ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. – The 84th annual Champlain Valley Fair lived up to its theme of ‘Awesome’ with 290,128 people — down from 2004 — coming through the gates from Aug. 27 to Sept. 5. The slight dip in attendance from last years 299,168, may be due to the dramatic effects of Hurricane Katrina and resulting increase in gas prices, fair officials said this week.Still, visitors from 45 states and as far away as New Zealand, California and Hawaii attended the 10-day fair, concert series and agricultural competitions.There were plenty of smiles to go around, especially for fair food venders who saw their sales rise by about 3 percent, making it the best year ever at the Fair for purveyors of fried dough, corn on the cob and cotton candy. This was an awesome fair overall, said David F. Grimm, general manager of the Exposition. We had excellent weather almost every day; one of the strongest fair concert line-ups anywhere in the Northeast; an array of fresh attractions and great new modern facilities that were enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people over the course of the Fair.Some of the nicest comments were heard over and over from our visitors was about how clean and family-friendly the Fair was again this year. And thats all because of a great staff, dedicated department superintendents, their hard-working crews and the volunteers who come to help because they love the Fair. Everyone gives 100 percent and more for 10 days so that our fairgoers have the best experience possible, he added. While there was only one rainy day in the middle of the Fair as the remnants of Hurricane Katrina passed through New England, its effects were felt through the busy Labor Day weekend by fairgoers traveling longer distances to attend the event, Grimm noted. That may be why our overall attendance numbers are down a bit, he said.To aid in the disaster relief effort, fair officials invited the local American Red Cross to bring its bloodmobile to the fair and collect donations for hurricane victims at its gates and before and after the sold-out Tim McGraw concert Sunday. More than $20,000 was collected from fairgoers, according to the Red Cross. Radio station WOKO 98.9 helped get the word out and several performers and fair vendors contributed a portion of their proceeds to the relief effort.Sparking many of the changes this year was a new partnership with Progressive Insurance as the Fairs presenting sponsor. With Progressives support there were daily prize giveaways and a grand prize of $1,500 in home improvement prizes; additional picnic tables, plastic shopping bags, an art show and new signage at the Fair this year. Our relationship with Progressive as a presenting sponsor is unique in the fair industry and we are looking forward to having them back again next year for our 85th anniversary celebration, Grimm noted. The Fairs Grandstand series of concerts – topped by country headliner Tim McGraw – received rave reviews for their showmanship and entertainment value. Shows by country star Alan Jackson and comedian Larry the Cable Guy were nearly sold out. Other Budweiser True Music concerts included The Allman Brothers Band with .38 Special (featuring a surprise guest, Trey Anastasio of Phish); American Idols star Clay Aiken; and disco-era favorites K.C. and the Sunshine Band and Village People. Motor sports fans enjoyed Land Airs Extreme Freestyle Motorcycle Show; JM Productions Figure 8 racing and the Windshield Doctors Demolition Derby; and Add-ons NTPA Grand National Tractor and Truck Pull on Labor Day.The Reithoffer Show midway and carnival featured 40 rides and attractions and the one-of-a-kind Speed – a 135-foot-tall ride that spins and twirls riders at 60 mph. It is the only ride of its kind currently operating in the United States, according to Pat Reithoffer. Overall numbers were down by 3.5% on the midway, Grimm said, again reflecting the lower attendance numbers.Free daily entertainment at the Fair drew daily crowds for a high dive show, daily appearances by Spider-Man, a science show, free video game arcade, a juggler, mime, hypnotist, caricature artist, racing pigs, petting zoo, Elvis impersonator, musicians and an authentic cowboy chuck wagon. Many entertainers and animals were featured in the daily parade through the grounds. New this year was the Burlington Free Press Awesome Zone in the State Building which along with daily shows for children and a YMCA Fitness Challenge, featured the Big Heavy World Concert Series – a nightly showcase for local high school and college bands. Approximately $75,000 in competition premiums and prize money was awarded during the fair. Significant increases in entries to the art and photography department were seen this year; including a special art show presented by Progressive Insurance from its corporate art collection in Cincinnati, Ohio. Home crafts reported a record-number of quilts and other crafts sold during the fair.This years heavyweight pumpkin, grown by Kevin Companion of Huntington, weighed in at 960.5 pounds and was displayed in the new Expo North Greenhouse, along with fruits, vegetables, flowers, bonsai and Christmas trees. Expo North also featured the 53-ton giant sand sculpture featuring Harry Potter characters, displayed indoors for the first time at the fair. More than 100 people, including Vt. Gov. James Douglas, were on hand to honor the 2005 inductees into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame at the Champlain Valley Exposition in a ceremony held during the Fair. This years inductees were: U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords; dairy farmer Harold J. Howrigan, Sr. of Fairfield; Morgan Horse steward Dr. Donald Balch; and a posthumous award to former Vt. State Rep.Stephanie Bourdeau. Vermont Dairy of Distinction awards were presented midweek to numerous Vermont farms and a reception was held for Vermont Legislators and past directors of the Exposition. More than 1,300 animals were on display or competing for top honors in their class at the Fair. Contests ranged from horse and oxen pulling competitions, the Gymkhana invitational horse show with a top prize of $1,000, 4-H horse and cattle shows, and the sheep to shawl competition in the Sheep tent. The Read and Win summer reading program, sponsored by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions and Champlain Valley Exposition, saw approximately 1,000 children complete the assignment of reading at least three books over the summer to earn free admission to the Fair. Several hundred students in grades K-5 and their families from five northern Vermont counties attended a special reception on Aug. 29 and received free books and ride tickets. Later in the week, more than 600 students, teachers and parents from Vermont schools visited the Fair as part of the annual educational field trip day to visit the agricultural and animal exhibits. Students from the University of Vermonts Agriculture and Animal Science programs also toured the fair as part of their studies.Significant improvements to the fairgrounds and facilities over the summer included the addition of Expo North to the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre; relocation of the cashiers office building, repaving of several roads, improved lighting in the agriculture area, and updates and renovation of numerous food vendor buildings. We are a not-for-profit organization. It would be impossible to make these kinds of improvements and put on a quality fair of this size without the strong backing from local and national businesses. We had more than 50 fair sponsors, in addition to Progressive, this year and we cant thank them enough for their continued support, Grimm said.Plans are already underway for the 2006 Champlain Valley Fair, Aug. 26- Sept. 4, that will mark the events 85th anniversary. Photos from this years fair, results from many of the blue-ribbon competitions and more information about other upcoming events this fall at the Champlain Valley Exposition at www.cvfair.com(link is external). For additional information, call (802) 878-5545.
According to the Trafficking in Persons Report published by the U.S. Department of State in June 2013, Antigua and Barbuda is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, but the country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s standards. Legal and undocumented immigrants from the Caribbean region, notably from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, as well as from Southeast Asia, reportedly comprise the population most vulnerable to trafficking, said the report. According to several sources, forced prostitution occurs in bars, taverns, and brothels. Incidences of forced labor have occurred in domestic service and in the retail sector. Despite severe budget limitations, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda demonstrated a proactive approach to identifying trafficking victims and providing them with quality services. The report noted that both the minister of national security and the director of gender affairs continued to be leaders in the prevention of human trafficking during the reporting period. For another year, the government did not report any convictions or punishments of trafficking offenders. Antigua and Barbuda’s Trafficking in Persons (Prevention) Act 2010 prohibits forced prostitution and forced labor, including bonded labor, and prescribes punishments of 20 to 30 years’ imprisonment with fines. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The law is comprehensive, and includes extensive victim protection measures, though several local officials have expressed concern that the law requires trafficking crimes be heard in lower court, which appears to treat trafficking as a less serious crime. During the reporting period, the government provided in-kind support to International Organization for Migration (IOM)-led capacity building and technical skills training workshops for government officials. The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention) Act 2010 protects identified victims from punishment for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their having been trafficked, and authorities collaborated with IOM to repatriate foreign victims safely and voluntarily. The government demonstrated significant trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. By Dialogo July 25, 2013
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Press Association The Gunners ended the campaign in strong form, recovering from defeat at Tottenham in March to beat Bayern Munich away and then win eight from the last 10 league games as they battled back to clinch fourth spot ahead of their north-London rivals – and with it another shot at Champions League football. By contrast, Arsenal had secured only four victories from the opening 10 matches, and the 21-year-old said in an interview with Arsenal Player: “The games earlier on don’t decide our season but we have got to think that we have to win them, because that is what champions do.” Jack Wilshere has warned Arsenal cannot afford another slow start next season if they are to mount a sustained challenge for the Barclays Premier League title. Arsenal’s recorded opening defeats at Chelsea, Norwich and Manchester United. Indeed, Arsene Wenger’s side dropped as low as 10th place when they were beaten at home by Swansea on December 1. Wilshere, who is set for ankle surgery, knows it is a scenario which cannot be repeated if Arsenal are serious about lasting the distance in 2013/14, and he added: “The likes of Manchester United go away and win games and leave you thinking, ‘they keep winning and winning’ and at the end of the season the points tally shows that. “That is what we have to do (to challenge for the title).” Wilshere feels Arsenal must step up their form in the head-to-head against their direct rivals, having lost both at home and away to Chelsea, been beaten at the Emirates Stadium by Manchester City and having drawn with United when they came to north London just after being crowned champions. “We also have to improve our record against the big teams,” the England man said. “It has not been great this season and if you want to become champions you have to beat those sides.” To help facilitate closing the gap on United, City and Chelsea, Arsenal are expected to significantly bolster their squad this summer as Wenger finally dips into his £100million war chest, set to be backed up by new lucrative marketing deals. The club are also set to get Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Sebastien Squillaci and Korean forward Park Chu-young all off the wage bill. However, Gremio have suggested they are unlikely to take up a permanent deal for Andre Santos, who is currently on loan back in Brazil.
Caption: SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – Tokyo’s postponed Olympics will go ahead next year regardless of the novel coronavirus pandemic, International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates told AFP Tuesday, vowing they will be the “Games that conquered COVID-19”.The Olympics have never been cancelled outside of the world wars and Coates, speaking in a phone interview, was adamant that the Tokyo Games will start on their revised date.“It will take place with or without COVID. The Games will start on July 23 next year,” said Coates, who heads the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games.“The Games were going to be, their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” he said, referring to a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan in 2011.Now very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID the light at the end of the tunnel.”In a landmark decision, the 2020 Olympics were postponed because of the global march of the pandemic and they are now set to open on July 23, 2021.But Japan’s borders are still largely closed to foreign visitors and a vaccine is months or even years away, feeding speculation about whether the Games are feasible at all.Japanese officials have made clear they would not delay them a second time beyond 2021.There are signs that public enthusiasm in Japan is waning, after a recent poll found just one in four Japanese want them to go ahead next year, with most backing either another postponement or a cancellation.MONUMENTAL TASKCoates said the Japanese Government “haven’t dropped the baton at all” following the postponement, despite the “monumental task” of putting the event back a year.“Before COVID, (IOC president) Thomas Bach said this is the best-prepared Games we’ve ever seen, the venues were almost all finished, they are now finished, the village is amazing, all the transport arrangements, everything is fine,” he said.“Now it’s been postponed by one year, that’s presented a monumental task in terms of re-securing all the venues … something like 43 hotels we had to get out of those contracts and renegotiate for a year later.“Sponsorships had to be extended a year, broadcast rights.”With much of that work underway, or accomplished, a task force has been set up to look at the different scenarios in 2021 – from how border controls will affect the movement of athletes, to whether fans can pack venues and how to keep stadiums safe.The group, comprising Japanese and IOC officials, met for the first time last week.“Their job now is to look at all the different countermeasures that will be required for the Games to take place,” said Coates, the long-time president of the Australian Olympic Committee.“Some countries will have it (COVID-19) under control, some won’t. We’ll have athletes, therefore, coming from places where it’s under control and some where it is not.“There are 206 teams … so there’s a massive task being undertaken on the Japanese side.”Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto on Friday repeated that organisers hoped to avoid a Games without spectators – an option that has been mooted given Japan is still limiting audiences at sports events.While the country is cautiously reopening its economy, with professional baseball, football and sumo resuming in front of limited numbers of fans, the nation continues to see a steady stream of new coronavirus cases.Japan has already ploughed billions of dollars into the Olympics, with the delay only adding to the cost.Coates said IOC was doing its part, putting in “something like an extra US$800 million to support the international federations, whose income isn’t happening this year, and national Olympic committees”. IOC vice-president John Coates. Photo saved: John Coates
Share Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Submit Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has announced a strengthening of its investigative, intelligence and educational capabilities, with the addition of a new trio of staff members.Responsible for enforcing the zero tolerance policy on betting related corruption encapsulating all professional tennis on a worldwide basis, the TIU states that the fresh appointments add greater depth, expertise and capability to the unit.The first new recruit is Karen Risby who joins as an investigator following a 20-year career as a detective, with a number of high profile deployments under her belt including with the Special Branch and Anti-Terrorist Units.After culminating work as an Ethics and Compliance Manager with the Police, Risby went onto the US based Supreme Group, becoming responsible for carrying out integrity training and investigations associated with military operations in Africa and the Middle East.Next is Steven Downes who has been recruited as an Intelligence Analyst, placing an increased focus on the use of intelligence in combating corruption within the sport of tennis.Become the fourth member of the TIU’s Information and Intelligence team, it’s detailed that the fluent Spanish speaker brings a wealth of experience gained across numerous police intelligence roles in London.Third and finally is Richard Sackey-Addo, who joined the Education and Training team in January as an Education Coordinator.Sackey-Addo, a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) accredited coach and Spanish speaker, holds an MSc in Sports Performance, as well as being a former University Tennis Coordinator with Tennis Foundation, and part of the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Coach Education Department in Valencia, Spain.The TIU also details that it received a total of 38 match alerts for the first quarter of 2018, January to March inclusive, through its confidential Memorandums of Understanding with gambling regulators and leading betting organisations.That is roughly in line with previous figures from the same period, with 2017 showing 30 alerts, 2016 producing 48 and 2015 bringing 32. Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles