New Sound for Catamount

ST. JOHNSBURY - The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many hardships for businesses, especially music venues. However, St. Johnsbury's Catamount Film And Arts has found ways of staying open and providing entertainment to the NEK.

Read more: New Sound for Catamount

Community Support From Kingdom Trails

NEK-Earlier in the year, in the midst of the pandemic, the Kingdom Trail Association gave out twenty five thousand dollars to essential agencies in the NEK struggling during Covid-19 Pandemic. The Association continues to surprise the state of Vermont after announcing giving another twenty five thousand dollars to their surrounding communities.

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Agricultural Producers Second Chance To Apply

Round two of the Agency of Agriculture's Covid-19 Relief programs have now begun. The Agency has done so much for the state of Vermont's farmers this year, to top it off, the Agency has launched two new programs into the mix for Phase two.

Read more: Agricultural Producers Second Chance To Apply

Small Climate Change Efforts

NEK- For the last few years, The Council of Rural Development has been working on a special program revolving around the climate economy, and from that program, a new group was created called the Climate Catalysts. 

Read more: Small Climate Change Efforts

Election Day Prep For Vermont Voters

AROUND THE NEK - If you still have not voted for the General Election, there is still plenty of time. Jim Condos goes into great detail on how Vermonters are encouraged to vote this Year. 

Read more: Election Day Prep For Vermont Voters

Efforts To Help Farms In The NEK

AROUND THE NEK - Many farmers in the NEK were struggling to keep buisness afloat during the Pandemic, the Vemont Legislature knew this was a problem and needed a fast fix to help our farmers in the state of Vermont to keep product flowing. 

Read more: Efforts To Help Farms In The NEK

Rep. Kitty Toll Says Goodbye to the Statehouse

NORTHEAST KINGDOM-Representative Catherine Toll made the decision earlier this year to step down as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee in Vermont. She says her decision to step down has nothing to do with what has happened in the last year, but that she simply wants more time to herself.

Read more: Rep. Kitty Toll Says Goodbye to the Statehouse

Bi-Poc Locally Owned Businesses

NORTHEAST KINGDOM-The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired a fairly new organization to reach out to businesses across the northeast kingdom.

Read more: Bi-Poc Locally Owned Businesses

NEK Schools Prepare For Opening

Around the NEK-- The state of Vermont is providing 1,515 PPE kits for schools across Vermont along with 75,750 pairs of gloves, 75,750 surgical masks and nearly 800 gallons of hand sanitizer. 

Local schools here in the Northeast Kingdom are looking forward to re-opening September 8th after sending students to remote learning back in March due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Read more: NEK Schools Prepare For Opening

Alzheimer's Walk Hopes to Happen

NORTHEAST KINDGDOM - The Alzheimer Association of the Northeast Kingdom still has their Walk to End Alzheimers on Saturday September 13th-but they do not know yet if they will be able to complete this walk in person, or virtually.

Read more: Alzheimer's Walk Hopes to Happen

Barton Burglary

BARTON - Sunday morning at around 10 am, Nick's Snack Shack a local convience store in Barton was broken into.

Read more: Barton Burglary

Barnet Green Up Day

BARNET - Although an official Green Up Day in Barnet has been cancelled in light of COVID-19, all month long in Barnet-the town dump they will be accepting green up bags. The town is still hopeful in spreading the Green Up Word.

Read more: Barnet Green Up Day

Barnet Road Restrictions

Barnet- Although COVID is heavy on most minds in America-its still mud sesaon in Vermont and there are some road restrictions around Barnet that drivers should keep in mind. 

 

Read more: Barnet Road Restrictions

Farmers' Markets Adapt to COVID-19 Regulations and Cold Weather

ST. JOHNSBURY - As the COVID-19 pandemic ever so slowly shows signs of improvement across Vermont, Governor Scott has started to loosen restrictions in some aspects for business. On May 1st the governor allowed Farmers Markets to open under strict protocols such as requiring markets to designate a health and safety officer to ensure compliance with all health and safety requirements. Just some of the restrictions include producing products that will be prepared for "take away" and off site consumption of food and drinks, no congregations, and a strong discouragement of in-person shopping, but rather pick-up with a vehicle.

Read more: Farmers' Markets Adapt to COVID-19 Regulations and Cold Weather

Northern Vermont Chambers Group effort for VSCS

AROUND THE NEK- The last couple weeks have not been the easiest in the Northeast Kingdom in the state of Vermont, with Covid-19 continuing to spike in surrounding states. But Vermont faced an economic threat as three Colleges in the Vermont State College System were in jeopardy of closing. Many have stepped in to make sure these colleges stay open, including several Northern Vermont Commerce Chambers.

Read more: Northern Vermont Chambers Group effort for VSCS

More Moose Permits Available for 2020 Season

AROUND THE NEK - 55 moose permits have been allocated for 2020's hunting season. After zero permits being issued in 2019, more permits are being allowed for this season. 

Read more: More Moose Permits Available for 2020 Season

Spring Sports Season Cancelled

sportsVERMONT - In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the spring sports season for schools throughout the state of Vermont has been officially cancelled.

The Vermont Principals Association decision to cancel the season came to be the only logical option as the "Stay at Home Order" was extended at least through May 15th and the school season is nearly over.


VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols says, "Everybody else is pretty much closed, there's only four states left in the United States that are open for sports, we waited as long as we thought we could when the governor made his announcement that schools were gonna be closed there wasn't any consultation with anybody in the schools, none of us knew anything about it, we were surprised by it as well. So we said well, we're not just gonna blankly cancel spring sports because as its said in the executive orders, you can change the order at anytime, so we said if they come back to school we want the kids to have this opportunity, so we said we're gonna wait as long as we can"

The Committee's decision to wait on the cancellation brought on various complaints from people in Vermont.

"There's been a lot of pressure from people from waiting, there's a number of people saying to us ya know we wish you guys would make a decision right now, it would be easier for us for planning and we just said you know what we're gonna wait as long as we can on behalf of the kids, and there's no reason to rush this decision, they asked to make this decision in late March and we said, no we're gonna wait until April," said Nichols.

Although many people may not be happy about these circumstances, high school and college seniors are likely hurting the most, knowing they have played their last game as an athlete representing their school.

"As somebody who's coached high school baseball and girls basketball for a long time in Vermont, I would just say to them that this feels really bad right now and it's certainly a tough experience, but it's an experience that everyone in the country is going through at the same time and they're gonna look back on this and realize that ya know it was really hard, we had to be resilient through it, but ya know I'm thinking about college seniors as well, that the sport of baseball or softball may be the main thing in their lives and now their careers are ended too...but their safety and their security has to come before anything else," said Nichols.

Despite, the elimination of all spring sports Nichols remains optimistic for the start of sports in the fall, "Fingers crossed, praying that there will be, you know no way to know for sure... so yeah we're really hoping that we have fall sports, there may have to be more safety procedures in place and we don't know right now what those may look like... but we need a lot more information before we start making decisions related to the fall, right now we're going to proceed as though we're going to have a fall season, we're gonna do everything we can to give the kids a season".

For more information visit https://vpaonline.org/

Future of Early College Around the NEK

earlycollegeAROUND THE NEK - While the majority of people in the community were worried about several Vermont state colleges closing down, one high school senior felt the impact in a different way.

Willow Schaefer, a senior at Blue Mountain Union School in Groton, VT organized a private zoom call to speak with State Representative and VSCS Trustee, Dylan Giambatista about the future of early college programs at Lyndon, Johnson and VTC campuses.

Read more: Future of Early College Around the NEK

The NEK Meal Train

AROUND THE NEK - The Corona virus has forced many businesses to shut down. Many restaurants however are still in operation, but are serving via take out. Several restaurants in the Northeast Kingdom have teamed up with NVRH to start a local meal train to help serve healthcare workers and the community.

Read more: The NEK Meal Train

“We Are One”- Joint NVU- Lyndon & Johnson Student Government Association Meeting Tonight

AROUND THE NEK - The Northern Vermont University Lyndon and Johnson Student Government Association's will be holding a joint Town Hall Meeting tonight at 8:00 pm. The two campuses each have an association but decided to join forces after a proposal was released Friday to close both campuses of Northern Vermont University, as well as the Randolph campus of Vermont Technical College.

 

Read more: “We Are One”- Joint NVU- Lyndon & Johnson Student Government Association Meeting Tonight

VSC Board of Trustees Discuss Issues Faced by COVID-19 Pandemic

VERMONT -  On Saturday, April 11th, the Vermont State College Board of Trustees met online via Zoom Conference to work towards a recommendation that will be presented to trustees for their next meeting, Monday April 20th.

Read more: VSC Board of Trustees Discuss Issues Faced by COVID-19 Pandemic

Neighbors Helping Neighbors at McIndoe Academy

McIndoeAcademyBARNET - For the past 4 weeks, every Sunday afternoon, community members of Barnet have been using McIndoe Academy in a unique way; as a Drive Thru Food Drive for people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read more: Neighbors Helping Neighbors at McIndoe Academy

Fairbanks Museum Goes Virtual for Students

AROUND THE NEK-- While the Fairbanks Museum was forced to shut its’ doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, they made it clear that teaching the public never stops. The museum is offering free, virtual learning programs that follow the Next-Generation Science Standards for kindergarten through eighth-grade.

Read more: Fairbanks Museum Goes Virtual for Students

Reach out to make your PPE

masksAROUND THE NEK - On a normal day Kimberly Behr is a publisher for a digital magazine about food and wine called The Art Of Eating. But now, she is operating the Northeast Kingdom Operation Face Mask group.

Read more: Reach out to make your PPE

Local Reps Discuss Vermont's Covid-19 Response

VERMONT- It's been two weeks since Governor Phil Scott enacted his "Stay Home Stay Safe" order. Since then, it is expected that social distancing will extend past the original April 19th date given.

Some of Caledonia's legislatures had relatively positive reviews, with a couple of things having caught their eye while watching the state work on "flattening the curve."

Read more: Local Reps Discuss Vermont's Covid-19 Response