November 20, 2017

Featured artist at Dorothy Alling Library

Observer contributed photo
Nelly Bonfigli will exhibit her pastel paintings and collages during November at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.

Letters to the Editor

Shelter from the storm

Thank you to the wonderful staff at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library for providing a port in the storm during the recent widespread power outage. Many people were using the library’s WiFi, charging electronic devices, getting water and staying warm. [Read more…]

Guest Column: One way to really thank a veteran

By James Ehlers

On this Veterans’ Day, while I greatly appreciate the emails, texts and messages thanking me for my service, please know that my sacrifices were few in comparison to many with whom I served. In fact, the gifts I have received in the form of the life-long fellowship of my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms make all the hardships seem but a small investment. [Read more…]

FEMA in Vermont to assess storm damage

By Mike Polhamus

For VTDigger

Federal Emergency Management Agency staff is visiting Vermont this week to verify state damage assessments that indicate Vermont sustained around $4.5 million in infrastructure damage from an Oct. 30 windstorm. [Read more…]

Pro-white posters at UVM part of national campaign

A flier hangs on the University of Vermont campus Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Erika B. Lewy/The Vermont Cynic

By Kelsey Neubauer

For VTDigger

[Read more…]

Police seek alleged Walmart thieves

Observer courtesy photo
Police are seeking the identities of these robbery suspects.

An unidentified male and female stole a fully loaded shopping cart from the Walmart store in Williston last Wednesday, according to the Williston Police Department.

The estimated value of items in the cart is $1,000.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 878-6611.

Around Town

Veterans’ Day ceremony planned for Saturday

The Green Mountain Masonic Center, 115 Merchants Way in Williston, will host a public remembrance service for Veterans’ Day starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The event will include an “empty chair ceremony.” The empty chair ceremony is a Masonic Lodge practice that dates back to the Civil War to honor those who did not return or returned but were unable to continue attending lodge meetings. [Read more…]

Apologetic Ingram plans to continue in Senate

State Sen. Debbie Ingram, D-Chittenden, appears in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on Thursday, November 2, 2017, to plead guilty to a DUI.

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

State Sen. Debbie Ingram plans to apply for a restricted driver’s license and continue serving as a state Senator after pleading guilty last week to driving under the influence of alcohol. [Read more…]

Championship Saturday

CVU girls soccer and boys volleyball complete undefeated seasons


Observer photo by Lauren Read
CVU soccer standouts Natalie Durieux (left) and Ali Bisaccia hoist the state championship trophy Saturday after beating Burr and Burton Academy.

Girls finish soccer season as undefeated champs

By Lauren Read

Observer correspondent

Not much has separated the Champlain Valley girls soccer team and rival Burr and Burton in the postseason the last couple of years.

Last year, penalty kicks were the difference in a semifinal loss for the Redhawks.

The two teams reunited Saturday in the Division I state final at Burlington High School, and CVU was looking for redemption.

“We both wanted it,” said CVU co-captain Ali Bisaccia. “It’s fun to play a team like that.”

Charlotte Hill scored the game’s only goal, lifting top-seeded CVU to the state championship and capping an undefeated season. It was the 17th state title for the program.

“I had a feeling that we might see (Burr and Burton) again. We certainly relished that opportunity, and it made for a great final,” said CVU coach Stan Williams.

“That’s the best feeling in the world,” Bisaccia said. “I am really proud of the team. I wouldn’t want to end the season and my career any other way.

“I don’t even have the words, I am just so excited.”

Observer photo by Lauren Read
Natalie Durieux pushes the ball upfield during CVU’s state championship game against Burr and Burton Academy on Saturday.

The two teams traded scoring chances through a scoreless first half.

“I had been a little frustrated,” Hill said. “We had a lot of chances, and I had had a lot of one-on-one’s with the goalie, and she came out well. I knew that one was coming, all I had to do was get in there.”

Hill and the Redhawks offense persisted and finally got on the board in the 65th minute. Bisaccia served a ball forward that forced a race between Hill and BBA goalie Sam Citron. Citron won the race, but bobbled the ball and the CVU sophomore tapped it into the empty net for the 1-0 lead.

“She was opportunistic,” Williams said. “For Charlotte to just keep going and going, she logged a lot of miles.”

After the goal, the Redhawks defense clamped down and held the Bulldogs off the board for the final 15 minutes to clinch the title.

“It’s a feeling like I can’t describe,” Hill said of the championship win.

Observer photo by Lauren Read
The undefeated CVU girls soccer team celebrates its title Saturday.

“Our seniors created such an atmosphere of inclusion,” Williams said. “They were the hardest workers, and when your best players are your hardest workers, it makes our job pretty easy.

“You’ll always remember the group, but this is the seniors’ championship.”

Observer photo by Al Frey
CVU’s Jacob Boliba takes a swing during the Redhawks’ championship game against Essex on Saturday at St. Michael’s College.

Unbeaten boys v-ball team tops Essex for second straight title

By Lauren Read

Observer correspondent

The Champlain Valley boys volleyball team has faced plenty of adversity this season.

So why not deal with a little more just before the start of the Division I state championship match at St. Michael’s College?

“We had a player get hurt two days ago; we had a starter go down in warm-ups,” said CVU coach Jeff Boliba. “The boys persevered. They played amazing. They showed really good grit.”

The Redhawks dealt with the loss of starter Will Burroughs after he hurt his ankle in warm-ups — plus the absence of Storm Rushford, the team’s emotional core, who is battling cancer — and fell behind in a decisive fifth set in Saturday’s title game.

“This has been one of the most challenging seasons, just the emotional stuff,” Boliba said. “We had to change quite a bit. We are very adaptable.”

CVU’s Samual (Raz) Hansen makes a strong serve during their Division 1 finals vs Essex on Saturday afternoon at St. Mikes

CVU handled the fifth-set deficit like it’s handled all of its adversity this season, taking the challenge in stride and topping Essex to win its second straight D-I state championship.

“We work hard on our team culture and being one,” Boliba said. “Our whole mantra this year was ‘stormstrong’ and we got this one for Storm.

“I could not be more proud of these boys.”

A quick start by No. 2 Essex had the Redhawks on their heels, as CVU adjusted to the absence of Burroughs. The Hornets emerged with the 26-24 win in the first set.

The top-seeded Redhawks rebounded in the second set, earning a narrow 27-25 victory, then pulled ahead in the third with another tight win, 25-23.

“We worked together, and we worked hard,” said CVU sophomore Baker Angstmann. “We were thinking of our friend Storm, and we just had to stay focused.”

The Hornets forced a decisive final set with a 25-16 win in the fourth, setting up a final tie-breaking game in the raucous gym at St. Mike’s.

Essex jumped out to an early lead in the fifth, pulling away for a 10-6 lead midway through the set. But the Redhawks dug deep and pulled back in it, winning six straight points to take a lead, then outscored the Hornets 5-2 in the final few points to secure the 15-12 victory in the final set.

The win capped an undefeated season for CVU.

Women in the woods

Observer courtesy photo
Laurie Malenfant can’t wait to get to her family’s hunting camp for the start of rifle deer season Saturday.

Searching out Vermont’s female hunting population

By Jason Starr
Observer staff
When Laurie Malenfant heads to her family’s hunting camp in the Northeast Kingdom on Saturday for the opening of Vermont’s rifle deer season, she will be one of three women in a roughly 12-member hunting party. [Read more…]