Saturday March 2, 2013

ROSES to the Mount Anthony Union High School Varsity Wrestling team and their coach on winning the Vermont state championship on Feb. 23, for the 25th year in a row. Coach Scott Legacy called the team's 25th crown a "magical, magical moment." We congratulate these young athletes on yet another fine season. We'll cheer just as loudly for championship No. 26 next year. ROSES to Hoosick Falls Central junior wrestler Luis Weierbach, who won the New York title in the 106-pound weight class Feb. 23 -- the school's first. Kudos to his coach, Landon Nelson, as well.

THORNS to former Bennington Rural Fire Department Chief Joseph Hayes for allegedly embezzling the proceeds from a department-sponsored raffle. According to police, money people paid for raffle tickets was never turned over to the department.

ROSES to Bennington Habitat for continuing to build homes for families in the area who are in need. The group recently completed the latest of 11 planned builds in a Manchester neighborhood.

THORNS to lawmakers for getting us into this sequester mess. If all the proposed cuts are made, Vermont could lose $1.1 million in funding for primary and secondary education; $1.4 million for about 30 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities; $101,000 for job search, assistance, referral, and placement; $331,000 to help improve Vermont's response to public health threats including infectious disease and natural disasters; $270,000 to help prevent and treat substance abuse; and $52,000 for vaccinations.


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On defense, 1,000 civilian Department of Defense workers would be furloughed and $1 million cut from Army base operation funding. On the environment, the sequester would cut $1 million for water and air quality and $359,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

ROSES to Bonnie Strange's fourth-grade class at Pownal Elementary, which has raised about $200 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this school year. The students have created ‘get well' cards for patients and even hospital staff prior to holidays including Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Valentine's Day. "It feels good to try to cheer up children who are ill and give as much money to the hospital as we can collect in one school year. We will keep working on it," said fourth-grader Nikita Noyes-Martel. Anyone who wishes to help the class raise money for St. Jude may drop off donations at Pownal Elementary School, 94 School House Road.

~Michelle Karas