January 12, 2012
White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument     Photo: radzfoto/Flickr

Hikers Rescued After Man Proposes

Army, Air Force, NPS respond

Units from the U.S. Army, Air Force, National Park Service, and the Alamo West Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department activated on Monday to rescue a man and a woman who became lost in White Sands National Monument soon after becoming engaged. Russell Vandameer and Karen Renshaw were hiking with their dogs—Stitch, Suzy, and Griswald—in southern New Mexico when Vandameer asked Renshaw to marry him. Soon after, the couple realized that they were lost and called for help on a cell phone. Two Army Black Hawk helicopters, an Air Force F-22 Raptor jet, and two unmanned Air Force drones responded. One of the Black Hawk helicopters delivered the pair to safety Monday evening, following a visual identification by the F-22 pilot that was confirmed by the drones. Vandameer and Renshaw invited the crew of the Black Hawk to their wedding.

Read more at The Morning Report



Snowbowl     Photo: Sean Toyer/Flickr

Snowbowl Bans Skier for Safety Complaint

Forest Service investigating allegations

A Missoula skier says Montana Snowbowl refused to sell him a season pass after he complained about unsafe conditions on one of the mountain's runs. When his written complaints to Snowbowl went unanswered, Jim Sylvester, 57, called the Lolo Forest District office a year ago to voice his concerns about a cat track that funneled skiers and riders from the east side of the resort to the base. When Sylvester went to purchase a season pass in the spring, he was turned away as a "disruptive patron." "We didn't feel we could get into a long-term commitment with him if we weren't doing a good job running (the ski area)," Snowbowl's owner  Brad Morris told the Missoulian. Now Sylvester, who has held a season pass to the resort for 31 years, claims Snowbowl violated its permit by discriminating against him. The Forest Service's lawyer is currently investigating the allegations.

Read more at the Missoulian


Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney     Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Flickr

USOC Endorses Romney for President

Probst says candidate would boost Oly bid

United States Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, saying that the former Massachusetts governor and Salt Lake City Olympics organizer would be more likely to support a future American bid to host the Olympic Games. "If Mitt was elected President it would be a positive thing for the USOC and a potential future Olympic bid," he said. A sponsorship disagreement with the International Olympic Committee has kept the USOC, a private organization, from participating in an Olympic bid since 2009.

Read more at The Telegraph


Michael Phelps, 2008 Olympics

Michael Phelps, 2008 Olympics     Photo: marcopako/flickr

Chlorine Tied to Lung Damage in Swimmers

Elite athletes at risk for respiratory illness

A study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that elite swimmers who train in indoor chlorinated pools exhibit lung damage and airway inflammation similar to that of mild asthmatics. Researchers at the Lille 2 University of Health and Law in France compared lung tissue in 23 young elite Canadian swimmers to that of 10 mild asthmatics and 10 individuals without allergies. The athletes, who were in their early 20s, showed levels of immune cells comparable to that of the asthma group. But researchers also observed scar tissue in the athletes' lungs not found in either the healthy or asthmatic group. Fifty to 65 percent of competitive swimmers have allergies, compared to about 32 percent of the general population. "This study is the first to show direct evidence of airway damage associated with swimming in chlorinated pools," said Alfred Bernard, a toxicologist at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.

Read more at Reuters