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The Vergennes Fire Department is indeed a full service organization. So it should come as no surprise that firefighters would respond to a local girl’s special appeal for help at the end of Vergennes Day this past Saturday. The girl had lost her father a year earlier and had written a special message in a balloon bouquet that she let loose in hopes that it would find its way to heaven. But the wind sent the bouquet into a tree in front of the Bixby Library. Firefighters responded, getting out the big ladder truck and freeing the balloon from the branches. The little girl was thus able to re-launch her message to her late father, who we’re sure is very proud of her.
 
Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger will step down from his job this Friday, Aug. 31, and will be succeeded by Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay. Finger, 67, was hired as town manager in 2000. During Finger’s administrative watch Middlebury built a new downtown bridge and a new police station. Middlebury’s two fire stations are currently being dramatically improved. It’s also a period during which the town has caught up on a lot of deferred maintenance on infrastructure, such as road, sidewalk and water system improvements. At the same time, at the direction of the selectboard, Finger has tried to keep the municipal tax rate in check — freezing it at one point for three consecutive years. Look for a complete story in Monday’s edition of the Independent.
 
About 50 former Girl Scouts who attended an international roundup at Ferrisburgh’s Button Bay more than 50 years ago will be reuniting at Basin Harbor this fall. Around 10,000 Girl Scouts from all over the world gathered on the shores of Lake Champlain at Button Bay for the 1962 Girl Scout Roundup. This Sept. 23-28, about 200 of them will come together at Basin Harbor Resort for the 50th reunion of the roundup and to celebrate the 100th birthday of Girl Scouting. Organizers said they will have participants coming from 31 states and four foreign countries: Great Britain, Denmark, Argentina and Australia. Organizer Catherine Brooks said, “We won’t have to pitch our tents or cook over campfires, but we will celebrate a shared experience and a shared memory.”
 
Lincoln resident Mari Cordes was among the Vermont healthcare professionals recognized for their work in Haiti. Cordes is president of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The Vermont organization this month received the union’s 2012 Bayard Rustin Human Rights Award in recognition of its relief and rebuilding efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, a dozen nurses, paramedics and EMTs who are VFNHP members traveled to Haiti to provide much-needed medical assistance. Members of the team work at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Out of that initial visit emerged the Workers Solidarity Clinic in Port-au-Prince, which provides vital medical services to the impoverished nation. The wellness clinic concentrates on immunization, mother/child care and preventive healthcare.
 
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce’s auction is officially open. To view items go to addisoncounty.com and click on the cute little gavel link to be taken to the auction web page. Proceeds from the auction will help the chamber promote local businesses and promote the region as a tourist destination. Many of the items will go to the live portion of the auction held in conjunction with the chamber’s annual meeting on Sept. 6 at the Vergennes Opera House. 

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