Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee yesterday met with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire, where he joined other Northeast agriculture commissioners, emphasizing the serious need for assistance for dairy farmers in Vermont and across the nation. At his first face-to-face meeting with the Obama administration official, Allbee thanked Secretary Vilsack for the leadership he has already provided the dairy industry including moving surplus products into food export and nutrition programs. He also asked for more direct assistance, explaining the dire need for help on behalf of the State s 1,046 dairy farmers. Secretary Vilsack indicated yesterday that he understands the seriousness of the situation our dairy farmers are facing and that he is continuing to work on additional options for the industry. He also stated the need for USDA to renew its focus on regional food production, said Allbee.Secretary Allbee specifically requested Vilsack support an immediate and retroactive increase to the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) safety net program, as well as a minimum six-month interest-free extension or debt forgiveness on USDA loans. Both of these actions would bring immediate relief to dairy farmers, as they experience the perfect storm of high input costs and protracted low milk prices. A surprise announcement by Secretary Vilsack in New Hampshire yesterday was his pledge to form an advisory group to recommend changes to the federal milk pricing system for fairness for farmers and to help promote profitability and stability in the dairy industry acknowledging that the current system is antiquated. This is a concept that Secretary Allbee and his counterparts in New York and Pennsylvania, as part of the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team, suggested to the Secretary in a letter sent earlier this year.
The Olympics and Paralympics were to take place this year but have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo Olympic organizers say the Olympic flame that has been in Tokyo since March will go on display beginning Sept. 1 at the Japanese Olympic Museum in Tokyo. Organizers say the flame will remain there until Nov. 1. It is not clear where it will be located after that. In a statement, BioReference Laboratories says the test results on Saturday were contaminated during preparation at its lab in New Jersey. Eleven teams were affected, and the tests were reexamined and found to be false positives. The lab says all “individuals impacted have been confirmed negative and informed.”DOLPHINS SPECTATORSMiami Dolphins to allow up to 13,000 fans at home openerMIAMI (AP) — The Miami Dolphins have decided to allow up to 13,000 socially distancing fans to attend their home opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 20, with the approval of state and local political leaders. Crowd size will be about 20 percent of the stadium’s 65,326-seat capacity, with the limitation imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez are scheduled to attend a news conference Monday at the stadium to discuss the decision. Fans and stadium employees will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking. No tailgating will be allowed. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-FALSE POSITIVESLab blames 77 false NFL COVID-19 positives on contaminationUNDATED (AP) —The lab used by the NFL for COVID-19 tests says an isolated contamination caused 77 “most likely false positive results.” The school will offer varied packages and stadium locations.76ERS WRAPBrown’s future in jeopardy after 76ers suffer early exitPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Brett Brown’s job is jeopardy after the Philadelphia 76ers made an early exit in the playoffs. The Sixers were swept by Boston in the first round. The 76ers had expectations to win the Eastern Conference. They made the semifinals each of the last two seasons. August 24, 2020 All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are expected to return. Simmons was sidelined with a knee injury and Embiid was tasked with carrying the franchise toward an unlikely title. The 76ers haven’t won an NBA championship since 1983.BUBBLE FATIGUEBubble fatigue cited as mental challenge during NHL playoffsUNDATED (AP) — Spending a month in a posh hotel with first-rate service and amenities might not be as glamorous as it might sound for teams cooped up in the NHL’s two hub cities. The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it’s unclear when the hearing can go ahead. Teixeira’s legal team wants to present his case in person. However, the former 2014 World Cup organizing committee leader faces arrest in Switzerland nearly 5 years after he was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. He has evaded extradition to the United States to face financial conspiracy charges. PARALYMPICS-1-YEAR-TO-GOTokyo Skytree lights up to mark 1 year to go for ParalympicsTOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Skytree was lighted in red, green and blue today to mark one year to go for the opening of the Paralympic Games. Update on the latest sports VIRUS OUTBREAK-DUKEDuke to open football season with no fansUNDATED (AP) — Duke will open its season for football and other fall sports with no fans at home games because of the coronavirus pandemic. Duke says traditional parking lots used by fans on gameday will be closed. The school will contact football fans who have purchased season or single-game tickets or have seating and suite contracts in Blue Devil Tower regarding potential options. The school will allow fans to purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet to be placed in seats for football games. Dallas Stars interim coach Rick Bowness says he’s not complaining, but merely pointing out the reality of life inside the league’s bubble can be a mental challenge, making the potential for NHL bubble fatigue as being real. The close confines, daily COVID-19 testing, lack of freedom to venture beyond the security fences surrounding hotels and arenas in Edmonton and Toronto, and the separation from family can weigh heavily on everyone.FIFA-INVESTIGATION-TEXEIRA Quarantine order delays FIFA ban case for Brazil’s Teixeira LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) —An appeal hearing for former FIFA official Ricardo Teixeira (teh-SHEHR’-uh) to challenge his life ban for bribery has been delayed. It could not go ahead today because his lawyers face a 10-day quarantine in Switzerland if they arrived from Brazil.
Ex Ghana coach Claude Le Roy believes Zambia stand a better chance to qualify ahead of the Black Stars to the final round of the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers.Ghana need just a draw to qualify to the next stage as they lie on top of Group D with a one point advantage.Zambia are now coached by Claude Le Roy’s protégée Renard Herve who was a member of the Frenchman’s coaching staff when he was in-charge of the Black Stars in 2008.According to Le Roy pressure will be on Ghana at the Baba Yara Stadium.“Ghana have to draw at home and qualify for the next round and Zambia have to win but it will be more difficult for Ghana than Zambia,” said Le Roy“I spoke to Herve Renard , they have everything to win in this game but it is also important for Ghana who wants to make a third appearance at the tournament after playing at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.“Ghana wants to be in Brazil to show that they are indeed the Black Stars but I think it will be difficult.”