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Amanda Berry helps find missing children with new initiative, eight years after escaping captivity

first_imgABC NewsBy DANIELLE GENET and ANGELINE JANE BERNABE, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Eight years after she escaped a decade of captivity, Amanda Berry is working to bring children home. The 34-year-old, who was abducted in 2003 when she was just 16, partnered with the U.S. Marshals Service for its initiative Operation Safety Net, which was established in northern Ohio. Over the course of one month, the U.S. Marshals through Operation Safety Net were able to help safely locate 35 missing and endangered children between the ages of 13 and 18 working with Berry and other local and state partners.“I definitely hope that they know that miracles can happen,” Berry told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I know it’s not always easy to you know, years after year, some parents have to go through waiting for their child to come home, but hopefully they take it more serious, that I am involved. I hope that I’m a beacon of hope for them.” With the success of Operation Safety Net, the U.S. Marshals Service has now created a permanent squad in northern Ohio. “One of the biggest reasons Operation Safety net was a success was Amanda Berry,” U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio Pete Elliott said. “She is a great example for Cleveland, Ohio, where you fight and you never quit and that’s what she does. We’re doing this all over the country and we’re gonna try to bring back every single kid that we can, together with Amanda Berry.” Berry, now working as a missing persons advocate at Fox8, a local news station in Cleveland, said helping work to bring home missing children has been part of the process in helping her find her voice.“In the beginning, I was so scared to do anything,” she said. “I was really scared to leave the house and you know, being noticed. But now I just feel like I take it more as a blessing that I am on this side and that I am blessed enough to be able to help and I can finally use my voice for good.” She also credits her mother, who she said never gave up looking for her when she was missing all those years ago. “I push every day more and more for my mother. She fought so hard for me while I was gone, and I think now, I’m trying to finish kind of what she started for the missing,” Berry said. “In the beginning, there was nobody to call, there wasn’t someone there to help you print your missing posters of your child. So you know, a lot has changed since 2003 and I’m just glad that I can be here and continue my mom’s work.”The U.S. Marshals are now doing similar operations nationwide, helping to bring home almost 400 children since October last year, and Berry created a public service announcement that the agency will now use in training programs.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Burbank police searching for two fake cops who handcuffed, carjacked victims at gunpoint

first_imgamphotora/iStock(BURBANK, Calif.) — A search is underway for two people who police say were impersonating officers when they carjacked victims at gunpoint in Burbank, California.After receiving a 911 call about “suspicious circumstances” early Saturday morning, the Burbank Police Department said its officers responded to the 3000 block of North Naomi Street, just north of Los Angeles’ Sun Valley neighborhood. The officers arrived on scene and encountered two victims who were handcuffed.During their investigation, the officers learned that the victims had been sitting in their car when they were approached by two people wearing shirts with “POLICE” written on the front. The fake cops handcuffed and carjacked the victims at gunpoint before driving off in a gray sedan, police said.The unknown suspects were described as Hispanic males with shaved heads. The identities of the victims were not released.No further details were immediately available.Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Burbank Police Department’s Investigations Division at 818-238-3210.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Rent raises threaten students

first_imgAlmost all JCR Presidents who were willing to reveal their bargaining plans to Cherwell have concluded that there will be a raise in rents for students next academic year. For many, the real world increase in costs for colleges means that, despite a lack of increased income for students, a rent freeze is out of the question.Stephen Dempsey, JCR President of Balliol, told Cherwell, “In negotiations with college authorities, I have no intention of utilising this statement from OUSU, and instead will conduct negotiations (with the best interests of the student body in mind of course) in the context of Balliol’s financial situation, the rising cost of accommodation in Oxford, and the impact of this on students.”He also slammed the motion as “an idealistic statement” since it is “unclear how effective such a statement would be as an impetus in negotiations given OUSU’s inability to participate directly in negotiations.”Balliol’s JCR has since voted to aim for a rent raise in line with the Van Noorden Index which is likely to be 4.6% this year.Kevin Smith, the JCR President at Lincoln emphasized the fact that, “College executives need to have an idea of both their ‘ideal’ agreement, which might be a rent freeze, but also what they’re willing to accept, which might be a rent freeze or might be something less than a rent freeze depending on their College’s circumstances.”St Peter’s President, Rob Collier, was the only JCR President who responded saying that a rent freeze may be possible. Negotiations have yet to begin at Peter’s, but he told Cherwell, “It’s a little early for me to say what kind of percentage increase I would hope for, although obviously I would like it to be as low as possible, maybe even in line with OUSU’s campaign on a rent freeze.”“I think OUSU’s campaign for a rent freeze is a productive campaign: it will raise awareness that Oxford rent for students is too damn high and alert more people, both students and staff, to the hardships that some students face when the time comes to pay rent.”When asked if he was disappointed that most colleges would not be trying to achieve the rent freeze OUSU proposed, David Barclay, OUSU President said, “Even if JCRs don’t want to use the idea of a rent freeze in their negotiations, it’s still helpful for OUSU to be talking about it because it focuses everybody’s attention on the affordability of rent for students. For too long rent rises have been just about College costs – when students can’t afford to pay that’s simply not good enough.” A second year lawyer at Exeter, Gabriella Davis, said the increases were “obviously not ideal” and that, “hopefully the JCR Exec will be able to negotiate the charges down a bit because as they are I don’t think many of us will be able to manage very easily.”When contacted, Exeter declined to comment on the rises.While negotiators at Exeter have the unenviable challenge of fighting the war on prices on several fronts, other colleges facing rent increases are choosing to combat living costs as a whole in order to get the best all-round deal for their students.Teddy Hall’s President, Josh Coulson, agreed that their rates would be increasing at a similar rate to Exeter’s saying, “The College has increased rents at RPI(X) for the past 15-20 years and preliminary conversations indicate that a change from this pattern is unlikely.” The Retail Prices Index has recently been published at 5.2% and although this is not a final figure, Coulson stated that in negotiations they will look to cut students’ costs elsewhere rather than haggle over rent.“Teddy Hall has the highest rent in the University. We are used to be top of league tables…but this is one ranking that is less flattering.” He said he hoped that by making dining and vacation residence more affordable, he could “help [Teddy Hall] to gradually catch up with richer Colleges and hopefully go some small way to furthering inter-collegiate equality”.Somerville, who have already submitted a proposal to the Finance Committee, are aiming for a rent raise of 3.4% because while David Railton, their JCR President, voted for the rent freeze motion, since he “believed it might prove an effective foil for other Presidents to use in their negotiations with College” he also said, “I think the argument has limited power in Somerville where internal factors such as the loan the College is repaying on our new student accommodation take centre stage.”Moreover, Railton asserted that in looking at student finances, one must look at much more than simply the rent rates we pay.  Of negotiations so far, he said, “Our core premise for the initial proposal is that a student’s ability to support themselves through Oxford extends beyond the headline rent figure. Other costs, such as catering charges and vacation residence can massively eat into your student loan and change what you can afford overall.” Exeter college have announced that rent will increase, adding controversy to OUSU president David Barclay’s hotly debated ‘rent-freeze’ motion.The motion, which called for rents for undergraduates at Oxford colleges to remain the same this year in line with frozen student loans, was passed with a large majority in OUCU Council but opposed strongly by certain colleges such as Balliol.  Many JCR Presidents who voted in favour of the motion however, feel they are unable to implement it themselves due to the nature of the financial climate and some colleges are hiking up student costs regardless of students’ financial concerns.It has been revealed that Exeter College has already proposed to increase rents next year by 5.01%, approximately 0.6% above the probable Van Noorden Index figure, an Oxford college costs specific inflation rate.  Even more worryingly for students, the college finance authorities hope to raise their fixed termly catering charge by 11.3%, bringing it up to £313 a term while also increasing other food prices by 8%. In theory, the catering charge covers the college’s fixed cost so students are charged a marginal price for each meal.  However, under these proposals, students would be paying £4.10 for one main course and either a starter or a pudding for dinner: far more than most other colleges, almost all of which do not have a catering charge.Such large increases have been calculated to increase the costs of an average Exeter student living in by roughly £332 a year: almost 10% of the standard student loan.One Exeter student who wished to remain anonymous called the propositions “pretty shocking” and said that the increases, at the current proposed rates, were “terrifyingly large”.Chris Morgan, a first year Economics and Management student at Exeter told us, “There is an almost unanimous feeling that we have been hard done by with regards to the changes in the Battels, particularly since the charges at Exeter are already amongst the highest in Oxford. The general feeling is that we’re not getting anything more for our money and it seems like there are no grounds for such a large increase.”last_img read more

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Governor Holcomb Signs First Bill into Law: HEA 1507

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Bill provides more transportation options for students with disabilitiesINDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed House Enrolled Act 1507 (HEA 1507) into law during a ceremony in his office. The law, authored by State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) and sponsored by State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), provides more options for communities to transport Hoosier students with developmental disabilities.“This bill moved to my desk quickly with bipartisan support, because it is a common-sense, quick fix to an existing law that gives Indiana schools the flexibility they need to better serve students with disabilities,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It is my pleasure to sign this bill into law.”HEA 1507 is the first bill Gov. Holcomb has signed into law as Indiana governor and the first bill of the 2017 legislative session to make its way to his desk. It passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously.This law lets organizations that serve developmentally disabled students rent school buses for non-state supported events, such as the Special Olympics. Previously, state statute only allowed school buses to be rented to “state supported agencies.” HEA 1507 also allows this transportation to be provided for students who live outside school boundaries.State Rep. Soliday, State Sen. Charbonneau and Special Olympian students from Valparaiso gathered in the governor’s office for the bill signing.This law takes effect immediately. Read the full language at iga.in.govPhoto 1: Governor Holcomb meets with Valparaiso Special Olympic students at bill signing for HEA 1507.Photo 2: Governor Holcomb signs his first bill into law, HEA 1507. State Rep. Ed Soliday, State Sen. Ed Charbonneau and other state lawmakers are also pictured.last_img read more

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Crime questions

first_imgThe British Retail Consortium (BRC) is seeking responses from all retailers – including bakery retailers – to help gather data for its 13th annual Retail Crime Survey. The BRC hopes to gain a wider understanding on how crime affects the whole industry. The results will be published in October. Kevin Hawkins, BRC director general, says: “Last year’s survey showed that crime and crime prevention cost the retail sector £2.13 billion – up 9% on the year before. This is clearly an issue that affects all retail businesses. Retailers can access the questionnaire on www.brc.org.uk/crimesurvey.asp.last_img read more

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Urban launches limited-edition sandwich

first_imgUrban, the Adelie Foods-owned sandwich brand, is to launch a limited-edition Summer Special Coronation Chicken SandwichAdelie Foods said the launch was in reaction to “lunch occasions representing a massive opportunity for outlets stocking chilled food to go”.“And with more on offer than ever,” it added, “it’s important to create an appealing food offering that stands out from the crowd.”The flavour was first invented for the Coronation banquet of Elizabeth II in 1953, and “is now a firm family favourite and a dynamic addition to the brand’s quality, best-selling range of sandwiches, wraps and salad pots”, it said in a statement.Isla Owen, senior marketing manager at Adelie, said: “We’re confident our new Coronation Chicken Sandwich will do just that. Its bright seaside beach hut packaging will bring colour and a point of difference to chillers, helping retailers and operators to make the most of lunchtime sales.”The Urban Summer Special Coronation Chicken Sandwich is available to all accounts nationwide from now until 20 August.last_img read more

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Jerry Garcia Birthday Band Shares “Don’t Let Go” & “Tangled Up In Blue” [Pro-Shot Video]

first_imgIn August, an all-star cast of musicians reunited to honor the late and great Jerry Garcia. Dubbed the Jerry Garcia Birthday Band, Dead and Company bassist Oteil Burbridge, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Ghost Light guitarist Tom Hamilton, Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks, as well as longtime Jerry Garcia Band members keyboardist Melvin Seals, and vocalists Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch, joined forces at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.The band has shared pro-shot video of a two song-sequence from their recent Vail, Colorado performance, with Tom Hamilton leading the band through “Don’t Let Go” and “Tangled Up In Blue”, two popular covers that Garcia played with his solo outfit. You can watch pro-shot video of the band’s take on the Jesse Stone and Bob Dylan covers below:Jerry Garcia Birthday Band – “Don’t Let Go” > “Tangled Up In Blue”[Video: Jerry Garcia]This January, the majority of the same all-star cast of musicians will reunite to honor the late, great Captain Trips on January 11th and 12th at San Francisco’s Warfield. Longtime Jerry Garcia Bandmembers Melvin Seals, Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones will be joined by bassist Oteil Burbridge, guitarist Tom Hamilton and drummer Duane Trucks for the two-night run dubbed, “Like A Road Leading Home: Celebrating Jerry Garcia.”For more tickets on more information on the upcoming “Like A Road Leading Home: Celebrating Jerry Garcia” event, head here.[H/T Jambase]last_img read more

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Gov’t Mule Announces 2019 Spring Tour

first_imgGov’t Mule has announced an extensive 2019 spring tour, which will see the southern rock outfit hit The Rockies, Midwest, and Southeast this April and May.Warren Haynes and company will open up their spring tour with a performance at Vail, CO’s Spring Back to Vail on April 12th, followed by stops at Aspen, CO’s Belly Up (4/13 & 4/14); Lincoln, NE’s Bourbon Theatre (4/16); Milwaukee, WI’s Pabst Theater (4/18); Peoria, IL’s Monarch Music Hall (4/19); Springfield, MO’s Gillioz Theatre (4/20); Lawrence, KS’s Liberty Hall (4/21); Fort Smith, AK’s TempleLive (4/22); Athens, GA’s Georgia Theatre (4/24 & 4/25); and Macon, GA’s Macon City Auditorium on April 26th.The quartet will then play a previously announced show at New Orleans, LA’s Orpheum Theater on April 27th, followed by performances at Wilmington, NC’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre (4/29); Saint Petersburg, FL’s Jannus Live (5/1); Jacksonville, FL’s Florida Theater (5/3); followed by the band’s return back to New Orleans, LA’s Orpheum Theater on May 4th for a tour-closing performance.A fan pre-sale begins this Wednesday, February 27th, followed by the public on-sale this Friday, March 1st.Head to Gov’t Mule’s website for ticketing details and more information.Gov’t Mule 2019 Tour Dates (newly added dates bolded):April 12 – Vail, CO @ Spring Back to VailApril 13 – Aspen, CO @ Belly UpApril 14 – Aspen, CO @ Belly UpApril 16 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon TheatreApr 18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst TheaterApril 19 – Peoria, IL @ Monarch Music HallApril 20 – Springfield, MO @ Gillioz TheatreApril 21 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty HallApril 22 – Fort Smith, AR @ TempleLiveApril 24 – Athens, GA @ Georgia TheatreApril 25 – Athens, GA @ Georgia TheatreApril 26 – Macon, GA @ Macon City AuditoriumApr 27 – New Orleans, LA @ Orpheum TheaterApril 29 – Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake AmphitheatreMay 1 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus LIveMay 3 – Jacksonville, FL @ Florida TheatreMay 4 – New Orleans, LA @ Orpheum TheaterMay 27 – Glasgow, United Kingdom @ O2 Academy GlasgowMay 28 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom @ Boiler ShopMay 29 – Leeds, United Kingdom @ O2 Academy LeedsMay 31 – Birmingham, United Kingdom @ Birmingham Town HallJune 1 – London, United Kingdom @ O2 Forum Kentish TownJune 2 – Manchester, United Kingdom @ Manchester Academy 2June 4 – Paris, France @ La CigaleJune 5 – Bruxelles, Belgium @ Ancienne BelgiqueJune 6 – Frankfurt Am Main, Germany @ BatschkappJune 8 – Raalte, Netherlands @ Ribs & Blues RaalteJune 9 – Alkmaar, Netherlands @ Podium VictorieJune 13-16 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Mountain Jam)June 28 – Butler, OH @ Clearfork Adventure Resort (Smoky Run Music Festival)July 13 – Canandaigua, NY @ CMAC Performing Arts CenterJuly 19 – Welch, MN @ Treasure Island Resort & CasinoJuly 20 – Walker, MN @ Moondance JamView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

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Metro Mobile Markets

first_imgSummer isn’t quite the same without fresh corn, beans, okra and tomatoes, but many Georgians don’t have easy access to the state’s bounty of produce.This summer, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working in DeKalb and Fulton counties to build a network of food oases to help serve residents who have a difficult time finding fresh vegetables due to limited mobility, lack of transportation or lack of well-stocked stores or markets. UGA Extension in Clayton County will launch a similar mobile market in July.“Our mobile markets are helping to address the critical issue of food access in the Atlanta area,” said Jeff Miller, urban UGA Extension coordinator. “Working together, UGA Extension agricultural and natural resources agents, family and consumer sciences and 4-H agents teach patrons about where their food comes from, how to prepare their meals for optimal health and the value of a varied non-processed diet.“Mobile markets in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties are excellent examples of how UGA Extension is helping to meet the needs of communities across Georgia.”For the second year, UGA Extension in DeKalb County has partnered with the DeKalb County Board of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring the DeKalb Mobile Farmers Market to neighborhoods across the county.Traveling from site to site in a converted mint green school bus, UGA Extension personnel meet with people across the county and offer them farm-fresh produce at market prices.The mobile market also features weekly cooking demonstrations and healthy recipe ideas. Cooking and nutrition information are provided by DeKalb County Extension agents through the USDA-funded Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or EFNEP, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed.“The DeKalb Mobile Market is already off to a great start for its second season,” said Von Baker, DeKalb County Family and Consumer Sciences and EFNEP UGA Extension agent. “The DeKalb team is excited about having the opportunity to provide fresh produce to DeKalb citizens at a competitive price.”Last year, the mobile market served nearly 1,600 people and sold 9,800 pounds of fresh produce. The 2016 season started the week of June 6 and the market served 450 residents during its first 10-stop circuit. The market sold twice the amount of produce its first week of the 2016 season than it did during the first week of 2015.“I think this is a great idea,” said Roger Hopkins, who met up with the mobile market at the Lou Walker Senior Center on June 9. “It keeps us from having to drive too far to the farmers market, and when our community is able to find fresh vegetables like this, it’s a good thing.”Hopkins, who is an active 67-year-old, sometimes wants to avoid the crowds at his local farmers market and the drive required to get there. For him the mobile market is convenient, but for some of the older members of his community, it’s a lifeline to a healthier diet.The success of last year’s market was due in large part to buy-in from community members like Hopkins and in part to cooperation between departments in DeKalb County’s governments and the UGA Extension Office, Baker said.A team at DeKalb County Public Works’ fleet maintenance department retrofitted the mobile market bus, a hand-me-down prisoner transport bus from the DeKalb County Sheriff Office. A bus driver for the county’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs drives the bus, and the DeKalb County Board of Health helps get the word out.The entire staff from the UGA Extension office in DeKalb County — from administrative assistants to agriculture and natural resources agents — takes turns to keep the mobile market rolling while maintaining their usual workloads.The market will run 16 weeks through the summer, and a full schedule of its stops are posted at DeKalbmobilemarket.com. Residents can call 404-298-4080 or email [email protected] for more information.The concept for the DeKalb Mobile Farmers Market is based loosely on UGA Extension’s success with the Fulton Fresh Mobile Market. Metro Atlanta’s original mobile market kicked off its sixth season at the beginning of June. It’s been delivering fresh produce, along with a healthy dose of nutrition information, since 2011. In that grant-funded program, participants receive produce in exchange for attending nutrition classes.With two food trucks serving 14 sites across Fulton County, Fulton Fresh continues its goal of helping county residents become healthier — one bag of fresh produce at a time.“We are excited about this season,” said Menia Chester, director of the UGA Extension office in Fulton County. “This will be our sixth season visiting communities to provide education and fresh produce to residents wanting to learn how to live healthier. Over the years, we have had residents return to the program to let us know that the information they received was helping and encouraging them to eat better for their health.”For more information about the Fulton Fresh Mobile Farmers Market program, call 404-332-2400. For the 2016 schedule, visit fultoncountyga.gov/fcced-home.last_img read more

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THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

first_imgThe rising stars of Ski Racing in the SoutheastThe Southeast is known for its access to outdoor adventures, from hiking the Appalachian Trail and climbing in the New River Gorge to paddling the Narrows of the Green River and biking the Great Allegheny Passage. But it’s not a region necessarily known for its competitive ski racing.“The weather is a real roller coaster ride in the Southeast as far as temperature,” said Chris Shepard, a coach for the Wintergreen Race Team. “For ski racing, you need a surface that is cold and is frozen. We don’t always have that because of the temperature fluctuations that we see in our region. So we might have really good, solid snow on a Wednesday, and then by Saturday when it’s training day, it can be a little bit slushy. That’s an inconsistency you wished you didn’t have if you were trying to train ski racers all the time.”Skiers in the Southeast also have to contend with significantly smaller mountains and shorter runs.“You ski and then you’re on the lift,” Shepard said. “If you go out West, you can ski and ski and ski and ski and ski and ski and then get on the lift.”But since Shepard took over the Wintergreen Resort ski team in 1997, the program has grown from 18 kids to 150 kids participating on the race team, the development team, and the free ride team.Families from as far away as D.C. and Virginia Beach make the trek to the mountains every weekend for instruction and competitions.“Ski racing, especially in the Southeast, is truly a family sport,” Shepard said. “Folks who get into it have to be pretty passionate about it because most of them are driving a bit to get to the resorts.”Nicole Weiss and her husband, David, have been big skiers their entire lives. They started their three boys on the slopes at a young age, not long after they were able to balance and walk on their own. When they moved their family of five from Michigan to Virginia, they feared their dreams of having a skiing family would never be a reality.Then the Weiss family discovered Wintergreen, about 45 minutes from their home in Charlottesville, Va. After meeting Shepard at a parents’ meeting and hearing him speak, Nicole Weiss said she knew this was the program for her boys.“The coaches are really what makes a huge difference,” she said. “If you’re in this program to develop an Olympic ski racer, then he’s on your side and he’s going to help you do that. If you’re there to have fun, he’s also there to do that too. That’s really what has kept us here.”Braeden, 13, Cooper, 11, and Dalton, 10, each spent two years with the development team before moving up to the race team.“Everybody thinks their kid is a great skier if they can point their skis down and bomb down the hill a million miles an hour,” Weiss said. “The development team actually teaches them that just being out of control and skiing fast is not the way to develop into a racer. They slow them down and it drives the kids crazy.”The whole Weiss family gets involved with the racing. Nicole works with the Wintergreen Boosters, a group that fundraises to help purchase equipment and subsidize the coaching staff. David is on the ski patrol, and his skills as an orthopedic surgeon have come in handy a few times.And every year, the three boys look forward to the new race season.“When it stops being 75 degrees and it cools off a little bit, I start seeing them pulling their boots out and trying their skis and seeing how they’ve grown,” Weiss said. “And it’s just an assumption that winter is for ski racing, even though it’s Virginia.”The boys race through the Southern Alpine Racing Association (SARA), a division of U.S. Ski and Snowboard encompassing North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The organization supports nine ski resorts’ teams, including Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Timberline Four Seasons Resort, Winterplace Ski Resort, Bryce Resort, Massanutten Resort, Wintergreen Resort, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, and Sugar Mountain Resort.Racers, ages six to 18, compete in a series of weekend competitions from the end of December through February. Kids can choose to only participate in events in one state to help cut down on some of the travel. Adults also have an opportunity to compete with the Masters Alpine Program.Everyone then comes together for the SARA Championships at the end of February and beginning of March. Top finishers are invited to larger events held in the Northeast.“I, along with some of the other coaches, went up to New Hampshire for some postseason racing and we’re up there competing against kids that get to ski eight or nine months a year,” said Steve Howard, a coach for the Timberline Race Team. “Here, we ski three months a year. We do okay in spite of all that.”Howard grew up racing in Virginia, eventually as a member of the Virginia Tech ski team. He moved out West for a number of years before moving back to his home state to have a family.“Skiing in the Southeast leaves a lot to be desired after you’ve lived in Park City and spent years in Colorado and Utah,” he said. “But it is still skiing and it’s a good place to learn. If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.”Howard got involved as a coach when both of his kids starting skiing with the Timberline Race Team. For the last eight years, he and his children have commuted from their home in Floyd, Va. to the West Virginian ski resort to train.“For me, it’s a four to four and a half hour drive one way, every weekend,” Howard said. “We spend a lot of time on the road.”But the drive is a necessary part of the sport as they try to squeeze the most out of the short ski season.“The month of February [2018], it didn’t go below freezing and so you lose all of the snow, you have poor conditions,” Howard said. “We, unfortunately, ski a lot in the rain, which is never any fun, but it’s what we have to do. Last year we had a number of races cancelled because of the weather. Sometimes we’re scraping enough snow together to make a racecourse… All in all, everybody’s in it for the love of the sport and trying to pass that on to the next generation.”last_img read more

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