Author: Kaylee Sullivan

Former Essex coach named hall-of-famer

Melba Masse sank into a blue recliner in her dimly lit Essex basement last week, surrounded by pictures of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. On her left, a long-stretched wooden wall displayed numerous awards — all of which are mementos of the influence she’s had on young athletes in Essex and Vermont.    At 86 years old, she’s adding another accolade to her collection: 2018 inductee to the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame — an organization that recognizes her as a “pioneer for women in sports long before Title IX happened.” Masse’s coaching career began in 1954, when basketball...

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Local woman finds therapy in photography

Every day is a struggle for Essex artist Katie Paquette. Yet each day, she finds light in photography — a medium that has changed both her career path and way of life. Paquette, 36, lives with an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, as well as fibromyalsia and myofascial pain syndrome. Sjogren’s causes dry eyes and mouth, fatigue and joint pain. The chronic pain, which often consumes Paquette’s life, is offset by her growing photography interest. “When you have the passion for something and then when it’s like a therapy for you, it just changes your mindset completely,” said Paquette, a...

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Mr. Shawarma opens shop

Curious culinary customers flowed into the doors of Essex Jct.’s new Mr. Shawarma last Friday, craning their necks to glance at a menu of Middle Eastern cuisine options. Photos of shawarma, falafel, kebabs, hummus, tabouleh and more stared back at them. Essex resident and owner Aymen Aref, 22, identified a culinary void in Vermont and filled it. The nine-year resident, originally from Baghdad, Iraq, opened Mr. Shawarma on December 29. Business, he says, is even busier than expected. “I thought I would introduce the shawarma to the Vermont people, but I was surprised that a lot of them, they...

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Essex resident earns Forbes 30 Under 30 nod

Tyler McNaney can check a major goal off his bucket list. The 25-year-old Milton native and Filabot founder was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list a few months ago. Humbly looking at the magazine last week in his Barre warehouse, he said being nominated is both exciting and frightening. “It’s cool to get that acknowledgement, but we’re still chasing down that dream — that mission of recycling the widest range of plastics,” he said. “When we’re done, we can throw in the towel and walk away, but we’re still not done.” Getting on the list gives him...

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As county forester promotes plan for Essex woodlands, some question the need

When Chittenden County forester Ethan Tapper inherited a new office a year-and-a-half ago, piles of old newspaper clippings and historic documents for Saxon Hill and Indian Brook came with it. To create a comprehensive timeline, Tapper solicited five University of Vermont capstone students — Caroline Drayton, Greg Lizotte, Mathew Mitchell, Liam Gerry and Alex Frayer — to compile a historic narrative. The goal is to increase public awareness about Essex’s town forests, Tapper said. “History really informs forest management in a lot of ways,” he said. “And the other part of it is to engage folks and open people’s...

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