CSU on late start Jan. 20 – The Rocky Mountain Collegian


A+student+stands+on+the+corner+of+Hughes+Way+and+Meridian+Ave.+waiting+for+a+ride.

Collegian | Avery Coates

A student stands on the corner of Hughes Way and Meridian Ave. waiting for a ride Jan. 19. Many students transportation plans were uprooted when CSU made the call to cancel all classes immediately to protect students and staff from worsening weather conditions.

Update: 9:01 p.m. Jan. 19 — Colorado State University will be opening late Jan. 20 due to weather. All activities, classes, events and meetings, in-person or remote, before 10 a.m. are canceled. Anything after 10 a.m will remain on normal schedule.

Facilities will be sanding roads, parking lots and sidewalks overnight to make conditions safer to commute in the morning.

The Public Safety Team advises employees considered essential to work with their supervisors to determine when to report to work.

Update: 12:42 p.m. Jan. 19 — Colorado State University is closing at 3 p.m. today due to weather conditions. According to the University Public Safety Team, “classes that are not already in session are canceled immediately.”

Further, in-person, remote and hybrid classes, meetings, work and events are canceled.

The cancellation is to prevent students and staff from coming to campus due to the dangerous icy conditions. Temperatures will continue to drop as the day continues and into the evening.

Two students trek across the IM fields on their way home
Two students trek across the Colorado State University Intramural Fields Jan. 19. Classes were canceled just before 1 p.m., sending many students walking through campus battling the ice and snow. (Avery Coates | The Collegian)

Original story: 12:12 p.m. Jan. 19.

The City of Fort Collins has been placed under accident alert until 5 p.m. due to icy road conditions today, Wednesday, Dec. 19. Additionally, all Transfort Bus services are suspended until at least noon today, according to their website. 

Riders can check the status of City and campus buses using Transfort’s online bus tracker. According to the tracker, the Around the Horn bus service is also currently delayed. Updates on bus services can be found on the Transfort website or their Twitter page.

The City of Fort Collins also released a tweet stating, “Icy roads are creating dangerous driving conditions. Streets crews are working to de-ice the roads. Avoid travel if you can — if you must travel, reduce speeds and use serious caution.” They also tweeted that The Farm at Lee Martinez Park is closed and to use caution on local trails, bridges and underpasses due to the icy conditions. 

Light snow is expected throughout the day and temperatures are projected to remain below freezing, according to a forecast by The Weather Channel. Fort Collins residents can track the location of snow plows and road conditions using the City’s interactive map.

 

 

 

Reach Noelle Mason and Katrina Leibee at [email protected] or on Twitter @csucollegian.





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Brentford vs Man Utd – Bet £20 and get money back as cash if you lose, plus 139/1 prediction and tips with Paddy Power


PADDY POWER are offering punters up to £20 back as cash if their bet on Brentford vs Manchester United loses.

That’s right – new customers who sign up and stake £20 on the Premier League clash will get their money straight back if they’re not successful!

The bookmaker are also offering customers a boosted 139/1 bet builder on the all-important clash on Wednesday.

Paddy Power offer - Bet £20 and get it back as CASH if it loses

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Paddy Power offer – Bet £20 and get it back as CASH if it losesCredit: GETTY

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PADDY POWER – BET £20, GET £20 BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES*

Manchester United travel to Brentford for Wednesday’s Premier League clash.

The Red Devils will be hoping for a strong response after their late collapse against Aston Villa over the weekend.

Ralf Rangnick’s side are seventh in the division, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham, who’ve played two extra matches.

This is the first meeting of the season between these two sides with the fixture originally due to have been played over a month ago.

But three points isn’t assured with Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham having all stumbled against Thomas Frank’s side.

However, the Bees have leaked seven goals in their last two against Southampton and Liverpool.

United are expected to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back into the fold and we expect the Portuguese to return with a bang.

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Brentford vs Manchester United

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Remember to gamble responsibly

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*New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.


Most read in Betting Tips





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Jet Edge Receives Add’l $75M, Adds 20 New Aircraft


Ohio-based private aviation company Jet Edge International has raised an additional $75 million from investment firm KKR, following an initial $150 million credit facility from June 2021 and further investments, the airline announced. The latest funding brings KKR’s total investment to about $265 million over the past year.

The funding has allowed the company to purchase 20 additional Gulfsteam and Challenger aircraft, slated to be delivered in the first half of 2022. That will bring Jet Edge’s total fleet to 95, after 27 planes were delivered in 2021. 

Jet Edge told BTN in an email that its charter business is almost evenly split between corporate managed travel and personal travel.

The aircraft are available in Tokyo, Hong Kong and throughout the United States. 



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Our 20 Most Popular Travel News Stories From 2021


At TravelAwaits, we strive to provide our readers with relevant content that will inspire their future travels. In addition to great articles showcasing all of the wonderful things to do in locales from around the world, we are also dedicated to keeping you on top of the newest trends and updates from the travel industry. From landscape altering catastrophes to updated stats on key retirement destinations, our team was busy in 2021 ensuring you didn’t miss a thing. As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share our most popular travel news stories and look back at some of the harder hitting — or at the very least, engaging — news stories from this year as we look ahead to 2022.

Rocky Mountaineer train in Canada
Albert Pego / Shutterstock.com

1. Luxury Train Line Now Operating On One Of The Most Beautiful Routes In The U.S.

Canadian-based luxury train line, Rocky Mountaineer, began its inaugural season in the U.S. back in September. Passengers should expect the same stellar service and magnificent views this Canadian line is known for, but now with access in the U.S. for those not able to travel easily to Canada. Read more about where this new line will take passengers, and what to expect for future seasons.

Line of parked Delta airplanes
Felipe Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

2. Delta Flight Crew Finds Letter Left In Cockpit Calling It A Pandemic Time Capsule

Air travel came to a screeching halt in 2020, and while it did resume that same year, some planes remained out of use until 2021. One such Delta plane — the last out of its arid California desert storage — held a surprise for the flight crew that brought it out of its unexpected sabbatical. Tucked into the tray table was a note left by the last to pilot the aircraft — 435 days prior. Learn more and read the letter that the Delta crew called a pandemic time capsule.

Famous Darwin's Arch in Galapagos in Ecuador
Hakbak / Shutterstock.com

3. Famous Galapagos Islands Arch Formation Collapses Into Ocean

While time appeared to stand still for humanity in the midst of the pandemic, it never-the-less marched onward. Darwin’s Arch in the Galapagos Islands learned this first hand when it lost its long-held battle with erosion and collapsed into the ocean, forever changing this famous landscape. This was a shocker for many, including those that saw it happen before their very eyes. For more details — and a look at what it looks like today — have a look at our report of the incident from back in May.

Canadian border crossing
AP Group of Photographers / Shutterstock.com

4. Canadian Border Reopening: Everything Visitors Need To Know

Canada became off-limits to U.S. travelers early in 2020 in hopes of reducing transmission of COVID-19. The border remained closed for more than a year. Then, in August of 2021, that all changed when the border opened once more for non-essential travel. While the info in this article is already at least partially out of date (always check the state department’s website for the most up-to-date details and travel restrictions) take a look back at this momentous news story for many desiring to travel to our neighbors in the north.

Sunset at Hapuna Beach in Hawaii.
A. Emson / Shutterstock.com

5. Dr. Beach Announces His 2021 Best Beaches List

TravelAwaits‘ readers were chomping at the bit to learn Dr. Beach’s picks for the best beaches in 2021; our article revealing his picks was one of our more popular articles all year. This coastal ecologist and university professor has evaluated what makes a beach truly pristine for decades and has released his findings each of the last 30 years. Our release showcases his top picks for 2021 and provides more details on the specific criterion used to make his selections.

Snowy ski trail in Minnesota
Vladimir Daragan / Shutterstock.com

6. The Farmers’ Almanac Says We’re In For A Long, Cold Winter

A more recent news story shared this month provides insight into the weather we should expect during the winter ahead, at least according to one source. The Farmer’s Almanac claims we are in for a long, cold winter in 2022. While no one can predict the future with certainty, the almanac does reportedly have an 80 percent accuracy rate over its 2 centuries of publication which is quite impressive.

Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park .
blewulis / Shutterstock.com

7. The Most Expensive Places To Live Near U.S. National Parks

Proximity to breathtaking beauty and natural wonder doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the closer you get to some national parks, you may find the cost of living skyrocketing. Can you afford to live near a national park? See the full list to learn which national parks are the most expensive to live near. If you are a little tight on cash, you can also scroll down to the 10th most popular news article on our list to take a look at the most affordable.

A colorful street in Malta.

Daniel.Petras14 / Shutterstock.com

8. The Best Islands In The World To Retire On In 2021

Many fantasize about leaving everything behind and retiring on a tropical island someday. For some, this is a pipe-dream at best, but you might be surprised at just how affordable some island locales can actually be. In April, our team reported on an International Living release of the best islands in the world to retire on; see our full list for more details if you need a starting point for your retirement research.

Kyrenia Castle in Northern Cyprus.
Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock.com

9. This Country Has The Cleanest Waters In The European Union

Considering the cleanliness of swimming water likely does not top your list of factors to consider when scheduling a trip, but maybe it should. The European Environment Agency released their report comparing numerous water samples from each EU member state — as well as three additional nations. Learn which country has the cleanest water in the EU. You might want to see who falls to the bottom of the list as well.

Mount Ranier National Park
Roman Khomlyak / Shutterstock.com

10. The Most Affordable Places To Live Near U.S. National Parks

You may recall that we discussed how expensive it can be to live near a U.S. national park; some are outright cost prohibitive. However, not all parks are equal in this regard. There are even some parks that tout affordable housing nearby. Where can you find these hidden real estate gems? Our full list showcases the most affordable places to live near U.S. national parks.

Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Manamana / Shutterstock

11. The Least Visited U.S. National Parks In 2020

Over 237 million visitors experienced a national park in 2020. The great outdoors was certainly the place to be. While many parks were overwhelmed with the stronger demand, many of the more remote parks remained far less crowded. If you are looking for a quieter trek through nature, consider one of these least visited U.S. national parks for your next national park excursion.

U.S. Passport with Global Entry info
Evgenia Parajanian / Shutterstock.com

12. TSA PreCheck Vs. Clear Vs. Global Entry: What’s The Difference?

Navigating through airport security can be tedious. Ensuring you have everything you need — and nothing that you don’t — is crucial, as is arriving with ample time to spare to ensure security doesn’t force you to miss your flight. Our team compared a few of the top trusted traveler programs available to determine what really sets them apart.

Pro Tip: As mentioned, airport security can be a scary place. Come prepared and know what is allowed before you arrive. You might even be surprised at what can be brought on as a carry-on.

The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas
Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com

13. Two Major Las Vegas Strip Resorts Putting Hotels Up For Sale

This past year saw two major Las Vegas hotels put up for sale. The two largest players in town — MGM and Caesars — both announced plans to unload one property each from their impressive portfolios. Discover which hotels may be under new management in 2022 as you plan your next Vegas getaway.

Porto, Portugal
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

14. The Best Places To Retire Internationally In 2021

International Living Magazine releases its updated list of the best places to retire around the world in January of each year. We had the pleasure of sharing the list with our readers last January and were amazed at the level of detail International Living puts into its research. Check out its 2021 list for yourself, and keep your eyes open next month when we reveal its 2022 list!

Virgin Hotel, Las Vegas
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

15. Peek Inside The Sleek New Las Vegas Resort With No Resort Fees

When you check into a hotel, you expect basic amenities to be included in your stay. This is not always the case at Vegas area resorts where such commonplace amenities and services like Wi-Fi and a basic fitness center will cost you extra. Learn more about how one sleek new Las Vegas resort has promised to do away with such fees.

House decorated for Christmas
romakoma / Shutterstock.com

16. FAA Has A Warning For Anyone Decorating Their Home For The Holidays

No, the FAA is not out to steal your fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. However, this warning isn’t just directed at the Clark Griswold’s of the world blinding neighbors — and more importantly pilots — with their 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights. No, an increasingly common holiday decoration is to blame, and it has cost some homeowners over $30,000 in fines! Learn more here to ensure you stay out of hot water with the feds this holiday season.

Visitors lined up at Grand Teton National Park in 2020
Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

17. Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Set Visitor Records

It’s year 2 of the pandemic and national parks across the U.S. continue to set new records for attendance. This article from May discussed how the neighboring Wyoming parks of Yellowstone and Grand Teton both set new visitor records this April. Learn more about what this spike in attendance could mean for visiting the famous parks in 2022.

Redwood skywalk
Eddy Alexander on behalf of the City of Eureka

18. Longest Skywalk In Western U.S. Gives Visitors Unique View Of Beautiful Redwoods

Just staring up at the mighty redwoods of northern California will take your breath away. However, an exciting new experience opened at Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, California, which will enrich this experience further. Visitors will climb 100 feet into the air where they can look down at the ground or up to the canopy above. Learn more about this exciting excursion.

Artist's rendering of Disney Starcuiser
Photo Credit: Disney

19. Disney Unveils New Characters For Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Experience

Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser hotel made news throughout the year: We provided a first look inside the upcoming immersive experience, revealed how opening day was being delayed, and highlighted the eye-popping price tag that guests will face when this new battle station — err, hotel — becomes fully operational. With an official opening day on the books, make sure to get to know the new Star Wars characters set to make their debut at Disney in 2022.

Hammerhead shark
Shane Gross / Shutterstock.com

20. Hammerhead Sharks Spotted Near Swimmers, Boaters Off Florida’s Coast

And what news roundup would be complete without a shark sighting. Over Memorial Day weekend, several hammerhead sharks were spotted in the water near Pensacola, Florida. One witness filmed as the hefty hammerheads swam within feet of their boat in waist-high water with swimmers only feet away. You can find the video as well as more details on this heart-pumping brush with nature in our post from June.

As 2021 comes to a close, we can now look ahead to what news the travel world will bring us in 2022. From national parks and wildlife encounters to hotel openings and heartwarming stories, TravelAwaits is ready to bring you all the news you need to plan your next trip right to your screen. Happy travels!



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Singapore Suspends Quarantine-Free Travel Through January 20


Singapore has announced that it will suspend new ticket sales for quarantine-free travel beginning Thursday, December 23 through January 20, 2022 to help limit the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

According to CNBC, the suspension applies to both flights and buses to the autonomous city-state. Travelers who have previously booked quarantine-free travel to Singapore will be able to enter under the previous guidelines.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

A press release from Singapore’s Ministry of Health reports the city-state has identified 65 cases of the Omicron variant so far. The country also boasts one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, with 87 percent of residents fully vaccinated at the beginning of December.

Travelers visiting the country under the now-suspended quarantine-free rules must take a PCR test upon arrival, as well as daily rapid antigen tests for their first week in Singapore.

The new suspension of quarantine-free travel is the latest change in Singapore’s travel restrictions. According to CNBC, the government made stricter testing measures, postponed launching quarantine-free travel between countries in the Middle East and restricted travel from Southern African countries, where the Omicron variant was first identified.

“Our border measures will help to buy us time to study and understand the Omicron variant, and to strengthen our defenses, including enhancing our healthcare capacity, and getting more people vaccinated and boosted. Meanwhile, we need everyone to remain vigilant to reduce the risks of widespread community transmission, and to keep yourself, your loved ones and the community safe. In particular, travelers must adhere closely to the travel health control measures,” the Health Ministry said in its latest news update.

Singapore is not the only country that has suspended quarantine-free travel to the country. Thailand has just suspended its Thailand Pass program for international travelers, while Israel has banned travel to several countries, including Canada and the United States earlier this week.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:



For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.

For information on the latest travel requirements to Singapore, please click here.





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Palghar: Beef worth over Rs 20 lakh seized; two from Tamil Nadu arrested | Mumbai News


PALGHAR: The police in Maharashtra‘s Palghar district have seized beef worth Rs 20.6 lakh and arrested two persons from Tamil Nadu who were allegedly transporting it in a container truck, an official said on Saturday.
Based on a tip-off, the district rural police laid a trap at Ghol village on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway in Palghar and intercepted a container truck on Tuesday evening, senior inspector Ajay Vasave said.
On inspection, the police found that beef from Tamil Nadu was being transported to the state, he said.
The transporters had given fake declaration about the consignment and made an attempt to escape but were caught, the official said.
A total of 21,018 kg of beef worth Rs 20 lakh were seized from the vehicle, he said, adding that the illegal consignment was meant to be delivered at Taloja.
A case has been registered against the accused Kolinchinath Rajendra Vaniar (37) and Ranjit Kumar Ganeshan (36), both residents of Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, the official said.
The police have also booked the owner of the container truck and others associated with the crime under relevant sections of the IPC, Maharashtra Animal Protection Act and Cruelty to Animals Act, he added.





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20 Fantastic Things To Do In Charming Aiken, South Carolina


Athens’s double-barreled cannon that sits in front of city hall is a perfect symbol for the city. It’s a double-barreled city, and both barrels are loaded with lots of fun for visitors. Athens has many choices for different styles of fun. Here are some of my favorites, from history and nature to dining and drinking. I have visited Athens many times, both on comped press trips and on my own, researching a book I wrote about Georgia’s ghosts. I grew to love the city for its unique personality.

1. Double-barreled Cannon

You’ve got to see this one-of-a-kind Civil War relic. They built it to fire two balls attached to a chain. In tests, it proved a dismal failure but still sits in front of city hall, pointing north. It’s been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Painted dog; Georgia Bulldogs
Kathleen Walls

2. Bulldogs

Georgians, and especially folks in Athens, are rabid Georgia Bulldog fans. You will see these painted tributes to the UGA team all over the city.

Pro Tip: I quickly learned nowhere in Georgia do you say “dogs” when referring to its revered football team. The Georgia pronunciation is “dawgs.”

3. Church-Waddel-Brumby House

Athens Welcome Center is housed in a historic home believed to be the oldest house in Athens. Aside from touring the house museum, it’s a great place to get maps and information.

T.R.R. Cobb house museum exterior
Kathleen Walls

4. T.R.R. Cobb House Museum

The Cobb House was the home of Confederate General Howell Cobb, who helped draft the Confederate Constitution. The museum tells not just the Cobb family history but that of the enslaved people who lived there. Hard to believe when you see the massive pink house with its columns that it has been moved twice. Where it is now is just about 2 blocks from its original location.

The Morton Theater in Athens, Georgia
Kathleen Walls

5. Morton Theater

The Morton Theater, built in 1910, is one of the first vaudeville theaters owned and operated by an African American, Monroe Bowers “Pink” Morton. In the early 1900s, some celebrities that performed there included Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and other big-name musicians.

The Georgia Theater in Athens, Georgia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

6. Georgia Theater

Another historic theater here is Georgia Theater. Originally built as a YMCA in 1889, it underwent many incarnations, including a Methodist church. A fire destroyed it on June 19, 2009. It’s rebuilt and opened as a prime live music venue.

University of Georgia building in Athens, Georgia
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

7. University Of Georgia Athens

Take a UGA Campus tour or do a self-guided one. Chartered in 1785, UGA is the oldest state-chartered university in the country. Football fans will want to see Sanford Stadium but there are many interesting and historical places on campus.

8. Alpha Gamma Delta House

The Alpha Gamma Delta House has its own permanent resident, Susie Carithers. Susie’s father donated the house to the sorority after her death. Susie planned to get married in the drawing room. When the groom failed to show on their wedding day, Susie hung herself from a beam in the attic. Supposedly, whoever inhabits the room beneath that beam will become engaged while staying there. The house is known as “The Wedding Cake House” because it resembles a three-tiered wedding cake. It is not open to the public but worth a drive-by.

Tour guide at Toombs Oak in Athens, Georgia
Kathleen Walls

9. Toombs Oak

The university campus has a resident spirit. Many people claim to have seen a man in a Confederate uniform near Demosthenian Hall. The ghost is believed to be Robert Toombs, who had been dismissed from the college. On what would have been his graduation day, he gave a speech under this oak that drew more listeners than the official speakers in the hall. Toombs became Confederate Secretary of State, and he resigned to become a general. He fled to Europe at the end of the war but later returned. He never took the oath of allegiance to the United States.

The tree was killed by lightning around the time of Toombs’ death, December 15, 1885, but a plaque and sundial still mark the spot.

The State Botanical Garden in Athens, Georgia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

10. The State Botanical Garden

This on-campus garden is Georgia’s official state garden. Along with the breathtaking gardens, it has seven color-designated trails and a special Hummingbird Trail. In November and December, the garden becomes Winter WonderLights.

The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

11. The Georgia Museum Of Art

The Georgia Museum of Art, Georgia’s State Art Museum, is on the UGA campus. You’ll find about 17,000 art objects, including an outdoor sculpture garden.

Pro Tip: The gardens, museum, and most other places on campus are free.

12. Bear Hollow Zoo

The zoo is small but beloved by kids and adults alike. It is home to wildlife that cannot be returned to the wild, including some bears, otters, deer, and eagles. It’s in Memorial Park, and it’s free.

13. Classic City Tours

Classic City Tours are offered by the Athens Welcome Center. The Athens Heritage Tour and the Museum Mile Tour are both guided tours that bring you to the most popular sights in Athens. Book at the Athens Welcome Center or on its website.

Gravestone on the Athens Haunted History Walking Tour
Kathleen Walls

14. Athens Haunted History Walking Tour

Jeff Clarke will lead you to some of Athens’ darker history on his Haunted History Walking Tour. So many of its old homes and theaters have their own resident spirit. The stories are not scary and contain a lot of genuine history. Ask him to tell you the story of Dicy Ann Roberts, who is buried in the Old Athens Cemetery. It’s a fun tour for believers and non-believers alike.

Sampling of beers at Terrapin Brewing
Kathleen Walls

15. Terrapin Brewing

Athens’s best-known brewery offers tours often with live music and tastings of Terrapin’s full line of award-winning beers. Several other breweries have popped up to offer competition.

Weaver D's sign in Athens, Georgia
Jen Wolf / Shutterstock.com

16. Weaver D’s

Even non-music fans know the name of Athens’s most famous band, R.E.M. Weaver D’s was popular with R.E.M. and many other start-up bands in the late 1980s. His Southern soul food was cheap and tasty. When R.E.M. asked Dexter Weaver’s permission to use his slogan “Automatic for the People” on its album, Weaver D’s became part of the R.E.M. legend. Weaver D’s food is worth any wait time.

17. Trappeze Pub

If you want to dine with the locals, this is the place. Trappeze Pub is housed in the historic Cotton Exchange building and one of Athens’s most popular gastropubs.

18. 40 Watt Club

Another Athens music legend is the 40-Watt Club. Its first location was a huge third-floor space lit only by one dim bulb, thus its name. It has moved countless times since but kept its name and reputation. It is a music venue that hosts some of the biggest names in the business and popular local bands.

19. The Last Resort Grill

If you like Southern food, try the Last Resort. In 1966, when it opened as a bar on the same street as three finance companies, its motto was if you got turned down by all the finance companies, the bar was your “last resort.” It has hosted big-name musicians, including Gamble Rogers, Reverend Pearly Brown, Towns Van Zandt, Doc Watson, B-52’s, and Jimmy Buffett. It evolved from a music venue and reopened as The Last Resort Grill in 1992. The restaurant still has some touches from its old bar days, like the red brick wall.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check out the mural on the wall facing the parking lot.

20. Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo is convenient to many of Athens’s attractions, and each Indigo Hotel is unique and blends with its location. Besides having all the usual amenities, it’s ultra-modern and pet friendly. Its Madison Bar and Bistro is great if you want to dine in after a long day.

Pro Tip: If you visit in June, AthFest is a free 3-day festival that brings dozens of bands to town.

Consider this other Georgia content before your next visit:



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Lady Raiders Return Home for Thursday Matinee vs. No. 20 Georgia on ESPNU


LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Tech Lady Raiders return to United Supermarkets Arena Thursday for an 11 a.m. nationally-televised (ESPNU) matchup against the No. 20 Georgia Lady Bulldogs.
Tech and Georgia will meet for just the second time in program history, and for the first time since the 1984-85 season.

LAST TIME OUT FOR TECH:

The Lady Raiders closed play at the Van Chancellor Classic 2-1 last weekend. Tech opened the weekend with a 71-67 victory over Ball State on Friday. In that contest, senior forward Taylah Thomas had a career-best 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Lexy Hightower added 15 points.

On Saturday, the Lady Raiders suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Old Dominion 59-45. After falling behind as many as 27 points in that game, the Lady Raiders cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth, before the comeback effort came up short.

Sunday, Tech bounced back in a big way, using a 27-point first quarter to cruise to an 82-75 victory. In the contest, all five Lady Raider scorers were in double-figures led by Hightower’s 17 points. The West Texas A&M transfer also grabbed eight rebounds and had six assists.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

MATCHUP:
Texas Tech (7-1) vs. No. 20 Georgia (6-0)

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

Time: 11 a.m.

Location: United Supermarkets Arena (Lubbock, Texas)

TV: ESPNU

Radio: Texas Tech Radio Network/The Varsity App

KNOW YOUR FOE:

Georgia Lady Bulldogs (6-0):


Georgia enters Thursday’s matchup with Texas Tech ranked No. 20 in the country, after defeating Notre Dame 71-67 and Marquette 70-45. One of the best defensive teams in the country, Georgia has four times held a team to 45 points or fewer and has allowed under 60 in every single game except the Notre Dame game that went to overtime.

On the year, forward Jenna Staiti leads the Lady Bulldogs in points (13.3), rebounds (8.0), blocks (17) and field goals made (31). Led by Staiti, Georgia has three different people scoring in double-figures this season. Guards Que Morrison and Sarah Ashlee Barker are averaging 10.5 and 10.2 points respectively.

UP NEXT:

The Lady Raiders return to action a week from Sunday, when they travel to Canyon, Texas to clash with UNLV. The game will be a homecoming for HC Krista Gerlich and guard Lexy Hightower. Gerlich coached the Lady Buffs from 2006-13, while Hightower played for West Texas A&M from 2017-21. Tip-off from the First United Bank Center is set for 2 p.m.

 



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Omicron Variant, in 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known


The heavily mutated new coronavirus variant was in Europe several days earlier than previously known, health officials said Tuesday, and the number of countries where it has been found increased to at least 20, raising questions about whether the pandemic is about to surge once again.

The Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said that samples taken on Nov. 19 and Nov. 23 — before the Nov. 24 announcement of Omicron’s existence — tested positive for the variant. Health officials have notified the two infected people and are doing contact tracing to try to limit the spread.

Mutations in the Omicron variant strongly suggest that it is more contagious than previous forms of the virus, scientists say. They caution that they cannot be sure without more testing and data, but the evidence so far is sobering.

Late Tuesday night, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it planned to toughen coronavirus testing and screening of people flying to the United States by requiring all international passengers to provide a negative result from a test taken within 24 hours of departure.

“C.D.C. is working to modify the current global testing order for travel as we learn more about the omicron variant,” said an agency spokesman, Jason McDonald.

The concern is that the current rules, which allow fully vaccinated people to take a test up to three days before departing on a flight to the United States, might not be stringent enough.

A day after warning that the risk from Omicron was “very high,” the World Health Organization on Tuesday said that unvaccinated people who are over age 60, are sick or have underlying health risks “should be advised to postpone travel.” In Greece, the prime minister announced that Covid vaccinations would be obligatory for people age 60 and older, and that those who failed to book a first shot by Jan. 16 would face fines.

In South Africa, where the variant was first announced and is already widespread, reported new coronavirus cases have rocketed from about 300 a day in mid-November to about 3,000 a day, the fastest rate of increase in the world. On two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands on Friday, just as a cascade of bans on travel from southern Africa were being announced, 61 passengers tested positive for the virus, at least 14 of them for Omicron.

In addition to the question of Omicron’s transmissibility, scientists still don’t have other answers the world is clamoring for: Are vaccines less effective against it? Are treatments? Does Omicron cause more serious illness?

Experts cautioned not to put too much stock in reports that the variant is causing only mild illness, because the data is still sparse. Early evidence from South Africa indicates that Omicron, more than previous variants, is infecting people who had already had Covid-19, but that, too, requires rigorous testing.

“It’s going to be two to four weeks, possibly a bit sooner,” before preliminary answers are available, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said Tuesday at a White House briefing.

As of Tuesday evening, no Omicron cases had been reported in the United States, though the variant has been detected in Canada. U.S. officials say that it is just a matter of time, and that the goal should be to slow its spread.

Brazilian media reported Tuesday that the variant had turned up in Brazil, which would mean it is already on every continent but Antarctica.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sequencing the genomes of 80,000 coronavirus samples weekly — about one-seventh of all the positive P.C.R. lab tests in the country — and will step up checks on arriving international passengers, the agency’s director, Dr. Rochelle P. Wollensky, said at the White House.

The variant has a very large number of mutations not seen in combination before, about 50, including more than 30 on the “spike” protein it uses to latch onto host cells; the spike is the primary target of the vaccines. That high degree of mutation is behind the fears about Omicron, and the uncertainty over whether those fears are overblown.

Several times before, nations have relaxed their guard, thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind them, only to be swamped by another wave — most recently the one caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Vaccine makers are already looking into reformulating their shots to address Omicron, a step that was not required for fighting Delta.

And Regeneron, maker of an effective, injected monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid, said Tuesday that its therapy might not work as well against Omicron. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday recommended approval of an oral treatment to reduce the severity of Covid, made by Merck, and will soon consider another from Pfizer.

In previous waves of the pandemic, by the time the first cases of the virus or a particular variant were detected, in reality there were vastly more and it was already widespread.

But the world’s supply of vaccines has gone primarily to the wealthiest countries, where many people have now received three shots before the vast majority of Africans have had even one. As long as many people are unvaccinated, the pandemic will continue and new variants will emerge.

“Vaccine equity is not charity; it’s in every country’s best interests,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the W.H.O., said Monday at the start of a conference intended to produce an international treaty to coordinate disease response.

“The time has come for countries to agree on a common, binding approach to a common threat that we cannot fully control nor prevent,” he said.

Vaccine doses are in fact becoming more plentiful, but African countries still face challenges in distribution and overcoming vaccine hesitancy. South Africa recently turned away a shipment, unsure that it could use the doses in time.

The new variant was first found in Botswana on Nov. 11 and days later in neighboring South Africa, where its genome was sequenced by scientists who announced its existence two weeks later. Researchers in South Africa have found it in samples from as long ago as Nov. 9, and experts have said it was likely that further testing of old samples would show that it was circulating even earlier.

In Europe, the number of cases confirmed is small so far, under 100, but officials are bracing for more.

“Is there likely to be community transmission?” Sajid Javid, the British health secretary, said at a news conference. “I think we have to be realistic: There is likely to be, as we are seeing in other European countries. We would expect cases to rise as we now actively look for cases.”

The timing is dismal for a continent already gripped by the biggest pandemic wave yet, forcing governments to drastically scale back plans to remain open for the holidays.

European countries are reporting more than two million new coronavirus cases each week, more than half the world’s total, although with vaccinations and improved treatments, deaths have declined compared with a year ago. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark and Norway all set records for new cases last week; several others hit new highs earlier in November.

Governments in the United States, Europe and elsewhere have barred entry by people — usually with the exception of their own residents — who have recently been in South Africa and several neighboring countries.

But the experience of the two flights that arrived in Amsterdam on Friday night from South Africa shows how late such measures might be.

With the travel ban taking effect, all the passengers were tested, and more than one in 10 had the virus; how many other infected travelers have gone undetected is anyone’s guess.

Not only did 14 of the passengers from South Africa have the Omicron variant — which was not yet known to the world when they took off — but they also had several different versions of it, the Dutch public health institute said.

“This means,” it said, “that the people were very probably infected independently from each other, from different sources and in different locations.”

Reporting was contributed by Cora Engelbrecht, Noah Weiland, Rebecca Robbins, Carl Zimmer, Megan Specia, Mark Landler, Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg



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Wales breaking news plus traffic, weather and travel updates (Saturday, November 20)


All designated bathing sites in Wales pass

(Image: WalesOnline/Gayle Marsh)

Bathing waters across Wales are compliant again for the fourth year in a row, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said. It visited all 105 designated bathing water sites and collected and analysed water quality samples throughout the season. This year’s results saw 85 bathing waters classed as ‘Excellent’, 14 ‘Good’ and 6 ‘Sufficient’, including improvements in classification for eight sites including Cemaes, Kinmel Bay and Nolton Haven. While all Wales’ designated sites are compliant, six have unfortunately dropped a classification from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Good’, including Tenby North, New Quay Harbour, Llandonna and Aberystwyth North.





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