Author: Amanda Brooks

Church blesses pets in special ceremony

The Malletts Bay Congregational Church held its annual Blessing of the Animals service on the front lawn on what was a warm August morning this Sunday. Four dogs came with their owners to the service and people brought photos and memories of other pets who could not be present. This was the Rev. Sally May’s first time leading the service. She played songs and read verses from the Bible celebrating animals and nature. In between verses, those present in the audience shared stories of their pets, fond memories of those who’d passed on and ruminations on the natural world...

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Pickled Perch plays on classic dishes

The opening of the Pickled Perch is providing a new dining option for Colchester residents at its prime location on Blakely Road overlooking Malletts Bay. Glancing at the menu, diners will recognize classic bar food like fried chicken, ribs and fish and chips at affordable prices. Upon further inspection, however, they will realize they have not stumbled into just any new restaurant in the area. With local, seasonal vegetables from Farmer Hil in North Ferrisburgh, grass-fed beef from Green Pasture Meats in Vergennes and other local ingredients, the inventive but approachable menu created by chef Kevin Sokal is sure...

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First mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

The first pool of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in Colchester this year. So far, 26 pools throughout Vermont have tested positive for WNV, and none have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis. “The percentage looks high compared to previous years, but I think we’re right on target with what we’re usually seeing for the season,” said Natalie Kwit, state public health veterinarian. “We’re not overly concerned.” Every year between June and October, the Vt. Dept. of Health tests mosquito pools, or groups of one to 50 mosquitoes of the same species at the same location and...

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Lake Monsters visit Burnham Library

Three members of the Vermont Lake Monsters baseball team read a picture book to a full house of about 40 eager young fans last Thursday morning at the Burnham Library. Clad in green and black Lake Monster gear, infielders Jonah Bride and Max Schuemann and outfielder Noah Vaughan passed around “Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit,” each reading a page and showing off the artwork to the crowd. Before reading, the players answered questions from the children in the audience. They talked about their dreams and goals for their baseball careers, their favorite professional teams as well as tips for...

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Invasive wild parsnip prompts community dialogue

After an Essex woman was treated for burns from contact with wild parsnip, residents raised concerns about the invasive plant growing along roadsides. The Vermont Department of Health warns sap from the plant, when it comes into contact with the skin, can cause burns after exposure to sunlight, and advises to stay away. If one does find themselves with sap on their skin, experts say to wash it off right away and stay out of the sun. Wild parsnip flowers from late May to early July and can grow up to five feet tall, according to the New York...

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