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New “Gale Force” Roller-Coaster Gets Thumbs-Up From Riders

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiIf shrieks and screams are any way to judge the thrill factor of an amusement ride, then the new Gale Force roller-coaster at Playland’s Castaway Cove is already a blockbuster hit.Primal, high-pitched screeching filled the air above the Ocean City Boardwalk as riders got their first taste of a towering roller-coaster that is exhilarating one moment and terrifying the next.“Scary, that’s all I have to say,” 8-year-old Mia Plocinik exclaimed moments after stepping off the coaster Sunday afternoon.Her father, Chris Plocinik, of Newtown Square, Pa., chuckled at his daughter’s reaction. He loved the ride.“It was fast,” Plocinik said. “There were a lot of loop-de-loops. It is the best thing they have going now in Ocean City. They absolutely need something like this ride.”Chris Plocinik, left, joined by his family, signals his approval after riding the roller-coaster.The coaster propels riders through a series of breathtaking twists and turns at a top speed of 64 mph while zooming 125 feet high and plunging earthward at about a 90-degree drop. Riders also flip upside down and travel backwards, adding to the heart-pounding thrills.“They love it. Everything’s been positive. It’s been the best experience everyone has ever had on a roller-coaster,” said Jon Mahony, a Playland electrical mechanic for the ride.Jason Benoit, a Playland maintenance worker, said the coaster leaves most riders breathless. “There’s anything from hysterical laughter to shock,” he added.The eagerly anticipated coaster made its debut Friday evening, just in time for the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff of the bustling summer tourism season at the Jersey Shore.Gale Force serves as the new centerpiece attraction at Playland’s Castaway Cove, Ocean City’s oldest amusement park. It serves as another example of how Playland, which was founded in 1959, has evolved over the years to ratchet up the excitement level and meet the changing demands of its customers.“For the first two days, it’s been great,” Brian Hartley, Playland’s vice president, said of the early public reaction to the coaster. “So far, when people get off the ride, the first thing they say is, ‘Oh my God, it’s so fast.’”At the highest point of the roller-coaster, riders zoom up 125 feet and then make a sharp downward turn.At times, the ride gives you the sensation of free-falling, as if you’re plummeting off the side of a cliff. The ground below disappears as the coaster seemingly contorts, zigzags and swerves along the serpentine, blue track that looms above the Boardwalk at 10th Street.“It was a real adrenalin rush,” said rider Chris Christensen, 35, of Wilmington, Del. “It pushes you forward and then turns you around. But it lands you safely with a smile.”The ride doesn’t merely start, it “launches” 70 feet into the air at the very beginning. The launch deceives riders into thinking that they will travel forward, but suddenly the coaster shifts into reverse and moves backwards at high speed.The coaster also hangs upside down, shoots up to 125 feet at its highest point and drops steeply toward the ground. If that’s not enough, there’s also an array of stomach-churning dips, twists and turns during the approximately 50-second ride.“I think I’m going to puke,” joked 8-year-old James Shephard, who rode the coaster with his sister, Allie, and her friend, Mya Coupe.Allie Shephard, 11, said she was amazed by the coaster’s speed. Mya Coupe, 12, called the ride “really exhilarating.”The Shephard family and their friend, Mya Coupe, left, enjoyed both riding the coaster and watching it from the ground.Theresa and Eric Shephard, the parents of James and Allie, chose not to go on the ride, instead watching their children from a decidedly more sedate spot on the ground. The Shephards live in Newtown Square, Pa., and have a vacation home in the Gardens section of Ocean City.Theresa Shephard, a structural engineer, said she was fascinated by the roller-coaster while it was under construction.“I watched it go up,” she said. “We were waiting with bated breath for it to open. I think it’s phenomenal. It is a simple design, considering the complexity of the ride.”Playland’s Castaway Cove is located on the Boardwalk between 10th and 11th streets. Tickets for the Gale Force roller-coaster are $14, although there is a special $10 pass valid for a single ride. Rules and restrictions for the coaster, including a 48-inch minimum height requirement for riders, are listed on a large sign. Rides are ready for visitors at Playland’s Castaway Cove.last_img read more

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Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

first_imgIf you are like me, you spent the Fourth of July holiday celebrating all that is America by saluting our flag, thanking our veterans, and pigging out at a backyard barbeque. Sure, you may have worked in the casual volleyball or cornhole game, but that isn’t going to burn off the calories of that hotdog-eating contest with cousin Larry or Aunt Sally’s 17-layer dip. Time to get back on the horse, and that means taking a hike. Nothing captures the spirit of the American can-do attitude like the Appalachian Trail, so bring those good Independence Day vibes full circle by taking a day hike on the quintessential American footpath.The Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia, so there is no better place to check out the trail. Take this 6-mile moderate loop hike to the summit of Blood Mountain, the highest point on the A.T. in the state.Directions: Begin at the Byron Herbert Reece Parking area north of Neels Gap off Highway 19. The parking area is a half-mile north of the Walasi-YI Center, a good place to stop and get any extra provisions you may need.Take the trail from the parking area southwest where you will cross the A.T. after about a mile of steep trail. Continue southwest on the Freeman Trail which follows the south side of the mountain for two miles before intersecting the AT again at Bird Gap. Go right (northeast) on the A.T. to reach the 4,461 foot summit of Blood Mountain. Follow the white blazes across the top of the mountain taking in the panoramic views of Brasstown Bald and Lake Burton before taking the side trail to the Freeman Trail and back to the parking lot.The Blood Mountain shelter at the summit is one of the oldest on the AT (built in 1934) so be sure to stick your head inside before heading back down.View Larger Maplast_img read more

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Eagles Middle School Tri-Meet Results

first_imgThe Jac-Cen-Del Junior High Cross Country teams hosted a three-way meet with Southwestern and Shawe on Wednesday (9/25). The JCD girls’ team finished second and the JCD boys team was incomplete. [email protected] of Eagles Coach Steve Narwold.last_img

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Debuting import keys BaliPure win

first_imgChina population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Janisa Johnson tries to score off Petro Gazz import Kadi Kullerkann. —SHERWIN VARDELEONJanisa Johnson came up with Premier Volleyball League debut to remember Wednesday night, delivering 27 attack points as BaliPure gutted out a thrilling 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 22-25, 15-12 victory over Petro Gazz to get back on track in the Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Unable to suit up for the Purest Water Defenders’ losing stand against the Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons last week, the power-hitting American poured it all against the Angels, finishing with 31 total points, the last coming off a combination play that ended the back-and-forth two-hour encounter.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Water Defenders, backstopped by the young members of the Nazareth School of National University, wriggled out of an 8-all contest in the deciding set with four unanswered points that basically sealed the outcome.The victory thus put BaliPure in step with defending champion Pocari-Air Force at 1-1 with BanKo-Perlas and Tacloban, also with 1-1 slates, disputing a share of the lead at presstime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown POC gives blessing to Choy’s group Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding View commentslast_img read more

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DONEGAL CLUB GAME POSTPONED AFTER SERIOUS INJURY SUSTAINED BY PLAYER

first_imgGAA: A Donegal club match has been postponed after a player sustained a serious neck injury which forced the game to be stopped for over an hour.The meeting of Glenfin and Naomh Muire seniors sides – has been postponed due to an injury sustained by a Naomh Muire reserve player. The player suffered a serious neck injury in the clash between the club’s respective reserve sides.The game was stopped for over an hour, as medical personnel treated the player – who sustained a neck injury.They were reluctant to move him and instead waited for an ambulance to take the injured player to hospital.The reserve clash did resume but with light fading, and Glenfin having no floodlights – the decision was taken to call the senior game off. Glenfin reserves won the game by two points.It is not yet known when the Glenfin and Naomh Muire senior clash will be rescheduled.The injured player has been removed to Letterkenny General Hospital.  DONEGAL CLUB GAME POSTPONED AFTER SERIOUS INJURY SUSTAINED BY PLAYER was last modified: October 24th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

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