Peak on Appennines Highest Massif in Italy to Be Named "John Paul's Peak"

Various news sources report that a peak on the Gran Sasso is to be named “John Paul’s Peak” on May 18 — the Pope’s 85th birthday. The Gran Sasso is the highest massif in the Appennines range which runs along Italian peninsula. The articles do not give the specific coordinates of the peak to be named but report it is 2,424 metres (7,900 feet). There are several higher peaks on the massif including the highest 2,914 metre Corno Grande peak. The coordinates for Corno Grande is 42° 28′ N; 13° 34′ E
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Is New Mexico Going to Sue to Take Guadalupe Peak From Texas?

Texas/New Mexico/Oklahoma Tripoint on 103rd Meridian
New Mexico may be in the process of suing to take Guadalupe Peak back from Texas. The New Mexico Senate voted 33-0 to sue Texas for return of 603,485 acres of land three miles east of its current border to what it says should be the correct border on the 103rd meridian. New Mexico maintains the border was the result of an 1859 surveyor mistake. The bill now goes to the House.
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Poles Upset Over Plan to Give Native Name Targangil to Australia's Mount Kosciuszko

News.com.au reports that Poles are concerned over a proposal by New South Wales, Australia, to give the country’s highest point a native name. Officials said Mount Kosciuszko would still be the dominant name for the peak even if they add an Aboriginee name to it. Mount Kosciuszko was named by the Polish explorer Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki. Strzelecki and James MacArthur, who ascended the mountain together, decided to name it after the Polish freedom fighter General Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Tadeusz Kosciusko was a hero of the US War of Independence and the Polish Army Commander in Chief of a famous Polish uprising in the late 1700’s. The article did not give the new name however Wikipedia says the name is Targangil. There are numerous Google references to the name — especially a ski resort by the name in Australia’s Snowy Mountains.


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$26.5MM Suit After Black Mountain Boulder Kills Toddler

The Washington Post reports Dennis and Cindy Davidson have filed a $26.5MM suit against the mining operators after a boulder fell from Black Mountain and killed their toddler Jeremy in their home in Appalachia, Virginia. The article there is increasing resistance to strip mining which had been the live blood of the region. Now more than one in four of Appalachia’s residents lives below the poverty line. The accident occured at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2004, when an employee from A&G Coal Company was widening a road at Strip Number 13 pushed soil over a berm prompting the microwave size rock to fall 649 feet down the mountain. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy fined A&G $15,000 (the maximum $5,000 penalty for three violations — negligence for doing the work at night above occupied dwellings and using an inexperienced bulldozer operator working without adequate lighting. The Department that the maximum fines be increased to $70,000 for each incident. The Davidsons would like this to be called “Jeremy’s Law.” Coal produces more than half the electricity generated in the United States. More coal-fired power plants have been announced in the last 12 months than in the previous 12 years, according to the National Mining Association.
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Update January 11, 2005
Mark S. in the forum notes that Penn-Virginia, owners of the Black Mountain highpoint, owns the mineral rights for the mine in question is part of the suit.


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Merrill Sterler, Gracious Owner of Hawkeye Point (1930-2004)

Donna and Merrill Sterler on Hawkeye Point
Merrill Sterler, owner of the Iowa highpoint and one of the kindest men on the planet, has passed. Below is his obituary from basinelectic.com. You can read an interview Roger Rowlett conducted with the Sterlers in August 2003. You can express your opinions in the forum.

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South Carolina Buys Sassafras Summit

The Carolina Channel reports the South Carolina Natural Resources Department has bought two acres at the top of Sassafras Mountain from Duke Energy for $50,000 earlier this month. SC land next to Sassafras’ peak was protected seven years ago in the landmark Jocassee Gorges agreement that protected 32,000 acres. But the top of Sassafras was left out of the $21 million deal. Utility officials said the peak was not included because of surveying questions that have since been cleared up.

There had been several articles recently expressing concern about future of the highpoint and efforts by a developer on the North Carolina side to buy surrounding property.


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Paul Zumwalt 1912-2004

Jean Trousdale reports that Paul Zumwalt, first winner of the Jack Longacre and Vin Hoeman awards, guidebook author, and definitive friend of highpointers passed on Monday, Dec. 19.

Following is the funeral arrangements and obituary informatio for Paul Zumwalt (provided by his daughter Judy Zumwalt)
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Group Seeks Black Mountain Trail as Huge ATV Park Opens

The New York Times devoted nearly a page its Automobile section in its Dec. 17, 2004, issue for photos, maps, and reports that a group of ATV riders is pushing for a trail from Evarts to the Black Mountain summit.

Preston McLain, president of the Harlan County Ridgerunners is quoted as saying, “You’ll be able to ride from Evarts to the highest point in the state. That’s the goal. And the ride is free. That’s the way the county wants it. Say it’s to promote tourism.”
The article notes that Harlan County has become a destination for ATV riders. Harlan County is in the process of establishing a huge ATV Park. The off-road park won’t officially open until June, timed to the annual Poke Salad Festival, but local groups are already working to prepare the land. The Ridge Runners share the property with the Kentucky Mountain Crawlers, a local rock-crawling club, and both groups spend weekends clearing brush, christening trails and excavating the ancient mining and logging roads that hug the narrow ridges. In the spring the county leased a 7,000-acre parcel of land from a mining company and it plans to turn it into an off-road park. By next year the county hopes to secure another 30,000 acres, giving it the potential for a 280-mile trail


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ATC to Change Name to Appalachian Trail Conservancy

ATC to Change Name to Appalachian Trail Conservancy


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Bismarck Tribune Editorial Praises Dennis Purchase of White Butte

Bismarck Tribune Editorial Praises Dennis Purchase of White Butte


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