Dispatch from the Great Alabama 650

first_imgThe Alabama River near Clairborne Lock and Dam, one of the many obstacles competitors had to portage around during the event. Photo by Gerry Seavo James Salli O’Donnell paddling down the Tensaw River after 500+ miles of nearly nonstop paddling for six days. Paddlers Navigate Southern Waters During New Epic 10-Day Race O’Donnell arrived around five in the morning, after over five hours of paddling in near-ocean conditions in pure darkness with nothing but her red and green navigation lights providing illumination. Her total time was seven days, 15 hours, 19 minutes, and 54 seconds. Gilkin and Jordon arrived on Monday, September 23, nine long days after they first dipped their paddles. These four hardcore boaters impressively set precedent at one of the most challenging endurance events to ever emerge in the wild waters of the South. In the twilight hours of day six, the two early leaders were the only two solo boats left in the race, with the tandem kayak crew of Ryan Gilkin and Susan Jordon hanging on as the sole team boat. O’Donnell, who had propelled herself to a 20-mile lead, eventually was outpaced by Johnson after they battled through Alabama’s delta region. Both ended up crossing Mobile Bay at night in surf conditions, with Johnson arriving just before midnight at Fort Morgan, winning the event with a time of seven days, eight hours, one minute, and 55 seconds. Back in September a small group of some of the region’s toughest paddlers convened at Weiss Lake to start an epic 10-day, on-the-water race across Alabama. The inaugural Great Alabama 650 took racers across the majority of the Alabama Scenic River Trail—the longest river trail in a single state—for a 650-mile adventure that mixed fast whitewater with plenty of flat wide-open stretches. Winner Bobby Johnson recounts his journey at Fort Morgan Historic Site after a night of paddling across Mobile Bay in surf conditions. Out of the gate, a dozen paddlers stepped up to the challenge, and an early rivalry ensued between Salli O’Donnell and Bobby Johnson. O’Donnell is a retired Army officer and a lithe nearly 60-year-old with extensive ultra-paddling experience. She led the event within the first three miles, paddling her Epic V8Pro surfski (an Australian-style ocean kayak), and was in the lead heading in and out of the first portage. Trailing not far behind was Johnson—nearly 30 years her junior, paddling his Epic 18X—a strong paddlesports racer and winner of the previous year’s 300-mile Everglades Challenge in Florida. The course began in the Appalachian foothills of northeastern Alabama with the crossing of Weiss Lake. From there, paddlers negotiated the Coosa River, which included a rumbling whitewater section, several miles down the Alabama River, and then a labyrinth of paddling through the remote delta region of the state, along a few rivers that included the Mobile, Tombigbee, and Tensaw. They also endured nine portages, carrying boats and cargo between two navigable waters, as well as 70-mile paddling days, lurking alligators, navigation under extreme fatigue, and traveling significant distances between resupply points.  last_img read more

Charles Peterson

first_imgCharles Peterson 76, of Dillsboro passed away Thursday June 8, 2017 at Dearborn County Hospital at Lawrenceburg. Charles was born Monday March 17, 1941 in Cincinnati, OH the son of Charles and Norma (Eichel) Peterson.  He was a former resident of Dent Township, Ohio.  Charles enjoyed gardening and spending time with his family.His survivors include brother: Ron (Sandy) Peterson of Moores Hill; Jack (Robbie) Peterson of Versailles; nieces: Renay Justice of FL; Rhonda Ison of Moores Hill; nephew: Ron Peterson Jr. of Moores Hill; Shane Peterson of East Enterprise.  He was preceded in death by his parents.Funeral services will be 2PM Tuesday June 13, 2017 at Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home with Pastor Tom Holt officiating. Visitation will be 12-2PM Tuesday also at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Heart Fund or Community Mental Health. Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, 16717 Manchester Street Box 156 Moores Hill, In 47032 (812)744-3280.  Go to www.sibbettmoore.com to leave an online condolence message for the family.last_img read more

COMMENTARY: Spring sports season is a special time of year

first_img MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Every two weeks, Mike Mandell gives his thoughts on the sports scene in Ellsworth, Hancock County and beyond.It’s been nearly a month and a half since the George Stevens Academy and Mount Desert Island boys’ basketball teams capped off the winter sports season with state championships, and the wait for more high school sports has been a long one. When Ellsworth and Bucksport met for preseason baseball and softball games last Tuesday, that wait finally came to a much-awaited end.Although both games were happening in Bucksport at the same time, I was still able to stop by both fields for batting practice. The excitement level at both fields was as palpable as could be, and the fans, coaches, players and umpires displayed a form of exuberance that only manifests one time of the year: mid-April.Mid-April is one of the best times of the year for all of us, but that’s especially true for high school students. There are less than two months before summer starts, and everyone is looking forward to the end of another school year. With the harshness of winter in the past, spring activities can begin. That includes the spring sports season.The spring sports season is one that’s often overlooked at the high school level. For one, basketball season is the driving force behind high school athletics in Maine and other states throughout New England. In states such as Texas, Florida and Ohio, football is king. For whatever reason, spring sports season just doesn’t have the draw fall and winter seasons do.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThat reality is somewhat unfortunate. There’s no better time of year to get out and enjoy life more than the spring and early summer months, and watching baseball, tennis or track and field with birds chirping and a nice breeze at your back is an experience you can’t have in late October or early January.Spring sports season is also the last time communities will get to see certain athletes on the field. In less than two months time, seniors from around Hancock County will graduate and head off to begin the next stages of their lives. April, May and June represent one last chance to see these athletes together before the faces we see on the field and around the classroom change a little bit.For better or worse, high school doesn’t last forever. Whether it happens this June or years down the road, every athlete who has played or ever will play varsity sports will experience the day when he or she takes off the uniform representing the community they love for the last time. In a day in age when many students are two- or three-sport athletes, that often comes at the end of the spring sports season.The spring sports season is definitely the shortest of them all — some teams don’t begin their seasons until the last week of April — but there’s a silver lining: Fans have opportunities to watch their favorite players and teams multiple times per week. Such chances shouldn’t be taken for granted.Like all things in life, this time of year doesn’t last. It will be fall again before we know it, and although that time of year has a lot to offer, there’s something to be said for the excitement and energy seen on tracks, ball diamonds and tennis courts in the spring months. It’s a time of year that should be cherished while it lasts. Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020center_img Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)last_img read more

School board race shaken up

first_img “As president of UTLA I am concerned that yet another discrepancy has arisen between what Christopher has said and what is the reality,” Duffy said. Meanwhile, other candidates for the seat – vacated by Jose Huizar when he was elected to the L.A. City Council in November – have focused on the challenges facing the East L.A. District that is made up of mostly Latino students, spans Boyle Heights to Mid-Wilshire, and is the site of most of the new schools being built in the district. Candidate Ana Teresa Fernandez, 23, who worked as a field deputy for school board member Mike Lansing and currently works for the California Charter Schools Association, said that while young, she has experience in education that matches or surpasses fellow candidates’. Fernandez has raised $50,000 and is endorsed by Lansing and Caprice Young, who heads up the charter schools association. The UCLA graduate said she is open to considering mayoral takeover of the district as well as other options, including a breakup. She said she is not planning on advocating for more charter schools, but believes the district can learn a lot from the innovative practices at the independent public schools. Enrique Gasca, 31, has raised $100,000 and is endorsed by Local 500 of the California School Employees Association, the Los Angeles School Police Association, Congressman Joe Baca and the Peace Officers Research Association of California. The president of his own public relations and media affairs consulting firm, Gasca said he’s against mayoral takeover of the district. But as the only parent out of all the candidates, he said he will make sure education remains a priority. “There are no guarantees that the next mayor will have education as high a priority as the current mayor does, and education is far too important to play second fiddle to any other agenda,” he said. In addition to Villaraigosa, Garcia has racked up endorsements from state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuez, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and Councilman Ed Reyes. Huizar credits Garcia for “leading a lot of the efforts” he pursued on the board including Measure A-G – mandatory college prep courses – and continuing the construction in the district. Maria Lou Calanche, 37, a teacher who unsuccessfully ran against David Tokofsky for school board in 2003, said she stopped campaigning when Arellano received the endorsement from UTLA. “I did really want to run, but I couldn’t compete with the political forces without resources,” she said. Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant On Friday, Arellano lost a key endorsement from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Arellano – whose campaign Web site says he has “completed” two master’s degrees – could not be reached for comment Friday as a University of Southern California spokesman said that while Arellano attended the school, he did not receive either a degree in social work or urban planning as he has claimed. In an e-mail Friday, Arellano’s staff included a biography explaining he completed all requirements for his master’s in social work – but is short one semester for his master’s in policy, planning and development. He needs to complete the coursework before USC will officially confer the dual degree. He previously has defended his disclosure of the 1992 and 1995 arrests, saying he admitted in campaign literature to having a “troubled youth” – though not the specific details. While Arellano’s employer, United Teachers of Los Angeles – which has contributed $200,000 to his campaign – continued to stand by Arellano on Friday, UTLA President A.J. Duffy said he will talk with other officers and area chairs over the weekend. As candidates vie for a seat on the Los Angeles Unified School Board, what had been a relatively low-key campaign has heated up just days before voters go to the polls. The campaign for the East Los Angeles seat comes at a key time for the nation’s second-largest district, which finds itself under attack from the mayor, in the midst of a $19 billion construction program and searching for a new superintendent. And the race has been high-powered: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who’s planning to unveil legislation that would change district governance, has waded in to endorse candidate Monica Garcia. But last week controversy roiled the ranks as reports surfaced that 33-year-old candidate Christopher Arellano, considered one of the front-runners, has been arrested twice for shoplifting and lied about his educational qualifications. last_img read more