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Sheriff’s Dept. plans DUI checkpoint

NEWFANE — During the month of August, the Windham County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies will conduct a sobriety checkpoint within Windham County.

The Sheriff’s Department says an aggressive effort will be made to identify impaired drivers on area highways as well as to enforce seat belt, child restraint, and other motor vehicle laws.

Local author presents cartooning and illustration workshop

NEWFANE — On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 10:30 a.m., author and illustrator John Steven Gurney will hold a workshop at Moore Free Library, 23 West St.

The workshop will start with a presentation on the thought process involved in the creation of an illustration. Kids will learn about John’s creative process as an author and illustrator and what makes an illustration an effective device for telling a story.

The presentation will be followed by a workshop in which participants will be guided in the process of drawing their own alien. Drawing supplies will be provided.

Gurney is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Fuzzy Baseball and the picture book Dinosaur Train. He has illustrated more than 140 chapter books, including the A to Z Mysteries, the Bailey School Kids, and The Calendar Mysteries series.

He has illustrated board games, advertising, posters, puzzles, and a shopping bag for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. He has worked as a caricature artist from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, and on the streets of New York City, but primarily in New England. He studied illustration at the Pratt Institute and received his MFA in Illustration from the Hartford Art School.

For more information, call the library at 802-365-7948.

Load the Latchis food drive is Aug. 22

BRATTLEBORO — The annual Load the Latchis food drive takes place Thursday, Aug. 22, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St.

Help Groundworks Collaborative fill every seat in the Latchis Theatre with a bag of groceries for area neighbors in need as staff from 92.7 BrattFM collect grocery items and cash to support Foodworks — the new name for the Groundworks foodshelf program.

Monetary support makes the greatest impact, as Groundworks is able to purchase large quantities of food from the Vermont Foodbank at prices well below grocery store cost. Every dollar they raise is leveraged by their ability to accept large donations of free, high-quality food salvaged from local grocery and convenience stores.

If you can’t make it to the food drive, consider an online cash donation at

Free produce distribution in Putney

PUTNEY — The next Putney Food Drop will take place on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at Putney Meadows, 17 Carol Brown Way (white building across from the Putney Food Co-op and the fire station).

All are welcome to come for free produce and some nonperishable items distributed by the Vermont Foodbank and the Putney Foodshelf. This event is open to anyone in the community. Participants should bring their own shopping bags.

‘Wildlife Tales’ at Pratt Library

DUMMERSTON — On Thursday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., Lydia Taft Pratt Library invites back the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum for a wrap-up celebration of the summer reading program, “Universe of Stories.”

This fun-for-all-ages program uses stories from around the world to introduce audiences to animals, melding culture and science in an engaging and interactive format and leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. This event is free and open to the public.

For further information, call the library at 802-258-9878 or email

Brattleboro Senior Center to close temporarily

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Senior Center will be closed Sept. 7-15 to both the Congregate Meals and all activities that occur in the Senior Center due to kitchen floor replacement.

During this time, activities such as painting classes and Tai Chi will still run in their normal time and location on various other floors of the building. Participants should use the front entrance of the building during this time frame.

During this time, Congregate Meals and Meals on Wheels food will be prepared at a location to be announced. For questions regarding Brattleboro Senior Meals, call Chris at 802-257-1236. For questions or concerns about Senior Center activities and programs, call Sarah at 802-257-7570.

Hand-carved wooden birds at RFPL

BELLOWS FALLS — Adam Wetzel’s collection of hand-carved wooden birds is currently on display on the Main Floor of Rockingham Free Public Library.

Wetzel, a resident of Saxtons River, has been carving as a hobby for 40 years. His self-taught process begins with studying which bird he would like to devote time to. Then a roughed-out bass wood form is shaped with various knives and chisels.

Feather detail is defined by a wood burning tool and many layers of acrylic paint washes to bring life to the wood. Museum-quality glass eyes are the only non-carved feature.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #523 (Wednesday, August 14, 2019). This story appeared on page B2.

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