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Vermont’s Archery Deer Season

Vermont Archery Deer Season

Vermontís archery deer season started October 4 this year. Photo by Tom Rogers

Hunters are enthusiastic about Vermont’s October 4-26 and December 6-14 split archery deer hunting season, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

“Deer are moving about and being seen more now with cooler weather to stimulate activity,” said Cedric Sanborn at R&L Archery in Barre. “Several hunters who have put out trail cameras are patterning deer activity and getting photos of nice bucks.”

“This year is very different because, unlike last year, there are very few apples in the woods and a lot of deer are feeding out in fields,” he added. “Hunters will do well to set up stands along deer trails leading into those fields.”

A hunter may take up to three deer in Vermont’s two-part archery season with three archery licenses. No more than one of the deer taken during archery season may be a legal buck. No antlerless deer may be taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMUs) D2, E1 or E2, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2014.

In Vermont a hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader). Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season. A “legal buck” is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer.

In order to purchase an archery license, the hunter must show a certificate of satisfactorily completing a bow hunter education course, or show a previous or current bow hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or sign an affidavit that they have previously held an archery license.

Hunters must have a standard hunting license in order to purchase an add-on archery deer hunting license, except that nonresidents may purchase an "archery only deer license" costing just $75. Licenses may be quickly and easily purchased on Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).

It is now legal to carry a pistol or revolver while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow season. The pistol or revolver MAY NOT be used to take game or dispatch the deer. It is illegal to carry a rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow deer season.

A person shall not take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow or crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public highway, except a public highway designated Class 4 on a town highway map. A person while on or within the traveled portion of a Class 4 public highway shall not take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

Tree stands and ground blinds may only be built or used if the hunter has landowner permission. This includes portable as well as permanent stands and blinds. A hunter constructing or using a stand or blind must permanently mark his or her name and address on it so that it may be conveniently and easily read. Landowners are exempted from this requirement. On Vermont State Wildlife Management Areas, it is illegal to use nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark.

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on page 21 of the "2014 Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Trapping," available online and where licenses are sold.

Hunters planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip or looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of the 2013 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report, which gives the number of deer taken in each town in last year’s deer hunting seasons. It’s available on Fish & Wildlife’s website (vtfishandwildlife.com) under Hunting & Trapping and then “Big Game.”

For more information, download the 2014 Deer Season Guide under “Items of Special Interest” on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website. You also can call 802-828-1000 or Email (fwinformation@state.vt.us).

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Fair Haven Concerned is relocating!

We are moving from our current location at 19 Washington Street to our new downtown location at 73 Main Street Fair haven.

We will open our doors for business on Monday November 3rd.

We will still be available at our current location to serve the community until then.

We urge you to stop by and see us. We are always accepting applications for volunteer positions.

We look forward to expanding our services to the community at our new site. Stay tuned for updates!

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Jamie Lee Thurston to Perform in Benefit for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont

Berkshire Bank and Cat Country 105.3 will present Jamie Lee Thurston in a benefit for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (www.pcavt.org) at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 24 at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available at the Paramount Theatre box office, call 802-775-0903 or visit www.paramountvt.org/
tickets.php
. All ages are welcome.

Country music star Jamie Lee Thurston is a 20-year Nashville veteran with three national recording contracts to his credit. Thurston has literally lived his life on the stage. A rare breed of entertainer who plays, write and sings his own music, he was wowed audiences the world over. His songs have been covered by the likes of Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and Rodney Atkins, the latter earning a Top 20 smash of the Thurston tune “15 Minutes.”

With his ninth album, “Off the Chain,” due by year-end, Jamie Lee was recently tabbed as a national spokesperson for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which will feature his song, “Ghosts in His Eyes,” in its upcoming documentary and music video. Fresh off a tour of Europe and our nation’s capitol, Jamie Lee never — ever — fails to deliver the party.

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Pre K visits Proctor Fire House

Pre K visits Proctor Fire House

On October 13th The Sunshine Nursery School Pre K of Proctor visited the Proctor Fire Department. The Three and Four year olds got an opportunity to look at the fire engines close up. They also received tips on what to do in a fire and received fire safety coloring books and pencils and rulers along with a peel and stick on Proctor Junior Firefighter Badge. The kids also got an opportunity to see firefighters in full turnout gear and in there oxygen masks. This was a great way for them to not be afraid of Firefighters with all of there gear on in an emergency. Photo and caption by Joseph G. Bernor.

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Lots of Kittens Available for Adoption at RCHS!

It's kitten season at the Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) and they currently have over 25 young felines available for adoption! They have long-haired kittens, short-haired kittens, boy-kittens, girl-kittens and all types of colors to choose from. All of the kittens are spayed or neutered and in need of lifelong homes. Kittens are wonderfully entertaining and full of spirit and will keep you company through the years ahead! Please contact RCHS at 483-6700 or visit www.rchsvt.org to learn more about which kittens are available for adoption.

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BRGNS To Hold Annual Stick Season Social Fundraiser

Black River Good Neighbor Services is holding its fifth annual Stick Season Social at Sam’s Steakhouse on Saturday, November 1st starting at 6:00 p.m. “Stick Season is that time between the fall leaves and the winter snow. There are no free concerts and not much to do, so it’s a great time to party,” said Peter LaBelle, President of BRGNS. “This is a fun fund raising dinner and it is our major fund raiser of the year. It will help BRGNS with operating costs so it can continue to help local people in need of food, rent, utilities and heat assistance.”

This year BRGNS welcomes the Vermont Country Store, People’s United Bank, and Vermont Properties and Development as major sponsors of the event.

In addition to dinner, the evening will include a cash bar, a terrific silent auction, and lots of raffle items and door prizes. Sam’s has planned a full buffet including its signature salad bar and a variety of entrées and desserts.

Silent auction items to date include the chance to get your name as a character in an Archer Mayor novel, the chance to fire 100 rounds with a vintage WWI machine gun, and new this year, a chance to appear as a guest chef on the new cooking show in Ludlow – “Across Our Table”.

Other auction items include Swedish massage, massage therapy, a handcrafted stained glass panel, 100 gallons fuel oil, cord of wood, painted portrait of your pet, family portrait photography session, skiing lift tickets, ski gear, merchandise and service gift certificates, oil and watercolor paintings and framed photographs, carriage ride and picnic for four, golf packages, bed and breakfast stays, restaurant gift certificates, hand hooked rug, yoga class, gold spa memberships, gift bags and baskets, children’s books, fall cleanup packages, and lots more.

Tickets are $55 per person, including dinner, gratuities and tax and can be purchased at BRGNS Thrift Store, Peoples United Bank, the Book Nook, and The Wine & Cheese Depot, all located in Ludlow. Or, and this is the really easy way to buy, you may purchase tickets on line at www.brgn.org. Please call 802-228-3663 with any questions. Tickets must be purchased in advance and seating is limited. BRGNS is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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WPVFD

West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department

Ready and waiting – for you; members of the West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department are looking forward to again cooking a hearty pancake breakfast. Come one, come all – to the department’s November 9th pancake breakfast event!” Left to right, holding banner: Jesse Mead and Tyler Mullen. Back row, left to right: Ryan Mullen, Joe Mullen, Dave Hosley, David Ricard, Sr., Morgan Hosley.

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Learn Basket Weaving at Compass

Basket Weaving

Join Maura Clancy, of Red Barn Baskets, for a one day basket making workshop at the Compass Music and Arts Center on Sunday, November 2nd from 10-3pm. No experience is necessary.

Just in time for the holidays, participants will make their own versatile market basket. Use it as a centerpiece for your holiday table, give it as a special gift, or put it to use around the house. Come have fun and learn a new and rewarding skill – you will be surprised with the finished product!

Maura has been a basket maker for 10 years, creating hand-woven baskets of traditional design in addition to designs of her own. She has displayed and taught basket weaving throughout Vermont.

The class fee, which is due in advance, is $80. Materials are included, but each participant is asked to bring their own spray bottle, tape measure, flat head screw driver, a towel and sharp scissors. The class size is limited and the deadline to sign up is October 29th so register now by calling 802-247-4295 or email info@cmacvt.org.

The Compass Music and Arts Center is open seven days a week from 10-5pm and is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.) . www.cmacvt.org.

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Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos at the Vermont Folklife Center

On November 1, 2014 from 2:00pm-8:00pm the Vermont Folklife Center will host its third annual Middlebury celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the upstairs gallery. The event will feature homemade Mexican food, a Día de los Muertos altar constructed by Spanish professor and former IBM engineer, Mario Martinez, and a performance by the Burlington-based brass band, Brass Balagan,

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican cultural celebration that honors friends and relatives who have passed on. Regarding Dia de los Muertos, Martinez states, "It’s one of the most important celebrations in our culture. It involves altars, flowers, fruits, candles, and favorite food of the loved ones." El Dia de los Muertos is a time for remembrance and public celebrations, “we bring flowers to the graves and spend the night in the cemetery celebrating, eating, singing, and telling stories about our dead family members.”

In addition to public events, families build altars in their homes to honor and remember those who have died. Notes Martinez, “in our homes, we get together with friends and family and celebrate with them in a very private and beautiful moment. We believe that during those days our dead ancestors visit us and we welcome them in our thoughts and with beauty - flowers, the light of the candles, and food.”

Altar construction for this year’s celebration will begin at noon on Saturday, November 1. Visitors are welcome to watch the altar construction and ask questions. From 2:00pm-4:00pm all are encouraged to bring mementos or pictures of their loved ones—people or pets—to decorate the altar. At 4:00pm attendees are invited to share stories about a loved one lost, in Spanish or English, bringing them to life with your words. And from 5:00pm-8:00pm there will be a reception featuring homemade Mexican food and live music. Images of previous years’ Día de los Muertos altar are available at http://bit.ly/SFWi98 and on.fb.me/1oHoATe.

Vermont Folklife Center hosts Día de los Muertos annually to provide the local Mexican farm worker community with an opportunity to maintain vital ties to their living cultural traditions. In addition, this annual event allows Vermonters to learn more about the cultural practices of migrant farm workers from Mexico living in Vermont, and serves as an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange.

The 2014 Día de los Muertos celebration is a partnership between the Vermont Folklife Center, the Addison County Farmworker Coalition, Middlebury College Juntos! and the UVM Extension Huertas Project. Support for the event has been provided by Phoenix Feeds and Nutrion, Misty Knoll Farm, City Market, Bourdeau Brothers of Middlebury, Monument Farms, Hannafords,Neat Repeats Resal Shop, and the Middlebury Natural Food Coop.

The 2014 Día de los Muertos celebration is free and open to the public. Donations to defray costs are appreciated.

The Vermont Folklife Center's mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.

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Forest Service To Use Prescribed Fire to Improve Wildlife Habitat

Rutland, Vt. – Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) officials have announced that they, in partnership with local fire departments, are planning to use prescribed fire to treat approximately 75 to 100 acres of the more than 400,000-acre national forest. The Forest Service says that it will use prescribed fire as a management tool to reduce heavy accumulations of brush to restore critical wildlife habitat, regenerate early successional growth, and improve overall watershed conditions on the national forest in Vermont.

In the coming weeks, GMNF fire personnel will use prescribed fire in certain areas on the Forest. The prescribed fires are not likely to impact local residents, although smoke will be visible from the surrounding area. Nearby residents may smell smoke. The timing of the prescribed burns depends on weather and vegetation conditions that meet very specifically defined limits – called the “prescription” -- so the ignition dates are subject to some adjustment, though the “burn window” is not likely to exceed more than two weeks. The Forest Service will announce additional details on burn locations closer to the date of planned ignition. If a burn cannot be completed during the designated burn window, or soon after, it will likely be postponed until the spring of 2015.

Prior to each prescribed fire, crews will have already prepared the burn area by constructing control lines on the ground. On the first day of ignition, crews will further secure the burn perimeter by “blacklining,” (a method of applying fire to a swath of vegetation immediately inside the control lines) to create a wide barrier that contains the fire within the designated area. On the second day, firefighters will use drip torches to light vegetation in the interior of the burn area.

Prescribed fire restores declining wildlife habitat and improves watershed conditions. The areas planned for burning are now overgrown with thick brush and have been identified by the Forest Service as being critical wildlife habitat. Plants in the area used as forage by wildlife have become coarse, dense, and overcrowded. The post-fire landscape will support a more diverse variety of grasses and forbs, which will be more palatable and nutritious for wildlife species. Each burn site will be closed to the public, and access will be limited for the duration of prescribed fire activities. If it is necessary to temporarily close Forest roads and trails, the Forest Service will notify the public of these closures by posting signs. Such closures will be subject to modification based on the actual date of ignition during the burn window. Firefighter and public safety will be the highest priority for each prescribed fire.

The Forest Service continues to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires through treatments such as mechanical thinning and prescribed fire. In 2013, the Forest Service completed treatments on approximately 2.4 million acres of National Forest System lands, exceeding its target by more than 70%. Treatments such as thinning and prescribed fires have been proven to be effective in changing fire behavior and helping control efforts on hundreds of wildfires nationwide. Thinning, prescribed fires, and managing wildfires to achieve natural resource management objectives can help to prevent uncharacteristic wildfires with minimal impacts to air quality while smoke from uncharacteristic wildfires may pose significant risks to public health and safety.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with a mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on the country’s national forests contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes twenty states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region.

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Vermont Bluegrass at Tinmouth’s Old Firehouse

John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt

John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt return to Tinmouth’s Old Firehouse on Friday, October 24 at 7:30. This is the final concert in the 2014 Series. Work is underway by the volunteer organizers to be sure there is music in the Old Firehouse starting in April.

John and Sarah’s music is grounded in the old field of traditional Bluegrass music and nourished by the sounds of the 21st century. They have blazed a trail of bonafide home-spun singing and songwriting, playing guitar, banjo, and an upright bass that towers over Sarah. The songs on their new CD, "Old Field Pines," stand out in the open, firmly planted in old sounds but calling out anew. Songs like “Ten Thousand Lies” and “She’s Leaving the Farm for the City” are sung like mountain songs, but are clearly about the 21st Century. The Old Firehouse, with its modest size, outstanding acoustics, and warm, friendly audiences is the place to hear them.

The Old Firehouse is at Vermont 140 and Mountain View Road in downtown Tinmouth. Doors open at 7 PM. Coffee, tea, and locally made treats are available, provided by local groups to support their activities. A donation of $10 is requested. 90% goes to the performers, with the balance paid to the town for upkeep of the Old Firehouse.

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Local student sings The National Anthem at conference

Kassaundra Aines

By Natalie Coons

Kassaundra Aines is a Senior at Rutland High School, also a student of the Human Services Department at Stafford Technical Center. She is also a member of the local chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. The FCCLA conference was held on Friday, October 17th in Manchester, New Hampshire joining chapters from both New Hampshire and Vermont. It was a good time had by all who attended.

Kassie has a love of singing and was thrilled for the chance to sing our country's National Anthem in honor of the start of the conference. She is hoping to take all that she is learning from the Human Services program and these leadership skills to someday open her own pre-school.

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5th Annual Jean Cooper Memorial Golf Tournament Raises over $2,000 for Foley Cancer Center

The staff at the Foley Cancer Center

The staff at the Foley Cancer Center display the check for $2,000 raised by the 5th Annual Jean Cooper Memorial Gold Tournament. Photo provided.

Rutland, VT - Golfers teed up at the 5th Annual Jean Cooper Memorial Golf Tournament to raise over $2,000 in support of patient care at the Foley Cancer Center. The tournament was hosted in September at the Country Meadow Golf Club in Fort Ann, New York and has raised over $6,000 since it began.

“We are proud to have organized this tournament in memory of our beloved Aunt Jean,” says Tammy Casey, one of a committee of family and friends who organized the tournament. “We are honored to extend the proceeds to patient care at the Foley Cancer Center because of the great care and compassion Jean received by the cancer care team. This tournament was a tribute to the affection she felt for all those who cared for her. We look forward to hosting the event again next year.”

“We are grateful to be designated as the beneficiary of the tournament’s proceeds,” said Allan Eisemann, MD, Medical Director of the Foley Cancer Center. “This event supports our efforts to provide quality care and comfort to patients and their families facing the challenges of cancer.”

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Castleton Football Supports Coach to Cure MD Program through A Date with Nate

Spartans make sixth grader afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy an honorary member for a day.

Castleton, Vt. - As the Castleton football team put forth a record-breaking performance on the field on Saturday October 11th, they also made the game an unforgettable day for one young man who had the opportunity to be an honorary member of the Spartans team for a day.
Sixth grader Nathan Cosgrove was invited to be involved with Castleton’s entire game day experience as part of the Coach to Cure MD program, an initiative supported by the American Football Coaches Association which seeks to raise money for research focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

“I just thought it was a great opportunity to bring some happiness to a family that needed it with all they have been through recently,” said head coach Tony Volpone. “Fortunately it went as good as it could go. The players were very receptive and welcoming to Nathan, his family and his friends.”

Cosgrove is currently afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. The disease strikes boys across all races and cultures, causing progressive muscle weakness, which eventually leads to wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory function.

Being limited to a wheelchair didn’t hinder Cosgrove from being a part of the team on Saturday, as he was able to join the Spartans in the locker room before game and then lead them out to the turf prior to the start of the contest. At halftime he was also presented with a Castleton football jersey and a football signed by the entire team.

“It was great having Nate at the game last week. It puts everything in perspective for us,” said junior linebacker Jay Morgan. “He has such a great attitude for all that he is going through and was all smiles on the day and I think it motivated us and once again reinforced how blessed we are to play football.”

The youngest Spartan also got to celebrate Castleton’s 65-9 victory over Anna Maria after the game, taking part in the singing of the alma mater while helping to hold the Helmet Trophy – the traveling trophy the two teams have played for over the past six years. He finished off the day by addressing the team during their post-game talk on the field.

“After the game I asked Nate if we put up enough points for him and he said it was plenty,” said Morgan.

For more information on Coach to Cure MD program and Duchenne muscular dystrophy visit CoachToCureMD.org.

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CSJ presents Dr. Pridas Horror Show on Oct. 29

College of St. Joseph will present Dr. Prida’s Horror Show at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, at Hop ‘N Moose in Downtown Rutland.

CSJ Associate Professor of English Dr. Jonas Prida will take a fun and visual look at what scares us the most and why we love it. Topics of the talk will include the culture of horror in the U.S. and elsewhere; scary icons such as dolls, clowns, and monsters; and discussions with the audience about the most frightening books and movies of all time.

The presentation is free and open to all. Hop ‘N Moose, at 41 Center St. in Rutland, will create a special, themed cocktail for the event.

Prida teaches a variety of courses in English and cultural studies. His area of focus is on popular culture and Weird Tales. He earned his PhD in English from Tulane University in 2006 and has worked at College of St. Joseph since 2008. Prida spent many of his teenage years watching Evil Dead II, the Hellraiser series, and reading Robert Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.

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Watch 55th Annual Rutland City Halloween Parade Live on PEGTV

Rutland, VT - PEGTV, Rutland County’s public access television station, will be broadcasting the 55th annual Rutland City Halloween Parade live on cable channel 15 starting at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

For over 20 years PEGTV has worked to deliver this special night of fun and revelry to those who can’t make it to downtown Rutland. The parade will also be rebroadcast later in the week and then be available online via PEGTV’s video on demand portal. “This is PEGTV’s premiere live telecast of the calendar year,” said executive director, Michael Valentine. “People have come to expect our coverage so we work very hard to produce a quality event.”

PEGTV is comprised of Channels 15, 20 and 21 and is available to all cable subscribers throughout Rutland County. Streaming programming, video on demand services and hyper-local weather forecasts are also available online at www.pegtv.com

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Tips from RCHS about Avoiding Wildlife When Driving

With fall arriving, more wildlife is moving about especially at night and the Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) has a few tips. It’s important to be particularly alert when driving, especially at night. Slow down in wildlife areas such as near ponds, rivers, farms and woods. Pay attention to both sides of the road for animals that might be ready to step out in front of your car. Look for animal’s reflective eyes which are often visible from a distance. However, Moose eyes do not reflect like deer eyes. Motorcyclist are especially at risk with a collision with a larger animal such as a moose or deer. However, large deer and moose can greatly damage a car and cause serious injuries. Because animals often travel in groups, if you see one on the road slow down to avoid others who may be following. Your car is not recognized by animals as a predator and even if they see it they may run out in front of you. If you hit a deer or moose, pull off to the side of the road and put on your flashers. Don’t approach the animal. Report the collision to the state wildlife agency or police. For more information please contact RCHS at 483-6700.

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Rutland Regional Offers AARP Smart Driver Course™

Rutland, Vermont –The AARP Smart Driver Course™ is the nation’s first and largest refresher course for drivers age 50 and older. It has given millions of drivers the skills and tools they need to drive safely on today’s roads, allowing them to remain independent for many years to come. And the best part? There are no tests to pass - just useful information to keep you safe on the road!

The program will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 8am-12:30pm in the CVPS/Leahy Community Health Education Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center. The fee for non-AARP members is $20 or $15.00 for members. To qualify for the member rate, please put your AAPR member number in the memo section of your check. Checks should be made out to AARP, write AARP Class on the check, and mail it directly to Baird Morgan, 799 Elm Street, Florence, VT 05744 by November 1, 2014. Registration is required. Register online at www.RRMC.org or call 802.772.2400.

The new and improved course curriculum was designed with the participant in mind. Find out how to adjust or manage your driving skills with respect to age related changes in vision, hearing and reflexes. Learn defensive driving techniques, new traffic laws, rules of the road and how certain medications might affect driving skills. In addition, many auto insurance companies provide a discount rate for graduates of the program.

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Take a Time Out for Turtles: Volunteers Needed for Nesting Beach Clean Up Day

Softshell Turtle

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is looking for volunteers to help with spiny softshell turtle nesting beaches on Saturday, October 25 at North Hero State Park. Photo by Tom Rogers, Vt Fish & Wildlife.

The annual spiny softshell turtle beach cleanup day is on Saturday, October 25, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help. Participants are asked to arrive at North Hero State Park between 10 and 11 a.m.

Volunteers will pull up vegetation on nesting beaches to prepare turtle nesting sites for next year. They may also find a few hatchlings that occasionally remain in nests underground this late in the year. In addition to threatened spiny softshell turtles, these nest sites are also used by map turtles, painted turtles, and snapping turtles.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist Steve Parren will have hatchling spiny softshell turtles on hand and will talk about his long-term recovery efforts with the species. Some hatchling turtles will be raised in captivity by the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center while they are small and most vulnerable to predation. They will be released back into Lake Champlain next spring.

“This is a great way to help conserve a threatened species right here in Vermont,” said Parren. “It’s also a fun way to learn more about the turtles and to see some recently hatched baby turtles.”

Participants are asked to dress in layers of warm clothes and to bring work gloves, a leaf rake, short-handled tools such as trowels, and their own lunch. Families and kids are welcome. The cleanup may run until 4 p.m., although participants can choose how long to assist.

“Last year we had nearly 50 participants, so we’re anticipating a strong turnout again this year,” said Parren.

To get to North Hero State Park, follow Route 2 north past Carry Bay in North Hero. Take a right on Lakeview Drive, just before Route 2 swings west toward Alburg. Follow Lakeview almost to the end until you reach the North Hero State Park entrance sign on the left. Drive to the end of the road always bearing right

For more information, please contact Eric Lazarus at 802-658-8505 or ericlazarus@myfair
point.net
.

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