People & Places

In This State: For state snowplow drivers, life in the cab is a rough adventure

VTrans snowplow driver Mike Bride

Keeping state roads and the interstate cleared in winter takes a small army of big orange trucks. It’s a rough job short on sleep and leaves drivers with many snowy and icy tales to tell.

YWP: Riding Cows and Hot Cocoa

Ava Kendrick is a sophomore at Harwood Union High School. Courtesy photo

The week’s Young Writers Project entry is “Riding Cows and Hot Cocoa” by Ava Kendrick, a sophomore at Harwood Union High School.

In This State: Erica Heilman and Rumble Strip Vermont

Erica Heilman has done pieces on Barre’s Thunder Road Speedbowl, on taxidermists, defense attorneys, parenting, dementia, wood heat and waitresses. Furnished photo

On RumbleStripVermont.com, Erica Heilman has posted audio files that last from several minutes to more than an hour. Most of them involve Vermont and Vermonters.

YWP: Today is the Day

Samuel Boudreau is a senior at Bellows Free Academy. Courtesy photo

This week’s Young Writers Project entry is “Today is the Day” by Samuel Boudreau, a senior at Bellows Free Academy.

Salman Rushdie speaks about storytelling, censorship

Author Salman Rushdie spoke at Ira Allen Chapel at UVM on Wednesday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

“The moment you limit free speech, it’s not free speech,” Rushdie told a packed crowd at UVM in response to a question about the attack on “Charlie Hebdo”

In This State: Don Horrigan creates magic with spirits and syrups

Don Horrigan, the bar chef at Edson Hill in Stowe, prepares to make a cocktail in the resort’s bar. Photo by Dirk Van Susteren

Ask Don Horrigan if he’s a “bartender” or a “mixologist,” and he will politely suggest another title – “bar chef” – which seems to fit him perfectly, as, one might say, a bright lemon twist fits perfectly in a cool dry martini.

YWP: The Arctic Monkeys

Noa Urbaitel is a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School. Courtesy photo

This week’s Young Writers Project entry is “The Arctic Monkeys” by Noa Urbaitel, a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School.

In This State: At the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, two former Olympians find a winning formula

Owners Judy Geer and Dick Dreissigacker have made sustainability a key mission as the nonprofit they founded in 2008 transforms the well-known Craftsbury Outdoor Center in the Northeast Kingdom. Solar panels (there are eight in all) now  provide up to 80 percent of the power used by the center. Photo by Andrew Nemethy

In the six years they’ve now owned it, Dick Dreissigacker and Judy Geer, both Olympic rowers, have created a novel nonprofit model to run the cross-country ski and outdoor sports operations at the highly regarded Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Boy Scout group maintains conservation legacy in Stratton

TroopHorizontal

Since the 1950s, Snowald has been used primarily as a gathering place for Boy Scout troops to experience nature. But its neighbors know it as a place open to hikers, hunters and skiers.

YWP: Spill the Paint

Audrey Dawson is a sophomore at Essex High School. Courtesy photo

This week’s Young Writers Project entry is “Spill the Paint” by Audrey Dawson, a sophomore at Essex High School.

Geared up to groom: Federally funded Sno-Cat helps local VAST club boost tourism

Hawks Mountain Ridge Riders Vice President Barry Messer shows USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady around the cab of a new Sno-Cat.  The new groomer, equipped with hand controls to enable the club’s disabled members to operate the equipment, will travel about 2,000 miles this year grooming about 46 miles of trail during the snowmobiling season. Photo by Troy Shaheen

A federal grant gives a snowmobiling club a boost and may help the local economy. As Ted Brady of USDA put it, the Sno-Cat “isn’t just a grooming machine, it’s a job creating machine.”

In This State: For Mary Leahy, literacy goes beyond reading

Mary Leahy: "I'm not tutoring now, but if there were a student nearby, I certainly would." Photo by Nancy Graff

In 38 years with Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Mary Leahy worked to make adult literacy programs “as inclusive as any other form of education, so that everyone could become part of the cultural community.”

YWP: This Unsteady World

Rose Meriam is a senior at Spaulding High School in Barre. Courtesy photo

This week’s Young Writers Project entry is “This Unsteady World” by Rose Meriam, a senior at Spaulding High School.

Happy Holidays to our readers!

The Vermont Statehouse. Photo by John Herrick

Over the next few days, we will ring out 2014 with a recounting of the stories that will have a lasting impact on the future of Vermont.

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