Route 4 reopens, vital east-west link in Vermont

first_imgVermont Governor Peter Shumlin today joined hundreds of Rutland County residents in Killington to celebrate the opening of Route 4, a critical east-west roadway that until today was closed to through traffic due to damage from Tropical Storm Irene.Route 4 between Rutland and Killington on August 29, 2011. Photo courtesy Steve Costello, CVPS.Governor Shumlin was joined by Vermont Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles and Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith to celebrate the pride everyone has that road crews repaired Route 4’s severe damage in just 19 days, and to spread the message that Vermont has recovered significantly, and just in time for foliage season.In less than three weeks since the storm struck on August 28, the Vermont Agency of Transportation has opened four major east-west travel corridors. In addition to Route 4 between Rutland and Woodstock, Route 103 between Rockingham and Rutland, Route 11 between Chester and Manchester, and Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro are now open in their entirety.”Opening the state’s critical east-west travel corridors allows most Vermonters the mobility they need for everyday tasks like visiting their doctor, commuting to work and attending school,” Governor Shumlin said. “The increased mobility also provides a lifeline for Vermont businesses, and the timing could not be better. With the start of foliage season upon us, Vermont’s guests and visitors can now navigate most state regions with only a few exceptions.”Route 4 between Rutland and Bridgewater was damaged in several locations, including five places between Mendon and Killington where flooding from Mendon Brook created major roadway craters. In two locations, all three lanes of Route 4 were missing. In other locations, two lanes were missing with sheer slope drops as high as 70 to 80 feet.Portions of the roadway were also completely washed away in Killington around River Road where today’s celebration was held, and there was damage in several other locations along “Killington Flats” and the rest of Route 4 stretching east to Woodstock.While roads like Route 4 that were once closed following Irene are now open, many still contain construction crews and have gravel sections, so motorists are encouraged to focus on safety and drive with caution.”Travelers have to understand that open does not mean back to normal in some areas,” Secretary Searles said. “Some of our most badly damaged areas are still recovering, and the roads in these areas remain closed to all but local residents. Even roads that are open, like Route 4 and Route 9, still have construction crews making repairs, as well as segments of gravel where there used to be pavement.”Driving a little slower actually lends itself well to the spirit of foliage season, where leisurely drives and taking in Vermont’s breathtaking beauty is the prime directive.”Driving may be a little slower in some areas, but in most cases you can now get there from here,” Commissioner Smith said. “And when you arrive, Vermont’s well-known hospitality will be waiting to greet you.”For up-to-date information on storm-related openings and closings, the public can call the Irene recovery call center at 1-800-VERMONT or go to the Agency’s homepage at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can sign up for alerts pushed to their mobile phone. You can also follow VTrans’ recovery efforts on both Facebook and Twitter.Restoring the critical east-west travel corridor between the resort community of Killington and all points to the east and west will come just in time for the kick-off of the fall foliage touring season. The opening could not come soon enough for the many inns, restaurants and other businesses in the resort town that have been essentially cut off from their main commerce route since flooding from Tropical Storm Irene destroyed the roads leading into and out of town. Although recovery efforts caused some events to be postponed until next year, an abbreviated Hay Festival encompassing two major events will go on as planned. Killington Brewfest Weekend will take place September 30 through October 1, and the DockDogs National Championships will go on as scheduled October 7 to 9.  The resort community is also planning a townwide ‘Welcome Back’ celebration on October 1.   ‘Killington is open for business, and we’re eager to welcome back visitors, neighbors and friends during this exceptionally beautiful time of year,’ says Seth Webb, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the Town.  ‘Coming up to Killington, supporting our shops, inns and restaurants this fall and winter is the best thing people can do to help us get back on track.’  The Killington Brewfest kicks off on Friday September 30 with a Vermont Brewmasters Dinner from 7 to 9pm followed by a Brewfest Kickoff Party, all at the Wobbly Barn.  On Saturday, October 1 the Brewfest takes place from 1 to 6 pm at the Snowshed Lodge at the Killington Resort, featuring live music, food offerings and over 75 of the finest craft beers from throughout the region. DockDogs, as seen on ABC, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, feature distance jumping and retrieving competitions from the world’s best canine athletes. The 2011 DockDogs® National Championships, scheduled for October 7-9 at the Snowshed Base Area, is expected to bring in over 300 of the most experienced teams from all parts of the country — and their fans — to compete for the national title. Along with the breathtaking displays of fall color, visitors to Killington can also expect to see 30 of the town’s giant hay sculptures that make up the Grass Menagerie, the central element of the Killington Hay Festival.  The Killington Hay Festival continues through Columbus Day Weekend, featuring an ongoing scavenger hunt and a hay maze at the Gristmill Restaurant.  For more information on the Killington Hay Festival, contact Suzie Dundas at (802) 422-2185, or suziedundas@killingtontown.com(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

Cricket News India vs West Indies 1st Test: India gear up for World Test Championship challenge

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. North Sound (Antigua): A perfect combination and a winning start will be foremost on skipper Virat Kohli’s mind when India take on West Indies in their inaugural World Test Championship opener on Thursday.A win in the opening Test will be the 27th for Kohli as skipper and will put him on even keel with his predecessor MS Dhoni. A century in the game (19th as captain) will place him on par with Ricky Ponting.On paper, a batting line-up that has Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the ranks should be termed clear favourites but this West Indies team, led by Jason Holder, is no pushover.Windies are a potent threatEngland found that out the hard way at the start of the year when they lost a Test series 1-2 in some of the most lively pitches on the Caribbean islands in recent times. One such pacer-friendly wicket was at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua where Kohli and his men will be facing the Windies first up.”People have been talking about Test cricket not being relevant or dying down. For me, the competition has gone up two-fold the last couple of years. It’s up to the players to take the challenge and go for victories,” Kohli said about the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship.”The games are going to be much more competitive and it brings a lot of purpose to the Test matches you play. It’s the right move and at the absolute right time,” Kohli said.The last Test played here saw England scoring 187 and 132 but that was a different time of the year.Nevertheless, Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, who recently got a fresh contract, will be wary of the challenge that can be posed by the new ball pair of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel along with Jason Holder bowling his steady seam-up spells.5 bowlers or 6 batsmen?If there is pace and bounce, Kohli is likely to go with four specialist bowlers in which Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav will be fighting for the lone spinner’s slot. The three pacers, in all likelihood, will be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami. However, it is the batting combination that will be the skipper’s primary worry and if he can get it right, that will be considered as a tactical victory.In an ideal situation, if Hardik Pandya was available, Kohli would have been tempted to drop one among Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane but given the recent record of West Indies in Tests, he might go in with an extra batsman which means both will feature in the playing XI.If a green-top is provided and Kohli still goes with five bowlers which includes Ravindra Jadeja as an all-rounder, it could well be a toss-up between the two Mumbaikars.Hanuma get reward for ‘courage done under’ The other issue will be at the top of the order as to who will open with Mayank Agarwal. The common logic says KL Rahul, who is a specialist opener, but Hanuma Vihari was sent to do the fire-fighting in Australia and it would be unfair to not give him another opportunity against a relatively easier pace attack.The West Indies team in the Test format has been an understated one with players who have more talent than what the numbers currently show.In Shai Hope, John Campbell and Shimron Hetmyer, they have the three talented youngsters. Roston Chase, during the 2016 series against India, had thwarted Ashwin for a whole fifth day in Kingston after West Indies were staring at an innings defeat. In addition to that, he is a steady off-spinner with 50 Test wickets.Darren Bravo is their most experienced batsman with 52 Tests and nearly 3500 runs under his belt. However, the kind of talent he is, an average of 38 plus with only eight hundreds doesn’t justify that.All eyes will also be on whether, the new “giant” of world cricket, Rahkeem Cornwall is given an opportunity. His imposing physical structure may have grabbed attention but Cornwall has also been a performer with his effective off-breaks and handy lower-middle-order batting.India vs West Indies SquadsIndia: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Aagrwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha (wk)West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.Match starts 7pm (IST) last_img read more

USC places second in Pac-12 championship

first_imgUp against some of the toughest competition in the country, the men’s swimming and diving team came up just short of winning its second consecutive Pac-12 conference championshipThe ninth-ranked Trojans, looking to defend their 2015 Pac-12 team championship, were led by several outstanding performances but couldn’t keep pace with Stanford over the course of the four-day event.“I think Stanford took a page from our playbook last year,” USC head coach Dave Salo said. “They saw how we came together as a team and came to compete in the absence of one of their top swimmers from last year.”The conference championships were a three-team race from the beginning: USC and Stanford finished the diving championships tied for the lead, but Cal — the second-ranked team in the nation — came storming back to take the lead after the first day of swimming. The Golden Bears won the 800-yard freestyle relay after coming in third in the 200-yard medley relay on Day 1, but USC wasn’t far behind: The Trojans took second place in each event, putting themselves in good position to compete for the rest of the championships.On Day 2, Stanford found themselves on the podium six times over the course of four events, good enough to take the lead in the meet. USC junior Reed Malone, runner up in the 500-yard freestyle the last two years, won the event for the first time, posting the NCAA’s second-best time in the event with a 4:11.80 finish. Malone’s victory was USC’s only top-three finish on the day, and the Trojans remained in second place heading into the second half of the meet.USC had a strong Day 3 as well: Malone won his second race of the championships in the 200-yard freestyle, an event the Trojans have not lost since 2009. USC sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov won the individual title in the 100-yard backstroke, ending California’s three-year win-streak in the event. Freshman Carsten Vissering took second in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the Trojans finished second in the 400 medley relay.Despite only making it onto the podium three times on Day 3, Stanford held a 59-point lead going into the final day of the competition. USC freshman Patrick Mulcare won the 200-yard backstroke and junior Steven Stumph won his second consecutive 200-yard breastroke; Mulcare’s time of 1:39.64 was good enough to break Trojan Olympian Lenny Krayzelburg’s school record set back in 1997. Still, their individual victories would not be enough to pass Stanford, which finished the competition with 808 total points.“We had so many outstanding efforts,” Salo said. “The maturity of the freshman class was a pleasant surprise.”USC finished second with 700 points, followed by California with 628. With their runner-up finish, the Trojans have finished in the top two in the conference for consecutive years for the first time since 1997-1998.“I think our guys experienced winning last year and the feeling of coming up short this season will drive their performance next year,” Salo said. “They found out that they like winning a lot more.”The Trojans now look ahead to the NCAA Championships, which will be held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta later this month.last_img read more