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Magazine names Dayton one of the next big paddling towns

Paddlesport aficionados have hand-picked Dayton as a “(Next) Best Paddling Town,” and we want to brag about that for a second. 

>>Want to start paddling? Dayton is the perfect place for it

Canoe and Kayaking Magazine released an article hailing Dayton and the Great Miami Riverway for not only being one of only 22 National Water Trails, “spanning over 150 miles to its confluence with the Ohio River,” but for the work Dayton has done to give recreational access to the river. 

The article says the Wright Brothers unknowingly laid a foundation for Dayton to be a phenomenal outdoor recreation destination. 

>>WORTH THE DRIVE: Here’s where you can spend the afternoon tubing the Mad River on the cheap

“With their eyes set on the sky, the Wright Brothers may not have realized the ground they laid to launch Dayton into a future of recreation tourism, from on-water adventures along the Great Miami Riverway to trails across the land and the open sky above,” according to the article. 

"It's fun just to watch the kayakers do tricks and flips in the rapids," said Elizabeth Connor, the Great Miami Riverway Coordinator with the Miami Conservancy District, an organization working to protect, preserve and promote the Riverway and its communities. If you're not ready to get wet, join the ranks of spectators on the riverbank to watch the kayakers play. 

>>12 top hiking trails in Dayton and nearby

The magazine goes on to highlight the many amenities that are available on and around the river trail for paddling, kayaking and canoeing alike. They credit Dayton’s outdoor recreational success to excellent communication and marketing of the region’s opportunities— a powerful combination the author traces back to the Wright Brothers. 

“On par with their aviation history, the sky’s the limit for the Great Miami Riverway through Dayton, Ohio,” according to the article.

WHAT MAKES THE DAYTON AREA A PADDLING DESTINATION?

Dayton is known as the Outdoor Adventure Capitol of the Midwest due to recreational opportunities from biking to hiking to water adventures. Here is why Dayton is getting attention for paddling in particular.

>> Best places to hike in Dayton

>> The best bike trails and how to make the most of them

1. WATER TRAILS

The Great Miami River, Mad River, and Stillwater River were designated as state water trails in August, 2010 and all three water trails were designated as a national water trail in 2016. Together, they make the largest water trail system in Ohio. The trail collectively offers 265 miles of waterway accessible to recreational boaters, fishermen and wildlife watchers. A water trail is a network of publicly accessible facilities that provide opportunities to fish; launch canoes, kayaks, and other craft; and explore the natural and cultural heritage along the river.

2. PADDLING AMENITIES

The area was already home to Mad River Run at Eastwood MetroPark and the ECO Sports Corridor in Springfield and unveiled the Riverscape River Run in 2017. These are three big destinations for paddlers of all skill levels. But there are many others.

>> Where to paddle in Dayton and what to know before you go

>> Why Riverscape River Run is a HUGE deal for Dayton

>> Your guide to making the most of Riverscape River Run

3. BUILT IN SUPPORT

Parks systems and businesses continue to work on ways to facilitate paddlesport recreation in the area, including programming and equipment rentals for beginners to advanced canoe and kayak enthusiasts.

EQUIPMENT RENTALS:

• Whitewater Warehouse, 104 Valley St., Dayton; 937-222-7020; Facebook

• Great Miami Outfitters, 25 E. Linden Ave., Miamisburg; (937) 847-8787; Facebook

• Adventures on the Great Miami, 1995 E. Ross Road, Tipp City; (937) 266-6252; Facebook

• Twin Creek Kayak & Canoe Livery, 1341 W. Market St, Germantown; (937) 903-8934

• Barefoot Canoe Livery, 235 E. Tipp Pike, West Milton, call: (937) 698-4351 or text: (937) 344-2833; offers kayaking and canoeing trips; Facebook

CLASSES:

• Five Rivers MetroParks 

• Whitewater Warehouse 

• Great Miami Outfitters 

• Sierra Club – Miami Group 

• Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft

Surfers on the raging Great Miami? Calls pour into 911

Emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls Monday reporting two people potentially drowning in the Great Miami River, bloated and raging after Sunday’s record rainfall.

But surfers Shannon Thomas and Josh Wright were having the times of their lives.

“I had a blast. It was probably one of the best surfs I’ve had in a while,” Thomas said.

The professional river surfer was about to begin his last surf when ambulances, fire trucks, police and park rangers — and a water rescue boat — arrived near the River Run drop just upstream from the Monument Avenue bridge.

RELATED: Too much water for Dayton’s new $4M water attraction

“Basically, people aren’t educated enough,” said Thomas, 32. “They see somebody in the river and they immediately think they are drowning. They can’t fathom why someone would be out there on a board surfing.”

Thomas, a 2003 Fairmont High School graduate, said he and friend Wright were taking all the proper precautions: using a buddy system, wearing helmets, wetsuits, PFDs and outfitted with leashes that could quickly be released in case of entanglement.

RELATED: 20-year plan tries to make Dayton’s rivers more accessible, profitable

“At no point were me or my buddy in distress,” said Thomas, who tapped his helmet at the arriving emergency responders, an international symbol that one is not in danger.

While the river where the men surfed is typically much safer now that a low dam has been removed, it can still be extraordinarily hazardous under certain conditions — more so without proper training, said Amy Dingle, director of Outdoor Connections at Five Rivers MetroParks.

“The men surfing the River Run on Monday were highly skilled, which allowed them to assess the action and temperature of the water, and they took every safety precaution,” said Dingle, a former Olympic team kayaker.  

Everyone must consider their skill level and experience when deciding whether to get on the water, she said.  

“We encourage anyone who hasn’t had training or extensive experience to stay off the river when it’s flooded,” Dingle said. “And always wear a life jacket.”

After exiting the river, Thomas said he had a 20-minute talk with authorities.

RELATED: Tornadoes, record rain pound region, leave ‘pretty tremendous damage’

“They were basically threatening me with inciting or inducing panic,” he said.

Thomas, who is sponsored by Badfish Stand Up Paddle, said he was not cited because he broke no laws.

RELATED: Your guide to making the most of RiverScape River Run

The wave created by the unusually high water is on par with one of the best river features in the nation, Thomas said.

“At that level it’s very similar to the Glenwood Springs, Colo., wave, which is probably one of the most famous waves in the country,” he said.

Seniors: Get your $10 lifetime pass for National Parks now before price hike

If you’re over 62 years old and love the great outdoors, the time is now to get the deal of a lifetime.

>> Read more trending news

Right now, senior citizens can get a lifetime pass to visit national parks for $10. But that’s going to change on Aug. 28 – with the price rising to $80.

An annual pass will cost them $20, which they can apply to the cost of a lifetime pass at a later point if they decide they want one. Follow this link for the application.

Money raised from the price increase will go to the enhancement of the national parks. There are more than 400 national parks across the country

Here's a Q&A from the National Parks Service on the price increase:

Why is the price of the Senior Pass increasing?The price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass is increasing as result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the US Congress on Dec. 16, 2016.When was the last time the price increased for the Senior Pass? The Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994.How much is it increasing?The lifetime Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80.Why $80?The legislation states that the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the annual America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which is currently $80.

What if a senior citizen is on a fixed budget?

The legislation also establishes an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Four annual Senior Passes purchased in prior years can be traded in for a lifetime pass. Additionally, access to the majority of National Park Service sites remains free—only 118 of 417 National Park Service sites have an entrance fee.What if I have a current Senior Pass?The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.Will the benefits of my Senior Pass change?No. All benefits of the current Senior Pass stay the same.What if my current Senior Pass is lost or stolen?Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.If lost or stolen, a new pass will need to be purchased.Who is eligible for a Senior Pass?US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass.  

Click here to read more.

Adult summer camp with alcohol, no counselors, debuting in new cities this year

Chances are, it’s been years since you attended summer camp.

If you’re looking to relive the glory days, it’s not too late. 

>> Read more trending news

According to WILX, Camp No Counselors is the first adults-only summer camp, and it will debut in Michigan in June.

The camp will take place June 22-25 in the Manistee National Forest in Newaygo, Michigan.

Crafts, sports, ukelele lessons, sailing, tubing, friendship bracelet making, ziplining and water-skiing are among the activities included, according to the camp’s official website.

The camp also promises nightly parties, an open bar and tasty meals -- an upgrade from traditional camp food.

Accommodations, activities, food and alcohol are included in registration fees.

Camp No Counselors also has camp locations near Boston, AustinNew York, Florida, Seattle, Nashville and three Canadian cities, among other U.S. cities.

Applicants must be 21 years or older and can register as individuals or with a group.

Learn more at CampNoCounselors.com.

Deadly amoeba found at National Whitewater Center, activities suspended

The U.S. National Whitewater Center voluntarily closed its whitewater rafting activities Friday afternoon after water samples tested positive for a brain-eating amoeba, officials confirmed.

>> Read more trending stories

The tests, which found Naegleria Fowleri at the Whitewater Center, are preliminary. Final results will not be ready until next week.

Visitors said a staff member blew a whistle around 4 p.m. Friday and had everyone get out of the water. The center itself, in Charlotte, North Carolina, is not closed, however, Mecklenburg County Health Department Director Dr. Marcus Plescia said officials "feel quite certain (the) amoeba is present in (the) Whitewater Center" at a news conference Friday evening.

Local, state and federal health officials are investigating after a recent high school graduate, Ohio resident Lauren Seitz, 18, died from a brain-eating amoeba days after visiting the Whitewater Center.

>> Related: Teen dies of brain-eating amoeba after whitewater rafting

The Health Department is working closely with the Center.

Naegleria Fowleri is a brain-eating amoeba found in warm freshwater, like lakes and ponds. It does not make people sick if it's swallowed, but if it goes up a nasal cavity -- where it's close to the brain -- it can be deadly. The amoeba is present in many open water sources and has been linked to 35 illnesses in the last 10 years, Plescia said.

He said the risk of getting into a car crash while driving to the Whitewater Center is higher than being infected by the amoeba at the facility.

Plescia said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was running tests Wednesday at the facility. The health organization took 11 samples from various parts of the Whitewater Center and found the amoeba in most of them. Testing will continue over the next few days.

The Center released a statement:

"The U.S. National Whitewater Center, after discussion with the Centers for Disease Control and local health officials, has decided to temporarily suspend all whitewater activities effective immediately.

This decision was made after initial test results found Naegleria Fowleri DNA was present in the whitewater system.

The USNWC is working with the CDC and local health officials to develop next steps. Only whitewater activities are suspended.

The USNWC remains open for all other operations and activities."

Watch: Video shows 10,000 sparklers lit at once

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A new video on YouTube is on fire on social media. 

>> Read more trending stories  

The video, uploaded by Russian YouTuber SlivkiShow, shows what happens when he sets 10,000 sparklers ablaze at once. 

The result, as you might expect, is pretty awesome, and he even attaches a GoPro camera to a long pole to get a good overhead view.

Though all three minutes of the video are in Russian, English subtitles explain each step of the process.

The most impressive part of the video is undoubtedly the spectacular visual result. But the YouTuber warns, "All that is shown in this video is very dangerous. It is forbidden to repeat, but you can enjoy it."

The video has been viewed more than 6 million times. 

X Games Austin 2015, 6.5.15

Apple to partner with Kobe Bryant and others to test IWatch

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Another drop of fuel in the Apple iWatch fire. 

9to5Mac reports sources familiar with the matter say Apple is teaming up with professional athletes to test the iWatch "in intenest training environments."  

The outlet names pro athletes such as Lakers player Kobe Bryant and Kings player Dustin Brown. They, of course, reportedly signed non-disclosure agreements to participate in the project. (Via Flickr / Keith AllisonMark H. Anbinder)

This adds yet another rumor to the long list of rumors/evidence/speculation/whatever-you-want-to-call-it pointing to an iWatch launch. At this point, several sources expect an October launch of the health-and fitness-tracking device.

Health, one of the features Apple announced at its World Wide Developers conference, will likely communicate with the wrist-mountable device, giving users the ability to track all kinds of personal health information. 

Which is likely why Apple wants to partner up with pro athletes — if it works in those high-intensity training environments, it'll work for the rest of us. 

A writer for TechnoBuffalo says despite reports the iWatch will have at least 10 different sensors, this potential partnering shows Apple's focus is mostly on fitness. "The news all but confirms that the iWatch will serve primarily as a fitness tracker."

TechCrunch says the move is a brilliant marketing technique. With the Cupertino Company looking to push between 50 million to 60 million units in the first year, an iWatch is going to need some serious street cred. Enter sports stars, stage right. 

"Sports sells gatorade, and sports sells sneakers, and sports sells clothing and hats and TV trays and bottle openers and anything that has enough surface area to hold a logo." (ViaTechCrunch)

And now sports might sell the iWatch. 

X Games Austin, 06.05.14

A look at the best sunscreen for your money

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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A May 2014 study from Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don't have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.Here's what so funny: The highest rated sunscreen that got a Best Buy recommendation turned out to be the cheapest one per ounce they tested!

Want the best sunscreen for your money? Check out these options

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a Walmart storebrand lotion, clinched the Best Buy trophy with a score of 80 from Consumer Reports. It costs only 56 cents an ounce, which represents a 9-cent increase in price since last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), and Oxybenzone (4%). The only sunblock to score higher in the lotion category was Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. This lotion got a score of 81 and costs $1.38. The active ingredient list mirrors that of Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, with the exact same concentration of active ingredients.When it comes to sprays, longtime Consumer Reports favorite UP & UP Sport SPF 50 got a 90 -- a full 10 points higher than last year's showing for this Target housebrand. Amazingly, the cost per ounces has dropped to 80 cents, down from $1.16 last year! Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (4%), and Oxybenzone (5%).

>>Company claims it has developed drinkable sunscreen

>> Special Section: Your Guide to Summer FunThe historical favorite in this annual tally has been NO-AD Sport SPF 50 with Avobenzone, Aloe, and Vitamin E SPF 45. The NO-AD lotion scored a 69 this time out -- up 20 points from last year. The cost per ounce is 63 cents. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (2.0%), Homosalate (15.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), and Oxybenzone (5.0%).I was talking with a dermatologist last week and she said the real problem is too many people apply sunscreen too sparsely. You need to put gobs of it on your kids. My kids are conditioned to know that it's a five-minute ordeal while we slather them up before they can go out into the sun. It's a necessary precaution. But don't forget yourself either.If you're like me and grew up in the generation when nobody wore sunscreen, we're a ticking time bomb for skin cancer and melanoma. In many cases, early skin cancer detected is just a little aggravation that's easily treated. But undetected, it can grow into melanoma and cost you your life.Whatever sunscreen you get, be sure it says "broad spectrum" on the label for maximum protection.

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