Michaela Halnon

Salt of the Earth

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The entrance into Chittenden County’s inaugural salt cave is not exactly modest. A small waiting room sitting behind the first set of glass double doors in the Purple Sage salon suggests an intense experience awaits, water station and basket of clean white socks at the ready off to the side. Ahead is a second set…

Hear the people sing

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Dozens of students bustled through the Essex High School auditorium with purpose on Monday, strapping on costumes and breaking into vocal warm-up drills as they straightened hairpieces and located new props before beginning their first dress rehearsal. Including cast, crew and orchestra pit members, the production has a whopping 76 participants — more than any…

Heart & sole: Essex reflexologist debuts new book

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An 80-year-old man came to Geraldine Villeneuve’s reflexology practice in her Essex home as a last resort four years ago. Suffering from chronic back pain, he’d tried nearly everything to alleviate the ache to no avail. Assessing his feet with the traditional metal device seen in many shoe stores, Villeneuve told the man he measured…

Newly ordained priest leads Essex churches

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The Rev. Michael Carter, 27, purposefully donned a traditional shirt and tie to welcome his students to class at St. Michael’s College on the first day of this semester, knowing the sight of his white clerical collar can instantly ignite snap judgments — for better or for worse. “I’m not asking you to believe in…

Respite House celebrates first birthday

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A year after its grand opening, the Visiting Nurse Association’s Respite House in Colchester has played host to a wedding, baby shower, memorial service and family reunion, all while providing hospice care to 50 percent more people than last year. Volunteers, medical professionals and administrators alike celebrated the new house’s birthday on Monday with a…

The fast and the furriest

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Rounding the corner into Camp Dudley at Kiniya earlier this month, I saw it: A muscular woman sprinted across the dirt road and hoisted herself up a tall wooden wall with a grunt, a line of mud slicked across her cheek. Her dog shimmied through a hole at the base of the wall and sat…