video analysis, but also human relationships. “Whether it’s the manager, Savo Milosevic, or someone else from the coaching staff, they are always there for us.“As for United, I think they were surprised by how we played against them in Belgrade.“They put out their best team, which tells you how much respect they had.”According to reports, AC Milan are also being linked with a potential move.RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace He is under contract until 2022 at Partizan.Tags: Manchester UnitedPartizan BelgradeRangersUmar Sadiqlast_img read more

Suarez is carrying Liverpool – AVB

first_imgTottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Liverpool have been carried by the superb form of Luis Suarez this season. Villas-Boas knows the chances of extending Spurs’ run of 12 unbeaten Barclays Premier League matches will largely depend on whether they can shackle Liverpool’s prolific hitman when the teams meet on Sunday. Although Villas-Boas has his own prolific talisman in Gareth Bale, the Portuguese said: “(Suarez) is a tremendous player. He is making the difference. (He is) a top player and is taking almost the team on his shoulders with his goal-scoring ability.” Press Associationcenter_img Villas-Boas added: “He is someone we must be wary of. He had a tremendous game at White Hart Lane and we have to be careful with his strengths.” Liverpool are 10 points off the Champions League places, but they would be far worse off had they been without their Uruguayan striker, who tops the scoring charts with 28 goals in 38 games in all competitions. Along with Manchester United’s Robin van Persie, Bale and Suarez are the leading contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award, which is announced next month. As has been the case with Liverpool and Suarez, Bale’s superb efforts this year have led to claims that Spurs are overly-reliant on their star forward, who has scored 21 goals. Tottenham’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel denies that is the case, though. “That’s ridiculous. That’s a poor comment,” said an angry Friedel, who spent three years at Liverpool when he first came to England. “Gareth is an exceptional player and we have a lot of exceptional players. “These comments about one-man teams… I mean, people talk about if Barcelona didn’t have Lionel Messi they wouldn’t have 40 goals but they do have Messi and they get the 40 goals. “Real Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Gareth Bale. If Chicago Bulls didn’t have Michael Jordan they wouldn’t have won all those championships, but they did so they won. “Every good team has their star players. Gareth is playing well for us. We are a better team for it, but we have some exceptional players that can step in and do the job.” last_img read more

Rory McIlroy is confident of keeping hold of world number one spot

first_imgRory McIlroy is confident of winning more tournaments this year and retaining his newly-reclaimed world number one status. Press Association Day has now taken that place from him but Spieth says he is not motivated by any rivalry with the Australian or McIlroy. He said: “I think we are all focused on our own goals. As one, two and three in the world we are the three that have to beat each other right now in order to get to the top or remain at the top. “But I am not focused on what either are doing on the leaderboard unless they are in the lead, and then it is how I get up there and surpass them.” Day may have earned plenty of plaudits in recent weeks but he does not feel he has done enough to earn the world number one spot yet. He said: ” I am playing good golf right now but with Rory coming back and Jordan, I can’t say that I am. It wouldn’t feel right. The average is there for a reason. I have just got to keep playing well.” The Northern Irishman returned to top spot last week, despite not playing, as the man who recently replaced him, Masters and US Open winner Jordan Spieth, missed the cut at The Barclays. But McIlroy, who won two majors last year, knows Spieth and US PGA Championship winner Jason Day are right behind him heading into this week’s Deutsche Bank Open in Boston. McIlroy said: “I feel I am holding this ranking based on what I did last year but hopefully I can get another couple of wins before the end of the year and I feel I am playing well enough to do that.” Day is now the game’s form player having followed up his PGA success by winning The Barclays, the first event of the FedEx Cup play-off series. McIlroy feels there is very little to choose between them and believes the competition will force standards higher. Any of the three could be number one by the end of the week’s events in Boston. McIlroy said: “I feel we are pretty close. I feel the level I played at last year, they saw that and attained that. “It is about trying to set that bar a bit higher each year. That is probably what we will see over the next few years if guys keep pushing each other.” McIlroy is still easing himself back into action after the ankle ligament injury suffered playing football with friends in the summer that cost him the chance of defending his Open Championship title. The 26-year-old said: “I am feeling good. I had a couple of weeks off after the PGA, just taking it nice and slowly and being patient with it. But I am excited to be back and feel my game is in good shape.” Spieth had also been leading the PGA Tour’s FedExCup standings prior to last week’s rare failure. last_img read more