BIRTHS

Central Vermont Medical CenterA daughter, Elodie Jane Sheridan, was born Sept. 24, 2021, to Michelle Wheeler and David Sheridan, of Williamstown.

A son, Oliver Wade Shatney, was born Sept. 29, 2021, to Meghan Forant and William Shatney, of Hardwick.

Copley Hospital

A daughter, Kinsley Eve Sisko, was born Sept. 30, 2021, to Lucas and Nicole (Friend) Sisko, of Johnson.

Gifford Medical CenterA daughter, Laurel Jane Celeste Garner, was born Sept. 21, 2021, to Kelly Grant and Matthew Garner, of Washington.

COLLEGE NEWS

Peng awarded scholarshipNicole Peng, second-year student in the veterinary technician program at Vermont Technical College, has been awarded the Eileen Haddon Memorial Scholarship honoring Eileen Haddon (Class of ’96) who loved animals and was gifted in communicating with them. Daughter of Brenda Kuang, of Barre, and Ken Peng, of Massachusetts, Peng looks forward to working in an animal clinic after graduation.

Upward Bound at NVUJOHNSON — High school students, 117 in all, returned to Northern Vermont University campuses for in-person Upward Bound programs this past summer. The students came to the Johnson and Lyndon campuses from 17 area high schools for a mix of day and residential experiences, with the goal of building the skills and confidence to access higher education and succeed in college. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that works with students from modest-income families without higher education experience.

AROUND TOWN

Artwork micro-grantsMONTPELIER — The Montpelier Public Arts Commission announced the release of a new micro-grant program available to Vermont-based artists for up to $1,500 for permanent or temporary art installations throughout the city of Montpelier. Open for an indefinite period, artists may submit at anytime during the year. The commission will review and award grants twice yearly, with deadlines of Oct. 31 and March 30. Visit bit.ly/PublicArtCommision online for more information.

CuddleCot donatedRANDOLPH — Six years ago, Katie Irwin and Jim McGonigal, of Woodbridge, Connecticut, had a stillborn daughter, Scarlet Suzy McGonigal, and the couple didn’t have the proper amount of time to spend with her and process their grief. Following that, they created Scarlet’s Mission, donating CuddleCots to various hospitals, including Gifford Medical Center. Since a warm room can deteriorate a stillborn baby’s condition quickly, the CuddleCot system cools the baby, allowing families to spend more time with their baby. Fundraising for Scarlet’s Mission is mostly done through social media. The first CuddleCot was donated about three years ago. Seven CuddleCots have been presented since, with six of them going to Vermont hospitals.

AROUND STATE

Electricity billsVermont electric utilities are reminding their customers that help is still available for those struggling to pay bills. Vermonters financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for funding to pay past-due utility balances. The funding is available on a first come, first served basis. The application deadline is Oct. 24, or sooner if the money runs out before then. Visit bit.ly/vtbills to apply. If you are a renter, click “Renters, Apply Here First.” Homeowners and businesses can apply by clicking “Apply for VCAAP II.” Utility customers can also apply on the phone by calling 1-833-295-8988.

Energy efficiencyTo celebrate Energy Efficiency Day, this past Wednesday, Oct. 6, Efficiency Vermont is offering free energy savings kits to qualifying customers to begin reducing their energy use, their bills and their carbon footprint. Available for a limited time, the free kits can be ordered at www.efficiencyvermont.com/kits by customers who haven’t already received one. Efficiency Vermont customer support is available by calling (888) 921-5990.

Other steps Vermonters can take to improve their home’s energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions are:

— Seal up air leaks around places like windows, doors, the attic, basement and foundation.

— Clean dust and dirt from around your refrigerator filter and bathroom fans.

— Unplug electronics and small appliances when not in use, or purchase an Advanced Power Strip.

— When your household appliances or electronics need to be replaced, shop for the most energy efficient models within your budget by looking for the ENERGY STAR logo first.

— Research bigger investments now (like getting a heat pump, replacing a water heater, or weatherizing your home) so you’re ready if your equipment unexpectedly fails, or when the time comes to upgrade.

Energy grantsVermont Interfaith Power & Light wants to help Vermont churches make energy improvements and has a matching grant program to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and to save money. Visit www.vtipl.org for more information.

In addition to these matching grants, Vermont churches may also be eligible for financial incentives from Efficiency Vermont for weatherization and installation of energy efficient equipment, e.g., lighting, HVAC equipment and advanced wood heating systems. Contact Efficiency Vermont at (888) 921-5990, or www.efficiencyvermont.com online. Churches that are Vermont Gas customers should also contact VGS to take advantage of programs to save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Contact VGS at (802) 863-4511, or visit https://www.vermontgas.com/commercial-energy-services online.

Lecture seriesShoshana Zuboff, international best-selling author and Harvard Business School Professor Emerita, will be keynote speaker at the virtual 2021 George D. Aiken Lecture Series 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. This event is free and open to the public. Visit go.UVM.edu/aiken2021 for more information.

Food driveFollowing a two-week collective effort, Attorney General T.J. Donovan, the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Paralegal Organization and the Vermont Foodbank announced the results of the Vermont Legal Community Fighting Hunger Food Drive. In this year’s food drive, they raised $6,845, which will supply more than 11,431 meals for Vermonters. All funds donated went directly to Vermont Foodbank.

VLCT awardsThe Vermont League of Cities and Towns recognized four supporters of local government at its annual meeting Sept. 29. The league presented Vermont’s Sen. Jeanette White and Rep. Diane Lanphere with the 2021 Legislative Service Award. Retiring Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell was given the league’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Longtime Vermont Council on Rural Development Executive Director Paul Costello was awarded the Municipal Service Award. Gov. Phil Scott, the Vermont Legislature and Secretary of State Jim Condos were also recognized for their pandemic response efforts.

White, Senate Government Operations Committee chair, and Lanpher, House Transportation Committee chair, were recognized for their local government experience and continued attention to local issues in the Legislature; White served on the Putney Select Board and Lanpher served on the Vergennes City Council. Elwell, a Brattleboro native with over three decades of municipal management experience across the country, was recognized for his leadership style and integrity in his community and on the league’s board of directors over the past five years. Costello, of Montpelier, is retiring after 21 years as Vermont Council on Rural Development executive director; his award is presented to an elected leader or member of the nonprofit community who has shown commitment and support for municipal government on a statewide basis, and beyond the borders of their community.

Do you have an item you would like to see in Community News? A milestone? A public announcement? A short news release about something entertaining going on in your town? Simply email the information to us at news@timesargus.com. Be sure to put For Community News in the subject line. (Note: We do reserve the right to edit for length.)

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