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Daily Dirt: WNC Land Preservation, Coal Ash Spill, Paddling Bill Defeat

first_imgYour daily news update for February 5th, the day the largest Jell-O (9,246 gallons) was made in Brisbane.Land Preservation in WNCAnother major win for outdoor enthusiasts was announced this Tuesday in Transylvania County.The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, The Conservation Fund, and the U.S. Forest Service issued a statement declaring plans to conserve nearly 8,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the area. In 2013, more than 3,200 acres of working forestland and a large portion of the headwaters of French Broad River’s east fork were obtained and protected by the North Carolina Forest Service. A grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, along with state and private funding, made this acquisition possible.Located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, the newly-protected acreage will become part of the prospective Headwaters State Forest. The area sits adjacent to 100,000 acres of existing conservation lands in both states, providing habitat for endangered plant and animal species.Ranked 7th on the 2013 national Forest Legacy Program priority list,  the State and The Conservation Fund utilized a $3 million grant to purchase 711 acres of land. Additional private and state funding of $5.4 million allowed for the protection of another 1,186 acres. Additional acquisitions are expected to made in 2014.The N.C. Forest Service plans to create a multi-use management plan for the land, allowing sustainably managed timber production alongside a variety of public recreational uses, including hunting and hiking.Coal Ash Spill in NCDuke Energy reported Monday that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash (enough to fill 20-32 Olympic-sized swimming pools) spilled into the Dan River from an unlined pond at its retired power plant in Eden.A 48-inch stormwater pipe beneath the unlined ash pond broke on Sunday afternoon, draining water and ash from the 27-acre pond into the pipe. A team of specialists from Appalachian Voices remains on-site to sample the water for toxics such as arsenic, as well as other contaminants. Yesterday, two members of the team were on the water in canoes, scouting the river from the point of discharge at the retired power plant to a few miles downstream. Their reports show signs of discolored water and ash that stretches close to 20 miles downstream.Environmental groups have previously filed lawsuits in an attempt to force Duke and other utility services to remove ash stored near waterways faster and more consciously. Greenpeace in particular has stepped to the forefront of the spill aftermath, forcing Duke Energy to answer accusations and questions on drinking water safety.This is the second incident this year where hazardous materials leaked into a waterway and threatened the local drinking water. Residents in West Virginia are still without clean water due to the chemicals that spilled into the Elk River last month.Freedom to Float Bill Defeated in the SenateVirginia paddlers were turned upstream on Friday when the Freedom to Float bill was defeated in the Senate 10 to 30.The American Canoe Association believes this bill was a reasonable approach for non-motorized vessels to use non-tidal rivers, streams, and creeks for recreational purposes. Paddlers would have been allowed to float on drainage areas of at least seven square miles without being held liable for civil or criminal trespass.For more information on the issue of river access, check out this story by BRO contributor Beau Beasley.last_img read more

Mnuchin offers some hints at how Treasury will handle banking of pot biz

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » As the Trump administration considers removing Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance that has allowed financial institutions to open accounts for marijuana businesses without running afoul of federal regulators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered some insights into how the Treasury Department may respond to the growing area of marijuana banking.In a speech before the House Financial Services Committee, Mnuchin confirmed that he does not want to go back to the days where legal marijuana businesses were having to carry around “bags of cash” to pay their employees, The Financial Regulatory Report reported. Mnuchin noted with respect to the continued validity of the 2014 FinCEN guidance: “We are reviewing it, but the intent is not to take it down without a replacement that can deal with the current situation. We want to make sure that we can collect our necessary taxes and other things.”“Secretary Mnuchin’s remarks strongly suggest that the 2014 FinCEN guidance is still effective, and that the Treasury Department is working diligently to craft a new replacement policy that will provide greater clarity for the industry,” the Financial Regulatory Report stated.last_img read more

CAF Confed Cup: Medeama beat Ahli Shendi to make group stages

first_imgGhana’s Medeama SC have advanced to the final playoff stage of the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup after beating Sudan Ahli Shendi 2-0 on Wednesday.The Mauves scored two first half goals to record a 2-0 aggregate win ober the Sudanese side at the Essipong Stadium.Midfielder Kwame Boahene opened the scoring in the 20th minute before lanky forward Abass Mohammed doubled the advantage 8 minutes later.The Mauve and Yellows now await a draw that will see them pitted against of the losing clubs of the 1/8th round of the CAF Champions League, to determine the eight clubs for the ‘Money Zone’.Medeama, Ghana’s FA Cup champions, remain the only representation in this year’s CAF Inter – club competitions.Final playoff draw The draw for the 2nd 1/8th round of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup 2016 will take place on Thursday, 21 April 2016 at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt at 12H00 GMT, the Confederation of African Football has announced.The winners of the 1/8th round of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup will be pitted against the losing clubs of the 1/8th round of the Orange CAF Champions League, to determine the eight clubs for the group phase.The first leg matches will be held on the weekend of 6-8 May 2016 and the second leg from 17-18 May 2016.The draw for the group phase of both the Orange CAF Champions League and Orange CAF Confederation Cup will be held on 24 May 2016 in Cairo, Egypt.—last_img read more

Touchline: Why Italy cannot be overlooked for Euro title

first_imgThe Euros are well and truly on with a wide range of talking points. Which player has impressed you most? Which team has convinced you about winning the title? All this and many more lessons from the two week old tournament discussed by the Touchlie panel. CLick the link  below to watch the full analysis.Don’t miss Gramps Morgan also discuss more about his sporting life –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell makes NBA All-Rookie Team

first_imgD’Angelo Russell overcame a rocky start to his rookie season to finish fifth among first-year players in scoring and fourth in assists. He set a Lakers rookie record with 130 3-pointers.On Thursday, the second overall pick in last year’s draft was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team, an award voted on by the media.Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis were voted unanimously to the first team. Denver center Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia forward Jahlil Okafor and Phoenix guard Devin Booker filled out the first team.Unlike with All-NBA voting, the All-Rookie teams are not position specific. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Russell finished seventh overall in voting, with 142 out of a possible 260 points, including 25 first-team votes.Lakers rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. earned three points, while 32-year-old rookie Marcelo Huertas earned one second team vote.Russell averaged 13.2 points and 3.3 assists in 80 games, including 48 starts. He often clashed with former coach Byron Scott, who moved him out of the starting lineup for two months in the middle of the season.The most notable moment of Russell’s rookie season, however, came off the court, when a video apparently recorded by the point guard in which teammate Nick Young seemed to discuss intimate relationships with women other than his fiancée, rapper Iggy Azalea, went viral.The incident caused a rift in the Lakers locker room, damaging Russell’s credibility with some teammates who felt Russell has violated a code of the locker room.last_img read more

Ross Barkley needs to LEAVE Everton this summer, former Toffee tells talkSPORT

first_imgRoss Barkley has been urged to leave Everton this summer by a former Toffees star.The homegrown midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract and has been set a deadline of the end of this week to sign a new deal on the table.But, according to Richard Dunne, the 23-year-old should reject the terms on offer and seek a fresh challenge to boost his career.Dunne, who started his Premier League career at Goodison Park, told talkSPORT: “There are a few players at Everton that have gone into their comfort zone and maybe a change would be the best for both sides.“Certainly for Everton they need a bit more freshness in their team and maybe Ross does, in terms of getting a new club, having to earn a place in a team and not have the comforts of being at home and living in his hometown.“Maybe he needs to go out and challenge himself and start trying to progress and get a place back in the England team.”Barkley is likely to be in demand should he decide to quit Everton, who reportedly value the talented playmaker at £50million. Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have all been linked with the England international in recent seasons.Dunne doubts whether another of his old clubs, City, will follow up their interest but feels a move to either north London club could benefit Barkley.“Maybe an Arsenal or Tottenham will be better for him [than City],” said the Irishman.“I think Manchester City will try and sign stronger and maybe better players – players who have won things over the years.“Barkley is certainly going to move to a big club but I don’t think it will be City. I don’t imagine he will get the games he needs.”last_img read more