Author: Michaela Halnon

District shifts health curriculum in younger grades

Three Colchester schools are implementing a new “matter-of-fact” health curriculum using anatomically correct language this year, all part of a coordinated effort to prevent early childhood sexual abuse. “Whether adults feel comfortable about this or not, it’s incredibly important that we’re talking to kids about this,” Porters Point School principal Carolyn Millham said. “Most of the time, I find that kids are most afraid when they don’t have a plan.” The six-part program, called “Care for Kids,” was created in Canada but entered into the Vermont education sphere during the late 1990s. Prevent Child Abuse Vermont has been the...

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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy center opens in town

Dr. Grace Johnstone’s rare form of Lyme disease progressed almost immediately into meningitis five years ago, snaking from her brain down to her spinal cord and leaving her unable to walk, drive or work. “I did everything that you could do, and I wasn’t getting better,” Johnstone said. “Medications, IVs and antibiotics weren’t doing it. This did it.” A friend who owned a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber contacted Johnstone in the throes of her illness, inviting the Hardwick resident to give the treatment a try. Enthralled by the results, Johnstone took out a bank loan and purchased a chamber...

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Former fire chief pleads not guilty to student assault

Former Malletts Bay fire chief David Scibek pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor simple assault in Vermont Superior Court last Thursday, the charge stemming from accusations he injured a student in a Burlington Technical Center classroom last November. The 52-year-old Colchester resident is a criminal justice teacher at BTC now placed on paid administrative leave. He formerly worked as a Burlington police officer. The assault charge carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and $1,000 fine if convicted. A 16-year-old BTC student, identified in court documents as Juvenile M.B., said Scibek told her to perform 20 push-ups after she threw a...

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Malletts Bay School embraces international Read Aloud Day

Malletts Bay School students listened attentively last Friday as notable figures from around town made a guest appearance on their classroom’s story rug to celebrate annual World Read Aloud Day. Celebrity readers included Colchester police Chief Jennifer Morrison, Porters Point School and Union Memorial School principals, a handful of St. Michael’s College athletes and an Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences student. Fifth-graders in Dawn Buswell’s class said they enjoy a dedicated read aloud time almost every day as they eat their snack. Lately, they’ve been listening to Kate DiCamillo’s “The Tale of Despereaux.” With a simultaneous groan,...

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Private road residents search for plowing solution

Kevin Brooks deliberately drove past his house on Niquette Bay Road on a brisk afternoon last week, gravel softly pinging as it hit the side of his pickup truck. Moments later, he made an easy turn around his mother-in-law’s expansive driveway. Brooks’ family has cleared that flat area for the town’s plow trucks every winter, allowing the operators to safely perform a three-point maneuver before heading back up the private, mile-long road. By the end of this year, however, those rumbling vehicles will be markedly absent from the lakeside route. “It’s like getting a de facto eviction notice,” Brooks said,...

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