AAA offices nationwide driving tourists to Vermont

first_imgAs the fall foliage season shifts into high gear, AAA is working with Vermont’s tourism industry leaders to disseminate information nationwide through its travel offices. The resources will be used by AAA’s travel counselors to help direct motorists and encourage them to travel the Green Mountain State.Tom Williams, Regional Manager of AAA Northern New England, noted, ‘We have a golden opportunity to provide up-to-date, practical information to members across the country. In the great majority of areas hit by the storm, visitors will find roadways with smooth pavement and bright lines. It is our role to make sure that people who are interested in coming to Vermont get the information they need.’ In a communication sent earlier this week to all AAA offices in the United States, AAA states, ‘In late August, the State of Vermont made headlines across the nation as flood waters from Hurricane Irene caused major damage to the states highways and bridges. Within weeks after Irene, Vermont rebuilt at an unprecedented rate. Now 95% of Vermont roads are open, with final touches being made every day.’Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing (VDTM) Deputy Commissioner Steve Cook works with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Ski Vermont on the ‘Foliage Force,’ a team which has been promoting Vermont’s vibrant foliage season in the wake of Irene. Cook noted, ‘The foliage season has begun, and all indications are that it will be as vibrant and beautiful as ever. We are delighted that AAA has taken a proactive role in informing people about Vermont, and our recovery from the storm. This is a testament to AAA’s confidence in our state, and the resilience of our tourism businesses.’The bulletin refers travel counselors to road repair resources provided by VTrans, as well as planning information supplied by VDTM, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Ski Vermont. It concludes that AAA Northern New England branch offices in Montpelier, Rutland and Williston are well prepared to help motorists navigate the state of Vermont. Vermont Dept of Travel and Tourism. 9.28.2011last_img read more

Beat writers predict Syracuse to keep winning streak alive against Clemson

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 27, 2020 at 11:06 pm Syracuse (13-7, 6-3 Atlantic Coast) looks to extend its winning streak to six in Clemson, South Carolina against the Tigers (10-9, 4-5), who just beat No. 9 Duke.Here’s what the men’s basketball beat writers think about the fate of SU’s winning streak:Nick Alvarez (14-6)And another oneSyracuse 83, Clemson 79This run has to end eventually, and a road ACC game before hosting Duke reads like a trap game, but Clemson isn’t the team to end it. The Tigers allow 36.7% of their opponents’ points from 3 and SU doesn’t need much of an excuse to shoot it. Clemson has a few impressive wins, but they don’t have the size or playmaking to consistently beat this improved 2-3 zone. Orange shooters in the day. Syracuse continues to win games it should. Add Clemson to the list.Michael McCleary (14-6)Neaux Tigers!Syracuse 65, Clemson 60AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWoah. So, after starting off terribly, I’ve come back to tie it up. Syracuse has been streaking and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m choosing it to win, but that’s not important. But let’s be real: This team looks good. Duke comes to the Carrier Dome this Saturday and the Orange are actually a real threat. Do you think their momentum stops against Clemson? The Orange get another resume-boosting win against the former Duke slayers.Josh Schafer (14-6)Anotha oneSyracuse 72 Clemson 65Syracuse has won five in a row and it just simply can’t be picked against. The Orange have won in a multitude of ways and seem to fix whatever issues arise on any given night. Whether it be Elijah Hughes or Buddy Boeheim, SU will have enough lead scoring to win this one. Duke recently lost at Clemson, but I’d view that more as a rare case than a trend. The only way SU trips on Tuesday is if it’s caught looking ahead. But through the last month, the Orange have proven themselves a team that takes it one game at a time. Commentslast_img read more

Family of missing Florida teen receives disturbing video call

first_imgIf you have any information about Rose’s disappearance, you are asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477). The family of a missing teen from Davie is reporting that they received a disturbing video call showing the teen tied up and crying.The incident occurred almost a month after the Florida teen disappeared.Authorities say 16-year-old Destiny Rose went missing on August 20th from the Alpha Group Home in Southwest Ranches.(Destiny via The Center for missing and exploited children)Her aunt told police that she received a video call from her niece’s account but when she answered the call, she made contact with a man and not her niece. The suspect then panned the video over to show Rose tied to a chair with a rope wrapped around her neck.“If you actually cared about her, you would be here to get her” before hanging up the phone.The suspect was described as being in his late 20s to early 30s, with a crew cut and a short patch of facial hair on his chin.last_img read more

Churches House Volunteers, Help Heal Devastated Communities

first_imgBy Mary Ann BourbeauThe United Metho­dist Church building in Highlands has a new lease on life.After the church was closed several years ago, the building’s fate was up in the air. It was leased out for a while but then the 65-year-old structure was flooded by Super Storm Sandy. [private]Now the brick church on Bay Avenue has been converted into a space to house volunteers from around the country who come to help rebuild homes damaged by the horrific October storm.It is not the only church in the area to be used to house volunteers helping those in the area recover from Sandy. The First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank also was renovated to host up to 20 people.In Highlands, the leaders of the Greater New Jersey United Methodist Church realized after the storm that area residents were going to need both short-term and long-term help. Under the leadership of Bishop John Schol, they started an independent, nonprofit organization called A Future with Hope, with the goal of rebuilding 500 homes over five years. The focus would be to help those who are elderly, disabled and low income. The organization is now based out of the Highlands church.“Even in the midst of the most challenging times, there is a hopeful future for us, and by working together we can realize those hopes,” Schol said. “A Future with Hope will be around for the long haul, a long-term effort by the United Methodist Church in New Jersey to focus on relief, recovery and mission work.”A Future with Hope, a partner with United Metho­dist Committee on Relief, has received significant funding from the Robin Hood Foundation, the American Red Cross and members of the United Methodist Church.Since it began rebuilding homes in March, the organization has had the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers from 16 states. Most come for a week and stay in one of 10 hosting sites, the largest of which is the Highlands church that opened its doors July 15 and can host up to 100 people at a time.Recently, volunteers from Houston, Texas, stayed in the repurposed church, which now has a kitchen and showers. While men sleep on cots in the sanctuary, women’s cots are in the basement. They worked at a site in Keyport, while another group from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio, helped rebuild a home in Highlands. Those volunteers, who were staying in a Lacey Township church, worked with a group from Bridgewater at the one-story home that had to be gutted after taking on more than 3 feet of water. Some were skilled in areas such as carpentry; others, including high school students, learned how to Sheetrock, spackle and paint.“Jesus told us to help people,” said the Rev. Erwin Urschitz of Ohio. “We’ve been to help those affected by Katrina five times. We go where the need is, one home at a time, one family at a time, if that’s all you can do. We’re really glad to be helping our brothers and sisters, wherever they might be. We have to do something. We can’t just pray for them.We have to put our boots physically on the ground.”Case managers for A Future with Hope take applications from those in need. Currently, there are 11 homes under construction.Morgan Lalevee, 18, of Bridgewater, volunteered her time at the home in Highlands, learning to spackle and sand walls. She was happy to donate her time, especially after meeting the homeowner.“This house has been in her family for 80 years and she didn’t want to give it up,” Lalevee said. “Her face lit up when she saw how much we got done.”Her clothes and face covered with specks of spackle, Lalevee said she was having fun working on the home.“I enjoy helping people,” she said. “I don’t look at it like I’m giving up my summer. I’m using my time in a better way.”The volunteers, who arrive on Sundays and bring their own bedding to the host church, have an orientation and safety lesson on Mon­days. They then receive their assignments based on need and skill level. A Future with Hope provides them with one meal during the week. Often members of the groups go out and spend money in the community where they are helping, offering another plus for the hard-hit town.“We’re very pleased that (the church building) was transformed to serve the community,” said Beverly Schol, regional manager for A Future with Hope.In Red Bank, the First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill has also been renovated to accommodate volunteers.“Many of our congregation’s members were affected by Sandy and as a church we needed to respond,” said Sue Elam of Oceanport, chairwoman of the church’s storm recovery team.The volunteers receive their assignments from Gateway Church in Union Beach. During a recent week, 300 people from around the country went there to help. A group from Missouri stayed at Tower Hill while they worked on a home in Keansburg.“We’ve discovered some people have been living in their damaged homes because they have no place else to go,” Elam said. “For people to help them find a path forward has been emotionally uplifting to the homeowners – and it’s personally rewarding for the people who come in to help.”The Red Bank church will only be available to groups in the summer because the space is used as a nursery school during the school year. But Elam expects the church to host volunteers again next year.“So many people have been affected,” she said. “It’s going to be a long road getting people back in their homes.”Additional information about A Future with Hope is available by visiting or calling 732-359-1012.[/private]View the photo gallery herelast_img read more

The Mission In Monmouth Beach To Build An Awesome Playground

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |MONMOUTH BEACH – It’s been nearly two decades since borough playgrounds have been renovated but a project is now underway to give Griffin Street Park a state-of-the-art upgrade.A $250,000 inclusive playground with new structures and an alternative surface to sand is in the works, thanks to a grassroots fundraising effort by residents that has won support from local and county government.“For almost two years now, myself and a bunch of other moms from town have been pushing for a new playground,” said Courtney Wladyka, who spearheads Monmouth Beach’s Project Playground. “We started going to borough meetings. Then we were directed to the county parks commission and now we’ve finally made some progress.”When Wladyka began bringing her toddlers to the park two years ago, weeds were sprouting up through the sandbox and the blacktop running track showed signs of fracturing and erosion from times when the Shrewsbury River overflowed.Wladyka took note of the hard steel surfaces underneath landings by the slides and swings, questionable sections of rust on the jungle gym and the site’s lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.Monmouth Beach resident Courtney Wladyka stands in front of the Griffin Street Memorial Park Playground in Monmouth Beach, a facility she hopes to help renovate through fundraising efforts, a Monmouth County Park System grant, and further support from the borough.“When I started talking to other moms about it they didn’t hold back,” Wladyka said. “Aside from all of those concerns, they also noticed a lot of garbage around the playground and told me how some of their kids have even gotten hurt playing there. So we started thinking about organizing a cleanup but we soon realized the problem was a lot bigger than that.”After discussing the situation with town officials, Monmouth Beach submitted an application to the Monmouth County Park System, which administers the county Open Space Trust grants on behalf of the freeholders. It was approved and the borough was awarded $100,000 in 2017.Borough Commissioner Dave Stickle said, “I know Courtney is working to help offset the remaining cost of the project with donations and we’re all hopeful that she’ll be able to match the grant. But whatever she isn’t able to raise, the town will be able to make up the difference,” he said.Stickle said a plan for the final scope of the work will be formulated over the next couple of months and the signing of the grant agreement with Monmouth County is anticipated to follow in late July or August.Once the agreement is signed the borough can then put the work out to bid.“With the timeline we have in mind it may be a little ambitious but we’re hoping to have the work finished by the winter or early spring, so we can have it ready to go for the kids by next summer,” Stickle said. “This type of upgrade is absolutely needed in our community.”Until ground is broken, Wladyka’s fundraising schedule is in full swing. She recently wrapped up a Monmouth Beach apparel and tote bag sale, in which all proceeds generated were donated to the project. Wladyka will continue to sell borough-branded apparel, totes and reusable straws this summer at the Little Monmouth Beach Club, the borough farmer’s market and the town’s Church of the Precious Blood.The reusable straws are especially appropriate for Monmouth Beach, following the town’s bold action to ban all single-use plastic straws and containers at restaurants and other local establishments in order to curb pollution.The “Party for the Playground” July 28 will feature food, drinks and live music. Tickets for the event are $75 and all proceeds will be donated to the project. The fundraisers are also selling custom-engraved bricks and benches to be installed at the playground. Pricing and sizes of the bricks vary from 4 inches by 8 inches for $100 to 8 inches by 8 inches for $250 and twelve by twelves for $500. As of June 3, brick sales have generated $1,700 in funding for the project.“We’re ecstatic because this is actually going to happen,” Wladyka said, who expressed gratitude for the help from local and county officials along the way. “We just want to keep this momentum going and make sure that the grant money gets used or else we lose it.”Project Playground is one of two new playground proposals in the borough. Monmouth Beach Elementary is also working to establish a new playground on its campus. The school’s new playground will replace its current kindergarten playground, which will be removed to make room for a new all-purpose facility.Construction on the school project will begin this month, according to Monmouth Beach Superintendent Michael Ettore. “I think we all would agree that our playground being upgraded, and the playground across the street being renovated and upgraded, will only benefit our town and our residents,” Ettore said.Those wishing more information about the project or its fundraisers can contact Wladyka at article was first published in the June 7-June 14, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more


first_imgJAZZY TIMES: Also trained by Baffert, this up and coming three year old will try stakes company for the first time on Saturday. A runaway 6 ½ length allowance winner going 6 ½ furlongs at Del Mar on July 31, Jazzy Times, who was a handy first-out maiden winner on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs May 7, has two wins from four starts. Owned by Zayat Stables, the Kentucky-bred colt by Discreetly Mine has been favored in all four of his races and will hope to hit the board under Rafael Bejarano. THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 4 of 10 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PST LORD NELSON: A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Pulpit, Lord Nelson was purchased privately by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm following a third place finish here in the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 and is undefeated in three starts for his new connections. With Baffert mapping strategy, Lord Nelson made his 2016 debut in a six furlong classified allowance here on June 3 and he responded with an emphatic 3 ½ length win. He followed that with a half-length score in the Grade I, seven furlong Triple Bend Stakes on June 25 and exits the best race of his career, a four length triumph in the Grade I, six furlong Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 31. Undefeated in three starts at six furlongs, he’s 4-7 at Santa Anita and has six wins from 12 career starts, with earnings of $778,271. All Run–Martin Garcia–121Anytime Anyplace–Victor Espinoza–121Cautious Giant–Tyler Baze–121Lord Nelson–Flavien Prat–125Jazzy Times–Rafael Bejarano–118First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit Undefeated in three starts this year and positioned as perhaps America’s top sprinter, Bob Baffert’s Lord Nelson looms a complete standout among a field of five three year olds and up in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs. A Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, the winner will earn an automatic fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint here on Nov. 5. SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN AND YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACElast_img read more