Author: Ben Chiappinelli

Disabled Vermonters gain confidence on the water

Patrick Standen is no stranger to sailing. The 53 year-old St. Michael’s College professor has won regattas “from Miami to Montreal,” competed at the national level and was a certified sailing coach. While Standen may not be the only Vermonter with these skills and accolades, he was the first paraplegic sailor to earn the Level 2 coach certification. Standen has used a wheelchair for 37 years, since an automobile accident on a rural Vermont road left him with a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the waist down. “If a person has a disability later in life they...

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Hornets reaching for a win at Ultimate tourney

Nearly 30 high school varsity and JV level Ultimate teams gathered at Milton’s Bombardier Park on June 2 for the Ultimate High School State Championships. Vermont was the first state to recognize the Frisbee-based sport as a varsity program in November 2017. The Essex Hornets boys’ varsity team played with plenty of spirit, but ultimately fell to South Burlington 15-6. Photos by Ben Chiappinelli, Essex Reporter....

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EHS junior earns top writing honor

Grace Lu, an honor student at Essex High School, has been selected for a 2018 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English. The NCTE Achievement Award in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Only students who are juniors may participate. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students for the writing program. Lu is the 21st EHS...

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Climbing out of shame

By KATIE CHAPA St. Albans Messenger Staff ST. ALBANS — In Vermont, 118 people died of suicide in 2016. On average, that’s two people per week, giving Vermont the 18th highest rate of suicide in the nation. St. Albans native Betsy LeBlanc, a fitness instructor at The EDGE in Essex, has made it her mission to put a story behind those numbers and show the community this is an epidemic that can be stopped. This July, LeBlanc’s calendar is booked for a 272-mile long hike, just her and her dog, Sam. She will raise money for the Vermont Suicide...

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