News Briefs

News Briefs: Lakes Region

Community renewal

PAWLET—As part of a package of nearly $40 million in Vermont downtown and village center designation projects, Mach’s General Store and Flower Brook Brewery in Pawlet received a $146,431 tax credit allocation. Damaged by flood in 2011, fire in 2014, the 1804 brick structure faces a $1.3 million dollar complete restoration.

Police chief renews contract

CASTLETON—After serving a year as head of the Castleton police department, Peter Mantello accepted a three-year contract to continue as police chief. The select board praised his approachability, improving relations not only with Castleton University students but also with the grade-school set. Originally from Bennington, Mantello holds both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in education from Castleton State College.

School reorganization at ARSU

Representatives from the school districts of Benson, Castleton-Hubbardton, Fair Haven, Hubbardton, Orwell and West Haven have elected Alyson Eastman to chair the Act 46 Study Committee. They plan to hold at least one public forum in each of the participating towns to hear from the community as they determine whether forming a union district is advisable and should be taken to the voters.

They are charged with preparing a report to submit to the state Board of Education, including all the elements that Title 16 §706b and Act 46 require, in time for a community vote—if a vote is so advised—on March 1.

Representatives on the Act 46 study committee are: Benson, Amy Munger and Eric Shaw; Castleton, Julie Finnegan, Toni Lobdell, Tim Smith, and Tom Spangenberg; Fair Haven, Michael Bache, David Carrabino, Roy Eckler, and Lauritz Rassmussen, Orwell, Glen Cousineau and Alyson Eastman; Hubbardton, Jeff Breslen; and West Haven, Rick Wilson, as well as Superintendent Ron Ryan, Director of Finance; Laura Jakubowski, Director of Technology; Chris Cole, the executive director of VSBA; and the lead consultant for VSBA, Steve Sanborn.

A boon for title searchers, historians

PAWLET—Land record documents for the town of Pawlet have been indexed and scanned into Cott Systems software. Researchers must pay $1 per page for printing the images from their own computers, a fee set by state statute. They are available at

Farmers market disbands

WEST PAWLET—After three-and-a half years of operation, the West Pawlet Farmers Market has disbanded. Organizers said that, although they had enthusiastic supporters, the market simply did not develop a broad enough base to become truly viable. Wood Mountain Fish customers may continue to pick up their orders on Friday evenings at the Fish & Game building. Quill Hill Farm will continue to bring its vegetables on an intermittent basis, with current selections posted on the West Pawlet Community Farmers Market Facebook page. Thanks to regular vendors Consider Bardwell Farm, Pine Woods Farm, Flour Girl Bakeshop, Quill Hill Farm, Flatlander Farm, Dance Hill Farm, and Wood Mountain Fish for their support.


to Benson eighth graders who raised more than $1,000 from the lunches they sold at Benson Family Day, and thanks to the folks who bought those lunches.

to the Bartholomew family for winning the first place float prize in the Benson Family Days parade with the theme “Farm Livin’ is the Life for Me”; to Book Brothers and crew from West Haven, second place; and Charlotte and Stephen Hall, third.

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