Copley HospitalA son, Julian David Gagnon was born Sept. 14, 2021, to Michelle Savard and David Gagnon, of Morristown.
Youths in dairyingUVM Extension’s Exploring Vermont Dairy Fall 2021 will introduce youths, ages 12-18, to a number of different dairy topics from animal health to use of technology on the farm. The five-part series will be offered via Zoom from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning Oct. 26. Although free to attend, registration is required at https://go.uvm.edu/exploredairy
All sessions are interactive to encourage questions for a better understanding of dairy farming in the state and will include a post-lesson assignment.
PCAVT awarded grantMONTPELIER — Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (PCAVT) was awarded a $1.6 million grant by the CDC Injury Prevention Center. This grant will allow PCAVT to study the efficacy of their child sexual abuse prevention programs for children in grades pre-K through 5, Care for Kids and We Care Elementary. Grant funds will become available before the end of 2021, and schools will begin implementing the program, titled The Healthy Relationships Project, in six-month intervals. Within one year, the expectation is there will be an increase in knowledge and skills gained by parents, caregivers and educators regarding how to prevent child sexual abuse, an increase in students’ positive socio-emotional skills, and a decrease in the reports of child sexual abuse for children in the schools using this program.
Norwich UniversityThirty-four Norwich University Air Force ROTC Detachment 867 cadets, and two from the New York and Vermont Wings of the Civil Air Patrol, participated in a series of orientation flights over Vermont. The two Wings conducted a record 36 hours of flight time over a day-and-a-half and fulfilled a mission of stimulating interest in aerospace among younger Americans.
Norwich University recently received a $20,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation to fund the development of the Affordable Shipping Container Homes Project. This project will design affordable housing units with recycled shipping containers.
Fall funCABOT — The Cabot Farm Trail showcases the Cabot Creamery Co-operative’s farm families across New England and upstate New York who offer on-farm experiences of all kinds, from corn mazes to baked goods. Use the newly launched web page bit.ly/cabotfarmtrail to find farms with farm stays, farm stands, corn mazes and other businesses that welcome visitors. The website can be filtered by geography, season, interest and activity, families can create their own getaway.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy ExpoESSEX JUNCTION — The second annual Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2, at Champlain Valley Exposition, 105 Pearl St., Essex Junction. This family friendly event features authors, artists, game designers, podcasters, fan organizations, cosplayers, prop makers, vendors, live demos and much more.
Mad DashWARREN — The Mad Dash is back in-person to raise funds for the Mad River Path. The 25th Annual Mad Dash 5km & 10km Walk/Run, presented by Sugarbush Resort, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10, on the trails and fields behind Harwood High School. The 1km Kid’s Fun Run, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, will be held soon after the 5km and 10km races begin. Participants are asked to wear a mask in the main tent and start/finish area. Registration at www.madriverpath.org/maddash is open now.
Car donationMONTPELIER — Montpelier mother, Addie Stephens, was awarded a car from the Burlington-based, vehicle donation nonprofit, Good News Garage. Her used 2009 Toyota Yaris, donated by a generous New Englander, will transport her and her two children.
Stephens is one of more than 5,500 recipients of a vehicle from Good News Garage since the charity began providing reliable transportation to neighbors in need in 1996. The organization celebrated its 25-year anniversary and awarded its 5,500th car at a celebration in Burlington earlier this month. Good News Garage awards cars to Vermont residents through a partnership with the state’s Reach Up agency. Car recipients must be Reach Up participants to qualify for cars. For more information, visit bit.ly/reachupvt or www.GoodNewsGarage.org
Library receives grantWATERBURY — Waterbury Public Library was selected as one of 300 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association initiative that helps library workers better serve small and rural communities. The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant to help the library reach out to new Americans and foster greater communication.
New pastorMONTPELIER — Resurrection Baptist Church announced the arrival of its new pastor, the Rev. Pete “Chap” Taraski. A native of New Jersey, Pastor “Chap” has ministered in Texas and Oregon, coming to Resurrection from a nine-year pastorate at Mount Calvary Church, Sweet Home, Oregon, where he also served as chaplain to the fire and ambulance district. He is a certified trauma, stress and mental health counselor. The public is invited to the new pastor’s formal installation at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the church, 144 Elm St., Montpelier, followed by a reception.
Gospel choirMONTPELIER — The Montpelier Community Gospel Choir is working in-person again. The planned December concert will either be in-person or live-streamed. In Spring 2022, John Harrison, music director of 27 years, will be stepping down. The choir is in the process of looking for a new director. The website vtgospel.com features video clips of past performances as well as the December 2019 concert.
Homemakers honoredEAST BARRE — The Green Hills Homemakers Club of East Barre honored five of their members for longtime service to the club and to their community: Marion Shirlock and Harriet Blanchard, over 60 years; Barbara Fantoni and Beartrice Sainz, over 50 years; Sue MacAskill, over 40 years.
Gebbie joins Salvation FarmsMORRISVILLE — Salvation Farms welcomes new AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America member, Jessa Gebbie. Her primary service role is to help Salvation Farms build its capacity to communicate its work and impact with the public. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with degrees in Comparative Cultures and Politics and Chinese.
Alzheimer’s educationThe Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will host a free virtual Alzheimer’s educational conference for Vermont residents from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, as part of its 2021 national Educating America Tour. The free conference will allow participants to learn from, and ask questions of, health, caregiving and legal experts. Visit www.alzfdn.org/tour to register.
Gardening conferenceExperienced and novice gardeners can grow their knowledge about food resiliency, heirloom varieties and other gardening topics at the University of Vermont Extension Community Horticulture Annual Conference, held via Zoom from noon to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6. This year’s theme is the Garden as a Place of Collaboration, Stewardship and Connection. Registration is $40 through Sept. 30, $45 after that date. Visit go.uvm.edu/comhortconference to register.
Red Cross initiativeThe American Red Cross has begun an initiative to increase blood availability for patients with sickle cell disease. Many individuals who are Black have distinct markers on their red blood cells that make their donations ideal for helping these patients. The Red Cross asks members of the Black community to schedule a blood donation appointment at RedCrossBlood.org, by downloading the Blood Donor App or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
GMC shares hikeSTATEWIDE — The Green Mountain Club (GMC) is partnering with avid hiker, author, podcaster and storyteller Derick Lugo as he hikes the entire 272-mile Long Trail. The GMC, founder and maintainer of the Long Trail in Vermont, is supporting Lugo in his hike and bringing his storytelling to online audiences. To follow the adventures on Instagram, visit @dericklugo and @greenmountainclub.
Bee colony lossThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be collecting information about colony loss in the honey industry throughout the United States. The next Quarterly Colony Loss survey of more than 400 producers with honeybee colonies in the northeastern region of the United States will be during September and October. For more information, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518.
Co-chairs lead VCWThe Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), independent non-partisan commission advancing rights and opportunities for Vermont women and girls, begins work this fall under a new leadership structure from one to three Chairs. Lisa Senecal was re-elected to the position and is joined by fellow Commissioners Kiah Morris and Kellie B. Campbell.
Senecal was appointed by Governor Scott in 2017 and elected VCW Chair in 2019; she is a communications professional. Morris was appointed to VCW by the Speaker of the House in 2020; she served in the General Assembly as a State Representative from 2014-2016 and 2016-2018 and is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the Legislature in Vermont history. Campbell was appointed to VCW by the Senate Committee on Committees in 2018; she’s the Chief Information Officer for the Vermont State Colleges System, transitioning to this role from having served as the Chief Technology Officer at Vermont Tech.
Climate assessmentLesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Ph.D., a faculty member in Geography and Geology at the University of Vermont and State Climatologist for Vermont, will serve as an author for the national Water chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5). In 2016, Dupigny-Giroux was named regional lead of the northeast chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). NCA is the U.S. government’s report on climate change impacts, risks and adaptation across the nation.
VSARA awarded grantSecretary of State Jim Condos and State Archivist Tanya Marshall announced the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA) was awarded a $40,000 grant to support initiatives of the State Archives’ Vermont Historical Records Program. This grant will be used to purchase equipment and supplies, as well as fund additional workshops on digital preservation and hands-on collections salvage, led by subject specialists.
Emerge Vermont awardEmerge Vermont, the state’s organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office, announced former Vermont Speaker of the House Gaye Symington is the recipient of the 2021 Governor Madeleine M. Kunin Achievement Award. The award is given annually to a Democratic woman in Vermont with significant political achievements.
VNRC awardNancy Patch, Franklin/Grand Isle County Forester for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and Vice Chair and Co-Founder of the conservation organization Cold Hollow to Canada, is the recipient of the 2021 Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership. Vermont Natural Resources Council presents this honor annually to a Vermont resident who has made a lasting contribution to their community, region or state in the ways they integrate smart growth and conservation.
Public inputThe Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, through the Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Forests, Parks and Recreation, is developing a new long-range management plan for the Castleton Management Unit comprised of Birdseye and Blueberry Hill Wildlife Management Areas. An in-person public scoping meeting to explain the proposed plan and receive input will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton. The same information presented at the meeting is on Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website, www.vtfishandwildlife.com with a link to receive public comments by Dec. 3.
Volunteers neededVermont Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help at the annual spiny softshell turtle beach cleanup day Saturday, Oct. 16. Participants arrive at North Hero State Park at 10 a.m. After finishing at North Hero, the group will carpool to another site in Swanton. The cleanup may run until 4 p.m., although participants can choose how long to assist. Bring water, work gloves, a leaf rake, short-handled tools such as trowels, and your own lunch. Families and kids are welcome.
To get to North Hero State Park, follow Route 2 north past Carry Bay in North Hero. Take a right on Lakeview Drive, just before Route 2 swings west toward Alburgh. Follow Lakeview Drive almost to the end until you reach the North Hero State Park entrance sign on the left. Drive to the end of the road always bearing right. For more information, email Toni.Mikula@vermont.gov.
EHD in regionThe Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is monitoring the spread of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in deer in the region and investigating possible cases in Vermont. New York has documented cases in several counties in the Hudson Valley, including counties bordering Vermont. EHD has never been confirmed in Vermont but may occur here this fall. In the Castleton area where several dead deer have recently been reported, biologists were not able to examine any before the samples decomposed.
EHD virus is transmitted by biting midges, sometimes called no-see-ums. The disease is not spread from deer to deer, and humans cannot be infected by deer or bites from midges.
EHD outbreaks, most common in the late summer and early fall when midges are abundant, can temporarily lower a local population, but they do not have a significant long-term impact on regional deer numbers. EHD occurs regularly in the southern states, so some southern deer have developed immunity. EHD outbreaks occur sporadically in the northeast, and deer have no immunity to this virus. Consequently, most EHD-infected deer in the northeast are expected to die. The first hard frosts kill the midges that transmit the disease, ending the outbreak.
Deer that contract EHD usually die within 48 hours of showing clinical signs. Signs of EHD include fever, hemorrhage in the mouth or organs, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear dehydrated and weak. Infected deer often seek out water sources and many succumb near water. There is no treatment or means to prevent EHD. Dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals.
Sightings of sick or dead deer in Vermont should be reported to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department by contacting your local State Police radio dispatcher who will notify the nearest game warden. The department will collect samples from deer and analyze data from deer reports to monitor the extent of the outbreak and determine impacts on the deer population.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife is reminding hunters to wear fluorescent hunter orange. Vermont Hunter Education Program Coordinator Nicole Meier says hunters moving into the line of fire of other hunters and mistaking other hunters for game are common causes of the state’s accidents. Deer are most active during the dawn and dusk hours, times of especially low visibility, and deer have been shown to be unaffected by color.
Vermont State Game Wardens are asking Vermonters with information about fish and wildlife crimes to submit them through the Operation Game Thief program. Sponsored by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and administered by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, the program provides a way for people to help protect the state’s fish and wildlife by reporting law violators at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378). The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Rewards are paid for information leading to arrests.
Vermont hunters will be able to report turkeys and some deer they harvest this fall online through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s website www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Deer may be reported online or in-person during the archery and muzzleloader seasons (archery deer hunting season is Oct. 1 to Nov. 12 and Nov. 29 to Dec. 15) this year, but deer must be reported in-person during the youth and novice weekend Oct. 23-24 and the regular season Nov. 13-28. Bears must be reported in-person.
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