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.’
Stephen Kenny’s side are 2-0 down from the first leg against Legia Warsaw and need two goals to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the next round.Meanwhile the Champions League group stage is within touching distance for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic.The Scottish title holders are 5-2 up going into the second leg of their play-off against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva tonight. In transfer news, reports say that Claudio Bravo is due to have a medical at Manchester City in the next 48 hours.The fee for the Barcelona keeper is rumoured to be in the region of 17 million pounds.The Spanish club recently announced that an agreement was in place with City to sell Bravo.
Beckham is going to have to sit tight for at least one more year unless another team makes a trade offer that’s too good for Browns general manager John Dorsey to refuse. Which is unlikely given Beckham’s reputation as a diva personality who will second-guess his coaches. He also has had his share of significant injuries over his six-year career, which is a further deterrent to other teams.After just one season with Beckham, Dorsey is not going to give away a player for whom he gave up first- and third-round picks and a starting safety (Jabrill Peppers). There also will be no dead money from trading or releasing Beckham for the Browns to absorb on their salary cap beginning in 2021.2020 MOCK DRAFT:Browns reinforce Baker Mayfield’s supportDespite alleged votes of confidence for coach Freddie Kitchens, he and/or several of his assistants are more likely to take the fall for a 6-8 team that is undisciplined and underproductive based on expectations.Kitchens also has the issue of being responsible for the slow development of last year’s No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has regressed badly in his second season (from a 93.7 rating in his rookie season with 27 TD passes and 13 INTs to a 78.7 rating — 33rd in the league — with 17 TD passes against 17 interceptions). This despite his playing with the league’s leading rusher in Nick Chubb and the talented receiver duo of Beckham and Jarvis Landry, another alleged malcontent who reportedly wants out. Perhaps then he can fool a GM in one of the large markets into thinking he has changed and entice that GM to either trade for him or sign him as a free agent if the Browns release him.Nah. Such a scenario is impossible for the lightning rod that is OBJ.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/39/4a/beckham-kitchens-121819-getty-ftrjpg_1bbpfdi9yo5bd1lfofujp73qrs.jpg?t=432094671&w=500&quality=80 Going into the last two games against the Ravens and Bengals, Beckham is headed for career lows in receiving yards per game (65), receptions per game (4.78) and touchdown receptions (2 so far). He has made paradoxical comments in recent weeks about his Browns future.Following his 3 catches for 29 yards in Cleveland’s loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago that basically knocked the Browns out of the playoff race, Beckham said, “I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here. This is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.”But to feed his media-craving ego and keep the tease out there, he added, “Catch me in the offseason and see what happens.” Which he quickly pulled back on by tweeting that he wasn’t saying he was unhappy in Cleveland; just looking for better results.Trust me as a former NFL GM. Those types of statements will scare off most teams from wanting any part of a player like Beckham. And they will certainly lower any potential trade offers to where no GM is going to part with a first round pick — which would be Dorsey’s asking price at a minimum. If he accepted anything less, he’d be admitting it was a mistake to make the deal with the Giants in March. The path of least resistance for Dorsey and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is to make yet another coaching change, which would be Haslam’s seventh in the nine years he will have owned the team. That would give Beckham and Mayfield a fresh start with a coach who, if he’s the right hire (a questionable notion in the case of the Browns), will be more up to the task.These Browns need a makeover on the field scheme-wise in order to get their young QB back on track and to target their star receivers much more often. The defense must return to its turnover-forcing ways from last season (18 thus far vs. 31 last season) to give the offense more short fields.The Browns also appear to need a team psychologist to get everyone focused on team success and avoiding incidents such as the Myles Garrett helmet-swinging fiasco against the Steelers.MORE: If Browns fire Kitchens, they should look at Ron RiveraI said it back in March, and I’ll say it again: I never thought the Beckham trade would bring great dividends to the Browns and their beleaguered franchise that is now guaranteed to have its 12th straight non-winning season and 17th straight year out of the playoffs. That’s really hard to do in a league that rewards losing teams with high draft picks, an earlier crack at the waiver wire and weaker schedules.Beckham never chose Cleveland as his destination via trade. He wants to be a celebrity more than a great football player and thus seeks the limelight and bright lights of a New York or Los Angeles. I felt it was inevitable that he would want out of Cleveland even if the team was successful on the field.The fact that the 2019 Browns are downtrodden only expedites Beckham’s irrepressible desires to get the heck out of Dodge.WEEK 16: Browns technically still alive in NFL playoff pictureThe best thing Beckham can do for himself is to play great while staying mostly healthy — like in his three Pro Bowl seasons in New York — and keep quiet off the field while being a model citizen. No complaining that his contract is now $3 million per year less than that of Julio Jones or whining about how he is being under-utilized in the Browns offense. No boat trips to party in Miami during the season. No photos with models in Paris where possible drug paraphernalia is in sight. Amid the disappointment that is the Browns’ 2019 season, several players reportedly have told opposing teams to “come get me,” with star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. supposedly starting the chant earlier in the season.OBJ might as well save his breath, because he is not going anywhere — except on vacation in two weeks when Cleveland’s season ends far shy of expectations. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/18/a8/odell-beckham-jr-121819-getty-ftrjpg_zhepzy7583ac116gxpyhdpvf0.jpg?t=432053527&w=500&quality=80