May 5, 2016

Tax imposters, and door-to-door scams

As the tax filing deadline of April 18 approaches, the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York warns that tax and IRS scammers are making calls with the hopes of  trying to trick people into paying taxes they don’t owe.

Callers with the names Steve Martin, Ron Schneider, Kevin Mason, Vicki Thompson or Dennis Gray have been identified as calling homes or leaving messages in this scheme, and will likely say something like, “You will be arrested if you do not make restitution immediately. This is your last chance before going to jail,” the bureau said in a release. [Read more…]

When does it pay to take social security early?

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

I will turn 62 in a few months and am trying to decide when to start taking my Social Security retirement benefits. Almost everything I read on this topic tells me it’s better to wait until my full retirement age or beyond. Is there ever a good reason to start early?

Ready to Retire

Dear Ready, [Read more…]

Sanders applauds seniors bill passing Senate

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill on to the president supporting an expansion of social and nutritional services for seniors, the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders reported in a release.

“A nation is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable,” Sanders said in a prepared statement.  The number of Americans in 2016 will grow from 65 million today to about 92 million by 2030, according the Census Bureau. The bill supplies a 7-percent increase in funding over the next three years, Sanders said.

“The shocking truth is that millions of seniors are choosing each day whether to pay their rent, put food on the table or buy the medicine they need. Seniors in Vermont and around the country deserve to live with dignity and with a sense of security. The Older Americans Act helps to provide that,” he noted. [Read more…]

What’s Cooking? Sweet memories

By Lucy McCullough

Many years ago our dear friend and neighbor “over the hill” Mary Tuthill shared her wonderful sticky bun recipe with us. Her recipe begins with a versatile roll recipe that we served as cloverleaf-style rolls at the Catamount Tavern in the early 80s. The past several years our daughter, Cam, has been the responsible baker of the delightful sticky buns for our special family dinner gatherings and brunches. [Read more…]

Fairy tale creatures spotted singing in the swamp

WCS Play Shrek_016 08Apr16

 Observer photos by Al Frey

Williston Central School’s middle-school dramatic production this year was ‘Shrek.’  Lily Ledak, 7th grade, played  Fiona, and Shrek was played by Beckett Pintair, 8th grade. The play saw a three- [Read more…]

Teach a kid to soar…

GetAir_image1

Observer photos by Jess Wisloski

‘Have you ever seen a kid fly? That’s what Get Air, a new indoor trampoline park in Williston specializes in.  (ABOVE) The amusement center opened March 18, but even without a giant sign announcing its new spot on Omega Drive, they’ve already got a local reputation. [Read more…]

Students win for finding the art in financial health

Observer courtesy photo by Scott Baker Fourth-grader Marin Hemmett poses with her first-place winning poster. Hemmett won $100 for the design, and the school was also granted $100 to support financial literacy programs.

Observer courtesy photo by Scott Baker
Fourth-grader Marin Hemmett poses with her first-place winning poster. Hemmett won $100 for the design, and the school was also granted $100 to support financial literacy programs.

Two Williston Central School students won the first place in their age category in the ‘Be Money Wise’ financial literacy poster contest, and were awarded April 7 in Montpelier. Marin Hemmett, a fourth grader at Williston Central School, won first prize in the elementary school division, and Hailey Chase, a seventh grader, won first prize in the middle school group. Students in third through twelfth grade submitted 139 posters in the contest, and first-prize winners took home $100 each for themselves and their school.

[Read more…]

Full-day pre-K programs in jeopardy without state intervention

Observer file photo Currently the state does not consider pre-K students of the same ‘value’ as it does students in upper grades, which hampers funding for full-day pre-K.

Observer file photo
Currently the state does not consider pre-K students of the same ‘value’ as it does students in upper grades, which hampers funding for full-day pre-K.

By Tiffany Danitz Pache

For Vermont Digger

For years, kindergarten teachers at a St. Albans school have begged their principal for a pre-K program that would better prepare struggling students for first grade.

In September, the St. Albans City School launched what is seen as a solution: an all-day pre-K program for 4-year-olds that includes meals, transportation and access to art, music, gym and library. A federal grant covers everything except the 10 hours a week of pre-K that school districts are required to provide under Vermont’s early education law, Act 166. [Read more…]

A look at the spring 2016 athletic season

Champlain Valley Union High coaches provide a preview of their teams and season outlook.

Baseball

Coach: Tim Albertson (8th season)

Key returning veterans: Sam Mikell (senior, 3rd base); Andrew Bortnick (senior, 3rd base); Jack Dugan (senior, outfield); Nick Fecteau (senior, 1st base) and Tanner Smith (senior, 2nd base/pitcher).

[Read more…]

Sprinting towards victory

Observer photo by Al Frey Junior Tawn Tomasi, 17, said this season he hopes to break the 100 m record at CVU.

Observer photo by Al Frey
Junior Tawn Tomasi, 17, said this season he hopes to break the 100 m record at CVU.

By Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

Tawn Tomasi, 17, who’s been called the fastest sprinter in the state of Vermont by his coach, took off his warm-up jacket and, in 39-degrees-and-windy conditions on a hill in Hinesburg, showed off exactly what the fastest 100 meter dash might look like.

It’s Tomasi’s third year on the Redhawks’ track and field team, but he’s been working on his long game and along with his coaches, expects it will be the best. Focusing on improving his 100, he’s got a personal goal too: break the school record of 10.9 seconds. (The world record is 9.58 held by Usain Bolt.) [Read more…]