News Briefs

Lakes Region News Briefs 8/16

By Lani Duke

Lake St. Catherine hosts loons for perhaps first time ever

POULTNEY— The Vermont loon population has spread now as far as Lake St. Catherine, Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife Migratory Birds biologist John Buck told the Rutland Herald. He said that loons have not been sighted on this lake in the past. In 2005, loons were taken off the endangered species list.

Reports of loons on the lake have been coming in for about a year, according to Eric Hanson, Vermont Center for Ecostudies loon biologist. Loons nest in territorial pairs, along shallow shorelines with quiet water, Buck explained. There were nearly none in the state when the birds were put on the endangered species list during the 1970s. In 1990, Vermont counted only 17 nesting pairs and 15 fledglings. In 2016, biologists counted 117 territorial pairs in Vermont; 82 of them nested and produced 80 offspring that matured enough to fly.

Home invasion in Fair Haven

FAIR HAVEN—A black-clad intruder kicked in the front door at Kenneth Capen’s Fair Haven home Aug. 3, threatening Capen’s son with a shotgun and striking the young man on the shoulder with its butt before fleeing to a car parked in the driveway, WCAX reported. The thief left with no more than a hastily grabbed cell phone. The invader stood about six feet tall and drove a silver or light-colored Honda Accord or Camry.

The town police chief, William Humphries, said the incident was the first time he or anyone else in his department had been called to that address. By the time Humphries responded to the 911 call, the thief had left. Humphries advises people to be alert for any suspicious activity and asks anyone who has information on this crime to call him at 802-265-8293.

GMC new programs include equestrian studies, disaster planning

POULTNEY—Green Mountain College added a major in applied environmental science and minors in equestrian studies and resilient and sustainable communities to its curriculum studies for the upcoming academic year. To major in applied environmental science and receive a bachelor of science degree, a student must minor in biology, chemistry, geology, or math. Graduates are eligible for a subsequent 40-hour course to be an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-certified hazardous materials technician, according to GMC Provost Thomas Mauhs-Pugh.

The college had been offering a horseback riding and a horsemanship and barn management course, as reported in the Rutland Herald. Students want to work with horses in a variety of contexts; horses may be used in wilderness and outdoor therapy regimens with a number of client populations.

The new resilient and sustainable communities minor leads into the school’s graduate program in the same discipline. Discussing redesigning and restructuring communities leads to endless career possibilities, said Professor Laird Christensen, who heads the graduate program. Disaster planning is only one component of the program’s focus. It attempts to merge creative, useful everyday design that improves quality of life while preventing problems in the future, regardless of precipitation or geological events.

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