Redistricting plan gets mixed reviews

NEWBURY—If the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board’s draft redistricting plan is adopted in 2022, there will be no more House districts featuring multiple members.
The redrawing of the district boundaries will result in 150 single-member districts instead of the current blend single- and multi-member districts.
After the decennial census, the Legislative Apportionment Board reviews state House and Senate representation to ensure they are apportioned fairly with regard to population changes.

Police investigate Groton death

GROTON—Vermont State Police are investigating the death of a 59-year-old woman in Groton who was found inside her home earlier this month.
Mary Ellen Corbett, 59, of Groton, was found dead on the afternoon of Oct. 3. Vermont State Police disclosed on Oct. 28 that officers are conducting an investigation and awaiting autopsy results before making a determination on the cause of death.
The news release stated that there is no danger to the community.

Pandemic ‘hero’ dies suddenly

BRADFORD—The Oct. 27 Oxbow Unified Union School District meeting opened with a moment of silence for Corinna Magalhaes who died unexpectedly on Oct. 20.
She was the Bradford Elementary School food service director. As students transitioned to remote learning during the first weeks of the pandemic, Magalhaes invested many, many hours and gave up family time to design and coordinate a lunch program that provided some 750 meals every day to recipients in Bradford, Newbury, and Thetford.
In May 2020, colleagues hailed her as a School Lunch Hero for her tireless efforts.

Town mulls sheriff’s contract

VERSHIRE—Vershire residents may have an article on the town meeting warning next spring about whether to increase the police presence in town.
During a selectboard meeting on Oct. 26, Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak and Capt. Scott Clouatre spoke about community policing services that could be provided under a contract.
Currently, the town of 672 does not have a dedicated police presence, although Vermont State Police routinely respond to calls for service and other complaints in the town. OCSD and other local departments may respond to calls when VSP is not available.

Board stalemated on Airport Road

NORTH HAVERHILL—After nearly two more hours of debate on Monday evening, the Haverhill Selectboard remains indecisive about Airport Road.
Earlier this year, an FAA-sponsored study of Dean Memorial Airport safety was completed. Last month, a public hearing was held on the study’s recommendations to correct various long-standing natural and manmade safety hazards at the small, municipally owned airport.

Town to assess demolition costs

TOPSHAM—The new town garage site dominated discussion at the Oct. 25 selectboard meeting, which was held in person and with remote participation.
Board members voted to hire a contractor specializing in demolition to provide an estimate to tearing down two structures on the property.
A new garage site has long bedeviled Topsham. Few question the need for a new home for the town highway crew. The current garage in East Topsham is cramped and in poor condition.

Wicked windows catch the eye

CORINTH—Witches get plenty of attention in October, which brings to mind those odd-angled windows seen on area 19th century farmhouses. The architectural wonders are displayed in their diagonal glory positioned near the eaves and stimulate questions from visitors who have not seen them before.
Commonly, these windows are double-hung sash windows, but can also be single-sided casements. They are usually built into a gable-end wall, with the long edge parallel to the roof’s slope.

NEK farm animals find fame online

PEACHAM—The next video of frolicking farm animals you see on social media might just be posted by one of your neighbors.
Gold Shaw Farm in Peacham posts videos of everyday farm life to several social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook, with hundreds of thousands of followers on each website.
Owner Morgan Gold and his wife Allison Ebrahimi Gold purchased the farm in 2016 and currently raise ducks, geese, chicken, and cattle. They have been posting videos to the internet since spring 2018.

Bridge, road closures coming up

BRADFORD—The downtown Bradford bridge that underwent repairs last week will briefly close again this week.
The Route 5 bridge over the Waits River closed for nearly four days last week as the Vermont Agency of Transportation reinforced decking on the south approach with new concrete and steel plates to prevent further deterioration in the roadway.
Officials hope to close the bridge again on Oct. 21 so a contractor can re-pave the area worked on last week. Shauna Clifford of VTrans said the bridge will be closed for at least half a day and should reopen no later than the end of that day. The project is weather dependent so it may be rescheduled if the weather does not cooperate.

Covid strains school staffing

BRADFORD—Orange East Supervisory Union superintendent Emilie Knisley reported that there had been “a big uptick on COVID cases” in all the district schools at the Oxbow Unified Union School District meeting on Oct. 23. She did not provide specific numbers, but that the increase placed additional demands on school staff.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, there have been five cases at Bradford Elementary School this year, one at Newbury Elementary School, three at Oxbow, and one at Thetford Elementary School. Zero cases have been reported at both Waits River Valley School and River Bend Career and Technical Center.