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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Pandemic Losses Spur NCAA to Set Up Captive Insurance in Vermont

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2022 at 9:07 PM

The NCAA lost hundreds of millions of dollars when it canceled its 2020 basketball tournament - WILLIAM HOWARD | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • William Howard | Dreamstime.com
  • The NCAA lost hundreds of millions of dollars when it canceled its 2020 basketball tournament
After a disastrous two years for the National College Athletic Association, during which it canceled its revenue-boosting college basketball tournaments in 2020, the organization has created a new insurance program that is headquartered in Vermont.

The NCAA’s board of governors voted in January to create a captive insurance program — through which the NCAA can establish its own insurance company instead of paying another company to shield it from the expenses of business losses in the event of a disaster.

Vermont has honed its rules over the last four decades to make itself an attractive domicile for captive insurance programs. The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, which oversees the captive insurance industry, says 600 such companies are now active in Vermont, more than at any time before.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

VPA Alters Ban, Will Allow Media at Winooski-Enosburg Soccer Game

Posted By on Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 10:52 AM

A September 28 Winooski-Oxbow game - DARIA BISHOP ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Daria Bishop ©️ Seven Days
  • A September 28 Winooski-Oxbow game
Updated at 11:21 a.m.

Under pressure from two media organizations, the Vermont Principals' Association reversed a decision to ban the press from Tuesday's playoff semifinal soccer game between Winooski and Enosburg Falls high schools. The new decision, which was finalized Tuesday morning, allows members of the media to attend the match but not fans.

The reversal came after a discussion Monday night with superintendents from both school districts, Vermont Principals' Association executive director Jay Nichols said.

Winooski "thought not having the media there would calm things down," Nichols said. But "after a lot of thought," the Winooski School District, the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union and the Vermont Principals' Association, which governs high school sports, "decided collectively that having the media there would be fine."

Team members, coaches, officials and school administrators can also attend the game. It will be played at Burlington High School, a neutral field.

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Monday, November 1, 2021

Spectators, Media Banned From Winooski-Enosburg Soccer Game

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2021 at 7:14 PM

The Winooski soccer team at a game on September 28 - FILE: DARIA BISHOP
  • File: Daria Bishop
  • The Winooski soccer team at a game on September 28
The Vermont Principals' Association has taken the unprecedented step of banning spectators and members of the media from watching a high school soccer game in-person.

No members of the public can attend Tuesday's state playoff semifinal between Winooski and Enosburg Falls "to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all student-athletes involved," the Vermont Principals' Association said in a statement on Monday morning. The group governs middle- and high-school sports in the state.

Only team members, coaches, officials and school administrators can attend the game. It will be played at Burlington High School because it is a neutral location.

The decision quickly drew pushback from Mike Donoghue, a longtime local journalist who serves as executive director of the Vermont Press Association and the Vermont Sports Media Association. In a statement Monday afternoon, he said the groups had jointly filed an objection to the ban, with support from "various individual members."

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Winooski Soccer Player Could Face Criminal Charge From Enosburg Game

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 7:58 PM

Winooski soccer players at a game on September 28 - DARIA BISHOP ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Daria Bishop ©️ Seven Days
  • Winooski soccer players at a game on September 28
Authorities are weighing whether to charge a Winooski High School soccer player with assault for allegedly head-butting an Enosburg Falls High School player during a game last month — a legal step that would be extremely rare in Vermont school sports.

The Chittenden County State's Attorney's Office is deciding whether to charge the student. The Winooski Police Department sent the prosecutors' office a report on October 11 that found probable cause that the 19-year-old player committed what would be a misdemeanor offense.

The September 18 game gained widespread attention after Winooski superintendent Sean McMannon said that three Enosburg athletes directed racial slurs at the Black Winooski athletes, calling them "the N-word, monkey and terrorist."

The Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, which includes Enosburg Falls High School, said on Monday that its two-and-half-week investigation into the matter found no evidence to substantiate the allegations of racial abuse. But superintendent Lynn Cota said she considers the investigation incomplete because Winooski student athletes declined to answer questions, and the Winooski School District did not share its investigatory notes.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Vermont Lake Monsters to Be Sold, Play in Collegiate League

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 2:50 PM

Fans taking in a game at Centennial Field - COURTESY OF VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS
  • courtesy of Vermont lake monsters
  • Fans taking in a game at Centennial Field
Updated at 4:36 p.m.

The Vermont Lake Monsters will be sold to an investment group, and the team is expected to play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League this summer, the club announced on Thursday.

The deal with Nos Amours Baseball Club is contingent “on a few agreements,” including a new lease with the University of Vermont, which owns the team’s historic ballpark, Centennial Field.

“The landscape has changed and this transition will allow the Lake Monsters to create amazing summertime memories for years to come,” Kyle Bostwick, the Lake Monsters’ vice president, said in a statement. “We are all looking forward to continuing to root for the home team, and we thank all of our fans, partners, staff, and supporters for an amazing ride.”

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

UVM Men's Basketball Pauses Training After Positive COVID-19 Tests

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 8:28 PM

click image 150-backtoschool20.png
The University of Vermont men's basketball team is not practicing this week after two people associated with the school's basketball programs tested positive for COVID-19.

The university announced the cases in an online statement Tuesday afternoon.

[image-2] The statement does not specify whether the cases involve players or when the positive tests were received, and director of athletics Jeff Schulman declined to comment beyond it.

Only one of the cases is considered "active," according to UVM Athletics. Both individuals who tested positive were asymptomatic and were quarantining. Pending further tests, the men's basketball team won't resume training until next week.

"Individuals who had close contact have been notified and are quarantining per current public health guidelines," the release states.

The men's and women's basketball teams are the only athletics programs at UVM currently permitted to practice. They began training on July 20 after all players met state-mandated quarantine requirements, according to the release.

Since then, the university has conducted 75 tests of players, coaches and staff, which apparently detected the two positive cases.


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Friday, April 17, 2020

Vermont Couple's Primitive Hockey Stick Valued at $3.5 Million

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 6:40 PM

Bill Fitsell with the Morse Stick in 2015 - COURTESY OF ED GRENDA
  • Courtesy of Ed Grenda
  • Bill Fitsell with the Morse Stick in 2015
For decades, Germaine and Gary Morse kept the stick in an umbrella stand by the entryway in their Vermont home.

Germaine’s brother, Anthony Bean, had found the weathered, slightly crooked piece of wood inside his grandmother’s Northfield home after buying it in 1980. Knowing his sister’s affinity for family mementos, Bean gave it to her, thinking it was an old field hockey stick or something.

“He thought it might be a conversation piece,” said Germaine, 70.

It's certainly a conversation piece now. That piece of wood is a primitive ice hockey stick that could be 170 years old. It was appraised at $3.5 million and is up for auction online through May 16, with a starting bid of $100,000.

The heirloom was little more than an afterthought, sitting in an old crock the Morses use as an umbrella stand, until about six years ago. That’s when Germaine saw something online about a circa 1850s hockey stick owned by Gordon Sharpe. Known as the “Rutherford Stick,” it looked awfully similar to Germaine’s own — and had been appraised at $4.5 million.

“It piqued my interest,” Germaine said with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Well, maybe I better look into this.’”

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Stowe Renames Trail ‘Jake’s Ride’ in Honor of Late Burton Founder

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 12:44 PM

SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
Hundreds of Burton Snowboards employees gathered in the pouring rain Friday to honor the company's late founder, Jake Burton Carpenter.

Standing in the slushy snow on the shoulder of Mount Mansfield, they watched and cheered as Stowe Mountain Resort unveiled a new name for one of its trails: Jake's Ride. Formerly known as Lullaby Lane, the green trail — meaning it's on the easier end of the spectrum — was Carpenter's favorite on the entire mountain, "although he wouldn't always admit it," his wife, Donna Carpenter, told the crowd.

"On more than one occasion, after an amazing run, he'd say to me, 'That's the one. That's the one, Donna, I want named after me when I'm gone," Carpenter recalled.
Donna Carpenter (center) with her sons Taylor (left) and Timi (right) - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Donna Carpenter (center) with her sons Taylor (left) and Timi (right)
Jake Burton Carpenter died last November at the age of 65 after a recurrence of cancer that first cropped up in 2011. He founded Burton Snowboards in Vermont in 1977 and opened its world headquarters in Burlington, where it remains today.

Donna Carpenter served as company CEO, a title she shared for 18 months with John Lacy. She gave up the role in February to become chair of the Burton board of directors, a position previously held by Jake.

The company's Burlington office and its stores closed Friday in honor of the late founder, and most employees headed for the hill.

"Jake had a lot of good sayings, and one of them was, 'If your favorite mountain isn't your home mountain, you should probably consider moving,'" Donna said.

After a moment of silence, the assembled gaggle of snowboarders strapped in and took off down Jake's Ride. Carpenter joked that her late husband had sent the very-Vermont March weather: 37 degrees and rainy, conditions that softened the snow and did little to dampen the boarders' enthusiasm.

SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
Friday's event wasn't the only honoring the man who pioneered the sport of snowboarding. Thirteen resorts around the world, including ones in Switzerland, Austria and Japan, offered free lift tickets to snowboarders who signed up in advance. Vermonters could take advantage of the deal at Stratton Mountain.

"What an impactful human being," Jeff Wise, the communications director for Stowe Mountain Resort, said of Carpenter. "Goodbye, Lullaby Lane. Hello, Jake's Ride."

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

UPDATE: America East Cancels UVM Basketball Championship Game

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 11:10 AM

COURTESY UVM ATHLETICS
  • Courtesy UVM Athletics
UPDATE: The America East Conference has cancelled the game.

In a brief statement, the America East conference said it was canceling Saturday's men's basketball championship in which top-seeded Vermont was scheduled to play.

The Thursday afternoon announcement followed an earlier one that stated the game would be played without fans in the stands.

The Big Ten conference cancelled the remainder of its basketball tournaments on Thursday as well.

"This is a proactive decision to protect the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and everyone on our campuses," the America East statement read.

Original story below:

The University of Vermont men's basketball team will play its America East conference championship game Saturday morning in a mostly empty arena.

The athletic conference announced Thursday that attendance for the game at Patrick Gymnasium will be restricted to "essential gameday personnel from the participating institutions and conference staff in addition to credentialed media, ESPN personnel and family members of the participating teams."

"The decision was made based on new information, including the recommendation of the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel, and under the advisement of public health officials to limit large gatherings due to coronavirus," the conference stated.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Jake Burton Carpenter, Father of Snowboarding, Dies at 65

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 12:04 PM

Jake Burton Carpenter in 1981 - COURTESY OF BURTON SNOWBOARDS
  • Courtesy of Burton Snowboards
  • Jake Burton Carpenter in 1981
Updated at 3:44 p.m.

Jake Burton Carpenter, the man who pioneered the sport of snowboarding and whose name graces its leading board and apparel company, died at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington on Wednesday. He was 65.

The cause was complications from recurring cancer, said Taren Dolbashian, a spokesperson at the company Carpenter founded, Burton Snowboards. He'd initially been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011. Carpenter sent an email to employees earlier this month announcing that the cancer "has come back."

"The odds are in my favor, but it is going to be a struggle for sure," he wrote. "As much as I dread what is facing me, it’s easier to deal with when you know that you have a family that will carry on."

"He was the most incredible human," Dolbashian said, speaking through tears. "This is absolutely devastating. He inspired all of us."

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