The state today announced more than $182,000 in 15 matching grants to projects for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings across Vermont, including two in the town of Windsor, the birthplace of Vermont.Standing in front of the historic Stephen Jacob House, whose owner, Historic Windsor Inc., received a $7,690 grant to install a new roof to protect the building, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Jim Saudade congratulated the grant recipients.“These are difficult times, but we are continuing this administration’s commitment to historic preservation,” Saudade said. “Preserving our past is an important part of keeping Vermont a special place not only for our residents, but for the visitors who come and help support our tourism economy.”In addition, the American Precision Museum in Windsor received $8,000 that will be used to help stabilize and repair masonry at the historic brick Robbins & Lawrence Armory building, an important part of the early machine tool industry in Vermont and the nation.The grant program, administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, provides owners of historic buildings with matching funding of up to $15,000 for a variety of capital repairs.Saudade said the grant program is “an investment that helps leverage additional funding sources.”“By partnering with state government, the owners of these buildings can invest in saving them, both for the current enjoyment of residents and visitors, and for future generations of Vermonters,” he said.Judy Hayward, executive director of Historic Windsor Inc., agreed. She noted that her organization had only purchased the Stephen Jacob House, which is historically significant for a court case that upheld Vermont’s constitutional ban on slavery, with the help of a donation last year.“This is an important grant because it is our initial funding and now we can begin the process of fundraising for the restoration,” Hayward said. “It is a lot easier to make that ask when someone has agreed to go first.”Buildings must be on the National Register of Historic Places or eligible for listing, and grant requests are reviewed by the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a group of volunteers appointed by the Governor whose members include experts in archeology, history, and architecture.In making decisions on funding, the Council prioritizes projects based on several criteria, including those most in critical need of repair.“We’re just exceeding grateful to the Division for this grant,” said Cher Laston, a representative of the Washington Unitarian Universalist Church, which received $8,150 to help pay for the installation of a new standing-seam metal roof on the historic church.“We are a tiny congregation, there are 15 active members,” she said. “This is the piece that will ensure our building still stands, so we can continue to do the good work that’s been part of its 158 years of history.”For more information, visit the Division for Historic Preservation site at: www.historicvermont.org(link is external)
So I’m sitting here, writing my very last column, on my final day of work in the office of The Badger Herald. At this moment, I find myself pondering one of the great unanswerable questions in sports:Why are (most) athletes so freaking humble?It’s like clockwork: A tremendous athlete, one who has obviously worked harder than Santa Claus on Christmas Eve to get where he or she has gotten in a particular sport, wins a prestigious award that most of us simply dream of winning; some ESPN-type personality asks said athlete for his or her emotion at that moment; and instead of saying something like “I’ve worked so hard, and it feels so good” or “This is a dream come true,” they have to give that suddenly run-of-the-mill answer:”I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”Um, why not? What did your teammates do that was so darn special? Maybe you’re that much hotter than everybody else. Maybe your sheer presence scared the bejesus out of the competition. Maybe you were just luckier than Dave McGrath getting locked inside a Guinness factory with Dan Marino and Melissa Stark.Maybe, oh maybe, you’re just that good.So why not shout it out loud? Grab some headlines! Say something outrageous, for once in your life!Willis McGahee and Stephon Marbury have the right idea. By each declaring they were the greatest individual talent at their respective position (McGahee, a football running back, and Marbury, a basketball point guard), McGahee and Starbury ensured that moments in their own personal spotlight would never be in short supply.Even better than their righteous attempts at self-promotion, McGahee and Marbury were brave enough to honestly admit their true feelings to the world. This is easier said than done for most athletes.What you don’t know is how many other athletes actually feel this way and never worked up the guts to admit it.First, I spoke with Brett Favre in an exclusive interview. He said he hasn’t stopped thinking about Terrell Owens’ announcement that when TO was with Philadelphia, if Brett Favre was his quarterback, the Eagles would have been undefeated to that point in the season.”Brett Favre’s going to be honest with you, Brett Favre can’t blame TO for thinking that way,” Brett Favre said. “Nothing against Donovan McNabb, but the Eagles would have won the Super Bowl that year if they had good ol’ No. 4 on their side.”When I wake up in the morning, I piss excellence,” Favre added.Troy Smith did an okay job of reveling in his moment last Saturday when he won the Heisman trophy. Maybe a little too much credit was given to his teammates, but Smith was pretty professional as a whole.But afterward, after throwing down a few cocktails, Smith was another big-time star with an image of humility to profess his love for his mirror.”I’m the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman trophy, I’ve heard,” Smith said in a telephone call while intoxicated, or during a “drunk dial” for the college mind. “I’d like to thank myself, for being so talented … and I’d like to thank the voters, for helping to show that punk Brady Quinn who’s boss.”Wait, this just in. Derek Jeter just announced his plans for the 2007 season in a press conference. His lone goal: try to be the best shortstop in the game.”Y’all write this down, man, I’m pissed,” DJ said at his news conference. “I’m so sick of hearing ‘A-Rod this, A-Rod that,’ why can’t I get any press? The only time I’m mentioned in the press is when Jessica Biel is involved.”Wisconsin athletes, respectful as they all may be, are not immune to these pressures, either. When I tried to ask UW’s own Sara Bauer, a generally mild-mannered women’s hockey player, about winning the Patty Kazmaier award last season, Bauer stopped taping her stick long enough to look me in the eye and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.”Ex-Badger running back Brian Calhoun concurred. “I’m the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be,” Calhoun said via text message. “That’s all there is to it.”You see, these guys have the right idea. With that, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you who’s boss in the Wisconsin sports writing world. That’s right, it’s Mr. Mile High himself…What? I’m fired for insubordination? You can’t fire me! I’m the best sportswriter in the all the land!Well, it’s been fun, anyway.OK, no, seriously. It’s been a distinct pleasure holding down the Thursday column for the year of 2006.I’ll close by delivering my American Idol-esque speech. I’d like to thank past Heralders Mac VerStandig, Mike Robinson, Tom Ziemer and Adam Parks for helping me get involved with this paper. Shannon and Schmoldt .45, thanks for giving me a shot at an editors’ spot, despite my freshman status at the time. D-Mac, Big Poppy and Klugs, this section turned out great this semester. Hopefully, our readers agree. As for you readers, kudos for putting up with my blabbering drivel from time to time, this job is all made worth it when people enjoy picking up this newspaper on a daily basis. Thanks for reading.Send any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and have an awesome holiday break!
CHARLES CITY — A New Hampton man charged with murder in the death of a child in Floyd County has pleaded not guilty. 25-year-old Shane Morris was arrested on March 9th and charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death in connection with the death of his three-and-a-half month old child in August of last year. Court documents state that Morris was taking care of the child before being taken first to the Floyd County Medical Center and then was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester. Medical staff observed a large bulge on the side of the child’s head with tests showing a skull fracture that was likely a result of non-accidental trauma. Morris was due in court for his arraignment hearing tomorrow, but online court records show that he filed a written plea of not guilty and a waiver of a speedy trial in Floyd County District Court today. No trial date has been scheduled. If convicted of first-degree murder, Morris would face the rest of his life in prison without the opportunity for parole.
The rumor is that Amazon is getting ready to launch a games console at some point this year. It has been hinted at several times with Amazon’s Lab 126 handling the design (it’s meant to look a lot like a PSOne) and Android being used as an OS for the machine.Now we have concrete proof Amazon has got its eyes firmly set on the games industry: Jeff Bezos’ company has just acquired an established game developer in the form of Double Helix Games.Double Helix is known most recently for the Xbox One-exclusive launch title Killer Instinct and its forthcoming release Strider across multiple platforms. But the studio has been releasing games since 2008, with notable titles including Silent Hill: Homecoming and Front Mission Evolved.Although as a developer it has no valuable IP of its own, there’s certainly a lot of experience within the company (it was formed through the merger of Shiny Entertainment and The Collective back in 2007). That combined with releases across all the major consoles and PC us probably what made it a viable acquisition for Amazon.If you’re going to release a new console on the market, you need some exclusive games with which to hit the ground running. It seems unlikely Double Helix could have a brand new console-quality game ready before 2014 is over, but Amazon may be looking for smaller game experiences to help launch its machine. A couple of those from the studio this years is certainly possible.