COMM_Woodfrog by John Hall.jpg

Woodfrogs are out and about — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking drivers to slow down and be cautious when traveling at night in early spring or to take alternate routes to avoid driving near ponds and wetlands where salamanders and frogs are crossing during their breeding season.

AROUND TOWN

Birds presentation

RUTLAND COUNTY — Marv Elliott, Rutland County Audubon treasurer, will present a free online program “Backyard Birds in an Irruption Year” at 6:30 p.m. April 14, via Zoom. Email birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org for an invitation if you wish to participate and for more information.

Elliott and his wife, Sue Elliott, have birded around the country for 20 years and would like to share their photos and knowledge with others, especially new birders. Learn about tips for identification, preferred habitats, other secrets for more rewarding bird watching, and irruptions. Questions are encouraged. The show is free, but donations are always welcome (and tax-deductible).

AROUND VT.

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Overdose? Call 911

BURLINGTON — To save lives, Vermont law enforcement and public health leaders urge Vermonters to call 911 if an overdose occurs. Vermont’s Good Samaritan Law provides protections from criminal liability for those who call for help at the scene of an overdose.

A recent report found, based on preliminary data, opioid-related deaths increased by 38% in Vermont in 2020, from 114 deaths in 2019 to 157 in 2020. According to Vermont Department of Health, fentanyl, which was involved in 88% of opioid-related deaths in 2020, continues to be the primary driver of opioid-related deaths in Vermont.

Under the Good Samaritan Law, when someone seeks medical assistance for an overdose, the overdose victim and anyone helping care for the victim while awaiting emergency medical assistance, cannot:

— Be prosecuted for any drug crime based on evidence found from the incident;

— Get sanctioned for violating trial release, probation, furlough or parole for being at the scene of an overdose.

— Be found in violation of a restraining order, for being at the scene of the drug overdose, or for being within close proximity to any person at the scene of the drug overdose.

— Have personal property seized by law enforcement through civil asset forfeiture from that incident.

There are, however, limitations to the protections; for example, this law does not protect from eviction, {span}Vt. Department for Children and Families (DCF) intervention or other civil legal cases.

For more information, call Howard Center Safe Recovery at 488-6067.

Trail closures

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and its partners ask for the public’s help protecting Vermont’s trails.

Mud season conditions have begun and will persist in many places until Memorial Day or later; trail closures may be in effect for several weeks.

Plan ahead and prepare: Visit www.trailfinder.info before you head to the trails to help you find trails close to home and learn whether they are open or not.

If a trail is muddy, even if it is not officially closed, find an alternative, less vulnerable area to hike in. Go to fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/mud-season to find a list of hikes better suited for mud season.

Take it easy: Even as it warms up in town, our mountains still hold cold, wet, snowy and icy conditions that may persist deep into spring. If you encounter conditions you are not prepared for, turn around. Emergency responders and medical providers do not need the additional burden and risk of a search and rescue operation or to treat a hiking-related injury.

Respect COVID-19 guidelines: COVID-19 guidelines may change but will still apply. Visit fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19 for the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

The Green Mountain Club, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Green Mountain National Forest thank hikers for their cooperation in helping to maintain Vermont’s outstanding hiking trails.

Slow down

MONTPELIER — Vermont Fish and Wildlife is asking drivers to slow down and be cautious when traveling at night in early spring or to take alternate routes to avoid driving near ponds and wetlands where salamanders and frogs are crossing during their breeding season.

Road crossings are also a way to see rare or otherwise hard-to-find species, which biologists rely on for data collection. For example, the four-toed salamander is rare in Vermont, and its distribution is not well understood. This information is used by Fish and Wildlife, the Agency of Transportation and other conservation partners to assess the need for wildlife passages and barriers in road construction plans.

COLLEGE NEWS

Nessia Crispe, of Danby, earned fall 2020 dean’s list status at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

YOUTH NEWS

Scholarships

RUTLAND COUNTY — Rutland County Retired Educators Association is awarding two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors planning to major in education at the collegiate level. Further information and an application form can be obtained from guidance counselors at each Rutland County high school. Applications must be received by the scholarship chair on or before Friday, May 7.

Essay contest

RUTLAND — February’s Black History Month educational outreach by the Rutland Area NAACP featured an essay contest for high schoolers in Rutland, Bennington and Addison counties.

Three winners of cash prizes and certificates were chosen for their essays expressing commitment to anti-racism. Narges Anzali, of Middlebury Union High School, the first-prize winner, communicated her dedication to ending oppression and marginalization and exhorted her peers to do likewise. The winner of the second prize, Addie Lenzner, of Arlington High School, called on her peers to join her in anti-racist work. Third prize was won by Ari Graham-Gurland, also of Middlebury Union High School, who invited readers to resist hopelessness and move forward together to create change.

CAP promotions

RUTLAND — Six cadets from the Rutland Composite Squadron of the Vermont Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) have earned promotions and were honored at a recent ceremony. Cadets earn promotions through testing in five general areas, Leadership, Drill, Aerospace Education, Character Development and Physical Fitness. The cadets and their new ranks are: Cadet Master Sgt. Eliana Sargent (Chittenden); Cadet Senior Airman Weyland Larson (Poultney); Cadet Senior Airman Benjamin Mead (Poultney); Cadet Airman First Class Michael Grover (Mendon); Cadet Airman Robert Harris (Poultney); and Cadet Airman Elliot Rosenberg (Chittenden).

Do you have an item you would like to see in Community News? A milestone? A public announcement? A short news release about something entertaining going on in your town? Email news@rutlandherald.com with the information. Be sure to put For Community News in the subject line. (Note: We do reserve the right to edit for length.)

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