News Briefs

News Briefs: Lakes Region May 26

Officer receives commendation

FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries gave Sgt. Dale Kerber an official Lifesaver commendation for services to the community and surrounding area. The May 9 award cites three instances in which Kerber saved a life by administering the opioid antidote naloxone (trade name Narcan) to counter a drug overdose.

The first occurred on Feb. 28, 2015, when, working as a constable in Poultney, Kerber responded to an overdose complaint on Poultney’s Main Street. The second occurred the following May 30, when Kerber responded to a reported overdose on Apple Tree Lane in Fair Haven while on patrol as a Fair Haven officer. The third occurred Jan. 16, 2016. Again on patrol in Fair Haven, Kerber administered the drug to an overdosed individual on Liberty Street.

In all three instances, the individuals were revived and transported to Rutland Regional Medical Center. In the letter of commendation, Humphries pointed out that “In all cases the victims more than likely would not have survived” and thanked Kerber for his effort in making the community a safe place to live.

As constable in Poultney for 18 years and a full-time officer in Fair Haven for eight years, Kerber received training in recognizing heroin overdose and countering it by administering Narcan in 2014. Kerber is modest about his life-saving skills, saying it is “what we get paid to do.”

The Vermont Health Department recorded 452 emergency medical administrations of Narcan in 2015, according to spokesman Ben Truman.

Castleton Select Board considers outdoor consumption liquor licenses

BOMOSEEN—Rosemary Rogers, president of Trak-In Steak House in Bomoseen, hopes to get a reversal of the Castleton Select Board’s denial of a liquor license for outside consumption at the Trak-In. Appearing before the Board May 9, she summarized the history of the business. The restaurant will be less able to control consumption if it has no outside consumption license and patrons bring their own liquor to consume on the restaurant’s outdoor premises, Rogers explained.

Some people in the community feel that the restaurant was at fault in the seemingly alcohol-related accidental deaths of three local young people on March 19. Rogers said she feels as though the Board’s decision to revisit the license issue after the investigation into the accident is complete as punishment for the restaurant, and asked for a clear explanation.

Rogers, her son Dave Rogers, and the Board discussed the possibility of both the Trak-In and the Fishtail Tavern modifying their closing hours. The Trak-In is welcome to reapply for the outside consumption license with amended hours,

Castleton Town Manager Mark Shea commented May 18.

While the Board waited to discuss the Trak-In’s license in its deliberative session, it considered a request for first class liquor license approval with outside consumption by Lake Bomoseen Hospitality, LLC, owned by Daniel Brown, Khele Sparks, Stephen E. Bryant, and Youssef B. Chehade, all of Rutland. This is a first request, not a renewal.

The application requests being able to serve alcohol before noon, but Sparks explained that would only be for special occasions. There are two bars, one upstairs, and one below. Patrons walk through the outside consumption area before entering the building. The kitchen will close at 10 p.m. The Select Board all voted to approve the application.

Solar under fire

MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS—A number of Middletown Springs residents made their concerns known about gro-Solar’s application for a certificate of public good on the company’s planned Wescott Road solar energy project. Peter Bay is the project developer; Rod Viens is the company’s executive vice president. Because the project is relatively small and new, no screening process is required. The solar company has acquired rights to lease up to 30 acres.

Among the public complaints at the May 12 Select Board meeting were: the assurance that there are no residences within 1,000 feet is untrue, tax credits don’t accrue to the community, and the project’s small size enables it to avoid filing a decommissioning plan. In addition, there is no mechanism for the town to intervene; the Select Board should be able to intervene to speak on behalf of townspeople. Review procedures for solar ventures need not go through Act 250, but other commercial ventures do.

Representative Robin Chesnut-Tangerman explained that the town must request “party status” to be on the list that receives communication and notification on the project.

Working Lands Fund awards grants for sustainable forestry

PAWLET—Southwind Forestry Consultants, LLC, of Pawlet recently received a $20,000 grant for an excavator for sustainable harvesting of forest products. The award was one of four forestry grants given by the Working Lands Enterprise Fund in its fourth year of grantmaking. The current round of $634,000 in investments to 44 grantees is expected to leverage an additional $2.5 million in matching funds that will create jobs, increase income, and keep working lands acreage in production.

Other recipients are the RAFFL, receiving $17,558 to increase farm success through improvements in operational efficiency; Consider Bardwell Farm, $500 to attend the Good Food Mercantile in Chicago; and Vermont Sweetwater Bottling, $1,000 to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.

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