Howard Hall’s annual 24 hour teeter-totter event begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday and will last until 4 p.m. on Friday. Each year, the women of Howard Hall choose to donate the funds to a need somewhere around the world related to clean water access. Howard Hall residents will occupy the teeter-totter for 24 hours in 30 minute shifts, but other students and Notre Dame community members are encouraged to ride the teeter-totter with a suggested donation of $1. Planning for this event started as soon the chairs arrived to campus this fall. The co-chairs this year are junior Veronica Kalwajtys, who will ride the teeter-totter at 4 a.m. Friday morning, and sophomore Emily Eagle, who will ride the teeter-totter at 6 p.m. Thursday. Courtesy of Veronica Kalwajtys Residents of Howard Hall paint signs to prepare for Totter for Water.This year’s Totter for Water proceeds will go to a Holy Cross school in Plaisance, Haiti.“This year we picked [the school in Plaisance, Haiti] because of the Notre Dame — Holy Cross connection,” Kalwajtys said. Kalwajtys and Eagle said that the proceeds will go towards two present issues at the school in Plaisance: access to clean water and cleaner bathroom facilities. “The school there has some problems of cholera because of the lack of clean bathrooms and other sanitation facilities, so they really need that to prevent cholera. And then most of the kids don’t have access to clean water,” Kalwajtys said. Eagle said the event went to support a worthy cause.“It’s such great cause, when you think about people not having access to water,” she said.Free food will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday. Students can also purchase succulents for $6 and paint the pots at the totter event, Kalwajtys and Eagle said. Donations can be made in cash, Domer Dollars and online via the Congregation for the Holy Cross website. In years past, Howard Hall has aimed to raise $3 thousand to $5 thousand through Totter for Water. This year, however, the goal is $25 thousand because of a new initiative, Tats for Totter, by Howard Hall president, junior Gracie O’Connell, who will ride the teeter-totter from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. “If Howard Hall reaches $25 thousand in donations, five out of the seven [members of] hall staff will get Howard Hall-related lip tattoos,” O’Connell said. O’Connell herself sports a “GOAT” lip tattoo because Howard Hall is the greatest of all time, she said. She also confirmed the rector of Howard Hall, Amanda Springstead, is one of such five hall staff that will get a lip tattoo if donations exceed $25 thousand. “It’s a big reach, but it’s for such an important cause,” O’Connell said. In addition to a fun event for students, and the prospect of hall staff getting lip tattoos, the overall purpose of Totter for Water is to raise awareness in the Notre Dame community of the lack of clean water in many places and to hopefully make a monetary contribution, Eagle said. Kalwajtys and Eagle also said that Father Pete McCormick, the director of Campus Ministry, will ride the teeter-totter at 8 p.m. on Thursday.Tags: charity, Charity Fundraiser, Howard Hall, totter for water
Green Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power (GMP) hosted the first of two Jobs Fairs in the Northeast Kingdom Tuesday at the Lowell Fire Department in conjunction with the Kingdom Community Wind (KCW) project to be built on Lowell Mountain. About 60 people from the area came to learn about job openings. GMP’s General Contractor, Reed & Reed, along with three newly hired, Vermont-based contractors were on site to speak with attendees. Three Vermont-based contractors were recently selected to provide services for the construction phase of Kingdom Community Wind. J.A. McDonald of Lyndon Center has been selected for the site preparation and road work and is seeking equipment operators and laborers. Bates & Murray Electrical Contractors of Barre will be doing the underground electrical work on the project and is taking applications as well. Maine Drilling & Blasting, which has an office in Barre, has also been selected to work on the KCW project and is looking for driller trainees and laborers. ‘As we get closer to construction, we are excited to begin talking with local residents about the job opportunities available as a result of the renewable wind project in Lowell,’ said Rebecca Towne, Administration Manager at Green Mountain Power. ‘We are committed to employing as many Vermonters and Vermont companies as possible, including those who have already been hired.’ To date GMP has employed 18 other Vermont-based businesses during the permitting and planning phase of the project. ‘Supporting local jobs is one of the many benefits that Kingdom Community Wind brings to Orleans County and throughout northern Vermont. Local property taxes, the Good Neighbor Fund, Education tax payments, and renewable energy at a great price are others, ‘ added Towne. Green Mountain Power and Reed & Reed will host a second Jobs Fair at North Country Union High School on Tuesday, July 19 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. About Kingdom Community WindKingdom Community Wind is a local renewable wind energy project in Lowell, Vermont. It will produce 63 MW of electricity for customers of Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative members. The project received a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board in late May and construction is expected to commence in August of this year. GMP expects KCW to be operational by the end of 2012. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the State of Vermont. It serves more than 175,000 people and businesses.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was arrested Thursday for allegedly running a bribery and kick-back scheme that netted him nearly $5 million from two law firms since 2002, federal authorities said.Silver was charged with honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, extortion under color of official right and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. The 70-year-old lawmaker surrendered to the FBI and was released on $200,000 bond by Judge Frank Maas in Manhattan federal court.“Politicians are supposed to be on the people’s payroll, not on secret retainers for wealthy special interests they do favors for,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters during a news conference. “These charges, in our view, go to the very core of what ails Albany: Lack of transparency, lack of accountability and lack of principle joined with an overabundance of greed, cronyism and self-dealing.”Silver, who has served as speaker since 1994, has been accused of using his influence in the state to pad his pockets with millions of dollars that he allegedly failed to report in annual state disclosure forms. The alleged schemes involve two law firms: one specializing in asbestos litigation, the other in real estate, prosecutors said.“Silver has obtained millions of dollars in outside income as a direct result of his corrupt use of his official position to obtain attorney referral fees for himself, including from clients with substantial business before the State, and not as a result of legitimate outside income Silver earned as a private lawyer,” investigators said in a 35-page federal complaint.Silver allegedly used his power as speaker to convince real estate developers, who conduct business with the state, to retain a real estate law firm controlled by Silver’s ex-counsel in Albany, according to the complaint. The alleged scheme netted Silver $700,000.The remainder of Silver’s allegedly undisclosed earnings—$5.3 million—came from an annual salary from the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, plus $3.9 million in referral fees, the complaint states. The longtime lawmaker used his position to “secretly direct” $500,000 in state funds to help with a doctor’s research efforts. In exchange, Silver received referrals for asbestos cases to the firm, according to the complaint.Federal prosecutors note that investigators spoke to more than 10 asbestos clients or their family members during their probe. None of the clients had ever contacted Silver to seek legal representation, the documents state.“No asbestos client and/or surviving family member was aware of any role played by Silver in providing legal services to himself or herself or a family member,” prosecutors wrote in the complaint.Silver earned considerably more money between 2002 and 2014 than he brings home as Assembly Speaker. In 2011, for example, he earned $922,849.19 in undisclosed profits, court documents claim. For his work as Assembly Speaker, Silver is paid $121,000 annually, plus he gets a car, a driver and travel reimbursements.As for his alleged real estate dealings, prosecutors found that Silver has no background in real estate litigation and no experience performing any such work, according to the complaint.“There is no record of Silver ever appearing before the Tax Commission,” the complaint states.“We’re disappointed that the prosecutors have chosen to proceed with these meritless criminal charges,” Silver’s lawyers said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “That said, Mr. Silver looks forward to responding to them—in court—and ultimately his full exoneration.”State lawmakers are not prohibited from earning outside income, but they are required to report such earnings in their annual financial disclosure statements. For years, Silver has publicly stated that he has worked as a private attorney for Weitz & Luxenberg.The investigation stems from an anti-corruption probe that started in the summer of 2013 by the Moreland Commission and was disbanded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March 2014. At the time, Cuomo’s decision was controversial because the commission was actively investigating potential misdeeds by public officials.The New York Republican State Committee was quick to pounce. In a statement, the GOP called for Silver to step down.“Sheldon Silver must immediately resign from the State Assembly,” said NYGOP spokesman David Laska. “While this is another sad day for New York, we cannot be distracted from the important business of growing our economy and creating jobs.”It’s unclear who Silver’s successor would be. Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) currently serves as Deputy Speaker but that reportedly doesn’t mean she would be next in line.Bharara said that he found the allegations to be “especially dispiriting” when considering Silver’s status as one of Albany’s most powerful lawmakers known as “the three men in a room” who negotiate the state’s legislative agenda together. The other two include New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and the governor.Silver faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the five charges, if convicted. Bharara noted that the investigation is continuing, adding ominously: “Stay tuned.”—With Timothy Bolger
Decatur County, In. —A report from the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department says one person was injured in a Sunday crash that caused a power outage in the northern part of the county.Around 5 p.m. police began an investigation into a report of a reckless driver on U.S. 421 near the Honda plant. While en route, police learned the car struck a utility pole.When police arrived the unidentified driver was unconscious and the pole was broken.The driver was airlifted from the scene with unspecified injuries. Power to more than 300 Decatur County REMC customers was restored within about three hours.No names have been released. The investigation is ongoing.
The National Park System announced April 8 that USC Price School of Public Policy professor James Ferris has been selected to serve on the NPS philanthropy and partnerships committee.According to a USC press release, the committee has the responsibility of advising the NPS on how to best align its policies to a set new direction of philanthropic alliances in the 21st century.“Partnerships are increasingly critical to the success of government agencies and nonprofits alike,” said Ferris in the release. “I look forward to helping the National Park Service forge a new path about how to increase the impact as a result of philanthropic-private partnerships.”Ferris is also the holder of the Emery Evans Olson Chair in Nonprofit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and director of the USC Center on Philanthropy and Policy.The 14 members of the NPS philanthropy and partnerships committee consist of corporate and nonprofit executives involved in current NPS partnerships, museum and foundation leaders and other experts on the subject.