Author: Michaela Halnon

Community outreach team assembled

Four full-time social workers will take to the streets of six Chittenden County towns by the end of this month, ready to help area police departments and businesses respond to citizens with unmet social service needs. The new “community outreach specialists” are employed by the Howard Center and will each bring a different skillset to the pilot program, said Brandi Littlefield, assistant director of the center’s First Call for Chittenden County. Take outreach specialist Rachel Castillo, a former community justice center volunteer and paralegal who was fed up with the lack of legal resources to proactively help people in...

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Kids s-p-e-l-l way through Vermont state bee

Twenty-eight spellers sat in neat rows on the stage at the St. Michael’s College McCarthy Performing Arts Center last Wednesday afternoon, each hoping to s-p-e-l-l their way to victory. Raghav Dhandi, a student at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier, took the home top prize in the Vermont Scripps Spelling Bee after correctly spelling “slavering” — letting saliva run from the mouth, according to the judges’ definition. He’ll head to Washington, D.C. in May for the national spelling bee and face off against spellers from across the country. Scripps is expecting a record number of attendees, according to their...

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Essex Cinemas brings small movies to big screen at film festival

Moviegoers will have a unique slate of pictures to choose from at the Essex Cinemas later this month, all part of the 21st annual Green Mountain Film Festival’s first venture into Chittenden County. The cinema will play host to 21 alternative movies over 10 days, starting with “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” on Friday night. The offerings give a scaled back taste of the expansive GMFF held concurrently in Montpelier. Eric Reynolds, who became Essex Cinemas general manager last year, was the first to propose the local festival spinoff. A Montpelier resident, he’s worked closely with GMFF for years....

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Essex High Theater finds extraordinary in ordinary

Essex High School theater director Aly Perry faced an enviable task when selecting a show to tackle for this year’s Vermont One Act Festival: Her last two shows had been, by all accounts, rousing hits. Last year’s festival entry, “The Boy at the Edge of Everything,” earned the Essex group a state championship title. This fall, “Les Miserables” effectively brought an epic musical to the small stage. “I needed something that was going to be sort of uplifting and wacky that would sweep out the beautiful ashes of ‘Les Mis,’” Perry said. “It’s really challenging to follow ‘Les Mis’...

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ECP to perform “The Vagina Monologues”

Memorial Hall was briefly transformed into a studio last Tuesday evening, a camera flashing as women of all ages posed with hand-written signs. Some threw their heads back with laughter as the shutter clicked. Others kept a steely glare. “I am resisting for those who can’t,” one sign read. “I am resisting because love is a radical act,” another proclaimed, a trio of hearts scribbled beneath the words. The Essex Community Players are tackling “The Vagina Monologues,” later this week. The renowned Eve Ensler play contains 18 short stories exploring sex, assault, childbirth and more, as told in interviews...

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