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Appalachian Trail hiker shares “happy trails” experience

New Jersey has the lowest elevation profile of any state along the AT. Still the views span for miles and reveal a greener New Jersey than most are familiar with.

Four Points News

There were so many reasons to worry as I embarked on my second Appalachian Trail section hike in June. Not for any of the reasons other people worry about when I go on the trail alone — not because of bears, or murderous convicts, or rattlesnakes around every bend — but because of the fact that I would hike 74 miles (the width of New Jersey) in five days and had not trained.

Last time I hiked the AT, when I covered 150 miles in 9 days, I trained for two months in advance, hitting the trails in Steiner Ranch and beyond at least three days a week, two hours a day, with a weighted pack and poles. By the time I got on the actual trail, my body knew exactly what to do, and I covered miles and climbed peaks with relative ease.

This year, as I walked away from my sketchy motel in Delaware Water Gap, Pa. at 9 a.m., my body felt like I was taking it out for a test drive. The morning air was typical to a trail town (what hikers call the many towns, mostly small, that are on or near the AT): green, humid and smelling of diesel and diner breakfasts.

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River Place author pens newest nonfiction book

Four Points News

Stephen G. Yanoff — the author and world traveler who lives in River Place with his wife Patty — released his newest work in April, “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”.

Last year he also published “Run for the Money,” the seventh installment in his ongoing detective series features insurance investigator Adam Gold, inspired by Yanoff’s real-life 20-year career in New York investigating high-ticket insurance claims. And now that “Turbulent Times” is out, Yanoff is already at work on his next two books.

It’s not surprising considering that Yanoff’s second career as a writer is about more than just telling great stories. “For me personally, this is still a hobby even though it’s going quite well. I like meeting people and going around the country,” said Yanoff.

As with his other books in the Adam Gold series, “Run for the Money” centers around an actual claim Yanoff investigated during his career, in this case one in which a wealthy racehorse owner paid to have one of her horses killed in order to collect the insurance money.

River Place author Stephen G. Yanoff released his latest book in April called “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”. Already the book was chosen as a finalist in the U.S. History Category of the 2017 International Book Awards.

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Holocaust survivor inspires local students

Dr. Edith Eva Eger survived the Holocaust and shared her story with 8th graders at Canyon Ridge Middle School in May. Principal Susan Sullivan and the students showed their appreciation of her presentation.

“The visit that changed lives”


Dr. Edith Eva Eger shared with Canyon Ridge Middle School 8th graders details about the 72nd anniversary of her liberation as a Holocaust survivor.

Eger’s inspiring story was one of overcoming difficulty with positivity, she explained on May 4 to a packed room of students. She was taken to Auschwitz when she was 17-years-old, and she watched as her family was taken away from her. Later, she endured a death march and worked in a labor camp. Eger was forced to dance for Nazi leaders, and she now believes that dance saved her life. She has overcome hardships that no one can begin to imagine.

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DWI arrests remain constant, crashes are down from last year

Right: These are driving while intoxicated cases reported by Travis County Sheriff’s Office and include a large portion of the Four Points DWI cases so far this year. In addition to these cases, Austin Police Department reported six DWI arrests in 78726 and two in 78730 from Jan. 1 – April 15.

Four Points News

Officers with the Austin Police Department are ramping up their No Refusal enforcement efforts to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road this summer.

The number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Austin in the first quarter of this year was slightly higher compared to the first quarter of 2016. Between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2017, there were seven fatalities caused by an impaired driver. During the same period in 2016, there were five fatalities caused by an impaired driver.

One positive trend so far this year is that the number of crashes due to DWI is down compared to last year, according to Blake Johnson, operations lieutenant for the Austin Police Department highway enforcement command.

“One trend we’re seeing is both crashes overall and DWI crashes are down, which is a good thing,” Johnson said. “Through the first quarter of the year, DWI crashes were down 23 percent from last year.”

The number of citywide arrests for driving while intoxicated in the first quarter of this year held steady compared to years past.

“DWI arrests are trending about the same,” Johnson said. “(In the first) quarter, they were down 6 percent from last year. Annually, we’re somewhere around the 6,000 mark.”

Between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2017, APD made 1,701 DWI arrests citywide. The three zip codes with the most arrests were 78704 in South Austin with 189, 78701 in downtown with 176 arrests and 78703 in central Austin with 123 arrests.

In the Four Points area, the highest number of DWI arrests made by APD were in the 78726 zip code, which contains the section of RM 620 from Anderson Mill Road to Four Points Drive. In 78726, there were six DWI arrests between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2017. There were 19 DWI arrests total in 2016.

In 78730, there were 2 DWI arrests between Jan. 1 – April 15, 2017. There were six DWIs total in 2016.

Most all of 78732 and part of 78730 are policed by Travis County Sheriff’s Office. TCSO reported eight DWI cases from Jan. 1 through April 15, 2017. There were nine additional DWI cases reported from April 15 – July 2.

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