Ten years later, ‘balloon boy’ and his family speak out

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — It’s been 10 years since police called the search for the infamous balloon boy a hoax, but even now, the boy — now a teenager — and his parents are standing by their story. Richard Heene maintains to this day that he, his wife, Mayumi, and their three sons were working on a saucer in the backyard of their Colorado home, with video cameras rolling, when the homemade device got loose and they feared their 6-year-old son Falcon was inside it. Millions watched in horror on live TV as the saucer drifted across the sky for nearly two hours and across almost 70 miles. Police, however, had doubts and thought it was a publicity stunt. When the saucer finally came down, it turned out the boy was not on board. Instead, he had apparently been hiding in the attic at home.The father told ABC News he believes he was a victim of character assassination and was still fired up at any suggestion the scare was a hoax. “What would be nice is if the media, could actually go, ‘Yeah, Richard’s got a point,’” he said. “But it’s so biased — the media continues on with the same narrative.” Richard Heene said he “definitely” feels he still needs to clear his name.“I’ve lost a lot of opportunities. I’ve had people contact me about things I invented and the deal went south — because they find out who I am,” he explained. “The thing that gets me is the media never tells my side of the story.” At the time, police said the family, who had previously been on the reality show Wife Swap, staged the stunt to gain fame and more opportunities.The parents eventually pleaded guilty to related charges and were sentenced to minimal jail time, work release and eight years probation after Mayumi Heene said she confessed out of fear. “I thought, ‘I’m going to be deported,’” she said. “Then I won’t see my husband or, you know, kids — I won’t be able to see them.” But she said eventually the ordeal brought their family closer. The name “balloon boy” has stuck with Falcon Heene ever since, but the long-haired teen, who is now in a heavy metal band with his brothers, Ryo and Bradford, has leaned into the nickname.They titled one of their first original songs “Balloon Boy, No Hoax,” and a video for it features Falcon Heene flying around on a saucer. But he told ABC News, “I haven’t thought about anything” in terms of using it as a strategy. The three boys, who were all home schooled, work with their dad to fix up houses and have big plans for a career in music, far away from their family’s infamous floating past. “We don’t really wanna associate ourselves with that,” Bradford Heene said. “We just want to rock out.” Falcon Heene said he has been able to make light of the events since he has pretty much no recollection of the day that went down in infamy and said it has no bearing on his daily life.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

SUU Men’s Basketball To Play At Kansas In November

first_imgApril 23, 2020 /Sports News – Local SUU Men’s Basketball To Play At Kansas In November Written by Tags: SUU Basketball FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLAWRENCE, Kan.-Thursday, Southern Utah University head men’s basketball coach Todd Simon confirmed the Thunderbirds will be playing at another Power 5 school as they will face the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse of Lawrence, Kan. November 13.The Thunderbirds upset the Jayhawks’ regional neighbor and former conference foe in the Big 8 and Big 12, Big Ten foe Nebraska last November, at Lincoln, Neb., prevailing 79-78 in double overtime.Had COVID-19 not canceled the NCAA Tournament, Kansas would have likely gone in as the overall No. 1 seed in the field as head coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 nationally in both The Associated Press and coaches’ polls.Kansas is only the latest big-name foe Simon has given his Thunderbirds the chance to play. Previously, in his tenure, SUU has faced UCLA, Michigan State, USC, Oregon State, Iowa, UNLV and BYU.This will be the first meeting on the hardwood in history between the Thunderbirds and the Jayhawks. Brad Jameslast_img read more

Demand for rental properties jumps by 22% over past two weeks

first_imgLockdown break-ups, job losses and urgent relocations have all boosted rental demand by 22% compared to last year, releasing two months of pent-up tension into the lettings market, Rightmove has claimed.Supply isn’t keeping up with lettings demand though, prompting fears that the surge will drive up costs and leave some struggling to find homes; the number of new rental listings on Rightmove is 4% below 2019 levels, after dropping to 64% below during the week of 6th April. The South West saw the biggest surge in demand for new rental properties with a 34% increase compared to last year.Rightmove’s housing expert Miles Shipside (left) says landlords are quitting the market due to Covid-19 and the uncertainty over tenants being able to afford rent, while more people bidding for fewer properties will push up the prices of rented accommodation.“They [landlords] are going to pick those with the best references and who can move in immediately. Those whose credit record is not the best tend to lose out,” Shipside says.Many people have been left with an immediate housing need as a result of the pandemic, he adds, as the sector also copes with a backlog of people who’ve had to cancel planned moves during lockdown.“Where some people have enjoyed lockdown, others’ relationships haven’t survived it and this has had knock-on consequences. Effectively, we have two months of pent-up demand that needs to be satisfied.”Chris Norris, policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association (left), says: “Our own research shows that 29% of landlords expect to face some level of financial hardship as a result of the virus. Given this, it’s not surprising that many will be considering if they have a future in the rental market. That’s why we are calling for further action by the Government to give confidence to tenants and landlords that rents can continue to be paid in full.”Read more about landlords.  lettings lettings market Rightmove Miles Shipside June 3, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentJohn Socha, Orchard BMS Ltd Orchard BMS Ltd 3rd June 2020 at 9:17 amRental demand is already on the up.I am finding all sorts of potential tenants with various risks of being made redundant, means more enquiries, but a lot of unsuitable applicants.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » COVID-19 news » Demand for rental properties jumps by 22% over past two weeks previous nextHousing MarketDemand for rental properties jumps by 22% over past two weeksRightmove claims two months of pent-up demand is now surging through the market as relationship separations and job re-locations help drive more home moves.Nigel Lewis3rd June 20201 Comment1,656 Viewslast_img read more

Brits still lusting after overseas home – with Spain, Portugal and Florida big draws

first_imgHomes at The Grove Resort & Water Park in Orlando, Florida start at £217,000 Demand for overseas property remains very strong – despite Covid ­– according to new figures from Europe’s largest privately owned real estate agency, Ideal Homes International.The firm has already sold 150 properties in 2021 across Spain and Portugal, and is now turning its attention to Florida – where the strong pound is proving “extremely appealing”.Pre-Covid, Ideal Homes International was running 20 holiday home exhibitions a year in the UK. The company has shifted everything online, from virtual events to hosting its own digital TV show on YouTube – with nearly 3,500 subscribers and counting.Since late 2020, chairman and founder Chris White and his team have also begun negotiating package deals, with discounts of 5-10% passed on to those looking to buy homes in the sun.“Covid has certainly pushed us to be more imaginative in the way that we connect with potential buyers, but it has done nothing to lessen the depth of the desire that many of those in the UK have to own property overseas, whether as second homes, rental properties or main residences,” said White.Disney magicIdeal Homes International’s latest promotion is The Grove Resort & Water Park in Orlando, Florida, where the 10% discount it has negotiated means prices start from just over $300,000 (£217,000) for a two-bedroom/two-bathroom unit on the resort.Only five minutes from Walt Disney World, The Grove is ideally located for access to Florida’s main attractions and has its own on-site water park, three large swimming pools, a 20-acre activity lake, a spa, a marketplace and multiple restaurants and bars.“Florida itself is very much open for business right now, with packed accommodation and theme parks open as usual, though America’s borders are closed to international travellers until at least 21 April,” added White.“The pound’s stellar performance against the dollar thus far in 2021 means that Florida property prices are extremely appealing right now.”The state is the most popular destination in the US for foreign homebuyers, with one in five of all foreign buyers picking up property there, according to the National Association of Realtors.Prices in Orlando rose by 8.1% in the year to February 2021, according to Zillow, and White believes the potential for capital growth will be an additional lure for many buyers.PORTAL FOR PORTUGALAn expat property professional living in Portugal has launched a unique portal which only lists properties once, significantly enhancing the experience for buyers looking to invest in overseas second homes and holiday lets and offering UK-based agents with an alternative to the major players.Unlike the UK, where only a couple of agents market a single property, the Portuguese property market is overcrowded with some 30 agents potentially listing the same property for sale, and ‘working the system’ to re-list these properties as new or ‘recently added, resulting in buyers seeing the same properties multiple times.With this platform, agents can apparently achieve a higher level of serious interest and faster sales by guaranteeing prospective buyers that the listing they are viewing is the only and latest version.Gavin Middleton, founder of PortugalsLatestProperties.com, says, “Those agents, approached to market their clients’ overseas properties should be aware that their newly listed property could so easily be buried on other portals. This new portal is starting to gain real traction among buyers interested in Portuguese property and agents should take note.”https://portugalslatestproperties.com/overseas homes Florida homes Buying abroad April 6, 2021Richard ReedWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » Brits still lusting after overseas home – with Spain, Portugal and Florida big draws previous nextLand & New HomesBrits still lusting after overseas home – with Spain, Portugal and Florida big drawsStrong pound makes Orlando homes a bargain at just over £217,000, says overseas-property sales firm Ideal Homes International.Richard Reed6th April 20210529 Viewslast_img read more

USS Hopper arrives in Alaska ahead of Northern Edge 2017

first_img View post tag: Northern Edge Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Hopper arrives in Alaska ahead of Northern Edge 2017 Authorities USS Hopper arrives in Alaska ahead of Northern Edge 2017 The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) arrived in Homer, Alaska, April 29 for a scheduled port visit prior to their participation in Exercise Northern Edge 2017.Northern Edge is a biennial training exercise conducted in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which includes the area within the Gulf of Alaska, as well as land and airspace within the state.Northern Edge includes participation from several commands, including Alaskan Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, U.S. Army Pacific, and others.The exercise is planned to involve approximately 200 aircraft at Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base, along with Hopper, USS O’Kane (DDG 77), and USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200).USS Decatur (DDG 73) was the last ship to visit Homer in June 2011, while O’Kane visited in June 2006 and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) in July 2004.Alaskans have objected to this exercise because of the impact the drills could have on the ecosystems. Alaskans fear that sonars used by the Navy during exercises might endanger the region’s commercially viable species of fish.The U.S. Navy did not comment on the ecological impact of the exercise but mentioned that during the 2015 edition of the drill, approximately $13 million was brought into the state of Alaska due to the additional military personnel, support contracts, and port visits.Hopper is a multi-mission surface combatant, capable of anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare missions. It can operate independently or in support of carrier and expeditionary strike groups. Hopper is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS Hopper May 1, 2017last_img read more

US Navy completes pier project at Bahrain base

first_img View post tag: USACE Authorities A ribbon-cutting ceremony held on February 20 marked the completion of a new USD 49.6 million steel and concrete pier project at the US Navy base in Bahrain.The pier, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District, is expected to enhance the navy’s operational readiness in the region.Previously, the US Navy had been using barges for much of the work on ships that can now be done while docked at the pier. Additionally, larger ships needed to use the commercial port in Bahrain for things that required an extended docking such as a resupply operation. That meant increased security and logistics requirements, greater transit time and an increase in maritime traffic congestion in an already extremely busy port.“Since the barges had basically become unusable over time, it was extremely important to our navy partners that we deliver this project as quickly as possible,” Army Capt. Grant Wanamaker, a project manager with the District in Bahrain, said.Wanamaker said the Corps of Engineers was able to expedite things using a process called a critical path design. A critical path design is a process in which construction is able to start prior to completion of the entire project design.Apart from the time frame challenge, the team had to put concrete trucks onto barges to get the concrete where it needed to be. Beyond the engineering challenge this presented, they also had to work around heavy maritime traffic in the area.“This was a pretty straight forward pier as that type of build goes but it’s not something USACE does very often and not something we’ve executed here before. I’m extremely proud of the work our team has done,”  Wanamaker added.Ultimately, the project was completed six months ahead of the original Building Occupancy Date (BOD) schedule and will significantly improve 5th Fleet capabilities.The commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Navy Capt. Greg Smith, said the pier would greatly improve shore operations for the U.S. Navy and their partners in the region.“With this pier, we are better able to do our mission to support U.S. and coalition maritime operations throughout the USCENTCOM AOR.”“We can provide more efficient and effective shore services to the U.S. 5th Fleet and the 31 coalition partners … we will all work together to enhance stability and ensure the free flow of commerce throughout the region,” Smith explained. View post tag: Bahrain navaltoday US Navy completes pier project at Bahrain base to boost operational readiness View post tag: Pier February 26, 2020, by View post tag: US Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today US Navy completes pier project at Bahrain base to boost operational readiness Share this articlelast_img read more

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education clarifies Trinity examinations arrangements

first_imgDDH has been modelled on the long-standing award which is available at Cambridge for students experiencing exceptional circumstances. Our colleagues there have shared very positive experiences of how the award is recognised for employment and further study, and we are confident that Oxford students taking this option should not be negatively affected. DDH students will also receive an enhanced reference stating their expected result, and both documents will include wording referring to their circumstances making it clear that they are in this position through no fault of their own. Has the University decided on the structure of the safety net policy which will prevent students from performing markedly more poorly than expected? If students are unable to sit their examinations this summer and are unable to return to sit examinations next year, they automatically graduate with “Declared to Deserve Honours”. How will the University protect this degree classification from damaging students’ career prospects, particularly since this classification is likely to be awarded to those students who are the most disadvantaged by the COVID pandemic? Students have raised concerns that the alternative assessment arrangements defer much of the decision-making to individual departments. Certain departments have reduced workloads and examination demands on students while others have maintained high workloads for this term. What guidance specifically was given to departments to direct them in adapting teaching and examination policies this term? The University has referred to an “honour code” as well as “specialist software” to protect against cheating. What exactly does the specialist software entail, will it be anti-plagiarism or surveillance? Given the gravity of the results of final examinations, is the University concerned about students cheating in exams? We expect the vast majority of students to take the remote assessments as scheduled, unless extreme circumstances like illness or caring responsibilities, prevent them from doing so. The University has now publishedits safety net policy, whichaims to reduce the risk of students being disadvantaged by coronavirus, orcircumstances surrounding the outbreak that are beyond their control. Thepolicy applies to subjects where remote assessments take place in Trinity term(either open-book exams or longer pieces of assessed work). Students also have access to new webinars to support theirlearning and research and a Browzine feature of comprehensive journalreferences including over 2,700 articles. As part of our honour code students will be asked to confirm that they have understood and are willing to abide by the University’s rules on plagiarism and collusion. Further details available here. Although Oxford does account for mitigating circumstances, the examinations announcement does not seem to recognise differences in students’ working environments. Aspects like noise levels, internet connection for open-book examinations etc. will naturally impact a student’s attainment, will the University take these smaller differences into account in awarding grades for examinations? The University is sympathetic to students experiencing difficulties studying at home and appreciates that these are unprecedented circumstances where everyone is doing the best they can. Students were asked to complete a readiness self-assessment which will really help to inform our understanding of their individual circumstances, and therefore our response to their needs. We aim to best support those who are in need of equipment to complete assessments as best we can. All students will have a further opportunity to set out the circumstances in which they sat their exams shortly after they finish, and these will be taken into account by examiners.center_img While it’s true that the Bodleian Libraries are closed in aphysical capacity, and that the loss of access to archive materialsirreplaceable, I think that the team are doing a fantastic job of deliveringe-resources in their thousands to fill this void. There are 1.4 millionresources currently available on SOLO and 60,000 eBooks in their onlinecatalogue now, which is a phenomenal amount. (Please note that these questions were posed before the safety net was published earlier this week) Further detail about the policy and how it will be applied to individual courses will follow in the near future from departments and faculties. Given the diversity of Oxford assessment regimes, it’s been necessary to give subjects some local autonomy to do something that works for them, but divisional offices have worked hard to ensure a reasonable degree of consistency. We will not use Prelims performance or tutorial grades as safety net measures. All subjects were asked to consider whether they could make reductions in the Trinity Term assessment load in response to the exceptional circumstances. However, the decision ultimately has to be left to individual subject boards – they have to balance workload concerns against the need to assure themselves that the course learning objectives have been met, a task that requires understanding of the subject and how it is taught and assessed. Failure to do so would reduce the value of Oxford degrees. Besides our own internal regulation of standards, we are answerable on this to external examiners, to regulatory bodies such as the Office for Students and to professional standards bodies for degrees such as Law, Medicine and Engineering. We will also continue to make extensive use of plagiarism checkersfor submitted work, and we reserve the right to conduct follow-up viva voceexams to check students’ understanding of the examined material. College libraries currently have varying policies on postal loans, and the Bodleian is shut for the foreseeable future under government regulations – for certain subjects, independent study and reading constitutes a large part of regular degree work. For students carrying on with ‘normal’ but remote study, what central effort is being made to give access to materials online? For those students carrying out research that is limited to physical copies (e.g. manuscripts, archives), will missing a term’s worth of access to these materials be taken into account in next year’s final exams? A lot of thought has gone into planning the exams, and phasing them in a way that ensures the overwhelming majority of our students have no opportunity to view the paper beforehand, and that all students are aware that doing so is cheating – as is facilitating ways for others to see the paper. The penalties for cheating are extremely severe and given how hard our students have worked to get to Oxford in the first place, cheating at this stage would undercut all their efforts and jeopardise their future plans. So, the short answer is no, we are not worried about it, but we are prepared for it. Following concerns raised by a number of students surrounding academic arrangements for Trinity term, Cherwell reached out to Martin Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education for an interview. Emphasising the importance of open communications in the lead-up to examinations, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor agreed to an interview on all matters from examinations arrangements to teaching methods for next term. Of course, we will not be able to make every single libraryresource available online, but those with a specific need that has not been metshould contact the library team and see what else is available – likewise withthe college library set-up. If vital texts are not available this will ofcourse be taken into consideration in their assessments.last_img read more

Clark, Pino speak at Legends

first_imgTags: Andrea Pino, Annie Clark, Gender Studies, GRC, sexual assault, The Hunting Ground Friday afternoon at Legends of Notre Dame, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, co-founders of End Rape on Campus (EROC), spoke to students, faculty and community members about sexual assault at Notre Dame.Katheleen Donahue | The Observer Pino and Clark, who were featured prominently in the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground” directed by Kirby Dick, spoke at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s last week as well as Indiana University at South Bend.In addition to the two women’s stories, the documentary also includes the story of Lizzy Seeberg, a Saint Mary’s first-year who committed suicide in September 2010, ten days after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual assault. Last spring after its debut at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, the documentary was screened at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, sparking intense discussion of victims’ rights and resources on both campuses.The two women’s involvement with the campus sexual assault prevention began after each was assaulted at the University of North Carolina during their undergraduate career there. After exhausting all other options, Pino said, the two filed a Title IX lawsuit in 2013 along with three other women against UNC.Of their transitions from survivors to advocates, Pino said in the early phase of the complaint the two women had no legal training, and as a result had to learn as they went.“We really just learned from the books that we had read in our classes,” Pino said. “… I was taking a Women’s and Gender Studies course and also a political course that looked at feminist political theatre. It was only looking at Catharine MacKinnon that I realized that I had rights from Title IX. It was actually written in my course material, and I was like ‘cool.’”She said that the two only became involved in “The Hunting Ground” through a coincidence when the filmmaker visited UNC’s campus to promote his documentary “The Invisible War.”“Kirby Dick was actually doing a tour with his previous movie on military sexual violence, and one of my residents when I was an RA went to the screening and said, ‘You have to listen to what’s happening to my RA. She’s in the [New York Times], you should read it.’ And he actually reached out that same evening,” Pino said. “It was only a few weeks after we had filed our complaint, so we’ve been working with Kirby since the very beginning. … We were working on the film for two years, so from when I was a junior in college up until Sundance.”Both women emphasized, however, that the documentary was not the extent of their advocacy work, but rather an instrument through which to bring the issue of campus sexual assaults to the forefront of the public’s minds.“[The documentary] is a great tool, but it’s not the only one,” she said. “We have different organizations and also this film, but that doesn’t mean the work is over. And so we don’t want it to just be screened on campuses and then just to say that’s the end, but it needs to be a conversation starter”Professor Abby Palko, associate director of the gender studies department, said she as a faculty member and her students felt unsure of how to best go about combatting a campus culture that allows sexual assault to happen.“What can they do to impact campus culture so that everyone understands — and buys into — the idea that rape isn’t tolerated?” she said.Playing off the fairly unique residential life at the University, Clark said ending rape culture begins with supporting all members of the community.“This seems very obvious, but supporting one another and supporting people when they come forward,” she said. “I know there’s some tensions or rivalry I guess between Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, but making sure that if a Saint Mary’s student comes and shares something with you that you support that person, and doing the same with your fellow students here at Notre Dame.“We’ve heard a lot of survivors in the time we’ve been here say that as soon as they’ve come forward they’re quickly shamed or ostracized. They don’t want to go by certain [dorms] because they’re made to feel uncomfortable. I really think that supporting survivors when they come forward, and also doing little things every day to have this conversation, to engage in prevention. Even if there’s somebody who just makes a rape joke in one of your classes — it’s calling that out,” she said.Speaking again to campus cultures, Clark spoke to the importance of support networks that extend beyond simply the current student body — particularly alumni of University because of the financial relationship they have with the institution.“Alumni have a lot of power, particularly with schools like Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame where there’s such a tie,” Clark said. “There are sometimes families who just keep going. They have a responsibility, too, to hold their school accountable.”To that end, Pino she said she saw a vital connection between students but also faculty and staff, whose institutional memory far exceeds that of students who only spend four years on campus. The communication of past and present individuals involved in the University community would allow for expedited change and a sense that victims are not alone in what they have experienced, she said.“I’d like to add to that the importance of mentorship between older students and younger students, faculty and alumni is so important and valuable,” she said. “Oftentimes we don’t see that. … It’s very difficult to hold the institution that you love accountable. But it’s even more difficult if you don’t know what’s going on, what has been going on. It’s looking beyond the four years. It’s looking at what happened eight years ago.“We have much more of a knowledge because we had each other’s experience, we had those that had come before us. So we knew it wasn’t just a problem for us, we knew it would continue to be a problem because it had already continued.“Sexual assault prevention requires a community of students that are on the ground, but also those who have left and have much more experience.”last_img read more

Fantastic Views for Fireworks throughout the Blue Ridge

first_imgThis Independence Day, why not mix it up a little and travel to a breathtaking mountain backdrop for an amazing firework display? To get you started, here are some possibilities throughout the Blue Ridge that are sure to impress this 4th of July.Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia is a spot favored for its scenic location along with its 500 miles of shoreline and it’s a wonderful spot to be for the annual fireworks show with all donation proceeds going to a local volunteer fire company. While many choose to view the show from Parkway Marina on land, the lake fills from shore to shore with the green, red, and white navigation lights from thousands of boats all there for the spectacular fireworks. If you are up for the adventure, be sure to take your boat toward the marina at the gap of Smith Mountain plenty early to get a good spot and because much of the lake’s main channel becomes a no wake zone considering the heavy traffic and dark conditions to be driving back in. The firework show will be held on Sunday, July 2nd complete with a live concert, kids zone, and carousel rides.Chattanooga, Tennessee‘s “Pops on the River” firework show is ideal for an evening on the grass with a few lawn chairs and a cooler. Taking place in Coolidge Park of downtown Chattanooga, this free Independence Day event comes with an outdoor concert and fireworks beginning around 9:45 p.m. right on the Tennessee River. With popular tourist destinations of Lookout Mountain and downtown must sees like the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga would make for a beautiful mountain vacation weekend this Fourth of July weekend.Throwing a state park into the mix along with a 21st century twist on tradition is the “Fantastic Fourth Celebration” at Stone Mountain just northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The celebration includes a laser show, music, fire effects, and the grand finale of a jaw-dropping fireworks display. The event lasts from July 1-4 with a parking fee of $15/day and attractions are open from 10:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. everyday. Each night, the same laser and fireworks show will happen starting at 9:30 p.m. If you’ve never experienced July 4th at Stone Mountain, this year is sure to be one of the best yet as it is the 50th anniversary of the celebration in Stone Mountain State Park.Finishing off this list of highlight fireworks show throughout the Blue Ridge is a July 4th experience that adds an element of outdoor recreation. For those wanting an adventurous holiday, you can opt to hike your way to the fireworks on a moderate 1.5 mile trail to the peak of Sunset Mountain starting at 6 p.m. and departing from the Swannanoa Valley Museum. From there, guests will enjoy a traditional watermelon cutting, the sun setting, and then the fireworks that illuminate the sky over the town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. For a cost of $50 for nonmembers and $35 for members of the museum, the hike will be led by individuals who will share the history and vintage photographs of the valley. Hikers are encouraged to bring a picnic, water, folding chairs, cameras, and flashlights. If this seems like a unique experience you’d like to try be sure to sign up and pay for your trip fee online.The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to an endless amount of spectacular Fourth of July events, views, and activities to make this year’s celebration one to remember.last_img read more

Credit unions want to be exempt from DOD military lending regs

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Lydia Wheeler Credit Unions want to be excluded from new protections for military members borrowing money.Earlier this year, the Department of Defense proposed expanding the Military Lending Act (MLA) to cover more types of credit. The MLA caps annual interest rates for service members at 36 percent on certain consumer credit products.In a letter to the DOD, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) and four other credit union trade associations said credit union are not the perpetrator and should be excluded from the proposal to amend the rules on Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit Extended to Service Members and Dependents, which implements the MLA.“The increased costs and unintended consequences of the proposal, especially on smaller credit unions, could negatively impact the delivery of high quality reasonably priced financial products and services to our troops, their families, and their dependents,” said the letter, which was signed by the African-American Credit Union Coalition, the Credit Union National Association, the Defense Credit Union Council and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, in addition to the NAFCU.“From our perspective as credit unions’ advocates, any changes to the current rules should curtail and eliminate the unscrupulous business practices of organizations targeting our military personnel—and not harm credit unions that are dedicated to the financial well-being of their member-owners.” continue reading »last_img read more