News Digest

Plymouth named a best intergenerational community

MetLife Foundation and Generations United have announced that the greater Plymouth area has been selected to receive one of four MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. The awards are designed to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational solidarity plays in building strong, supportive communities.

“We congratulate Greater Plymouth Area on being a winner. It takes a great deal of effort and forward thinking to create a community where members of every generation thrive and want to live,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, in a press release announcing the award.

“MetLife Foundation understands the value of programs that encourage generations to work together for the benefit of the entire community,” added Dennis White, president and chief executive officer, MetLife Foundation, in the same press release. “Communities that care for and engage all members – regardless of age – deepen bonds between the generations and set an important example for other communities to follow. We applaud the three communities selected to receive the 2015 Best Intergenerational Communities Award, as well as the National Finalist.”

The other winning communities are: Greater Richmond Region, Va., and Carlisle, Mass. One community was named a National Finalist: city of Surprise, Ariz.

A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country.

Presentation of this year’s awards will occur on Feb. 11 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

FSA seeks committee nominees

The Sheboygan County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office is currently searching for minority and female producers interested in serving as an advisor to the FSA County Committee. It is recommended that interested groups or individuals send advisor nominations to the FSA Office by Jan. 26.

“The person selected to serve as an advisor will be instrumental in increasing the awareness and participation in FSA activities, including elections,” said Gretchen Smith, director of the Sheboygan County FSA office, in a press release. “The advisor will help insure that problems and viewpoints of underrepresented groups are understood and considered in local FSA actions.”

Other duties of the County Committee advisors include:

• Attending each committee meeting, including executive sessions.

• Participating in all deliberations, although advisors will not have voting rights.

• Helping to develop interest and incentives in female and minority group members for considering FSA work as a career.

• Actively soliciting candidates from underrepresented groups for nomination during the committee election process.

• Performing special duties at the County Committee’s request.

Appointments are for a 12-month period, effective March 1, 2015.

County Committee members and advisors make decisions that are important to farmers and agricultural landowners throughout the county. As a representative of the U.S. government entrusted with this responsibility, each committee member and advisor must make sure all producers are treated fairly.

If interested in serving as an advisor to the FSA County Committee for 2015, please contact Gretchen Smith at the Sheboygan County FSA office. Nominations can be sent to the FSA office at 650 Forest Ave., Sheboygan Falls 53085, by e-mail to gretchen.smith@wi.usda.gov or by fax to (855) 733-0182.

Cold temps challenge drivers

The recent stretch of bone-chilling temperatures creates special challenges for vehicles and drivers, and also makes it difficult for highway maintenance crews to keep snow and ice off roads. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) contracts with county highway departments who utilize a fleet of about 775 plow trucks to help keep people and commerce moving throughout winter along state and federal highways.

“Plowing is the primary method for removing snow and ice from roadways, and it’s really the only practical option during extreme cold,” said Todd Matheson with DOT’s Bureau of Highway Maintenance. “Highway crews are doing their best to scrape snow and ice off roadways, but drivers need to do their part by slowing down.”

Salt’s effectiveness declines as pavement temperatures drop below 15-degrees. In lower temperatures, salt may be mixed with calcium chloride or magnesium chloride to improve its effectiveness. Sand may also be used on lower-speed roadways to enhance traction, but vehicle traffic tends to blow it off roadways, and it won’t melt snow or ice. The bottom line: Drivers play a major role in safe winter travel.

• Prior to a trip, check road conditions using the 511 Travel Information System (www.511wi.gov/). When travel becomes especially hazardous, stay off roads until conditions improve and to allow plow operators to do their jobs.

• If you must travel, let others know where you’re headed, buckle-up, slow down and allow plenty of following distance. State law requires drivers remain at least 200 feet behind an active snowplow. If you become stranded, it’s generally safest to remain buckled-up in your vehicle until help arrives.


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