LPCTV public access expands its reach

LUDLOW — LPCTV, the community access television station and media center for the Okemo Valley, is pleased to announce that its two TV channels can now be found on VTel’s VTelevision. The programming can be seen across the VTelevision network throughout the VTel service area in southern Vermont. This includes subscribers in the towns which LPCTV is designated to serve: Mount Holly, Plymouth, Andover and Reading. Programming includes coverage of community events, “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of local government meetings, performances from local artists and programming produced for and by the local schools. Sharon Combes-Farr, president of the LPCTV board of directors said, “LPCTV has proudly served the Okemo Valley region for more than 15 years.

Conference celebrates Vermont’s Arbor Day

MONTPELIER — The annual Vermont Arbor Day Conference, May 4 in Montpelier, will feature talks on tree health, pruning basics, soil restoration, “green” streets and other topics of interest to arborists, foresters, tree wardens and other stewards of Vermont’s forests. The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program will hold the event at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Lunch is included in the $40 registration fee. Students may attend for $15. The deadline for registration is May 2.

Family announces sale of campground

ARLINGTON — The Pratt family of Arlington has announced the sale of Camping on the Battenkill to Neil Krawczyk and his wife, Leanne Silber. In January 2016, the Pratts put their campground of 55 years up for sale. “There comes a time in a family business when you need to decide that the time is right to let it go” said Lesley P. Nase, who has run the business with her brother, Peter Pratt. “If the damage left by Tropical Storm Irene hadn’t been so extensive and costly to rebuild, it may have been a different story,” she added. Nase said she looked for a buyer who wanted to keep the campground a campground; people who would appreciate what was envisioned years ago by her father, Lawrence Pratt, and run by her mother, Mary.

Anne and Ralph Lewis

Middletown Springs farmers recognized for quality milk

The Lewis Farm in Middletown Springs was recently recognized as the runner-up for the 2016 overall Highest-Quality-Milk Award for Vermont. Ralph and Anne Lewis have managed the Lewis farm for 35 years. They milk 20 to 25 cows that are primarily Jerseys and Ayrshires. The Highest-Quality-Milk Award winner and runner-up were recognized by the Vermont Dairy Industry Association at the Vermont Farm Show in January. This award is presented to the dairy farmers (cow and goat) who produce Vermont’s best-quality milk.

Estate gift to benefit Montpelier Foundation

MONTPELIER — A Montpelier philanthropic organization received a financial boost recently with a bequest from a longtime public servant. The Montpelier Foundation, a charitable fund that supports community projects, recently received a gift of $35,000 from the estate of Alan Weiss, who died Feb. 29, 2016. “Alan was deeply connected to the Montpelier community — its organizations, its people, its spirit,” said Stephan Weiss, one of Weiss’ three sons. “This gift to the foundation is right in line with his commitment to the city and his desire to help assure Montpelier has a bright future.”

Weiss, a well-known public figure in central Vermont for many years, served in the Legislature, was a Northfield village trustee and U-32 principal, and most recently served as a member of the Montpelier City Council.

Brett Smith

Brett Smith Appointed One Credit Union CEO

SPRINGFIELD — Jeff Taft, chairman of the One Credit Union Board of Directors, has announced the appointment of Brett Smith as the new president and CEO. Smith assumed responsibilities on Feb. 27, succeeding Jerry Cross, who retired following 32 years of service. Smith has been part of One Credit Union for 3 years, serving as the chief financial officer. In addition to managing the finances of the credit union, he also oversaw the compliance and property management areas.

Heart of Vermont BNI launches at Capitol Plaza  

MONTPELIER — On Feb. 24, BNI Vermont hosted a special chapter launch event at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Montpelier, making the Heart of Vermont BNI chapter the organization’s 12th in Vermont. Heart of Vermont BNI has launched with 27 professionals working to create a strong referral network to grow small business in central Vermont. Leading the new chapter will be Gabe Lajeunesse, a financial advisor with Edward Jones, who will serve as president; Shawn Shouldice, a strategic communications and public relations consultant with Capital Connections, will serve as vice president; and Sarah Lipton a leadership mentor with The Presence Point, will serve as secretary/treasurer. “I’m so proud to have had the BNI Vermont team’s expertise and passion assist in the launching of this new chapter.

Snelling Center seeks applicants for leadership institute

WILLISTON — The Snelling Center for Government is accepting applications for a Vermont civic leadership development program. Since 1995, the Vermont Leadership Institute has been offering intensive programs for leaders in Vermont’s private, public and nonprofit sectors. With over 500 graduates since 1996, the VLI class of 2018 will be the 23rd graduating class. To learn more about the Vermont Leadership Institute, including the 2017 – 2018 program schedule and application process, visit www.snellingcenter.org or email Pieter Bohen, director, at pieter@snellingcenter.org or call at 353-3511. Application deadline is May 5.

USDA Energy seeks grant applications

MONTPELIER — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications from rural businesses interested in increasing their bottom line through energy efficiency upgrades or the installation of renewable energy systems. USDA Rural Development is accepting applications until March 31 for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program. USDA Rural Development seeks to support economic development in rural areas through helping businesses invest in energy improvements. Rural businesses and agricultural producers are eligible to apply for either energy efficiency or renewable energy project funding through REAP. For projects that generate renewable energy such as a solar array, applicants may apply for a grant of up to $500,000. For projects that increase a business’s energy efficiency — such as a dairy installing an energy efficient milk chiller — applicants may apply for a grant of up to $250,000.

Vermont churches awarded grants for energy audits

Seven Vermont churches and faith communities received grants in 2016 to enable them to have professional energy audits of their facilities though Vermont Interfaith Power and Light and the Katy Gerke Memorial Program. The matching grant money was awarded to: Federated Church, of East Arlington; Knights of Columbus, Rutland; Norwich Congregational Church; United Church of Dorset and East Rupert; United Church of Northfield; Waitsfield United Church of Christ; and White River Junction United Methodist Church. These energy audits provide assessments of their opportunities for reducing their energy costs. The results of these audits can then be used to apply for matching grants from the KGMP to install the energy efficiency measures identified. Vermont Interfaith Power and Light (www.vtipl.org) is a Vermont nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve and support efforts by Vermont faith communities to address our climate crisis through sustainable energy use and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.