By the way for Dec. 31

Most folks can’t wait to put 2020 into the rearview mirror, and you’ll be able to do it in style in Middlebury — thanks to the generosity of Middlebury American Legion Post 27. The Legion is again underwriting the costs of a New Year’s Eve fireworks display that can be viewed from the town’s recreation park at 277 Mary Hogan Drive. The splendid pyrotechnics display is expected to begin at around 6:30 p.m. Organizers ask that you stay in your car for the show, or remain near your car with immediate household members only. Mask use is required for anyone outside their cars.
The Vergennes Lions Club will pick up discarded Christmas trees and take them to the stump dump for chipping this Saturday, Jan. 2. Members of the Middlebury Rotary Club will begin picking up Christmas trees in that town early Saturday morning, Jan. 9, so please have your trees out by the road the night before. All trees must be free of tinsel, wire, lights and ornaments. No wreaths, please. If you miss the curbside pickup, residents living in the Addison County Solid Waste Management District can drop their trees off at the transfer station at 1223 Route 7 South in Middlebury, through the month of January.
Starksboro’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle claimed his first World Cup victory on Tuesday by winning a super-G event on the famous Stelvio course in Bormio, Italy, by what is considered a huge margin in ski racing — 0.79 second. Cochran-Siegle, a 28-year-old Mount Abraham Union High School grad and longtime member of the U.S. Ski Team, had been coming on strong this season. He earned his first World Cup podium finish just 10 days prior to Tuesday by taking second in a downhill race at another Italian ski venue, Val Gardena. His victory this week marked the first by a U.S. skier in a Super-G race since Bode Miller turned the trick in 2006.
“Cabin fever” is a common affliction during a typical Vermont winter. But this winter has been far from typical. The need to stay isolated indoors is even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has local emergency services providers concerned about a rise in the number of local folks needing mental health services. The statistics, provided by Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley, illustrate the concerns in Middlebury. Middlebury police responded to 31 cases of local folks experiencing mental health crises between Nov. 1 and Dec. 9 of this year. That’s up from 20 cases during the same period last year. If you or a loved one are dealing with mental health issues this year, the Counseling Service of Addison County has a 24-hour Emergency Hotline at 388-7641. Police are typically the first responders who engage and stabilize the person for ambulance transport to Porter, where they receive counseling from CSAC. Officers train with clinicians on responding to mental health calls. That training includes advanced courses on dealing with mental health cases and de-escalating crisis situations. “CSAC has been a wonderful ally in this, as has been Middlebury Regional EMS,” Hanley said.

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