Weekend Pick: Tube Big Bend in West Virginia

first_imgThe first weekend of August means the Dog Days of Summer are upon us. The mercury rises to its zenith, the humidity really kicks in, and the drive to get outside and sweat is near baseline. Sitting inside next to the air conditioner is one option, but no one ever wants a case of summer cabin fever. There is only one thing to do during the stickiest weekends in August: tube.Tubing is one of the great American traditions and is so quintessentially Southern, one has to think the practice started in the Appalachia. It combines the pleasure, coolness, and excitement of the river with the enjoyment of just sitting there. Sure you may have to move a little to get to the beer cooler, or to cool off with the occasional dunk, but really it’s just like sitting in a floating recliner and watching the clouds drift by. If you want to relax outside, this is the best way to do it, and one of the best places to do it is at Big Bend on the South Branch of the Potomac in West Virginia. If you are over exercise tube Big Bend, but if you are dead set on getting a workout, grab your SUP and give your core a little boost while you’re at it. Respite is only a wobble away.Deep inside the wild Monongahela National Forest, the South Branch of the Potomac makes a drastic U-turn through the scenic Smoke Hole Canyon. Green forested gorge walls are interspersed with rocky cliffs on the outer edge of the “big bend” in this river, while a forested campground occupies the inside peninsula. The entire loop around the campground is a mile long, packed with small riffles and fun waves, perfect for running laps in a tube on a hot summer day. Tube for an hour, walk a few hundred yards across the peninsula, and start again. This is primitive tubing at its finest, so bring your own tube, and don’t expect heavy crowds, even on a summer weekend.Nearby: The 24-mile long North Rim Trail follows the western rim of Suck Hole canyon. It’s a primo mountain biking and hiking trail with rocky outcroppings and a cornucopia of long-range views.Closest Town: Petersburg, W.Va.Directions: Follow US Route 220 south from Petersburg to the Upper Tract Bridge at County Route 2. Take a right at the bridge and follow County Route 2 for 10 miles into the campground.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Wisconsin’s special teams kick back

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoAs Wisconsin native and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo exquisitely demonstrated this past winter, a lot more goes into a successful kick than simply a strong, accurate leg. The snapper, the holder, the kicker: All three must be on the same page and function as one.It’s certainly a difficult task, but one that is made much easier when all three contributors are on the same page, and even more so when they’re all great friends.”Obviously we’re guys who hang out all the time [during practice],” kicker Taylor Mehlhaff said. “We’re good friends off the field too. It’s nice because during the game, I’m kind of there to help [punter Ken DeBauche], and he’s there to help me out too.”Aside from handling punting duties, DeBauche also serves as the team’s primary holder for field goals and extra points.For someone who was on the kicking end of the equation in high school, the transition to holding was a process for DeBauche.”I was a kicker in high school, so I wasn’t able to hold for myself,” DeBauche joked. “It was something that when we work so much together, it’s only natural that the punter would be the one holding for the kickers … because we can get so much work in.”My redshirt freshman year I held for [former UW kicker] Mike Allen, and he was a right-footed kicker. I felt pretty comfortable with that, then Taylor came along and I kind of had to start all over.”The third portion of the kicking equation is the long snapper. Duties are split between Steve Johnson (punts) and Dave Peck (field goals).After coming to UW as a linebacker, Johnson was quickly thrust into the backup longsnapping role as a freshman and eventually was elevated to first-team after former Badger Matt Katula graduated. Johnson has thoroughly enjoyed the position change.”I love it now, I think it’s great,” Johnson said. “Practicing for two periods [out of a 22-period practice] is nice. You get to do a lot of individual work.”Most of our practice is just our group of special teams guys, and we have real good camaraderie.”That camaraderie comes from a lot of time spent on the sidelines during practice working together and killing time. The group even has come up with some creative ways to pass the time between live practice sessions.”We have all kinds of little games and jokes and stuff,” Mehlhaff said. “We started this one game where we have codes and everything to talk about famous athletes … just to kill time at practice; you got to come up with stupid stuff.”Still, the unit puts in a lot of hard work.”A lot of people don’t see the time we actually put in, the tons of time we put in during the summer and in the offseason,” Mehlhaff said. “After conditioning we go up and kick for an hour and a half, two hours.”All that hard work has paid dividends for the Badgers in the form of a very solid kicking game. Both Mehlhaff and DeBauche should be in the running for conference and national honors this coming season.”What I focus on is what I need to do to get to those awards, those accolades,” DeBauche said. “If I do what I have to do for my goals, those things will come.”Mehlhaff helped out the Wisconsin defense last year by pounding kickoffs into the end zone to give opponents a poor starting field position. After a change in the tee height last year, the NCAA has instituted a new rule again this year to move the kickoff spot back five yards to the 30-yard line.The rule changes have motivated Mehlhaff to improve his already dominating kicking game.”In the end, my goal is to play at the next level, and that’s where they kick from,” Mehlhaff said in reference to the NFL. “I’m kind of actually excited for it. I told [head coach Bret Bielema] that I think our team will definitely have an advantage over a lot of other teams.”I went back and looked at the tapes [from last season] and a lot of the kicks that were touchbacks will probably still be touchbacks.”Practice notesAllen Langford and Ben Strickland both missed practice and watched in shorts. … On consecutive plays, safety Shane Carter nicely defended a downfield pass, then jumped in front of an Allan Evridge pass for an interception. … After a long pass along the sidelines was broken up by Carter, wide receiver Paul Hubbard crashed into the wall and lay in pain on the ground for several moments. He returned to practice a short while later. … And embattled defensive end Jamal Cooper returned to practice for the first time this spring after taking time away from the team to get his academics in order.”I just wanted to make sure he understood what needed to get done, and he’s done a tremendous job in the areas I thought he needed to improve upon,” Bielema said.last_img read more

L.A. Dodgers’ Joc Pederson is sacrificing power for patience

first_imgThe shorter swing has come with a tradeoff. Pederson has one home run in his last 27 games after hitting 20 in his first 77 games. If that’s the downside, the upside didn’t become apparent until recently: Pederson drew three walks Tuesday, three more Wednesday and enters Thursday’s series finale against the Phillies with six free passes in his last nine plate appearances.How does a shortened swing result in better plate discipline?“You can see the ball longer, react faster,” Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire said. McGwire said that Pederson has been “doing a lot of work underneath” in the batting cage to shorten his path to the baseball recently. The need was evident. Always a strikeout-prone hitter, Pederson was averaging one strikeout every 2.8 at-bats through July 1. In roughly one month since, he’s averaging one strikeout every 2.7 at-bats.Meanwhile, his home run (one since July 1) and walk rates (none in 48 plate appearances prior to this week) were dropping. Pederson’s on-base percentage was a season-low .345 on Monday and his chances at winning the National League Rookie of the Year award were slipping as well.“I just haven’t been swinging good, plain and simple,” Pederson said. “I’m just going to try to get back to the basics, hopefully wait for my pitch and swing at good pitches.”Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’ll accept some growing pains at the plate in exchange for Pederson’s steady defense. “We made a conscious decision to be a better defensive club this year,” Mattingly said. “He’s a big part of that up the middle.”There’s been no talk of sending Pederson to Triple-A, the manager said, so Pederson will do all his tinkering in major league batting cages.“Things don’t happen overnight,” McGwire said. “Things take time. You have to have patience and understanding. … How he makes (the swing) his own will be how he’s shorter and quicker to the ball.”Rotation shuffle?Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are starting Thursday and Friday against the Phillies and Pirates, respectively. Mattingly said he might split up the aces in two weeks, when the Dodgers have a pair of off-days sandwiching a two-game series in Oakland.Two weeks after that, from Aug. 31-Sept. 2, the Dodgers play three home games against the San Francisco Giants. Will Mattingly line up the rotation in order for Kershaw and Greinke to pitch in the critical division series?“That’s something we’ll definitely look at,” he said. “This year we haven’t really been able to do it all year. This year hasn’t worked out like that but we may have a chance to be able to do that.”Frias exits earlyPitcher Carlos Frias experienced a back issue during his latest start for Triple-A Oklahoma City and was removed after one inning as a precaution.Curiously, the Dodgers did not announce that Frias had been activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Oklahoma City at the time it happened. According to the transactions page on the team’s website, Frias was optioned Sunday. He was originally placed on the DL July 1.But the right-hander had been medically cleared to rejoin the Dodgers when he took the mound in Triple-A Wednesday night. Mike Bolsinger was removed from his start for Oklahoma City on Tuesday because he was struck on the forearm by a line drive. He’s expected to make his next start. Frias and Bolsinger are currently the team’s sixth and seventh starters. PHILADELPHIA >> Joc Pederson hit his 11th home run of the season on May 22 against the San Diego Padres, a dramatic eighth-inning blast in a tie game that lifted the Dodgers to victory. Pederson was facing an 0-2 count against hard-throwing reliever Joaquin Benoit, yet he swung hard enough to launch the ball 430 feet into the cheap seats. After the game, a reporter asked Pederson if he ever shortens his swing with two strikes, as many leadoff hitters do.“I think you’ve seen my strikeouts,” he said, smiling.The anecdote is worth revisiting this week. Pederson’s swing path isn’t merely getting shorter at the plate with two strikes. It’s getting shorter in batting practice.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Facebook to take down some, but not all, posts promoting anti-stay-at-home protests

first_imgAnti-stay-at-home protests have recently erupted in certain states across the US as shutdown orders have been extended in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The shutdown orders also impact the number of Americans losing their jobs.California, New Jersey, and Nebraska are states that are currently organizing anti-stay-at-home protests, but Facebook plans on removing some posts promoting the protests.Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said these protests do not follow the states’ social distancing guidelines.Stone said Facebook would take down posts created through the Facebook Events feature that promote events in California, New Jersey and Nebraska. Other Facebook posts, including Facebook groups about the protests, might not be removed.Facebook will allow the protests to be organized on Facebook as long as the government in the specific state does not prohibit events during this time.last_img read more

RED HOT NANCY FROM NAIROBI HEADS FIELD OF NINE IN MONDAY’S GRADE I, $300,000 GAMELY STAKES AT 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (May 27, 2016)–Hronis Racing’s Nancy From Nairobi will be bidding for her fourth consecutive win as she heads a field of nine in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita. For fillies and mares three and up, the Gamely will be contested at a mile and one eighth on turf.Named for William Haggin Perry’s three-time Eclipse Award winning daughter of Bold Ruler (1967, 68 & 69), the Gamely was first run in 1939 at Hollywood Park as the Long Beach Handicap. It will be run for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Monday. FANTICOLA: Blessed with an abundance of natural speed, this 6-year-old Ontario Canadian-bred mare led every step of the way in last year’s Gamely, only to be collared late while finishing second, beaten a neck. Trained by Phil D’Amato and owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Fanticola, who stalked the pace and finished third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Nancy From Nairobi in the Grade II Royal Heroine May 5, will be making her third start of the year in the Gamely and rates a huge chance. Ultra-consistent, Fanticola is 12-3-3-5 over the Santa Anita turf and is 21-5-5-8 overall with earnings of $537,300. THE GRADE I GAMELY STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 8 (of 10)                                 Approximate post time 5:30 p.m. PDT NANCY FROM NAIROBI: Trained by John Sadler, this 5-year-old English-bred mare will stretch out a furlong off a solid half length win here in the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes on May 5. Ultra-impressive in a pair of allowance scores on Feb. 5 (1 1/8 miles on turf) and March 4 (one mile turf), “Nancy” earned a 96 Beyer Speed figure in taking the Royal Heroine, which was her fifth start under Sadler’s care. With a win and a second from two lifetime tries at the Gamely distance, she has an eye-catching turn of foot and appears to be primed for a career-best effort. With an overall mark of 22-5-6-0, she has earnings of $271,456. She will again be ridden by Abel Lezcano, who has been aboard in all of her stateside starts. WEKEELA: Headquartered with trainer Chad Brown at Belmont Park, this 4-year-old French-bred filly showed ample promise in her U.S. debut, finishing second, beaten five lengths, in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles turf Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland on April 16. A Group III winner in France in her only try at a mile and one eighth on turf, Wekeela, who will likely be attentive to the early pace, merits plenty of respect in her Southern California debut. Owned by Martin Schwartz, she has three wins and three seconds from nine starts and has earnings of $242,587. NASHOBA’S GOLD: A two-time graded stakes winner here in 2014, this 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Smart Strike was winless in three starts last year and comes off a fourth place finish here in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles turf Santa Ana Stakes on March 26. Owned and bred by Warren B. Williamson, she is out of Williamson Racing’s good producing mare Nashoba. Trained by Carla Gaines, Nashoba’s Gold was an even fifth two starts back going a flat mile on turf in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 20 and appears to be coming to her best in what will be her third start of the year. With all three of her career wins (from four tries) coming at the Gamely distance, Nashoba’s Gold will be making her 11th career start on Monday. She has earnings of $284,438. Nancy From Nairobi–Abel Lezcano–121Evo Campo–Rafael Bejarano–121Dressed to a T–Mario Gutierrez–121Fanticola–Joe Talamo–121Elektrum–Victor Espinoza–121Wekeela–Javier Castellano–121Keri Belle–Mike Smith–121Illuminant–Flavien Prat–121Nashoba’s Gold–Tyler Baze–121First post time on Monday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit http://www.santaanita.com/horse-racing/live-racing/.last_img read more

Empty lots found at addresses of some ‘new’ registrants – GECOM Commissioner

first_imgH2H verificationField officers who conducted the verification exercise of the 20,000+ names listed as new registrants who were captured during the scrapped House-to-House (H2H) Registration process have found empty lots at the addresses on record for those persons.Commissioner Robeson BennThis is according to Opposition-nominated Commissioner at the Guyana Elections Commission, Robeson Benn.He told Guyana Times that they were informed by the party’s scrutineers who worked along with the GECOM staff during the exercise that there were instances where they went to the addresses to verify the names and were met with empty lots.“There were no buildings on the lots where people were said to be…,” he related.However, the Commissioner could not give an exact figure of how many such instances were recorded.Benn indicated that the Commission had a meeting on Monday and they were updated on the five-day verification exercise. However, he said it information provided was not “very helpful”.“I have been told that there is information elsewhere that perhaps some of these persons don’t exist. I can’t speak to the amount. It might be a smaller number. But I’m saying that’s the kind of breakdown we’re expecting from GECOM which should have been provided in the first place. But what we were provided with is just a general summary of the data – using what they confirmed and not confirmed and so on. But beyond that, no informative presentation of the data to be able to get to quick decisions on what to do with the information,” he contended.Additionally, Benn noted that he has seen a few figures of some areas where there were in fact duplicates.“…Despite all of the checks, which had been done twice to scrub the information which was taken [from the H2H exercise], there were persons who had been put down as being registered again,” he stated.According to the Opposition Commissioner, duplication was one of the issued that his party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), had raised in the arguments against the conduct of the H2H exercise, which he noted has in fact impaired efforts to do any elections preparations.“There were strong arguments against the doing of the verification exercise from the other side, which I think by the findings of this exercise done on 16,000 alone, shows the type of problems we were warning against and expected would be there on our side,” he pointed out.Nevertheless, the even-member GECOM Commission is expected to meet again on Friday to discuss the findings of the verification exercise.Some 370,000 registrations obtained during the scrapped H2H exercise, which ran from July 20 to August and was objected to by the Opposition, were sent overseas to be cross-matched with the National Register of Registrants Database (NRRD) in order to filter out the duplicates.However, it was recently reported that international digital security company, Gemalto, indicated that some 37,300 were new registrants who are eligible for voting, that is, they are above the age of 18. But an internal check conducted by GECOM showed that approximately 17,000 of those “new registrants” were already on the voters’ list and some even voted in the past.The remaining 20,000 “new names” were up for further verification. Recently, it was reported that the Government-nominated Commissioners were pushing to have a sample survey done from a sample size of 10 per cent from the 20,000 to verify these new names before they go on the voters’ list – a process which the PPP Opposition had objected to.Last week, GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh cast a tie-breaking vote in favour with the Opposition Commissioners to have a field verification exercise of all 20,555 names listed as new registrants.last_img read more

Muralitharan looks to play till 2013-14

first_imgLegendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan today made it clear he will continue to play cricket for another three years as he felt fit enough to feature in Indian Premier League and English county circuit.”I think my body is good enough to play cricket for another three years. I would like to play IPL and some county cricket in England. I have received some offers (from the counties) but can’t disclose them at this moment,” he said.Muralitharan was speaking at a felicitation function by his IPL team Chennai Super Super Kings here for taking 800 Test wickets.In a media interaction later, Muralitharan said that he had agreed to former Indian captain Anil Kumble’s offer to join him in starting an academy but refused to disclose the details of the venture.Asked whether he would play in next year’s World Cup in the sub continent, Muralitharan said, “It is still too early.I want to see how I play in the Champions League Twenty20 and then decide on the World Cup,” the 38-year-old Muralitharan said.Sanjay Manjrekar, who anchored the function, requested scribes before opening the floor for a question answer session not to pose questions on the match fixing allegations in Pakistan’s ongoing England tour.However, Muralitharan did answer a question on the issue, saying it is for the Pakistan Cricket Board and its English counterpart to deal with the situation and decide.”These are only allegations and I wouldn’t like to comment on these matters,” he said.advertisementMuralitharan said Harbhajan Singh has the best chance of reaching the 800 figure mark but he could not predict whether the Indian off-spinner would achieve the feat or not.”Harbhajan is only 29 and statistically it is possible for him to reach 800. But it is up to the bowler and I can’t predict anything. You should have the hunger to achieve anything,” he said.Manjrekar and former India captain S Venkataraghavan hosted a group discussion as part of the function.Tamil Nadu cricketers of Chennai Super Kings — Subramaniam Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Ravichandran Ashwin, Anirudha Srikkanth and Shadab Jakati — and operations director V B Chandrasekar recalled their experiences with their famous colleague in IPL events.Venkatraghavan, part of the famous Indian spin quartet of yesteryears, showered praise on Muralitharan and discussed the finer points of spin bowling.Venkatraghavan presented Muralitharan a Super Kings team shirt with the number 800 printed on the back and Sri Lankan star immediately wore it on the stage.last_img read more

Position Vacant – QLD Game Development Officer

first_imgQueensland Touch invites interested parties to apply for the position as Game Development Officer in Central QLD.  This position is based in Rockhampton and involves working out of normal hours. The salary range is $32,000 to 35,000 depending on experience. Superannuation is paid on top of this and allowances are paid for petrol and travel.Please see the attached position description with applications closing on Monday 21st April. Please send a covering letter and your resume to Di Worters on email: [email protected] Filesgame_development_officer_qta-pdflast_img read more

Photo: Jim Harbaugh Was Photobombed By Larry The Cable Guy While Taking Picture With Kenny G

first_imgMichigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh shouts towards an official during the first quarter of the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions.Jim Harbaugh keeps incredible eclectic company. After hosting a wide-range of athletes and celebrities like Derek Jeter, Migos, and Jim Leyland at Michigan’s massive National Signing Day Event, the Michigan head coach has spent time with Willie Mays and Justin Timberlake. A few of those groupings are strange, but nothing tops being photobombed by comedian Larry The Cable Guy while taking a picture with saxophonist Kenny G during an event at Pebble Beach.Hell ya that’s @officialkennyg and @GitRDoneLarry pic.twitter.com/T9ormn42RD— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Bill Murray and Toby Keith were also around.Pebble Beach is how you think it is, Awesome! @GitRDoneLarry @TobyKeithMusic pic.twitter.com/UoOCuoC0Kg— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Harbaugh lives a pretty interesting life in the off-season.[SB Nation]last_img read more