first_imgWINDSOR, Vt. Vermont and New Hampshire tourism officials today formally announced that the Connecticut River Byway, running from Brattleboro, Vermont to Pittsburgh, New Hampshire, has been named a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Connecticut River Byway, which stretches from the Canadian border to Massachusetts, follows 500 miles of state highways in 53 communities along the Connecticut River Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. The byway embraces traditional New England historic and cultural sites which tell the story of the nations first explorations into the wilderness, first transportation corridor, and the initial expansion of American culture.The awarding of national designation follows a long and competitive application process, according to Sharon Francis, executive director of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions (Web: is external)), which oversees the Connecticut River Byway Council (Web: is external)). We know we have a river valley with outstanding scenery and impressive history, but it is sweet news to hear that we are among the winners in a national competition, Francis said.This is very exciting news and will be enormously important for both tourism and economic development in this region, said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. In August, Governor Lynch and I toured cultural heritage sites along the byway on both sides of the Connecticut River and renewed our commitment that our two great states would work together to promote the entire Connecticut River Byway. The National Scenic Byway designation will give those efforts an enormous boost.Americas Byways (Web: is external)), of which the Connecticut River Byway is now a part, is a distinct collection of American roads and treasured places recognized for their scenic, historic, natural, recreational, cultural and archeological qualities. Congress created the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991 to meet widespread demand that the nations unique places should be preserved and shared while at the same time promoting tourism and economic development by bringing tourists to rural America and much-needed dollars to small communities. Since its inception, the Americas Byways has provided $206 million for 1,495 projects in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Colombia. In New Hampshire, the program also recognizes the White Mountain Trail and Kancamagus Scenic Byway. The Connecticut River Byway is the first National Scenic Byway in Vermont.The Connecticut River Byway includes nine waypoint centers where visitors may learn about the river valleys history, culture, arts, and recreational opportunities, as well as local lodging, dining, and entertainment. The waypoint centers are in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, St. Johnsbury, Windsor, and White River Junction, Vt., and Claremont, Lancaster, and Colebrook, N.H. Wells River, Vt. and Woodsville, N.H. share a waypoint center located in Woodsville. ###last_img read more

first_imgLora TopinkaLora Lea Topinka, 72, of Wellington, died early Friday morning, August 14, 2015 at Golden Living Center in Wellington. Lora worked for many years in the medical field, working for Drs. Diacon and McGovern and several other doctors in Wellington. She also worked in medical records at Sumner Regional Medical Center and as an aerobics instructor for the Wellington Recreation Center.Lora Lea (Bond) Topinka was born on September 19, 1942 in Wellington, KS to Christopher John Detrick Bond and Ruth V. (Mayo) Bond. She was a 1960 graduate of Argonia High School.Lora married Carl W. Topinka on April 27, 1968 in Wichita, KS.She was a member of the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society here in Wellington.She was preceded in death by her parents and an infant daughter.Survivors include her husband, Carl of Wellington; two sons, Cameron Topinka and his wife Sandra of Argonia and Cale Topinka and his wife Amanda of Rosehill; brother, Charles “Butch” Bond and his wife Lynette of Winfield; grandchildren, Cylie, Kristina, Cooper, Cassius, and Christopher Topinka; and great grandchild, Jaylie Bryson.Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. at the Friends Church in Argonia, KS. Pastor Scott Morin will officiate. Interment will follow the service at the Argonia Cemetery.Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 from 1 to 8 p.m. The family will be present to greet friends from 6 to 7 p.m.A memorial has been established with the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society (SCHGS) and the American Red Cross in lieu of flowers. Contributions can be left at the funeral home.Frank Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.To leave condolences or sign our guest book, please visit our website at www.frankfuneralhome.netlast_img read more

first_imgSICHUA, CHINA — A north-central Iowa native now living in China encourages everybody to stay at home as much as they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus.Ian Schact graduated from Northwood-Kensett High School and Luther College, and eventually moved to China after being involved in the natural products trades business. He currently is in Sichua, about 800 miles from Wuhan, where the outbreak of COVID-19 began.Schact says at the start of the outbreak, he says many of the restrictions we are seeing here in the United States were happening in China.  “No public transportation, you weren’t allowed out, restrictions on movement, even from the community you are living in. Restrictions to one person every two days can leave an apartment and go out to get groceries. Shops were closed, and you couldn’t go out to dinner, there were no restaurants, no fast food, everything else was closed.”Schacht says the city went from bustling to a lockdown quickly which was surprising to see as an Iowa native.  “Over time some of these things have gotten better as the number of cases have gone down, but there was definitely a much bigger threat in those first few weeks when it started to get really bad.”Schacht says you may feel a little stir-crazy staying at home complying with the advisories of not being out and about, but he says this is the time to let the virus run its course and make you and your loved ones be safe. “I’ve told my parents to restrict the amount of travel you are doing, go shopping once a week, and enjoy the time you can working around the house, working at home, because once this is over, life will return back to normal, it just takes a while. If we don’t do that, what’s going to end up happening is we’re going to see an increase in cases that are not going to stop anytime soon.”Schacht says people should listen to then recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and local and state health officials.  “I think it’s very important to take this time to take a step back, stay safe, reduce travel, reduce parties, reduce gatherings, and really understand that the end is in sight, we just have to flatten that curve.”You can listen to our full interview with Ian Schacht by clicking on the audio player below:last_img read more