Got books!

BARRE — Has it really been two years since the Friends of the Aldrich Public Library sold their last book?

Unless you count the handful that were sold as part of an online auction, it has, which is why they are seriously psyched to announce the return of their annual July book sale.

Sure, it’s typically paired with the Barre Heritage Festival and held under a tent on the library’s side lawn and neither will be the case when the sale opens Friday in the Milne Meeting Room at the Aldrich.

We’re told the library is bursting with gently used books after skipping last year’s sale due to the pandemic and folks who want to stock up on some quality reading material, as well as DVDs and CDs, will have plenty to choose from.

The two-day sale will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Arriving early ensures the best selection for picky readers of all ages.

This one is BYOBOB (bring your own bag or box) because when you can buy good books for $1 or less they tend to pile up quickly.

Most hardcover adult fiction and nonfiction books will be $1 and, as always, children’s items are 25 cents. There are plenty of paperbacks and they range in price from 50 cents to $1 depending on their size.

This year’s sale is a little ahead of schedule because, well, it doesn’t need to wait for the July-ending Heritage Festival. However, we’re told it likely won’t be the last sale of the year. The Friends still have books in storage at L. Brown & Sons Printing and they plan to dig them out for a fall festival that is being planned for Oct. 1 and 2 this year.

Tune in or turnout

WATERBURY — WDEV will celebrate 90 years of broadcasting whence it all began —broadcasting live from Stowe Street on Saturday.

Literally on Stowe Street.

Stowe Street will be closed to traffic from Bidwell Lane to Main Street to allow WDEV to do what it’s been doing for, well nine decades now, for six hours.

The remote broadcast is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and owner Ken Squier is inviting listeners, new and old, to join the celebration.

“This will be a birthday party like you haven’t seen before from the building from which it all began,” says Squier.

Station manager Steve Cormier has been at work bringing to life the feel and flavor of the pioneer radio station. “We feel and believe that first and foremost we’re a news operation, but along the way we’ve collected a rare breed of folks who talk the talk and make WDEV a very personable radio station,” Cormier says. “We’ve centered our festivities in a way to make WDEV, as it always is, unique.”

Saturday programs will include The Trading Post, Music to Go to the Dump By, For the Birds and In the Garden — all staples of WDEV over the years. Listeners are encouraged to stop by, grab some cake and ice cream, share memories and meet the voices behind WDEV.

Check it out

BERLIN — Good Samaritan Haven has been a cash magnet lately and while the super-sized check Executive Director Rick DeAngelis just accepted from Berlin Mall’s manager can’t match the multi-million-dollar award just announced by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, every little bit helps.

Just ask DeAngelis, who was pretty pumped to accept the big check from mall manager Kay Nuissl — capping a surprisingly successful fundraiser fueled by mall walkers over the winter months.

What’s a mall walker?

They’re the people who get their indoor exercise by walking back and forth along the mall corridor, which this winter featured photos of Route 100 as a scenic backdrop.

During the course of this year’s “Winter Walk” over 100 people participated and 17 finished the “trail” — all 216 miles of it — between mid-January and the end of April.

That’s a lot of laps and those who completed the course were rewarded with a certificate, a mini jug of maple syrup and their place on the mall’s “Winter Walk Hall of Fame.”

Then there is Good Samaritan Haven, which was chosen to receive money the mall’s owners donate for every mile walked during the creative campaign.

This year mall walkers collectively traversed 9,211 miles of the mall’s hall, which translated into a donation of $4,606 for Good Samaritan Haven.

Nuissl is pretty pleased with the result.

“Considering the pandemic and that most of the walkers are elderly, and therefore more vulnerable, I am over the moon about raising $4,606” she says. “The walkers are a spirited bunch! Seeing and hearing them every day and/or week brings a lot of cheer and a sense of purpose to what otherwise can be drab winter months.”

As for DeAngelis, the big check (it was ceremonially sized) will come in handy as Good Samaritan Haven pursues plans to convert Barre-Montpelier Road motel into a Berlin-based homeless shelter with wrap-around services on site, and separate 15-bed project in Barre Town.

Rained in and out

BARRE — Last Thursday the first of Barre’s summer series of concerts in the park was rained in, while Montpelier’s Parkapalooza concert was rained out.

Given today’s fair weather forecast both should be a go in their expected locations, which is good news for music lovers in central Vermont’s Twin Cities.

A week after Tim Brick performed in the BOR ice arena, all signs point to Native Tongue making some noise (we mean that in the best possible way) on the stage in Currier Park. The concert starts at 6 p.m., but “Food Truck Thursday” a budding Currier Park tradition that moved to the BOR due to last week’s rain, will begin at 4 p.m. and run through the concert.

This week’s food trucks include week one participants — Cornerstone Pub and Kitchen, Morse Block Deli, Mo’s Backyard BBQ, The Melted Cheesiere, Paquet’s Apple Shack and The Candy Van — and new addition Double Dip Deserts.

Meanwhile in Montpelier, last week’s rain stopped the planned start of Parkapalooza and sidelined the band — Barika — that was scheduled to perform.

Its next band is up today when the VT Bluegrass Pioneers take the Tuning Forks Stage in Hubbard park at 6 p.m.

The fun starts at 5:30 p.m., when, weather permitting (and it looks like it will) the 100-foot slip ’n’ slide will get a workout during the family-friendly free event.

Looks like train

MONTPELIER — Earlier this month we said we’d give you a more timely reminder that officials in Montpelier and Berlin would be celebrating the reopening of the Amtrak Vermonter passenger train with a 90-minute welcoming party at at the train station at Montpelier Junction.

This is would be it.

The party will get started at 9 a.m. Monday and will include a performance by Amerikana Blue. In addition to the band, there will be light refreshments, a creemee truck, and guest speakers, including Jim Murphy, who is something of an expert on Vermont railroad history.

Those who want to ride the rails will get that chance. Amtrak will offer $1 fares at each Vermont station, which besides Montpelier, includes Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Windsor, White River Junction, Randolph, Montpelier, Waterbury, Essex Junction and St. Albans. Folks who would like to use the shuttle to return to their pick-up location just need to register by visiting and filling out the survey.

Now that we’ve plugged the party for the second time we’ll renew our reminder to folks who might have grown a little too accustomed to walking on or near the tracks when trains weren’t running: STOP.

It would be a shame to spoil the good news of Amtrak’s return with an injury (or worse) that could be avoided by leaving the tracks to the trains.

Lucky 13?

BERLIN — Central Vermont Medical Center this week announced the first 13 students have graduated from its accelerated Licensed Practical Nursing Program.

The program, run in partnership with Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College, is the first of its kind in the state and it was a win-win proposition..

Enrolled students had the opportunity to “earn while they learn” — acquiring practical skills while working at the Berlin-based hospital and receiving academic instruction on-site to earn their LPN Certificates six months faster than conventional nursing programs.

Robert Patterson, the hospital’s vice president of human resource and clinical operations, says that was the intent of a program designed to invest in CVMC team members and the broader community while simultaneously addressing nursing shortages that are an issue in Vermont and beyond.

“We have a lot of folks who have been working with us for a period of time, really committed to the community,” says Patterson. “It just makes sense to invest in their career goals. It results in happier staff, better care outcomes, a more prosperous community, and a pipeline of educated workers. It’s a win all the way around.”

The majority of the 13 graduates will begin their LPN career at CVMC’s Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing facility.

So who are they?

Take a bow Catherine Bailey, Rachel Cleveland, Rebecca Comolli, Megan Cram, Kaitlin Deuso, Meghan Forant, Megan Hale, Taylor Kenworthy,, Baylee Lambert, William Lewis, Emily McCall, Elissa Piascik and Kimberly Thornton.

All 13 graduates attended a June-ending ceremony at Vermont Technical College and a follow-up celebration at Central Vermont Medical Center earlier this month.

What’s next.

CVMC plan to keep pushing the workforce development envelope by launching a registered nurse program. The LPN program is open to any CVMC employee and those interested can visit to learn more.

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