Washington Electric Cooperative Inc,As individuals and communities all over Vermont welcome members of the Vermont National Guard home from deployment, the employees of Washington Electric Cooperative have expressed their thanks and support by donating dozens of Christmas gifts to needy, local Guard families with children. The $1,400 worth of gifts ‘ from a small bicycle with training wheels, to kitchen play sets and other toys, to children’s clothing and gifts for teen-agers and adults ‘ were purchased with $700 raised among the Co-op’s employees and a matching contribution by Washington Electric’s ‘Community Fund.’‘This is amazing,’ said Joyce Cloutier, Family Assistance Specialist with the Guard’s Family Readiness Program, on December 20 as she surveyed a large conference table loaded with gifts at the Co-op’s East Montpelier headquarters. More gifts, wrapped and ready for the tree, were piled on chairs and on the floor in the conference room. ‘It’s extremely generous. I had expected to find about four or five gifts for each of the family members, and that would have been plenty!’Cloutier will see to it that the gifts are distributed to three military families in the central Vermont area. WEC’s employees were told the ages of all the family members, and learned something about their circumstances from Cloutier, who also provided wish lists from each person to guide the Co-op’s volunteer shoppers in their selections. The families’ identities, however, were not disclosed.‘They remain anonymous,’ Cloutier explained. ‘We protect them fiercely.’WEC presently has 38 employees, and General Manager Avram Patt said most if not all of them contributed to the fundraising effort. Their express desire was to assist families with a parent serving in, or just returned from, Iraq or Afghanistan.‘Once someone suggested the idea it just took off,’ said Patt. ‘People jumped at the chance to do this as a group. It meant a lot to them.’Usually at the Christmas holiday WEC’s employees share inexpensive gifts with each other by organizing a ‘Yankee Swap.’ That ritual was put aside this year to concentrate on giving to the military families in need.‘After they had raised $700,’ said Patt, ‘they asked if I would authorize a contribution from the Community Fund, and that was a no-brainer; when we can combine the resources of the fund with something so important to our employees it’s an opportunity you don’t miss.’WEC’s Community Fund is financed by voluntary contributions from Washington Electric’s membership. The utility annually distributes capital-credit refunds for past years in which WEC’s revenues exceeded its costs ‘ a ‘profit’ for investor-owned utilities, but as a co-op WEC’s owners are its electric customers. The refunds are provided as a credit on members’ November electric bills (or as cash to former members), but members can donate the money to the Community Fund instead, and thousands do. The Community Fund provides modest grants to a variety of community-oriented organizations serving the central Vermont area.With $1,400 now available, the employees contacted the Vermont National Guard and were directed to Cloutier, one of 10 Family Assistance Specialists with the Family Readiness Program. Cloutier’s territory primarily covers Washington and Orange counties. Stationed in Berlin at the National Guard Armory, Cloutier can be reached at 802-223-2975.‘We’re a resource and referral service for people in the National Guard and all branches of the military, currently serving and going all the way back to World War II,’ said Cloutier. The Family Readiness Program can tap into 14 funds ‘ federal, state, and military ‘ and Cloutier maintains close contact with veterans groups and other social-service resources.For the holiday season Cloutier has been selecting families for the Wrap Around project. ‘We pick families based on need,’ she said, ‘particularly those will little kids who believe in Santa. With Daddy coming home [from deployment] we don’t want that to be a time of disappointment.’For the employees of Washington Electric Cooperative, the holiday project served at least two purposes, said one worker. It expressed their appreciation to the Guard members and concern for their wellbeing, and, the worker added, ‘it makes you appreciate what you have.’Washington Electric Cooperative is a consumer-owned, democratically governed utility that serves 10,000 households, farms, schools and businesses in 41 central Vermont towns.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 43-year-old Seaford woman died after she crashed her car on the Wantagh State Parkway in Wantagh on Thursday morning.New York State police said Amy Giunta was driving her Cadillac DTS northbound “at a high rate of speed” when she crashed into the woods south of the Southern State Parkway shortly before 9 a.m.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Witnesses told investigators that the victim was speeding before crossing the lanes of the roadway, driving onto the shoulder and hitting a tree.Northbound lanes of Wantagh parkway were closed at Sunrise Highway for two hours while investigators were on the scene.
Deion Sanders has joined Barstool Sports the day after he left NFL Network.Sanders wasn’t fired from NFL Network, but he walked away after his contract was up because of a contract dispute, according to the New York Post. The Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that “the two sides could not come to an agreement with NFLN looking for Sanders to take a pay cut from what is surely a seven-plus-figure salary.” He expanded his thoughts Wednesday with a post explaining his announcement.PSALM 37.4 My bible also tells me a Good man steps are ordered by the Lord and I’m extremely thankful that I can hear Gods whispers to me. @barstoolsports is giving me the platform to give u everything I got inside of me and more. This next generation needs TRUTH & SUBSTANCE now! pic.twitter.com/5gcG4js4iE— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) August 12, 2020″Gold jacket coming to Barstool,” Sanders said in the video. “Now, I have the platform that I can spread what I got to the masses. Oh, baby! Thank you Barstool. As the young generation of fans that I want to help cultivate.”Sanders added that “podcasts are the future,” as he continued his excitement about being able to speak freely. In an official statement, NFL Network confirmed the move.”Deion has been one of the key figures responsible for the growth of the NFL Network,” NFL VP of communications Alex Riethmiller said. “We thank him for his work and wish him the best in the future.”MORE: Early predictions for Week 1 of the NFLOn Wednesday morning, Barstool Sports announced Sanders would be joining the website.BREAKING NEWS: Primetime. Primetime. Primetime. It’s a new age. Primetime has joined Barstool Sports @deionsanders pic.twitter.com/SBnJk7Tpen— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 12, 2020The official announcement was made on Barstool Sports’ popular podcast “Pardon My Take.”Dan “Big Cat” Katz said Sanders would be launching his own podcast for Barstool Sports called “21st & Prime,” the same name of a show he had on NFL Network. In addition, Sanders will be doing video work with his NFL friends and for an NFL show on Barstool. He’ll also be joining the “Pardon My Take” podcast every Sunday night to go over the games from the weekend.”I’m happy, I’m excited,” Sanders said about the move on the podcast. Primetime @DeionSanders pic.twitter.com/qXcPNJJ0Kk— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 12, 2020MORE: Deion Sanders bashed by fans for coronavirus takeSanders was most excited about being free of the restricitions of traditional broadcast television.”You gotta understand, when you’re on a network show, you got a 15-45 second shot clock to get out your thoughts and flesh that out,” Sanders said. “Now, I get to really exhaust my thought and tell you the unfiltered truth. And speak my mind and call my friends to validate the point. Are you kidding me? And then a whole new generation of people that I would have never come in contact with. The 18-35 [age range]. I got three kids in the 18-35. And I get to talk to them? About what ever I want?”The hiring of Sanders is an interesting one for the controversial website, but it’s not the only splashy move the company has made in recent years. Barstool hired Pat McAfee after his NFL retirement, although that didn’t work out as McAfee said he “began being disrespected by the business people in the building,” and left the company.It’s not clear what sort of contract Sanders signed with Barstool in terms of length or salary. Sanders was with NFL Network for 14 years before leaving. On Tuesday, he hinted at a future move on Instagram.”Hey imma bout to shake some thangs up!” Sanders posted. “You’re gonna like it because I got u in mind because I love ya just that much. I need u to grow & go with me to that place Called “THERE”. When God says move I move just like that.”