StatewideTechnology Project Unveils New WebsiteConnectVermont Project Includes Fiber optic, Wireless,Online InformationMONTPELIER– The project responsible for bringing wireless Internet access tohighway welcome centers; putting tourism information online; and bringingmotorists road condition reports now has its website.Officials saidthe ConnectVermont program’s new website at www.connectvermont.com(link is external)would not only help visitors and Vermonters learn more about its many high-techservices but provide another way to access them.“Thiswebsite really shows how the ConnectVermont project is making a difference inpeople’s lives,” said Robert T. White, who is the project’sdirector within the Vermont Agency of Transportation. “From vacationerslooking for a cultural event using wireless internet at a welcome center to aVermont trucker trying to find out road and traffic conditions, technology isworking for all of us.”ConnectVermontis a program coordinated by the Vermont Agencies of Transportation and Commerce& Community Development, and composed of partnering organizations withdiverse missions including arts & humanities, tourism, public safety,natural resources, and economic development.In addition towebsites for these purposes, the initiative includes wireless internet serviceat all of the state’s welcome centers as part of its mission toestablish an Advanced Rural Traveler Information service.In addition toan integrated system of web sites, interactive kiosks, and a 511 informationline, the ConnectVermont Program will eventually include a fiber optic“backbone” running along Vermont’s highway system that willfurther support traveler information and transportation needs as well as helpexpand broadband access around the state.“I wouldencourage all Vermonters to visit the ConnectVermont website to learn about howthat State of Vermont is making traveling to, in and around Vermont safer andmore convenient,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, who helped secure much ofthe $15 million in federal funding that has fueled the project.“ConnectVermonthas transformed the way visitors search for information about Vermont and ithas begun to transform the way Vermonters know about road conditions, trafficreports and other critical travel information,” Leahy said.11 ofVermont’s 20 information and welcome centers are now offering freewireless internet access, Governor Douglas said, and the remainder are slatedto be completed in the next year or so.“Thiscomponent of my E-State Initiative will provide free Wi Fi access for businesspeople, tourists, and all those who use our highways,” Douglas said.“The ConnectVermont site is a great way to track the progress of this andother related projects.”The northboundand southbound sites in Sharon, Williston, and Randolph are on line, as areGuilford, Fairhaven, Alburgh, Derby and Highgate.For moreinformation, please visit:www.connectvermont.com(link is external)### 30 ###
Additionally, the fund will offer, on an annual basis, a Sponsor a Youth Athlete Grant that is to be awarded to a local youth athlete in need of financial support related to their sport. For example, a young mountain biker may need help with airline tickets in order to attend the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.Finally, the fund will support the annual MSF Golden Backpacker Award, where the festival will recognize on stage an individual who has done a lot to advance the outdoor industry in the region. About the Mountain Sports FestivalThe Mountain Sports Festival, now in its 18th year, is a nonprofit event, free to the public and committed to presenting a well-balanced series of events and entertainment that encourages participation by people of all ages. The Mountain Sports Festival is organized by a volunteer group of community-oriented citizens dedicated to the presenting of a well-balanced series of events that encourages participation on all levels.This past year, prior to the new charitable focus and with the help of local sponsors and vendors such as Prestige Subaru, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Sierra Nevada Brewing, and Pisgah Brewing, the Mountain Sports Festival was able to donate generously to the Friends of Connect Buncombe and Asheville GreenWorks.Are you interested in supporting their mission by being a sponsor, vendor, volunteer, or event participant at the 2018 Mountain Sports Festival? Please visit their website. Asheville, NC – Now in its 18th year, the Mountain Sports Festival (May 25th- May 27th) in Asheville, North Carolina, has become a staple of the Memorial Day weekend. Locals and visitors from throughout the southeast join to celebrate music, community, athletics, and local business while showcasing the unique mountain terrain and culture of Asheville, North Carolina, and its surroundings.This past September, the all-volunteer board of the non-profit festival met to review and redefine the festival’s purpose. The new mission statement reads: The mission of Mountain Sports Festival is to promote and celebrate mountain sports, wellness, and community and to provide opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate.To support the new mission statement, the MSF is creating a charitable fund that will be the primary focus of the festival’s fund-raising. The fund will have three components that are mostly oriented on helping and encouraging youth to gain access to and participate in sports such as running, biking, skiing, paddling and climbing.The majority of the funds will go to support a new relationship with Streets to Peaks – a Maybin Mission program powered by Camp Grier. This program provides enriching outdoor experiences to youth with limited access to wilderness adventures. Through exciting challenges like rock climbing and whitewater paddling, program participants ages 11-18 learn to overcome obstacles, set long-term goals and imagine a future with endless possibilities.
LONDON, (CMC) – Sussex have moved quickly to tie down Barbadian all-rounder Jofra Archer until the end of the 2020 season, following his outstanding performances in the County season which wrapped up last Thursday.The 22-year-old played a handful of matches at the end of last season with resounding success, forcing Sussex to sign him until the end of the 2017 season.And after a campaign which yielded a remarkable 638 runs and 61 wickets, Archer will now remain in the south-east for the next three seasons.“I’m very excited to be included in the long-term plans of the club. Recently a couple of the other young players have signed new contracts so it’s great to be part of the club’s exciting future,” Archer said.The former West Indies Under-19, who has never played first class cricket for Barbados, led Sussex’s bowling, playing all but one match of the entire Championship season.Bowling with pace and movement, he picked up four five-wicket hauls including a best of seven for 67 against Kent at Hove, in what was just his eighth first class match.The right-arm seamer produced best match figures of 11 for 137 against Leicestershire at Grace Road.He also impressed with his aggressive lower order batting, averaging 45 and gathering five half-centuries, including a top score of 81 not out against Northamptonshire earlier last month.“I think this is the best start anyone could have had to their career, let alone any year. To have it at the start of my career, it’s just been really humbling to be honest,” Archer said.Director of Cricket, Keith Greenfield, said the player had surpassed expectations and had a bright future with the club.“Since Jofra’s been at Sussex he has achieved everything we could have expected and more,” Greenfield said.“We look forward to a bright future developing Jofra both on and off the field, whilst helping him achieve his international ambitions and ultimately winning trophies with us.”Overall this season, Archer grabbed 91 wickets and scored 805 runs.He was awarded his County cap during the interval on the penultimate day of the last round match against Nottinghamshire.
WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Joni Ernst says the U.S. needs to stand strong with long-time allies like South Korea following President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s leader.“That’s my stance as a member of the Armed Services Committee,” Ernst says. “I’m going to do all I can to do all I can to back up those populations and those leaders of countries that wish to remain free around this globe.”President Trump said yesterday that he believes North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un knew nothing about the treatment of American student Otto Warmbier, who died after being detained in North Korea.Trump has also said he believes the crown prince of Saudi Arabia who claims to have nothing to do with the death and dismemberment of a Washington Post columnist.Ernst was asked during a conference call with Iowa reporters if she’s concerned President Trump is siding with foreign dictators over U.S. Intelligence.“The president has a unique negotiating strategy,” Ernst said. “I would say that part of that strategy is to gain the confidence of others. It’s not necessarily the strategy I would take.”Ernst praised Trump for walking away from the this week’s talks when they failed to yield an agreement on North Korea’s nuclear intentions and the future of U.S. economic sanctions.
WASHINGTON — All four Iowans serving in the U.S. House have voted for a plan to plug more money into the small business loan program that ran out of money last week.Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque notes $60 billion in the bill is reserved for community-based banks and credit unions.“These are the ones that are out there lending to our ‘small’ small businesses, the ones who need not just a $1 million, or might need $10,000 or $15,000 to keep maybe it’s five employees employed in and on the payroll,” Finkenauer said. “And, to be frank, those were the ones that were being left out in the last package.”The “Paycheck Protection Program” was designed to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees keep making payroll, but a loophole let large hotel and restaurant chains get loans.Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, said the $60 billion reserved for community banks will provide loans to the kind of “mom-and-pop” businesses that are crucial in rural Iowa.“Our one and two person owned shops on Main Streets in our communities, our restaurants, individual contractors,” Axne said, “those types of people need the funding.”The bill also provides $75 billion for hospitals.“They’re laying people off,” Axne said. “They don’t know how they’re going to cover their operating expenses because there aren’t elective surgeries and things like that happening, so we’ve got to shore those up so they can keep their doors open.”Republican Congressman Steve King of Kiron said the $25 billion for expanded COVID-19 testing is important part of the package, because testing “will help determine the best methods for reopening the economy.”The total price tag for the package is $484 billion. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested it may be time to quit adding to the federal deficit. Congresswoman Finkenauer said while the debt is obviously a concern, shoring up the economy is a higher priority right now.“We are in a horrible situation where our working families and Americans all across the country and locally are scared and need assistance,” she said, “and this is the time when the federal government should be stepping up.”Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, says he’s pleased the House and Senate came together “in a bipartisan way” to send the bill to President Trump. Iowa Republicans Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst voted for the package when it passed the U.S. Senate earlier this week.