Author: Jason Starr

Two businesses, sewn together

Two Colchester business owners have teamed up to provide a one-stop-shop for sewing and quilting needs on Route 7. Sunny Laurel Sisters moved from West Lakeshore Drive in October to a vacant retail location near the intersection of Main Street, Route 7 and Bay Road, doubling the size of the three-year-old sewing supply and teaching business. At the same time, connected by a hallway next door, Stonehurst Quilting moved two 15-foot computerized quilting machines into a 1,200-square-foot space, taking a home-based business that started in 2013 into a retail location for the first time. “Our businesses dovetail nicely together,”...

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‘Proactive’ crisis response to replace lockdown drills

Teachers and administrators will be asked to go beyond lockdown mode and take a more active role in the event a dangerous intruder enters Colchester’s school buildings. The teaching is part of a school safety protocol taking hold statewide called ALICE, or Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. With the help of Colchester Police Lt. Doug Allen, school administrators will be trained on the model starting this month. “If you just lock down — protect in place — and do nothing else, the chances of becoming a victim goes up,” Allen said. “We’ve come to the conclusion that we want to take the next step and empower people to be prepared to fight out against the aggressor. It’s a mindset we haven’t had before.” The Vermont Agency of Education last year urged school districts to update active shooter response plans. The agency identified the ALICE training among three possibilities becoming popular nationwide, including the Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol. The ALICE training institute is a private Ohio-based school security company that develops tactics to improve people’s chances of surviving active shooter situations. The maneuvers can be taught to adults and students, with the message tailored to the age group. At an ALICE training in Milton last month, Milton student resource officer Cpl. Scott Philbrook explained students should use cell phones and social media to alert peers to...

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Student rep brings wide experience to school board

At 18 years old, Jaclyn Cline already has experience working in all three levels of American government. Cline shadowed a legislator at the Vermont State House as a high school freshman and sophomore and served as a page in the United States Senate as a junior. In October, she was appointed to represent students as a senior on the Colchester School Board. “She has hands-on experience with what it means to see politics in action,” Superintendent Amy Minor said to introduce Cline during her first board meeting last month. “This is a sought-out position. There was an extensive pool...

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Local candidates discuss state issues

It was one final lineup for Colchester’s Vermont House of Representatives candidates on Monday as Lake Champlain Access Television hosted a televised forum co-organized with The Colchester Sun. About two weeks until the election, the four candidates vying for two seats in House District 9-1 and the two candidates running unopposed in House District 9-2 staked out their positions on statewide issues. Moderator Kevin Christopher of LCATV probed views on health care reform, opiate addiction, economic development, water quality, taxes and marijuana legalization. For newcomer Pat Liebrecht, a Republican running in District 9-1, controlling state and education spending are...

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Planners try to control renewable siting

Under a November 1 deadline, Colchester planners are making progress delineating where wind and solar energy projects should not be sited in town. The work is an effort to take advantage of increased local control over renewable energy projects under Act 174, which the Vermont legislature passed last spring. The law requires the state’s energy regulating body, the Public Service Board, to give “substantial deference” to local siting desires, a higher bar than the previous “due consideration.” The Colchester Planning Commission approved a draft list earlier this month that identifies areas of town where wind and solar infrastructure is...

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