Source: GMP. (Marketwire – August 11, 2009) – Sherry Olson of Plainfield, Vermont, is the winner of the 2009 Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. literary prize awarded annually by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Life magazine. Olson’s winning poem, entitled “The Paper Cutter,” describes finding a skilled tradesman who takes pride in his work and always wants to do the right thing. While looking for someone to sharpen her paper cutter, she finds more: “I imagine his heart, not the bodily pumping one, but the one folks like to say, of gold, burnished and soft, something, almost, I might carry in my pocket, reach in and touch.”Mary Hegarty Nowlan, one of the judges and editor of Vermont Life commented, “Ms. Olson’s poem was selected as the winner because of the simplicity of the language, which was clear and not overwritten. Her description of Ben Corliss, who lives in East Calais, draws you in and rings true as you learn about someone who may do something simple, but whose graciousness and kindness make you think about how you approach the world.”Olson grew up in North Carolina and Kentucky and received a BA from Earlham College. She worked as a teacher and volunteer coordinator at Central Vermont Adult Basic Education for more than 15 years and now leads poetry workshops and reading discussion groups for people of all ages, some under the auspices of the Vermont Humanities Council. Her favorite assignment has been leading a weekly poetry workshop at the Dale Correctional facility, which she did for many years. She believes everyone can write poetry, and helping people discover the thrill of writing poems is very exciting to her.Olson’s first book of poetry, “Breakfast At The Wayside,” came out in 2000. She is currently putting together a second manuscript of poetry.”The Paper Cutter” will be published in the fall issue of Vermont Life, which will be available in bookstores and on newsstands in late August.Olson will receive a $1,500 prize for the poem. The literary prize is named for the late Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and long-time member of Green Mountain Power’s Board of Directors.This is the 20th year that the Ralph Nading Hill Literary Prize has encouraged writers in Vermont and it is now considered by Vermont writers to be one of the state’s premier literary prizes. Entries may include essays, short stories and poetry.The selection was made by an independent panel of judges: Mary Hegarty Nowlan, editor of Vermont Life; Tom Slayton, past editor of Vermont Life; Tony Marro, retired executive editor of Newsday; Alison Freeland, a 1994 winner of the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., award for her story, “Shadbush”; Brian Vachon, retired vice president of communications at National Life of Vermont and a former Vermont Life editor; and Steve Terry, retired Green Mountain Power senior executive.The deadline for entries for this year’s contest is November 15, 2009. The contest is open to all Vermont residents, including seasonal residents and college students enrolled in Vermont colleges. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. The focus of the work must be “Vermont — Its People, the Place, Its History or Its Values.” Entries must be unpublished and less than 3,000 words long. Staff of Vermont Life or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. Send entries to the Corporate Relations Department of Green Mountain Power, 163 Acorn Lane, Colchester, VT 05446.
Helpline calls have risen in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, but the real extent of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely under-estimated, as survivors are stuck at home and outreach services are interrupted, Etienne said.”With reduced contact to friends and family or barriers in access to services and shelters, we are leaving survivors with nowhere to go,” she warned.Coronavirus cases in the Americas have reached almost 11.5 million and more than 400,000 people have died as a result of the pandemic, the WHO regional director said.The region continues to carry the highest burden of the disease, with 64% of officially reported global deaths despite having 13% of the world’s population. The biggest drivers of the case counts are the United States and Brazil, she said.But there are increasing cases in the Caribbean, and new infections are rising in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.Topics : Etienne called on governments to expand mental health services and prioritize mental health as part of their response to the pandemic.Many people are stressed by fear of developing the severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus, while doctors, nurses and health workers are working longer hours than ever before and risking their lives in hospitals, she said.Attention must be paid to rising domestic violence, Etienne said.”Ongoing stay-at-home measures, coupled with the social and economic impacts of this virus, are increasing the risks of domestic violence – home is not a safe space for many,” she said. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a mental health crisis in the Americas due to heightened stress and use of drugs and alcohol during six months of lockdowns and stay-at-home measures, the World Health Organization’s regional director said on Tuesday.The pandemic also has brought a related problem in a surge in domestic violence against women, Carissa Etienne said in a virtual briefing from the Pan American Health Organization in Washington.”The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis in our region at a scale we’ve never seen before,” she said. “It is urgent that mental health support is considered a critical component of the pandemic response.”
BEN CLASSON/Herald photoThe UW women?s basketball team honored their seniors Sunday at the Kohl Center, but the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes had little sympathy, defeating the Badgers 87-78.The Badgers (16-11, 9-9 Big Ten) won the opening tip, but it was the Big Ten Champion Hawkeyes (20-9, 13-5) who stole the show from that point on, shooting 74 percent from the field in the first half.?I thought the intensity in this game was incredible,? Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. ?I thought we came out with incredible focus, and kept that focus even when Wisconsin got close.?With Iowa?s sharp shooting and Wisconsin shooting under 30 percent, the Iowa lead quickly stretched to 20 points in the first half.?[Iowa] got some early rhythm, and that really took us out of the game [at first],? UW head coach Lisa Stone said. ?We weren?t getting stops and then we were rushing shots. I thought our shot selection was a bit erratic to start the game.?Converting on 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, Iowa senior Johanna Solverson posted 23 points in the first half alone, finishing the game with 31. The veteran forward has posted career highs this season after missing the last two seasons rehabbing an injury.?I was excited to just come out and play,? Solverson said. ?This was a really big game for me, and it was nice to have such a great crowd come up [from Iowa].?Starting the second half, Wisconsin turned up the tempo by sustaining their full-court press, grabbing several steals of Iowa miscues. After an Alyssa Karel 3-pointer, the Iowa lead was cut to four.?It was tough trying to get over that hump; it was like we were right [within the lead],? senior Janese Banks said. ?When we were down two, if we could have just gotten that bucket, who knows what would have happened.?Although Wisconsin never led in the game, it pulled to within one point with four minutes left in the game. Both teams traded baskets throughout much of the second half until a late Iowa 3-pointer fell, dashing the Badgers’ comeback hopes.The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for UW, but the Badgers have won eight of the past 11 games, carrying momentum into the Big Ten tournament.?I think we have become a team, from the first part of the season until now, understanding individual roles,? Stone said. ?I am very confident in the depth of our bench and each other. There is a trust factor that has really started to evolve.?For seniors Jolene Anderson, Janese Banks and Danielle Ward ? the team’s top three scorers ? it was their final game at the Kohl Center, making the loss even harder to swallow.?It was a tough loss, but the university has been great to me and my family,? Banks said. ?Just to have everyone supporting me and such, it makes [the loss] easier.?With the regular season coming to a close, the Badgers now focus their attention on the Big Ten Tournament, something the team has been alluding to since turning around their shaky performance early in the season.?I like the fact that our team right now is believers and they?ve obviously demonstrated their ability to overcome adversity,? Stone said. ?I feel good with that strength going into the Big Ten Tournament.?With wins against higher-seeded opponents, Wisconsin has proven they can play with any team in the conference, setting even higher hopes for the conference tournament.?Our team is coming closer; when we get down early on, our team knows that we can?t get it all back in one shot,? Anderson said. ?We have to keep on working together and that?s been a reason we?ve been able to come together as a team.?
After finally returning to Madison after a long away stretch, head coach Yvette Healy and the Wisconsin softball team play their home opener April 16 as they host the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in a double-header before the Badgers host the Ohio State Buckeyes for a three game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday.Excited to be back home and finally get the opportunity to open Goodman Diamond for the first time this season, Healy said that the team has played well at home before and it should be a nice change of pace to play a home game in front of a packed, enthusiastic crowd this week.This week they are also hosting a kids event. Last year they filled the stands with more than 1,000 fans and children, and they are looking forward to doing the same this year.“We packed the place last year when we played against Penn State and had more than 1,000 fans and swept [the Nittany Lions],” Healy said. “I’d love to see the same thing — 1,000 fans and the sweep.”While on the road during the last few weeks, the players and staff have dealt with plane rides, bus trips and sleeping in multiple hotels, but they developed some great relationships and are excited about bringing that bond into the rest of their season. Healy said she loved the opportunity to spend time with players and staff.However, the women’s softball team has had some tough battles while playing on the road. When Healy was asked what the most memorable part of the away stretch was, she replied that the “last two weekends have been tough, but we were thrilled to take one [game] from Nebraska.” So far, the softball team’s conference record stands at 7-5, placing them fifth in the conference. Overall, the team’s record sits at 29-8 with roughly 75 percent of their schedule set to be played on the road. Still, Healy believes the adversity has made the team stronger.“When you play against great teams, especially at their place, you learn something,” Healy said. “When you play at Iowa, Nebraska, you realize why these teams are good because they’ve got great home field advantage.”The Badgers’ lineup has played through a lot to begin the 2013 season. Healy credited the players for their ability to each step up when called upon. She noted that when she gave many players the chance to step up in the Nebraska game, they took advantage of the opportunity and produced a significant win for the team.Finally heading home, and with only eight losses in 37 games, Healy said she is proud of the progress and success the Badgers have produced during the long away streak.Now at home, Wisconsin hopes their success will continue against conference foe Ohio State. Nonetheless, peering ahead to the three-game series, Healy doesn’t want to overlook their opponent.“You’ve got to win one before you can win three in-a-row,” Healy said.