There are two active wildfires burning in the mountains of Western North Carolina.As of of Tuesday afternoon, a Burke County wildfire near the Linville Gorge Wilderness area had spread to 10 acres along Old N.C. 105 north of Lake JamesThe last official report stated that the fire was burning on the south end of the Gorge, adjacent to but not on the actual wilderness area.It was reported to the Grandfather Ranger District on Monday afternoon, and crews worked through the night to contain the blaze despite being impeded by strong winds.The 10-acre Burke County fire as seen on Monday, Oct. 24.A helicopter was also on the scene.An investigation into what caused the fire is still underway, but U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Jennings said that human error is suspected.Nantahala National Forest FireA second fire is burning in the Dicks Creek area of the Nantahala National Forest near the town of Sylva.While this fire is said to be sixty percent contained, it encompasses 374 acres, according to a news alert issued at 5 P.M. yesterday by the USFS.Smoke is visible on US 74 near Sylva and is expected to settle in to the valley as temperatures drop in the evenings.This fire was discovered on the morning of Sunday, October 23, and, like the 10-acre blaze threatening the Linville Gorge, it is believed to be human caused.“The public is encouraged to use extreme caution with outdoor fires this fall,” the USFS said in a statement. “Western North Carolina is currently in a severe drought and fire danger is extremely high. Dry and windy conditions are predicted to remain in the region through early December.”Click here for some valuable tips on outdoor fire safety.
Published on November 21, 2013 at 1:07 am Contact Eric: [email protected] Following Friday’s loss against Pittsburgh, the slim chances that Syracuse had at making it to the NCAA tournament vanished.The Orange wants to win, but with nothing to play for, it is hard to keep going. Instead, SU sets goals for the final two weeks of the season.“To get better,” head coach Leonid Yelin said. “With everyone coming back next year, we just want to build something for next year.”The Orange (14-14, 9-7 Atlantic Coast) will hit the road this weekend to face Clemson (13-14, 7-9) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Georgia Tech (10-18, 4-12) on Sunday at 1 p.m. SU played these two teams at home earlier in the season, beating both in convincing fashion, but when it faces them this weekend it will try to work on the little things, including getting blockers involved and serving.Syracuse will finish its season with a home game against Boston College on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and then a trip to South Bend, Ind., next Saturday against Notre Dame at 2 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textComing into the season, the Orange wasn’t expected to contend in its first ACC season. SU was only ranked at No. 12 in the ACC’s preseason rankings. Winning 8-of-10 propelled Syracuse up to seventh going into the weekend. The Orange felt underestimated even during its recent run of success.“At the beginning of the year many people underestimated us,” outside hitter Nicolette Serratore said. “We have started to prove ourselves though. People think it is a fluke that we have won these games. So we just want to prove that we are a stable team and bigger threat next year.” Although the tournament chances have slipped away, Yelin and the players say there are still things they can work on. One of these issues is getting the middle blockers more involved in the game. Having the middle blockers more involved with the game makes a team’s game more unpredictable. They are the first ones able to touch the ball from the setters’ hands.“You have to play to them since they are the first step to hit the ball,” Yelin said. “If you are not going to use them, nobody is going to pay attention to then and everybody else is going to face the double block. So it is a balance to find out when to use them and how often to use them.”This burden falls on the hands of freshman setter Erica Handley. Just three weeks removed from winning her first-ever ACC Freshman of the Week Honors, Handley now has another. After her strong performance this weekend, she garnered attention for the award.One thing that she struggled with this weekend was serving. Handley had three aces, but she still feels like she missed too many serves.“Missing serves comes with aggressiveness,” Handley said “We do not just want to lollipop it over the net and give them an easy serve receive. So I just have to try and minimize that.”Yelin says it is not just one player, but also a collective issue. He also acknowledges the balance that must exist between serving it harder or softer over the net.“Without going with an aggressive serve, you put yourself defensively in a really tough situation,” Yelin said. “These are two things, with the serve and serve receive, that if you are doing these two things better you start winning.”He went on to explain that it is sort of a give-and-take system. Getting an ace is not the only effective way of serving. Making the ball difficult to play is something that can upset the opposing team’s setter.Syracuse looks to improve on these two things in its final four games of the season, showing that the winning is not a fluke and that it is here to stay.“We just want to win it out.” Handley said, “We want to prove that we can be a winning team. Pitt didn’t expect us to beat them the first time and I feel like that is how a lot of the conference feels about us. We just have to keep proving them wrong.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Quick and to the point · In an interview with the Daily Trojan, Quick discussed his background and planned goals for the University. – Courtesy of USC NewsIn an interview with the Daily Trojan, Provost Michael Quick emphasized the importance of including student response when creating initiatives for the University. He plans to measure the effectiveness of these newly developed programs aimed at student access and opportunity.Daily Trojan: As a first-generation college student yourself, do you plan to initiate more programs or encourage more communication at USC concerning first-generation college students?Michael Quick: Yeah absolutely, not even just because I was a first generation, but it does give you a nice perspective … and we have a large number, 15 percent of any class or more are first generation college-goers. And especially at a big place like USC … I’m so proud [of] the diversity USC has. That often means we’re going to have more people from interesting backgrounds, that means we’re going to have more programs in place that allow for things to happen. I know, for example, that Professor George Sanchez in [the] Dornsife [College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences] is setting up a big program with support of the University, a program about first-generation college-goers. … I’m looking forward to meeting with a number of people and various schools because you know it’s different at every school.DT: How has your extensive science background aided you as USC’s provost and more specifically within your goals for environmental sustainability?MQ: Being a scientist, how do we think about the world and our understanding of these important topics? And then, how do we implement these kinds of plans? You’re trained as a scientist to problem solve. You know there’s a problem out there you can’t figure out how it works, and you have to problem solve and come up with hypotheses. You have to figure out: if I do this, what is the likely outcome? Then, you actually run the experiment and see what the outcome is.This is a larger question not only around something like sustainability, but in everything we do, and this comes from my science [background]. I want us to be data-driven. I want to not just do something because it’s the fashionable thing. I want to see if has real outcome and real impact. You know, that’s my training as a scientist. You put a program into place — you asked about the first generation programs. Let’s do something for first-generation college-goers, but let’s assess how they are doing before the program, and how they are after. Let’s see if there is improvement, let’s be data-driven as we make our decisions. When we were talking about some of the sustainability stuff and putting those things into place, it really became a question of, “what are things we can put into place that can have impact and how are we going to measure that impact so that it happens?” And that came from my scientific background.DT: Last April, you said you wanted to increase your involvement with the student community. How are you planning to do so?MQ: I’ve really tried to keep the door open. I’ve been meeting a lot of students. All they have to do is email me, and I’m happy to get together with them. … We’re going to have forums where I will have more opportunities to interact with different students. I’d like to do more informal things. I’ve been talking with the student government and other groups. … I am more than happy to get out there and meet people in informal settings and try to better understand what concerns them, what they like or don’t like about where the University is going — to get a real flavor for what we’re doing. I teach a class in the spring every year because I love to continue to get input, to not only teach students, but also get input from other students. It’s a neuroscience class. That’s one way I do it. But I really am open to interacting with more students and seeing more students. I want to be completely accessible.DT: Last April you said a major goal was to fix the “big problems of the 21st century.” Based on the recent resolutions to increase environmental sustainability and decrease campus racial bias, what other “big problems” need more discussion?MQ: Yeah, so those are two great ones, I’ve been using the phrase, ‘wicked problem’ — it has kind of resonated with people. I like that because these are big, in some ways, somewhat intractable problems. They are not really like easy solutions because sometimes you know if you work on this part of the problem, you create more problems over here; so that’s what makes them ‘wicked.’When I think about — and this is something we’re doing, a strategic plan right now for the University — in thinking about in the next five years or 10 years or whatever, what are we going to tackle as a university? I think there are two pieces to that. The first part of wicked problems is what are the wicked problems, and I think that’s an easier list to make … the second part though is the tougher one, which is to ask at USC — we want USC to be a leader, we don’t just want to partially tackle this problem — what’s the wicked problem USC wants to solve … and that’s what we’re going to try and figure out in talking to people over the next several months. But to give you one possibility, and one that we’re actually we’re really suited to do, is around the concept of aging. Aging is becoming a huge issue … and it becomes a question of aging and healthy aging and unhealthy aging, and if you have to think about people are living longer, but are they living well? […] It’s a social question, it’s an economic question, a question of social justice and social welfare, a question of the arts and the humanities. How do we engage people throughout their lives in being human? That’s a big problem, and it’s a big, expensive problem … that’s one we could tackle in a big way and it would have a huge lasting impact on the world. Whether we choose aging or not, I don’t know — I’m just giving that as an example — but that’s the kind of thing [where] we really want to say, “USC is working on these big hard problems and we’re making [a] huge contribution.”DT: In November, USG presented the campus climate resolution asking for $100 million to fund additional resources to increase awareness of the present racial bias at the university. How can the resolution inform students unaware of these issues?MQ: The resolution came out and I came out with my sort of immediate response, and now we’re working through it. That’s what I love about universities is you get a lot of smart people having these conversations, you come up with a really good idea of what we’re doing. All these are in place: we have the diversity committee that is having conversations, inviting people in, and getting voices. … I’ve got a meeting coming up very [soon] with the diversity liaison for every school, so that’s about to happen. So things are in motion and the conversations are going on. I think a lot of that is going really well. … What I love about what the students have been doing here — and the faculty is taking really seriously — is engaging in really intelligent conversations about how do you put this in place so that it’s going to last a long time and really have [an] impact. Then it gets back to, for me, data driven. … We can always call for this or that, but at the end of the day, is it having an impact? Whatever we put in place I want to make sure we can measure we are having an impact.