On February 15, 2017

Rutland Region News Briefs

School choice applications accepted at MRUHS
WALLINGFORD—Mill River Union High School is accepting school choice applications from any high school student in grades 8 through 11 who is interested in attending a public high school outside his or her home district during the 2017-2018 school year. Students who wish to take advantage of this opportunity must give an application to their home school principal by March 1.

Light turns red on stoplight scofflaws
RUTLAND—Rutland City’s Board of Aldermen voted during the board’s Feb. 6 meeting to prohibit drivers from dashing through a parking lot to avoid a red light. Such maneuvers are common, Police Chief Brian Kilcullen told the Aldermen. After discussion, the Aldermen drafted an ordinance to prohibit driving on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots or private property to “avoid an intersection with a traffic control device or a stop sign.” Once the law is published in an official notice, it takes effect in 21 days. It can be stopped, however, if 5 percent of city voters petition.

Dialysis unit marks 20 years of operation
RUTLAND—The University of Vermont Medical Center and Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) observed 20 years of collaboration to deliver dialysis services to patients in the end stage of kidney failure on Feb. 6. The nine stations at UVM Rutland Dialysis can deliver their life-saving services to as many as 54 patients a week.
Before the joint venture was established, many patients had to travel to Burlington several times a week for a process that may take three to four hours. UVM Dialysis Rutland is the state’s only outpatient dialysis center to be awarded a five-star rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. That ranking is accorded to only 10 percent of the nation’s dialysis centers, based on such health statistics as mortality, hospitalizations, and blood transfusions.

Eat soup, take the handmade bowl home
RUTLAND—Local schools are participating in the 11th annual Soup Bowls for Hunger March 30, sponsored by the women educators’ honor society Delta Kappa Gamma. Rutland High hosts the fundraiser for local food shelves this year in its cafeteria. Last year, 19 professional potters and students attending Rutland, Rutland Town, and Proctor turned out nearly 500 bowls that participants got to take home. This year’s event features three seatings, at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. West Rutland School art classes have joined the pottery-making brigade. Over the past six years, the Rutland County event has raised more than $50,000.

Dog park considered for startup and maintenance funding
RUTLAND—Parks for Paws organizer David Dress told the aldermen Feb. 6 that his organization has received 501(c)(3) non-profit status, secured sites in both the city and West Rutland, and gathered $140,000 in services and merchandise pledges from local businesses, since he last spoke to the board.
The group is asking the city for $10,000 to build a dog park on Rutland Regional Medical Center grounds near the hospital walking path.
The town of West Rutland has already promised land near its soccer field near Clarendon Avenue, Lyndsi Fischer said, noting that development of the West Rutland park would be less expensive than the one planned for the city. Hospital requirements mandate a “little more fancy” park, she commented.
Act 250 requirements call for an impervious walkway to connect the dog park to the walking path, Dress said.
The group asks for a $2 addition to the city dog license fees and that the city use $1.50 of each license fee for maintaining the park, while retaining the other 50 cents. It is making the same request of West Rutland Town government.

Rutland crime down overall; residents feel safer
RUTLAND—Progress against drug abuse shows up in lowered property crimes, said Rutland City Police Chief Brian Kilcullen Feb. 8. The drop in “cash-ready crimes” like shoplifting indicates addiction is waning in the city, he explained.
Shoplifting dropped from 134 incidents to 88, or 34 percent. Thefts from motor vehicles is down from 90 to 64 or 29 percent; thefts from buildings, from 78 to 63, or 19 percent, in recent years.
Although burglaries rose from 82 to 88, they are far below the 123 in 2014. Bicycle thefts are steady at 19.
Cmdr. David LaChance said drug overdoses were up in the city, but no figures were available. Cmdr. Matthew Prouty discussed how the police department’s overall mission has shifted toward reducing overdoses and otherwise getting people help.
A recent Northwest Neighborhood survey conducted by NeighborWorks of Western Vermont found that, from 2013 to 2016, the people saying they felt “very safe” in their homes during the day rose from 15 to 80 percent; those feeling somewhat or very unsafe dropped from 30 to 5 percent. A night, those reportedly feeling very safe at home rose from slightly more than 20 percent to slightly more than 60 percent; those feeling unsafe dropped from 20 to 10 percent. Satisfaction with police response also improved.



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