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The April Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is live!

first_imgEDITOR’S NOTEPlay together, stay together: meet the BRO family.LETTERSDear readers: will you stand up for nature?QUICK HITSWardian shatters seven-day, seven-continent marathon record • Bike Share planned for Roanoke • Camping improves sleepFLASHPOINTCan the South ever be powered by 100% renewable energy?THE DIRT50 is the new 30 • Can elk coexist with landowners outside of the Smokies? • Louisville is home to world’s first underground bike park • High school mountain biking climbs higher in AppalachiaA BRIGHT FUTURE Despite a change in administration, solar energy is shining in the South.THE GOODSA.T. expert Zach Davis picks his favorite thru-hiking gear.TRAIL MIXOffstage, Steep Canyon Ranger bassist Charles Humphries III tackles big trails.WHY ADVENTURE MATTERSAdventure is not irresponsible, says A.T. female speed record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis. It actually makes you smarter and more socially engaged.ADVENTURE FAMILIESCan you be an accomplished athlete and a first-rate parent too? Meet five families redefining adventure—including the Quirins, whose one-year-old could become the first baby thru-hiker in 2017.RECREATE BY STATEYou’ve been to Shenandoah and the Smokies, but what about Hungry Mother or Frozen Head? Explore new terrain in this state-by-state guide to our region’s top parks.SOUTH BEYOND 6,000The 40 summits above 6,000 feet in Appalachia should be on every Southern adventurer’s bucket list. Which ones will you tick off in 2017? Two SB6K record holders share their favorites.last_img read more

U.S donates helicopters to help Guatemala fight drug trafficking

first_img The ongoing effort by Guatemalan security forces to modernize their equipment received a boost recently when the United States, the Central American country’s partner of choice in the battle against organized crime, donated six helicopters. The new equipment will help Guatemala in its battle against international drug traffickers, security analysts said. In January 2012, Otto Pérez Molina was sworn in as Guatemala’s president. During his inaugural speech, Pérez Molina, who spent 30 years in the Guatemalan Army, vowed to crack down on organized crime and drug traffickers. Guatemalan security forces have captured several important alleged traffickers since then: • In September 2013, Guatemalan anti-narcotics agents with the Public Ministry and investigators with the National Civil Police (PNC) captured Waldemar Lorenzana Cordón, who is suspected of being a high-ranking member of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization. He is the son of Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, the alleged leader of the drug trafficking organization. He is known as “The Patriarch.” In recent years, the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization has collaoborated with the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to smuggle thousands of tons of cocaine from Guatemala to Mexico and the United States. • In 2011, Guatemalan security forces captured The Patriarch, at the request of U.S. authorities, who suspect him of working with El Chapo. The Patriarch is wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. In July 2013, a Guatemalan appeals court denied the last of The Patriarch’s legal motions to avoid extradition. An extradition date has not been set. • Also in 2011, Guatemalan security forces captured another of The Patriarch’s sons, Elio Elixander. He is wanted in the U.S. on federal charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and money laundering. No date has been scheduled for his extradition to the U.S. Improving operational capacity The donations of helicopter and other equipment were “a vote of confidence for Guatemala from the United States,” Pérez Molina said. The helicopters can seat up to 13 people and have 1,800 horsepower, officials said. They are the same model that U.S. military forces used during the Vietnam War. The helicopters will allow Guatemalan security forces greater mobility, Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla said. “We are setting the tone that we are a serious and responsible country that has the capacity to develop whatever process of receiving cooperation on these terms, to mobilize and keep them within the standards that the US demands,” López Bonilla said. “For us it is a great privilege to receive these six helicopters and be able to have greater mobilization.” The donations of the helicopters and other gear is not the first time the U.S. has provided equipment to Guatemala. In April 2013, the U.S government donated 42 vehicles, J8 Jeeps, to help Guatemala in the shared fight against transnational criminal organizations. The vehicles, which are worth about $5.5 million, were donated to the Ministry of Defense during a visit by Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, the commanding general of U.S. Army South. The Lorenzana family Guatemalan security forces have made good progress against the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, but they must remain vigilant, Alarcón said. “Since Pérez Molina took power, the government has made some important captures,” the security analyst said. “However, the problem persists and what has happened is simply a reshuffle of the arrangement of forces between national and international drug cartels; new alliances and conflicts between these groups have increased.” Guatemala is a key transshipment point for international drug traffickers. About 90 percent of the cocaine that drug traffickers smuggle into North America passes through Central America, according to the United Nations Narcotics Control Board. New alliances and conflicts The helicopters and other donated equipment should help Guatemalan security forces seize more drugs, authorities siad. In 2009, security forces seized 6,936 kilos of cocaine, according to the Interior Ministry. Security forces seized less than half that amount – 3,292 kilos – in 2012, according to the Interior Ministry. Between January and October 2013, Guatemala security forces seized 2,236, kilos of cocaine, authorities said.center_img The donated helicopters will be used in training and in operations against drug traffickers nad other organized crime groups, López Bonilla explained. “Principally, there are two things that for us are really key,” López Bonilla said. “The helicopters are (available) for permanent training. And they will give us 24-hour operational capacity. The crews are ready to use night vision visors and have all the tools to fly during the night. We can be in any part of the country as needed, and are not limited by day or night.” The donated cranes will be used to build landing strips for helicopters and airplanes, Pérez Molina said. “We want to have a strong state that has the framework to stop drug trafficking and international organized crime,” the president said. By Dialogo November 17, 2013 Training and operations The donated helicopters are worth an estimated $11 million. The helicopters were not the only equipment the U.S. donated to Guatemala to help fight drug traffickers. The U.S. also provided night vision devices and other military equipment. In addition to the military equipment, the U.S. gave Guatemala cranes, which will be used to improve the country’s infrastructure. Altogether, the donated equipment is worth about $40 million, according to a press release by the Guatemalan government. The equipment should help Guatemalan security forces conduct operations against drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, said Adolfo Alarcón, a security analyst at the Guatemalan think tank ASIES. “Whatever help that strengthens the operational capacity of security forces in Guatemala is welcome,” said Alarcón said. “The [military donations] can help if they are utilized in the framework of a policy and an integral strategy for combatting this problem to modernize the security forces, which don’t have complete resources to stop international drug trafficking.” Drug seizures A vote of confidence last_img read more

How to engage multicultural consumers with payments strategies

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Attracting and retaining a diverse consumer group is vital to any community financial institution’s (FI’s) long-term strategy. The Hispanic market in particular offers a plethora of opportunities. Today, one in six consumers is Hispanic. FIs who strive to understand and appeal to this growing demographic will be able to tap into their $1.3 trillion of annual purchasing power.As CEO of TMG’s sister company Coopera, I am often searching for new opportunities to help our FI clients better serve the Hispanic market. I’ve found that payments products lend themselves well to serving a multicultural market. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to share an excerpt from a recent blog post I wrote about trending payment options and their prevalence among the Hispanic population.Debit CardsThe perception that “debit cards are dead” couldn’t be further from the truth among Hispanics. They are a prime target market for debit products. The preference for debit and prepaid cards applies whether Hispanics are banked, unbanked, native or foreign-born, Millennials or Generation Xers, consumers or business owners. continue reading »last_img read more

4 ways cash is being disrupted by digital

first_imgThe push toward a cashless economy is already well underway in some parts of the world. India’s prime minister issued a ban on the largest currency notes late last year, for example. The result of that action was an 86 percent reduction in paper money.Other countries have embraced their own cash-free campaigns. Cork, Ireland, launched a three-month pilot project to become the country’s first cashless city. Likewise, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and Norway are on their way to becoming less cash-centric nations.Cutting cash means consumers must find another way to pay. Digital payments quickly become a go-to option. The “Cork Cashes Out” initiative boosted digital payments by 522 percent. On the other hand, card transactions only saw a 17 percent lift.While cash in the U.S. isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, digital is shaking up the payments landscape. Below are a few ways cash payments are being disrupted by digital. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

4 reasons your employees are bored by training

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wes Mallgren Wes Mallgren is Content Manager for cybersecurity training firm BrightWise. He has over a decade of experience directing animation for organizations like E*Trade, the NY Jets and Australian Gold … Web: https://www.bright-wise.com Details If the word “training” elicits a collective deep sigh among your employees, you’re not alone. But, all hope is not lost. There’s a reason most people dread traditional training activities. In fact, there’s at least four: 1. They Crave EntertainmentPeople live for stories. We love to binge on tales of heroes momentarily brought down by the bad guys and ultimately rising up to save the day. Your employees are people, people who very likely enjoy binging on heroic, dramatic and comedic tales. Traditional training assets (e.g. videos, articles, lectures, workshops) rarely tap into that desire to be entertained by a good tall tale, hence the resulting boredom. THE FIX: Modern training companies have developed a solution. It’s called enter-train-ment. Okay, I just made that up, but it’s a thing – a mashup of entertainment and training in a way that excites employees and makes them want to see what happens next. Look for providers that produce content that engages trainees in a narrative, features a continuity of characters and generally inspires employees to keep coming back for more. 2. They ‘Have To’ Do ItHave you ever noticed how something becomes instantly awful the minute someone makes you do it? Mowing the lawn can be sort of enjoyable… until you get a surprise call that the in-laws are coming in an hour. Reading that report on changing consumer behavior might be pretty interesting… until your boss asks you to present it to the board first thing in the morning. Sadly, employee training in highly regulated industries, like financial services, has fallen into the “have to” category. Increased examiner insistence on continual training has amped up compliance and cybersecurity mandates. No one loves a mandate.  THE FIX: Gamify the mandate. Add incentives that make it rewarding to participate in your training effort, and track those incentives publicly. You can take the high-tech route with intranet dashboards or simply add stickers to a handmade poster board in the break room. It will also help to talk less about the compliance burden and more about the “what’s in it for me” of training. Help employees see clearly how the content will make their job easier or more enjoyable. 3. They Are AdultsAdult learners are very different from the students they once were. They are self-directed and want subject matter that is immediately relevant. Traditional training models put a lecturer at the front of the room who takes on the role of teacher, providing the lesson, the assignment and telling attendees what to do at every step of the interaction. And, traditional content often skips over the relevancy piece of the pie, keeping attendees from seeing the tangible benefit of their attention. THE FIX: Empower your employees to learn at their own pace with on-demand content that is actionable and totally relevant to their lives. In many cases, you can still track and measure the learning, just as you would with traditional lecture or workshop-style engagements. The BrightWise platform, for example, allows credit union employees to view 3 to 5-minute cybersecurity awareness videos whenever they want. At the end, they take a quiz to measure their learning. The results live inside the same platform, accessible by HR, compliance, infosec – whichever department depends on them for reporting. 4. They Are BusyYour employees have full schedules. Fitting even their regular duties into the work week often requires a Herculean effort of cramming, shoving, pivoting, briefing and rescheduling. Requiring them to add one more thing, particularly if they don’t see the value and do not enjoy it, adds to their load. THE FIX: Work to change perception of training from burden to break. Host training parties, create training competitions, and eat snacks or move your bodies as you do it. Go outside for a session, hit up the local coffee place, gamify their participation – anything you can think of to make employees view training as a respite from their day. Above all else, keep it brief. Full-day, or even half-day training sessions have their place, but try to do them as infrequently as possible. Instead, lean on self-guided, micro-learning training options as often as you can. Understanding the ‘why’ behind the annoyance and frustration training often inspires is a first step toward transforming it for the modern workforce. With a fresh approach and on-demand content that enter-trains, training can actually become a cultural asset, something that reminding your staff why they love to work at their credit union.last_img read more

Man Utd eyeing £40m transfer for Issa Diop

first_img The former France Under-21 star, 23, was signed from Toulouse for £22million in June 2018. He recovered from scoring an own goal on his debut – a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal – to establish himself in the Irons defence where he has become a fans’ favourite. Yet the Hammers could sell him for the right price in order to fund new manager David Moyes’ squad rebuilding plans. Read Also:Mourinho to boost squad with new players Jose Mourinho famously labelled Diop a “monster” after his dominant aerial performance inspired the Hammers to a 3-1 win over Man Utd in 2018. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content20 “The Big Bang Theory” Moments Only A Few Fans Knew About7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Thailand’s Most Exquisite Architectural Wonders8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtIt Looks Like An Ordinary Doughnut, But It Glows In The Dark! The United boss is weighing up a £40million swoop for the Hammers defender, who is also attracting interest from Chelsea. In fact, some prankster has already changed Diop’s Wikipedia page to say he already pays for Blues. Solskjaer knows he needs to strengthen his Red Devils’ defence – which looked all at sea when Manchester City thumped them 3-1 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday. And Diop would certainly do that, based on the evidence of his outstanding displays for the Hammers this season.Advertisement Loading… Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is eyeing West Ham’s Issa Diop as a possible solution to Manchester United’s defensive woes.last_img read more

4-hour brownout to hit parts of Negros for 2 days

first_imgOn Jan. 28, the affected areas areVilla Homes, Buena Park, Glenwood Subd., Villa Angela, Villa Angela RelocationSite, Regent Pearl, River Walk, Helvetia Heights, Savemore, Hi Strip building,Panasiatic Solutions, East Block, Lopue’s East Annex (bowling center), PatriaVillage, Trinity Christian School, New Government Center (NGC), Lopue’s EastBuilding, Gonzaga Subdivision, Morata’s Photography, Burgos Street (from CircumferentialRoad to Lopez Jaena), Rio Compound, Chinese Temple, portion of Megaworld(Burgos Entrance). Jose Taniongon, Cenecoofficer-in-charge, said the power outage will start from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. BACOLOD City – Some areas here and inBago City, Negros Occidental will experience a four-hour power interruption fortwo days, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Cenenco) announced Sunday. This is due city due to maintenanceactivities, explained Taniongon, saying that Ceneco wants to ensure reliabilityof distribution lines to avoid further serious damages that could result tomajor interruptions. Taniongon advised Cenecomember-consumers in the event of any power interruption, electrical switchesshould be turned-off for safety reasons. center_img on Jan. 28 and 30. When electricity supply resumes,please provide allowance of about 10-15 minutes before switching on allelectrical appliances and facilities to avoid power surge, he added./PN For the second day, areas that willexperience power outage include Sum-ag Substation along Abuanan Road (Sum-ag)to portion of Bago, Barangay Tabunan, Barangay Dulao, Barangay Atipuluhan and,Barangay Abuanan, Sayson Piggery, Quiet Place Resort, GC&C Crusher, PurokSambag, Purok Cadena de Amor, Purok Rose 1 and 2.last_img read more

8-year-old boy drowns in river

first_imgThe victim’s body was fished out of the river around 7:35 a.m. on July 20. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA BACOLOD City – An eight-year-old boy was found dead at the Luguay River in Barangay 3, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.Philippine Coast Guard Negros Occidental chief Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin identified the fatality as Jerome Guguan, a police report showed.center_img According to Benjamin, the boy was swimming alone at the Himamaylan River in Barangay 1 when he was swept by a strong current brought by heavy rains around 3 p.m. on July 19. Last week, three teenagers in this city also died of drowning./PNlast_img read more

Ripley County Sheriff delivers October activity report

first_imgVERSAILLES, Ind. – The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office released department statistics for the month of October.Deputies responded to 39 traffic accidents including three that involved a person with injuries. The remaining crashes were limited to property damage.The sheriff’s office investigated 39 criminal cases in October with 21 being closed or resulting in arrest. The remaining 18 cases are still being investigated. Data shows 38 percent of October cases involve theft.On average, the Ripley County Jail was 87 percent full during the month of October, housing an average of 91 inmates per day.Male inmates accounted for approximately two-thirds of the daily jail population.Deputies performed numerous arrest warrants resulting in 29 captures of individuals wanted not only in Ripley County, but across the nation.The office served 252 civil process papers last month and reserve deputies also assisted in department efforts volunteering over 213 hours.last_img read more

Opening night postponed at Shawano

first_imgSHAWANO, Wis. (May 2) – Due to saturated grounds, Shawano Speedway has pushed its opener back one week.Shawano will hold an open practice session Friday, May 9 beginning at 6 p.m. and the 2014 racing season will kick off Saturday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. Sanctioned divisions running at Shawano this season are the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods.last_img