National Life Group,Employees of National Life Group donated more than 2,000 books to an inner-city school in Maryland, helping to fuel the principal’s ambitious dream of bringing 10,000 books into his school.‘I believe reading is the foundation for everything,’ says Herman Whaley, principal of the 200-student Capitol Heights Elementary School, located on the Maryland border with Washington, D.C. ‘If you are not a good reader you are going to struggle.’The 2,000 books were presented at a school assembly in December at which students, in a format akin to a television game show, answered book-themed questions.‘You have to celebrate reading and books the way we celebrate our athletes,’ says Whaley. ‘You have to be a cheerleader and celebrate it so it becomes contagious, like you are celebrating a sporting event like the Super Bowl.’The partnership with National Life Group was born in a community group set up by Whaley to brainstorm ideas for nurturing literacy in the area schools.National Life Group is a family of financial service companies that offer life insurance, annuities, and investment* products and services. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW), a member of National Life Group, is a leading provider of 403(b) and 457(b) tax-deferred retirement plans, primarily in the K-12 school marketplace, including Capital Heights Elementary School.‘This idea to work with National Life to enhance our school library and classroom libraries came to fruition at our community think tank meeting,’ said Whaley. The suggestion came from Rosette Barner-Wiley, a former teacher who is a member of Whaley’s community group and who also sells National Life’s 403(b) retirement products.She contacted Lewis Smith, who is National Life’s director of 403(b) services. Smith, based in Dallas, and Matt DeSantos, who is National Life’s vice president of marketing and business development and is based in Montpelier, organized book drives at both the Montpelier and Dallas campuses of National Life Group.Both Smith and DeSantos were on hand when the 2,000 books were delivered to the school.Smith told the students that books played a critical role in his life and he talked about ‘the places you can go when you read,’ adding, ‘There are certain things people cannot take away from you when you are growing up ‘ and when you are grown up ‘ and that’s what you have up here (pointing to his head), what you learn, where your imagination takes you, what you have right here in your heart.’DeSantos told the students that the best TV is in their minds. ‘It is using your imagination,’ he said. On the importance of reading, he added, ‘It’s about dreams. No one can take it away from you.’The school has launched a Read 25 program to support each student in reading and discussing at least 25 books every school year.Whaley has taken the Read 25 program one step further and initiated an additional goal to get 10,000 books into his school.The 2,000 books were delivered without charge by ABF Freight System, Inc. of Williston, Vt.‘While ABF is a company with a global reach, our people work and live in local communities across the map ‘ communities just like Montpelier and Capital Heights. For this reason it means so much more to know that we can serve the very communities where we live by supporting worthwhile causes such as this one,’ said Russ Aikman, director of marketing and public relations at ABF.###About National Life Group – www.nationallife.com(link is external)National Life Group is a family of financial service companies that offer life insurance, annuities, and investment* products and services. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW), a member of National Life Group, is a leading provider of 403(b) and 457(b) tax-deferred retirement plans, primarily in the K-12 school marketplace. LSW offers traditional fixed and indexed annuities to educators and employees in more than 7,000 school districts, including several of the largest and smallest school districts in the country.National Life Group® is a trade name of National Life Insurance Company, Montpelier, Vt., Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, Addison, Texas, and their affiliates. Each company of National Life Group is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest is not an authorized insurer in New York and does not conduct insurance business in New York.*Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely by Equity Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, a member of National Life Group, One National Life Drive, Montpelier, Vermont 05604. 800-344-7437.
In March 2020, the Brackney Inn closed down again due to the pandemic. MacBlane says he hasn’t seen most of his regular customers as much as he used to. Valerie Hadaway, Brackney Inn server and bartender, says with the restaurant at a limited capacity she’s had to change how she takes orders. MacBlane says right now it’s a struggle and he doesn’t know if it’s worth being open. “There’s a lot of time where myself and a bartender are basically doing nothing,” MacBlane said. “We sit here by ourselves for hours at a time.” “I’m just kind of just writing off 2020 is just trying to stay open and not go into too much debt,” MacBlane said. “Hopefully next year will be a better year.” MacBlane says their business was getting back to normal before the pandemic hit. In June, the Brackney Inn reopened for indoor dining with a limited capacity. For more information about the Brackney Inn, check out their Facebook page. “Every time it picks up again something else happens,” Greg MacBlane, Brackney Inn owner, told 12 News Wednesday. BRACKNEY, PA (WBNG) — The Brackney Inn was open for over a year since having to close due to two fires that were months apart. With restaurants and bars increasing capacity to 50 percent on Sept. 21, MacBlane says any increase will be good. “We had customers that were regulars coming in everyday by themselves,” MacBlane said. “After a hard day’s work they like to come in for four or five beers.” “You don’t serve over the bar,” she says. “You don’t take an order over the bar. You walk around, you go to those tables
…jury hears about ‘poison’ tabletsTwenty-five-year-old Awena Rutherford appeared before Justice Navindra Singh and a 12-member jury at the High Court on Monday to answer charges that she killed her two children by poison on March 27, 2014 at Branch Road, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara (ECD).Represented by Attorney Adrian Thompson, the accused woman denied two counts of manslaughter as presented by State Prosecutor Tiffini Lyken, who in heropening address told the jury that one-year-oldAccused: Awena RutherfordJabari Cadogan and four-year-old Odasia Cadogan died from pesticide poisoning. The cause of death was uncovered during the post-mortem examination.The defendant’s sister, Monica Sealey, testified that her niece and nephew vomited after Rutherford gave them tablets to drink, claiming that they had a cold, but according to Sealey, the children did not have a cold. Sealey recalled that the four-year-old hesitated to drink the tablet.Sealey told the court that her sister and two children lived with her family, which included her husband, Curt Sealey and the two children she had at the time. The jury heard that on the fateful day, Rutherford, after taking a bath, called Jabari and Odasia to drink the tablets. The children’s aunt recalled that the one-year-old drank his first and was playing and her sister told her niece: ‘“Why is it you can’t drink something when I give you and your brother done drink his already?’” At one point, Sealey broke down when recounting what she witnessed. Under cross-examination, she could not say whether or not her niece was coughing before she was given the tablet. Reports in 2014 were that the father of the Cadogan children had threatened to take them away from Rutherford the day before their demise. The matter continues before Justice Singh. Some 10 witnesses are set to testify.