Central Vermont Medical Center

A son, Leo James Bisson, was born April 14, 2021, to Jennifer and Michael Bisson, of Williamstown.

A son, Remington James Reno, was born April 15, 2021, to Britney Lampro and Steven Reno, of Barre.

A daughter, Za’karii Reign Johnson, was born April 20, 2021, to Cheyenne and Israel Johnson, of Hardwick.

A son, Finley James Lewis, was born April 21, 2021, to Jade Annis and Brawnson Lewis, of Williamstown.

A son, Clyde Wilder Hagerty, was born April 25, 2021, to Tara Lee Byrne and Clyde Hagerty, of East Montpelier.

Copley Hospital

A son, Walter Beckett Opuszynski, was born March 27, 2021, to Walter and Kyle (Lewis) Opuszynski, of Adamant.

A son, Bennett William Parker, was born April 22, 2021, to Joshua Parker and Erin Audet, of Johnson.

Gifford Medical Center

A daughter, Claudia Lark Schmelzer, was born April 14, 2021, to Nicole Gentile and Jonathan Schmelzer, of Brookfield.

A daughter, Brynlee Nicole Doton, was born April 18, 2021, to Bryan and Codie (Palmer) Doton, of Barnard.


Breanna Adams of Hyde Park has been named to the 2021 winter dean’s list at Elmira College.

Commencement speakers

JOHNSON/LYNDONVILLE — Northern Vermont University announced the guest speakers for Commencement 2021 will be Dr. Francois S. Clemmons at NVU-Johnson and Dr. Henry S. Parker at NVU-Lyndon. The virtual ceremonies can be found on YouTube 11 a.m. Saturday, May 15 (Johnson Campus) and 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16 (Lyndon Campus). The livestream will take place at


Green Up Day

MONTPELIER — Green Up Day is Saturday, May 1. With Green Up Day celebrating its 51st year, Green Up Vermont has teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service’s Woodsy Owl — the mascot who chirps ‘Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute’ — to attract new generations and keep the activity of cleaning up litter as an ongoing commitment and fun sort of challenge. Visit for more information.

Chess championships

BERLIN — The 34th Vermont Scholastic Chess Championships will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 29-30, at Capital City Grange Hall, Vermont Route 12 in Berlin. All K-12 Vermont students are eligible to compete. Visit or email for more information.

Grant recipients

BURLINGTON — MENTOR Vermont awarded 15 Vermont Mentoring COVID-19 Response Grants, totaling $65,280, to provide additional financial support to youth mentoring programs across the state. Visit for more information about the grantees.

Essay challenge

MONTPELIER — On Earth Day 2021, Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced the finish of the Earth Day Essay Challenge having received 60 essays from Vermont’s fifth and sixth graders at Barre Virtual Academy, Braintree Elementary School, Camel’s Hump Middle School (Richmond), Georgia Elementary and Middle School, Harwood Union Remote Academy (Moretown), JFK Elementary School (Winooski), Main Street Middle School (Montpelier), Oak Grove School (Brattleboro), Mary Hogan Elementary School (Middlebury), Robinson Elementary School (Starksboro), Rutland Intermediate School, St. Albans Town School, Twin Valley Elementary School (Wilmington), Waterville Elementary School. Visit to read the essays.

Award nominees

VERMONT — Ms. Mackenzie Hunter, a teacher at Long Trail School in Dorset, and Ms. Kathleen Forrestal, a teacher at Lyndon Town School in Lyndonville, were nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award in concurrence with National History Day (NHD). The award is to recognize the role teachers play in students’ lives. Each of the 58 NHD affiliates may nominate one high school and one middle school teacher for this award. Hunter is the Vermont nominee in the senior division and Forrestal in the junior. A committee of teachers and historians will announce a winner Saturday, June 19, at the NHD National Contest Awards Ceremony, held virtually this year.


National Life donation

MONTPELIER — National Life recently donated $35,000 to the Branches of Hope cancer patient fund at Central Vermont Medical Center in lieu of holding a Do Good Fest this year.

VNRC grand

MONTPELIER — Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) awarded a Small Grant for Smart Growth to the Cross Vermont Trail Association(CVTA) to further its goal of connecting villages, schools and conserved natural areas in central Vermont. CVTA is working to build out a network of trails that serve the upper Winooski Valley, from Montpelier to the Groton State Forest, winding through East Montpelier, Plainfield and Marshfield, providing a way for pedestrians and cyclists to conveniently access the outdoors.


Beware false hellebore

BURLINGTON — Wild leeks, also known as ramps (Allium tricoccum), are a wild edible many Vermonters enjoy each spring. If you are foraging for them, be careful to not mistake the ramps for a poisonous lookalike plant called false hellebore. False hellebore contains poisonous chemicals called alkaloids, and eating false hellebore can make people very sick, enough to hospitalize them.

State officials urge Vermonters to make sure they know how to identify ramps. The leaves of ramps are flat, grow directly from the ground, and are generally found in rich upland forests. Ramps also smell strongly of onion.

False hellebore leaves are pleated in appearance, grow from a stalk, occur in floodplains, marshes and swamps – and do not smell like onion. If you may have eaten false hellebore, call Northern New England Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. You can also chat online at, or text “poison” to 85511. If someone has passed out or is having trouble breathing, dial 911.

Work search

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Labor announced the work search requirement for unemployment claims will be reinstated beginning Sunday, May 9, for all claimants in regular UI and specific claimants in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Visit for more information.

Deadline extended

BURLINGTON — The deadline for 2021 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year nominations has been extended to May 10. Visit for a link to the nomination form and details.

VGS partners with VLT

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) announced it has partnered with Vermont Land Trust (VLT) as part of its Forest Carbon Cooperative. By purchasing locally generated carbon credits through VLT, VGS will entirely offset emissions from its company vehicle and fuel usage for all of 2021 with a plan to expand the partnership in future years.


Hunt safely

MONTPELIER — Hunting safely during Vermont’s May 1-31 turkey season is easy if you follow these tips:

— Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and what is beyond it. Look for a beard as only turkeys with beards are legal during the spring season.

— Never stalk a gobbling turkey. Your chances of getting close are poor, and you may be sneaking up on another hunter.

— Avoid red, white, blue or black in clothing and equipment. A tom turkey’s head has similar colors.

— Stick with hen calls. A gobbler call might draw in other hunters.

— Avoid unnecessary movement. This alerts turkeys and attracts hunters.

— Don’t hide so well that you impair your field of vision.

— Wrap your turkey in blaze orange for the hike back to your vehicle.

— Always sit with your back against a tree trunk, big log or a boulder that is wider than your body. This protects you from being accidentally struck by pellets fired from behind you.

— Place decoys on the far side of a tree trunk or a rock. This prevents you from being directly in the line of fire should another hunter mistakenly shoot at your decoy.

— Wear hunter orange while moving from set-up to set-up. Take it off when you are in position.

— If you see another hunter, call out to them, but don’t move until they respond. You may ruin the hunt, but you may have avoided injury.

— Make sure you know your effective range when shooting. For the most clean and ethical shot, make sure your shotgun is patterned and you are shooting within your effective range.

Vermont Outdoors app

MONTPELIER — Last fall, the Fish and Wildlife Department developed a new mobile application to help people recreate outdoors in a safe and socially distanced manner. The app, Vermont Outdoors, connects the public with department lands, fish and wildlife regulations, as well as up-to-date COVID-19 guidance. For more information, call 917-1347.

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