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By the way for Sep. 17

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has set a minimum age requirement of 12 for its online-only hunter education, bow-hunter education and trapper-education correspondence courses, which begin on Oct. 1. These three courses are completely remote. The department will continue to offer a limited number of traditional, in-person courses and home-study programs with no age requirement. Requests for exemptions to the age requirement for online classes should be made to the Hunter Education Program by contacting (802) 828-1193 or [email protected]. Exemptions will be considered for those age 12 and younger who are immune-compromised or otherwise unable to attend in-person classes. Anyone interested in taking hunter education classes should visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Hunter Education Program webpage at  vtfishandwildlife.com/hunt/hunter-education.  
A volunteer effort is under way to establish a free food pantry in New Haven. This will be a place that people who are struggling with food insecurity will be able to access nonperishables to feed their family. Organizers are currently searching for exterior paint for this project. If you have exterior primer, paint or other painting supplies available please reach out to Darcy Tardie at [email protected].
The Brendon P Cousino Med47 Foundation is planning a haunted forest in Bristol this Halloween. With the COVID-19 pandemic, families still don’t know what trick-or-treating will look like this year, so an outdoor event may be just the thing for the community. Organizers Garry and Cindy Cousino have a chunk of woods off Route 116 that might fit the bill. Tentative plans call for the haunted forest to be held Oct. 23, 24, 25, 30 and 31, with pre-packaged candy handed out from 4-6 p.m. for younger kids and scarier shows from 6-8 p.m. for older kids and adults. Trails are to be one-way, with families allowed to enter at controlled intervals. What better time to have to wear a mask? Plans also call for a pumpkin-carving contest with prizes. Organizer are seeking volunteers to perform and help set up props. There will be a planning meeting at the Cousino home on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. Please contact Cindy at 802-233-8334 if interested.
Speaking of Halloween, that kid-friendly occasion will be celebrated in New Haven — albeit with social distancing protocols to make sure trick-or-treaters avoid exposure to a real-life villain, COVID-19. This year, the town won’t organize the customary “haunted church.” Instead, boosters are inviting residents to decorate their own front yards, driveways, porches, or businesses for the community to enjoy a drive-by Halloween experience. If you don’t have an outdoor space but want to participate, organizers have space available. Boosters will share a map of places in town that are decorated for drive-by viewing. The maps will be available starting on Oct. 23 at Village Green Market, Vermont Food Collaborative, or online. If you have questions or want to get on the map, please contact the New Haven Events Committee at [email protected] or call Sara at 877-3080 or Vicki at 989-1334.
The Starksboro Public Library is now open for browsing. In their progress towards a fully open building, library officials are now allowing one family group to enter at a time. All browsers will need to sanitize hands or wash with soap and wear a face covering in order to protect the community. Just come to the library during open hours and ring the new doorbell. Staff will answer the door and explain the procedures. If you’d like to make an appointment in advance, please call 453-3732. Inter-library loan is available as well as delivery and curbside pickup.
If you’re stowing your boat for the winter and don’t believe you’ll want to take it out next spring, consider donating it to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum — if it’s in marketable condition. It’s a tax-deductible contribution that could help raise funds for the nonprofit LCMM. Those interested in donating a boat may call 802-475-2022, ext. 113, or email [email protected].

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