Discussions are underway in the Senate General Affairs Committee to direct the Vermont World Trade Office to be managed under the Vermont Chamber’s existing international trade program, in conjunction with Champlain College, the U. S Department of Commerce and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. These partners collectively will strategically collaborate to encourage international trade on behalf of Vermont businesses. Funding would come through a memorandum of understanding and initially would be a $100,000 grant.While this is a significantly different model than the current World Trade Office, this new business entity will be driven by the concerns of the business community while having capital knowledge input from the educational community as well as state and federal government.The World Trade Office budget was also comprised of significant federal funds, which have not been renewed. On Thursday Governor Jim Douglas stated “I think this public-private partnership is appropriate given that some significant federal grant support for the office is expiring,” Douglas said. “And since those grants are not likely to renewed, a partnership makes sense.” Agency of Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn is working closely with the Vermont Chamber as the effort to continue to support Vermont businesses with world trade opportunities continues to unfold in the legislature
By Dru BrownBILLINGS, Mont. (July 11) – Kenny Baumann was best in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event Saturday at Billings Motorsports Park, outrunning Zach Olson and Arizona hotshoe Sean Stewart.Baumann got a slight advantage over pole starter Donovan Sorenson, then took off.Nobody was close until Olson found a line and made up the distance in a hurry. Olson looked low, then slid up and nobody could get close again until after the caution came out.Stewart took the lead following the ensuing restart. Baumann was no rookie, staying patient and storming right back to regain the lead for good.
When the serious action begins, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot at 06:35 BST on Thursday.Despite the early start, the grandstands around the first tee are certain to be packed in order to watch the 2011 Open champion and local favourite tee off.Clarke was brought up further inland at Dungannon but has a house next to the course and said it was an “honour” to be asked by the R&A to begin proceedings.It has been a long wait for Portrush to host its second Open, and much has changed in that time, including the creation of two new holes – the seventh and eighth.Flamboyant Englishman Max Faulkner was awarded £300 and the Claret Jug the last time it was held at Portrush, which is just a few miles down the coast from the Giant’s Causeway.While the famous trophy remains, this year’s winner will receive a cheque for £1.56m and the R&A predicts the tournament will deliver an £80m boost to the local economy.Rory McIlroy has won four majors already so has experienced the emotion of winning the game’s biggest prizes – but he admits lifting the Claret Jug on home soil on Sunday could see him “burst out crying”.The Northern Irishman has pedigree at Portrush, setting the course record of 61 as a 16-year-old during the North of Ireland Championship.Fourteen years later and sitting third in the world rankings, McIlroy will hope to embrace the huge home support he will have as he looks to end a five-year wait for a fifth major title.“I want to enjoy it and give these crowds something to cheer for,” said the 2014 champion, who remembers meeting Clarke when he visited the club aged 10.The third Northern Irish major champion in the field is Graeme McDowell, who was born and raised in the town but who says his family could not afford memberships at Royal Portrush when he was growing up, so instead they joined the Rathmore club that plays on Royal Portrush’s second course, the Valley.He told the European Tour he remembers sneaking on to play the course as a teenager with brother Gary, who is now part of Royal Portrush’s greenkeeping staff.But the more recognisable McDowell almost did not make it to his home Open, and admits he would have found it hard to be in the town in a different capacity had he not qualified.The 2010 US Open champion did however eventually book his spot in June after a tie for eighth place at the Canadian Open.World number four Justin Rose is the highest-ranked Englishman in the field as he seeks to add to his lone major victory – the 2013 US Open – while Tommy Fleetwood, who has seaside nous given he grew up playing the great links of Southport, says he is expecting Portrush to feel like a “home” venue.Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston made it into the field with one of the week’s feel-good stories, finishing tied fourth at the Scottish Open on Sunday to qualify after a difficult couple of years in which he had dropped to 337th in the rankings.Three key holes to look out forHole 5: White Rocks 382 yards, par 4: The R&A has indicated they are happy to use a forward tee to entice the players to have a crack at the green on this dog-leg. There are two bunkers at 280-290 yards which come into play with the tee shot. The green is perched on the cliff edge and players could go out of bounds just two or three yards over the back.Hole 7: Curran Point – 590 yards, par 5: This is the first of the two new holes and is a very strong par five from an elevated tee into a valley with high dunes along the right side that separate the course from the beach. There is a big bunker on that flank that requires a 300-yard carry. The hazard is a nod to the famous ‘Big Nelly’ bunker that was on the 17th, which has been lost. The second shot is uphill and the landing area narrows as you get nearer a green that has plenty of undulations.Hole 16: Calamity Corner – 236 yards, par 3: This world-famous short hole has been stretched to 236 yards. There is a deep chasm on the right and ‘Bobby Locke’s hollow’ is the only respite. Situated on the front left corner of the green, it is where the South African is played each day in the 1951 Open. This is a difficult elevated green, with the wind likely to affect putting.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Northern Ireland’s rugged and spectacular north-east coastline will come alive with excitement and expectation today when the Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.The County Antrim club will host the 148th staging of the game’s oldest major, 68 years after it held the only other Open to be played outside of England and Scotland.Some 237,750 fans are expected at the Dunluce course during the week, with tickets selling out for both tournament and practice days.
The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) officers learned how to investigate fraud, human trafficking, and the new act of the Commission. 663 officers of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) have graduated following a three-week ‘intensive’ in-service training at the Justice and Security Regional Hub in Gbarnga, Bong County, a release has said.According to the release, the training was conducted in close consultation with the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and other principal institutional counterparts.It forms part of activities being implemented under the UNDP/OHCHR Joint Program, aimed at supporting the Government of Liberia (GoL) in its efforts to advance critical justice and security sector reforms as well as improve the delivery of justice, security and protection services across the country.Funding resources are being provided by the governments of Sweden and Ireland.184 of the officers that participated in the training are women. According to Danny Sartee, director for administration, more than 40 women hold leadership positions in the LIS.Colonel George Suomie, who turned over the graduates, said the exercise is part of the completion of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) process of the country.Suomie hailed the outstanding discipline and interest exhibited by the officers attending the training.He assured that the knowledge transferred and capacity building skills imparted will contribute to a more proficient, effective, efficient, professional and disciplined corps of officers who will help protect Liberia’s borders.“’Training is everything and everything is training’ and we appreciate the support of all partners, including UNDP, for this great opportunity once again afforded our officers,” Suomie said.He described the training as successful, with no report of any casualties, though there were cases that involved minor malaria, fever and pressure.UNDP Resident Representative Pa Lamin Beyai was represented by Marzu Stubblefield Quaye, project assistant under the governance program.Ms. Quaye expressed appreciation to the graduates for availing themselves for the training, encouraging them to remain committed to their duties and responsibilities to the country.“Protecting the borders of this country is not an easy task. Your duty is extremely critical and requires diligence, professionalism and commitment,” she emphasized. Ms. Quaye also mentioned that the duties being performed by immigration officers will always be recognized because their functions are strategic.LIS Commissioner-General Robert Budy congratulated the officers for a job well done and expressed appreciation to UNDP and partners for the continued support.Commissioner Budy said the training was necessary because LIS was lagging behind in the final structure of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) process.He emphasized that the government attaches premium on border security, to avoid infiltration of illegal migrants and substances that negatively affect the stability of the country, with human trafficking becoming prevalent in Liberia. Budy urged graduates to prepare themselves to utilize the skills obtained and to also transfer knowledge to in-coming officers.The training covered courses on investigation, fraud, human trafficking and the new act of the LIS, etc.The UNDP/OHCHR Joint Program works to enhance the capacity of institutions, to build public confidence in the different justice and security systems. It also strengthens access to justice, security and protection services, especially for women and girls.Interventions are designed with a view to ensuring sustainability and linking activities to “system-level policy development”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)