November 14th, 2013
MIDDLEBURY — There are times when Colin Smith feels like a prisoner in his own body. Myotonic muscular dystrophy has made him feel constantly fatigued and has weakened his muscles to the point where he must limp along with a cane. But in his own mind, the 39-year-old can still see himself juggling a soccer ball, wielding a lacrosse stick and schussing down a ski slope.
SHOREHAM — An educational film series is being offered in Shoreham at the Platt Memorial Public Library during the month of November.
Two of the featured documentary films focus on the impacts that gas fracking has had on the water and environmental landscape. The last film focuses on the evidence of climate change through rapid glacial ice melt. Plans are also under way to offer additional educational opportunities early next year with an emphasis on practical energy saving alternatives.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Vermont Gas announces the approval from the Public Service Board to reduce rates effective Nov. 1. The reduction in the cost of natural gas will be passed on to residential and business customers, resulting in prices that are almost 44 percent less than fuel oil and 54 percent lower than propane.
When the Republican Party elected David Sunderland as its new party leader last Saturday in what was described as a contentious meeting, it was also, as Sunderland said, a deliberate change in direction.
“I think today what we can take away from this is that the Vermont Republican Party has voted for change — a change in direction, a change in tone, and we plan on going forward.”
MIDDLEBURY — An ad hoc committee charged with planning a new Middlebury municipal building and recreation center will explore the possibility of siting the rec. center on school-owned property off Creek Road, instead of on the town recreation fields off Mary Hogan Drive.
VERGENNES — About 20 months ago the U.S. Department of Labor announced that a new contractor would take over operation of the Northlands Job Corps in Vergennes at the end of December 2012, in the wake of a student beating scandal at the federal job-training center. On Dec. 1 CHP International Inc. will take the reins at the MacDonough Drive campus from the current contractor, Alutiiq LLC.
WATERBURY — The Vermont Republican Party is somewhat of an endangered species these days.
Republicans hold just 48 of 150 seats in the Vermont House of Representatives, seven of 30 seats in the Senate, and one of six statewide offices.
In 2012, Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, defeated GOP challenger Randy Brock by 21 points. Brock, a former state senator, outspent Shumlin but managed to secure the vote of just one-third of Vermonters.
NEW HAVEN — Vermont State Police Lt. Michael Manley has been appointed the new commander of the VSP’s Addison County barracks in New Haven. Manley, 35, succeeds Lt. Gary Genova, who retired last month after having served two-and-a-half years as leader of the state police’s force in the county.
Manley, a native of the Utica, N.Y., area, joined the VSP in 2000, soon after graduating from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa.