Cavendish Update 2/15/19: News/Events

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2/15/19 Cavendish Update

1. Cavendish Related News

2. Events

1. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS

Construction Begins March 1 on Depot St. Bridge: The Cavendish Town Manager Brendan McNamara, in Monday, Feb. 11 Selectboard meeting, officially announced the start of the Depot Bridge Project was slated to begin March 1, 2019 with dismantling of the current bridge. Cold River Bridges LLC from Walpole, N.H. was awarded the project and have already rented office space in town in anticipation of the project start date. The March 1 date is dependent on state permitting going through on time, but there was no indication that there were any issues pending. The anticipated completion of the project is by Oct. 15, 2019, which is a state deadline for working in a riverbed, but “hopefully sooner,” McNamara said. The Depot Street Bridge has been closed to traffic since Dec. 23, 2015. Local residents have complained about speeders and many would have preferred not to see the bridge replaced. However, the town is considering various options including solar powered digital speed signs. VT Journal

Cavendish Fire District 2 Annual Meeting Rescheduled: Due to the snowstorm, those present at the Annual Meeting of Fire District 2 (Cavendish Village), Tuesday, Feb. 12, voted to adjourn and reconvene on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 pm at the Cavendish Town Office.

Arrest Made in GMUHS Threat: Law enforcement agencies continue to investigate threats made at Green Mountain Union High School (GMUHS) last week. The initial threat was received Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, when a student at the high school learned of a message online in which an individual made threats of violence toward the student at school. The threat was traced to an individual in Michigan, and late Thursday, Feb. 7, authorities there took into custody Jason Graham, 23, of Three Rivers, on a parole violation related to possession of firearms, drugs and alcohol. According to Michigan law enforcement, Mr. Graham was on parole for escape from a work crew, with underlying charges of retail theft and carrying a concealed weapon. Mr. Graham's computer was seized, and investigators are in the process of searching it in connection with the GMUHS threat. No charges related to that incident have been filed. At about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, the school received a call from an individual who made a threat of violence toward the school, including a bomb threat. The school was placed in lockdown, and police responded. Law enforcement evacuated the school. The Vermont State Police Bomb Squad and explosives detection K-9s also were utilized, and no explosive devices were found. The investigation into the source of this second threat remains active and ongoing. Friday morning, Feb. 8, police were on hand at the beginning of the school day and met with students to explain the situation. A normal class schedule has resumed. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Chester police at 802-875-2233. VT State Police Press Release

Downers 4 Corners: On Thursday evening, Feb. 14, those on their drive home to Cavendish noticed a number of VT State Police at Downers Four Corners. Preliminary information received indicates an armed robbery took place in Ludlow earlier in the day and the police were able to make an arrest at Downer’s. Please note this is subject to change and new information will be posted to the Cavendish Facebook page.

BRACC Hires New Program Coordinator: The Black River Area Community Coalition proudly announces the hiring of Brooke Willard as program coordinator. Brooke prides herself in the role she plays in the prevention of substance abuse and misuse. Brooke’s new position will include collaborating with school officials and prevention specialists in order to plan events and activities pertaining to wellness and prevention. VT Journal

Springfield Hospital CEO seeks community support, cuts move forward: As Springfield Hospital and Springfield Medical Care Systems continue to look for ways to cut $6.5 million in annualized expenses, the way back to viability will largely depend on the support from the community. Interim CEO Michael Halstead said that a key factor in saving the hospital will be “if the community continues to support this organization by coming here for their healthcare, and we can keep the activity levels up to where they’ve been or ideally increase them.” Halstead has had to make some tough decisions in recent weeks, cutting 27 staff positions and instituting across the board salary reductions of 10 percent for salaried workers and 4 percent for hourly workers, which goes into effect Feb. 24. Cuts in staffing focused primarily on non-patient care areas in administration, managers, and supervisors in order to ensure that excellent patient care remained a top priority. VT Journal

Mapping Shows VTel Mobile Broadband Coverage Falls Far Short of Claims: Vermont Telephone Co. received a $35.2 million loan from the federal government in 2010 to build a wireless broadband network that was supposed to blanket the state and reach 33,165 homes — representing 18 percent of the state’s population — that did not yet have access to the internet. Yet after conducting extensive on-the-ground mapping of mobile phone coverage in Vermont, the state’s Department of Public Service, or DPS, has found what critics have said is the reality: VTel’s wireless network is either not available or performs poorly in many areas it purports to serve. “I don’t think there are any surprises here,” said Clay Purvis, director of telecommunications for DPS. “The drive test validates what most Vermonters already know, which is there are wide gaps in wireless coverage all over the state.” Among the six wireless providers in Vermont — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and VTel Wireless — VTel had the second-worst measurement when it came to no signal detected: 42 percent of the area tested. T-Mobile was worst with 44 percent, and the average of all six carriers was 10 percent, according to the DPS analysis. VT Digger

Vermont’s C Grade for infrastructure shows little progress in 5 years: A 2019 report from the VT Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state a D+  on storm water and wastewater. These were the lowest grades received in the nine categories that were rated. The report’s best marks were B- scores for energy and solid waste. Vermont has the lowest energy production in the country, and has committed to a goal of 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, but high electricity costs brought down the score. Roads saw the biggest improvement over time, going from a C- in 2014 to a C+ for 2019. The report noted prioritization of road maintenance by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and low congestion as some of the roads’ biggest assets. VT Digger

Hobby Lobby in Rutland to Close in March: While the company would immediately confirm it, follow with corporate headquarters led to an e-mail which briefly stated that Rutland store “will be exiting the market in March.” Rutland Herald

VT New Driver License Redesign: The Department of Motor Vehicles is preparing to roll out a major redesign of all state driver's licenses and ID cards, starting July 1. It's the first change in 15 years. The updated licenses are packed with 23 separate security features, some which are not visible. There will be no increase in costs and Vermonters can wait until their current license is up for renewal to order one. New licenses will be mailed from a central facility -- and no longer will be printed while you wait at local DMV counter. That change is projected to save the department $100,000 annually. NBC5

2. EVENTS

FEBRUARY 18 (MONDAY): President’s Day. Legal Holiday. Town Office Closed. Schools closed this week.

FEBRUARY 19 (TUESDAY) : Cavendish Fire District #2 Annual Meeting; 7:30 Pm Cavendish Town Office. Warning information is available at the Cavendish Connects Calendar.

FEBRUARY 24 (SUNDAY):  Paint and Munch fundraiser to benefit Cavendish Library. Tickets are $40 per person and include a painting lesson and delicious meal. The event will be from 1-4 at the library. FMI & Reservation: Kata at 802-226-7503

FEBRUARY 27 (WEDNESDAY): Annual School District Meeting and Informational Meeting will take place at Green Mountain Union High School Auditorium on Wed. Feb. 27, at 7 pm.   

MARCH 4 (MONDAY): Town Meeting

MARCH 5 (TUESDAY): VOTING! Proctorsville Fire Department from 10-7.

MARCH 31 (SUNDAY): Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting, 4pm at the Cavendish Baptist Church. As part of the this event, the film “Alone in the Wilderness” will be shown. This is free and open to the public. FMI: 802-226-7807 or margocaulfield@icloud.com

For information on upcoming events, go to the Cavendish Connects Calendar. For area events, check the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce calendar.  

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