THORNS to the circumstances the surround the planned closing of Greenberg’s in Bennington. After 65 years in business, the downtown hardware store and lumber yard is set to close by Sept. 1. The reason for the closure is, according to a member of the Greenberg family, a deal on the property could not be reached with Leader Home Centers, which purchased the business last year. This is a major loss for Bennington and a sad end to the vision of company founders, the late Norman and Selma Greenberg. ROSES to the spectacular fireworks display sponsored by the Town of Bennington, Price Chopper, Casella Waste Systems and Walmart on Sunday in Willow Park. The festive, colorful Fourth of July tradition was delayed a couple of days because of rainy weather, but we thought the wait was worth it.

ROSES to the 2014 All-Banner High School Baseball All-Star Team. The Banner’s picks were MVP Matt Upright, a senior pitcher for Mount Anthony Union High School; pitcher Noah Rizio, a senior at Burr and Burton Academy; Wyatt Whitman, a sophomore pitcher for Hoosick Falls Central School; Adam Maitland, a junior BBA catcher; Brady Sausville, a senior utility player (playing pitcher, catcher and first base, at times) for Cambridge Central School; Shea Mooney, a junior infielder for MAU; Garrett Wright, a junior infielder from HFCS; Griff Stalcup, a freshman infielder from BBA; Ellis Baker, a senior infielder from MAU; Tom Peabody, a senior outfielder from HFCS; Pat Powers, a sophomore outfielder from MAU; and Marcus LaFlamme, a junior outfielder from MAU.


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Congratulations to these fine area athletes on a great season!

ROSES to Fr. Bill Kelley of Sacred Heart St. Francis De Sales Church in Bennington on his retirement. Kelley, 75, a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, has spent nearly nine years total at the local parish as associate pastor and pastor. Fr. Kelley told the Banner he will miss the people most when he leaves Bennington this week, "I’ve been there when a number of people have died and I’ve been there when a number of people have been born and got married ... you kind of get into people’s lives as much as they’re willing to share." Enjoy yourself, Father Bill!

ROSES to Mount Anthony Union Middle School’s summer farm and garden camps, held this week and set to run again from July 28 to August 1, which aim to teach middle school students about planting fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as the importance of composting. Run by teachers Helen Fields and Stephen Greene, the program is funded by the Middle School Agriculture Committee and a $1,500 Vermont Community Garden Network Grant. Students will harvest the crops planted during the camps when they return to school in the fall. "I like it because you get to learn about fruits and vegetables and bugs that you wouldn’t get to otherwise," said camper Raven Realmunto. There is still some space available in the later camp. If interested, contact Fields at 802-753-5751 or hfields@svsu.org.

ROSES to the opportunity MAUHS wrestlers had recently to learn from Ed Ruth, three-time NCAA champion for Penn State University (my alma mater!) The Nittany Lion, who recently qualified for the World Team, visited MAU coach Scott Legacy’s wrestling camp Monday. Ruth told the Banner that he attended similar camps as a younger wrestler and enjoys giving back. Also making guest appearances at Legacy’s camp were Indiana University Coach Joe Dubuque and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Heath Elsinger.

~Michelle Karas