From the Associated Press:
An 11th lawsuit has been filed over the deaths of 20 people in the flooding of the Albert Pike Campground in southwestern Arkansas.
The Texarkana Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/MvStzd) that the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texarkana, Ark., alleges “malicious and willful” neglect on the part of the U.S. Forest Service in the death of 38-year-old Eric Wayne Sultz of Nash, Texas.
The government has asked that the lawsuits be dismissed — claiming it has sovereign immunity and that state law protects it against claims filed by survivors and families of flood victims.
The victims from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas drowned after heavy rain fell the night of June 10, 2010, and the Little Missouri River rose from three to more than 20 feet in a matter of hours.
Alberta’s provincial campgrounds are getting a $24 million facelift this season.
The Alberta government is spending the money this year to modernize several of its campgrounds, as the number of people using holiday trailers steadily outnumbers the tents, cbc.ca reported.
The province’s improvements include adding power and water hookups to its campgrounds, adding nicer washrooms and bigger sites for RVs, says Katrina Bluetchen of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.
“We’re interested in keeping pace with what campers are interested in. So, for us, that’s meant making some changes to our parks,” says Bluetchen.
Last long weekend, provincial reservations were up 25 percent from the year before.
From the East Oregonian:
Hermiston City Council may consider a tax on hotel, motel and RV park stays in order to fund a marketing campaign for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, the EOTEC Authority chairman announced Friday.
Chairman Ed Brookshier, also the Hermiston city manager, said he would wait on an OK from the EOTEC hotel and marketing subcommittee before bringing the tax proposal to the Hermiston City Council on July 23. If approved, the tax would take effect Aug. 1. Brookshier said he expects to hear from the subcommittee by July 20.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
The campgrounds, trails and picnic areas of Mount Charleston will begin receiving makeovers throughout the summer, which will leave many of them closed for construction, U.S. Forest Service officials said in a release.
Officials said plans include adding picnic spots, improving gathering spaces and building new pathways among other improvements for visitors to enjoy. Construction will take place at Cathedral Rock Picnic Area, Desert View Overlook, Kyle Canyon Campground and Lovell Canyon Road.
Officials said Cathedral Rock Picnic Area is currently closed and will reopen in early 2014. They plan to add 68 picnic spots, two group picnic spots, a new gathering space, water system and toilet facilities. They also said there would also be a larger parking area for easier access.
Kyle Canyon Campground will be the next to close on July 21 to renovate the picnic area and won’t reopen again until 2013, officials said. Officials said the entire northern end of Lovell Canyon Road after mile 6 will be closed for a month beginning after Labor Day.
Desert View Overlook along Deer Creek Highway will also receive more accessible parking and a 1,100-foot-long pathway taking visitors through the vistas along the valley.
One man was hospitalized after lightning struck a tree at the Knoll Lake Campground about 90 miles from Flagstaff, Coconino County officials said.
Thunderstorms rolled through the area Friday afternoon (July 13) and a significant amount of lightning was reported around the campground, said Brady Smith, public information officer for the Coconino National Forest.
The man was reportedly alert and conscious when medical personnel arrived, officials said. He was injured after lightning struck a tree in the area, but his injuries were not specified.
The injured man was taken to a hospital by Guardian Medical Transport, officials said.
Campgrounds in the Tonto National Forest and Kaibab National Forest reopened on July 14 after officials decided to lift fire restrictions.
The Houston Mesa and Horse Camp campgrounds at the Tonto National Forest reopened at 6 a.m. on Saturday, forest officials said. The area was closed after a series of fires broke out in the area on June 21.
All other parts of the Tonto National Forest’s temporary fire closure still remain in effect.