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first_imgPhoto courtesy of Getty Images by Mark Castiglia Judge Ronnie Greer denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case, pointing to the fact that officials didn’t provide sufficient evident to show sufficient evidence that they had met the notification obligations under their own fire management plan. The fire killed 14 people and caused $2 billion in losses.  The campers got into their truck and turned the wrong way into water, submerging their vehicle. A woman was able to jump out of the truck and swim to shore. A second camper was able to free himself from the truck after it drifted 1,000 feet downstream. Park rangers threw a rope to a third person after the truck became stuck on a tree. Despite their terrifying experience, all three campers were reported safe.  Mountains-to-Sea Trail turns 43 The movement unites 180 countries across the world for a cleaner planet. Do your part and pick up some litter on Saturday, then share your story across social media while using the #trashtag. To learn more about how you can participate, visit the website https://www.nationalcleanupday.org/.  Challenges range from setting out on one of the 40 hikes in the new Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail guide to completing the MST “triple crown,” by tackling all three 43 kilometer MST hikes in the month of September. To learn more about the birthday challenges and to sign up, visit: https://mountainstoseatrail.org/challenges/birthdayhike/.  The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), North Carolina’s long-distance hiking trail, turns 43 this September. To celebrate, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail has dreamed up some socially distanced challenges to inspire hikers and help raise funds to support the trail. Visitors to Grandfather Mountain in N.C. can grab a front-row seat to a stunning spectacle of raptors migrating south for the winter, The Greenville Sun reports. Grandfather Mountain is perfectly situated to view these migrating raptors thanks to its location along the eastern escarpment of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s rocky peaks create strong thermal uplifts that allow prime visibility, a news release said.  Three campers from West Virginia are safe after their truck was washed away by fast-moving water in Powell County, Ky, WSAZ.com reports. The group was camping at the Middle Fork Campground at Natural Bridge State Park Saturday night when a park ranger told the group to move to higher ground because of a flash flood. According to LawnStarter, 875 people in the U.S. end up in the emergency room every day due to lawn and gardening equipment. Annually, about 26,679 people end up with a hospital stay thanks to riding lawn mower accidents and nearly 600 people die as a result of them. Comparatively, sharks, alligators and bears kill just 1 person each year, snake bites take down 6 people and venomous spiders kill 11. It’s officials: Northern Hemisphere experienced the warmest summer on record Hikers in the Red River Gorge used an app to helped a team easily locate them after one of them was injured, WTVQ.com reports. The search teams reported that the couple used a GPS app called Gaia to tell responders exactly where they were after a woman slipped and fell, hitting her leg against sandstone and incurring an injury. The country may be in a deep recession, but outdoor equipment is flying off the shelves, NPR reports. Even though 30 million people across the country are on unemployment, sales of camping, outdoor and recreational equipment have been surging.  September 19 is National CleanUp Day Do you worry about wildlife when you recreate outdoors? Don’t let your concerns keep you up at night. Studies show that you are much more likely to be injured or killed while working in your yard than you are while out for an overnight on your favorite backpacking trail.  In June, sales of bicycles jumped 63% from the previous year. Sales of paddle sports like kayaking have jumped 56%. Golf equipment, camping equipment and binoculars for birding are also selling out. “Consumers who had summer plans—maybe planning on hotels, planes, cruises, concerts—those people have been forced to cancel those plans and they’re looking for something different to do with those discretionary dollars,” researcher Craig Kennison told NPR.  The app provided the exact coordinates to rescue crews, allowing for a successful evacuation. The woman’s leg was put in a splint and she was carried two and a half miles to safety.  Summer of 2020 was the warmest summer in modern history in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced. Temperatures this summer beat out record temps set in 2019 and 2016, which were previous tied for the hottest-summer-on-record award that no one wants to win. August 2020 was also the warmest August in history in the Northern Hemisphere. Hawk Watch is back at Grandfather Mountaincenter_img During previous Hawk Watch events, Grandfather Mountain employees reportedly counted over 4,800 broad-wing raptors passing over the mountain in a span of less than 30 minutes, amounting to nearly 10,000 raptors a day. Due to COVID, visitors cannot participate in the typical Hawk Watch event, but are encouraged to watch the migration on Linville Peak across the Mile High Swinging Bridge and Half Moon Overlook, the first major overlook when entering the park.   The podcast will air every Monday beginning September 21. “By telling multi-dimensional stories through a range of voices, we hope to inspire future stewards, managers, hikers and dreamers of all backgrounds to experience, benefit from and help protect the Appalachian Trail,” said Julie Judkins, ATC’s Director of Education and Outreach. More information and links to upcoming podcast episodes can be found at appalachiantrail.org/where-we-walk and she-explores.com.   A pond and hikers’ shelter that serve as a much-needed resting spot for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail is now protected forever. Once owned by timber companies, the pond is now permanently conserved and open to hikers.  Conservation groups teamed up to purchase Bald Mountain Pond and the forest that surrounds it. “A locked gate will never stop future visitors,” environmental groups said in a news release. “The 2,620 acres surrounding Bald Mountain Pond’s rugged shoreline, and an iconic stretch of the Appalachian Trail, will remain protected from development and open to the public forever.”  Judge rules Great Smoky Mountains NP did not keep public updated on deadly wildfires Did your mother always tell you that you should leave a place better than you found it? If you haven’t been following that golden rule, now is your chance to redeem yourself. Saturday, September 19 is National CleanUp Day, when volunteers from coast to coast pitch in to clean up our parks, trails, beaches, mountains and open spaces.  Despite recession, outdoor equipment is selling like hotcakes A new podcast miniseries will bring focus to the thousands of women who have built, hiked on and been inspired by the Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced in a news release. “Where We Walk: Stories of the Appalachian Trail,” is a special six-part series developed by the ATC and She Explores Podcast. New podcast miniseries highlights women voices of the AT Portion of the Appalachian Trail protected forever in Northern Maine Injured hikers in Wolfe County, KY are rescued thanks to GPS app A U.S. District Judge in Knoxville, Tennessee has ruled that officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park did not do enough to keep the public updated as a deadly wildfire spread from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2016, E&E News reports. The ruling keeps survivor lawsuits on track for a potential trial. You’re more likely to be killed by a lawn mower than a bear, snake or spider New poll shows that 24.6 million outdoor community members may not vote Campers rescued from flash flood in Kentucky It wasn’t just record-setting hot in the Northern Hemisphere, either. The last three months saw the third-hottest summer across the globe since 1880 when records began being kept. The average global land and ocean surface temperatures in August was 1.69 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degrees, NOAA said.  A new poll by The Conservation Alliance shows that 24.6 million members of the outdoor community may not cast a vote this November. While 59% of outdoor enthusiasts agreed that a presidential candidate’s views on the environment are important in determining their vote; and the majority of liberal, moderate and conservatives agreed that protecting public lands and water is very urgent, only 78% said they are very likely to vote in the 2020 election. Comparatively, 88% of the general population reported they are likely to take to the polls in 2020.last_img read more

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first_imgConundrum 101 – people don’t know about credit unions? What? Why? How can that be? Let’s open their eyes and tell our story. Cool! United messages make us stronger, collaborating to find solutions with key thought leadership. It is happening, and when consumers become aware, are we ready to emotionally connect them to what it feels like to be a member, to belong.  Relevant membership is all about the feeling of belonging to something more than a transaction account.  Remember when members had a common bond, they knew who they were pooling their money for and why it made a difference to real people?  Lifelong membership comes from knowing a credit union cared and helped you at a time of need. Some think that the sense of collective interest went away with digital transformation, but not me – evidence shows that all generations are gathering online for what’s trending, what are key health issues, what friends are attending and who shared a common experience with them. This conundrum took me back to Maslow’s hierarchy and how applies to financial services.I googled ‘key business leader characteristics.’ The first article that came up was from Inc., and the first item on the list was self-awareness. This characteristic aligns with the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of human needs, self-actualization.Many credit union leaders possess this awareness, this drive to be the most they can be, whether successful as a credit union professional, a leader of people or helper of those who haven’t reached self-actualization yet. These are the people who will lead credit unions to continued greatness, because they grasp the big picture and express empathy, for their employees, their members and all human beings.Research has determined that when organizations are mission-driven like credit unions and their leaders are passionate about the philosophy and strategy of the organization, employees are more motivated and engaged. Forbes reported that nearly three-quarters of millennials say they are not feeling engaged or are actively disengaged at work. Further, a Harvard Business Review study found that when employees find meaning at work, they are twice as satisfied and three times more likely to stay, which saves the credit union money and bolsters success in today’s talent war environment.When employees are engaged, they better serve your members and your business. Then, they can reach those levels of love, belonging and esteem that put them on the path to self-actualization in their work. Doing the right thing is good business and these credit unions become heroes through their leadership and vulnerable collaboration, helping their members achieve their own path to self-actualization.The Mitchell Stankovic Underground Community thought leaders will tackle membership growth by challenging the fundamentals of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and the RAW, life stage our members are facing. Identifying and navigating solutions through credit unions that also make sense for credit unions.Physiological needs: When we’re young, we need some of the basics for launching our lives. Young adult members might feel lost. They need a home, possibly a car and, of course, a job to pay for it all. It can be overwhelming but removing some of that uncertainty by providing financial education, information and products and services with their specific needs in mind is what credit unions can do best. Or as we confront life’s challenges:  divorce, death, addiction, health issues, gender, our once self-actualized world falls apart.Safety needs: Safety means many things to many people. For some, it may be having a safe place to put their retirement nest egg. For others, granting a home equity loan to replace a front door that may not be as secure as they would like to protect their family in an area that may be affordable for them but high-crime. And still others might need the very basics of safety, like those surviving the ongoing earthquakes in Puerto Rico, which was wiped out just a few years ago by Hurricane Maria.Love and belonging: People literally belong to credit unions. We ask people to join us, but are we meeting them halfway: Are we joining them with any real connection? When this need is not met in humans, they may turn down dark paths. Minorities who are not accepted with open arms, not represented at your credit union, whether gender identity or preference, ethnicity or age, don’t feel like they belong. We must assimilate to our communities through financial inclusion, not the other way around.Esteem: Every car loan to a member with less-than-perfect credit (perhaps because they lost their job and now need a vehicle to get to a new one) supports the individual, the community and the credit union’s business. The credit union can charge less than the buy-here, pay-here shops, while still respectfully pricing to mitigate risk. Your credit union can improve someone’s finances in a highly stressful situation and help to boost their feeling of self-worth by providing a service that’s very common to you; not so much to the member.Self-actualization: Seeing how the credit union – through its well-trained employees who are on their own path to self-actualization – treats members and assists in their specific human condition, will reward you and them in many ways. Once the members achieve this status, they may decide to pay it forward, even volunteering at the credit union or getting involved in your foundation, and become evangelists of the credit union purpose. And the word of mouth marketing is priceless as they share what they’ve learned through life’s trials with the help of their credit union!What credit unions provide is not a commodity when the business operates in line with the foundational credit union philosophy: people helping people. And those people, consumers of financial services, have said they would change brands to one that is purpose-driven with similar price and quality – 91% of them according to Forbes. The article added that a study of 10 years of data found “purposeful, value-driven companies outperform their counterparts in stock price by a factor of twelve.” Eight of 10 American consumers also report they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands, according to For-Managers. Credit unions must get these members in all stages of their financial and life’s journeys – and keep them!When we, as leaders, have reached self-actualization, we must use it to share our experiences, bumps and all, with those who are rising up behind us. We must use it to sow seeds, helping our colleagues and members through words and deeds. And we must do this, knowing we could get knocked back down the ladder when unexpected personal or business issues send us reeling. That’s vulnerable collaboration. #STANDUP 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Susan Mitchell Susan Mitchell is a passionate believer in making a difference! As the CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, a consulting firm that has provided over 5,000 credit unions innovative … Web: www.mitchellstankovic.com Detailslast_img read more

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first_imgTwo major European leaders have issued warnings to their citizens that the world needs to adjust to life with the coronavirus, and that people cannot wait to be saved by a yet-to-be-developed vaccine.Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the comments over the weekend.With 36 million newly unemployed people just in the United States, economic pressures are building to reopen and return to some sense of normalcy, even with the risk of new waves of infections and deaths.Conte is allowing restaurants, bars and beach facilities in Italy to open Monday, the same day that church services will be allowed to resume and shops can reopen.″We are facing a calculated risk, in the awareness … that the epidemiological curve could go back up,” Conte said late Saturday. “We are confronting this risk, and we need to accept it, otherwise we would never be able to relaunch.”He added that Italy could “not afford” to wait for a vaccine, as health experts believe one could still be months or even years away.“We would find ourselves with our social and productive fabric heavily damaged,” Conte said.For his part, Britain’s Johnson, who was hospitalized last month with COVID-19, told his citizens on Sunday that there is a possibility that a vaccine may not be developed at all.I know this will not be easy — the first baby steps never are. But I hope that, when we look back, the changes we have made this week will be seen as an important moment on the road to our nation’s recovery.https://t.co/hEdg4k2333— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) May 17, 2020 “I said we would throw everything we could at finding a vaccine,” Johnson wrote in The Mail on Sunday newspaper. “There remains a very long way to go, and I must be frank that a vaccine might not come to fruition.”Johnson added that Britain is taking “baby steps” toward reopening, “trying to do something that has never had to be done before — moving the country out of a full lockdown.”“Despite these efforts, we have to acknowledge we may need to live with this virus for some time to come,” Johnson cautioned.He said the U.K. needs to find new ways of controlling the coronavirus. Those methods include more testing for people with symptoms, as well as tracing the contacts of infected people.Coronavirus has infected over 4.6 million people and killed more than 312,000 worldwide to date, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported nearly 89,000 dead in the pandemic and Europe has seen at least 160,000 deaths.last_img read more

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first_imgSeveral youths from Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties have lauded Flomo Theater and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for establishing the Youth Vigilance Committee, aimed at monitoring the county and social development fund and its impact on ordinary citizens of the three counties, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu.Speaking on behalf of youths in Tienii, Grand Cape Mount County, Charles Dargor, a youth activist from Tewor District, noted that the youths have a vital role to play in the fight against corruption.“Liberia has a very youthful population; and this demographic dividend would become a demographic disaster if the youth are not properly guided and their energy not harnessed in the fight against corruption,” he said.He encouraged the youth in Grand Cape Mount to fully support the Youth Vigilance Committee and be willing to speak up and out against corruption, even when the perpetrator is a family member.“I appreciate Flomo Theater for being farsighted to establish this worthy initiative, which is in the interest of the young people, and I can assure you that they will give their best support,” Dargor added. For his part, John Daff, president of the Youth Action Initiative (YAI) in Gbarpolu, pleaded with the youth to wake up from their sleep and fight corruption by reporting and conducting social audits. He intimated that Gbarpolu, which is rich in natural resources, is dirt poor, and suffers from disunity among its leaders.“We are the direct victims of corruption since at the end it affects our future. It is about time we become vigilant on the way the county social and development fund is used by monitoring these projects,” Daff said.He noted that there is tremendous pressure on youths in Liberia to end or minimize corruption; therefore everyone is looking towards the youth, and it is about time that step is taken.For Bomi County, Barbara Manjohn, who spoke on behalf of youths from the Gawah Hill Community, said the youth have a great task ahead and it is their responsibility to achieve it. Quoting Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, she said, “The youth of today will need to recognize that they shoulder a great responsibility. They will need to fight for rooting out corruption, for ensuring that no one is above the law and uniting the citizens of Liberia as ‘Liberia first’ instead of communal or geographic factions. “Liberia first is all about us being honest. The youths have to rise at their personal level in the fight against corruption, as it is a matter of an individual’s integrity that should be exhibited by all youths,” Ms. Manjohn said.At the end of the three-county tour, Flomo Theater’s program manager Alex Lassanah Swaray commended the youth communities for their active participations, and cautioned them to be watchful as Liberia draws close to elections. He warned that young people have become shopping centers and are used as canon-fodder for people with selfish agendas during elections, a tendency that leads to corruption.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more