Around the Towns

Three-minute VY siren test scheduled for area towns

BRATTLEBORO - On Saturday, Nov. 1 at noon, state and local public safety agencies will conduct an audible sounding of the 37 sirens located within the Vermont Yankee ten-mile emergency planning zone.

The pole-mounted sirens are located in the Vermont towns of Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford and Vernon, and in the New Hampshire towns of Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Richmond, Swanzey and Winchester. In Massachusetts, the sirens are located in Gill, Colrain, Leyden, Bernardston and Northfield.

The three-minute siren testing is being conducted by the Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts state public safety agencies in compliance with the regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the effectiveness of the public notification system.

Residents with questions on the annual testing can contact their town's emergency management director or Mark Gilmore at Vermont Yankee at 802-258-4168.

Drop In Center hosts Emergency Winter Shelter volunteer training

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Area Drop In Center will be hosting a training session for both new and returning volunteers who wish to help operate Brattleboro's Emergency Winter Shelter.

These training sessions are scheduled to occur at downtown Brattleboro's First Baptist Church, 190 Main St., on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m. If you are interested in joining the shelter's volunteer team, arrive to this meeting on time and use the church's side door.

Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to attend these training sessions. If you wish to be involved with the shelter as a volunteer, but cannot attend the training sessions, contact the Drop In Center at 802- 257-5415 or [email protected].

Creepy Crawl 5K race, bake sale benefit Guilford school sports

GUILFORD - Guilford Central School presents a challenging and festive 5K race on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 9:30 a.m. Come in costume and be prepared to be spooked. This course will follow through the haunted hills of Guilford. Free t-shirts courtesy of Olympia Sports, with $10 registration.

All proceeds will benefit the Guilford School Winter Sports Program. To register in advance, find Creepy Crawl on Facebook. For more information contact Guilford School at 802-254-2271.

Osher lectures continue

DUMMERSTON - The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) will hold the fifth in its series of autumn morning and afternoon lectures on November 3 with programs on the nature of comedy and the meaning of economic well-being.

In the morning series of six lectures, Stephen Stearns will discuss stand-up comedy and comedy on TV. In the afternoon lectures, Jim Tober will consider ways of tempering the forces of economic greed.

Morning lectures run from 10 a.m. to noon; afternoon lectures, from 1 to 3 p.m. All lectures will be held at the Southeastern Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 Vermont Route 5. Parking and handicapped access are available, and light refreshments will be served at the lectures. For further information, call 802-257-8600 or 866-889-0042.

BMC starts 'Singing Strong' chorus

BRATTLEBORO - Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 4, Brattleboro Music Center choral director Susan Dedell will begin the concluding session of the year of “Singing Strong,” a chorus designed especially for seniors who love to sing.

“As we head towards the Winter Solstice, with the shortening days, and the coming of the various holiday seasons, I think it is especially lovely to join together and sing,” says Dedell. “Singing in a group boosts the immune system, improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. Best of all, it makes you happier!”

She will lead everyone in songs chosen from a variety of musical styles. Absolutely no prior singing experience or music reading skills necessary. “Singing Strong” meets on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. with a modest fee of $35 for a six-week period.

The chorus is hosted by St. Michael's Episcopal Church, which is located on the corner of Bradley Avenue and Putney Road. St. Michael's is handicap accessible and barrier free, and ample parking is available. Call the Brattleboro Music Center at 257-4523 for any further information and to register.

Choir School begins holiday session

BRATTLEBORO - The Choir School, led by choral director Susan Dedell, begins a special holiday session on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 3:45-4:45 p.m. The Choir School is a singing program for children ages 7-12 which provides young singers excellent training in a variety of musical skills in a nurturing and motivational setting.

The Choir School is open to all regardless of religious affiliation or level of musical ability, and is especially designed for children who love to sing and want to further their abilities to sing with others.

“I love working with the children,” says director Dedell. “As long as they have an open and curious mind, they can become wonderful musicians!” This session, the children will concentrate on learning and singing holiday music from a variety of sources, leading up to a choral “Festival of Lights.”

Participation in The Choir School is free of charge, and is sponsored by St. Michael's Episcopal Church. It meets at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, which is located at the corner of Putney Road and Bradley Avenue. For more information, contact St. Michael's Episcopal church at or 802-254-6048.

Tales of porcupines presented in Dummerston

DUMMERSTON -- Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC) naturalist Patti Smith will share her experiences with “The Fretful Porcupine” on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at The Learning Collaborative, 471 Rte. 5.

For the past two years, Patti has been studying, writing about, and spending time with porcupines. Among them are two particular friends: Fretful, the friendly gentleman porcupine, and Dandelion the Dreadful, an orphaned porcupette she raised this past summer. Patti will share pictures, video, and stories of these two fascinating characters, as well as the porcupine natural history she has learned along the way.

This program is co-sponsored by BEEC and the Dummerston Conservation Commission. For information, see or

Windham County Maple Association hosts annual meeting

BRATTLEBORO - This year's annual Windham County Maple Association meeting takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m., in the Brattleboro Savings & Loan Community Room,. 221 Main St. (rear entrance – if locked, ring bell).

The guest speaker is Tim Wilmot, UVM Extension Maple Specialist, who will speak about the results of his 3/16-inch tubing natural vacuum research. With the right conditions, producers have reported seeing equivalent vacuum to mechanical systems when using this new type of tubing.

Jack Dix, from Corse Maple Farm, will also discuss their sap production over the last decade, including the use of various different vacuum systems.

Warming shelter to hold open house

BELLOWS FALLS - The Greater Falls Warming Shelter will hold an open house at its facility at 23 Church Street in North Walpole, N.H., Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The public is invited to tour the shelter, meet the board and staff, and learn about volunteer opportunities. Refreshments will be served.

The shelter plans to open Nov. 15, and will remain open every night until mid-April. The capacity is 10 people per night, with two shifts of volunteers from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Volunteers are also needed to bring in evening meals.

The shelter maintains a Facebook page at Greater Falls Warming Shelter and can be reached at [email protected].

Holiday decorations are top topic at Newfane Garden Club

NEWFANE - The Newfane Garden Club will hold its next meeting Thursday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m., in the Newfane Congregational Church.

Sally Winchester, a Townshend resident and owner of Windham Flowers in Brattleboro will show members how to make and decorate a holiday topiary tree using boxwood, floral foam and a design dish.

One of our most creative area plant specialists, Winchester's method can be used for making Thanksgiving centerpieces as well, so this meeting will start you off on the right foot for your holiday decorations. Hostesses are Beverly Bates and Marion Dowling. The public is welcome to attend.

New grief support group forms

TOWNSHEND - Brattleboro Area Hospice will start a new six-week grief support group, beginning on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Grace Cottage Wellness Center on Route 35.

“Loss & Transitions” is for people grieving the death of a loved one. The waning light, approach of winter, and seasonal holidays can be an especially challenging time. No matter where you are on your grieving journey, consider joining this group for exploration on getting through this transitional season in one piece.

The group is free of charge, but registration isrequired. Contact Cheryl Richards at Brattleboro Area Hospice, 802-257-0775, ext. 108, or [email protected] to register or for more information.

Bald Hill Hike takes place Nov. 8

WESTMINSTER - Get to know another interesting trail system on a guided hike offered by the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association [WHPA] on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

This free activity will introduce nature lovers to a marvelous regional resource: the combined trail system on the Rockingham/Westminster lands of the 50-acre WHPA Bald Hill Reserve and the 200 acres of the Bellows Falls Union High School, which has more land than any other public high school in Vermont.

Randy Major, a member of both the Bald Hill Committee of the Pinnacle Association and the WHPA Board, will lead this moderate jaunt to familiarize hikers with the combined trail system and to give them a close-up view of Twin Falls from the infrequently visited south side of the Saxtons River.

Hikers will also walk up one side of Bald Hill and down the other, taking in views of the nearby Village and distant Mount Ascutney 40 miles north.

Participants should dress warmly and bring water. Hikers should meet at 232 Covered Bridge Road in North Westminster, and contact Randy Major at 802-387-5737 for information and registration. A visit to will yield a map indicating the trailheads and information about other upcoming Pinnacle programs.

Our Whole Lives program offered to middle school youth in Windham County

BRATTLEBORO - Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive sexuality education program for youth in grades 7-9, will be offered for the second year in Brattleboro beginning Nov. 10, by All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist and Centre Congregational Church.

It is open to all youth in the community. Developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, OWL contains no religious references or doctrines. It does, however, advocate the values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice, and inclusivity.

The OWL program equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Visit for more detailed information.

OWL will run for 21 weeks and will be held on Monday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Centre Congregational Church on Main Street. The cost of the course is $125 and scholarships are available.

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register for the OWL program, contact Suzanne d'Corsey at [email protected] or 802-254-9377.

BUHS to hold Career Expo, Job Fair

BRATTLEBORO - On Monday, Nov. 10, for 2 to 6 p.m., in the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium, top employers from the tri-state area are coming together to raise awareness of career opportunities and will also recruit for specific job openings.

More than 20 employers, along with several temporary staffing agencies, colleges, technical schools, and human service agencies, will be staffing informational tables as part of the second annual Career Expo & Job Fair organized by the Windham Workforce Investment Board.

The Career Expo will showcase several of the region's largest employers in health care, manufacturing, wholesale trade, hospitality, and financial services, among other industry sectors. A complete list of exhibitors is available at

Even if you are not searching for a job right now, you can learn more about what it is our local businesses do, the wide variety of career fields they employ workers in, and the qualifications they desire, such as preferred education credentials, job-related skills, and prior work experience.

Several education providers will be on hand to provide information on program offerings that can prepare workers for occupations in demand in the local labor market. In addition, several human services agencies will be at the Career Expo to offer job search assistance and information about various work supports available in the community.

RSVP by going to Event planners highly recommend that attendees wear professional attire and bring several copies of their resume.

SRAG hosts bus trip to Clark Art Institute

SAXTONS RIVER - Saxtons River Art Guild (SRAG) is planning a visit to the newly renovated Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The museum is known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings and its Renaissance masterpieces.

The price of the trip is $45 for SRAG members and $55 for non-members. Admission to the museum is free. Lunch is not included, but is available at the café.

The bus will pick up in Walpole, N.H. and Brattleboro. For reservations, call Greater Falls Travel Agency at 802-463-3919 as soon as possible.

Grafton Winter Christmas Market accepting vendors

GRAFTON - The Grafton Church will once again hold its Winter Christmas Market, and they are seeking local handcrafters.

The market will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at The Grafton School. They will have a wide variety of locally made products including Christmas decorations, note cards, hand-sewn quilts and bags, fresh centerpieces, photographs, and homemade jams, jellies, fudge and mustard.

They will also have antiques, and a quilt raffle. A soup lunch will be available, along with desserts and baked goods. There will be a Kids Cookie Table where children can decorate their own cookies.

E-mail [email protected] if you would like a vendor application.

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