Governor Peter Shumlin and Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles on Thursday at a barbeque in Rockingham thanked Vermont National Guard members for more than a month of exemplary service helping the state recover from flood damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Five Vermont guard units deployed personnel to numerous Vermont locations where they helped state and municipal highway crews rebuild both local and state roadways. ‘Guard members worked incredibly long hours to help us rebuild Vermont’s roads and bridges better than we found them before Irene,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘Their service and sacrifice will be remembered for generations to come.’ Vermont National Guard road rebuilding crews will begin demobilizing this weekend. Guard units and personnel deployed to aid roadway recovery included members of the following divisions:· 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team· 86th Special Troops Battalion· 131st Engineer Company· 158th Civil Engineering Squadron· Camp Ethan Allen Training Site “Between the two types of deployment ‘ federal and state ‘ this type of unit activation is much more meaningful because it takes place in our home state and affects our neighbors, our families and our friends,’ said Captain Annaliese Baumer, Commander of the 131st Engineer Company. ‘It is extremely different than deploying overseas. When you hit ground overseas, you are immediately put in a defensive posture which is a drastic contrast to a state deployment.’ Major recovery efforts conducted by Vermont National Guard members included: · Rebuilding Route 131 in Cavendish where the guard produced the roadway design, worked with local road crews, coordinated with stone pits and quarries, and provided the project’s manager. · Reconstructing Route 9 near Marlboro where the guard provided trucks and equipment (as well as their operators), and also graded and compacted the road. · Rebuilding Route 100 around Wardsboro where the guard rebuilt numerous sections of road. · Rebuilding more than a mile of Pike Falls Road in Jamaica where the road was washed away. The guard also provided scour protection to bridges, rebuilt numerous wash-outs, and made the entire roadway passable to emergency vehicles. · Repaired washed out sections of Turkey Mountain Road in Jamaica. · Rebuilding Davis Road in Cavendish. Vermont guard members also removed debris from numerous state and town roads, provided scour protection to numerous state and town bridges, and aided VTrans with other projects. ‘When we first arrived in both Wilmington and Cavendish, we were welcomed with open arms,’ Baumer said. ‘Citizens thanked us profusely, brought us food and many other comforts of home. They housed us, cooked us meals, gave us haircuts, washed our equipment with their fire trucks, their kids painted us pictures, sang for us and even put on a play at the local school. They visited with us daily, shook our hands and took photos of us throughout the work day. Most notably, they shared stories of how Irene affected their families. And virtually everyone did that because Irene affected us all.’
Press Association Midfielder Adam Lallana scored twice as Liverpool finally rediscovered their goalscoring form as they beat Swansea 4-1 at Anfield. The last side to concede two in the same match to the England international were Barnsley in the Championship in March 2012 but his second strike was pivotal as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal had threatened to make a game of it. An own goal from former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who escaped punishment after appearing to throw an elbow into Emre Can’s face, put the gloss on the victory. On several occasions this season there has been talk of corners being turned but you wonder whether this may well be a significant win for Liverpool as they head into a new year. Manager Brendan Rodgers’ slight tweak to his system saw two full-backs replace midfielders in the wide positions, with Can showing enough in 45 minutes at Burnley on Boxing Day to convince his manager to start him as the third centre-back. Moreno adapted better to the role on the left than Javier Manquillo did on the right but while he got forward plenty his tendency to drill crosses into the penalty area meant his team-mates had to be perfectly positioned to take advantage. Raheem Sterling almost did when he directed a first-time effort straight at Fabianski but Lallana blazed the rebound over. Moreno’s energy created the opening goal – becoming Liverpool’s 10th different scorer in the league at Anfield this season – as having started the move on the left he charged into the box to turn a cross from Jordan Henderson, fed by Lallana, into the goal despite Fabianski getting a hand to it. Swansea could have been reduced to 10 men six minutes before the interval, when Shelvey seemed to elbow Can in the area, but despite referee Andre Marriner seemingly having a decent view of the incident, the midfielder went unpunished. By comparison to Fabianksi, Liverpool’s goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, starting for the first time in five matches after a Boxing Day injury to Brad Jones, was relatively untroubled. The Belgium international’s reprieve came quicker than expected but he was given an easy ride in the first half with his only save a comfortable one from Nathan Dyer, although the cheer from the home crowd appeared to be more relief than overwhelming support. After his erratic substitute performance at Turf Moor, Mignolet would have been favourite to make a mistake but it was his opposite number who gifted Liverpool their second when his clearance cannoned into Lallana and back into the empty goal. But Rodgers’ side have been masters of their own downfall many times already this season and within a minute Swansea were level when weak headers by Manquillo and Mamadou Sakho allowed Sigurdsson to pull one back. Sakho almost compounded that error by giving the ball away to Wilfried Bony straight from the kick-off but Mignolet came to his rescue with a low save. A manic three-minute period ended with Sterling, who became more of a threat as the match wore on, hitting the post at the other end from an immediate counter-attack. Despite that the momentum briefly seemed to be with the visitors but when Philippe Coutinho’s backheel allowed Lallana to dance his way through the defence to fire past Fabianski Anfield could relax. Shelvey’s header past his own goalkeeper from Henderson’s corner had an element of karma about it after his earlier indiscretion. Sterling’s flap at the head of Federico Fernandez down in front of the Kop was not as potentially serious as Shelvey’s elbow but could equally have been punished with a red card, although his withdrawal soon after was more to protect his legs more than anything else. Swans substitute Bafetimbi Gomis hit the angle of post and crossbar late on but it was a deserved win for the hosts. After just nine goals in as many home Premier League matches this season the Reds scored four – the first time they had done so since March 30 – in the space of 36 minutes either side of half-time. Recalled defender Alberto Moreno opened the scoring before Lallana got his two, one with a little help from goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski, early in the second half.
Champions Leicester take on FA Cup winners Manchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley. Jose Mourinho says the game will certainly help in the Red Devils’ preparations for the upcoming campaign.Meanwhile, Celtic begin their attempt to claim a sixth consecutive Scottish Premiership title later. The champions kick off their defence at Hearts.Before that, last season’s runners-up Aberdeen start at St Johnstone.