November 1, 2014

Grid playoff round takes CVU to Tigertown

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By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Its foes have not lost a football game since the 2012 season, but the Champlain Valley Union High football team hopes to end that string Friday night when it travels to Middlebury to meet the top-seeded, 8-0 Middlebury Union High Tigers in an opening round playoff.

The eighth-seeded Redhawks, edged 41-34 by Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans last Friday night, finished the regular season with a 3-5 mark. [Read more...]

Unbeaten CVU soccer girls have quarterfinal Friday on Middlebury turf

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Sierra Morton outplays a Mount Mansfield opponent during an Oct. 17 game, which the Redhawks won 3-0. (Observer photos by Al Frey(

Sierra Morton outplays a Mount Mansfield opponent during an Oct. 17 game, which the Redhawks won 3-0. (Observer photos by Al Frey(

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

High school soccer playoffs can be very tricky for the higher seeded teams.

But then, at times the higher seeded teams will dominate, as the second-seeded, three-time defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team did Tuesday, bopping 15th seeded Rutland High 11-0 on a wet and cool afternoon in the hills of Hinesburg. [Read more...]

Vermont International Film Festival opens Friday

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A still from the Vermont International Film Festival's opening film, 'We Are the Best!'

A still from the Vermont International Film Festival’s opening film, ‘We Are the Best!’

The 2014 Vermont International Film Festival, held Oct. 24 through Nov. 2 in downtown Burlington, features more than 90 screenings, special events, receptions and filmmaker events. Events take place at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in the Film House and Black Box Theater. Lunchtime screenings are at The BCA Center on Church Street and additional screenings and events will happen at Skinny Pancake, ArtsRiot and Signal Kitchen. Full information about all film and events can be found at www.vtiff.org. [Read more...]

Little Details: Secrets revealed

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By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Greenough Hall is a freshman dormitory located just outside Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass. The brick with ivory—not ivy—trim residence is named for Chester Noyes Greenough (1874-1938). Greenough served as a professor of English and dean at what remains one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education.

Greenough’s lesser-known role was as convener of a “Secret Court” at Harvard, the aim of which was to investigate and root out alleged homosexuals on campus. Directed by then-president A. Lawrence Lowell, Greenough’s tribunal spent two weeks in the spring of 1920 conducting 30 secretive interviews, acting as master inquisitors.   [Read more...]

Letters to the Editor

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Thank you, Richmond

On Sunday afternoon (Oct. 12), I experienced a severe allergic reaction while driving just south of Richmond. A Richmond police officer was in his car, so I approached and asked for medical assistance. He called for an ambulance, directed traffic and took care of my car. It was much needed consideration, and I so appreciated his kindness. It is reassuring to know there are compassionate police officers still around. [Read more...]

Ebola preparedness in Vermont

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By Harry Chen and Tracy Dolan

Ebola is a deadly and dreaded disease that is ravaging West Africa, a part of the world that has far too little in the way of modern health care and public health infrastructure. The 2014 epidemic is the largest in history, and daily news of the continuing death toll and the extreme hardships facing the people and frontline health care workers there is heartbreaking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the international community are working heroically to stop the spread of Ebola at its source, and we must continue to dedicate resources and expertise to this effort. Brant Goode, one of our team at the Health Department, is in Liberia now, training health care workers how to protect themselves from the virus while caring for the sick. [Read more...]

Around Town

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Rec Department hosts community pumpkin carving

The Williston Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a free community pumpkin carving night on Friday, Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Williston Central School Cafeteria. Carvers can come dressed up or not and should bring their own pumpkin. Volunteers and staff will help you carve a masterpiece. Free pizza will be provided by Williston House of Pizza while supplies last. Refreshments and goodie bags for kids will also be available. For more information, email [email protected] or call 878-1239. [Read more...]

Williston schools recognized for culture and climate

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Observer staff report

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School were among 11 schools statewide recognized as “exemplar schools” for the 2013-14 school year by Vermont’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team.

It is Allen Brook’s second time on the list. [Read more...]

Fatal accident in Williston

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Observer staff report

Police are investigating the cause of an accident that killed a Williston man last week.

The Williston Police Department responded to the Oct. 16 accident at approximately 2:30 p.m. A car left Williston Road at the top of French Hill and hit a tree. The driver, Michael G. Walker, 69, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said it appears he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact Sgt. Brian Claffy at 878-6611.

Haunted Forest brings spooky thrills to Williston

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Witches cast a spell during last season's Haunted Forest, a popular outdoor theater production. This year's event is Oct. 24-26 at the Catamount Family Center.

Witches cast a spell during last season’s Haunted Forest, a popular outdoor theater production. This year’s event is Oct. 24-26 at the Catamount Family Center.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

With Halloween growing closer, families and friends can take in spooky fun and frights at the annual Haunted Forest.

Each October, more than 400 volunteers—actors, costume designers, pumpkin carvers, technical crew and more—transform the trails at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center into a forbidding outdoor haunted house, complete with nearly a thousand jack-o-lanterns lining the paths. [Read more...]