93 Miles Of Bikes & Bridges

NORTHEAST KINGDOM-Vermont's 93-Mile Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is part of many Northern Vermont's biggest attractions! Although many people enjoy the trails all year round, not everything on the trail is completed and ready for the uptick in tourism. The project, which started in 2005-2006, was initially funded by Washington. 

Read more: 93 Miles Of Bikes & Bridges

10 Years To Improve Food Systems

NORTHEAST KINGDOMS-Vermont Agency of Agriculture has now released a solid plan to promote agriculture businesses, and local food production by Vermonters. The state intends to use this plan for the next ten years.

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Hospitals Make Effort to Deliver Vaccines

ST. JOHSBURY - "Northern Counties and Vermont Regional Hospital work closely together. We have always realized that collaboration gets us more than competition." Laura Newell, of Northern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) says in an interview. Along with her colleague Christopher Towne, of Northern Counties Health Care.

Read more: Hospitals Make Effort to Deliver Vaccines

Gov.Scott address Vermont After Christmas

VERMONT - Governor Phil Scott was optimistic at Monday's press conference following Christmas. Covid cases were down and continuing to decline.


"However we know it's too early to see the impact of holiday travel or larger family gathering had," Scott said.  He then added that Vermont needs to keep going and continue to abide by the state's guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Vaccines have also reached almost ten thousand Vermonters, and should reach all long term care facilities by the end of February. Secretary Mike Smith laid out the plan Vermont was taking in distributing the vaccines amongst Vermonters. Vermont vaccines will be prioritized by age.  "The older you are the more the vulnerable you are."  Smith added that underling conditions will be a priority no matter what age. The age system will start off vaccinating people seventy-five and older and then go down the list in increments of five years.

Vermont also continues to set an example for other states having the least amount of covid cases in the region. Though most everyone was optimistic during the press conference, Scott expects there to be a bump as the holiday season is not over just yet and expects people to travel and gather in groups larger than the guidelines recommend and expects there to be a spike in cases before the year ends.

Gov.Scott address Vermont after Thanksgiving

VERMONT - Governor Phil Scott praised Vermonters Friday after a survey showed that around one in three people planned to dine out with people outside their household which was lower than the national average. Scott also announced an additional three deaths due to COVID since the last press conference, bringing Vermont's total death toll up to 67.

Read more: Gov.Scott address Vermont after Thanksgiving

Deer Season During Covid

NEK-Covid cases in the state of Vermont are starting to rise as deer hunting season is just right around the corner. With the season starting soon, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wanted to create a safer way for hunters to register their deer at home.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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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. 

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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