On August 27, 2015

News Briefs: Lakes Region

Charging cars and the economy

FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven has joined the growing list of communities with an electric vehicle charging station, fully operational as of August 7. The charging station is located at the south end of the town green on Main Street. Officials are optimistic that it will help bring a little more business to Fair Haven’s downtown by allowing drivers to shop, dine, or do other business in the town while their car is recharging. Local EV owners are more likely to charge their transportation at home rather than using the station. The 240-volt charging station, owned by Green Mountain Power, costs the town relatively little, about $87 a month, and can charge two vehicles simultaneously. According to Drive Electric Vermont, there are five other similar charging stations in Rutland County: one each in Poultney, Castleton, and Killington, and two in Rutland. There are 67 total in the entire state.

Don’t toss it—donate it!

PAWLET—A joint effort between Pawlet and West Pawlet volunteer fire departments has the two groups collaborating on a Red Cross emergency shelter, housed in the West Pawlet station. The national Red Cross organization sent basic starting materials in response to the local application; the emergency station now has costs, blankets, and paperwork.

But other items are needed. Paul Turnley, shelter manager, is asking for donations to help purchase other necessities: cribs and other baby supplies, an automated external defibrillator (AED), and animal kennels. He hopes to secure about $3,000 to purchase these items.

Police who protect and serve

CASTLETON—Castleton’s police department is hiring Tyler Tavares with the expectation he will begin work September 14. The Massachusetts native has been living in Vermont for seven years and was a correctional officer at the jail in Rutland. Castleton police officers Justin Szarejko and Scott Stevens received praise during the town Select Board meeting August 17. On their way to Pittsford on police business May 11, they heard an ambulance call and, being certified emergency medical technicians, offered to assist, using CPR to save the life of an unconscious woman who had stopped breathing, Police Chief Peter Mantello said.

Financial literacy taught in high schools

Fair Haven Union High School (FHUHS) has been pioneering the teaching of financial literacy and has made the course a graduation requirement. FHUHS is one of only seven Vermont high schools with the graduation requirement and is in the third year of a pilot program covering the subject. Fair Haven students take a course that goes far beyond balancing a checkbook; they learn about credit cards and credit scores, car loans, and financial decision-making. Fair Haven’s Kim Ransom was the first of three FHUHS teachers to attend the Vermont Teachers Financial Literacy Summer Institute, a program from the Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy.

It seems likely many Rutland County high schoolers will soon be able to take similar coursework. Ransom said she recently taught a master’s level financial literacy course for teachers at Castleton; attendees came from Rutland and Poultney High.

Another local educator, Mill River Union High math teacher Laura Steere, has been giving a class on advanced personal finance in the college-prep curriculum. It helped students work on their student loan packages as well as learn about budgeting, credit scores, and other necessities of living on their own in a college environment. Business educator Cindy Roberts, also at Mill River, covers personal finance for teens in another course.

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