Floating maritime museum effort continues

NEWPORT, Vermont — The effort to buy a boat in northern Vermont to transform it into a floating maritime museum has moved one step forward.

The board of directors of Memphremagog Community Maritime announced that they have been awarded non-profit status and are now eligible for grants and tax-deductible donations. The Caledonian-Record reports the group received a $100,000 donation and they are halfway toward matching that with other donations.

That $200,000 would go toward the down payment needed to buy the Northern Star tour boat whenever it comes up for auction as expected later this month. The group says it wants to turn the boat into a tour boat and floating maritime museum for the Lake Memphremagog community.

Miss New York crowned 2019 Miss America

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was named Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City.

Her victory Sunday night resurrected a string of successes the Empire State has had in the pageant in recent years. Mallory Hagan, Nina Davuluri and Kira Kazantsev won the title from 2013 to 2015 competing as Miss New York.

A classical vocalist whose pageant platform is “advocating for the arts,” Franklin sang an operatic selection from the opera “La Boheme” on Sunday night.

She wrote her first song at age 6.

She won a $50,000 scholarship along with the crown in the first Miss America pageant to be held without a swimsuit competition in its 98-year history.

Instead, contestants were asked an onstage interview question by other contestants.

And behind the scenes, a revolt was under way among most of the Miss America state organizations who demand that national chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper resign.

The outgoing Miss America, Cara Mund, says the two have bullied and silenced her, claims that the women deny.