By the way for Nov. 22

The Nov. 6 General Election is in the rearview mirror, but voting continues in an important contest involving Mary Hogan Elementary School Crossing Guard Donna Woods. She’s one of the contenders for “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard,” a nationwide competition sponsored by the nonprofit “Safe Kids Worldwide.” Woods’ fans can vote for her once per day through Nov. 30, after which a judging panel will review the top five finishers and pick a winner. That winner will get bragging rights and $500 to help them better perform their student safety duties. And their school will get a first prize of $10,000. The organization will give $7,500 to the second-place finisher’s school and $5,000 for third place. Vote for Woods at “Rain, snow or shine, (Woods) is out there smiling and waving to those crossing as well as those driving — sometimes bedecked with her tiara and wand and dispensing pencils,” reads Woods’ bio for the competition.
Vergennes musician Chad Conant was recently one of the 15 finalists in the Advance Music Singer Songwriter Contest, which wrapped up Oct. 30 at Higher Ground in South Burlington. This indie-folk artist showcased a solid set of tunes. His influences include the Avett Brothers and Gregory Isakov.  He opened and closed his set with a banjo, dedicating his last tune to his wife, Amy. Although he didn’t win, judge Julie Beerworth (a VUHS teacher) pointed out that Chad did make it through qualifying rounds to get to the finals.
The folks at Vergennes Union High School said their fall musical, “Anything Goes,” was a huge success, filling the VUHS auditorium for three nights this past weekend. A couple acknowledgements for help with the show were left out of the playbill. The cast and crew meant to also thank some special local organizations for their generosity of props, publicity and financial support: Bixby Memorial Free Library, Neat Repeats, Sweet Charity and ReSource Store in Williston. 
The Middlebury United Methodist Church at the corner of North Pleasant and Seminary streets will be hosting a “free winter clothing giveaway” on several upcoming days. It’s an annual effort by the church to keep people warm during the cold months. The giveaway is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 23, from 2-5 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 24, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 30, from 2-5 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Anyone needing warm attire in invited.
United States Forest Service officials remind Vermonters they can harvest their own Christmas tree from approved locations in the Green Mountain National Forest at the bargain rate of $5. You just need to acquire the requisite tree removal permit from one of the Forest Service offices located in Rutland, Manchester Center or Rochester. Maps are available when you purchase your permit. The non-refundable permit must be attached to the tree — which can’t be more than 20 feet tall — before taking it. The height of the tree stump left after a tree has been cut should be six inches or less above the soil. Only one Christmas tree permit will be issued per household per year. Trees obtained under the Christmas tree permit may not be resold. For more information, call the Rochester Ranger Station at 802-767-4261.

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