By Lani Duke
College classes resume
CASTLETON — Castleton College President Dave Wolk recently recounted his school’s progress to an audience of more than 500 in the Casella Theater. He described the school as being “in transformation,” venturing into entrepreneurial areas with a new international student initiative designed to bring in talented students from foreign countries. The Castleton Downtown Center for Entrepreneurial Programs in Rutland will connect with businesses, nonprofits, schools and local government to provide more student learning opportunities and promote and support regional economic development. The college also is planning new graduate programs in theater, music, mathematics, athletic leadership, and arts administration.
At Green Mountain College, there are two new faces on the faculty: Assistant Professor of Secondary Education Amy Munger and Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Management Valorie Titus.
Castleton police get muscle
CASTLETON — Castleton has hired a new police chief, Peter Mantello, most recently a sergeant in the Woodstock Police Department. He has also been an instructor at the Vermont Police Academy.
Candidates applied for the job from as far away as Florida. The position became open with the planned retirement of police chief Bruce Sherwin.
As students recently descended on the campus, local residents along Main Street report that students have been “carousing” until 2 a.m. at the Dake house and that the students are traveling the street in packs, yelling and swearing. Also to be noted is the strong presence of the Castleton police, monitoring the student activity.
Benson recognizes citizen leaders
BENSON — Congratulations to the Kellogg and Andronoco families for jointly winning first place in the Benson 2014 Family Day parade. They portrayed Snow Mike and Benson Dwarfs, in the roles of Shortie, Hippie, Itchy, Dusty, and Smoky. Second place went to the Bartholomew family’s Fractured Fairy Tales, and third to Tabby Bowen and Michele Phillips’ Snow White and the Seven Redneck Dwarfs.
While we’re spreading the thank yous around, the Benson Volunteer Fire Department wants to thank all who baked pies and contributed supplies or food for the annual Family Day Barbecue. The event netted nearly $1,000. Special thanks to Jim and Terri Pritchard, Daniel Britton, members of the Camp Sunrise staff and Venture Crew 167, and Carrieann Wolcott.
Benson’s new road foreman Jason LaBate recently began work. The Fair Haven resident previously worked for Casella.
BENSON — Benson’s primary wastewater lagoon recently benefitted from a relining, receiving 400 linear feet of 12-foot-wide matting and 90 cubic yards of 6-inch stone. The second lagoon will see work next summer, says Wastewater Treatment Facility operator Ed Tracey.
Orwell Sand and Gravel is finishing the roadwork necessitated by 2013’s summer storms, covering a total of 3,577 linear feet with 532 cubic yards of 12-inch stone and 1,104 square feet of rip rap fabric, to be paid for by FEMA funds. Affected sites identified by FEMA are Frazier Hill, North Lake (two sites), Pleasant Valley, and Mill Pond roads.
Benson is also embarking on the two-year Better Backroads project, estimated to cost $21,075. This year, the town will complete 550 feet of ditching and stone-lining on the west side of Sunset Lake Road, with the second 550 feet to be completed in July 2015. A $10,000 grant will pay for this year’s work.
Poultney Public Library expands
POULTNEY — More people are using the Poultney Public Library, and that organization has been adding new services, materials, workshops, and events to meet community needs. Those changes require more space for books, movies, computers, patrons, staff, and programs and workshops.
NBF Architects of Rutland has been collaborating with the library and its trustees and recently completed preliminary drawings. The cost for the building project, including renovations and repairs to the existing building, is estimated at $588,000. The library already has $100,000 donated specifically for a library expansion. To raise an additional $488,000 and demonstrate community interest and support, the library has created a capital campaign committee and is building “a support network of volunteers to make it all possible.”
Lani’s weekly picks
Friday, Sept. 12—Lake St. Catherine Country Club hosts the 10th annual Castleton Community Center Golf Outing. Registration, 11:45 a.m.; shotgun start, 1 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 12—Pete’s Posse (Vermont folk legend Pete Sutherland, his protege and fellow Clayfoot Strutter, Oliver Scanlon, and Tristan Henderson of Atlantic Crossing) performs in Tinmouth’s Old Firehouse Concert Series. Open at 7, concert at 7:30. Desserts, coffee, and tea available. Vt. 140 and Mountain View Road.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14—Devil’s Bowl Speedway, 2743 Rt. 22A, West Haven, hosts Vermont 200 Weekend.
Sunday, Sept. 14—West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department hosts the first pancake breakfast of the season in its fire house. Profits will be reserved for equipment and training needs.