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_img Rodgers gave his full backing to striker Balotelli over the penalty furore which blew up in the 1-0 win over Besiktas in the Europa League. He supported the Italy international stepping in front of Jordan Henderson, captain on the night and designated pre-match taker, even if it looked unseemly at the time. But when it came to Balotelli’s overall effort during his substitute appearance, Rodgers was unimpressed. Rodgers responded “No, not really no”, when asked if he was satisfied with the 24-year-old’s stint against the Turkish side, which lasted half an hour. Rodgers said: “We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we got the penalty he stops working. “So he needs to improve on that facet of his game to play in his position, rather than standing on the side of the football field.” Rodgers, speaking to national newspapers, said of Balotelli : “He has contributed against Besiktas, he has got the penalty and scored the goal but that is what he is paid to do. “He needs to keep that efficiency in his game and show that he can affect the team whether he is asked to play from the bench or from the start. In a different country and a different style of football that (goal) would be all that matters but in this team there is more to it than that.” Injured captain Steven Gerrard, as a guest television pundit, called Balotelli “mischievous” and “disrespectful” for taking on penalty duties. Rodgers said Balotelli – who has scored 27 out of 29 from the spot in his career – was following the long-established order agreed earlier in the season. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has criticised Mario Balotelli’s work rate and told him to step up his contribution. “There has probably been a lot more of a drama been made out of it than it actually was,” said the Reds boss. “With the players who were initially on the pitch last night Jordan was our nominated taker. “But if Jordan and Steven and Mario are on the pitch at the same time we would normally have Steven and Mario as the penalty-takers. “History shows he (Balotelli) has scored nearly 30 penalties in big games so he is an outstanding penalty-taker, but none of them were on (at the start) so you have to nominate someone. “Jordan was happy enough to take it but he gave it to Mario.” Henderson, Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge were all involved in discussions before the 85th-minute penalty against the Turkish visitors, and Gerrard’s post-match comments fanned the flames with Rodgers admitting that is something he will deal with within the team. “That is my job to manage that, it is what I do behind the scenes every day,” he added. “You see from the way the team has been playing recently the respect and commitment they show for each other. “I always assign responsibility every single game and I think this is the first time that has reared its head. “I think there was a bit of a kerfuffle around it because they just wanted to make sure he (Balotelli) was happy to take it but that was it really. “The only thing I would say on it is I don’t like the etiquette – you don’t like to see four or five players around a football looking to take it. “It was maybe more the etiquette which was not as we would have liked but we got the end result.” Henderson’s role in the affair has been criticised by some who claim it portrays him as weak, allowing Balotelli to step in ahead of him. Rodgers admits authority is something which comes with experience but he supports the England midfielder in the job he is doing – even if he has again raised doubts about whether he will get the job full-time when Gerrard leaves for Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer. Asked what Henderson needs in order to add gravitas to his on-field persona, the Reds boss said: “Just time. People see him as that automatic next captain but that is not necessarily the case. “He is a young player and you have to go steady with Jordan. Everyone is trying to catapult him into the next Steven Gerrard and he is not that. “I have said it many times he is not that type of player. Jordan is a real honest boy, a hard-working player, a great team player. “Steven is a totally different player to that. He (Henderson) is still young but it is not automatic he will be the next captain but at this moment in time, when Steven doesn’t play, he is working that role very well.” The fact Balotelli actually scored the penalty and Liverpool won the first leg of their last 32 tie has almost been lost in the fall-out. The Italian has now scored four times since his £16million summer move from AC Milan, including two winners and an assist for the winner in his last three matches. Press Associationlast_img read more