The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

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Local News Briefs

SPECIAL ED STUDENTS DRIVE UP BUDGET

By Lani Duke

BENSON-Benson's school board predicts that town meeting attendees will be unhappy with the school budget, but the board's hands are tied. Mandatory special education costs to the tune of $117,000 primarily pay for four special ed students to attend the Vermont Achievement Center, and it is those costs that make up much of a 7.4 percent increase to the budget.

To offset those increases, the district would have to eliminate three teaching positions. That won't happen; the number of students in the district is consistent with the past.

The district did manage to cut costs last year: four teachers took retirement and the food service program became an in-house operation rather than being contracted out.



Raising funds for a school trip

By Lani Duke

BENSON-Benson's eighth grade class is trying to get to Washington, DC, this spring, studying the government and the historical landmarks that are so prevalent in the nation's capitol. This year is more challenging than usual, class advisor Elizabeth Moyer says, because the class is larger than normal.

In addition to the Feb. 4 basket raffle, the class plans a faculty-student basketball game, a dinner at the Wheel Inn in Benson, and a bingo-basket raffle. To help these eighth graders on their way, call 537-2491.


Local art on display

By Nicholas Milano

BRANDON - Adding to their already busy season, Brandon Music is currently hosting artist Ruth Hamilton's most recent set of paintings entitled A Walk in the Woods and Other Favored Spaces. The series is a collection of Hamilton's signature landscapes inspired by tranquil outdoor scenes of trees, rivers and mountains that can be found all across Vermont and New England. Regulars to the Gallery may have seen Hamilton's work in a previous Brandon Music sponsored show held in 2009. The Gallery and the Music Café in Brandon will both house the paintings, which are available for sale or just for art enthusiast's to come admire. The works will be on exhibit until February 29. For more information visit www.brandon-music.net.


Brandon police chief seeking volunteers

By Nicholas Milano

BRANDON - Chief of Police Christopher Brickell is looking for caring members of the community to join the ongoing BRAVO program, Brandon's Restorative Action for Victims and Offenders, which he will soon be taking over. The program uses the old theory that 'honey will attract more flies than vinegar.'

Focusing its energy on low level offenders, the program specializes on mediation and active dialogue between those low level offenders and community members, encouraging good citizenship and positivity rather than prison terms whenever possible. Chief Brickell is asking for members of the educational, religious and business communities to give their time to the cause. For more information, contact the Brandon Police Department at 247-0222.


Castleton 6th grader writers win VPT award

By Lani Duke

CASTLETON-A five-student team from Castleton Village School recently won the Best Sixth Grade Newspaper prize, part of Vermont Public Television's Above the Fold contest. Their ZopTop News competed against about 30 other middle school papers, representing the work of 183 students in eight counties.

Each student group produced its own paper about the state and community; individuals chose their own topics, performed research, interviewed sources and designed the paper. ZopTop stories covered winter sweets and cookie recipes, interviews with the school student council and a local contractor, Vermont Yankee, and the Lake Monsters baseball team.



COMMUNITY CENTER FUNDRAISERS PLANNED for summer

By Lani Duke

CASTLETON-The Castleton Community Center is already planning the Town Wide Yard Sale and Basket Party Raffle. The yard sale is Saturday, June 23, with outdoor and indoor spaces. All proceeds benefit CCC programs and services.

The basket party raffle is just about a month later, Saturday, July 28, at the Castleton American Legion Hall. Its proceeds benefit Castleton Community Seniors Wellness programs and community services. Call 468-3093.


KMS student Nikki Sardelli takes Gold in slalom and giant slalom

KILLINGTON-The Killington Mountain School (KMS) Snowboard Team charged into the second USASA Southern Vermont Series event, grabbing multiple podiums in various age categories, Jan 14-15. KMS eighth grader Nikki Sardelli, of Killington, continued her undefeated Southern Vermont Series season with wins in both slalom and giant slalom for the Breaker Girls (12-13). Sardelli also claimed top honors in both events at the first Southern Vermont Series event a week ago.

"It was a great weekend with blue skies and despite the sub-zero morning temperatures, the snowboard student-athletes came out in force for the event," said KMS Snowboard Program Director KC Gandee.

KMS sophomore Kamran Gossieaux, 16, of Andover, Mass, took home his first-ever gold medal in the Southern Vermont Series, taking first in the giant slalom and second in the slalom in Junior Boys (16-17).

In addition to his third-fastest time overall, KMS sophomore Logan Farmer, of Randolph, took second in both slalom and giant slalom. His brother, Ethan, 10, scored a second-place finish in GS and a fourth in slalom for Menehune Boys (10-11).


Registration now open for annual "Death Race"

By Nicholas Milano

PITTSFIELD - Each year, dozens of brave souls sign up for the threateningly named Death Race. The race is a grueling test of strength and endurance in which participants from children to adults trek through dirt, mud and water in the harsh terrain of mountains and valleys, travelling on both on foot and by bicycle. While the Pittsfield race isn't held until June, many are already signing up to test their limits, according to the organization's website. More information as well as registration forms can be found at the aptly named www.youmaydie.com.



New sewer and water systems nearly online

By Nicholas Milano

PITTSFORD - The Water and Sewer board of Pittsford met this week to discuss their ongoing project of fixing and updating their systems where needed. Phase one and two of their plan are nearly complete, said Town Manager John Haverstock.

The first phase of this project included upgrading the town's water treatment capabilities to handle the large run off Vermont receives in the spring. Phase two handles the infiltration of ground water into pipes as well as replacing some sewer lines and a pump station.

The sewer lines being replaced are on Pleasant and Arch Street while the Elm Street pump station will be receiving a complete overhaul, according to Haverstock. The new pump station is scheduled to be completed in April and the two updated sewer lines will be online in August. Both projects were made possible with funds from the USDA's rural development program. The next meeting of the Water and Sewer Board will be held February 21.


Poultney resident to present at Digital Age Workshop

POULTNEY-Poultney resident Rebecca Cook will be on two panels at the Vermont Communities in a Digital Age workshop on Feb. 16 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center. The all day event is being organized by the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project which is working across Vermont to help communities solve local issues with 21st century tools.

Cook, who is Poultney's Library Director, will be on a panel that looks at the role of public libraries in the 21st Century. A lot has changed and Cook is considered one of the statewide leaders in this field. She is also instrumental in finding ways to increase pubic access to the Internet for Poultney's residents and visitors.

Anne Galloway is the keynote speaker. Anne is an award-winning journalist and founder/editor of VTDigger.org, a statewide news website dedicated to coverage of Vermont politics, consumer affairs, business and public policy.

For a complete schedule and to pre-register online visit the e-Vermont website at www.e4vt.org or call 802-859-3090.


Frank Lord Bridge open for traffic

By Nicholas Milano

SHREWSBURY - The unexpected destruction that Hurricane Irene brought to Vermont is still being felt all over the state. While power lines are back up and water is flowing to most every home, some of the wounds still remain. The Frank Lord Bridge in Shrewsbury, a thick stone slab that broke apart in the storm, is one of the countless bridges, roads and electric systems still on the path to recovery, however.

The temporary bridge is now open for traffic while city officials draft a plan for a permanent replacement. The temporary bridge meets the same traffic standards and demands as the old one and will be in place until later this year.


Stockbridge begins Farm to School program

By Nicholas Milano

STOCKBRIDGE - The Stockbridge Central School was one of four area schools recently awarded a $15,000 grant to begin a Farm to School program in their cafeterias. Similar programs are gaining popularity nationwide as Americans are becoming more and more interested in their health and diet and seem to be especially successful in Vermont. Farm to School initiatives not only encourage healthy and whole food choices for children, but support local agricultural economies, according to the organization.

In addition to eating the locally grown produce, students will begin to study nutrition, food and farming in the classroom. The grants were presented by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Farm to School Network Wednesday at the Farm show in Essex Junction. This is the sixth year the Farm to School program has existed in Vermont.


Burglary at Shelburne Limestone Company

WALLINGFORD-On Jan 24. at approximately 9:30 a.m., the Vermont State Police was dispatched to a reported burglary at Shelburne Limestone Company (SLC) located on US 7 in Wallingford, Vt. Money was stolen from the weigh station between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 24. The individual came onto and left the business property on foot. 

The Vermont State Police are requesting the assistance from the public.  Anyone with information regarding suspicious person or vehicle in the area of the business during those hours please contact Trooper Cushing at 802-773-9101.

Tagged: Benson, brandon, Castleton, killington, pittsfield, pittsford, Shrewsbury, Stockbridge, Wallingford