Vermont’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program Ranked First in the NationWaterbury, VT-Vermont’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides one-on-one counseling and information to educate consumers about Medicare and other health insurance programs, has been awarded the top ranking among the nation’s 54 SHIP programs in terms of overall performance in 2008.Vermont’s SHIP received a 2008 Performance Plus Award of $32,628 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in recognition of their efforts; $25,235 for a #1 ranking nationwide, and $7,393 for a #1 ranking in their “cluster.” There are six clusters nationwide. Other states in Vermont’s cluster include: Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Guam.”Vermont is a state that can boast many firsts in health care. We were ranked #1 in the nation for early child health and maternal health by several national organizations this spring, and I’m very pleased to see this federal recognition of Vermont’s commitment to providing high quality health care assistance to folks on the other end of the age spectrum,” said Governor Jim Douglas.The Vermont SHIP program is administered through the state’s five Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), which include Central Vermont Council on Aging (Barre), Champlain Valley Agency on Aging (Essex Junction), Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont (Springfield), Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging (St. Johnsbury), and Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging (Rutland). The AAA’s employ trained counselors and volunteers to work with individuals over age 65, or those with disabilities, who have questions or concerns about the Medicare program, including Medicare Part D, or other insurance programs.”We are very pleased that the federal government has recognized the dedication of our AAA partners in administering the SHIP here in Vermont,” said Cynthia D. LaWare, Secretary of the Agency of Human Services. “Thanks to their efforts, more Vermonters than ever have access to information that makes it easier for them to enroll in high quality, affordable health care programs across the state.”Judith Crawford, Director of Vermont’s SHIP, added, “I am so proud of our performance, and I am equally proud of all the dedicated staff associated with SHIP. We have an extraordinary group of people serving our Medicare population and this recognition is well deserved.”The Vermont SHIP’s national #1 Performance ranking means that for the size of our state and the number of Medicare beneficiaries, Vermont:* Boasted the most one-on-one counseling contacts;* SHIP staff counseled the greatest number of people with disabilities;* Staff have performed the most outreach and education trainings, and;* Vermont SHIP staff have enrolled 98.8% of income-eligible beneficiaries in Vermont for the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) SSA program.#####
Stantec Consulting Services Inc.,Stantec has announced solid results for the second quarter of 2011, with gross revenue increasing 11.1% to C$412.3 million from C$371.1 million in the second quarter of 2010, net revenue increasing 12.7% to C$342.3 million from C$303.8 million, net income increasing 8.0% to C$25.7 million from C$23.8 million, and diluted earnings per share increasing 7.7% to C$0.56 from C$0.52. Stantec has about 50 employees in its South Burlington office and nearly 400 employees across New England. ‘Our performance in the second quarter of 2011 was in line with our expectations at the end of the first quarter,’ says Bob Gomes, Stantec president and chief executive officer. ‘Thanks to the continuing support of our clients and staff, we are on track and expect consistent performance during the remainder of the year.’ Major projects awarded to Stantec or under way in the second quarter included, in the Buildings area, a contract to assist major retailer Target with the rollout of its Canadian stores over the next few years. Stantec is providing multidiscipline services including architecture, interior design, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. In the Environment area, Stantec secured assignments to provide a variety of environmental compliance and regulatory support services for Talisman Energy’s unconventional gas developments, particularly in relation to its groundwater protection programs; waste management programs; and prevention and preparedness plans at sites in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In the Industrial area, Stantec was chosen by QuadraFNX Mining Ltd. to carry out a prefeasibility study for a proposed nickel-copper mine near Sudbury, Ontario, following the completion of a scoping study in late 2010. This greenfield assignment will also involve preliminary engineering for two planned mine shafts. New projects in the Transportation area included the 2011 biennial inspections of the Bayonne and George Washington Bridges for the New York & New Jersey Port Authority. The Port Authority also selected Stantec to provide aeronautical civil and electrical engineering call-in services at any of its airports in the New York/New Jersey area, including the Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International, Stewart International, Teterboro, and LaGuardia airports. Finally, new projects in the Urban Land area included an assignment to provide planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and transportation engineering services for the development of Wescott Park for the City of North Charleston, South Carolina. The new 57-acre park will contain a youth sports complex, complete with baseball fields, a training facility, boardwalks, playgrounds, picnic areas, an amphitheatre, and maintenance facilities. Summary of activity in the quarter:· Compared to the second quarter of 2010, gross revenue was up 11.1% to C$412.3 million from C$371.1 million, and net revenue was up 12.7% to C$342.3 million from C$303.8 million. Net income was C$25.7 million, up 8.0% compared to C$23.8 million last year, and diluted earnings per share were C$0.56, up 7.7% from C$0.52. · Year-to-date gross revenue was up 10.5% to C$821.0 million from C$742.7 million, net revenue was up 13.1% to C$679.1 million from C$600.6 million, net income was up 23.4% to C$49.5 million from C$40.1 million, and diluted earnings per share were up 24.1% to C$1.08 from C$0.87. · During the second quarter, Stantec acquired the Caltech Group, a consulting engineering firm headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Along with increasing staff by approximately 200, the acquisition will augment Stantec’s business in the oil and gas and power sectors throughout North America. Stantec also signed a letter of intent to acquire Minnesota-based Bonestroo, Inc. The engineering, planning, and environmental science firm has approximately 275 employees in eight offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.· During the second quarter, Stantec’s board of directors elected Mr. Aram H. Keith as its new chair. Mr. Keith has been a member of the board since 2005, when Stantec acquired The Keith Companies, Inc. He cofounded The Keith Companies in 1983 and served as its chief executive officer and board chair until its acquisition. Now retired, he serves on several non-profit boards and is very active in various philanthropic endeavors. · Complete Financial Statements, Notes to the Financial Statements, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com(link is external)) and EDGAR (www.sec.gov(link is external)), August 4, 2011. Alternatively, these documents will be available to download from the Investors section of www.stantec.com(link is external) or on request from Stantec free of charge. Stantec provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects. We support public and private sector clients in a diverse range of markets at every stage, from the initial conceptualization and financial feasibility study to project completion and beyond. Our services are provided on projects around the world through approximately 11,000 employees operating out of more than 170 locations in North America and 4 locations internationally. Stantec is One Team providing Integrated Solutions. Cautionary statementsStantec’s gross revenue and net revenue are non-GAAP measures. For a definition and explanation of non-GAAP measures, refer to the Critical Accounting Estimates, Developments, and Measures section of the Company’s 2010 Financial Review.This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning Stantec’s future financial performance and proposed acquisition activities. By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. We caution readers of this press release not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements since a number of factors could cause actual future results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to the risk of an economic downturn, changing market conditions for Stantec’s services, disruptions in government funding and the risk that Stantec will not close proposed acquisitions when expected or at all. Investors and the public should carefully consider these factors, other uncertainties, and potential events as well as the inherent uncertainty of forward-looking statements when relying on these statements to make decisions with respect to our Company. EDMONTON, AB (August 4, 2011) TSX, NYSE:STN
FloydFest—a BRO Favorite—takes place July 22-26 in scenic Floyd, Va.—Photo by Roger GuptaFestival fans take notice: These are the bashes you must attend. New festivals keeping popping up across the country, but the Blue Ridge is full of proven galas that are worth your long weekend. This year BRO offers a guide to the top 20 festivals in the region. We chose events filled with the things our readers love best—authentic music, craft beer, comfortable camping, and outdoor adventure—in stunning locations that set the scene.French Broad River FestivalHot Springs, N.C. | May 1-3frenchbroadriverfestival.com Basics: Started nearly two decades ago as an intimate gathering by a group of paddlers, this fest at the Hot Springs Campground has grown into a regional favorite, featuring an impressive line-up of roots music and plenty of chances to play on the river. Best of all, it’s a party with a purpose: Through the years the fest has raised boatloads of cash for river access protector American Whitewater and a handful of other local charities.BEST IF: You like camping festivals on the smaller side with some outdoor action during the day.BANDS ON THE BILL: This fest is anchored by some of the South’s best regional acts, including Sol Driven Train, Larry Keel, and Big Daddy Love.BEYOND THE TUNES: This is also a chance to enjoy the French Broad with a popular raft race, a Paddle with Pros clinic, and a river cleanup.LEAFBlack Mountain, N.C. | May 7-10theleaf.com Basics: Nestled within the mountainous property of Camp Rockmont, the family friendly Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known as LEAF—features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic offerings of any fest in the region: live music, dance workshops, healing arts, and much more.BEST IF: You’re open to music and art from around the world, as this year performers from 30 different countries will be represented at the festival.BANDS ON THE BILL: Headliners this year include Xavier Rudd & The United Nations, Bombino, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, R. Carlos Nakai, and Donna the Buffalo.BEYOND THE TUNES: LEAF is designed to be interactive with more than 40 healing arts workshops on a range of topics from yoga and holistic health to rolfing and martial arts, diverse global cuisine, a wide selection of artisan goods, and a nationally recognized poetry slam. You can also enjoy the scenic surroundings with a hike on the Rockmont trails or a paddle in Lake Eden.Dominion Riverrock Richmond, Va. | May 15-17dominionriverrock.com Basics: Billed as the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival, this adventure games bash draws huge crowds to the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond. From central grounds on Brown’s Island, you can run, ride, paddle, and climb in a variety of comps and races, while live tunes are blaring in the background and big crowds are browsing gear booths.BEST IF: You like to race and enjoy an epic post-party.BANDS ON THE BILL: Riverrock organizers always cap the evenings with solid headliners, and this year is no exception with Blues Traveler and Greensky Bluegrass taking the top slots.BEYOND THE TUNES: This one is more about the adventure than the music, as Riverrock hosts races and comps all weekend long. Runners have the James River Scramble 10K Trail or the Filthy 5K Mud Run, while fat tire fans can sign up for the Thule Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race. There’s also an adventure race, climbing comps, and kayak events, including a boatercross. If you’re looking to find a new sport, the Interactive Village has opportunities to try kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, bouldering, and more.Trail DaysDamascus, Va. | May 15-17traildays.usBasics: The tiny southwestern Virginia town of Damascus, known as Trail Town, U.S.A., turns into a big reunion for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and a huge party for outdoor lovers of all stripes. Hikers get together to trade trail stories, march in a parade, get goofy in a talent show, soak each other with water guns, check out a variety of gear booths, and get rowdy at the campgrounds in the evenings. There are also talks and presentations by A.T. legends of yesteryear.BEST IF: You’re all about the outdoors and the culture that surrounds it. You’ll be in good company here.BANDS ON THE BILL: Local and regional bands will provide the soundtrack with free shows everyday at the fest’s central grounds in Town Park.BEYOND THE TUNES: Take advantage of what this town is known for and get on the trails. While the A.T. runs through downtown, you can also easily access the rugged Iron Mountain and family-friendly Virginia Creeper Trails.RoosterWalk Music and Arts FestivalAxton, Va. | May 21-24roosterwalk.com Basics: Initially created to commemorate the lives of two lost friends, this low-key festival held in the scenic foothills country near Martinsville continues to improve its impressive line-up of roots music. This year the fest is moving to new venue, Pop’s Farm, in Axton.BEST IF: You dig an intimate homegrown festival on the rise, and you’re open to discovering new up-and-coming bands.BANDS ON THE BILL: Headliners this year include Yonder Mountain String Band, Lake Street Dive, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Southern Culture on the Skids, and Donna and the Buffalo.BEYOND THE TUNES: Henry County holds a 45-mile scenic stretch of the Smith River. Grab a reasonably priced canoe or kayak rental from Smith River Outfitters and make time for a morning paddle.Dr. Ralph Stanley’s 45th Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass FestivalCoeburn, Va. | May 21-23drralphstanleyfestival.comBasics: A down-home, multi-band traditional bluegrass gala in a beautiful setting at the old homeplace of Ralph Stanley, who’s still performing at age 88. He leads the bill with the Clinch Mountain Boys at his own Hills of Home Park in the mountains of southwest Virginia.BEST IF: You can’t get enough of the high lonesome sound, and you need to cross Stanley off your bucket list of legends to see live.BANDS ON THE BILL: Additional acts include Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, and Stanley’s son Ralph II.BEYOND THE TUNES: Learn about Appalachian music with a trip to the Ralph Stanley Museum. The festival provides shuttles to nearby Clintwood, where the museum sits in a historic Victorian house as a stop on the Commonwealth’s Crooked Road music heritage trail.DelFestCumberland, Md | May 21-24delfest.comBasics: A progressive bluegrass and roots music festival hosted by high lonesome sound pioneer Del McCoury in the scenic Potomac River Valley of western Maryland.BEST IF: You’ve always wanted to make it to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival but would rather keep it local, and you can’t get enough acoustic string jams.BANDS ON THE BILL: Along with daily sets from Del and his band, this year’s lineup is anchored by Americana all-stars Jason Isbell and Shovels and Rope, as well as return visits from Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Leftover Salmon, and Railroad Earth.BEYOND THE TUNES: At Delfest you can stretch out every morning with yoga classes scheduled as part of the Movement Playshops program. The festival also has an Arts and Crafts Fair with vendors offering clothing, jewelry, and acoustic instruments.Graves Mountain Festival of MusicSyria, Va. | May 28-30gravesmountain.com Basics: Three days of the best in bluegrass takes place at the scenic Graves Mountain Lodge, in the shadow of Shenandoah National Park.BEST IF: You like to keep it mellow at festivals, watching top-notch picking and singing while relaxing in a lawn chair with stunning mountain views as a backdrop.BANDS ON THE BILL: Hear traditional bluegrass acts like Junior Sisk, Doyle Lawson, and Balsam Range alongside progressive folk artist Willie Watson.BEYOND THE TUNES: You’ll be within some of central Virginia’s best terrain, so spend your afternoon horseback riding, hiking, or swimming before the music begins.Bonnaroo Music and Arts FestivalManchester, Tenn. | June 11-14bonnaroo.com Basics: The pace setter for the current explosion of multi-band mega fests, Bonnaroo annually brings 80,000 fans to a 700-acre farm in the middle of Tennessee for one the country’s most eclectic, high-profile music extravaganzas.BEST IF: Crowds, heat, and dust won’t deter you from throwing down, as you take in a musical marathon that can’t be topped.BANDS ON THE BILL: The top of the bill features Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, Deadmau5, and Kendrick Lamar. Go deeper and catch sets by the War on Drugs, Caribou, the Punch Brothers, and Sturgill Simpson.BEYOND THE TUNES: Make time for Bonnaroo’s additional offerings like the comedy shows, the Broo’ers Festival craft beer garden, cinema tent, Silent Disco, and Food Truck Oasis.Red Wing Roots Music Festival Mount Solon, Va. | July 10-12redwingroots.comBasics: An intimate roots music festival with an impressively growing line-up at Natural Chimneys Park in the Shenandoah Valley. The hosts make this a family-friendly fest with scenic camping and plenty to do for the little festivarians in the Kid’s Zone, which includes special band performances for younger audiences.BEST IF: You need your music fix but like to keep it fun for the whole family.BANDS ON THE BILL: In addition to host band the Steel Wheels this year Red Wing will feature sets from the Punch Brothers, Robert Earl Keen, the Wood Brothers, Jon Russell of the Head and the Heart, Nikki Lane, Chatham County Line, the Travelin’ McCourys, and many more.BEYOND THE TUNES: Members of the Steel Wheels love to pedal, so this festival hosts group bike rides on Saturday morning. Pick from road options that range between 10 to 40 miles or a 10-mile mountain bike ride.BACKSTAGE PASSSince debuting in 2013, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival has quickly become a nationally respected Americana gathering, set in the intimate confines of Natural Chimneys Park in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The festival is a collaboration between some local Harrisonburg music promoters, including Jeremiah Jenkins of Black Bear Productions and versatile acoustic outfit the Steel Wheels. In three short years the festival has featured an impressive array of roots-music acts, from established legends like Del McCoury and Sam Bush to popular upstarts Trampled by Turtles and the Devil Makes Three. Ahead of this year’s event, Jenkins and Steel Wheels front man Trent Wagler offered a glimpse behind the scenes of festival preparation and favorite moments.Early Roots The Steel Wheels tour regularly across the country and have been featured at some of the biggest acoustic music festivals in the world, including Merlefest and Stagecoach in California. A few years ago the band decided they wanted to host a party near home in Harrisonburg. “We would come home and talk about how great it would be to have a boutique musical festival right in our backyard that our own families would grow up around,” Wagler said. “We dreamed about something that could create that kind of community in the Shenandoah Valley.”Defining ‘Roots Music’ Jenkins said the festival requires at least 10 months of planning, and in a sea of competition from other festivals, booking acts can be tricky. “Year-round we keep a long list of bands that we’d like to play the festival,” Jenkins added. “Fitting everything into a budget and schedule becomes a puzzle with a bunch of moving pieces. Fortunately there is so much great music out there. We’re a small festival, and that is all we are trying to be. We want music that draws from traditions of old country, folk, singer-songwriter, Cajun, and bluegrass—what you would consider the roots of American music,” Wagler said. “We’re working hard to find great music that defines that term for us.”Keeping It Small Red Wing’s site at Natural Chimneys only allows a few thousand people to attend every year. While many festivals continue to grow, organizers want Red Wing to stay intimate and neighborly for people of all ages. “It’s a broad cross-section of our larger community,” said Jenkins. “People can come appreciate the festival in their own way. I love seeing people of all ages enjoying themselves—a 10-year-old girl with her face painted drinking out of a coconut, and an older couple sitting in lawn chairs, just grinning as they watch the music.”After hours “Last year on Saturday night, after everything had ended, members of five or six bands were backstage hanging around the fire, playing music together and singing,” remembered Jenkins. “Two members of the Devil Makes Three were dancing under the moonlight, the trees were swaying, and everyone was happy. At Red Wing artists can let their guard down and be themselves.”Forecastle FestivalLouisville, Ky. | July 17-19forecastlefest.comBasics: Once a small neighbor bash, Forecastle has grown to become one of the premiere music festivals in the country, taking place every summer at Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park.BEST IF: You want to throw down with a deep roster of bands in one of the South’s most vibrant cities.BANDS ON THE BILL: Hometown heroes My Morning Jacket will be joined by an eclectic mix of acts that includes Widespread Panic, Modest Mouse, Sam Smith, Cage the Elephant, Houndmouth, Tweedy, and many more.BEYOND THE TUNES: You’re in Kentucky, so enjoying some brown water is a must. In addition to the tunes, this fest honors its home state’s great trade with a Bourbon Lodge. You can also check out more goods from the Bluegrass State at Kentucky Landing, which highlights local food and craft beer.FloydFestFloyd, Va. | July 22-26floydfest.comBasics: You reach FloydFest on Milepost 170.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once there you find an unsuspecting 80-acre mountain plateau that becomes a multi-stage musical blowout, bridging the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from the around the rest of the world.BEST IF: You’re down to get lost in nine stages of music for five days in a remote Blue Ridge setting.BANDS ON THE BILL: This year FloydFest is packed with something for everyone. Headliners include Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Drive-By Truckers, Trampled by Turtles, Lord Huron, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and plenty more.BEYOND THE TUNES: The festival has added an impressive outdoor adventure program to its lengthy list of activities. The Moonstomper Mountain Bike Trail offers onsite singletrack, and there’s also an organized off-site 19-mile ride, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down, that features 1,600 feet of climb and offers shuttle service back to the festival. More adventure opportunities include guided hikes, disc golf, and organized paddling trips on the Little River.BACKSTAGE PASSKris Hodges founded FloydFest back in 2002, alongside partner Erika Johnson, as a way to showcase the unique progressive arts community in Floyd, Va. The small Blue Ridge town has been a haven for musicians, painters, and organic farmers since the ‘60s and still remains an off-the-beaten path beacon of creativity in the South. With the fourteenth installment of the festival on the horizon, Hodges gave us an inside perspective on managing growth and sticking to FloydFest’s initial vision.Early Roots FloydFest’s first line-up represented a bridge between the sounds of Appalachia and music from around the world. Regional hero Doc Watson shared a bill with the African Showboyz, while a modest crowd was exposed to Floyd’s culture. “In the first year the idea was to create social awareness globally,” Hodges says. “We wanted to use Floyd as an example of how communities can function through an old-school way of country living with a strong sense of barter, farm-to-table food, and organic farming. Floyd was started by people who left mainstream society to forge their own lives. People living there today are still outside the fray. We’ve gotten national attention, but we’ve never wanted to be mainstream. With FloydFest we’ve tried to forge our own path.”Keeping It Real Hodges has always resisted booking a major headliner that would bring a dominating crowd to the festival. Instead he crafts a roster of roots music artists of all stripes that come together for a colorful combination. The formula has worked. FloydFest attendance has swelled into the tens of thousands in recent years, causing Hodges to even reduce capacity. “We’ve found you get a lot more connectivity when the crowd is able to act as community. We want this festival to be sustainable, so we’re going to keep a small cohesive vibe.”More than Music “I’ve been a musician my whole life, but I’m also an avid backpacker and trail runner. I live in a yurt in the middle of the Blue Ridge. I want to be around like-minded people. Our crowd has been very receptive to our outdoor offerings. Our river trips sell out every year, and our 5K runs have been packed. This is a special place, located right off the Parkway, so we want people to experience what it has to offer beyond the music.”Favorite Memory “From the beginning I remember telling myself if I can get Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, and their whole crew on our stage, my work will be well done. When it happened in 2012, I remember walking through the crowd and seeing folks just smiling ear to ear, having the best times of their lives. That’s a great feeling—when you keep your integrity intact, you work hard, and it’s recognized.”Bristol Rhythm and Roots ReunionBristol, Tenn./Va. | September 18-20bristolrhythm.comBasics: Bristol is a historic musical city, the site of early recordings by the Carter Family and many more pioneers. Every fall the border town celebrates this lineage through a gala that incorporates roots music from all generations. This annual fest features a range of artists from national headliners to regional upstarts to down home Appalachian pickers playing along the bustling main drag of State Street (which straddles the Virginia/Tennessee line) on 22 stages—outdoors, inside theaters, and bars.BEST IF: You like a lively street party with a deep line-up of bands in a quaint Southern city.BANDS ON THE BILL: This year’s diverse lot of roots-music acts includes Steve Earle, Dr. Dog, Hot Rize, Balsam Range, Delbert McClinton, Strand of Oaks, and Moon Taxi.BEYOND THE TUNES: Take the opportunity to learn as well as listen by visiting the nearby Birthplace of Country Music Museum.Lockn’Arrington, VA | September 10-13locknfestival.comBasics: A jam fans paradise on the sprawling, idyllic Oak Ridge Farm, Lockn’ offers an alternative to the usual festival formula by holding bands on two massive side-by-side stages with no overlapping sets. Approaching just its third year, the festival has set a high bar by already hosting the likes of Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, and surviving members of the Grateful Dead. The fest is also known for orchestrating interesting collaborations between artists, like the first year’s pairing of John Fogerty with Widespread Panic.BEST IF: You miss the early years of Bonnaroo, when it debuted as a jam band marathon.BANDS ON THE BILL: Catch sets from Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh, and the String Cheese Incident, who will play one set in a special collaboration with the Doobie Brothers.BEYOND THE TUNES: Oak Ridge is a gorgeous property, and during the festival there are 30 miles of biking trails open to attendees. If you can’t bring your own bike, there is a demo fleet on site.Hopscotch FestivalRaleigh, N.C. | September 10-12hopscotchmusicfest.comBasics: Every year an eclectic mix of indie rock and experimental acts converge in downtown Raleigh for this annual festival that hosts shows in more than a dozen venues, including an amphitheater, theaters, and smaller bars and clubs.BEST IF: You’re cool with navigating a schedule of 160 bands at a variety of venues.BANDS ON THE BILL: Not announced yet but last year was headlined by Spoon, St. Vincent, De La Soul, and the War on Drugs.BEYOND THE TUNES: The greater Raleigh area has 18 breweries, and Beltline Brew Tours (beltlinebrewtours.com) has a range of options for tasting some of the best around the Triangle.Gauley FestSummersville, W.Va. | September 18-19americanwhitewater.orgBasics: Started back in 1983 as a victory dance to celebrate the derailment of a dam project that would have disrupted flows of the mighty Gauley, this bash brings together class V whitewater runs, live music, and boater shenanigans as the biggest paddling festival in the world. In addition to plenty of river time, you can score some great gear deals and catch up with a who’s who of industry folks in the whitewater marketplace.BEST IF: You’re a river junkie who loves to paddle and party.BANDS ON THE BILL: Not typically the focus of this fest. Expect some local or regional acts that will keep the fun going.BEYOND THE TUNES: Enjoy what you’ve come to celebrate and run the class V rapids of the Gauley. If you’re not a whitewater boater, jump in a raft with one of the area’s many outfitters.Brewgrass FestivalAsheville, N.C. | September 19brewgrassfestival.comBasics: New beer festivals keep popping up everywhere, but Brewgrass was around long before the current craft beer boom. Approaching its 19th year, the annual festival, now taking place at Asheville’s Memorial Stadium, features tasty offerings from 50 craft breweries and a full day of progressive bluegrass.BEST IF: You’re into day drinking, and lots of it.BANDS ON THE BILL: Acts this year include the Jeff Austin Band, Big Daddy Love, and the Packway Handle Band.BEYOND THE TUNES: If you have anything left in the tank, head to one of Asheville’s 18 breweries for one more round. Or maybe just go home and drink water.The Festy ExperienceRoseland, Va. | October 9-11thefesty.comBasics: This intimate fest sits on the scenic grounds of central Virginia’s Devils Backbone Brewery, hosting a long weekend of eclectic roots music combined with mountain sports, workshops, and local beer.BEST IF: You’re looking for a small family friendly festival with comfy camping spots and crisp fall weather.BANDS ON THE BILL: The Festy is always anchored by expansive bluegrass pickers The Infamous Stringdusters; many more acts to be announced soon.BEYOND THE TUNES: Wake up early on Saturday morning and run the Blue Ridge Burn, a 10K/5K trail race hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoors on the festival’s three-mile onsite trail network.Go Outside FestivalRoanoke, Va. | October 16-18roanokegofest.comBasics: Every fall, Roanoke’s River’s Edge Sports Complex turns into a mountain sports playground filled with running, biking, climbing, slacklining, paddling, and fishing. Set along the Roanoke River, this annual three-day fest features races, relaxed gear demos and clinics, and the chance to check out the latest and greatest from gear vendors.BEST IF: You want to celebrate your favorite sport or learn another.BANDS ON THE BILL: Still TBD, but count on regional acts to provide the soundtrack in the evening. Last year was headlined by the Hackensaw Boys.BEYOND THE TUNES: Another one that’s all about adventure. Run the trail half marathon, learn to roll a kayak, or enter the fly casting comp. Options are plentiful here, with 175 free activities, and you can camp on site. Craft beverages are also a big part of this fest. According to organizers, last year’s 20,000 attendees put back more than 12,000 beers.MerlefestTBD, 2016 | Wilkesboro, N.Cmerlfest.orgBasics: One of the country’s preeminent Americana festivals, Merlefest was started by late icon Doc Watson to honor his son and fellow musician Merle, who predeceased him. An estimated 80,000 people flock to the campus of Wilkes Community College for a huge line-up of artists that blur the lines between country, blues, bluegrass, and rock. This festival is dry, so the party truly revolves around the sounds. Grab an energy bar and bounce between 13 stages. Key tip: Don’t miss the midnight jam.BEST IF: You can’t get enough roots music.BANDS ON THE BILL: BRO’s guide comes out days after this festival finishes every year, but it’s too good not to mention. This year’s line-up featured the Avett Brothers, Dwight Yoakam, Bela Fleck, and Trampled by Turtles.BEYOND THE TUNES: Bring your instrument, as the Merlefest scene always has legendary picking circles at the nearby campgrounds. Also, bring your bike and the ride the flowy singletrack of the Kerr Scott Trails.
On the morning of April 14th, 1981, my third grade classmates and I packed on to buses and headed to the dry lake bed that was home to the flight line at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to witness history. AM – I wrote it with my good friend Pat Algerup in Nashville. The song celebrates how that even though happiness tied to an external outcome is ultimately fleeting because wants and needs are always changing and nothing is ever lasting or certain, we still manage to justify our time setting goals and making plans. I feel like that is a funny thing about this experience we call life. BRO – Would you be impressed if I told I was on hand to see the shuttle landing 198B For this third grader, it was a damned cool experience. Being an Air Force brat definitely had its perks, and I got to see one more shuttle landing before my dad got reassigned to West Germany the next year. I can still vividly recall the excitement felt that morning as Columbia glided towards the ground. BRO – Last time you had a big ol’ belly laugh? BRO- We are featuring “Ain’t Life Funny” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song? AM – It wasn’t easy. Terrifying is a good word to describe it, actually. But it would have been hard and more painful to have stayed and retired from there never knowing what might have happened had I really tried to pursue the musical path more fully. BRO – How difficult was it walking away from NASA and a secure career to focus on music? BRO – How was it having Marty Stuart in the studio with you? AM – Amazing. I am a long time fan and couldn’t hardly believe he was there to play on my album. It was a surreal moment and such a tremendous honor. Plus, he’s just really easy to be around and we had a lot of fun hanging out that afternoon, laughing and trading stories. I will always look fondly on that opportunity with gratitude. AM – Yes! That’s awesome. I never did get to see a landing, although I must say that the launch I saw with my contract cohorts and then-deputy general manager, former astronaut Jan Davis, was nothing short of spectacular. For more information on Amy McCarley, to check on tour dates, or to find out where you can grab your copy of MECO, please check out her website. That morning, Columbia – the first Space Shuttle – landed in the Mojave Desert, marking the return to Earth of NASA’s first reusable space craft. And be sure to check out “Ain’t Life Funny,” along with new tracks from Galactic, Darlingside, Dale Watson, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix. AM – This past weekend at my grandfather’s 90th birthday party, we were all reminded of the time when he had regained consciousness after what we believed to have been a stroke. I was there in the hospital room and his friend Bo stopped by to visit. When he opened his eyes to find his buddy standing at the foot of the bed, Pappaw’s first words were, “Oh no. I have died and gone to the wrong place.” I recently caught up with McCarley to chat about the new record, Space Shuttle memories, and how life really is funny. That emotion was rekindled in recent days while listening to Amy McCarley’s new record, MECO. McCarley, who left a career in NASA working as a contractor on Space Shuttle missions to hit the road as a musician, titled her recent record with the acronym (in the space world) meaning main engine cut off. The space jargon is meaningful, reflecting McCarley’s own disengagement from her main engines – the security of a nine-to-five – to maintain her own momentum as a musician. Amy McCarley heads to Montreal, Canada, next week for the Folk Alliance International conference before returning for a show in Nashville later in the month. OForce Base in California to witness a bit of history.
Panel gets plenty of workload advice Panel gets plenty of workload adviceSenior EditorTexas’ bifurcated appellate system with separate courts for civil and criminal appeals of nine justices each should not be duplicated in Florida — and that comes from the chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.He also said it’s inefficient for the Texas Supreme Court to be responsible for all court administrative issues, including the Criminal Court of Appeals.“The only reason to have it [bifurcated appellate courts] is if you all challenge us for death penalty king, which you’ll never win, but you might want to try,” Chief Justice Tom Phillips said.Phillips spoke via telephone at the October 24 meeting of the legislature’s Supreme Court Workload Study Commission. Also appearing at the meeting was the entire Florida Supreme Court, as well as representatives of The Florida Bar, state attorneys, public defenders, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, capital collateral regional counsels and the Attorney General.Much of the testimony dealt with death penalty appeals.The commission was formed by the legislature to study the high court’s workload and explore whether it needed help in handling its increasing duties. The bill to create the commission came after another measure to add two justices to the court — giving it nine members — and allowing the Governor to name the chief justice for a six-year term stalled in the legislature.Phillips said having nine justices wouldn’t help with the workload, and would probably slow things down.The justice said the Texas high court operates much more efficiently and quickly when recusals reduce its size to seven. Asked why the extra justices cause delay, Phillips said, “It just takes longer to get around the table, it takes longer to get an agreement.. . . What you get when you put more judges in is just two more voices to be heard. I would love to go down to seven.”A bifurcated system similar to Texas’, with separate supreme courts for civil and criminal matters, has been mentioned as a possibility in Florida. Justice Phillips said he wouldn’t recommend it.“The Texas model with two courts absolutely equal in their prestige as far as their law powers is inefficient,” Phillips said.Problems surface when a law or evidence code affects both criminal and civil cases, and the two courts may rule differently on legality or constitutionality. “That has happened,” he said.The Texas Supreme Court, he added, sets all ethical rules, including those applying to criminal attorneys, who the court rarely if ever sees.“We also have five to 10 cases a year where we don’t know which court they belong in,” Phillips said.Another problem is the separate civil and criminal courts of ultimate jurisdiction tend to focus on minutiae and unimportant details of the respective cases and lack the perspective seeing a broader range of cases would bring. On the civil side, there’s too much attention paid to tort cases because of the influence of large campaign contributors interested in that issue, Phillips said.Electing the justices of both courts doesn’t help matters, he said. For the Criminal Court of Appeals, there’s no large interest and consequently the candidates raise almost no money. Partly because of that, the court has had a complete turnover in the past 10 years. In any given election, half of the incumbents up for election can expect to lose, he noted.“We’ve had a lot of turnover, and we’ve had some strikingly unqualified people elected to that bench, including some nut cases,” Phillips said.On the other hand, Supreme Court races are dominated by tort-related issues and heavy contributions, he said.Commissioner Jerry Gardner asked the justice if he would prefer the bifurcated system or single system, which all states except Texas and Oklahoma have, where one supreme court hears civil and criminal appeals.“I would go with the single system,” Phillips replied.He did say the commission should check with Oklahoma, which he said avoids some of Texas’ problems because its justices are appointed through merit selection rather than elected.Tinker, Don’t OverhaulFlorida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Wells led the full court to the commission meeting and said the justices don’t see a need for any drastic changes.“After deep scrutiny, it is my conclusion and the conclusion of the other members of the court that the present structure of the court. . . is the best way of meting the workload of the court for now and the next decade,” Wells said.He agreed with Phillips that adding two justices would likely slow down the court’s handling of cases because “it will take longer to process cases through nine offices than it does through seven offices.”Wells also discussed a statistic that helped lead to the creation of the workload commission — the court’s issuing of only 219 opinions in 1999 compared to 340 to 380 for the previous four or five years. In 1999, the court got a surge of appeals related to three legislative acts: the Criminal Appeal Reform Act, the Crime Control Act and the Prisoner Release Act, he said.The court had to devote substantial time to deliberating and deciding the lead cases for each of the three laws, which slowed down related appeals. But once that was done, he said, the related cases were quickly handled. Wells estimated the court will issue around 200 more opinions this year than last.Commission member Rep. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, who sponsored the legislation that created the workload commission, asked what was being done to identify such lead cases. Wells replied the court is looking to improve its docketing to identify key cases, adding “those cases need to be managed in such a way where we can get a decision out as soon as we can.”Justice Barbara Pariente added that district courts of appeal can help by identifying lead cases on an issue or statute, and then certifying the case to the court.Asked what the Supreme Court needs to help in its work, Wells said two more attorneys for its central court staff, some paralegals in the clerk’s office to better sort and manage cases and continuing support in improving the court’s technology.“We think through staff expansion and technology, we can manage what is going to be an increasing caseload,” the Chief Justice added. “We believe expanding the size of the court is not an option.”He also said increasing the term of the chief justice would not be an improvement over the court’s present policy of picking the most senior justice who hasn’t served. Chief justices currently serve a two-year term.Death PenaltyMuch of the testimony and questioning concerned the handling of capital cases. Or as Buddy Jacobs, representing the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, put it, “If anyone tells you this is not about the death penalty, it’s about the death penalty.”Commission member and Third District Court of Appeal Judge Robert Shevin asked several speakers if requiring a supermajority or unanimous recommendation of the jury before imposing the death penalty would reduce the number of appeals. Specifically, he also wanted to know if cases where the jury recommended death by a 7-5 margin were more likely to be overturned on appeal than cases where the margin was 10-2, 11-2 or 12-0.Speakers said there were no firm statistics on that, but promised to research the issue. Second Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels, representing the state’s public defenders, said she thought from anecdotal evidence the close jury recommendations were more likely to be overturned. But Carolyn Snurkowski, head of the Attorney General’s criminal appellate section, disagreed.“As many 12-0 votes for death are reversed as 7-5 votes,” she said. “A number, 10-2 or 8-4, doesn’t mean squat unless you understand what the trial court determined to be aggravating and mitigating circumstances.”Chief Justice Wells was questioned little about the death penalty, although he noted that the appeals for 373 inmates on death row occupy 30 to 40 percent of the court’s time.Daniels told the commission that except in capital cases, the Supreme Court has only limited jurisdiction in criminal cases, leaving most of that work to the DCAs. She said that system works well.To reduce the death appeal workload, she recommended not allowing judges to override a jury recommendation of life imprisonment, having a pretrial hearing where the judge instead of prosecutors would decide whether the death penalty would be sought and supporting the Supreme Court’s efforts to impose experience and education standards for lawyers and judges handling capital cases.Daniels also argued that having a separate court to handle criminal appeals, especially with the judges chosen by election, would be expensive and inefficient.“The studies on specialty courts say you lose the benefit of generalist judges who have experience with both the civil and criminal decision and that lends perspective to both types of cases,” she said. “The popular political pressures that would be brought to bear on elected appellate judges would be enormous. It would be difficult to follow the law while ignoring the political pressures.”And while merely adding a single judge is costly because support staff is also needed, adding a whole new appellate court would be prohibitively expensive, she added.Greg Smith, capital collateral representative for the Northern Region, said having a pretrial determination of whether a death penalty can be sought could save valuable resources by weeding out cases likely to be overturned later.That would not only save appellate resources, he said, but also lead to trial court savings because the jury wouldn’t have to be death-qualified, and lawyers and judges wouldn’t have to meet special qualifications.“Give the prosecutor his or her role, but don’t cut out the local judge when deciding whether this is a death case,” Smith said.But Snurkowski, of the Attorney General’s office, argued such a hearing itself might be wasteful because it would require extra hearings in cases that would wind up as death cases anyway.“Here we are trying to make a determination whether this is a death penalty case without knowing all of the information the state is going to present,” she said.She also said it was wrong to require a super-majority jury vote for a death penalty. The jury recommendation originally was intended to provide a community view to the judge making the final decision, she noted.“When you start determining that a jury number is going to have to be had, you’re going to put pressure on this; you’re going to start skewing that community view,” Snurkowski said.She also predicted that requiring a super-majority vote would affect no more than 10 percent of the death penalty appeals.Jacobs agreed with other speakers in saying handing the cases of 373 death row inmates does not require a separate court and that better management would help the court more than adding two more justices. He agreed with Snurkowski that a pretrial hearing to “death qualify” a case would be unlikely to produce any efficiencies.Aside from those speakers, the commission also heard from Brooke Kennerly, executive director of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and Tony Boggs, director of the Bar’s Legal Division, on judge and lawyer discipline cases. Both said those cases do not consume an inordinate amount of the court’s time. (See accompanying story.)The commission next meets on November 17, when it will tentatively hear from Solicitor General Tom Warner, former Third DCA Judge Thomas Barkdull representing the Attorney General’s civil litigation office, Bar Appellate Practice Section Chair Ben Kuehne, Bar Appellate Practice Certification Committee Chair Kimberly Ashby, and, tentatively, representatives of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which has the bifurcated criminal-civil appellate system, and the Washington Supreme Court, which has nine justices.The commission also set a meeting for December 6, when commission Chair and former Justice Stephen Grimes said he expects the commission to begin developing its recommendations. He said those conclusions could be completed at the group’s January meeting, as the commission is scheduled to report to the legislature in February.The commission was also set to get detailed case statistics on the court from the Office of the State Courts Administrator early in November. November 15, 2000 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Andrea Rebello (Photo credit: Facebook)Nassau County police has identified the Hofstra student who died early Friday morning during a home invasion in her off campus house as 21-year-old Andrea Rebello.Rebello, who is from Westchester County, was shot and killed when a masked gunman, who has yet to be identified, knocked on the door and then forced his way into the California Avenue house. The suspect was also shot and killed. The shooting also involved a police officer.Four people were inside the house at the time of the incident, including Rebello’s twin sister, police said during a press conference outside the house.Police were alerted by one of the females who dialed 911 at 2:20 a.m. after the suspect allowed her to leave the house. Police did not say why she was allowed to leave.Police descended on the scene about 10 minutes later and were involved in the shooting, officials said, but they did not say who fired the fatal shots.A gun was retrieved from the scene, police said. It’s unclear how many shots were fired.The shooting is currently under investigation. The motive is unclear.While police were conducting their investigation into the tragic shooting, the Hofstra campus was mourning the loss of one of their own. A small group of students gathered in a parking lot across the street from the house and were seen hugging and consoling each other.“A young member of the Hofstra family has been taken from us in a senseless act of violence,” Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz said in a statement. “Our hearts and minds and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends and her classmates.”Police are investigating a shooting that took place at an off campus house across from Hofstra University on Friday.He added that this weekend’s commencement ceremonies will go on as scheduled. “The accomplishments of our graduates must be recognized, and together our community will heal and find the strength to move forward,” he said.Victoria Dehel, who rents a house on California Avenue but attends SUNY Old Westbury, was with her boyfriend when they heard screams coming from the house.“[I] thought it was drunk college students,” she said, adding, “then it got really loud.”“The screaming just got worse and worse and worse,” Dehel added, “then we heard thuds.”Dehel ran onto her porch and saw about 15 cop cars swarm the house. “This whole road was lit up with sirens,” she said of California Avenue.Devon Cooper, who lives a couple of blocks south of the campus, said he wasn’t surprised by the incident because “there’s been a lot of this stuff going on for a long time,” he said of robberies in the neighborhood.Melissa Connolly, vice president of university relations at Hofstra, noted that the university was planning on holding a memorial service Friday night for students to come together and talk to counselors.She declined to release any information about Rebello.[View the story “Andrea Rebello, Hofstra Student, Dies in Shooting” on Storify]
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York More than a dozen fire departments are battling a brush fire that broke out Saturday morning in Kings Point Park.A dispatcher at a Great Neck fire department said about 16 departments were on the scene. He said the fire is in the park and that there’s no threat to homes in the area.Firefighters have been battling the brush fire for about 12 hours, he said, adding that the first calls started coming in at 7:30 a.m.
Did you know that improper data management during a merger can result in up to $275,000 in avoidable costs for your credit union? Even worse, it can cause unnecessary delays in responding to member requests, resulting in a hit to your reputation.During a merger, most credit unions opt for one of three approaches to data management, all common but flawed. Either the organization leaves the data sitting in the acquired system, dumps the data to CDs or enlists its core provider to handle data conversion. What institutions may not realize is that effective alternatives to these data management strategies exist.What Are the True Costs of Common Approaches to Data Management?Perhaps the most obvious cost to credit unions relying on common data management approaches during a merger is the monetary cost. By hiring a core provider to handle conversion, credit unions will shoulder not only the cost of the conversion project (ranging anywhere from $20,000-$250,000), but also will encounter other hidden costs caused by operational disruption (averaging $5,000-$75,000). However, if the credit union simply leaves the data sitting in the acquired institution’s imaging or enterprise content management system, they’ll likely incur costs ranging from $50,000-$275,000 annually, associated with storage, licensing, maintenance, updates and other fees. 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
Dear Branch Managers:Business development is a team sport that needs your active participation to be on top of its game. Influencers in your branch market area, local organizations/associations, community and SEG leaders should all know you, or at the very least, recognize your name as a trusted partner.How? Why? When? I understand and your concerns are valid. You don’t have the time to add another responsibility or the fine-tuned outside sales skills needed and most importantly, business development feels outside your comfort zone. I get it. I walked in your shoes for several years. You are busy. And yet, even if your credit union has a business development team, it’s important to lean into relationship building outside your four walls. Think of yourself as a connector between the communities served and your branch team standing ready to help people with their daily financial needs, moving toward their goals and dreams. You can also be the “boots on the ground” messenger to amplify marketing communication. When you embrace being the face of the brand in your branch market area, it comes to life.If you aren’t already involved with business development, I recommend talking with the business development team and/or leadership. Here are some ideas to consider as we prepare to embark on a brand new year.Own a mile.Ask for responsibility for SEG groups within a mile of your branch. Meet with the HR teams or business leaders to learn about their business and find connection points around employee wellness benefits. Educate them about financial wellness in the workplace. Research stats and share why a partnership with you makes sense for the business and their employees.Deep dive participation.Take ownership for a few community partnerships. Maybe you are the “owner” of the Chamber relationship, or the Food Bank partnership, or even the Economic Forum Committee in your area. This means you engage to the point that everyone knows your name and understands the value you bring to the community. Get on a committee, speak at an event, maximize sponsorships if you have them.Be genuinely curious.Learn and then learn more when you meet with people. The biggest mistake I believe we make when we get a meeting is we talk too much about ourselves and the credit union. That passion is awesome – high five. But first, get to know them. What specific challenges are they facing? What initiatives are they planning for 2021? What employee engagement activities were successful this past year? When you take the time to listen, the points of connection will become clear, opening the door to discussions about more meaningful collaboration opportunities. All tying back to what is important to them.The reality is people in our communities need our help. To make a real difference, we must be proactive in building more relevant relationships. Choose to position yourself to find more communication channels to share your credit union story, build more raving fans, and connect to the community in meaningful ways.The easiest place to start? Who needs to know your name? Make a list. And then get curious. 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Julie R Ferguson Founded by Julie R Ferguson in 2009, JRF Consulting concentrates on growth and member engagement. Julie is very passionate about helping credit unions create and execute focused and results oriented … Web: www.jrfconsultingservices.com Details
– Advertisement – Hamilton joins Michael Schumacher as a seven-time F1 world champion after amazing Istanbul victory from sixth on the grid Last Updated: 15/11/20 12:04pm – Advertisement – Lewis Hamilton passes Sergio Perez into Turn 12 to take the lead at the Turkish GP 0:52 – Advertisement – 1:25 Max Verstappen gets wayward in Sergio Perez’s spray and spins, flat-spotting his tyres during the Turkish GP Max Verstappen gets wayward in Sergio Perez’s spray and spins, flat-spotting his tyres during the Turkish GP Both Red Bulls could have won the race but spins for each of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon put paid to the team’s hopes.More to follow… – Advertisement – Lewis Hamilton passes Sergio Perez into Turn 12 to take the lead at the Turkish GP Lewis Hamilton clinched the 2020 F1 championship with a stupendous drive to victory in a wet and unpredictable Turkish GP to equal Michael Schumacher’s illustrious record of seven drivers’ world titles.In a race in which numerous drivers could have won in challenging wet conditions, Hamilton pulled off an unlikely but fitting triumph from sixth on the grid to seal his seventh title with his 94th career win.Already the record holder for the most victories, pole positions, podiums and points, Hamilton’s equalling of the prestigious titles record means he is now statistically the most successful F1 driver of all time.Incredibly, Hamilton also lapped the only man who could have denied him the title on Sunday – Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who endured a torrid afternoon and spun five times.Racing Point’s Lance Stroll had impressively led the first half of the race from his brilliant pole position but saw his hopes of a maiden victory evaporate after a second pit stop and he dropped to ninth place.Sergio Perez took on the mantle for Racing Point but was overtaken by Hamilton and finished 25 seconds behind the new seven-time champion. The Mexican just held on to second place after a last-lap lunge from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.But while Perez held on to second, Leclerc lost his third position to team-mate Sebastian Vettel – who claimed his first podium of a torrid season on a strong afternoon for Ferrari.