Lead testingState officials are calling a program to reduce lead in school and child care drinking water a success, following a new report that found 98% of Vermont schools and child cares have completed testing for lead in their drinking water and taken any needed steps to keep water safe. A law passed in 2019 requires all Vermont schools and child care facilities to test their drinking and cooking water for lead.

The report identified 75% of schools and 14% of nonschool based child care facilities as having at least one tap with a result at or above the action level. The testing also revealed that bottle fillers had the lowest lead levels, and sinks — the most common tap tested — had among the highest lead levels. All results are posted at online.

Lead is a highly toxic metal. There is no safe level of lead in the body, and exposure to it can slow children’s growth, impair their development and learning, and cause behavior problems.


Vietnam veterans

RUTLAND — Chapter 1 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will update the Honor Roll of local veterans who served in the Vietnam War with the addition of several names in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The Honor Roll is at the Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Main Street Park in Rutland.

The list of those who served has now grown to over 300 from an initial list of about 125. The memorial also lists the names of 18 men who were killed in action during the war. Eligible Vietnam veterans or family members are invited to submit service records for inclusion on the memorial. The Honor Roll lists the names of those who served in Vietnam between 1959 and 1975 after entering the military from Rutland County. Service outside Vietnam qualifies if the person’s military record shows the Vietnam Service Medal was awarded.

A military service record, Form DD 214, is required to establish eligibility for the Honor Roll. Records may be mailed to VVA Chapter 1, 15 Wales St., Rutland, VT 05701. Please submit your request by Oct. 15. For more information, call 802-775-1745 or 802-775-1182.

Director named

RUTLAND — Bill Ackerman has been named director of property and asset management at Housing Trust of Rutland County. He will manage the existing portfolio of nearly 400 residential units across Rutland County, while developing new projects and making improvements to the existing housing stock. Currently, Ackerman is vice chair of the Regional Advisory Board for Stafford Technical Center, serves on committees of the Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region, and is a past president of Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.


CAP aids forestry

The Vermont Wing of the Civil Air Patrol has launched its third year of collaboration with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation monitoring forest health in Vermont, including annual surveys from the air and on the ground.

The survey missions have been crewed to date by Capt. Jonathan Mercer, mission pilot and co-commander the Wing’s Bennington Composite Squadron (VT-076); and 1st Lts. Gerald Coleman and Anthony Derderian, mission pilots with the Vermont Wing’s Burlington Senior Squadron (VT-002) based in South Burlington. Capt. John Compo, Vermont wing director of Operations, supervises the missions.

Flights enable identifying areas of forest disturbance, including defoliation by forest pests, areas of tree mortality and forest damage resulting from weather events, among other causes.

CAP is the official volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Vermont Wing headquarters is in South Burlington. Squadrons are located in South Burlington, Barre/Montpelier, Rutland, Bennington and Springfield.

Fall prevention

Falling is not a normal part of aging, yet 31% of Vermonters age 45 and older report experiencing a fall that results in injury. In 2020, 171 Vermont residents age 65 and older had a fall-related death. To help reduce the risk of falls, state health officials and Falls Free Vermont, a statewide resource for fall prevention information and training, are urging Vermonters to take these steps:

— Stay physically active. Regular exercise improves muscles and makes you stronger.

— Have your eyes and hearing tested. Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall.

— Know the side effects of any medicine you take.

— Get enough sleep. If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.

— Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes.

— Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop. That can make you feel wobbly.

— Always tell your doctor if you have fallen since your last checkup, even if you aren’t hurt when you fall. Knowing about a fall can help your doctor provide you with the best care, alert them to check your medications, and make sure your vision is OK.


Rabbit virus

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, a highly contagious virus capable of affecting rabbits and snowshoe hare, is appearing in states close to Vermont and may show up here according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. The virus does not affect other wildlife, humans or pets, except rabbits. It spreads through direct contact with infected rabbits or indirectly through contact with contaminated surfaces. Sudden mortality in healthy rabbits occurs with this virus, and infected rabbits may be lethargic, reluctant to move or have blood coming out of the nostrils or mouth. Vermont Fish and Wildlife advises hunters not to harvest rabbits that appear sick.


Energy leaders

Efficiency Vermont hosted more than 150 equipment suppliers, contractors and facility managers who support Vermont’s large commercial and industrial operations, at its annual Best Practices Exchange, honoring seven organizations with its Energy Leadership Award.

Award recipients included: Perrigo Nutritionals in Georgia; Carris Reels in Rutland; Pompanoosuc Mills in Thetford; National Life Group in Montpelier; Bennington College in Bennington; Regional Development Corporations of Vermont as Partner of the Year; and Joe LaFleur of Commonwealth Dairy in Brattleboro as Energy Champion.

Forgivable loan

Gov. Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Vermont Economic Development Authority announced the launch of the Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program designed to support Vermont businesses experiencing continued working capital shortfalls as a result of the pandemic.

There are no restrictions to how the funds must be spent, only that the money be used for operating costs and not capital investments. Priority will be given to applicants from the hardest hit sectors, including travel and tourism, food service, lodging, child care and agriculture. Applications from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) owned businesses in all industry sectors will also be prioritized. Nonpriority industry sectors will be allowed to apply after the priority period ends.

For more information, visit the VEDA website.

Lucy’s sold

RUTLAND — Westminster Foods, of Rutland, announced the sale of Lucy’s Gluten-Free Cookies to the Bristol, Vermont-based Lucy’s LLC. The Rutland-based Lucy’s is a manufacturer of allergy-friendly baked goods and snacks that are free from wheat, gluten, dairy, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts or tree nuts.

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