Author: Abby Ledoux

Six residents among Gov. Scott’s 150-plus state appointments

Sue Blair is keenly aware of the impact she has on Vermonters’ lives. As director of the Vermont Parole Board, Blair supervises operations of the group that regularly decides which offenders will remain behind bars and which earn another chance at life outside. “It definitely isn’t truly black and white,” Blair said. “The key in any corrections involvement or for the parole board: You’ve got to see gray.” Blair’s four-year appointment to the directorship is one of more than 150 to various state commissions announced by Gov. Phil Scott earlier this month. Among those tapped to advise the state...

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Green Mountain Acupuncture sticks it to patients

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of our “Try Town” series, in which Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter and Milton Independent reporters try activities available in our communities. A warm sensation descended over me as Kiki Colgan gently tapped a needle in my upper ear. That feeling, according to my research, was my “qi” – the ancient Chinese term for vital energy that constantly circulates the body. “Take a deep breath in, and I think that’s good,” Colgan said, dimming the lights. “You can just relax, and the needles will start to release endorphins in your body.” It was a...

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Task Force 1 completes Harvey deployment

After a week on the ground in hurricane-ravaged Texas, Vermont Task Force 1 members are home again. The 15-member swift water rescue team embarked on its first out-of-state deployment Thursday, Aug. 31, bound for the Houston area devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Then, Gov. Phil Scott saw the crew off from Colchester, where a 34-hour journey separated them from ground zero. Two days later, they arrived at the College Station, Texas staging point equipped with five rescue boats and three trailers of equipment for an 11-day mission – one day short of what was planned after county officials determined extra...

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PBS forum seeks solutions to opiate crisis

“Loneliness is a big trigger for heroin.” Margaret, a recovering addict, spoke the words from her kitchen table in the Northeast Kingdom, among the most rural and isolated regions in the state. “It grabs your heart and makes it all warm around it, then your whole body gets warm,” she said of the drug that killed more Americans by overdose last year – over 60,000 – than ever before. “When you don’t feel loved, heroin gives you a great big warm hug.” Margaret’s characterization of the highly addictive narcotic opens Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien’s documentary “Here Today,” screened last...

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Tailgating leads to crash, arrest

A Winooski man netted a slew of citations after a crash on Colchester’s Interstate 89, police said. Vermont State Police arrested 58-year-old Carl J. Billadeau III last Thursday evening for negligent operation, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a criminally suspended license, a press release said. Investigation revealed Billadeau had been trailgating an SUV on I-89, driving approximately two feet behind it, police said. The vehicles were traveling in the “safety corridor” near the Colchester weigh station, and rain led to wet road conditions. When the SUV braked, Billadeau struck it, causing damage to both vehicles...

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