COMM_Woodfrog by John Hall.jpg

Woodfrogs are out and about — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking drivers to slow down and be cautious when traveling at night in early spring or to take alternate routes to avoid driving near ponds and wetlands where salamanders and frogs are crossing during their breeding season.

AROUND TOWN

Monley honored

WATERBURY — The Revitalizing Waterbury (RW) board of directors announced the recipient of the 2021 Kathy O’Dell Community Service Award — former RW board chairwoman MK Monley.

Among her accomplishments, MK is an arts educator at Thatcher Brook Primary School, she organizes the popular, annual River of Light Lantern Parade, and is a founding member of MakerSphere (a local nonprofit focused on making and collaborating).

The Kathy O’Dell Community Service Award is given in recognition of a business or individual who gives back to the community. The award is named after RW founding member Kathy O’Dell, who served as the organization’s first president in 1991 and passed away in 2005.

AROUND THE STATE

Overdose? Call 911BURLINGTON — To save lives, Vermont law enforcement and public health leaders urge Vermonters to call 911 if an overdose occurs. Vermont’s Good Samaritan Law provides protections from criminal liability for those who call for help at the scene of an overdose.

A recent report found, based on preliminary data, opioid-related deaths increased by 38% in Vermont in 2020, from 114 deaths in 2019 to 157 in 2020. According to Vermont Department of Health, fentanyl, which was involved in 88% of opioid-related deaths in 2020, continues to be the primary driver of opioid-related deaths in Vermont.

Under the Good Samaritan Law, when someone seeks medical assistance for an overdose, the overdose victim and anyone helping care for the victim while awaiting emergency medical assistance, cannot:

— Be prosecuted for any drug crime based on evidence found from the incident;

— Get sanctioned for violating trial release, probation, furlough or parole for being at the scene of an overdose.

— Be found in violation of a restraining order, for being at the scene of the drug overdose, or for being within close proximity to any person at the scene of the drug overdose.

— Have personal property seized by law enforcement through civil asset forfeiture from that incident.

There are, however, limitations to the protections; for example, this law does not protect from eviction, Vt. Department for Children and Families (DCF)intervention or other civil legal cases.

For more information, call Howard Center Safe Recovery at 488-6067.

Trail closures

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and its partners ask for the public’s help protecting Vermont’s trails. Mud season conditions have begun and will persist in many places until Memorial Day or later; trail closures may be in effect for several weeks.

Plan ahead and prepare: Visit www.trailfinder.info before you head to the trails to help you find trails close to home and learn whether they are open or not. If a trail is muddy, even if it is not officially closed, find an alternative, less vulnerable area to hike in. Go to fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/mud-season to find a list of hikes better suited for mud season.

Take it easy: Even as it warms up in town, our mountains still hold cold, wet, snowy and icy conditions that may persist deep into spring. If you encounter conditions you are not prepared for, turn around. Emergency responders and medical providers do not need the additional burden and risk of a search and rescue operation or to treat a hiking-related injury.

Respect COVID-19 guidelines: COVID-19 guidelines may change but will still apply. Visit fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19 for the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

The Green Mountain Club, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Green Mountain National Forest thank hikers for their cooperation in helping to maintain Vermont’s outstanding hiking trails.

Slow down

MONTPELIER — Vermont Fish and Wildlife is asking drivers to slow down and be cautious when traveling at night in early spring or to take alternate routes to avoid driving near ponds and wetlands where salamanders and frogs are crossing during their breeding season.

Road crossings are also a way to see rare or otherwise hard-to-find species, which biologists rely on for data collection. For example, the four-toed salamander is rare in Vermont, and its distribution is not well understood. This information is used by Fish and Wildlife, the Agency of Transportation and other conservation partners to assess the need for wildlife passages and barriers in road construction plan.

BIRTHS

Central Vermont Medical Center

A boy, Chase Henry Surprise, was born March 21, 2021, to Steven and Caitlyn (Kreis) Surprise, of Barre Town.

A boy, Jasper James Maxham, was born March 23, 2021, to Marah Grout and Michael Maxham, of Williamstown.

Gifford Medical Center

A girl, Thea Jeanne Shea, was born March 22, 2021, to Ally and Cole Shea, of Waterbury Center.

A girl, Audrey Simard, was born March 19, 2021, to Lee and Betsy (Puchala) Simard, of East Montpelier.

A boy, Avery Hatch, was born March 18, 2021, to Jacob Hatch and Kateland Forkey, of Washington.

COLLEGE NEWS

Marissa Hoffman, of Waterbury, Environmental Studies major, was named to the fall 2020 dean’s list at St. Joseph’s College.

Lehigh University students who attained fall 2020 dean’s list status includes Kailee Atkinson and Adam Patching, both of Stowe.

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? Email the information to 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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