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

Packing Event to Support Our Troops

real packing thumbnail ST. JOHNBSURY-VT SUPPORTS held their ninth annual packing event this past Saturday at the Elks Lodge, and hundreds in the community gathered to show support for our troops overseas. 

Read more: Packing Event to Support Our Troops

Secretary of State Touches Base In Saint Johnsbury

transparency tour nov 20thSAINT JOHNSBURY- The Secretary of State, Jim Condos visited Saint Johnsbury in his eighth stop of his state-wide "Transparency Tour."

Condos explained the public records act, Vermont's open meeting laws, and detailed different ways Vermont is keeping the state's elections safe from cyber attacks.

Read more: Secretary of State Touches Base In Saint Johnsbury

Mobile Medical's Latest Product Launch

NOV15 MMIC RIBBON CUTTINGSAINT JOHNSBURY- Governor Phil Scott attended Mobile Medical International Corporation's ribbon cutting ceremony, held to kick off their new generation line of products.

MMIC showcased their new Mobile Sterile Processing System unit to attendees, offering a tour of the unit and refreshments after the cutting.

Read more: Mobile Medical's Latest Product Launch

US District Attorney Announces Results From NEK Drug Sweep

PressConfSAINT JOHNSBURY-US District Attorney Christina Nolan was in Saint Johnsbury along with local and state agencies. Nolan announced the effort, which focused in on drug trafficking in the Northeast Kingdom. 

Read more: US District Attorney Announces Results From NEK Drug Sweep

The Fairbanks Museum's STEM Lab

lab2ST. JOHNSBURY- The Fairbanks Museum's STEM Lab is fairly new and exciting in the world of science. For some people science seems bleak and boring, for others it's like jumping into a new universe. Leila Nordmann who is the Director of the STEM Lab at the Museum has a deeper understanding as to what happens inside the labs.

Read more: The Fairbanks Museum's STEM Lab

$3 Million Bond Narrowly Passes

st j bondST. JOHNSBURY- St. Johnsbury taxpayers narrowly passed a $3 million bond for the St. Johnsbury School by just 11 votes, 411 against 400. The bond addresses two key issues; a redesign of front office locations and entryway design for added school security, and a new wood chip heating system.

Read more: $3 Million Bond Narrowly Passes

St. Johnsbury's Brewing Up New Things

Central CafeSAINT JOHNSBURY- Not only is business in Saint Johnsbury booming, its also still blooming.


Central Cafe opened their doors for the first time on Wednesday morning. Located in the center of town off of Route 5, Central Cafe is certainly living up to its name.

Read more: St. Johnsbury's Brewing Up New Things

MITI Manufacturing Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

miti ribbon cut thumbnail

SAINT JOHNSBURY- The governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, was a guest speaker for MITI Manufacturing Company's ribbon cutting ceremony for the company‚Äôs grand opening of their Fairbanks Scale location.

In a particularly exciting and promising day for the community of Saint Johnsbury, Scott made his second visit for the town in order to give a warm welcome to the president of the company, Jean-Patrick Lariviere.

Read more: MITI Manufacturing Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony