Welcome to a new online series we call ‘Off the Beaten Path’, where we showcase the many inspirational folks from across the Blue Ridge who have stepped away from the mainstream path of everyday existence to live a more intentional and adventurous life. From thru-hikers and van-lifers to off-the-grid warriors and tiny house disciples, we’ll be bringing you the true stories behind some of the region’s most interesting and inspiring characters.This time around we’re featuring the incredible global sojourn of a family of four from Asheville, North Carolina. These days Maria Rusafova is back in her Asheville home readjusting to normal life, but for some 450 days she and her husband Kuba Markulis and their two children lived a nomadic, globetrotting lifestyle, staying in hostels and camping while soaking in the cultures of such countries as Laos, Cambodia, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, South Africa, and many, many more.“One day I woke up with the idea to take the family around the world,” Maria, who is an architect by trade, writes in a meticulously well-kept blog that chronicles nearly every aspect of the life-changing journey. “It surprised me that (my husband) Kuba cheered me on. The kids—8 & 10—were psyched. Together we told all of our friends about our plan, to prevent us from flaking out, and then spent two years working our bums off and saving while waiting for our US passport application to get approved (originally I am from Bulgaria and Kuba is from Poland).”Read on for Maria’s first-hand account of this epic family odyssey.♦♦♦BRO: What inspired you to leave home and take up a life on the road?Maria Rusfova: Taking up a life on the road was a spontaneous decision. We had happy lives here in Asheville – the kids were going to a great little school, we were content with our architecture business which was picking up pace and we had a wonderful community of friends. Still, I was itching to leave it all for a while and explore the world.I felt like our life was too fast paced and we weren’t spending a lot of quality time as a family, but most of all I was suffering from wanderlust. Selfishly I wanted to run away from chores and everyday responsibilities and live a lifestyle of surprise and adventures. At the time the idea seemed like a dream. Now, two months after coming home, the 21 month trip seems even more like a dream that the four of us shared. I am happy that we decided to keep a blog as we managed to keep a tangible memory, however tiny, of what we saw and experienced in words and photos.BRO: Where did your journey begin, and what kinds of places did you discover along the way?MR: We started the trip in Asia getting a taste of Japan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. At first our pace of travel was fast – we were curious and hungry to experience as much as we could. With time we slowed down and started to veer away from the backpacker trail that sneaked through this part of the world.We noticed that we prefer visiting less popular spots and spending more time in one place, lingering and meeting locals instead of other travelers. By the time we reached India we were very comfortable traveling with no idea of what is coming next and where the road would take us. We truly started living in the moment. This blog post captures our feelings 6 months into our journey.BRO: Where did you stay while on the road? Was there a lot of camping involved or were you mainly in hotels and hostels?MR: Our accommodations varied. We never stayed in hotels, instead we did tons of camping (Africa and South America), couch surfed, crashed at hostels, and guest houses. Whenever we could we stayed with friends we met on the road or supported local home stays which brought us closer to the culture of the place we were visiting. This way of travel was not only more rewarding but also cheaper.BRO: Of all your extensive traveling, was there one place that you and your family enjoyed the most?MR: There is no such place. We often hold a sweet spot for a place because of a certain memory or a friend we made or a food we tasted, but I can’t even begin to rate them all.BRO: Where did you find the best food on your journey?MR: The food was such a highlight of our trip and such an incredible way to explore a new culture and get immediate connection with the people preparing the meals, but it is impossible to rate our food experiences.I was surprised how easy it was to find good food anywhere in the world, but if I close my eyes a few meals stand out – the incredible feast prepared by our Sri Lanka friend in Colombo, our very first meal on the road prepared in a tiny Tokyo restaurant by an older lady, the colorful food cooked by Anisha, our hostess in Kerala India, our friend Mashka’s cooking in South Africa, the Banh mi sandwiches we got addicted to in Hoi Ann, Vietnam.Of course there was the fresh pad thai on the streets of Thailand and the Bulgarian food in a little restaurant in Istanbul run by a Macedonian man who became our friend and gave us extras of everything. The list is endless and we will need hours to recall all the fantastic meals we have had along the way.Before flying home we spent two weeks in Dominican Republic with my brother’s family and in terms of food these two weeks had the greatest impact on our current lifestyle. Our sister in law is a great cook and she taught us how to bake bread, make simple and healthy meals and best of all bake delicious black bean cupcakes!BRO: How did you get around?MR: We traveled by buses, cars, rickshaws, scooters, bicycles, boats, pick up trucks – anything that moves. We took a few flights only, the rest of the time we traveled by land. We also walked a whole month in Nepal and took short hiking trips in pretty much every country we visited.BRO: What advice would you give other families that want to follow in your footsteps and take up the mobile, travel-based lifestyle?MR: I would advice them to embark on a journey like ours with no preconceived expectations and notions of how things are supposed to be. Enjoy every moment with all the good, bad, or ugly an adventure like this would inevitably bring you and keep an open mind.BRO: What is the most challenging or trying thing that happened along the way?MR: Nothing specific comes to mind. Mainly it was the daily challenge of having to constantly adapt to what was happening around us and to search for balance and home whenever we went. Yet overcoming those same daily challenges gave us an immense feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. We learned to cherish challenges and difficulties as they provided not only entertainment and stories to recall, but also invaluable lessons of patience, compassion and resilience.BRO: You are back at home in Asheville, North Carolina now. Tell is about your life here and where you plan to go next.MR: Everything in our life is back to how it was but a little different. The kids go to new schools, we work for ourselves now and life is slowly getting busier and denser. We are determined though to keep fostering the strong family bond this trip gave us and make time for each other and we would love to be able to travel during the school breaks. We are going back to Dominican Republic for Christmas, Cuba in April and hopefully during the summer we would either hike the AT or visit Spain – the family is divided in two on that decision.BRO: Has it been difficult to readjust to a traditional lifestyle? How has the journey changed the way you approach your everyday life in Asheville?MR: It has been surprisingly easy to readjust back to living a traditional life style. We enjoy having our kitchen, our kitty and all of our friends back in addition to our beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Yes, we did go through a culture shock, but we consider ourselves lucky to call Asheville home. In terms of how we approach life differently – we can live with less and we try to leave as much free time so we can all pursue the things that make us happy.After the trip we don’t take for granted what we have and are full of gratitude about all the opportunities for growth we have experienced as a family.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, State Employees’ Credit Union($45.2B, Raleigh, NC) created a CUSO that uses the resources and ethos of the nation’s second-largest credit union to turn foreclosures into single-family rentals and owner-occupied homes.The property management CUSO is named SECU*RE and its mission is to take SECU’s real estate owned (REO) properties, rehab them, and then rent or sell them. The result is less loss to the credit union itself and, just as critically, more affordable housing and less neighborhood decay in the communities in which those houses are located.As of Jan. 1, SECU*RE owned 1,546 properties with a market value of $221 million. And as of July 1, it was managing 1,302 occupied rental units.Here is more about the CUSO from Mark Kretzschmar, an 18-year employee at SECU who has been senior vice president of property management governance for nearly three years. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 9-year-old Baldwin girl was fatally attacked by a Pitbull in Elmont over the weekend, Nassau County police said.Two officers responded to a 911 call reporting a dog attacking a child in the backyard of a Holland Avenue home, where upon arrival, they found the dog attacking the victim, Amiyah Dunston, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.When a third officer walked through the house and opened the back door, the dog stopped attacking the girl and charged toward the officer, who fired several gunshots, killing the dog, police said.The victim, who was visiting the home at the time of the incident, was taken to Franklin Hospital, where she died three hours later.The owner of the dog, 29-year-old Carlyle Arnold of Elmont, was arrested on an unrelated charge of violation of an order of protection.
Arsenal take on Sheffield United on Monday night (Picture: Getty)‘Do I feel established in the first team? I don’t know yet, I just try to work hard, give my all and put in a good performance.‘Hopefully after I’ve put in that performance I can build on it. If the boss trusts me to play I’ll always do my best.’Arsenal travel to Sheffield aiming to reclaim third spot in the Premier League after Chelsea and Leicester City leapfrogged them over the weekend.Should Lacazette go straight back into Arsenal’s side?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your results Advertisement Saka has been given more playing time with Lacazette injured (Picture: Getty)Bukayo Saka is hopeful he will remain in the Arsenal starting eleven after the return of Alexandre Lacazette.The Arsenal striker is in line to make his injury comeback against Sheffield United on Monday night.Saka, 18, has been playing at left wing in Lacazette’s absence and the young attacker thinks he has earned the trust of Unai Emery.‘It’s always good to have all our best players available, all of us competing makes us push to play better and better,’ Saka told football.london.ADVERTISEMENT Arsenal star Bukayo Saka feels he’s earned trust of Unai Emery in Alexandre Lacazette’s absence Coral BarryMonday 21 Oct 2019 10:52 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.5kShares Comment Advertisement Lacazette’s imminent return may push Saka out of the team (Picture: Getty)‘If one player is injured then others get an opportunity but I want everyone to come back and do the best for Arsenal.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘The boss knows what I can do, what the other players can do. Different games require different players, but I feel like I’ve shown the boss he can trust me.‘Whatever game he puts me in I’ll always give it my all.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘The boss has really trusted me and put a lot of faith in me,’ he continued.‘I just try to work hard in training every day, he has given me the opportunity to work in this team.‘I’ve learned so much from the other players and it’s showing on the pitch.
Austria’s €2bn Vorsorgekasse VBV has announced plans to reform its fee structure from next year, rewarding people who leave their money in the system for a longer period.Under the new structure, members will pay 1.9% in fees for the first five years, 1.4% after that and, from the tenth year onwards, 1%.“This is the legal minimum for fees in Vorsorgekassen,” VBV said.One of VBV’s competitors, the €1.45bn Valida Plus Vorsorgekasse, told IPE it would lower its own fees from 1.9% to 1.5% from January 2017 for all members – regardless of how long they have been contributing to the Vorsorgekasse. Since the implementation of these severance pay funds in 2003, Austrian companies have been required to make contributions for each employee amounting to 3.5% of salary.Employees can then take the money out after three years with the company.Because the system is not officially designed as retirement provision, many people do take out the money or leave it dispersed over various Vorsorgekassen after changing jobs.To date, the 10 Vorsorgekassen on the market have collected more than €6.5bn in assets.But, in order to gain new assets, the funds must convince companies to change providers.Last year, Valida Plus managed to gain the major Austrian retailer Spar, with 22,000 employees, as a new client.In other news, Valida Consulting has taken on the administration of the supplementary pension plan of Austrian Public Accountants (Wirtschaftstreuhänder).The pension plan of undisclosed size, to which all members of the Chamber have to make contributions, had re-tendered the administration mandate.The previous admin company was Concisa , a subsidiary of the Bonus Pensionskasse.
Spanish prosecutors announced on Monday that they had filed a tax fraud suit against Carlo Ancelotti, accusing the former Real Madrid coach of having hidden a seven-figure sum from the country’s tax authorities. Ancelotti is accused of hiding over one million euros of secondary earnings from the Spanish tax authorities Prosecutors said the suit had been filed against Ancelotti, the current Everton manager, for two alleged incidences of tax fraud in 2014 and 2015 totalling 1.062 million euros ($1.19 million). In order for a prosecution to go ahead a judge will have to accept the case before eventually summoning Ancelotti, who won the 2014 Champions League and Club World Cup for Real in his two seasons in the Spanish capital. According to prosecutors Ancelotti declared his salary earnings from his time at Real but not “earnings from image rights, as well as those deriving from his relationship with the club and related contracts from other brands”. Prosecutors also claim that he did so in order to “avoid his obligations with the public treasury”, accusing him of relying on a “complex network of shell companies” in an attempt to hide the identity of the beneficiary of those earnings from the tax authorities. Loading… In recent years Spain has pursued some of the country’s biggest football stars, including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, formerly of Real Madrid. Messi paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term. Read Also: La Liga: Barcelona boss Setien questions use of VAR Last year Ronaldo, now at Italian side Juventus, was handed a suspended two-year prison sentence for committing tax fraud while he was in Madrid. The Portugal forward also agreed to pay 18.8 million euros in fines and back taxes to settle the case, according to judicial sources. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享
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Mumbai: The Indian cricket team management has invested in a player load management system to help enhance their performance ahead of the World Cup. “The BCCI has enlisted the help of GPS performance tracking and analysis to make sure Ravi Shastri’s squad is in peak physical condition ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the end of May,” a statement said. “A deal has been struck with STATSports.The UK-based sports tech company are global leaders in the industry with a renowned client list which includes the national soccer teams of Brazil, England, Germany, Portugal & clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and many more,” the statement read. The high-resolution units are worn in a baselayer vest and sit in a fitted pocket between the shoulder blades. They measure hundreds of physical metrics including distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, and dynamic stress load.And, vitally, allow the fitness team to carefully manage players’ workloads, and injury rehabilitation programs. Pathan, who has got over 100 Test wickets to his name, has not featured in the Indian team since a T20I against South Africa in 2012. He has also not been a part of the Indian Premier League over the past two seasons. He managed just one game for the Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017 and before that, he was part of the Gujarat Lions and played four times in the 2016 season. IANS Also Read: SPORTS NEWS
The National Basketball Players Association is also part of the talks with Disney.Games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a massive campus on the Disney property near Orlando. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the conversations were still “exploratory,” and that the site would be used for practices and housing as well.The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games simultaneously and has been home to, among other things, the Jr. NBA World Championship in recent years. ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners.Space won’t be an issue, even if Major League Soccer — which is also in talks to resume its season at Disney — is there at the same time as the NBA. The entire Disney complex is roughly 40 square miles, with nearly 24,000 hotel rooms owned or operated by Disney within the campus.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic: Associated Press May 23, 2020 Update on the latest sports — The NHL Players Association has accepted a proposal on a 24-team playoff format, but there are other items to discuss in the league’s bid to resume play. Those questions include potential game locations, when players can return to their respective teams and what non-playoff teams will be allowed to do during what could potentially become a 10-month break between games. Under the plan proposed by the NHL/NHLPA Return To Play committee, the top four teams in each conference would play each other in a mini-tournament for seeding. The remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup. The proposal will now go to the NHL board of governors. If approved, it would effectively end the season of the league’s bottom seven teams.— Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at a hospital. The Hall of Fame player and former New York Knicks center says the virus is serious and should not be taken lightly, adding that he wanted to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of themselves and their loved ones. Ewing also thanked the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. The school said the 57-year-old Ewing is the only member of its men’s program who has contracted the coronavirus.— Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that the soccer league in Spain will be allowed to resume June 8. It’s not clear when the first games will be held. The top tier, La Liga, has said it wants to resume play on June 12. There has been no play in the top tier due to the coronavirus crisis since March 12. Teams have recently returned to training at club facilities, but with players practicing individually. Barcelona is top of the league with a two-point lead over Real Madrid after 27 of 38 rounds.— Around 13,000 cardboard cutouts helped fill the stands at a key soccer match in Germany Saturday. Fans took pictures at home and paid for a cardboard cutout to be placed in the stands at the Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) game in Dusseldorf, which could help decide Champions League qualification. The effort didn’t help the home team much. Bayer Leverkusen beat host Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1.— The World of Outlaws raced in front of live fans for the first time in months at a Sprint Car event in Missouri Friday night. Brad Sweet edged his brother-in-law Kyle Larson, who is back racing dirt cars after losing his Cup ride over a racial slur. In qualifying for the 30-lap feature at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway, Larson became the first Sprint Car driver to break the 10-second barrier at the one-third mile, high-banked oval with a lap of 9.995 seconds. The Outlaws returned last week in Iowa at Knoxville Raceway for a race run without fans.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNBA talking with Disney about resuming seasonUNDATED (AP) — The NBA is in talks with The Walt Disney Company on a single-site scenario for a resumption of play in Central Florida in late July. It’s the clearest sign yet that the league believes the season can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.
When Victor Anichebe was excluded from the 23-man list for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by, Lars Lagerback many cried foul over the exclusion of the one-time Everton striker on the pretext that he was nursing an injury, which his club coach denied. And by the next Mundial in Rio four years later, his wish to don the colours of the national team did not attract sympathy from fans; even as spate of injuries denied him of regular shirt in his club. It therefore came as little surprise when Anichebe on Mondayannounced his departure from West Bromwich Albion. In this report Kunle Adewale writes on next move for the former Nigerian internationals.Victor Anichebe on Monday announced he would be leaving West Bromwich Albion when his contract expires next month. He wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all the WBAFC official fans for the support during my time at the club! I wish you all the best for the future.” The 28-year-old signed from Everton in September 2013, played 63 times for West Brom, scoring nine goals. He started just three Premier League games this season and failed to score a single goal after appearing in 14 matches in all competitions.A former Nigerian international, Paul Okoku, said he was not surprised by the decision of Anichebe to exit West Brom.“Anichebe had all the potentials to be a great player but injury never allowed him. If you look at the way he started, if not for persistent injury, he would have been one of the top players in world football today. Any other player would have bowed out long ago, but not Anichebe. He is a fighter and really gave it a real fight. But what one can one do when a nagging injury would not allow you to play?“Anybody that has been following his career would not be really surprised by his decision to go as a free agent. He hadn’t had time to play this season. It is a shame that injury did not allow him to do what he knows how to do best. Maybe the Super Eagles would have fared better in their last two World Cup with a fully fit Anichebe in their fold,” the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations silver winner told Global Soccer.The striker, who departs as a free agent, has struggled to hold down a place under Tony Pulis and started only three Premier League games this season. His uninterested demeanour and despondent body language has often been more telling than his contributions to the team.He was the star of the show in the 1-0 win over Newcastle in December, on what was his first Premier League start of the season. But he was a pale imitation of that player and virtually anonymous in the 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park less than two months later. Anichebe was equally as lethargic during cameos from the bench at Southampton and more recently at Sunderland. His last appearance in Albion stripes was in the 1-0 defeat at home to Watford on April 16.Much was expected when Steve Clarke signed him for a fee reportedly rising to £6 million in September 2013. But the former Everton trainee endured a slow start to his career at the Hawthorns and did not score in his first eight games.The powerful forward hit a purple patch midway through the campaign, scoring three goals in seven games. He never kicked on and ended the season without a goal in his last nine matches.In the summer of 2014, Anichebe underwent surgery for a persistent groin injury that would hamper him during the 2014/15 campaign. The injury flared up in December 2014, but he shrugged it off and appeared to enjoy a new lease of life when Pulis was appointed as Alan Irvine’s successor and scored in the 7-0 FA Cup hammering of Gateshead in January 2015, in what was Pulis’ first game in full control of the team.Anichebe bagged a brace later that month in the 2-1 cup win at local rivals Birmingham City in what was arguably the pinnacle of his Albion career.Pulis picked him on a regular basis and used him as a substitute in the first game of the 2015/16 season. But the Welshman was not enamoured with Anichebe’s overall fitness as evidenced in his exile from the team.Big Vic was not seen again until late September when he started the 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Norwich as a holding midfielder. Another three months elapsed before Anichebe, capped 11 times by his country, returned to the pitch against Newcastle.A flurry of substitute appearances materialised early in 2016, but Anichebe did little to rescue his career or earn a new contract.Popular with his teammates if not the fans, Anichebe leaves having scored nine goals in 63 games.Before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, former national team coach, Stephen Keshi, was toying with the idea of persuading Anichebe to end his international exile and the former Everton man was then not ruling out a comeback for the finals in Brazil.“Right now I’m playing well, feeling fit, strong and helping my team in the situation we are currently in at the moment. If I continue to play well from now to the end of the season then we can take it from there. I’m grateful the coach says he is willing to give me a chance, but I think everybody in Nigeria and around the world knows what I can do. Yes, the World Cup only comes once every four years and it could be my last opportunity – this is something I’m aware of but I haven’t spoken to anybody,” Anichebe has said.In his last appearance for the Super Eagles, a 2-0 win over Madagascar in 2011, he suffered a groin problem. Since then he opted to concentrate on securing regular first-team football at club level. That decision led to criticisms from some Nigerian supporters but Anichebe rejected suggestions that he did not care about his country.“I believe I have some good fans in Nigeria that understood and respected my decision to concentrate on getting fit. Some players would have just joined the team, not in great condition but for personal gains. I see the bigger picture in things and it’s worked for me. Nigeria also won the Nations Cup in 2013 and we got to discover other talents that we may not have got the chance to see.“So any ‘fan’ that sees me as unpatriotic is just being unfair because if you check the meaning of patriotism it’s the love and devotion you show for your country and I love Nigeria. I grew up in England but only see myself as a Nigerian and my long-term objective is a lot bigger than this because I hope to give back to my country.“Football has given me a great platform but my aim is to help young people in Nigeria, so to say I’m not patriotic is ludicrous,” he said.Anichebe is also keen to make it clear he did not withdraw from international duty because he failed to make the World Cup squad four years earlier.“I must commend the players that got Nigeria to this year’s World Cup because I did the same thing a few years ago.But then I played a friendly game and got man of the match in nearly every newspaper in Nigeria yet I still didn’t go to South Africa, which was a shame and a great disappointment. But I held no grudges and still returned to play for Nigeria before I suffered an injury. What happened in 2010 showed that some decisions obviously have no logic but that’s life at times.“The break has helped me to stay fit and enabled Nigeria the chance to discover other players,” the player cited.Born in Lagos, Anichebe was raised in Liverpool. He made his Nigeria debut in 2008 after switching allegiance from England but missed out on selection for the 2010 World Cup.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram