Governor Jim Douglas today announced a new partnership with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association that gives the go-ahead to expand tapping on some state land. The announcement came as the Governor kicked off the 8th annual Maple Open House Weekend at Marcia Maynard and Ken Denton s sugarhouse in Cabot. Maple sugaring is a vital piece of our agricultural and forest products economy, the Governor said. I am very pleased that the state will be able to make this modest contribution to this important industry with an agreement that promotes responsible stewardship of sugarbushes on state land.Under the agreement, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will license sites that it deems appropriate in state forests and state parks to sugarmakers, who will be required to abide by state land policies and management efforts while operating the sugarbushes. The Department expects to have as many as 11 sites licensed and operational for next season. There are few things we take more seriously than our forests and our well-deserved acclaim for forest products like maple syrup and quality timber, said Jason Gibbs, commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation. This commonsense partnership recognizes this and strengthens the tradition of Vermont s working landscape.Vermont is the largest U.S. producer of maple syrup and approximately 500,000 gallons of 5.5 million pounds of syrup is produced annually, according to the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. We have a proud tradition of sugarmaking here in Vermont, said Rick Marsh, president of the association. We re excited to be working with the state in taking the next step to promote and protect the Vermont maple syrup brand.
Although months of physical therapy and dialysis await him, former Lakers and Clippers forward Lamar Odom will be released soon from Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas on Monday, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.• PHOTOS: After Love Ranch medical incident, Lamar Odom heads to Los Angeles with Khloe Kardashian by his sideThe 35-year-old Odom will then be transported by medical plane to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, sources said. A Sunrise Hospital and Medical center spokesman declined to comment on Odom’s pending release or the state of his condition.E! Online first reported Odom’s pending transfer to a Los Angeles hospital. The exact details were not available on the timing of Odom’s transfer and the reasons behind it. But sources said Odom’s transfer is imminent. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As Los Angeles News Group reported on Sunday night, Odom has started physical therapy after making progress in recent days with his breathing, vision and speaking without the aid of a ventilator, sources said. The first step of Odom’s lengthy physical therapy will entail the 35-year-old former basketball player to complete various walking exercises, sources said. Odom has experienced frequent fatigue and has received constant treatment on his lungs and kidneys, sources said. Odom could also have serious brain damage considering a 911 call released last Wednesday reported Odom took cocaine and 10 doses of a sexual performance enhancer over three days. But plenty around the Lakers have grown increasingly optimistic amid Odom’s progress. He was hospitalized last Tuesday after losing consciousness at a Las Vegas brothel.Golden State interim coach and former Lakers teammate Luke Walton spent the Warriors’ off-day in San Diego to visit Odom in Las Vegas on Sunday, according to a source familiar with Walton’s itinerary. Walton did not have any conversations with Odom because he was asleep while receiving treatment. But Walton still visited to show his support.