Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Blue Ridge Parkway Searchers Find Body Of Missing Man
On the evening of January 2nd, rangers came upon a vehicle on the parkway that was associated with a 61-year-old man who’d been reported missing from the nearby town of Staunton. A search was begun for him, but was hampered by freezing rain and thick fog.
On the following morning, an interagency search was launched that included the park, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police (including a VSP helicopter). A joint decision was subsequently made to hold off on further ground-based searches until extreme cold temperatures moved out of the area.
Twenty-six searchers and five dogs searched the area near the vehicle on January 9th. Late that morning, a body was discovered below the shoulder of the southbound lane of the parkway about a mile-and-a-half from the vehicle’s location. Evidence at the scene suggested that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
[Submitted by Kurt W. Speers, Ridge District Ranger]
NEWS AND NOTES
Southeast Region Winter Storm Causes Widespread Closures
The winter storm that has brought ice, snow, strong winds and subfreezing temperatures to most of the Deep South has caused widespread closures throughout Southeast Region.
The regional office, which closed yesterday, will remain closed throughout today. Among the parks that closed yesterday were the following – most of them will be closed at least through this morning:
- Andersonville NHS
- Andrew Johnson NHS
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Cane River Creole NHP
- Cape Hatteras NS
- Cape Lookout NS
- Charles Pinckney NHS
- Chattahoochee River NRA
- Fort Pulaski NM
- Fort Raleigh NHS
- Fort Sumter NM
- Horseshoe Bend NMP
- Jean Lafitte NHP&P
- Jimmy Carter NHS
- Kennesaw Mountain NBP
- Little River Canyon NP
- Martin Luther King, Jr. NHS
- Natchez NHP
- New Orleans Jazz NHP
- Russell Cave NM
- Selma To Montgomery NHT
- Tuskegee Airmen NHS
- Tuskegee Institute NHS
- Wright Brothers NM
Great Smoky Mountains NP remained open, but had a liberal leave policy in effect.
[Submitted by Marianne Mills]
United States Park Police New CAD Dispatch Systems Come Online
The United States Park Police recently installed a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system in their dispatch center in Washington, DC.
The Logisys Northstar CAD system will consolidate the call taking and dispatching functions of their 911 style center and will include a GIS mapping capability that will allow for more effective dispatching of officers and assets to an incident.
The CAD system communicates directly with the Department of the Interior's Incident Management Analysis and Reporting System (IMARS). This will allow for more efficient reporting, tracking and management of information related to all law enforcement incidents.
The CAD system will also provide more detailed records regarding the hundreds of incidents that the United States Park Police handles on a day-to-day basis, which will allow for better management and allocation of resources.
The Park Police dispatch center for the San Francisco Field Office, which services both Park Police and NPS ranger law enforcement operations and is a 911 primary public safety answering point (PSAP), recently upgraded its aging CAD system to the Logisys Northstar CAD system. The office is also employing the Logisys mobile data solution for interactive dispatching from dispatch center to officer in the field through mobile data computers.
[Submitted by Major David J. Mulholland, Commander, Technical Services]
Congaree National Park (SC) Congaree Holds Naturalization Ceremony
Congaree National Park’s Harry Hampton Visitor Center auditorium was packed with new citizens, friends, family and park staff for the park’s first ever naturalization ceremony on Friday, January 24th.
Twenty-eight candidates took the oath of citizenship and were presented certificates by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For most participants, the ceremony was their first visit to Congaree National Park.
The new citizens came from 20 countries, including Brazil, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Superintendent Tracy Stakely presented brief remarks during the ceremony, welcoming candidates to their national park and inviting them to experience the national park system. Students from the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy presented and retired the colors. Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Rynn Fitzpatrick and her first grade students from Rocky Creek Elementary sang patriotic songs and recited the Pledge of Allegiance for program attendees.
The ceremony was the result of months of planning and coordination with staff at the USCIS Charleston Field Office. Congaree is located halfway between South Carolina’s two USCIS field offices, making the park an ideal location to host this and future ceremonies. Local press coverage and additional photos are available online in The State newspaper.
[Submitted by Lauren Gurniewicz]
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (NY) GS-0025-11 Chief of Interpretation
Sagamore Hill NHS has issued an announcement for a chief of interpretation.
Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.
It closes on February 11th.