News Briefs
August 3, 2016

News Briefs: Rutland Region

By Lani Duke

New hires, promotions

RUTLAND—Bernadette Robin begins a new job as business development and marketing director at Visiting Nurse Aassociation and Hospice of the Southwest Region, starting Aug. 8. She spent the previous two years as Rutland Regional Medical Center communications specialist, and nearly 10 years as director of annual giving for the Rutland Health Foundation and senior development officer for Rutland Regional Medical Center.

Dr. John Gavin Cotter has joined has joined the staff of Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Comprehensive Care & Infectious Diseases Clinic. Among his credentials are a bachelor’s degree in movement and sports science from Purdue University, fellowships in both infectious disease at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. and transplant infectious disease at the Mayo Clinic, and a master’s degree in public health from Dartmouth College. He also has vast experience in treating infectious diseases.

Rutland Mental Health Services has hired Joseph Twarog as its manager of compliance and quality. He will have primary agency responsibility to assure state and federal law and regulation adherence and oversee general corporate risk and compliance. Twarog was most recently an associate attorney at a Rochester, N.Y., law practice, specializing in workers’ compensation claims.

Isaiah Jackson has hired on as a staff accountant with O’Brien Shortle Reynolds & Sabotka, P.C., in Rutland. A Castleton University accounting graduate, he holds a master’s degree in accounting and is a member of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Chill Out Center reopens in Diamond Run Mall

RUTLAND TOWN—After being closed since 2014, the Chill Out Center reopened in Diamond Run Mall, July 29. The Chill Out Center “provides youth ages 14-21, a safe and substance free space in which they can hang out, jam, play video games, take art/yoga/classes/workshops and more,” according to the ribbon cutting news release sent out by the Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerse.
Speakers invited to talk about the challenges facing young people age 16 through 24 during the opening celebration last week were Mary Cohen, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce interim executive director; Joe Kraus, Project Vision chairman; Tom Donahue, BROC CEO; Chris Hultquist of Rutland’s Mentor Connector; Bruce Wilson; Tiffany Bernard of the mentoring program Dream Program; and Service Rendered, Inc. youth board President Chloe Johnson, a senior at Mill River High School.

Beefing up city pension fund: complicated

RUTLAND CITY—The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved building higher city pension fund contributions into the budget, so that the City will put in $1,352,000. This level is the one the City’s actuary has recommended to correct pension underfunding.

The situation is more complex than can be solved by one funding boost, Mayor Chris Louras commented. Before he can calculate how much must be added to the city budget to meet the intended funding level, he must first separate contributions to the Vermont Municipal Employees Retirement System from the total the city is currently contributing.

The Board has not figured in the numbers tied into the current city contract, calling for a ratio of employee to employer contributions at a 3:5 ratio, a national standard supported by a Boston College study, Louras explained. He said city taxpayers must not bear the entire burden of making up the entire deficit.

Nor can the discussion of pension funding be split between city employees and school district employees, but it should be discussed only as a whole, Louras believes.

Storm brings hail, power outages

Repair crews said goodbye to their weekend plans when a storm and hail knocked out power from more than 20,000 Green Mountain Power customers July 23. Work crews reportedly had to overcome 661 separate problems, the company reported about 5:30 p.m. that evening.

Hail fell in West Rutland, while trees came down across power lines and blocked roadways in Hubbardton, Castleton, and Benson.

Safety fears allayed

RUTLAND CITY—Rutland City Police Chief Brian Kilcullen told the Board of Aldermen July 18 that his department has adequate controls over its weapons and ammunition inventory. The arms room door is protected by a keypad lock and each department member has a unique access code and is monitored while inside.

A camera was to be installed in the arms room to monitor activity there, and the stored ammunition inventory is in a locked cabinet within the locked room.

The department’s actions are in response to a report from the city’s auditor this spring. Randall D. Northrup, C.P.A., wrote a management letter of comment regarding the city’s internal controls, dated March 10 but not received by the finance committee until April 25. “The city does not have adequate controls over the police department’s inventory, especially with regard to weapons, ammunition and tools,” Northrop wrote.

Volunteers sought for cemetery restoration

CLARENDON—The Town of Clarendon’s cemetery commission is asking for volunteers to aid in restoring the town’s 16 recognized cemeteries. The earliest burial was in the East Clarendon Cemetery in 1772; before the new century began, six other cemeteries were started within the town’s boundaries.

Some are small. The Joseph Wait Cemetery has a single grave; the Potter Cemetery, five. Others have many more, according to the Vermont Old Cemetery Association.

The Town is especially interested in honoring the graves of Revolutionary War veterans, town founders, pioneers, and other individuals who were instrumental in making Clarendon what it is today. To volunteer, call the administrative assistant at 747-4074.

Legacy to MSJ honors Charles Clarino

As the Sicilian-American Society disbanded after nearly 90 years in existence, it transferred the money in its general college assistance fund to Mount St. Joseph Academy, in the name of the Charles J. Clarino Memorial Fund. The memorial fund had $35,850 in it, used in the past for scholarships for two high school students a year, to help them go to college. The Clarino fund will help needy students to be able to attend MSJ.

Clarino, his wife Carmen and their four children attended MSJ. When Clarino died in 2001, the club initiated the Charles J. Clarino S. Scholarship Fund to help college students of Italian descent. Much of the money came from donations, and the Clarino family added to it annually.

The club also donated the money left in its treasury to the Foley Cancer Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

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