April 29, 2016

Guest Column: Only the voters decide

By Rebecca Holcombe

Statewide, about 80 percent of our children live in communities that educate their children in schools that they operate at all grade levels. These schools include small-town elementary schools, and both town-based high schools and larger union high schools. These larger union schools – like Rivendell, CVU and North Country – were created when smaller communities came together to provide greater opportunities for their children. [Read more…]

New Williston Police administrator settling in

Anne

Anne Hardman

It’s been four months since the new administrative assistant, Anne Hardman, stepped into her role at the Williston Police Department.

So far, the Williston resident said, the position feels like a perfect fit.

“I’ve always been interested in being in the police department and being part of this community,” she said. With an uncle who was an officer in the St. Johnsbury Police Department, and a father who worked for that town, she was raised knowing the people who served and protected her hometown — by name. [Read more…]

State approves proposed school district merger

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

Officials from the state Board of Education approved a proposed consolidation of a district that could bring all the students in five towns into one massive district by July 2017.

The goal of creating a unified district –  a statewide movement prompted by the legislature last year with the passage of Act 46 – would be to lower operational expenses, improve educational programs and create greater enrichment opportunities through economies of scale, for students of all ages that all eventually attend Champlain Valley Union High School. [Read more…]

‘Village Vision’ sought at upcoming open house

Observer courtesy photo by Doug Kerr The Village MAster Plan will be updated in the coming weeks. Matt Boulanger, senior planner for Williston, is encouraging community members to get involved through an Open House held at the Planning and Zoning offices starting May 3.

Observer courtesy photo by Doug Kerr
The Village MAster Plan will be updated in the coming weeks. Matt Boulanger, senior planner for Williston, is encouraging community members to get involved through an Open House held at the Planning and Zoning offices starting May 3.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

The last time residents convened to develop a vision for Williston village, the impending threat of commercial malls cropping up along the north part of Williston Road like unchecked weeds sent chills through the community, and big box stores had just begun to appear.

That was 25 years ago, and since then the village has had several buildings obtain federally protected status via the National Registry of Historic Places.  The town has also defined the character of the village with the establishment of a Historic Preservation District and a recently formed Historic and Architectural panel that advises the Development Review Board on any applications or decisions related to proposed construction, alterations, reconstruction or subdivisions that would take place within the historic district. [Read more…]

Shumlin: Email deletion request unrelated to fraud case

Darren Springer, left, chief of staff to Gov. Peter Shumlin, and the governor’s spokesman, Scott Coriell, talk to the media Monday about the handling of emails from former staffers. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

Darren Springer, left, chief of staff to Gov. Peter Shumlin, and the governor’s spokesman, Scott Coriell, talk to the media Monday about the handling of emails from former staffers. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

By Morgan True

For Vermont Digger

Top officials in Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration said Monday that its request to delete old email accounts of former staffers was unrelated to state and federal fraud charges filed against developers with ties to the governor.

Last week, Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger were accused of misusing as much as $200 million obtained through the EB-5 immigrant investor program for projects at Jay Peak Resort and elsewhere in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s alleged that Quiros spent as much as $50 million of that money on himself or unrelated business ventures. [Read more…]

Sheep farm’s a cozy neighbor

Sheep & Pickle guy

Matt Wimmer with a lamb. Click for more Sheep and Pickle Farm photos.

Katie Sullivan’s enterprise brings sheep to the Catamount trails

By Phyl Newbeck

Observer correspondent

There are some new fuzzy homesteaders these days at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. That’s because Katie Sullivan, proprietor of Sheep and Pickle Farm, has taken up residence on the property and raises sheep, which she uses for both meat and yarn.

The sheep have gotten so accustomed to having people run or bicycle past them since moving to the spot last year, they have been known to baaaahhh their hellos to the traveling bipeds.

Photo slideshow of Sheep and Pickle Farm >

[Read more…]

CVU athletes Kathy Joseph and Tawn Tomasi

Tawn Tomasi_079 08Apr16 Tawn Tomasi_076 08Apr16

[Read more…]

3D Modeling Champs

FLOATERPIX-3Dcompetition041416 3-D VT-32

[Read more…]

Baby Chicks

MadisonandKoah Madison Laubscher

[Read more…]

‘Shreck the Musical’

WCS Play Shrek_005 08Apr16 WCS Play Shrek_009 08Apr16

[Read more…]