"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Monday, August 31, 2020

St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center

Above, St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This morning, Mitch and I took a drive around Twin Falls.

During the drive, we came upon St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center, where I was flown to on an air ambulance two years ago. I had two stents put into a coronary artery, which saved my life. This was the first real look at the place from the outside.

Above, another view of St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We drove around it and I took some photos of the main building and the RV parking area, which had hook-ups (electric, water and sewer). Mitch drove The Beast there from Wells, Nevada and parked in space no. 2 and stayed there while I was hospitalized.

Above, space no 2 of the hospital's RV parking area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was interesting for me to see it.

Above, a couple of RVs at the hospital RV parking area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a view of the hospital from the RV parking area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Made It To Buhl, Idaho

Above, the Albuquerque Sunport was almost devoid of people. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We made it to Buhl, Idaho.

The flight out of the Albuquerque Sunport left the airport departed at 6:00 am. It took me to Salt Lake City, Utah,  where the connection flight to Twin Falls departs. That is why I stayed in Albuquerque the night before at the Route 66 RV Resort, to get to the airport for the early flight.

Above, social distancing was enforced inside the plane. Photo by Amand Vaquer.

It was only an hour flight between Salt Lake City and Twin Falls. The Twin Falls Airport is a small one. At least we didn't have to walk miles to get from the plane to baggage and the rental car desk.

Above, our plane after arriving in Twin Falls, Idaho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After getting the rental car, Mitch and I headed to Linda Wilson's home in Buhl. It was a sad reunion since the passing of Bill three days prior. There were other friends and family members there to help Linda get through these trying days.

Above, our plane can be seen through the windows from the rental car desk area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As always, I took a few pictures of yesterday.

Above, some of those gathered at Linda Wilson's. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Linda's yard area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

At The Route 66 RV Resort

Above, enjoying a margarita at Thunder Road Steakhouse & Cantina.

After dropping off the new vacuum cleaner to an authorized Hoover vacuum dealer, I headed off to the Route 66 RV Resort in Rio Puerco, New Mexico. This is my second stay here this month.

After setting up camp and relaxing for a while, I requested the hotel shuttle to bring me over to the hotel.

Above, The Beast at the Route 66 RV Resort. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I decided to have an early dinner and decided on the chicken fajitas dinner with a margarita. Both were good. I was in the mood for Mexican food instead of prime rib. I will probably have the chicken fajitas again.

Above, having a cigar at camp.

After dinner, I then headed back to the RV Resort to have some coffee and relax. I am going to be busy tomorrow with the early morning flight to Twin Falls, Idaho with a stopover in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Above, the Thunder Road chicken fajitas dinner. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We may get some thunderstorms tonight. That would be good. The Beast could use a wash.

Readying Up To Go To Idaho

Above, The Beast at the Flying J this morning. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This morning has been spent getting read to head up to Buhl, Idaho.

Packing, doing laundry and gassing up The Beast (no, I'm not driving up, just spending the night in Albuquerque as I have an early morning flight) at the Flying J. We had more rain last night (three days straight) and I thought I should've gotten The Beast out of the GOCO Beast Barn yesterday in case of muddy conditions. Thanks to the gravel I had put there, there was no mud to contend with.

I'll be meeting up with Mitch Geriminsky at the Salt Lake City, Utah airport. We're both on the same connecting flight to Twin Falls, Idaho. We'll be renting a car and driving to Buhl. He's flying out of Phoenix. He was going to fly out of Las Vegas (a closer airport to Lake Havasu), but the airlines wanted around $800 for a round-trip ticket. The prices at Phoenix airport were about a third of that.

When we got our plane tickets, we were hoping to be able to see Bill one last time, but that was not to be. Now it has turned into a mission to be with his family in their grief.

While I am in Albuquerque, I have to go to a Hoover vacuum dealer to take care of a warranty repair to a new vacuum I just got.

Sierra and D.K. will be taken care of while I'm gone. 

Best National Parks For Fall Visit

Above, Grand Teton National Park is one that is recommended for an autumn visit. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Some people are fearful of going out where they may contract the coronavirus, there are also some who prefer traveling during the autumn months when there are less crowds out of principle.

The Points Guy has an article on nine national parks that are considered "the best" for fall visits.

The article begins with:
If you’re thinking about visiting a national park this fall, you’re in luck. There’s a secret many travelers with flexible schedules have long known: national parks are best in autumn. 
Of course, that’s not true of every national park — there are more than a few that are best visited at other times of the year. But, generally speaking, fall can be a spectacular time to visit the nation’s parklands. The temperatures have dropped and the crowds have thinned, meaning you can enjoy the scenery without breaking a sweat or competing with other visitors for a photo.

Best of all, depending on when and where you travel, you may get the added bonus of experiencing a vibrant display of fall foliage. Just remember, as winter draws nearer, snow can cause road closures at Glacier, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park. 
So plan ahead and get the timing right, and these will be nine of the best national parks to visit in the fall.
To read more, go here.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Wellington "Bill" Wilson, 1954 - 2020

Above, Mitch, Bill and I in Buhl, Idaho last summer.

What a year.

A friend whom I've known since junior high in Hawthorne, California has passed away at 66.

Last night, I posted the following on Facebook:
Some distressing news has arrived from Buhl, Idaho. I just got off the phone with Mitch and he just talked to Bill's (Wellington's) daughter and she said that Bill may not last the night. His blood disease had turned into full blown terminal leukemia and there's nothing the doctors can do for him now except to keep him comfortable. He has been unresponsive for several hours. Mitch and I will be heading up to Idaho this weekend. We got our tickets before this news. Your prayers for Bill's family are appreciated. This photo was taken last summer.
Above, Bill and I at Denny's at the Flying J in 2018. He was a long-haul
trucker and stopped for a visit during one of his rounds in April.

We last got together last summer when he couldn't attend the Wells Fun Run (the event where I had my heart attack in 2018), so we headed up to his place in Buhl. We had a great time.

Above, Bill and his wife Linda stopped for a visit at
 the Flying J in August 2018. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Sadly, I learned a few minutes ago that Bill passed somewhere around midnight. The outcome we hoped for, when his illness began last year, did not come to pass. At least now he is at peace and no longer suffering.

Bill fought a valiant fight.

Above, Mitch, Bill and I in Wells, Nevada the day before my heart attack in 2018,

Thursday, August 27, 2020

RNC: Final Night

Above, the scene at the White House this evening.

The 2020 "Virtual" Republican National Convention is now history. People will be assessing it in the coming years.

Someone asked me if I would mind if it were Obama giving his acceptance speech at the White House (he was obviously bothered by Trump doing it). My honest response: Given the circumstances, I wouldn't be bothered by it. He didn't believe me, but then again, he's part of the "unhappy" political party. 

Above, the acceptance speech.

The speakers who touched me the most were Ann Dorn, who lost her husband in June when he was killed trying to protect a pawn shop from looters (in St. Louis, I think) and Carl and Marsha Mueller, who lost their daughter Kayla to ISIS terrorists in Syria.

The President gave a good speech that touched on all issues and themes he needed to. Some thought his speech was "flat". True, he didn't deliver it as he would at one of his arena rallies. I think he held back on it a little since it was at the White House. He wrapped the BLM and ANTIFS anarchy tightly around the Democrats' necks, nonetheless.

Above, after the ceremonies and speech.

I was really impressed with the fireworks that followed Trump's acceptance speech. At times, they spelled out "Trump 2020". 

All in all, I thought this week's RNC was a successful one and Trump is enjoying a bump in the polls because of it.

Rain Overnight

Above, the front yard with the mesas in the background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After a shower and shave, with coffee in hand I stepped outside on the deck for some fresh air.

Apparently, we got more rain last night as the ground was wet and some small puddles were on the deck.

The movers were back at Bo's across the street this morning and were continuing their loading. They were there yesterday.

Above, the movers truck at Bo's. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Betty and Bo will be off to Florida once the loading is done and the papers signed by this weekend. You couldn't ask for better neighbors, I am going to miss them. Fortunately, they will be in New Mexico each spring at their property in Lindrith, so we'll have get-togethers when they're here.

Nearly 5 Million Guns Sold Between January and August

Above, the Albuquerque Cabela's firearms department. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This may have a big impact on November's Election Day.

It is estimated that nearly 5 million people became gun owners during the first half of 2020.

According to the Washington Free Beacon:
Nearly five million Americans became first-time gun owners in 2020, according to a new report. 
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry's trade group, estimates that 17.1 million guns have been sold between January and August with 4.84 million Americans purchasing their first guns. The sales—especially to new owners—represent a significant shift in American attitudes on gun ownership. 
"This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community," Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. 
Wex Gunworks in Delray Beach, Fla., has been "slammed" with demand from first-time buyers, according to owner Brandon Wexler. Wexler attributed the surge—which threatened to cause supply shortages—to uncertainty fostered by the coronavirus pandemic and rioting in cities across the country.

With Democrats defunding law enforcement and sitting on their hands while rioters are destroying property, causing injury and deaths, the only recourse left for people is to defend themselves by heading to their local gun stores and buy guns.

To read more, go here.

Birthday Girl

Today marks Sierra's 5th birthday.

Above, Sierra's Hawthorne SPCA baby photo from October 2015.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

RNC Day 3: Fort McHenry

Tonight's virtual Republican National Convention took place at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, the site where the battle during the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen our national anthem took place.

Vice President Mike Pence, after other speakers, delivered his vice presidential nomination acceptance speech.

Following his speech, he was joined on the stage by President and Melania Trump. I managed to take a few screen shots during this.

Indoor Dining To Resume Saturday

Above, Earl's Family Restaurant in Gallup last year. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The governor's health order is due to expire Friday, so she is going to hold a news conference tomorrow to announce a new, but modified, health order that will take effect Saturday in New Mexico.

According to KFOX:
The state’s current public health orders expire on Friday, following which the following changes, among others, will be implemented:

  • Houses of worship may operate at 40 percent of maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, an increase from 25 percent, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Houses of worship may, as before, conduct services outdoors or provide services through audiovisual means.
  • Food and drink establishments (including restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops or other similar establishments) may provide indoor dining service at 25 percent of maximum occupancy, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices.
  • Food and drink establishments may continue to provide outdoor dining options, carryout and delivery services, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Tables – inside or outside – must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table.

Of course, this really isn't enough as many restaurants and other businesses are permanently closing thanks to the governor's Draconian health orders.

Speaking of which, the New Mexico Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments right now on the indoor dining ban.

To read more, go here.

Bette Midler Attacks Melania Trump

But, she ain't getting away with it.

A response:

A Good Soaking

Above, the front yard this morning. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We received a good soaking yesterday afternoon from a monsoon storm that came through.

It also rained overnight, which also helps with our dry conditions. The deck was still wet.

We had a nice lightning display since the cell was directly overhead. More will be coming today and tomorrow (we hope).

Above, the deck this morning. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Hopefully, the storm made its way up into Colorado to assist the firefighters with several big wildfires.

The forecast from the National Weather Service:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Widespread haze. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Light and variable wind becoming northwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 9pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 60. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

A Symbol of This Campaign

Above, Nicholas Sandmann at the conclusion of his RNC video.

From Fox News:
Nick Sandmann, an 18-year-old graduate from Covington Catholic High School who was at the center of a nationwide viral video controversy, lambasted "cancel culture" in his speech to the Republican National Convention, calling on the country to join President Trump in calling the media out.

"I wouldn’t be canceled. I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me and won a personal victory. While much more must be done, I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage," he said. "I know President Trump hopes for that too." 
He continued: "In November, I believe this country must unite around a president who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts. I believe we must join with a president who will challenge the media to return to objective journalism." 
In 2019, a video of Sandmann, wearing a red Make America Great Again Hat, went viral, showing the teenager standing directly in front of Native American elder Nathan Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Sandmann had been on a trip from his Kentucky school to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life on Jan. 18, 2019. 
When the video was initially released, many perceived Sandmann to have been mocking Phillips by smirking inches from his face, while the Omaha tribe leader sang and played a drum. But full footage showed a more complicated image where the Covington students were not the instigators: Phillips had actually walked up to the Covington school kids after another group began taunting the teenagers.  
Earlier this year, Sandmann settled for undisclosed amounts with both CNN and The Washington Post.
To read the full article, go here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

RNC Day Two: "Land of Opportunity"

Above, Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation speaks from Shiprock, New Mexico.

Tonight's Republican National Convention theme is "Land of Opportunity".

It will feature a number of interesting speakers and their experiences in life before and after President Trump's election in 2016.

Speakers include:

Richard Beasley, a former F.B.I. agent.

Former Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron of Kentucky.

Cissie Graham Lynch, the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Rev. Billy Graham.

Ryan Holets, a detective in the Albuquerque Police Department.

Abby Johnson, an anti-abortion activist.

Jason Joyce, a lobsterman in Maine.

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser.

Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation.

Mary Ann Mendoza, whose son was killed in a car crash with an undocumented immigrant.

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez of Florida.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Cris Peterson, the chief financial officer of a dairy farm in Minnesota.

John Peterson, the owner of Schuette Metals in Rothschild, Wis.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Jon Ponder, the founder and chief executive of HOPE for Prisoners.

Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa.

Nicholas Sandmann, a teenager from a Catholic high school in Kentucky who was involved in a confrontation with a Native American man at a protest last year.

Eric Trump, the president’s son and an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

Melania Trump, the First Lady

July RV Shipments Set New Record

Above, The Beast at Graceland RV Park in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Another indicator of the current boom in RV sales is the record number of new unit shipments set last month.

RV Travel reported:
RVing continues to be red hot, with dealers reporting record sales. 
Posting the highest July shipment numbers in four decades, the RV Industry Association’s monthly survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments ended July with 43,035 units, an increase of 53.5% from the 28,044 units shipped in July 2019. 
“RV shipments continue to show impressive gains again this month,” said RV Industry Association Chairman Garry Enyart. “Reflective of the booming RV sales across the country and the appeal of RVs to a wide range of consumers, production is up this month for both the towable and motorized segments of the industry.”

To read more, go here

Jim Geraghty: The GOP Still Has Some Fight Left in It!

Someone else besides me thought that the Republican National Convention started out surprisingly strong last night. There were a lot of damn good speakers. It was a sharp contrast to the Democrats' "Temple of Doom" of last week.

Jim Geraghty of "The Morning Jolt" in National Review has an interesting take on opening night.

Here's some snippets:
On the menu today: a surprisingly strong opening night for the Republican National Convention... 
Most Democrats probably didn’t watch the Republican National Convention last night. Those that did probably thought it was schlocky, jingoistic, dishonest, and ridiculous nonsense. 
But any Democrat who understood that the convention wasn’t aimed at convincing them — a fact that vast swaths of Washington political journalists are just incapable of grasping — should watch the programming and feel just a little less confident about November. Not panicking, just a recognition that the Trump campaign and GOP still have some fight left in them, and a message that could easily resonate with large-enough pluralities in enough states to reach 270 electoral votes. 
I still would have cut Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle from the lineup, who inexplicably shouted most of her speech to an empty chamber. The best case for the president comes from non-famous or lesser-known citizens such as nurse Amy Johnson Ford, Natalie Harp discussing right-to-try, Democratic state representative Vernon Jones of Georgia, Andrew Pollack, the father of a Parkland school-shooting victim talking about the “scumbag gunman” who killed his daughter Meadow, and Maximo Alvarez, speaking bluntly about the realty of life under a socialist regime. 
Joe Biden still enjoys a lot of advantages. This is a country still grappling with a serious pandemic that restricts and impedes normal American life including schooling for children, the national unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, and too many cities are still beset by urban violence and riots. This is a tough environment for any incumbent, and every day, Donald Trump finds new ways to keep the Democratic Party’s base highly motivated. 
But you can start to see how Biden could blow this. No American will be enthusiastic for the prospect of a President Biden ordering another national shutdown to mitigate the spread of the virus. Teachers’ unions are infuriating usually friendly parents who want their kids to back into classrooms in some fashion. (Jim Jordan: “They won’t let you go to school, but they’ll let you go loot.“) A full-throated denunciation of the riots as undermining the cause of racial and social justice wouldn’t cost Biden a single vote he needs, but he just won’t do it. Trump and the Republicans are embracing patriotism almost to the point of self-parody; Democrats are arguing that the country has taken a terrible wrong turn and is constantly falling short of its values. The country is sick of political correctness and cancel culture and a discourse of constant rage and grievances. Last night, Tim Scott painted America as a land of unlimited opportunity: “Our family went from cotton to Congress.” Even friendly voices are recognizing that Biden’s message is lightest on “a concrete economic plan for average families.” And we haven’t even gotten to guns, illegal immigration, or judges. 
Right now, you would rather be Biden with a big lead than be Trump and behind. But Democrats felt really good about their chances after a widely praised convention in late summer four years ago, and we all remember how that turned out.
To read the full article, go here

KSAT: 5 Benefits of RV Travel

Above, two Coachmen Orion Class C RVs under transport at a New Mexico Flying J. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Have a major case of "cabin fever"? If so, you aren't alone as many others of Americans are feeling it and are itching to travel.

There is currently a boom in RV sales and rentals. I have been seeing a lot of transported RVs at the local Flying J travel center en route to dealers in Arizona or California, so it must be true. One can tell if a RV is being transported by the special Indiana plate on the RV.

There are five benefits of traveling in a RV according to KSAT (San Antonio) and they have an article about it.

They begin it with:
Are you itching to get out of town this fall? 
As we have been spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of us want to get back to normalcy and travel again. 
Whether you want to explore a state park or drive coast to coast with a luxurious excursion, there are options to consider to help with the transportation concern. 
If you don’t feel comfortable flying or staying in a hotel, here are five benefits of traveling in an RV to consider:

To see what the five benefits are, go here

Smith & Wesson’s Parent Sees Opportunity With New RV Vacation Boom

Above, a campground in Ely, Nevada. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

With more Americans shunning plane travel and ship cruises due to the pandemic, they are favoring instead taking road trip vacations, causing a boom in RV sales.

Seeing this as a great opportunity, the parent company of gunmaker Smith & Wesson is moving further into outdoor gear by splitting into two public companies.

According to Skift:
American Outdoor Brands, the parent corporation that makes Smith & Wesson firearms, split into two public companies on Monday, with one of them selling accessories for outdoor recreation — the rare growing category in travel. 
American Outdoor Brands will offer accessories, such as shovels and knives for camping, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. The other business, named Smith & Wesson, will sell guns. 
The split in the Springfield, Massachusetts-based corporation partly highlights the growth in outdoor recreation. The move also underscores volatile shifts in the U.S. supply and demand for firearms. 
“There have been significant changes in the political climate as well as the economic, investing, and insurance markets,” Chairman Barry Monheit said in a statement. Smith & Wesson is the second only to Sturm, Ruger & Co. as the largest U.S. firearms maker by sales. 
The pandemic prompted many Americans to take road trips and go camping, with RV and recreational vehicle sales booming. 
To read more, go here.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Blast From The Past

Above, three "yutes": Arleigh Kerr, yours truly and Gary Julian. Photo by Ken Huthmaker(?).

Today, I received in the mailbox the above photograph. As Glenn Thornhill is clearing out stuff in preparation of moving, he came across the photo (how he ended up with it is unknown to him). Pictured are (from left) Arleigh Kerr, yours truly and Gary Julian. All of us were in our 20s when the photo was taken.

It looks like a print from Assemblyman Paul Bannai's administrative assistant Ken Huthmaker. He was an ex-press photographer who shot in black & white. Obviously, it was taken at a convention.

At first, my thought was that it was taken at a Young Republicans or California College Republicans convention. But if it was a Huthmaker photo, it is more likely from a California State Central Committee Convention in San Diego at the Town & Country Hotel (September 1975) or the convention in April 1976 in Fresno.

In either case, it was during the California Primary campaign as I am wearing a "RSD" button (for Robert Spencer Douglass, who was running for the 51st Assembly). We had a lot of conventioneers wearing them by saying they meant "Reagan Should Declare" against President Gerald Ford.

I don't recall ever seeing this photo before.

40th Red Rock Balloon Rally Postponed Until 2021

Above, last year's Red Rock Balloon Rally. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The annual Red Rock Balloon Rally that is held at Red Rock Park near Gallup, New Mexico has been postponed/cancelled for this year.

Instead, the 40th Red Rock Balloon Rally will be held in 2021.

According to the official website:
December 3rd-5th, 2021 
The 40th Annual Red Rock Balloon Rally has been postponed until December 3-5, 2021.  What began as a small but earnest effort by four individuals to share the unique flying challenge offered in the incredible red rock formations east of Gallup, New Mexico has grown into the second largest balloon rally in North America, with 200 balloons. 
(with only a small $5.00 parking fee at events at Red Rock Park)

Drat! I was looking forward to it as I attended last year's balloon rally and had a great time.

To access the website, go here

Trump Administration Establishes Cold Case Task Force For Missing and Murdered Native Ameicans

The Trump Administration is establishing the first cold case task force to investigate missing and murdered American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

Seven offices are being established to handle Indian Country cold cases, with the first in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Indian Life reported:
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.-In late July, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney established the first of seven offices dedicated to solving cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. The first office is located in Bloomington, Minn. 
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Crime Information Center, there are more than 1,400 unresolved American Indian and Alaska Native missing person cases in the U.S. Of that, 136 cases are in Minnesota. 
To address this crisis, President Trump signed Executive Order 13898 on November 26, 2019. 
"President Trump created a task force to support Tribal communities, reduce the staggering number of violent crimes committed against American Indians and Alaska Natives and close out hundreds of cold cases," said Secretary Bernhardt. "The Trump Administration is committed to justice and working alongside these Tribal communities to restore peace and prosperity." 
"While visiting the great state of Minnesota with Secretary Bernhardt, we are advancing two top priorities for the Administration: The Pledge to America's Workers and supporting American Indian and Alaska Native communities," said Advisor to the President Trump. "We are furthering President Trump's commitment to forgotten men and women across our country and the Administration's efforts to ensure that all Americans can live with dignity and the promise of a brighter future." 
President Trump's executive order established the Operation Lady Justice Task Force, a multi-agency effort co-chaired by Secretary Bernhardt and U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr. Its purpose is to enhance the operation of the criminal justice system and address the staggering number of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Natives in Tribal communities.

To read more, go here

Fire South of Old Faithful Closes Grand Loop Road

Above, Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Wildfires have been breaking out throughout the western United States, many of them have been caused by lightning igniting dry brush.

One such fire is about 3 miles from Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide:
Smoke from the Lone Star Fire, ignited this weekend by lightning in Yellowstone National Park, has closed the Grand Loop Road to traffic. 
The fire was reported around 5:15 p.m. Saturday about 3 miles south of Old Faithful geyser. It’s estimated at 300 acres and at this time is not burning directly toward the complex of buildings at Old Faithful.

Park Service staffers are implementing protection measures for the Old Faithful area in case the fire moves that way, and resources have been ordered, according to a release sent Sunday morning by the park’s public communications department. 
The Grand Loop Road is closed between Kepler Cascades and West Thumb. The Lone Star Geyser trail is closed as well, along with backcountry campsites OA1, OA2 and OA3. The road between Canyon and Tower Junction is also closed this season. 
Lightning has been prevalent throughout the park this week, and fire danger is very high. Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry.
To read more, go here

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