Climbers Seek Access To Cloudland CanyonGeorgia’s Cloudland Canyon boasts gorge walls that rise almost 2,000 feet from the valley floor. Miles of steep sandstone cliffs and creekside boulders highlight the state park. The quality of rock has prompted the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to start a grassroots letter writing campaign requesting climber access to Cloudland’s forbidden cliffs.“We’ve received a number of public comments, which are being discussed in upper management,” says Ryan Hilton, a ranger at Cloudland Canyon. “But climbing has been off-limits for some time, and as of right now, that’s still the policy.”The Southeastern Climbers Coalition has been successful in reversing climbing bans. They recently secured bouldering access at Panola Mountain, another Georgia state park.“The Cloudland Canyon process is only in its infancy right now,” says Brad McLeod, spokesperson for the SCC. “But it’s one more piece in the puzzle, and Cloudland would offer another climbing option near Lookout Mountain.”Cloudland Canyon sits on the western edge of Lookout, the same long, wide, rocky mountain that has given climbers classic crags like Sunset Mountain in Tennessee, Rock Town in Georgia, and Little River in Alabama. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, however, climbers shouldn’t hold their breath while waiting for access to Cloudland Canyon.“We can’t offer climbing right now at Cloudland with the current trail system in place,” says Kim Hatcher, information officer for Georgia State Parks. “The type of rock that makes up Cloudland’s cliffs breaks easily, which means there would be a significant amount of debris falling below the climbers. Right now, the trails are located beneath the rock, so it’s a safety issue. Climbing would put hikers at risk.”And forget about re-routing the hiking trails in the current economic recession. The Department of Natural Resources is in the midst of a budget crunch and doesn’t have the staff or resources to undertake a large trail-building project.Still, McLeod feels as if the letter writing campaign has laid the groundwork for a serious access discussion in the future. “It’s one of the last parks run by the Georgia DNR that still bans climbing. The fact that there’s any kind of movement on the issue is promising.”
CEDAR FALLS — After a near upset at Iowa State, the Northern Iowa Panthers now get set for their home opener against Southern Utah. The Panthers have won four of the five games in the series but the Thunderbirds won the last meeting in 2017.That’s UNI coach Mark Farley who does not believe there will be a letdown after a hard fought game in Ames.Quarterback Will McElvain passed for 228 yards in his first start and Farley felt the redshirt freshman played well.Farley says McElvain needs to be better in the pocket.Farley says that is the next step to becoming a complete quarterback.Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 4 o’clock EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — After signing Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed contract last year, the Minnesota Vikings have given their quarterback even more to work with this time. There’s a new offense being implemented, with plans for more time under center and a higher volume of play-action passes. There are high draft picks at center and tight end, too. This season will surely be a crossroad of sorts for both Cousins and the Vikings, their trajectory toward that elusive Super Bowl victory inescapably intertwined. IOWA CITY — Offensive lineman Kyler Schott is quickly becoming Iowa’s latest walk-on success story. With Cole Banwart sidelined with injury and tackle Alaric Jackson going down with a knee injury Schott entered the game and played well in a win over Miami of Ohio. The redshirt sophomore could get his first start at right guard in the Hawkeyes Big Ten opener against Rutgers.Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has not been surprised by Schott’s success.Ferentz say Schott worked hard to get into the lineup.Kickoff between Iowa and Rutgets is scheduled for 11 o’clock Saturday morning, with the pre-game show starting at 9 o’clock on AM-1300 KGLO BOSTON (AP) — Mookie Betts knows the Boston Red Sox are running out of time to be patient.The reigning AL MVP homered on the first two pitches he saw from José Berríos on Wednesday night, collecting four hits and five RBIs in all to help Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2.The game was delayed 47 minutes at the start by a rainstorm, then two Twins outfielders took the wrong positions for the first inning.It got even stranger at the end.Willians Astudillo was hit on the forearm while swinging in the ninth, and he was initially called out before returning to complete his at-bat. Then plate umpire Ramon DeJesus was hit on the left hand by a pitch, sending his pitch counter flying; while the Boston trainer was tending to him, second base ump CB Bucknor ran off to the umpire’s room to get a chest protector and was still missing when the game resumed after DeJesus decided to stay in the game.Bucknor returned for the next batter.Meanwhile, Minnesota put two on with one out before Brandon Workman got Nelson Cruz on a game-ending 1-4-3 double play. The AL Central-leading Twins, who had won seven of eight, fell to 5½ games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the division. MASON CITY – The NIACC volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to DMACC in its Iowa Community College Athletic Conference opener Wednesday night in the NIACC gym.DMACC won 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 15-10.In the fourth game, the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 15-0 lead and held on for the five-point win to force the fifth and deciding game.NIACC was led by sophomore Kennedy Meister with a career-high 29 kills. She also added 21 digs and two assists.Also for the Lady Trojans, Shelby Heston had 10 kills and eight digs, Bri Powers had 19 digs, Tessa Sienknecht had eight assists and nine digs, Kayla Lentz had 21 digs, Becca Steffen collected 33 assists, 21 digs, seven kills, five ace serves and two blocks and Alexa Loftus had 14 digs.NIACC (6-3 overall) returns to action Friday and Saturday at the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjacket Invitational in Rochester, Minn.
By John BurtonHIGHLANDS – Borough officials have been in discussions with state Department of Community Affairs representatives about the circumstances surrounding the falling of the second home being elevated in the borough in less than a month.Like the first home to fall while being elevated, the second damaged home had to be demolished.The incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, when police and emergency responders received a report that 49 Second St., which was being elevated, had fallen from the pilings it was sitting on, said Tim Hill, borough administrator.The structure fell 10 to 12 feet, crashing to the ground, according to Dale Luebner, borough engineer.“Due to the collapse of the structure, it had to be demolished” as a precaution because it posed a safety hazard, Hill said.There were no reports of injuries at the site, Hill said.Because the house fell close to the neighboring home at 47 Second St., the family there was relocated to a hotel as a precaution for the evening while their home was examined for any structural damage. None was found, Luebner said.A large two-story Locust Street home fell on Aug. 23 while being elevated. The home, which hit the house next door, was so heavily damaged that emergency management personnel ordered it torn down. No one was allowed to enter that home.That was also the same situation with the Second Street home, which had been damaged by Super Storm Sandy, according to Jerome Larson Jr., president of Jerome Homes, LLC, the Atlantic Highlands contractor working on the renovation and elevation project.The 1,411 square-foot home, built in 1943, was owned by Walter Shippee, according to the state’s tax records.Shippee moved into the home just weeks prior to Sandy last October. The home was severely damaged with 4 feet of flooding that ruined the first floor, Larson said.“It was undergoing a major renovation and elevation,” with the interior completely gutted, Larson said.“There doesn’t seem to be anything we can pinpoint at this point” as a cause for the collapse at this time, Hill said.“We’re stilling trying to figure out what happened,” Larson said. “We do know there were high gusty winds” that evening.“We’re studying the weather reports” to determine if the winds were a factor in what happened, he said.The house had been sitting on lally columns, which are 4-inch steel columns filled with cement. There were 16 of them – 12 around the building’s perimeter and four in the middle – which is usually more than enough anchoring for a structure of this size, Larson said.The columns are permanent and would remain as workers constructed the foundation, a job that was scheduled to be done this week, Larson said.The borough’s construction official, Paul Vitale, has been in discussions with the state’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Luebner said. DCA is responsible for determining if the contractor followed proper protocol on such a project.Larson said he will be talking to DCA representatives, borough officials and professionals to determine what happened to prevent it from reoccurring for the sake of homeowners and the safety of his workers and himself.