Learning how to lead is often the best way for students to graduate high school with the skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. For the past two years, Georgia 4-H and the Georgia Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals have been teaming up to cultivate leadership skills in Georgia’s younger students by organizing “Step Up and Lead” conferences across the state. So far 1,500 elementary and middle school students have developed core leadership competencies by attending the conferences, and organizers plan to continue the program this school year. During a Step Up and Lead conference, 4-H teen leaders and 4-H faculty and staff work together to help teach younger children how to cultivate their leadership skills through a series of interactive workshops and peer presentations. The first workshop in the series, “Taking a Step Towards Powerful Presentations,” is designed to allow students the opportunity to develop and deliver a short presentation. Workshop facilitators focus on teaching students how to structure their work. While the presenters learn a valuable lesson about public speaking and effective communication, students in the audience learn how to provide constructive feedback to their peers, as they discuss the effectiveness of their classmates’ presentations. The skills that students learn in the first workshop provide the groundwork for the second workshop, “Teamwork, Leadership and What’s in Between.” Here participants learn the importance of communication and teamwork in problem solving. Workshop facilitators guide the students through a variety of exercises that require the group to work together to find a practical solution. Between every exercise the participants have a chance to reflect upon their experience and discuss the ways their team worked together and communicated with one another. The participants often find that having a plan and being able to effectively communicate it helps the team find a solution to the problem. In the third workshop, “Mapping Our Plan,” students hone their planning skills by organizing a mock event. They use what they’ve learned about communication and problem solving to identify the steps they need to take to put on the event, how to allocate the resources they have and how to delegate responsibilities throughout the group. They also establish a production timeline for the event, and then they present their event plan to their classmates. Georgia 4-H Extension specialists plan to continue the leadership program during the 2012-2013 school year. They plan to hold six Step Up and Lead conferences at different locations around the state. Parents wanting to involve their children in this leadership program or other Georgia 4-H activities should visit georgia4h.org/gaesp.
Photo: Ashley WoodringAn exceptionally rugged mountain, Grandfather is home to some of the most biologically diverse wilderness in the Southeast. Its abundance of exposed crags, towering altitude, dense vegetation, and cool damp climate create a patchwork of distinct biospheres. Explorers named the mountain “Grandfather” after the old man’s face they saw in the cliffs.After inheriting the mountain from his grandfather in 1952, Hugh Morton built the Mile High Bridge, completed the first road, and opened the Grandfather Mountain Attraction, laying the foundation for what would ultimately help protect the rare and diverse plant and animal life that Grandfather Mountain supports and nurtures. When Morton died, his family created the Stewardship Foundation and sold the backcountry to the state. Today, you can access 2,700 acres of wilderness through the newly formed state park, or drive to the peak and walk the Mile High Swinging Bridge, which is still privately owned.Here are three ways to fall in love with Grandfather Mountain:Walk the mile high swinging bridgeDrive your car up Grandfather Mountain to walk the highest suspension footbridge in America. The Mile High Bridge connects two rocky summits at a mile above sea level. Originally wooden, it was replaced with a steel bridge in 1999.“Crossing the bridge gives you that feeling of being on top of the world,” says Landis Wofford, director of communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “Once you cross over to Linville Peak, you can look down, and on a clear day see the skyline of Charlotte, about 80 miles away as the crow flies.”Feel the rush of the strong winds that have permanently wind-dwarfed the spruce and fir trees at the summit. The sonic anemometer on the bridge has recorded gusts as high as 114.7 mph, one of the highest speeds ever recorded in North Carolina. Bring your own food or order to go at Mildred’s Grill, and set up a picnic at any of the 100 picnic tables throughout the mountain. Meander down nature trails or navigate craggy terrain with the help of cables and ladders. Entrance to the foundation-owned part of the mountain, which includes the mile-high swinging bridge, costs $18 for adults, $8 for children. Entrance to the adjacent state park is free.Hike the profile trail and campPark your car at the Profile Trailhead, off of NC 105, where you’ll self-register from the permit box. The Profile Trail is just under 3 miles, but the rare and diverse plant and animal life you’ll experience as you snake up the mountain will transport you to other worlds. You’ll cross the Watauga River, weave through rhododendron thickets and lush ferns, and under a dense hardwood canopy. As you wind up the Profile Trail, you’ll move through several of the Grandfather’s 16 distinct natural communities, glimpsing many of the park’s 72 known species of rare and endangered plants and animals.“In the springtime, the wildflowers are phenomenal,” says Sue McBean, Grandfather Mountain State Park Superintendent. “Early in the season, watch for several species of violets that bloom one after another.” As spring unfolds, look for the exquisite Pink Lady Slipper and Painted Trillium dotting the trail. Set up camp at the site two miles up the Profile Trail, and settle into the peace that only the backcountry can offer.If you’re up for a strenuous climb, continue up the steep, rocky segment to the Grandfather Trail, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views as you walk along the ridge line. The park has a total of 13 campsites, all of which are first come, first serve.Road cycle the Linn Cove ViaductAt 4,100 feet above sea level, the Linn Cove Viaduct skirts the edges of Grandfather Mountain, offering bird’s-eye views of the Blue Ridge. In order to protect the delicate balance of the ecological communities of Grandfather Mountain, engineers worked with the National Park Service to design what has been called the most complicated concrete bridge ever built. This quarter mile, serpentine bridge was the last piece of the Parkway to be completed. Shaw Brown, one of the owners of Boone Bikes, recommends treating yourself to the magnificent views with your road bike.Start by parking at the Julian Price Memorial Park, a few miles north of the Viaduct. Head south on the Parkway to climb up Grandfather, roll over the viaduct, and a mile or two south of it, intersect with 221, where you’ll head north, backtracking toward Price Park. Continue on 221 until you intersect with Holloway Mountain Road. This will bring you back to the Parkway, where you’ll continue north to get back to Julian Price Park.“Considering the short length of the ride,” says Brown, “it’s one of the most scenic routes in the area. You’ve got these great long-range views from up there.” Brown recommends checking the weather and making sure you have the right gear before heading up, since it can be at least 10 degrees cooler at those elevations.
A free outdoor recreation festival in Northeast Tennessee is back for a second year and it’s called Meet the Mountains. Festival organizers say the mission is in the title. “The festival promotes healthy and active lifestyles,” said Kayla Carter, a member of the festival planning crew. “We want people who attend the festival to leave having discovered a new place, having learned about a new activity or having found the right gear for their outdoor adventures.” “With the proceeds, we plan to invest back into our outdoor recreation economy and industry,” Carter said. “We are looking at funding four focus areas that include infrastructure, entrepreneurship, stewardship and professional development.” On August 23 and 24, Founders Park in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee will serve as basecamp for outdoor enthusiasts to find the people and resources to help them navigate Northeast Tennessee’s vast natural landscape. It’s important to mention that the festival also serves as a fundraiser for grant-making purposes. This would not be possible without sponsors like TVA, BrightRidge, East Tennessee Foundation, Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Food City and Modern Woodmen of America for covering the cost of all the expenses, Carter said. The Ultimate Air Dogs event, a crowd favorite last year, will also be back again, Carter said. In addition to all the exciting on-site activities, the festival also cross promotes off-site events and activities in surrounding cities throughout the region, so be sure to check out the website to find races or hikes to do in the area before going out to the festival. “This region has so much to offer in terms of land and water based adventures, even more than I thought,” said Matt Moses, owner and operator of USA Raft Adventure Resort. “I really hope this festival helps our local residents get outside more often and enjoy all of the amazing natural assets we have.” “I really enjoyed the opportunity to see so many people who also appreciate and value our outdoor quality of life,” said Mary Ellen Miller, TVA’s community relations program manager. “[The festival is] a very professional representation of the many outdoor activities available in our region. I liked the way it had events attractive for young families like the climbing wall and the kids bike circuit.” “I’m excited to see how the festival will continue to expand regionally,” said Dana Glenn, director of marketing and business development for NETWORKS Partnership. “By eventually showcasing all eight counties in Northeast Tennessee, it will paint a full picture of our region and the assets it has to offer. I had no idea just how many outdoor recreation groups existed. There truly is something for everyone. I hope to see the festival attract both people and businesses to Northeast Tennessee.” “In our Blue Ridge Outdoors Marketplace Zone, there will be a gear swap and Mahoney’s Outfitters is sponsoring a silent auction called Gear for Good,” said Carter. “The rest of the festival is organized into three zones: Academy Sports Earth Zone, USA Raft Adventure Resort Water Zone and NETWORKS Partnership Air Zone.” The festival, which is presented by Ballad Health, will host outdoor brands, local outfitters, non-profits and other businesses and organizations serving the outdoor community as vendors. Local craft beer will be served each day and each night will be capped off with live music. There is something special about being among other like-minded people and identifying common interests, Carter said. She hopes that people who attend the festival will make friends with which to go out and enjoy the outdoors together. Activities in those zones include a zipline, kids bike skills and obstacle course, slacklining, axe throwing, a climbing wall and demo pool for trying out various paddle sports. For more information, go online to www.mtmfest.com or follow the festival on Facebook [@meetthemountainsfest] and Instagram [@mtmfest].
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Torn between protecting citizens’ rights and national security, the government is considering barring Indonesians who traveled to Syria to join terrorist group Islamic State (IS) from returning home.According to the National Counterterrorism Agency’s (BNPT) records, more than 600 Indonesian citizens, most of whom are women and children, currently reside in Syria, with government officials leaning toward not repatriating them.Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said returnees from Syria could pose social and security threats.He said current deradicalization programs often proved unsuccessful at reintegrating former terrorists and terrorist sympathizers back into society. “When they return to society, they will be ostracized and could become terrorists again. [However] If we don’t repatriate them, we are denying their… Facebook IS-returnees IS-sympathizers Islamic-State terrorism terrorism-in-Indonesia Syria Medan Bali-bombing Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Google Linkedin Forgot Password ?
Topics : ‘Defending the family’ Patriot’s head Nikolai Stolyarchuk said in a statement on Tuesday that the video was “not campaigning against homosexuals” but “defending the institute of family as a union of a man and a woman,” while adding he disapproves of adoption by gay couples.The vote will not in fact affect Russia’s existing lack of gay marriage or official adoption by gay couples. Since returning to the Kremlin in 2012, Putin has brought in legislation banning “gay propaganda” to minors that has been used to silence activists and shut down gay pride events.The head of the board of trustees at Patriot is Prigozhin, according to its website. The businessman nicknamed “Putin’s chef” owns a company called Concord that the US has accused of funding the campaign to meddle in their 2016 presidential election. He and his company are on the US sanctions list.Reports in Russian and Western media have said he also funds the Wagner private military group active in the Middle East and Africa. He denies all these allegations.This latest video is reminiscent of another clip released in 2018 urging Russians to re-elect Putin or live in a “nightmare” future in which they are forced to co-habitate with gay men. Patriot released the ad on social media on Monday where it has had tens of thousands of views. It says it shot the video with its own money and is making others.Leading opposition politician Alexei Navalny posted the video on social media with mocking comments.”Putin’s officials have gone completely out of their minds on the subject of homosexuality,” he tweeted. A video backing constitutional reforms that President Vladimir Putin is putting to a national vote next month sparked widespread criticism Tuesday for its anti-gay message.In the video made by a media group called Patriot linked to US-sanctioned Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, a small boy from a Russian orphanage finds out he is being adopted by a gay couple.”Here’s your new mum. Don’t be upset,” one of them says while the other pulls out a dress for him to wear. “What Russia do you choose?” the voiceover says. “Decide the future of the country. Vote for the amendments to the constitution.”Despite the ongoing virus crisis, Russians are set to vote July 1 on constitutional changes that would allow Putin to stand again as president. The video focuses on another proposed change, a stipulation that marriage is a union between a man and woman.
French National Railways has unveiled a second tranche of measures designed to win back passengers following recent difficulties (RG 3.97 p175). According to SNCF President Louis Gallois, the 10 sales and marketing initiatives aim to make train travel easier, cheaper, more practical, punctual and inviting.From June, young people aged 12 to 25 will, subject to availability, be eligible for a 25% fare discount without the need for a railcard. The fare will also apply to return tickets for any two people travelling together. SNCF’s existing Carrissimo railcard for young people is to be replaced from June by a new product offering a 50% reduction on most journeys (25% on others) and costing Fr270 for 12 months.TGV fares across France are to be harmonised from September, with the current four-tier structure simplified to three levels. Tickets ordered by Minitel will be delivered to home addresses free of charge from May, and from June children under the age of four can have a seat on any train for Fr50. The current arrangement of free travel but no guaranteed seat for under-fours remains.On the Paris suburban network, credit/ debit cards will be accepted as payment for all tickets costing Fr15 or more from April, and from July 93% of trains will run within three minutes of the advertised arrival time. This figure is to increase to 95% in 1998 and more information is to be provided on the performance of main line services. By the end of this year SNCF is to improve provision of information when traffic is disrupted, including a new telephone service.From June 120 stations will have information kiosks, with staff wearing distinctive uniforms. Facilities for disabled passengers will be improved in 200 stations, with more wheelchairs and chair lifts, platform-edge warning strips for the partially-sighted and improved facilities for the hard of hearing at ticket windows. From June, wheelchair passengers will be able to buy tickets and reserve space from home.In order to avoid a repetition of events earlier this year which left TGV passengers stranded in southern France (RG 2.97 p82), SNCF is to introduce a package of measures to deal with situations such as extremely cold weather and their consequences. As well as making better use of weather forecasts and improving real-time train location, SNCF is to put into place a passenger assistance network with controllers and on-train personnel communicating by mobile telephone. o
The suspect was detained in thecustodial facility of the municipal police station. The court recommended a P12,000 bailbond for his temporary liberty./PN Officers of the Oton police stationserved the warrant against Casiple around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 26. ILOILO City – Charged with frustratedhomicide, a man was nabbed on JV Zuleta Street, Oton, Iloilo. The 31-year-old Ariel Casiple ofBarangay Banugan, Dueñas, Iloilo was nabbed on the strength of an arrestwarrant, a police report showed.
INDIANAPOLIS – As summer starts to wind down, local blood donations tend to slow down, too.Lucy Wehking, corporate communications specialist for the Indiana Blood Center, says the center was unable to fill a few hospital orders this week because of a lower amount of blood donations.She says about one-third of the center’s mobile donations come from education-based drives, so by this time of the summer there typically is a dip in supply.“Until people are really settled into school, we will continue to see that decrease in donations, and we are expecting unfortunately to see it decrease through mid-August.”Wehking says while blood donations are not at critical level at this point, there is still an urgent need for blood.The blood that is collected is distributed to the more than 60 Indiana hospitals served by the center.Wehking adds that while the holidays and summers may come and go, there are patients always in need of transfusions.Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 116 pounds and be age 17 or older – or 16 with parental consent.Wehking says it’s important to call the center if you have questions about your eligibility to donate, especially if you were deferred in the past.“Maybe last time you were deferred for low iron, or you traveled last time to an area that made you ineligible, or even if you were taking a medication, which caused you to be ineligible, a lot of people think that will indefinitely defer them,” she explains. “So we always encourage people do not self-defer.”Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, platelets every seven days.Mary Kuhlman
November 23, 2017 Police Blotter112317 Batesville Police Blotter112317 Decatur County EMS Report112317 Decatur County Fire Report112317 Decatur County Jail Report112317 Decatur County Law Report