The McKernon Group is pleased to be honored with a 5th AnnualExcellence in Housing Award in the commercial construction category for thecompany’s work in revitalizing downtown Brandon’s Howe Scale Block. Theaward was presented to The McKernon Group by the Home Builders andRemodelers Association of Southern Vermont at an award ceremony on January14th.Kevin Birchmore, co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of TheMcKernon Group accepted the award, attending the event with Project ManagerBrian Thomas.”A lot of people worked really hard on this project. Several of thebuildings had to be rebuilt from the ground up. I hope that all the peopleworking on downtown Brandon for almost a year feel good about the award.They did the heavy lifting, they’re the ones who deserve to be recognized.We’re also grateful that everyone in Brandon was patient. I live in Brandon,and it’s great to see the town so improved,” remarked Kevin Birchmore fromThe McKernon Group’s offices in Brandon’s Park Village a mile north ofdowntown.Two of the three commercial buildings on Center Street, Route 7 indowntown Brandon are occupied. Demerest and MacNeal Interior Design, Inc.has retail space in 15 Center Street. Everywear for Everybody, is opening asecond store in 17 Center Street this month. Eleven Center Street with itslandscaped terrace, and overlooking Memorial Park would be a perfect spotfor a restaurant. It is currently under consideration by several parties.
TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — There may still be hope for holding Spiedie Fest in 2020. Organizers of the balloon and food festival told 12 News they haven’t ruled out the possibility of holding the event in October this year. They say some changes would have to be made, such as limiting attendance to less than 5,000 people and eliminating things like certain kids rides that would increase risk of viral transmission. Dave Pessagno, the main organizer, said he meets with the festival board often to plan for the possibility of holding Spiedie Fest this fall. He said it’s important to him to hold the event because of how much support he’s received from the community. “I’m not a quitter so and again this is a unique situation,” Pessagno said. “If I wasn’t getting so many phone calls from people who aren’t even vendors or food vendors or businesses, these are people who are coming to our festival.” Pessagno told 12 News the board hopes to make a final decision regarding the festival’s viability on August 15. He said the event would take on more of an Oktoberfest theme rather than its typical summer feel, and social distancing in groups would be strictly enforced. The event has taken place for 37 consecutive years.
Press Association Liverpool have announced Steven Gerrard will have a testimonial match against Olympiacos in August. Gerrard scored one of his most famous goals against Olympiacos in 2004, helping Liverpool come from behind to win 3-1 and keep them in the Champions League. They went on to win the competition that season. Gerrard, who made his Liverpool debut almost 15 years ago, told the club’s website: “I am delighted to be honoured by Liverpool with a testimonial match and particularly thrilled that Olympiacos have accepted my invitation to play the fixture. Last time we met proved to be such a memorable game both for me personally and Liverpool Football Club. “I am also especially grateful that Olympiacos have truly embraced the aim of this match and chosen to donate their fee to charity. I am looking forward to what I know will be a fantastic game and a wonderful occasion.” The Reds will take on the Greek champions on August 3 in their only pre-season match to be played at Anfield. Proceeds from the event will go to the Steven Gerrard Foundation, while Olympiacos will donate their appearance fee to local charities in Greece.
Philanthus gibbosus in pollinator mode, feeding on mountain mint flowers. — Matt Pelikan Female Philanthus gibbosus, re-opening her burrow with her prey, and a metallic sweat bee in the background. — Matt Pelikan “Flower lover.” It sounds so nice! Cue the pastoral music, and adorable video clips of happy pollinators puttering around on colorful blossoms.Then suddenly, wham! The blissful scene vaporizes as a seemingly benign female Philanthus suddenly abandons her pollen eating, pounces on a bee, paralyzes it with sting to the underside of the thorax, wraps her victim up amid her spiny legs, and flies off for parts unknown.The common name for the genus Philanthus, it turns out, is “bee wolf,” and it’s an apt sobriquet for these black-and-yellow wasps. Adults, it’s true, love flowers and feed on pollen. But larval Philanthus are carnivorous, developing in burrows dug by adult females and provisioned with paralyzed bees for the wasp larvae to eat. The wasp genus Philanthus is blessed with an appealing name: it means “flower lover” and refers to the fondness members of the genus have for feeding on flowers. They’re not unique in this, of course: Pollen and nectar from flowers are crucial food resources for an astonishingly wide range of insects. But flowers are indeed a likely place to find Philanthus. A fair-size genus, Philanthus is represented by something like 140 species worldwide, perhaps a third of which occur in North America. So far, I’ve only found two species on the Vineyard, though ID of this genus is not always easy, and it is likely that I’ve overlooked a few. Wherever they occur, though, Philanthus species exhibit the split personality of being benign nectar lovers and, at the same time, aggressive predators of bees.The nest-stocking habit of Philanthus, while it sounds bizarre to humans, is actually very common among wasps. The entire family this genus belongs to — Crabronidae — practices something similar, though the type of prey taken varies according to what genus or species of wasp. And the closely related family Sphecidea does the same. Another family, distantly related, captures spiders. From grasshoppers to beetles to leaf hoppers to cicadas, almost any kind of insect has a group of wasps that prey on it.Philanthus gibbosus appears to be fairly common on the Vineyard, and is surely our most common and widespread Philanthus. I’ve found it on flowers at many locations (it’s common in my yard in Oak Bluffs), and seen nesting females at multiple spots on the Vineyard sandplain. P. gibbosus is mostly black, and sports yellow spots and abdominal banding that are pretty standard among wasps of many kinds. Perhaps the most helpful mark for identifying this wasp is a deeply dimpled exoskeleton, not always evident in the field but obvious in a decent photograph. 1 of 2 Like other members of the genus, the face of P. gibbosus shows a particular pattern of yellow spots. These are difficult to see accurately in the field, but even a poor head-on photograph often shows the pattern well enough to support an identification. Other useful ID cues include the pattern of yellow spotting on the thorax and the extent of banding on the abdomen. Like most wasps, members of this genus have little interest in humans, and don’t seem to mind being observed even at very close range.Nest burrows of Philanthus can extend two or three feet underground, a depth that protects nests from both predation and extremes of temperature and wetness. It follows that these wasps are connoisseurs of soil composition, seeking out places that feature soil light enough and loose enough for easy excavation, but stable enough so that the lengthy burrows don’t collapse. Most of the nests I’ve found have been on lightly used dirt roadways in sandy areas; a little vehicular traffic may compact the soil just enough to stabilize it. Other observers have reported a preference in this genus for nesting in areas with deep-rooted herbaceous plants; again, the root systems may help stabilize the soil.Female Philanthus wasps reportedly sleep inside their burrows, plugging the entrance from the inside with sand for protection as they snooze. I think they also may plug their nest burrows temporarily while they’re out hunting — anyway, some of the females that I’ve observed bringing prey back to their nests have had to relocate their burrows and do some digging to open the entrance. While digging, they resemble tiny terriers: they use their mandibles and front legs to loosen soil and kick out behind them, and once they get their momentum up, they throw an impressive jet of ejected soil out from between their legs.Males also dig burrows to shelter in, but of course do not lay eggs and therefore do not collect prey. As is the case universally among bees and wasps, males also cannot sting. They are slightly smaller than females of their species, and reportedly use pheromones — specialized scent chemicals — to mark territories and attract females.Given the (well-founded) concerns over declines in pollinator populations, the bee wolves may seem like undesirable insects. But recollect that they function as pollinators themselves, just like the bees they prey on. Philanthus is an important cog in the complex web of ecological relationships that surrounds us, often unnoticed and unobserved.
5 Dec 2017 England Golf welcomes new sponsors for 2018 Awards Tags: Bridgestone, Chase Your Dream England Golf is delighted to announce that Bridgestone, its partner for the club golfers’ Chase Your Dream Trophy, has become the first event sponsor of the England Golf Awards 2018. Another six sponsors are welcomed for their support of individual categories.Bridgestone’s event sponsorship includes supporting the prestigious Lifetime Service Award which will recognise someone who has made a remarkable contribution to golf over many years. The 2017 winner, Jenny Hobbs of Bath Golf Club, received a standing ovation at the Awards dinner.The latest category sponsors are:The PGA, new sponsors of the Coach of the Year AwardPlayers 1st, new sponsors of the Volunteer of the YearAmerican Golf will once again sponsor the Most Welcoming Club categorySPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. return to sponsor the County of the Year AwardThe Golf Foundation is again associated with the Young Ambassador of the YearDerek Burridge Trophies, sponsors of the winners’ trophiesHowDidiDo has previously been announced at the sponsor of the Club of the Year Award.England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink commented: “We are thrilled to be joined by these sponsors whose support is hugely valued and adds enormously to the prestige of the England Golf Awards.“We have had a tremendous response to our request for nominations for the Awards and we are looking forward to a great night when we hear the inspirational stories of our finalists and applaud our winners.”The England Golf Awards 2018 take place at the Royal Lancaster London on Thursday 22 February and will celebrate the people, clubs and counties who make the game great.The black-tie gala dinner will be a must-attend date for everyone who cares about golf and offers a chance to hear about the outstanding achievements of the finalists and to applaud the winners.Here’s what the sponsors have to say:Bridgestone is the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer and an official International Olympic Committee Partner, promoting the concept Chase Your Dream, No Matter What. Andy Mathias, Marketing Communications Manager, North Europe Region, said: “Bridgestone is proud to sponsor the Lifetime Service Award which acknowledges outstanding, selfless work over many years. Bridgestone has already aligned itself with similarly impressive performers through its Chase Your Dream Trophy, run in partnership with England Golf. This competition couldn’t have been better named as so many dreams were realised during its various stages.”The PGA has more than 7000 members who enhance the golfing experience of countless players. Chief Executive Robert Maxfield said: “The PGA is delighted to sponsor England Golf’s Coach of the Year award, especially as many of our members play key roles in teaching the game to golfers of all abilities. These include beginners, enthusiastic club members looking to improve, as well as Ryder Cup stars, many of whom are coached by PGA professionals.”Players 1st is one of the world’s leading player experience platforms, helping golf clubs grow their business through data. Chief Executive Officer Morten Bisgaard said: “Players 1st is proud to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year Award at the England Golf Awards. Volunteers are highly committed people who show a deep love of the game and they put a lot of hard work into ensuring consistent, high-quality player experiences that keep both guests and members happy.”American Golf is Europe’s largest golf retailer. Director of Marketing and Communications Daniel Gathercole said: “We are delighted to support England Golf again. By acknowledging the fantastic contribution made by these clubs and by individuals, we encourage more people to follow in their footsteps. I am really looking forward to hearing the stories behind this year’s winners and will be proud to present our award.”SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. is a sports research business with a strong focus on golf. Director Richard Payne said: “We are again delighted to sponsor the County of the Year Award and recognise the initiatives, hard work and dedication of those working to grow the game at a county level. We believe it is vital to tailor your service to your target market and it is fascinating to see how successful counties are adapting their strategy for growth based on market demands.”The Golf Foundation is the charity responsible for helping more young people to enjoy the playing and personal benefits of golf. Chief Executive Officer Brendon Pyle said: “The Golf Foundation is delighted to be associated with the Young Ambassador Award as it works closely with England Golf to provide opportunities for young people to volunteer in golf. Leadership and volunteering are key aspects of the Foundation’s drive to help youngsters develop Skills for Life through their involvement in golf.”Derek Burridge Trophies is a leading trade price supplier of golf awards. Sales Director Mark Burridge said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the golf community to recognise the outstanding winners and we are delighted to support the England Golf Awards. So much good work goes on within the industry and this evening brings everyone together.”
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) grabs a rebound on a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) in the first overtime period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.Now they’re heading home for Monday night’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins hoping to make even more history.“For our fans, it’s been 14 years and they haven’t seen a playoff victory,” budding star Ryan Johansen said after Saturday night’s stunning 4-3 win in Pittsburgh in two overtimes. “To be able to go back to Columbus now tied 1-1 with the momentum we have, it’s a great feeling.”The Blue Jackets, cellar dwellers for most of the franchise’s existence, got the first playoff victory in their 13 seasons when undersized pest Matt Calvert banged in a second-chance rebound 1:10 into the second overtime.It led to a writhing, laughing pile of humanity on the ice at Consol Energy Center – and also set in motion a lot of doubts and criticism of the mighty Penguins.Stocked with hockey celebrities such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pens have come up short in the last four years since winning the Cup in 2009. Callers to sports-talk shows and those on social media are already questioning the club’s heart and commitment.“Our failed attempts to get it behind their defense kept our players on the ice,” coach Dan Bylsma said after the loss. “They got into the offensive zone, put it in there, hemmed us in.”Here’s five things to watch as the scene shifts to Nationwide Arena for Game 3:GOLDEN CROWD: Usually when the Penguins play in Columbus, their fans all but take over the place. When the teams met late in the regular season in Ohio’s capital city, as much as half of a sell-out crowd of 18,908-plus was rooting for the guys in gold and black.But when the seventh-seeded Blue Jackets drew the Penguins in the first round, the club’s front office sold tickets to fans with Ohio addresses first.That doesn’t mean that a large contingent of (owner and ex-Pen star) Mario Lemieux jerseys still won’t be seen. Just maybe not thousands of them.PENS MINDSET: After an injury-filled regular season, about the last thing the Penguins needed or expected was a major struggle early in the playoffs against a hard-working, physical team.Yet this has become a worst-case scenario for Pittsburgh, a finesse team that relies on its star power instead of gritty play, checking and greasy goals – like the Blue Jackets.Will the Penguins match the Blue Jackets’ effort?“We have to be better,” Crosby said. “That’s really, I think, the bottom line.”BUMPS AND BRUISES: The Blue Jackets may get yet another blue-collar player back for Game 3. Nick Foligno, who scored 18 goals and had 21 assists in the regular season, has missed the last seven games (knee) but has been cleared to play.Perhaps the team’s top defenseman, Fedor Tyutin, left after taking two big hits in the first period of Game 3. Coach Todd Richards would not discuss his availability.The Penguins have gotten a huge lift from forward Brian Gibbons, a 5-foot-8 rookie who finds open spaces. Bylsma moved him to the top line in the series opener and he responded by scoring their first two goals.But he was hurt on an awkward hit in Saturday night’s opening period and didn’t return. Lee Stempniak will replace him on the top line.LAST LINE: Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury have been excellent for the most part although each had shaky moments in Game 1 but recovered.Neither can afford any more soft goals, that’s for certain, in what has turned out to be a tight series in which each team has scored seven goals.“He’s the Bob when we need him to be the Bob,” Blue Jacket Artem Anisimov said of his Russian counterpart, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie.Fleury made several sterling saves in Game 2 to keep the Penguins alive, at least for a while.“There’s times where we get hemmed in our own end and he comes up huge and just gives us a chance to win,” Stempniak said.SUPPORTING ACTS: The loudest cheers at most Blue Jackets home games go to the singer of the National Anthem and a fat guy who tears off his shirt and dances suggestively while pouring beer over himself.Leo Welsh will again be greeted by thousands of fans screaming, “LEO!” when he’s introduced.And Kevin Schroeder, a portly fellow with inspirational sayings scribbled all over his massive frame, will undoubtedly get the crowd roaring when he pretends he’s Magic Mike late in the game.___Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP