Governor Shumlin thanks Vermont National Guard for job well done

first_imgGovernor 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.’last_img read more

Butler shoots 4-of-20, struggles to contribute against Maryland

first_img Published on February 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm Contact Sam: | @SamBlum3 When Brianna Butler left the court Thursday night, she did so a hero.Syracuse’s 3-point specialist scored seven points in the span of 1:02 to turn a two-point deficit into a three-point lead late in the second half at No. 6 North Carolina.Her heroics gravely contrasted her performance Sunday, however, as Butler’s swishes turned to air balls in her worst shooting performance of the season.“I was able to get my shots up,” Butler said. “I just wasn’t able to make them today.”Butler tied her season-high for shots attempted with 20, but only connected four times, all in the first half. She scored just nine points, and couldn’t captain a second-half comeback in Syracuse’s (16-6, 5-4 Atlantic Coast) 89-64 loss to No. 8 Maryland (17-4, 5-3) on Sunday at the Carrier Dome in front of 1,312 fans.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Obviously Butler shooting the ball the way she shot, it was probably her legs,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “It’s one of those things where we fought to get the win on the road that we got.”Butler looked fatigued on the court. Many of her shots weren’t even close. With 16 minutes to go in the second half, she pulled up for a 3-pointer that didn’t even touch the rim. Three minutes later, her two-point shot was blocked by Alecia DeVaughn.Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said her team made adjustments following the damage Butler did on Thursday.“We wanted to force her right,” Frese said. “She’s predominantly really strong just going to her left. She’s a tremendous shooter, and we needed her to have to take difficult shots under duress.”In the first half, Butler couldn’t get many clean looks from behind the arc. She went 1-for-5 from 3 but seven shots came from the inside, as Butler was forced to try to score off the dribble.She missed three shots in the span of 31 seconds. After missing her second attempt, she grabbed her own rebound, then air-balled the next attempt right after.“They did a good job of getting her off of spots and not giving her spot up jump shots,” Hillsman said. “So, what do you say to that? I mean, they did what they should do to her. Get her off the 3-point line and make her put the ball on the floor to be aggressive.”In the latter stages of the second half, Butler, who committed a team-high four turnovers, sat on the bench with a blank stare on her face. She toweled the sweat off her face and clapped lightly at her teammates’ contributions.It wasn’t the same situation in which she found herself in the final moments against UNC, a team regarded just as highly as Maryland. Instead of hugging her teammates after a program-defining win, she had only her thoughts following a blowout loss.Against UNC she put the team on her back. Against Maryland, her ice-cold shooting couldn’t keep Syracuse in the game.“She got looks,” Hillsman said. “She just missed shots today. It happens. So, I think if she shoots the ball and gets her average, it’s a totally different ballgame.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Halloween could be extra sweet for USC

first_imgMost people circle their calendars every year on Oct. 31 because it’s Halloween.Now don’t get me wrong, Halloween is a great holiday. It’s not every day of the year that men get to dress up in goofy costumes and women get to barely dress up at all.It makes for a fun night.But this year is a little different. The holiday could mean something so much more to the Trojan community.Halloween just so happens to be on a Saturday. And what do Saturdays in October mean? That’s right: Trojan football.This Halloween represents what might be the most important day left for the Trojans in their quest for not only a Pac-10 championship, but a national title.I’ll start with the USC game.No. 5 USC travels to Eugene, Ore. to face the No. 10 Ducks at 5 p.m. in a highly anticipated matchup of the two best teams in the Pac-10. A win for the Trojans sets them up for an unprecedented eighth straight conference championship under coach Pete Carroll.But it’s no secret that the Trojans have struggled in the state of Oregon in the past three seasons. They have lost to the Oregon State Beavers twice in Corvallis and the Ducks once in Eugene.Carroll said going up to Oregon is a challenge because Duck fans represent one of the best crowds he has seen in football, and that’s not just because of how loud they can be.“They have a good attitude of the way they support their team. They are very outspoken,” Carroll said. “The noise is one aspect, but you can feel the intensity of their crowd, and they do a good job.”The Trojans will have to bring their A-game on offense and fix their late-game defensive struggles to defeat a very solid, all-around Oregon team that has looked great after overcoming its season-opening loss to Boise State.If USC pulls out the win, it will be in good shape in the Pac-10. Obviously, the Trojans will have to survive their remaining schedule, but it looks favorable.But there’s another game on Halloween evening that Trojan fans should keep their eyes on.One spot is still open for a shot at competing for a national championship.If the top two teams — Florida and Alabama — remain undefeated throughout the rest of the season, they will meet in the SEC Championship game. There is going to be a loser that will not get to play in the Rose Bowl for the national title.No. 3 Texas, however, still stands in the Trojans’ way. (So does No. 4 Iowa, but I’m banking on the Hawkeyes losing at Ohio State in a couple weeks.)Let’s say USC ends its losing streak in Oregon. Its national title ambitions will still be in jeopardy unless No. 14 Oklahoma State can pull out an upset against Texas.Why is so much riding on that game this weekend?Because Oklahoma State is the only remaining threat in the way of an undefeated season for the Longhorns. If Texas wins, USC might as well kiss its title chances goodbye, because the Longhorns shouldn’t have too much trouble running the table against their last four opponents: UCF, Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M.For those of you wondering, those teams have a combined conference record of 4-9.Unfortunately, history isn’t on the Cowboys’ side. They have not beaten Texas since 1997, and the Longhorns lead the all-time series 21-2.If you look at the recent trend, though, the numbers aren’t so bad. In 2007, Oklahoma State led most of the game at home before losing 38-35 at the hands of a McCoy second-half comeback. Still, the Cowboys forced the quarterback to throw three interceptions in Stillwater, Okla., the site of Saturday’s contest.And last season, the Longhorns barely eked out a 28-24 win in Austin, Texas, against those same Cowboys by holding Oklahoma State scoreless on two separate defensive stands to end the game.Although the overall record is lopsided in Texas’ favor, it appears Oklahoma State is closing the gap.So maybe, just maybe, this is the year the Cowboys break through.And maybe, just maybe, this is the year the Trojans end their hex in Oregon.And maybe, just maybe, this Halloween will be one to remember for USC fans and not just for the nighttime festivities.So as two huge games collide on Halloween night, try to make the best of both worlds.On Saturday, root for two teams: Go Trojans! Go Cowboys!Then go trick-or-treating.“Soft Hands” runs every other Thursday. To comment on this article, visit or email Jon at read more