2018 End of the Year review

Jan. 3 – Ludlow residents petitioned for revote on school merger

LUDLOW, Vt. – Ludlow residents submitted enough signatures to the Ludlow Town Clerk’s office, a total of 137, to petition the Ludlow Elementary School Board to call for a revote on the article that formed the Ludlow, Mount Holly Unified Union School District. As a result, during the recent Ludlow Elementary School Board Meeting on Jan. 3, 2018, the revote was warned. The push for a revote is a result of reported widespread confusion in regards to the initial vote for the merger.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Jan. 4 – Gov. Phil Scott delivered State of the State address

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott delivered the 2018 State of the State address, highlighting progress made in 2017, and recommitting to an agenda focused on economic growth and affordability, while protecting the vulnerable. The governor also called for continued action and outlined proposals to make Vermont more affordable, attract and retain working families and young professionals, and strengthen the economy.

Jan. 12 – Ice jam at Mill St. Bridge caused flooding, evacuations

CAVENDISH, Vt. – An ice jam at the Mill River Bridge in Cavendish caused flooding of the Mack Molding parking lot and Mill Street. According to Assistant Fire Chief, Abe Gross, the ice floes had backed up over a half-mile stretch of the Black River, jamming at the Mill Bridge location. The Cavendish Fire Department urged four families to evacuate.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Jan. 22 – Gov. Phil Scott signed H.511 into law

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott has signed H. 511, an act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older, into law. In his address, he said, “I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children.”

The law would take affect on July 1, 2018.

Jan. 27 – Springfield Citizen and organization of the year

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Donald S. Whitney as 2017 Citizen of the Year and Springfield Co-op as 2017 Organization of the Year for their enormous positive impact on the Springfield area community.

Feb. 4 – Super Bowl LLI

NATION – Philedelphia Eagles defeated New England Patriots 41-33 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. in their first Super Bowl victory.

Feb. 6 – Ludlow revote reaffirmed merger, BRHS will close by 2020

LUDLOW, Vt. – Voters in Ludlow returned to the polls to cast their ballots on a revote for the proposed merger between Ludlow and Mount Holly. The revote resulted in 288 “yes” votes and 231 “no” votes, confirming the merger.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Feb. 9 – XXII Winter Olympic Games opened in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Feb. 16 – Gov. Phil Scott designated Elks Association Day

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott designated Feb. 16, 2018 as Elks Association Day in Vermont. Approximately 50 Elks from across Vermont traveled to Montpelier to witness the signing of the proclamation.

Feb. 20 – Congressman Peter Welch visited Kurn Hattin students

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – The children and staff of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children were very excited to welcome U.S. Representative for Vermont, Peter Welch, and show him around the campus. To the delight of the children, Congressman Welch wore the Kurn Hattin hat that was given him as he drove off to another appointment.

Feb. 22 – The Importance of Hope, community forum on addiction

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The community in the greater Bellows Falls area came together to fill the seats of the Bellows Falls Opera House for “The Importance of Hope,” a forum for community action centered around prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement of opioid addiction. The two-hour forum focused on first-hand stories from community members in recovery, family members who have been impacted by addiction, and drug prevention and treatment agencies to answer the question, “How can we fix it?”

By Amanda Wedegis, The Shopper

March 1 – Steel tariffs

NATION – President Trump announced imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum. He authorized the tariffs on March 8.

March 14 – CTES’s George Thomson won Principal of the Year

CAVENDISH, Vt. – The Vermont Principals Association awarded Cavendish Town Elementary School Principal George Thomson the Henry R. Giaguque Vermont Elementary Principal Award for 2018. The honor came as Thomson was set to retire after 29 years as principal of CTES.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

March 17 – GMUHS teams competed in Junior Iron Chef competition

CHESTER, Vt. – Three Junior Iron Chef teams at Green Mountain Union High School competed in the 11th annual Junior Iron Chef competition. Green Mt. Cheftains took home the Mise en Place award for teamwork, organization, skill, and neatness. The Skillet Takes came home with the Local Lively award for best use of local ingredients in their recipe.

March 24 – March for our Lives

LUDLOW, Vt. – Black River High School students organized and implemented a whirlwind trip down to Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives protest to join a million others who marched to bring awareness to gun violence in our schools and in our communities, and to demand change from our legislators. The students were also welcomed to the city by Senator Leahy, who hosted a reception for Vermonters who made the trip.

March 28 – Jesus Christ Superstar rocked the Opera House

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice took the stage at the Bellows Falls Opera House in a production by Main Street Arts. Local talent from around the region came together to put on this two weekend run of the musical inspired by the last days of Jesus Christ’s life and Judas Iscariot’s betrayal.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Shopper

March 31 – Easter Fest delighted with food, fellowship, and 6,000 hidden eggs

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Volunteers from the Association of Springfield Area Churches hosted an Easter Fest held at Riverside Park. They prepared 6,000 eggs, filling each one with candy, a verse of scripture, and tickets for prize drawings.

By Karen Engdahl, The Shopper

April 12 – Ludlow announced new municipal manager

LUDLOW, Vt. – The town and village of Ludlow Board Chairs unanimously voted to appoint Scott Murphy as the new municipal manager. Murphy took over the reins from Frank Heald, who stepped down after 15 years of service to the Ludlow community.

April 27 – KMA Publications Inc. acquired The Message of the Week

LUDLOW, Vt. – Robert Miller, owner of The Vermont Journal & The Shopper, announced the purchase of The Message of the Week, which merged the newspaper into the circulation of The Vermont Journal and The Shopper.

May 6 – The 62nd Apple Blossom Cotillion

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The 62nd Apple Blossom Cotillion featured 13 contestants and their escorts, and a record 25 future cotillionaire couples. This year’s theme, On the Big Screen, called back to beloved movie soundtracks such as “Ghost Busters” and “Star Wars,” as well as recent films such as “Moana” and “Kung Fu Panda,” with choreography by the new director Madison Moreau. 2018 Apple Blossom Queen, Eliza Rounds, who was accompanied by Hayden Morancy, was crowned the 2018 Apple Blossom Queen.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Vermont Journal & The Shopper

May 12 – Ludlow Little League Opening Day Parade

LUDLOW, Vt. – Ludlow Little League teams rode atop fire trucks and other emergency vehicles through downtown Ludlow during the Ludlow Opening Day Parade. The parade ended at the Ludlow Little League field on Pleasant Street Ext. in time for an opening ceremony and 10 a.m. first pitch.

May 19 – Royal Wedding

INTERNATIONAL – Actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth granted the couple the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex upon their marriage.

May 19 – BRHS pop concert celebrated school history

LUDLOW, Vt. – Katie Herrle, music director of the band and chorus ensembles at Black River Middle/High School, took an unorthodox approach to this year’s Pops Concert. The band and chorus together performed a piece from every decade since Black River’s first year of operation in 1939 to present, alongside a slideshow that honored past and current students and alumni for their contributions to the community, showing the important role the school has played in our community and in shaping future generations.

  By Aiyana Fortin, The Vermont Journal

May 24 – Ludlow Auditorium dedicated to retired municipal manager Frank Heald

LUDLOW, Vt. – Family members, colleagues, and community members gathered at the Ludlow Auditorium Thursday, May 24 for a luncheon and the official dedication of the “Francis J. Heald Auditorium” to honor retired Ludlow Municipal Manager, Frank Heald.

Jim Alic, vice chair of FOLA, led the dedication honoring Heald saying, “The combination of Ralph [Ralph Pace, FOLA Board Chair] and Frank is what has turned this auditorium into such an active community center for all of us…. this will henceforth be known as the Heald Auditorium.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

June 4 – Triple Peaks LLC sold Okemo Mountain to Vail Resorts

LUDLOW, Vt. – Triple Peaks LLC, owned by Tim and Diane Mueller and their children Ethan and Erica Mueller, announced they entered into a purchase agreement with Vail Resorts Inc.

June 9 – Class of 1978 had largest attendance at Chester Alumni Weekend

CHESTER, Vt. – Alumni of Chester High School and Green Mountain Union High School and their families came from all over the U.S. to join over 200 local members of the community as they gathered for their annual alumni parade. The Class of 1978 celebrated their 40th reunion, and had the largest attendance this year.

By Aiyana Fortin, The Vermont Journal

June 11 – The Federal Communications Commission officially repealed Net Neutrality

June 15 – Gary McKenney honored at Springfield HS Alumni Assoc. banquet

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Gary McKenney, retired marketing teacher, was named as the Springfield High School Alumni Assoc. honored guest for the 2018 Alumni Weekend. Springfield High School had the privilege of McKenney’s unorthodox and creative teaching style for 25 years, 1970–1995.

June 16 – Proctorsville Green dedicated to Rich Svec

PROCTORSVILLE, Vt. – On June 16, the community gathered along with family, friends, and curlers to honor the incredible contribution former town manager Rich Svec made to Cavendish, his family, and to his fellow curlers. As part of the curling tradition, Rich loved the piper who lead them on to the ice so it was fitting that it was a piper, followed by the curlers with brooms in hand, that walked around the green beginning both the dedication of the Proctorsville Green and to celebrate Rich’s life.

June 17 – Bellows Falls celebrated another successful Alumni Weekend

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – There’s something to be admired in the unwavering pride, sense of community and school “Fear The Purple” spirit, and loyalty in Bellows Falls. The BFUHS “Class of 1968” were this year’s honored guests for Alumni Weekend. The annual “crowning of the queen” and her court took place on The Square with BFUHS senior, Paxton Santorelli, being crowned 2018 Alumni Queen. The queen’s court included Hayley Decelle, Baylee Davis, Sarah Scarlett, and Zoe Schemm.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

July 1 – Vermont got greener

REGION – As of Sunday, July 1, 2018, Vermont legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Gov. Phil Scott signed bill H .511, or Act 86, back in January, making Vermont the ninth state to allow personal use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for individuals over 21. Vermont was the first state to pass the law through Legislature.

By Shawntae Stillwell, The Vermont Journal & The Shopper

July 2 – Wendy Harrison appointed Rockingham municipal manager

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Rockingham Select Board and Bellows Falls Trustees appointed Wendy Harrison as municipal manager, serving as the chief administrative officer of the town of Rockingham and the village of Bellows Falls. Her first day in office was July 2. Harrison’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in economics, focusing on Environmental and Urban Economics.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

July 4 – Happy birthday, Calvin Coolidge

PLYMOUTH NOTCH, Vt. – For the first time in 20 years, fireworks lit up the Plymouth Notch sky to kick off a two-day celebration of American independence and the birth of its 30th president, Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge is the only U.S. president born on Independence Day, and July 4 has been celebrated at his birthplace in Plymouth Notch for many decades. The Coolidge Foundation and the United States Citizen and Immigration Services hosted an official naturalization ceremony. The American Legion Honor Guard, Post 31, from Rutland, Vt. presented the colors, led by U.S. Marshal John Curtis.

By Aiyana Fortin, The Vermont Journal

July 4 – Spencer Hollow Schoolhouse celebrated new life

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – According to Don Whitney, local historian and lifelong resident of Springfield, the Spencer Hollow Schoolhouse opened its doors not long after the country’s first Independence Day. “We don’t have a deed recording the exact date,” he said during an open house at the school, July 4, “but we believe the school was completed in 1781.”

Over the years, members of the club sought to keep the school from falling into disrepair. Active restoration efforts started in 2007 were recently completed and were celebrated at the July 4 event.

  By Karen Engdahl, The Shopper

July 9 – Kurn Hattin students sang National Anthem at Fenway Park

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Kurn Hattin Homes children’s Select Choir was invited to sing the National Anthem at Fenway Park Monday, July 9. This was the second time that the children had been given this wonderful opportunity by the Boston Red Sox.

July 17 – Construction started on Coolidge Solar Project

LUDLOW, Vt. – By the town line between Ludlow and Cavendish, up on Barker Road, Vermont’s largest solar project started to take shape in July. The Coolidge Solar Project, which is four times larger than any other Vermont solar installation, was under construction on an old farm of about 150 acres on the Ludlow-Cavendish town line. What had been accomplished by mid-July was clearing of the land and prepping the site for the 20-megawatt array that included approximately 83,000 solar panels.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Aug. 4 – Rockingham Old Home Days celebrated 42 years of community pride

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Bellows Falls and the surrounding communities celebrated the 42nd annual Old Home Days Weekend, and the 112th year of the pilgrimage to the Rockingham Meeting House. The three-day celebration featured fun and activities for all ages including circus performers and clowns, the Bring It Home 5K, pizza and ice cream eating contests, live music, and the annual fireworks display.

  By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

Aug. 8 – Yankee Male Chorus gave last tour

REGION – The Yankee Male Chorus hosted their concerts for their annual tour from Aug. 8-11. This year was the group’s last season. Men from all over New England had been meeting for a weekend of concerts since 1954. The concerts were held in West Brattleboro, South Londonderry, Bellows Falls, and Chester. Michael Wright returned as primary conductor, and Judith “Eric” Robinson did some conducting as well and accompanied at the piano. Pete Harrison of Westminster acted as the group’s spokesperson and site coordinator.

By Bill Lockwood, The Vermont Journal & The Shopper

Aug. 10 – Springfield teacher Erin Rounds debuted children’s book

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Union Street School fourth grade teacher, Erin Rounds, celebrated the debut of her children’s book, “Charlotte’s Bones: The Beluga Whale in a Farmer’s Field,” in Springfield before taking a mini book tour across Vermont. Rounds’ nonfiction children’s book is about unique whale fossils found in landlocked Vermont.

  By Karen Engdahl, The Shopper

Aug. 11 – Quilts of Valor awarded in Chester

CHESTER, Vt. – Thirty-nine quilts covered the Chester Green Saturday, Aug. 11. These quilts were handmade and part of a national effort to thank the brave men and women who have been touched by war while serving our nation. Nine quilts were awarded by Lynn Carrier, Vermont coordinator for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The quilts were created by the ladies of the community over the past two years, with special help and organization from Sue Ashe, owner of Country Treasures in Chester. Ashe hosted and taught special workshops on the first Friday of each month.

By Aiyana Fortin, The Vermont Journal

Aug. 12 – Hot Dog Cook-off winners took home Top Dog prize

CHESTER, Vt. – Stone Hearth Inn’s seventh annual hot dog cook-off drew in crowds for the tasting and judging of seven unique hot dogs. The Smith family won Top Dog for their all-beef dog stuffed with Gouda cheese, covered in barbecue sauce and bacon, with a mango pineapple salsa on the side. Echo Lake Inn won Best in Show for their hot dog, served in a tortilla instead of a bun. It was topped with Cuban refried beans, a pineapple relish with peppers and cilantro, cheese, Mexican crème, and a papaya and mango salsa.

  By Amanda Wedegis, The Vermont Journal

Aug. 14 – 2018 Primary Election Day for state general election and U.S. Midterm

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Tuesday, Aug. 14 was Primary Election day. Four candidates ran for governor for the Democratic primary: James Ehlers, Christine Hallquist, Brenda Siegel, and Ethan Sonneborn. The two primary Republican candidates were Phil Scott and Keith Stern. Democratic candidate Christine Hallquist and Republican incumbent Phil Scott were elected to run for the office of governor for their respective parties.

  By Amanda Wedegis, The Vermont Journal & The Shopper

Aug. 15 – Springfield Health Center launched Mamava Lactation Pod

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield Medical Care Systems, MVP Healthcare, Mamava, and Konrad Prefab came together Wednesday, Aug. 15 for the ribbon cutting of the first Mamava lactation pod in Springfield. Springfield Health Center was the first federally qualified health center in Vermont to open a lactation pod. Its central location and unique shape and design was used to encourage discussion around breastfeeding and supporting mothers with a space designed for them in public.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Shopper

Aug. 19 – Second Congregational Church of Londonderry celebrated 150 years

LONDONDERRY, Vt. – Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ hosted their 150th anniversary celebration Sunday, Aug. 19, with anniversary worship service in the church and an afternoon community barbecue.

Aug. 24 – Chester-Andover Elementary School flooded

CHESTER, Vt. – The Chester-Andover Elementary School had an unusual start to the beginning of the school year. During the early hours of Friday, Aug. 24, before the first day of school, the boiler room was flooded. Green Mountain Union High School made space for the elementary school students and the children were able to start school with only a slight delay while repairs took place at CAES.

Aug. 25 – U.S. Senator John McCain passed away

NATION – U. S. Senator John McCain passed away Saturday, Aug. 25 after a battle with glioblastoma, which was diagnosed in 2017. Sen. McCain was interred at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Sept. 2.

Sept. 2 – Longtime Joy Wah owners reopened restaurant

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Sept. 2, Chi Chiang Hom and his wife, Chiu Kwan Hom, the original owners of the Joy Wah restaurant located at 287 Rockingham Rd. in Bellows Falls, were excited to reopen the restaurant.

Up until last year, the Homs had previously owned the popular Chinese food restaurant for some 30 years. However, after a 14-month sabbatical and other recent business developments, the Homs have returned to the fold and joined   forces with partners Gary Tang, who has worked at the restaurant for three years, and Tang’s father, who is head of the kitchen.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

Sept. 8 – The 19th annual RiverSweep spanned two days, four towns

REGION – On Saturday, Sept. 8, Springfield Sweepers spread across town and reeled in a handful of shopping carts, 35 bags of trash, loads of cans and bottles, and bags full of fishing waste from the public access at Hoyt’s Landing. Students from both the Cavendish area and Ludlow elementary schools ventured forth under looming clouds to work on the banks of the Black River in their communities as part of the annual BRAT RiverSweep.

Sept. 15 – Chester Fall Craft Festival opened the autumn season

CHESTER, Vt. – For the second year in a row, the weekend of the Chester Fall Craft Festival was warm, sunny, and inviting to vendors and festivalgoers. The community of Chester gathered for their traditional craft festival. This year consisted of over 70 vendors lining the Green and surrounding areas. St. Luke’s Church at 313 Main Street opened the festival Saturday, Sept. 15 with a pancake breakfast to accommodate both vendors and early-bird shoppers.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Vermont Journal

Sept. 18 – Springfield Innovation Initiative announced technology campus

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott and Congressman Peter Welch visited Springfield Tuesday, Sept. 18 to join the Springfield Regional Development Corporation and the Center on Rural Innovation in announcing the raising of $1 million for the development of a new economy initiative called The Black River Innovation Campus. The new facility will offer computer science training, digital job training, and an entrepreneur center to help create and cultivate new, innovative jobs for the region.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

Sept. 22 – Out of Darkness Walk well attended in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Saturday, Sept. 22, between 80 and 100 walkers, many walking alone or with teams in memory of a specific person, turned out on a beautiful first day of fall to participate in the fourth annual Out of Darkness Walk against suicide on the Toonerville Trail in Springfield. The walk supported the national and state organization’s fundraising efforts for new research, creation of educational programs, avocation for public policy, and support of survivors of suicide loss.

By Bill Lockwood, The Shopper

Sept. 27 – “Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art” opened at the Great Hall

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – As part of its 105th anniversary celebration, Springfield Hospital explored the powerful effects of art on health. Featuring a dozen artists working in paint, sculpture, glass, fiber, and mixed media, “Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art” opened with a gala reception in the Great Hall Thursday, Sept. 27. The exhibit, which runs through March 30, 2019, was co-sponsored by Springfield Regional Development Corp.

By Karen Engdahl, The Shopper

Sept. 28 – Vail closed acquisition of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, and Crested Butte

LUDLOW, Vt. – Vail Resorts Inc. announced that the company has closed on its acquisition of Triple Peaks LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The company purchased Triple Peaks from the Mueller family for a final purchase price of approximately $74 million after adjustments for certain agreed-upon terms.

Sept. 29 – The 10th annual Fairy House Festival

GRAFTON, Vt. – The 10th annual Fairy House Festival at the Nature Museum in Grafton enjoyed clear skies and record attendance during the weekend of Sept. 29 and 30. The museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year, this magical event welcomed 1,229 visitors and showcased the small woodland creations of 58 exhibitors.

By Sharon Huntley, The Shopper

Oct. 6 – Ludlow Rotary 28th annual Chili Cook-off

LUDLOW, Vt. – Ludlow Rotary Club’s annual Chili Cook-off enjoyed a large turn out under their iconic yellow and white striped tent Saturday, Oct. 6 with 22 local chili entrants and approximately 500 chili lovers.

Winner of the coveted People’s Choice Award was Chris Saylor with his “Hot Dam Chili,” which also won Judge’s Choice for “Spiciest.” People’s Choice second place winner was “Chili Con Carlos.” Carlos Iglesias, the chef behind Chili Con Carlos, was celebrating his 20th year at the Chili Cook-off. People’s Choice third place prize went to “Mojakka,” by Chris and Felicity Haselton. Judges’ top prize for “Best in Show” was awarded to first-time entrant Echo Lake Inn for their “Echo Lake Inn Chili.”

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Oct. 7 – Howard Post 33 monument erected in Veterans Memorial Park

LUDLOW, Vt. – On Sunday, Oct. 7, a new granite monument was erected in Veterans Memorial Park in Ludlow. The G.A.R. was an organization for veterans of the Civil War. This organization was similar to today’s American Legion. This new monument honored Ludlow’s Civil War soldiers who had not been fully recognized.

By Ron Patch, The Vermont Journal

Oct. 15 – Great Falls Chamber announced new executive director

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Debra Perry Collier was selected as the new executive director of the Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce. Collier, a longtime resident of Bellows Falls and graduate of Bellows Falls Union High School, graduated from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English with a concentration on education and business. She had worked in the local business community for many years.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

Oct. 25 – SEVCA dedicated community solar project

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – SEVCA celebrated the first phase completion of their new project, the Community Solar for Community Action, a ground-mounted, solar array being installed at their main office in Westminster. The project was dedicated to the memory of Harald Schmidtke, SEVCA’s Weatherization Assistance program director of 25 years, who passed away in April.

By Joe Milliken, The Shopper

Oct. 26 – Cavendish Town Elementary students hosted buddy walk

CAVENDISH, Vt. – On Friday, Oct. 26, students from Cavendish Town Elementary School learned what it meant to be a buddy. The idea for the walk had originated from the second grade classroom. It started as a lesson in teaching the class about friendship and individuality, but transitioned into learning about those diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The students organized the buddy walk. On the day of, they lined up according to grade and began their journey around the village green alongside the local fire department, as well as family and community members who showed up to offer their support.

By Thomas Foster, The Vermont Journal

Oct. 27 – Bellows Falls cross country girls captured state title

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Bellows Falls Terrier 2018 Division III Vermont State Championship girls cross country team captured the Vermont state title. This was the first time since 1986 the Bellows Falls girls have captured top honors.

Oct. 27 – Connecticut club cleared Rockingham woods of illegal dumping

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Northeast Flatlanders teamed up with the Vermont State Police to deliver truckloads of new, unwrapped toys to needy families. The Northeast Flatlanders also contacted the Vermont Game Warden’s office to discuss cleaning up illegal dump spots in the surrounding woods. The group was alerted to a location in Rockingham. Collectively, they were able to haul out over 150 discarded car tires, several TV sets, mattresses, couches, and small mountain of broken snowmobile parts.

Oct. 28 – Boston Red Sox won World Series

BOSTON – Boston Red Sox beat LA Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium to win ninth World Series in franchise history.

Nov. 3 – Bellows Falls field hockey won state championship title in third division

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Bellows Falls girls field hockey team captured the Vermont Division I field hockey championship with a 2-0 victory over three-time defending champion South Burlington. They were top dog in Division III in the falls of 2015 and 2016, won the prize in Division II last autumn, and now took the trophy in Division I for their fourth consecutive state championship.

Nov. 6 – U.S. Midterm Election Day

NATION – Democrats take control of the House of Representatives after eight years. Republicans hold the Senate. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Representative Peter Welch won their races. In Vermont, Democrats took majority of the House and Senate while incumbent Gov. Phil Scott was re-elected for a second term. Vermont saw record voter registration and attendance at the polls for a midterm election.

Nov. 11 – 100th anniversary of the end of World War I

NATION – Veterans and national officials across the United States and other nations commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in addition to local events celebrating Veterans’ Day.

Nov. 17 – Local author premiered book on Ben Orr and The Cars

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Local freelance writer and author of the online “Standing Room Only,” Joe Milliken has written a book, “Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars.” It is the first-ever biography of Orr who was bass player and co-lead singer with Ric Ocasec of the  ’70s and ’80s platinum-selling rock band, The Cars. Milliken’s debut book event was Saturday, Nov. 17 at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls. The event was attended by over 50 enthusiastic fans.

By Bill Lockwood, The Shopper

Nov. 24 – “‘Twas the Night Live” kicked off the holiday season

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Springfield Area Parent Child Center kicked off the holidays with performances from local talent and a visit with Santa Claus. The second annual “‘Twas the Night Live,” created and directed by Carrie Jewell, took place at the Hartness House Inn Saturday, Nov. 24. It was a bustling day as families and friends gathered in the lobby of the inn to bid on silent auction items, took tours through Hartness House, watched performances from local talent, and visited with Santa in his workshop.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Shopper

Nov. 24 – Mikaela Shiffrin took first in Slalom at Killington World Cup

KILLINGTON, Vt. – Killington Resort reported record-breaking crowds at the World Cup with more than 39,000 spectators over Thanksgiving weekend, while Italy’s Federica Brignone received first place in giant slalom and Mikaela Shriffin received first place in slalom. The Killington Cup was broadcast in more than 60 countries worldwide and live on NBC in the United States. Over 2,000 children from New England ski clubs participated in the opening parades Saturday and Sunday.

Nov. 30 – Former President George H.W. Bush passed away

NATION – Former President George H.W. Bush died Nov. 30, 2018 at 94 years and 171 days. He had the distinction of being the longest-lived president in American history. Bush was the 41st president of the United State, serving from 1989-1993.

Dec. 1 – Students presented their small businesses at Beyond the Unicorn

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The annual Beyond the Unicorn Craft Festival at Riverside Middle School bustled with crowds right from the start. Shoppers browsed nearly 100 booths. New this year, RMS students occupied the fourth floor, offering child care and their own products and services. The Student Market presented a dozen student businesses, created in an elective quarter-long entrepreneurship class. Students had hands-on experience starting a small business. They came up with their names and products or services, designed their logo and brand, created business plans, managed money, and marketed themselves.

By Amanda Wedegis, The Shopper

Dec. 1 – Christmas in Weston captured true holiday spirit

WESTON, Vt. – Christmas in Weston, a daylong town wide celebration, kicked off the season “celebrating traditional holiday nostalgia.” Dec. 1 marked the 34th year this event has been attracting visitors from near and far to enjoy a bevy of free, Christmas themed events and activities for all ages happening in the galleries, shops, museums, and inns throughout this idyllic picturesque village.

By Sharon Huntley, The Vermont Journal

Dec. 18 – Vermont State Police delivered toys to Kurn Hattin students

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – On Dec. 18, 2018, troopers from the Westminster State Police Barracks, along with Santa, delivered toys and books to the kindergarten through fifth grade students at the Kurn Hattin School in Westminster. The troopers thanked the Northeast Flatlanders who donated the toys during a trail maintenance day and toy drive they held in Windham County in October.

Dec. 19 – Gov. Scott appointed former hospital CEO to oversee Springfield Hospital recovery

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott appointed Tom Huebner, former head of Rutland Regional Medical Center, to “evaluate, monitor and assist Springfield Hospital as it confronts serious financial challenges.”

The governor’s office released a statement announcing the appointment Wednesday, Dec. 19, a week after Springfield’s CEO, Tim Ford resigned in the wake of reports on the financial situation at the medical group.

Dec. 28 – Chester-Andover Elementary prepared to reopen in January

CHESTER, Vt. – After several delays, Chester-Andover Elementary prepared for reopening the school in January. The children’s first day back was scheduled for Jan. 3. While the students were all educated under the same roof at Green Mountain Union School, the students took advantage of being together to host big buddy and joint projects together.

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