Here comes the …?

BARRE — “All rise!”

Typically that courtroom command signals someone in a black robe is about to walk through the door, but that comically wasn’t the case at the criminal courthouse in Barre earlier this week.

Seems muscle memory got the better of court officer Kevin Galway on Monday because when he heard the courtroom door start to swing open he spoke up.

“All rise!” he said.

Pretty much everyone did—some more hesitantly than others—though more than a few were smiling at the head-scratching display of deference for a woman who was wearing handcuffs and shackles.

Galway was on that list and so was Judge Mary Morrissey, who was seated on the bench when Galway spoke, but politely obeyed his instruction.

Later Galway sheepishly explained how his mouth got ahead of his mind.

“Door opens, dog barks,” he said with a shrug.

Art room?

BARRE—The Milne Room at Aldrich Public Library is multi-functional space that is occasionally pressed into service as an art gallery.

The Paletteers of Vermont use it to display their work twice a year—once during a summer art show timed to launch with the Barre Heritage Festival and again in January for the smaller show that ends today.

The room won’t be art-less for long thanks to students in what will soon be the Barre Unified Union School District. For many years students at elementary schools in Barre and Barre Town, as well as Spaulding High School, have shared their artistic accomplishments in the accessible room located in the basement of the library.

An opening reception for the latest exhibit is set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. It will last an hour, though the exhibit will remain on display through March 28.

If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, the reception will be held a week from today (that’s Feb. 21 if you don’t have a calendar handy).

Either way the show will feature a wide variety of work produced by students of all ages.

Parkland anniversary

MONTPELIER—The first anniversary of the Valentine’s Day tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will be marked by a Gun Violence Prevention Lobby Day and Youth Lobby Day at the State House Thursday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon.

A total of 14 students and three adults were killed in the shooting, leading to a national outcry and a push for reform of gun laws at national and state levels.

To be held in Room 11 of the State House, the event is organized by GunSense Vermont, which successfully lobbied for new gun laws that Gov. Scott signed last year, following the foiled copy-cat plan by Jack Sawyer to shoot up Fair Haven High School.

Two new gun laws proposed this year include a waiting period after buying a gun and ensuring firearms are locked away from children.

Vermonters are urged to meet with legislators and youth and gun-reform advocates and activists at the GunSense Vermont event.

GunSense Vermont is seeking donations to meet a $5,000 goal to fund ongoing gun law reforms.

For more information, visit

Save half the Earth

MONTPELIER—Should half the Earth be set aside and preserved for nature?

That’s the ambitious, even “audacious” goal of renowned naturalist E.O. Wilson, who published “Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life” in 2016.

On Monday, from 4 to 6 p.m., Dennis Liu, vice president for education with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth Project, will speak at a workshop at the North Branch Nature Center in the Capital City, and discuss various aspects of the project and biodiversity’s role in healthy ecosystems.

The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

NU’s 200th anniversary

MONTPELIER – Norwich University will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a full day of bicentennial activities for all ages in the Capital City on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The celebration of the oldest private military academy in the nation will include a tour of NU-related art and artifacts on display in the State House and Vermont historian Howard Coffin will narrate the Battle of Cedar Creek and discuss NU alumni contributions to the Vermont Brigade.

There will also be a scrimmage of NU’s men’s and women’s hockey teams on the State House ice rink, a farmer’s night concert, and a scavenger hunt for NU founder Capt. Alden Partridge in downtown stores.

To learn more about the university and its bicentennial activities, visit

Art blast

SHELBURNE—Four independent art students at Montpelier High School have worked featured in the Rustic Roots exhibition at the Shelburne Museum, featuring more thabn 90 artists, through March 31.

The works are part of a fundraiser for Outright Vermont, and there is also a silent auction online at

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