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By the way for Jan. 24

If there’s a fire hydrant located near the edge of your property, area firefighters and local water department officials would appreciate it if you could free it from the considerable snow that has fallen during the past week. It only takes around 5 minutes to shovel out a hydrant, and it’s a chore firefighters won’t have to perform if they have to connect a hose to put down a fire.
 
Middlebury-area motorists take note: The Addison County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Addison Central School District and Betcha Transit to investigate drivers who violate the school bus red lights/stop sign. As part of this agreement, sheriff’s department deputies in unmarked vehicles will follow ACSD buses on routes to pursue any offenders who fail to halt — in either direction — when the bus’s red flashing lights and/or stop sign is activated. “We have experienced a number of close calls this year when motorists did not stop for the bus stop sign and students were crossing the road, especially on fast roads where there is little time to react,” ACSD Superintendent Peter Burrows wrote in an email to parents of district students. “Our law enforcement agencies have made this a priority across the state, with similar enforcement programs in place in Chittenden and Rutland counties.”
 
Reminder: The Bridport Grange’s 2019 legislative breakfast series will kick off this coming Monday, Jan. 28, at the Bridport Grange Hall. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the legislative program starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs to 8:45 a.m.
 
The Department for Children and Families’ Economic Services Division has asked all of its district offices to screen for, and potentially provide benefits to, affected Vermonters who have been furloughed as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. The division may be able to help with the cost of food, fuel assistance, and other household expenses. Furloughed federal employees may apply in person at their local district offices or online at dcf.vermont.gov/esd, or by calling 1-800-479-6151.
 
A free, four-week Tobacco Cessation Program will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 5 p.m. at Porter Hospital. Whether you’re working on keeping your New Year’s resolution or have simply resolved to reduce your smoking habit, start with this program. A trained tobacco treatment specialist will help you develop a plan to meet your goals. Registration is required. For more info or to register, contact: Courtney Thorn of Porter’s Community Health Team at 388-8860, or at [email protected].
 
If you are going ice fishing soon, planning a family fishing trip next summer, or want to check deer season dates for next fall, you’ll want to get copies of the 2019 Vermont Hunting and Trapping Guide and the Fishing Guide. Both are available free where licenses are sold and from Vermont Fish & Wildlife offices statewide. The two publications are updated with the latest laws and 2019 season dates as well as a lot of additional helpful information.  Digital versions of the publications can be found on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website (vtfishandwildlife.com).

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