Winter Brings New Way To Feed Kids

ST. JOHNSBURY - With the new hybrid model that St. Johnsbury school is offering to students in order to deliver them the best education they can give during the pandemic, the school has had to make some adjustments while preparing for the winter months.

Read more: Winter Brings New Way To Feed Kids

The Voice For Regular Vermonters

ST, JOHNSBURY-Law Attorney, Brice Simon, is taking a whack at running for the legislature this year. Hoping to focus on being the voice for regular Vermonters.

Read more: The Voice For Regular Vermonters

Campaigning During The Elections

ST. JOHNSBURY-Running for re-election, Representative Scott Campbell gives some insights on what campaigning has been like this year during the pandemic.

Read more: Campaigning During The Elections

Scott Becks Big Ideas

ST. JOHNSBURY-Scott Beck, House Representative, has had a seat in the legislature for many years. His main focus for this years general election is to help the state of Vermont spend less money in the future.

Read more: Scott Becks Big Ideas

Veggie Van Go

ST. JOHNSBURY - Northern Vermont Regional Hospitals Veggie Van Go program comes at a critical time during Covid-19.  The four year old program is hosted by the hospital and put on by the Vermont food bank, and is a partnership between the food bank, the hospital and schools in the area.

Read more: Veggie Van Go

St Johnsbury School COVID-19 Negative

St. Johnsbury-- On Monday, St. Johnsbury School Superintendent Dr. Brian Ricca sent out an email and automated phone call to the St. Johnsbury School community informing that a member of their school's community had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dr. Ricca said the positive case was isolated to the 5th grade and that all 5th grade students and staff would stay remote for the remainder of the week. That all changed on Wednesday when Dr. Ricca announced the COVID case turned out to be a false positive.  

Read more: St Johnsbury School COVID-19 Negative

Northeast Kingdoms Newest Bike Trail

ST. JOHNSBURY-The Northeast Kingdom is known for its various bike trials that run all over the state of Vermont. Tourist from all over the United States come to the Kingdom all year round for the trails, but now a new addition to the NEK bike trails is open and ready to ride.

Read more: Northeast Kingdoms Newest Bike Trail

Hazardous Waste

ST. JOHNSBURY-Household products that include warnings like toxic, danger, hazard, poisonous, reactive, corrosive and flammable are all worthy of staying away from. If you happen to have anything in your house like paint, oven cleaner, or bleach, there is a safe, and easy way to dispose of them.

Read more: Hazardous Waste

St. J School Renovations

ST. JOHNSBURY - St. Johnsbury School has been in operation for twenty years. This past November voters in the town of St. Johnsberry voted on a construction project for the St. Johnsbury school. This project will upgrade and relocate the main office, change the heating system, and add more security to the entrance.

"We will have secure entrances not only at the front door but at the secondary door at the main office area," said Brian Ricca, Super Intendant of St. Johnsbury School said. Ricca continued.

"If for some reason the person who is sitting at the desk isn't satisfied with what they see or the person's explanation for them being in the building, they will not be allowed further access into the building," Ricca said.

Ricca also added that this change will also help make people feel more welcome and safe when they are in the school.

Another addition to these changes includes a new heating system. This new system will run off of wood chips or pellets. Ricca says, for will decrease our need to rely on oil, which we know is not great for our environment."

The school construction project hopes to be ready in time for students when they return. However, Ricca says that the main priority is the main entrance.

"There's a little bit more time allowed for the heating system simply because we're not planning on using heat until probabley until early October." Ricca said.

Job Fair Was A Success

ST. JOHNSBURY - The May 11th Northeast Kingdom job fair was a success in the eyes of the organizers.  

Heather Spinney, who works in human resources at Northern Vermont Regional Hospital feels strongly about creating workforce relationships within the community, so when Todd Gratton reached out to the hospital and asked them to participate in the Job Fair she thought it was a great way to tell their story out there to promote them as an employer in the community. "So I did not hesitate at all, and said yes absolutely."

She explained that the presentation she put together for the Job Fair was more focused on what life is like working at NVRH. Touching base on the different job options they have available to the community. "Went over the benefits, the application process, the hiring process." Along with the hospital's mission, with some background information on the positions they offer at the hospital.

This is not the first time that the hospital has done this kind of thing before. "We've done it with Norwich University this year as well when they switched from an in person job fair hiring event to a virtual one. We also do one with the American Nurses association as well." She expresses her hope for the community when she shares the hospital's story on how the work environment is like there.

"The different opportunities that are available, it's not just nurses and doctors. But there are a whole bunch of people that help those nurses and doctors make this hospital run. Wanting people to know that we are very involved in the community." She expresses how she believes it is a wonderful place to work, the focus on education is very important for them.

The opportunities the hospital has many different kinds of educational training, continuing lots of education opportunities. The hospital also has a nursing scholarship that says if you work for the hospital for over three years the students can apply for the scholarship that will help nursing students get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the hospital also has annual tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment. She shares that the presentation went really well over all.

Gratton shares that same opinion as he tells me how things went for Creative WorkForce Solutions on their end of the Job Fair. "I think our participants liked what happened, NVRH is an amazing partner with CWS. We had some good responses." Technology wise, Gratton thinks that despite the fact this was a new experience for them the group made the right choice in using the app Zoom. "Heather was amazing, her presentation was really good. Got a lot of good information out there, including the history of the hospital, the culture of the hospital, and the open positions at the hospital. But also traditional positions."

He says about ten people attended, and during the fair none left the virtual Job Fair. But he shares that the group had a meeting this morning on how they could improve things for next time. When it comes to reaching out to people, he thinks maybe a flyer or a youtube link to let people know how to use zoom. "I have been using Zoom for a month straight, so I'm pretty proficient. I think other people that are not as proficient, you know Zoom can be a hard platform to utilize. So we want to make sure technology is not a burden for anybody."

Virtual Poetry Read Aloud

ST. JOHNSBURY - Catamount Arts had to get a bit creative when it came to showcasing local poets in light of COVID-19. Facebook was helpful in making this happen. 

Read more: Virtual Poetry Read Aloud

Come To The Virtual Job Fair

ST. JOHNSBURY- Normally when you think of a job fair, you see a big gymnasium with a bunch of tables surrounding the floor. Each table has a different job description and ways to apply. But after talking with Todd Gratton, and Alexis Proia, have come up with a new way to present a job fair.

Read more: Come To The Virtual Job Fair

St. Johnsbury Schools Decide No Thirds and Fourth Quarter Grading

ST. JOHNSBURY- The St. Johnsbury School District announced they will not be grading students for the third and fourth quarter. 

"The schools leadership team has taken a significant amount of time to consider the needs and best interest of all our students. There is no way to create an equitable situation for our students during this time and so we have done our best to participate in learning opportunities from home and with the support of their teachers," said Superintendent of St. Johnsbury Schools Dr. Brain Ricca.

Read more: St. Johnsbury Schools Decide No Thirds and Fourth Quarter Grading

Virtual Book Meeting at Umbrella

St. Johnsbury- Umbrella, a non-profit aimed at serving womens health in the Northeast Kingdom held a virtual book discussion on Zoom Friday, about the book Know My Name by Chanel Miller. 

Read more: Virtual Book Meeting at Umbrella

St. Johnsbury School Meal Distribution Plan Growing

St. Johnsbury- The St. Johnsbury School is continuing to make an impact on their local community by giving school meals to students and families in need. 

This comes as schools and businesses shut down last month admist the COVID-19 outbreak leaving many families with no jobs and many students with no meals. 

Read more: St. Johnsbury School Meal Distribution Plan Growing

COVID-19 Causes Courts to Go Online

courthouseST. JOHNSBURY - The Caledonia County Courthouse is now using online resources to hold scheduled arraignments as COVID-19 continues to hamper the legal system.

Many courthouses throughout the state, including Caledonia County are dealing with court proceedings via video web link or conference call, but this alternative method brings its own challenges.



"Coordinating all the parties for remote proceedings can be a challenge, a challenge which is enhanced by the fact we are operating with reduced staff in Caledonia as well as other courts," said Chief Superior Judge, Brian Grearson.

When asked if there are any major differences in handling arraignments through web conference rather than in person Judge Grearson says, "The biggest difference is that the proceedings are more impersonal and during some proceedings the judge is the only person in the courtroom other than the court room operator".

The vast majority of those incarcerated are being arraigned via video, but there are still a limited number of individuals being cited to appear in person. The use of this technology is changing how many people communicate, especially for those who are accustomed to doing their job in a specific way.

"For the most part attorneys are appearing remotely by phone...because the the use of remote access via video or by phone is new to attorneys and self represented litigants, as well as to the court staff, I am sure there are times when hearings are delayed or may be prolonged as parties are adjusting to these new procedures," said Grearson.

For those who are interested in viewing the court proceedings Judge Grearson says they are now piloting the live stream.

"The normal court recording is in place to capture the audio record- we do not preserve a video record," said Grearson.

The use of a live video tool is essential at this point in time, but Grearson says he can see the courts continuing to hold arraignments in this way.

"Definitely, to reduce the need for transports and to increase security," said Grearson.

For more information on COVID-19 court operations vist

DOC ties loose ends about St. J inmates

ST. JOHNSBURY - The peak of COVID-19 has brought many state institutions into rather uncommon territory to say the least, when it comes to how they handle certain procedures so that every resident can remain healthy and out of harm's way. One of these institutions is the Vermont Department of Corrections. 

Read more: DOC ties loose ends about St. J inmates

Shortened Season for Country Club and Players in St.J

footballST. JOHNSBURY - The St. Johnsbury Country Club and high school varsity football team share a similar problem, the COVID-19 pandemic may change their plans for the upcoming seasons.

The Country Club was scheduled to open on April 15th, but with Governor Phil Scott's order to shut down non-essential businesses, the country club is forced to wait. 

Read more: Shortened Season for Country Club and Players in St.J

St Johnsbury House Resident Tests Positive for COVID 19

ST. JOHNSBURY -  On Sunday April 5, 2020, the State of Vermont Department of Health informed the management team of the St. Johnsbury House Independent Senior Living Community that a community member tested positive for COVID-19.

The St. Johnsbury House is a 39-apartment affordable independent senior-living community managed by Summit Properties on Main Street in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Read more: St Johnsbury House Resident Tests Positive for COVID 19

Domestic Violence Concerns During Pandemic

DevonStoryST. JOHNSBURY - Domestic violence victims stuck at home with their abusers during quarantine may be in great danger as COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down.

The stay at home order issued by Governor Phil Scott is leaving St. Johnsbury residents, and others around Vermont, in close quarters with no way of escaping the situation.

Read more: Domestic Violence Concerns During Pandemic

Flash Your Lights For Healthcare Workers

NVRHSaluteST. JOHNSBURY - Thursday night at 8:00pm, many gathered outside Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, in parking lot A, to flash their lights and honk their horns to give thanks to the healthcare workers at the hospital. At 8:10pm there was a moment of silence and prayer. 

Read more: Flash Your Lights For Healthcare Workers

St. Johnsbury Prepares for Covid-19

ST. JOHNSBURY- With over 7,000 residents, St. Johnsbury is the largest town in the Northeast Kingdom, making it a potential NEK hotspot for Covid-19 cases. 

With no confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus at the time, the town of St. Johnsbury is preparing for an outbreak as cases in Vermont continue to sky rocket

Read more: St. Johnsbury Prepares for Covid-19

St. Johnsbury Distillery Hand Sanitizer

StJDistilleryST. JOHNSBURY - A local NEK distillery located in St. Johnsbury is helping the community during the Covid-19 outbreak by making hand sanitizer for those who need it. 

For just two weeks now, the St. Johnsbury Distillery has been making hand sanitizer to keep up with the growing amount of cases of Covid-19 and helping their buisness as the distillery's President, Brendan Hughes, says their rum sales have been down. 

Read more: St. Johnsbury Distillery Hand Sanitizer

St. Johnsbury Distributes School Meals

ST. JOHNSBURY - With the Covid-19 outbreak leaving schools closed and parents with no work, many families fear for their children, as for some, school was their main source for food. 

The St Johnsbury School district closed until further notice last week, sending children home to begin online learning until the Governor deemed it safe to return.

Read more: St. Johnsbury Distributes School Meals

Moose River Lodge Unique Display

MOOSE DISPLAYSAINT JOHNSBURY- The Moose River Lodge is the only establishment with a Christmas display, that is not the generic commercialized version. Instead, they specialize in featuring taxidermy items and antiques in their shop.

Read more: Moose River Lodge Unique Display