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Fall getaways

Fall is a great time to take an overnight hike or canoe trip in Arkansas, and we have plenty of opportunities across the state.

If you prefer a traditional getaway with the comforts of home, Arkansas State Parks are great destinations. Some, like DeGray Lake State Park and Petit Jean Mountain State Park, offer five-star accommodations. DeGray Lake State Park also has a beautiful golf course, but staying true to the outdoorsy spirit we will limit the accommodation suggestions to the campsite.

Most state parks have full-service campgrounds that can accommodate larger RVs. They have water and electricity connections and waste tank disposal facilities.

Most state parks also have areas for tent camping with water and electricity, and some have areas for primitive tent camping. Primitive sites only have tent mats with no amenities.

Several of my favorite state parks for camping are Withrow Springs State Park near Huntsville, White Oak Lake State Park near Camden, Lake Fort Smith State Park in Mountainburg, Lake Dardanelle State Park near Russellville, and Village Creek State Park near by Wynne.

The fall foliage is vibrant and the weather is pleasant in the Ozarks in mid-October, making Withrow Springs a prime destination. Its wooded nature gives the campsite an intimate and warm atmosphere and you can take hot showers in the public baths. For this reason, I sometimes camp there when hunting in the nearby Madison County Wildlife Management Area.

Excellent wading for bass and crappie is available at the southern edge of the park at War Eagle Creek.

You can also camp in Madison County WMA, a great place for a weekend squirrel hunt. The WMA has a large number of primitive campgrounds. These are cleared areas in the woods with no amenities, but they are extremely peaceful and private. You can get out of your tent and start hunting immediately. The WMA also offers quick access to great smallmouth bass fishing on the Kings River at Rockhouse.

Lake Fort Smith State Park is very modern and provides an excellent camping base for bass fishing kayaking trips on Lake Fort Smith. The western terminus of the Ozark Highlands Trail is also located here. You can have someone drop you off and pick you up a few weeks later at the Richland Creek Recreation Area, the eastern terminus of the OHT.

Ozark National Forest

The Richland Creek Recreation Area, operated by the US Forest Service, is just one of the many great camping / hiking / fishing options available in the Arkansas National Forests. It’s remote and difficult to reach, but it’s a tidy, well-designed campground with enough privacy. Each site has a fire ring, lantern pole, and tent mat. There is also room for recreational vehicles, but there are no utilities.

Smallmouth bass fishing is surprisingly good in Richland Creek despite its small size in this area. You can go up or down to reach areas with little fishing.

The Ozark Highland Trail begins at the campsite. You can arrive on a Friday, hike the Richland Creek Wilderness Area, camp overnight, and leave on Sunday.

Other options in Ozark National Forest are Wolf Pen Recreation Area near Oark, Redding Recreation Area near Cass, Fairview Recreation Area near Pelsor, Haw Creek Falls Recreation near Hagarville and Ozone Recreation Area near Ozone.

Wolf Pen and Redding are found on the Mulberry River, providing direct access to great smallmouth bass fishing. Fishing is better in Redding, but the campground is too much of a place to party, being so close to Arkansas 23. Wolf Pen is much quieter, but the Mulberry is smaller which limits fishing.

Fairview Recreation Area sits on top of a mountain on State Arkansas 7 north of Dover. No fishing is available there, but you can hike the Ozark Highlands Trail to the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area, which is home to secluded fishing holes. It’s a full day hike, so you’ll need to camp in the wilderness.

The Ozone Recreation Area is also on top of a mountain on Arkansas 21. There is no fishing, but there is a trailhead for the Ozark Highlands Trail. The campsite loop is shaded, and the pitches are quite private.

The Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area is located on Haw Creek off Arkansas 123. Excellent fishing is available at nearby Little Piney Creek. A footpath for the Ozark Highlands Trail is also nearby.

All of these areas lie within the boundaries of the National Forest, providing limitless possibilities for squirrel and deer hunting with archery equipment, muzzle chargers and firearms. modern.

Ouachita National Forest

In western Arkansas, the Little Pines Recreation Area near Waldron is a multi-use destination on Hinkle Lake, a much unknown bass and crappie lake. The campground also provides easy access to excellent squirrel, deer and quail hunting in the Blue Pine Restoration Zone which encompasses the area. You read correctly. Quail. The pine barbon restoration area is home to the hardiest quail populations to be found on southern public lands.

Crystal Recreation Area is a small, neat and secluded campground near Norman, very close to the Caddo River. You can wade the Caddo near Norman, or you can launch a canoe at Caddo Gap.

Primitive car camping is also available at the Fourche Mountain Recreation Area near Rover and the South Fork Recreation Area near Hollis.

Bard Springs Recreation Area, my favorite campsite in the Ouachita National Forest, is just across the mountain from Shady Lake Recreation Area. Both are close to great fishing on the Little Missouri River, which is stocked with rainbow trout starting in November at the Albert Pike Recreation Area.

These areas are all convenient for the Ouachita Trail and the Womble Trail, both internationally renowned for hiking and mountain biking.

All of these campgrounds provide access to excellent deer hunting in the Ouachita National Forest. It is subject to state-wide deer hunting regulations and no special permits are required.

Arkansas Wildlife Management Areas are teeming with unmanaged campgrounds, like the one in Madison County WMA, which provide secluded bases for squirrel and deer hunters in the fall. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Bryan Hendricks)


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Car park management

A new parking lot to relieve Carters Road

Lake Munmorah residents and school communities now enjoy the convenience of a new 50-space parking lot in front of Lake Munmorah High School on Carters Road.

The project provides parking spaces for this busy strip of road and serves four nearby schools, where lack of parking and traffic congestion were previously a problem.

The Central Coast Council completed the project with funding of $ 900,000 from the Australian government through local roads and
Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI Program).

Infrastructure Services Board Director Boris Bolgoff said the parking lot is an important facility for the growing Lake Munmorah community.

“The new 50-space car park has two accessible spaces and will certainly be well used by school communities.

“Parking and traffic management can be a challenge in this busy school neighborhood, and we have completed improvements that will help reduce congestion during drop-off and pick-up times at school.

“New trails have also been built around the parking lot to connect it to designated crossing points and a new pedestrian crossing,” Bolgoff said.

Shortland MP Pat Conroy said he was happy to see the parking lot project completed.

“Carters Rd parking and traffic jams have been a major issue for a long time, especially during school pickup and drop-off times, and I hope this new parking lot will help resolve that issue.

“I look forward to seeing it used by local school communities as well as the wider Lake Munmorah community,” said Conroy.

Board administrator Rik Hart said the new parking lot and associated works will provide benefits that schools have long sought.

“The completion of this community project will be good news for the Lake Munmorah community, especially for those with children attending schools in the Carters Rd area,” Hart said.

Source:
Press release, October 14
Central Coast Council


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Life is a Beach: Finding Trends in Marine Debris Across Australia

Plastic accounts for 84% of all litter found on Australian beaches, according to a study conducted by UNSW and based on one of the largest databases of marine debris in the southern hemisphere.

Over 2,000 organizations and 150,000 citizen scientists have participated in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative [AMDI] by sorting and counting the marine debris they have collected since its creation by the association Tangaroa Blue Foundation in 2004.

Now, a study led by UNSW Science has filtered and analyzed 10 years of the AMDI database and created a national map of marine debris patterns.

The study found that nearly half of all debris could be related to land-based sources (garbage and land-based spills) and 7% to marine spills.

But 42% of the debris could not be definitively linked to a source due to the debris breaking down into smaller fragments, which the researchers say highlights the legacy of plastic left in our environment, fragmenting. continually breaking into smaller pieces until they are microplastics.

The results were published in Total environmental science.

Jordan Gacutan is a doctoral student
at the UNSW Science Center for the Navy
Science and innovation.

“The AMDI database contains beach cleaning entries across Australia, but the added value of this database is that volunteers take the time to categorize what they find, sorting and counting the amounts of plastic. , glass, rubber, metal, paper and others. articles, ”said study lead author and doctoral candidate Jordan Gacutan of the Center for Marine Science and Innovation at UNSW in the School of Biological, Terrestrial and Environmental Sciences.

“We can combine this rich data across space and time to obtain blueprints of the marine debris and plastic problem across Australia.

“This study shows, with unprecedented resolution, the variation of debris elements both regionally and across Australia.”

Study co-author and UNSW Science Dean Professor Emma Johnston says very little environmental stress can be measured nationally.

“So the 150,000 Citizen Scientists who have contributed to this database are doing Australia an incredible service,” says Professor Johnston.

“Their passion for the environment gives us one of the few continental insights into the global marine problem. “

For the AMDI database, the Tangaroa Blue Foundation has developed a method of categorizing and counting all waste collected by a range of citizen scientists and partner organizations, from families to government campaigns.

“We designed the methodology, host it and manage the database, but the data belongs to 150,000 people who contributed to this database,” said Heidi Tait, study co-author and founder and Executive Director of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

“This is the impact of the collaboration and the results really underscore that an intervention will not solve the problem of plastics in our oceans, and that a sector or a group of stakeholders will not be able to solve it on their own. , no more. .

“We have to collaborate and this network is a perfect example of partners who have achieved something quite monumental.”

The AMDI database now has nearly 20 million entries, but the UNSW study focused on the 10-year period from which the database recorded beach cleaning nationwide. .

Draw patterns from objects on the beach

Ms Tait said the AMDI database showed that there was a very different signature of marine debris regionally.

“The data shows that what we find in Cape York is completely different from what we find in Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne,” she says.

The UNSW study looked at the national situation, but also grouped its findings according to the six “bioregions” that the Australian government uses to manage our oceans and coasts.

They are: North (Northern Territory to Cape York), Northwest (WA); Southwest (lower WA and SA); Southeast (including Victoria and Tasmania) and temperate (mainly NSW) and Coral Sea / Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Map of the accumulated number per day of all debris averaged by cleaning site

A card of the accumulated number [per day] of all debris averaged per cleanup site across the Australian coast. Coasts with insufficient sites were not taken into account in the analysis. Graphic: Jordan Gacutan

Mr Gacutan says that by looking at what objects have been found on beaches, we can better understand problematic objects and where they came from.

“Some bioregions contain a large amount of fishing debris, such as floats and fishing nets, while others have a larger litter problem, and you can identify these patterns by the items you find in these. coastal cleanups, ”he says.

The Southeast and Southwest regions have higher amounts of fishing tackle but, on the other hand, the Temperate East had three times the proportion of cigarette butts, compared to the national average, this which shows a problem with local waste, the study suggested.

The study found that around 40% of all marine debris across Australia came from litter, especially near capital cities where a lot of plastic ends up on the beach from storm sewers.

“On the other hand, although Cape York in Queensland had a huge amount of debris, most of it came from external sources, for example floats and plastic bottles that could have been both dropped at sea or floated away. other countries, ”Gacutan said. said.

“We know Cape York is very, very remote, so the amount of plastic we find on the beaches is not due to the people who live there.”

Ms Tait says better evidence needs to be used to inform how we are dealing with the growing problem of marine debris.

“We need to be really focused and strategic in the changes put in place to mitigate marine debris, and we need to measure and monitor to make sure we’re actually fixing the problem, that’s where the data is going to be so critical to the future, ”she says.

Improve citizen science for management

Dr Graeme Clark, lead author of the study and senior research associate at UNSW, said the study focused on filtering the data to ensure it was as accurate and reliable as possible. before use.

“One of the main concerns people have about citizen science data is the quality, accuracy and reliability of the data we get from these cleanings,” he says.

“You get a huge variability in the quality, for example some people can start cleaning the grassy area of ​​a beach or the parking lot; children collect differently from adults; and that really limits comparisons between sites.

“We tried to maximize the quality of the data and control the sites we visited by really conservative filtering.

“We only looked at sandy sites that face the ocean and have not been altered by structures such as dikes and breakwaters.”

Examples of marine debris collected by citizen scientists on Australian beaches

Examples of marine debris collected by citizen scientists from Australian beaches as part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Photos: Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

Dr Clark says the methods presented by the UNSW team could impact how citizen science databases are used and improve the way marine debris data is collected globally. .

“Improving the quality and rigor of citizen science data makes it easier to use in management and decision-making,” he says.

“Citizen science datasets are powerful tools for monitoring marine debris and can help shape management plans to better tackle the problem of marine debris and plastic pollution at a localized level.”

Ms Tait says the most unique aspect of the AMDI database is that it is based on a scalable model that identifies the source of the debris.

“If you look at what’s going on now internationally with the discussions on global plastics treaties, nationally with the National Plastics Plan and state government plans to tackle single-use plastics: how are we going to measure them to make sure these policies have an impact? ”she said.

“For example, if a global plastics treaty is formalized by the United Nations, we should see the 95% of international marine debris that we find in Cape York diminish in the future, if that treaty is successful.

“It’s a way to measure the impact of the mitigation strategies put in place to see if they are actually having a positive impact and reducing marine debris and litter at the source. “

Read it to study.


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Car park management

Bullish MPTC on parking

Richmond Mercurio – The Filipino Star

October 18, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is betting big on the parking industry, with plans to strengthen its portfolio of managed parking spaces.

MPTC ventured into the parking industry through a parking solutions subsidiary called Dibz.

Plans are underway for the expansion of the business, according to Dibz assistant vice president of operations and marketing Donald Saurombe.

“Our number of slots in our parking management, we have over a thousand active slots right now and by the end of next year we are looking to increase that number to 10,000 slots. That’s what we have on the pipeline, ”Saurombe said.

Dibz is a group of smart parking services that offers, among other things, pre-booked parking, valet parking and parking management.

“Currently, due to the pandemic, we have discontinued our service for pre-reserved parking. We want to bring it back next year once people get back to work in the office and also bring it back on a much larger scale, ”Saurombe said.

“We’ll be bringing it back much bigger next year so it’s available in all major cities, central business districts like BGC, Makati, Ortigas, Pasay, the Newport area and more,” he said. he declares.

Saurombe said Dibz aims to revolutionize the parking industry and improve the parking experience for motorists.

“We have created a mobile application that allows drivers to search for, reserve and be guaranteed a parking space, which saves them the hassle that they usually have to face when they traditionally park,” he said. he declares.

Dibz is one of seven subsidiaries offering digital solutions introduced by MPTC last week as part of its new business unit called MPT Mobility Inc.

MPTC President Rodrigo Franco said the creation of MPT Mobility would play a key role in the sustainability of the company, as it would serve as the lead organization in MPTC’s pursuit of new revenue streams.

Traffic on MPTC’s national toll roads has already improved with the relaxation of quarantine restrictions, allowing mobility for motorists.

In the first half of the year, MPTC’s revenue grew 36% year-on-year to 8.3 billion pesos, while core revenue jumped 105% year-on-year to 1.9 billion pesos.

MPTC is the toll arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. conglomerate.


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Max’s Lifestyle staff in shock after attempted murder

Through Tanya waterworth 1h ago

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The mood was dark at the popular Max’s Lifestyle in uMlazi yesterday after owner Max Mqadi was shot in the parking lot on Thursday evening.

Police said Mqadi, a popular figure in the hospitality industry in South Africa and abroad, was shot four times as he left the scene and got into his vehicle.

His management team confirmed yesterday that he “survived a terrorist attack and is recovering”.

There were reports that two assailants approached Mqadi as he got into his car and shot him. An injured Mqadi managed to escape the shooters and took off.

He went to a nightlife spot on Florida Road where he asked for help. He was taken to a hospital in uMhlanga.

The attempted murder rocked social media yesterday, with a wave of support and wishes for his recovery.

There have also been numerous comments regarding a shared photo, allegedly from Mqadi’s iPhone, which was damaged by a bullet. The cell phone would have saved his life because he was talking on the phone at the time of the shooting.

There were also images of a driver’s seat soaked in blood inside the vehicle.

When The Independent on Saturday visited uMlazi’s premises yesterday, the atmosphere was subdued and calm as the staff went about their duties.

One staff member said it was “business as usual” as preparations were underway for a busy weekend, while another confirmed where Mqadi’s car had been parked and where the shooting had taken place. occurred.

Apparently, Mqadi normally left work around 7:00 p.m.

A voice note also circulated on social media platforms, allegedly a recording of a local security company alerted to the attack on Mqadi immediately after it occurred.

Max Mqadi, owner of Max’s Lifestyle.

He said, “The shot is positive, yeah, he got hit three or four times… he managed to drive up to Florida Road… is in the hospital right now. The info is that they were two suspects who had been on the prowl since half past six in the evening.

“The security guard tried to get them out of the parking lot but they were walking around… when Max got in his vehicle to leave, they shot him.”

Yesterday morning, the management of Max’s Lifestyle released a statement in which they said: “It is with relief that we wish to confirm that the founder and owner of Max’s Lifestyle Village, Max Mqadi, survived an assassination attempt last night. (October 14, 2021).

“Mr. Mqadi was shot at point blank range by unknown gunmen as he left the world famous uMlazi restaurant. Fortunately, however, the owner of the world-class restaurant who was voted one of the world’s best restaurants in 2016 survived the attack and is recovering.

“We would like to take this opportunity to convey our sincere gratitude to all South Africans and the world community who have expressed messages of support to Mr. Mqadi.”

“We also urge all supporters to continue praying for his speedy recovery,” the statement read, adding that “the eagle keeps flying just because there is a storm, relying instead on its wings it confronts it and flies above this “.

While details remain unclear about the shooting, provincial SAPS spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker said Mqadi was shot and that police were investigating.

Under the Durban tourism banner, eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said yesterday they were shocked by the shooting.

“Max Mqadi is one of the pioneers of city tourism and the city cannot afford to lose people like him who put our city on the world map.

“We call on the police not to neglect anything and to arrest the perpetrators.

“We wish him a speedy recovery and call on anyone who may have information about this heinous crime to work with the police,” Mayisela said.

The independent on Saturday


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Supporters demand national designation for Tucson Jan.8 memorial

The January 8 memorial outside the Pima County Courthouse is designed to talk about how the community came together after the January 8, 2011 shooting, which left six people dead and 13 injured, including the representative of the ‘era. Gabrielle Giffords, right, looking at the memorial with her husband, Senator Mark Kelly. (Photo by Randy Metcalf / Courtesy of County Pima)

The names of the victims of the January 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was injured, and her congressional aide Gabe Zimmerman, who was killed, are engraved in the January 8 memorial in Tucson . (Photo by Kasey Brammell / Cronkite News)

WASHINGTON – On January 8, 2011, a mass shooting in Tucson left six people dead and 13 injured, including the representative at the time. Gabrielle Giffords, resonated nationally.

Ron Barber thinks that should be remembered nationally as well.

The hairdresser testified Thursday in support of a bill that would make the Jan. 8 memorial in Tucson an “affiliate zone” of the national park system, a designation he said “lets our country know it exists.” .

“When you look at what happened that day, it has national and international significance,” Barber said during a House natural resources subcommittee hearing on the bill. “When this shooting took place, it not only affected the conscience of our community, it affected the conscience of our entire country and abroad.”

The proposal received a mixed reception from the National Park Service, who said he could not support the affiliate designation until he has had the chance to study whether the site “meets the criteria of national importance, suitability and feasibility” for inclusion in the network national parks.

“The ministry appreciates the desire of the sponsor of the bill to bring greater recognition to the events of January 8, 2011,” said Mike Caldwell, acting deputy director of the National Park Service for park planning, facilities and operations. land. “However, we have no basis for knowing whether the proposed site meets the criteria for inclusion or affiliation with the national park system, as no study has been carried out for the site.”

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Senator Mark Kelly, visit the Jan.8 memorial in Tucson last December, ahead of its dedication on Jan.8, 2021, the 10th anniversary of the shooting it commemorates. (Photo by Randy Metcalf / Courtesy of County Pima)

Barber disagreed, saying during the audience that “if it doesn’t matter nationally, I don’t know what it is.”

The privately funded memorial was unveiled on January 8, 2021, to mark the 10th anniversary of the shooting at a ‘Congress in Your Corner’ event outside a Tucson Safeway, where Giffords, a Democrat, was meeting with voters when an armed man approached and opened fire.

Giffords was seriously injured by a bullet to the head and has spent years recovering, still walking limp and struggling with her speech. Barber, his aide-de-camp at the time, was shot in the leg and 11 others were injured.

Giffords community outreach staff member Gabe Zimmerman was killed in the attack along with U.S. District Chief Justice John Roll, Christina-Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, Dorwan Stoddard and Phyllis Schneck. Barber remembers them as “six wonderful people”.

“I don’t use the word ‘lost’ because the truth is they were killed. They were murdered, ”he said.

He recalled over the phone Thursday how locals made three makeshift memorials “hours after the shooting” at Giffords office, the hospital where the victims were treated and the Safeway where it happened.

“Some people prayed, some people read poems, some people brought candles or tiles with messages on them, flowers and everything,” Barber said. “The reason we built this memorial where we did is that it is located downtown, in a historic downtown community neighborhood, the historic courthouse, and is now in public view. ”

Related story

The permanent January 8 Memorial stands in El Presidio Park, two curving alleys facing each other that represent the community’s embrace after the shooting. They dive so spectators can walk along the walls adorned with symbols honoring the victims, survivors and the Tohono O’odhams who originally inhabited the area.

Barber, a Democrat who took over from Giffords in power, said the memorial’s organizers “did everything to get him out of partisanship.” The fundraiser was led by Giffords and local car dealership Jim Click, a Republican.

“What I think is important is that it doesn’t happen every day – thank goodness – and it’s never happened before that we’ve had these people who were federal employees, if you will, killed or almost killed by a gunman who came to assassinate a congressman, “Barber said after the hearing.” That in itself deserves national recognition. “

The bill does not require the park department to take back the memorial, which belongs to Pima County, but it would allow the federal government to help the county commercialize the site and would require the development of a management plan by the federal government. Barber said Thursday’s hearing It was the first time he or the foundation had heard of the park service’s position.

“They haven’t contacted us, but now that I know their position I’m going to contact him on behalf of the board to see if we can turn him around a bit on that,” Barber said.

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service said that sites affiliated with the National Park Service “may receive assistance from the NPS but are generally owned and administered primarily by non-federal entities “.

Former Rep. Ron Barber, who was shot dead in the Tucson shooting on January 8, 2011, speaks at the dedication of the memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attack. The curved wall behind him is one of two meant to evoke the community’s embrace after the shooting. (Photo by Randy Metcalf / Courtesy of County Pima)

To be considered an affiliate, The report stated that a site should “meet the same standards of importance and suitability” of NPS locations, “require special recognition or technical assistance beyond what is available through existing NPS programs”, be managed under the same rules as NPS locations and ‘be assured of sustainable protection of resources.

The law project was sponsored by Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Tucson, and co-sponsored by seven of the other eight members of the state congressional delegation. Only Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, did not sign.

Barber wanted “we could have 100%” of the state delegation’s support, but for the “90%, if you will, of the delegation supporting it, they understand what it’s about. “

“It’s about honoring the people who were killed, those who survived and all the people who came to our aid,” Barber said.

Representative Raúl Grijalva, D-Tucson, said during the hearing that he “wishes he did not exist” and “that we do not have to take the time to commemorate him”.

“Sadly, January 8, 2011 is a day Tucsonians and the nation will never forget,” Grijalva said.


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Iconic Route 66 Bridge Near Eureka Gets Close to Reopening | Politics

The planned improvements come as visits to parks have increased across the country. Ed Schott, a park superintendent for MNR’s Lower Meramec field unit, said average attendance was typically around 200,000 visitors.

Last year, however, attendance jumped to over 270,000 visitors. In April 2020, for example, attendance increased 92% from the previous year, Schott said.

Grace Wright, project manager at Great Rivers Greenway, which has built more than 120 miles of walking and biking trails in the St. Louis area, said the purpose of the bridge is to use it as a link to connect a trail from the Pacific to the confluence of the Meramec and Mississippi rivers.

Until the MoDOT closed the bridge, it connected the State Park Visitor Center and Headquarters on the East Side of Meramec to 417 acres of trails and recreation facilities along the West Rim of the River. river.

MNR and Great Rivers Greenway have each committed $ 3 million to the project.

During the public hearing, Brian Stith, deputy director of Missouri State Parks, said he couldn’t predict when the project might get started.

“I really can’t talk about it,” Stith said.

But he said the 100th anniversary of the Chicago-Los Angeles road would be an appropriate opening date.


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Parks Department settles woman’s death case for $ 1 million

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A towering ponderosa pine weakened by two lightning strikes in five years at Bandelier National Monument claimed the life of an 81-year-old grandmother visiting New Mexico in 2016 with her family for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta when she went is knocked down in a gust of wind and fell on her.

The 70-foot-tall tree landed in a visitor parking lot at the popular landmark near Los Alamos five years ago, just as the Chicago woman and her two adult children got into their rental car after a hike and were watching a movie about the park.

Beverly modlin

Beverly Modlin suffered head, spine and other injuries after the tree collapsed, partially collapsing in the rental car and cutting off her adult son Robert Modlin, who suffered injuries. minor injuries. Her daughter, Susan Hines, was already in the back seat of the car when she heard a “crackle, boom” and the tree fell, according to park service investigators. Hines was not injured.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2019 argued the crash was not an ‘act of God,’ alleging that park officials had given ample warning that the tree posed a danger to the public but took no action. measure to remove it.

Beverly Modlin’s family settled the case earlier this year for $ 1 million.

“I hope this has been a wake-up call for the United States Parks Service to take more care in protecting visitors to our national parks,” said Albuquerque attorney Jacob Vigil, who represented the Modlin family.

A spokeswoman for the parks service said in a statement that “we continue to be saddened by the tragic accident which killed one of our visitors.”

She added that since that time, the Bandelier Parks Department has reviewed and revised its monitoring protocols for dangerous trees and is doing everything to identify and eliminate those that present an imminent danger to parking lots, sidewalks or other places where visitors are likely to congregate. . “

The family had traveled to New Mexico for the Balloon Fiesta in October 2016 “to check their to-do list,” Vigil told the Journal. A visit to Bandelier was also on their itinerary. With its ancient cave dwellings, Bandelier has attracted up to 200,000 visitors per year.

“They found themselves with their mother killed in front of them and returned to Chicago alone, without her. “

Two weeks earlier, park workers had realized that the tree, the tallest in that area of ​​the forest, had been struck by lightning for the second time in five years, according to a park service investigation.

“They got a lot of warnings,” Vigil said. “They knew the tree was fragile and could harm visitors at any time. It was a time bomb. “

The tree was adjacent to the path to the park’s amphitheater where an opera house that attracts hundreds of visitors was scheduled for September 2016.

According to a park service investigation report:

A severe storm hit the park on September 16, 2016, blowing an electrical transformer.

A lightning-damaged ponderosa pine fell in the parking lot of Bandelier National Monument on October 3, 2016, killing Beverly Modlin as she got into that rental car. Photo courtesy of Jacob Vigil

A week later, a Bandelier ranger discovered that the 70-foot ponderosa pine had been struck by lightning and sent a photo of the tree and a written report to his supervisor saying he believed the lightning from the tree was responsible for the power failure.

At least six other Bandelier employees and then superintendent Jason Lott also observed the tree in person and / or knew it had been struck. Employee notices broken logs or tree pieces on trail for disabled visitors

“We’ll have to deal with it eventually, so you know he’s probably going to die and become a hazard to the parking lot and trail,” one employee said, reporting a “big crack” in the tree to his supervisor, the survey showed.

Although denying any negligence on the part of its employees, park officials acknowledged in the responses to the lawsuit that none of its employees had formal training in how to identify dangerous trees and that they did not. there was no document showing that there had been a thorough inspection of the hazards. posed by the tree before it fell. There was no dangerous tree trainer in the park and no training program to identify dangerous trees.

It was an unwritten practice by Bandelier employees to notify the Wildland Fire Division, which is under the management of the monument, to ask the forest fire sawyers to assess dangerous trees for removal.

But the lawsuit alleges that Bandelier never notified this agency to assess the tree struck by lightning.

Earlier that year, a fire crew assessed and “mitigated” around 12 trees in the park’s Juniper Campground, but focused on standing dead trees that lean over high traffic areas such as as trails or picnic areas.

The damaged 70-foot tree, adjacent to the parking lot and measuring up to 23 inches in diameter, had a full, healthy crown with dense green foliage and did not appear to be leaning, park workers told investigators after the death of Modlin.

“We have a lot of tree edge lightning strikes,” park warden Geoff Goins said. “So many trees that are struck by lightning here, I didn’t think of it as a big deal.”

The park service wasted no time cutting down and disposing of the fallen tree the day after Modlin died, the lawsuit said, but generated a report that, based on the growth of the calluses, the tree had an exterior wound from top to base that was over five years old, which appeared to have been caused by a previous lightning strike. There were two other injuries, one of which was new and deemed “important” from the second lightning strike.

According to Bandelier’s “Hazard Tree Management” standard operating procedures, “As even healthy trees can fall in extreme weather conditions, the park will attempt to issue warnings to visitors when it deems appropriate.” The program is designed to protect the public and protect the agency from potential liability.

But there are a variety of dangers “inherent in the natural environment, which include dangerous trees.” Visitors and park staff should be aware of these inherent dangers and hold the National Park Service harmless as “acts of God.”

The damaged 70-foot tree adjacent to the parking lot did not appear to be leaning, park workers told investigators after Beverly Modlin’s death.

On the day the Modlin family visited Bandelier, wind gusts of up to 36 miles per hour were recorded. There has been no warning to the public of the 70-foot tree, which fell about 28 feet west of the Atomic City bus stop and Frey Trailhead, according to the lawsuit and reports from investigation.

A park service investigator quoted Robert Modlin, an engineer, as saying his mother was next to the rental car when they heard the falling tree creak.

“The most surprising thing for me was how quickly, all of a sudden, it got a lot of wind,” said Modlin, who was standing behind the vehicle.

Several passers-by helped him get his mother out from under the branches of the tree so that he could give mouth-to-mouth mouth watering.

“I couldn’t hear a breath and its color immediately faded,” he said.

Robert Modlen remembers feeling no emotion when emergency crews arrived and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate his mother.

“There were no tears then, it only touched me when I was in the ambulance and I couldn’t stop crying.” He added: “She and I were very close, she was in such good shape for 81.”

He later thought about what he could have done differently when the tree started to fall.

“I wondered why I hadn’t pushed her aside, pushed her, did something,” he later told investigators. But Robert Modlin said he later had a dream that helped him “get over” his inability to save her.

It happened too fast for him to act, he told investigators. “And if I had gone to her, I too would have been run over by that tree.”


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Bass, Berry & Sims move to Nashville shipyards | Business

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – (BUSINESS WIRE) – October 8, 2021–

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC announced today that it will be relocating its corporate headquarters to Nashville Yards, the 18-acre project in downtown Nashville from owner and developer Southwest Value Partners.

This press release features multimedia. See the full version here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211008005498/en/

Bass, Berry & Sims will occupy approximately 180,000 square feet in the top eight floors of the development’s first multi-tenant commercial office building, a 35-story tower anchored by Pinnacle Financial Partners. Southwest Value Partners opened the office tower in September. See the latest renderings of the first commercial office tower in Nashville Yards.

“We have been investing for 100 years in the growth and vitality of downtown Nashville,” said Todd Rolapp, Managing Partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. “We are delighted to continue this tradition by relocating to Nashville Yards, a premier location with a dynamic environment that allows us to meet the changing needs of our employees and customers. “

Nashville’s largest law firm, Bass, Berry & Sims is also recognized nationally for its work as a representative of major Fortune 500 companies as well as leading regional and local firms, including as as senior legal counsel for approximately 35 public companies.

“Bass, Berry & Sims is one of the preeminent law firms in the Southeast and nationally, and we couldn’t be more excited about their decision to move their headquarters to Nashville Yards,” said Cary Mack, Managing Partner of Southwest Value Partners. “In our interactions, Bass, Berry & Sims have focused on building their presence in an exceptional space and community for the benefit of their clients and associates. We have worked hard to elevate our design and work / life / pleasure blueprint to ensure we can exceed their expectations and help them achieve their strategic goals.

Bass, Berry & Sims were represented in the transaction by Bert Mathews and Shane Douglas of Colliers International. “Partnering with one of Nashville’s most iconic businesses to find their perfect new home has been an extraordinary honor. The Nashville Yards and the Southwest Value Partners team provided the ideal solution for Bass with shared values ​​for unmatched excellence in all things and a passion for the future of Nashville, ”said Janet Miller, Market Leader and CEO of Colliers International.

The multi-tenant office tower, which will serve as new headquarters of Pinnacle Financial Partners, will house 650,000 square feet of office space and an additional 28,000 square feet of retail space. The tower will be located at 201 Platform South, adjacent to the two Grand Hyatt Nashville and Amazon Nashville office towers in Nashville Yards, and will become Nashville’s tallest-floored office skyscraper.

The trapezoidal shape of the tower will help reduce energy consumption, improve the view for occupants and allow light to filter through all floors. The building’s amenities will include a dog-friendly campus and dedicated dog park, ample parking, valet and executive car services, as well as an upgraded HVAC system that will circulate 30% more outside air. ‘habit.

To learn more about Nashville Yards, visit www.nashvilleyards.com or follow @NashvilleYards on Twitter and Instagram.

About the Nashville shipyards

Nashville Yards is an 18 acre project located in the heart of downtown Nashville. When completed, the project will be a pedestrianized urban community offering high-end hospitality offerings, including the 591 rooms Grand Hyatt Nashville Luxury and the newly remodeled Union Station Nashville Yards; exceptional retail and restaurant options; a world class entertainment district and concert hall developed in partnership with AEG; and creative and Class A + office space anchored by Amazon Nashville and a new multi-tenant office tower that will include the future head office of Pinnacle Financial Partners. The development will benefit from open spaces and green space, including a 1.3 acre urban park that will span the west side of the project from Broadway to Church Street. To learn more about Nashville Yards, visit www.nashvilleyards.com or follow @NashvilleYards on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

With nearly 300 attorneys representing numerous publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 companies, Bass, Berry & Sims has been involved in some of the nation’s largest and most important litigation, investigations and business transactions. For more information visit www.bassberry.com.

About Colliers International

Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading diversified professional services and investment management firm. With operations in 67 countries, our more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work together to provide expert advice to occupants, owners and real estate investors. For over 25 years, our experienced leadership with significant insider participation has generated annual compound returns of almost 20% for shareholders. With annualized revenues of $ 3.0 billion ($ 3.3 billion including affiliates) and $ 40 billion in assets under management, we are maximizing real estate potential and accelerating the success of our clients. and our employees. Learn more about colliers.company.com, Twitter @Colliers or LinkedIn.

About Colliers International Nashville, LLC

Colliers International Nashville, LLC is one of the leading commercial real estate services companies in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. With over 80 years of experience and 65 professionals, Colliers’ experts specialize in providing maximum service for a full range of products including landlord and tenant representation, investment sales, finance , real estate management and project management. The company currently leases and manages over 7 million square feet of retail space and has been ranked among the city’s top five commercial real estate companies for the past five years.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211008005498/en/

CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT Alexandra Sollberger (Southwest Value Partners / Nashville Yards)

[email protected] Roberts (Bass Berry & Sims)

[email protected]

KEYWORD: TENNESSEE UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CANADA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: LEGAL COMMERCIAL BUILDING AND REAL ESTATE CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE URBAN DEVELOPMENT REIT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE OTHER CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE

SOURCE: Nashville Yards

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 08/10/2021 14:30 / DISC: 08/10/2021 14:32

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211008005498/en

Copyright Business Wire 2021.



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Speculation of epic national deal with NHS England

Could we see a national agreement for the Epic electronic patient record? Jon Hoeksma is speculating and exploring what this could mean for the healthcare system.

Speculation over a nationwide deal between NHS England and U.S. electronic medical records (EPR) provider Epic was fueled last week, ten years after the NHS ‘nationwide computing program ended.

Rumors have circulated over the summer that Tim Ferris, NHS England’s new digital transformation manager, is a big advocate for the system and has told his colleagues that it should be used by many other trusts.

Highly regarded, Ferris joined NHS England from Massachusetts General Hospital, which in 2016 deployed Epic in a program that reportedly cost nearly $ 1 billion.

Ian O’Neil, the current director of transformation at NHS England, told an industry conference in London last week that there had recently been high-level meetings with Judy Faulkner, the founder from Epic, but declined to provide details on the topics under discussion.

In response to subsequent questions from Digital Health News about whether national deal negotiations were underway with Epic, the NHSX press office sought to play a forehand with a ‘come on, nothing at all’ statement. see here ” :

“In response to your questions about discussions with providers, it is standard practice for the NHS digital leadership to meet regularly with technology providers who currently provide services to the NHS. “

As for what the meetings covered:

“The meetings cover a range of topics, all with the aim of ensuring that providers are working towards the vision and priorities of the NHS, especially in the context of strategies such as What Good Looks Like and Data Saves Lives (Reshaping Health and Social Care With Data). “

The idea of ​​procuring a single national EPR system for all hospital trusts in England was the central pillar of the failure of the NHS National Program for IT (NPfIT) which ran from 2003 to 2011.

In subsequent NPfIT reports and surveys, the National Audit Office concluded that the national top-down approach failed to recognize the very different local circumstances between hospitals and failed to gain the support and commitment of clinicians. local.

So far, this is all in the realm of rumor and speculation. There have also reportedly been discussions with Epic in recent months as to whether it could potentially offer its system as a platform for use in Integrated Systems of Care (ICS).

As the NHSX press release says, it makes perfect sense for NHS agencies to have meetings with all of its major software and technology vendors. And hopefully other vendors benefit from similar discussions and access.

Just imagine for a moment

But let’s just assume for a moment that some sort of national deal to make Epic more widely available is under discussion, and again this is just speculation, what could that look like and how much could it cost?

The cost of an EPR varies enormously depending on the supplier and the local organization, and there is a glaring lack of price transparency. An NHSX source told Digital Health News last week that new work was planned to get better price data.

How much does an EPR cost?

Best estimates suggest that NHS hospital EPR deals typically weigh between £ 20m and £ 100m over ten years.

Epic sits at the very top of that scale, in the range of £ 80million to £ 100million (average call it £ 90million) over ten years, with most of the money not going to the software provider but to the infrastructure and dedicated personnel to implement. , install and run the software. It is said that the division is about the thirds.

But the costs can be much higher, Cambridge University Hospitals had a budget of £ 200million in 2014 for their digitization program as the epic first NHS site.

The Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust’s Epic project is reportedly well in excess of £ 175million.

Manchester NHS FT University Hospitals have a budget of £ 181million, while Northern Ireland has a budget of £ 275million and Frimley Health NHS FT has a budget of £ 108million.

These types of projects are the single largest investment most NHS hospital trusts will make, aside from physical buildings.

There are currently 138 acute care trusts in England and Epic is used in five of them: Cambridge University Hospitals, University College London Hospitals, Great Ormond Street and Royal Devon. A number of other NHS trusts in the process of implementing the system.

So let’s say for the sake of argument and suspending all competition and procurement rules, that there are about 100 more acute NHS trusts to fund to get the system – what would it take?

So the 100 acute trusts paying out around £ 90million would add up to around £ 9bn. Let’s round up to £ 10bn for a bit of contingency and modest management consulting fees.

And everyone ?

Of course, this does not cover all mental health trusts, community trusts, ambulance trusts, combined health and care trusts, or other specialist providers. And that doesn’t cover social care, but Epic generally doesn’t cover those areas, so put them aside for the sake of this speculative “what if” scenario.

Let’s also ignore the fact that there is currently barely enough implementation capacity to handle current sites.

What would be the benefits of a nationally unique acute RPE?

If we instead imagined all of this happening, what would be the benefit to the NHS and the patients it serves?

Well, for starters, almost everyone in the acute industry would use the same system and not have to retrain every time they moved to a different organization. Everyone would learn to use the same system and get the most out of it.

For inpatients, close integration between prescriptions and test results and integrated clinical decision support tools would be beneficial. Electronic medication management would be universal and part of the basic RPE with significant benefits for patient safety.

One of Epic’s greatest pride is that they have never bought another company and that the whole system has been developed in-house. So that would mean that there would be no more messy interfacing of different systems to create your own set of EPR capabilities.

The digitization of patient records and clinical workflows also opens up a whole new ability to perform large-scale predictive analytics, better conduct research and clinical trials, and identify patients at risk.

One of the big financial benefits that US hospitals see after implementing Epic is better coding of procedures resulting in increased billing, which does not apply directly to the NHS.

The world beyond the hospital parking lot

But all of these benefits would only apply within hospital boundaries, and even within a single provider organization, an EPR isn’t everything. It has to interface and connect with many other systems.

Go to the exit of the hospital car park [if you have fuel] and the familiar complex and messy heterogeneity would remain unchanged.

Enter the world of community, mental health, primary care and it becomes much more complex and requires a lot of plumbing and interoperability between the different systems. Digitizing suppliers is an important but sufficient part of a complex puzzle.

And that, more than anything else, would seem to be the most telling argument for any nationwide purchase of a hospital EPR to enable the digitization of acute care providers, regardless of the quality of the solution. And there is no doubt that Epic is very good.

In the age of integrated health and care; SCIs; complex patient journeys spanning multiple organizations; to equip patients with the tools and information to co-manage their own health; it would appear that it is fundamentally backward to focus solely on digitizing one sector, no matter how small, with one type of system.

A decade after the end of NPfIT, does the NHS really need a PFI-like program for the acute digitization of providers that could lock it in higher costs and patterns of care for decades to come? ?

* Fun fact – Massachusetts General is also where the MUMPS (MMassachusetts General Hospital Utility MultimatePprogramming System) still used by Epic and other healthcare software vendors was invented in 1966.


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