The World Handcrafts store in Reedley, Calif., a fair-trade outlet connected to Ten Thousand Villages, closed Dec. 31.
Bill Braun, West Coast Mennonite Central Committee board chair, said the store was running on a model being eliminated by Ten Thousand Villages. In smaller towns like Reedley, the economic downtown is more pronounced.
All the stores opened by Ten Thousand Villages in the last year have been in large metropolitan areas.
The store used to occupy space with the Mennonite Quilt Center and West Coast MCC’s Material Resource Center.
World Handcrafts and the Mennonite Quilt Center operated in conjunction with the neighboring nearly New Thrift Shop. the three entities were overseen by the Central California Mennonite Service Center nonprofit board, and proceeds were donated to MCC.
As a result of the board’s decision to close World Handcrafts, the Mennonite Quilt Center was donated to West Coast MCC. the quilt center will now use the entire space, and the thrift shop will continue to be run by an independent board.
“With the existing Material Resource Center, this area will also have an increased global focus highlighting the work of MCC internationally, and telling the story of how donated quilts and comforters work toward relief, development and peace in the name of Christ,” said Emily Stednick, human resources and communications coordinator for West Coast MCC.
West Coast MCC has appointed Ilone Kasdorf as interim manager of the quilt center. a search is under way for a full-time manager. the quilt center will continue to carry a limited number of fair- trade and local items, such as coffee, jams and cookbooks.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The push to toughen highway safety rules because of a horrific crash linked to cell phone use has been named Kentucky’s top story of 2011.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined in September that a truck driver from Alabama was distracted by his cell phone when his truck crossed the median and smashed head-on into a van carrying 12 people — a Mennonite family and friends — to a wedding in Iowa. The truck driver and 10 people in the van were killed in the March 2010 crash along Interstate 65 in south-central Kentucky.
The tragedy carried much broader ramifications. Following a lengthy investigation, the NTSB recommended that truckers and bus drivers be barred from using cell phones while operating a vehicle. The federal agency lacks the authority to make such regulations but sent its recommendation to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and all 50 states for action.
“Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in September. “It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and travels at highway speeds.”
The NTSB also urged states to amend laws to require that seat belts be worn by people riding in 15-passenger vans.
The findings by the NTSB’s investigation and the ensuing safety recommendations were selected the biggest story in Kentucky this year in voting by The associated Press staff.
Just this month the NTSB issued another recommendation from a Missouri accident to ban all cell phone use by all drivers except for emergencies.
Kentucky’s no. 2 story revolved around another tragedy that claimed multiple lives when floodwaters tipped over an Amish buggy and four children — three siblings and a cousin — drowned in the darkness in far western Kentucky.
The family was a mile away from home when the four children were tossed into a swift-moving creek. Some 250 emergency workers helped in the search. Emanuel Wagler, his wife and seven children were on their way home after visiting with family when the buggy tipped over in the torrential rain. They ventured out about an hour after the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning.
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s marquee political race, resulting in Gov. Steve Beshear’s re-election, was voted the no. 3 story.
The Democratic incumbent touted his stewardship of state government amid a severe economic downturn in routing state Senate President David Williams, his top Republican nemesis in Frankfort. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith was also on the ballot.
Beshear, who revived his political career four years earlier in winning the governorship, headlined a near sweep for Democrats in the November election. Democrats kept their hold on four other statewide offices — attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and treasurer. The lone Republican victory came in the race for agriculture commissioner.
The no. 4 story was the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge at Louisville, cutting off a key transportation artery connecting Kentucky and Indiana along Interstate 64. The result was months of delays for tens of thousands of daily commuters and cross-country travelers.
The nearly 50-year-old bridge over the Ohio River was closed in September after a crack was found in a steel support beam. Work crews will reinforce the span by adding new steel to its 1960s-era steel. Officials are hoping the work is completed in early March.
A looming collapse in the Appalachian coal industry was voted the no. 5 story of the year.
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that in a little more than three years, the amount of coal mined in the region will be just half of what it was in 2008, according to an AP Enterprise story that ran in September. that would amount to a significant loss of a signature Appalachian industry, and the jobs that come with it. The report said the region’s coal is becoming harder and costlier to dig.
Kentucky unexpectedly found itself on the front lines in the vigilance against terrorism when two Iraqis were arrested in Bowling Green in the spring. The development was chosen as the sixth story of the year.
The two men, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, were charged in a 23-count indictment with conspiring to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and money to al-Qaida operatives in Iraq. Alwan also was charged with attacking American soldiers in Iraq.
Alwan pleaded guilty on Friday and faces a prison term of 25 years to life when he is sentenced in April. Hammadi has pleaded not guilty. Both remain in federal custody.
Spring flooding that swamped fields and roads, especially in western Kentucky, was selected as the no. 7 story of the year. In towns along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, residents filled thousands of sandbags to build levees to hold back the rising water.
The federal government stepped in with assistance in the form of emergency
loans and grant money to create temporary jobs to help in recovery efforts in the hardest-hit areas.
In the eighth spot was Steve Nunn’s guilty plea to shooting and killing his former fiancee, 29-year-old Amanda Ross, outside her home in Lexington in 2009. Nunn — a former state lawmaker and one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate — was sentenced to life without parole, culminating his downfall from prominence. Nunn is the son of the late Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.
Voted as the no. 9 story was the tornado that hit the famed Churchill Downs horse race track in Louisville, knocking down parts of barns at the home of the Kentucky Derby. Horses ran loose before being corralled, but there were no reports of injuries to humans or horses.
Completing the top 10 list was the severe head injury sustained by Republican state Rep. Dewayne Bunch while he tried to break up a fight at the southeastern Kentucky high school where he taught. after months of treatment, Bunch resigned his House seat, and his wife, Regina, emerged as the GOP candidate for the seat.
Copyright associated Press
Chris Wagoner of Newton began a one-year service term with the Service Adventure program in August 2011. Wagoner is living in community with other young adults in a unit house in Raleigh, N.C.a 2011 graduate of Newton High School, Wagoner is the son of Jane Wagoner and a member of Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, part of Western District Conference.In this program of Mennonite Mission Network, young adults, ages 17-20, live in a household community, with a leader, for 10 months in cities and towns across the United States. Since 1989, Service Adventure participants have served in medical clinics, tutored children, worked with senior citizens, repaired old housing, and helped meet additional needs across North America. They’ve visited new cities; experienced different people, foods and cultures; climbed mountains and camped in deserts; and attended concerts, lectures and college events.Mennonite Mission Network is the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA and exists to lead, mobilize and equip the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ in a broken world. Mission Network envisions every congregation and all parts of the world being fully engaged in mission.
on Saturday, Randolph-Macon senior guard Calvin Croskey drained an off balance three-pointer as time expired to propel the Yellow Jackets to an 87-86 home win over ODAC rival Eastern Mennonite. it was Croskey’s eighth and final trifecta of the day as he scored a career-high 30 points in the win.
the win capped off a big week for R-MC (5-2 / 1-1 ODAC) after narrowly falling at #5 Virginia Wesleyan 63-60 on Wednesday.
Against EMU, R-MC found itself down 48-37 at the half, after the Royals shot a sizzling 58.9 percent from the floor in the first period. EMU connected on 10 of their first 17 shots, taking a 34-24 lead with just over six minutes to play.
a jumper by Adam Burroughs pushed Eastern Mennonite’s advantage to 42-36 before Croskey made a three pointer on R-MC’s final possession to send the teams to the intermission with EMU up 48-37.
Eastern Mennonite (2-4 / 1-2 ODAC) extended its lead to 50-37 on the first possession of the second half. Randolph-Macon then scored 12 of the next 17 points, cutting its deficit to 55-49 when Jamie Robinson knocked down a jumper with 14 minutes to play in the game.
Trailing 56-49, R-MC went on an 11-5 run, tying the game on a Croskey three with under 10 minutes to go.
the game featured five ties and 10 lead changes over the remainder of the half with an Andrew Thorne bucket putting EMU up 85-84 with 12 seconds on the clock.
a turnover on R-MC’s next possession and a subsequent foul sent the Royals to the line. R.J. Sims made one-of-two free-throws to put Eastern Mennonite ahead 86-84 with eight second to play.
R-MC took the ball out with Marcus Badger dribbling up the court before giving it to Croskey who worked to get a clean look and connected on the three-pointer to send R-MC to the win.
the Yellow Jackets got 16 points from Andre Simon, 15 points from Lamar Giggetts, while Adam Desgain finished with 14 in the win. R-MC finished the game shooting 54.4% on 31-of-57 from the floor.
EMU shot 26-of-49 from floor and were aided by a 27-of-38 performance from the free-throw line. Sims led five players in double-digits with 20. David Falk came off the bench to add 16 for the Royals. on Wednesday evening at the Batten Center, Randolph-Macon battled #5 Virginia Wesleyan the entire game before dropping a 63-60 decision. the Yellow Jackets fell to 4-2 overall, 0-1 in league play, while the Marlins improved to 3-1, 1-0 in the ODAC.
Croskey led the three Jackets in double-figures, scoring 19 points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Giggetts added 15 points and eight rebounds and Adam Desgain chipped in 10 markers.
after Giggetts scored the first bucket of the ballgame, R-MC fell behind, but never let things get away for the rest of the first half. the Marlins led by as many as 12 before the Yellow Jackets ended the half on a 10-4 run to enter the intermission down 36-30.
Randolph-Macon battled its way back at the start of the second half, taking their second lead of the game, 41-40 four minutes in. Both teams exchanged leads over the next nine minutes before Croskey poured in five quick points to take a 55-52 advantage. however, Virginia Wesleyan ended the game on an 11-5 run, scoring the final five points of the contest.
VWC broke a 60-60 tie with under two minutes remaining on a free throw by Donald Vaughn to make it 61-60. the Marlins then took a three point lead to give the final score off a jumper by Chris Astorga.
R-MC just missed on several opportunities in the final minute.
Vaughn paced the Marlins with 16 points and nine boards, while Astorga was second on the host team in scoring with 13. Simon chipped in seven points and eight rebounds for Randolph-Macon.
the game was evenly played throughout. Both teams shot 40.7% from the floor, while the Marlins made three more free throws than the Yellow Jackets. VWC outrebounded R-MC 38-35. Randolph-Macon will be back in ODAC action on Wednesday when it hosts Lynchburg at 7 p.m.
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