Vermont Water Cooler aggregates top news headlines from all over Vermont in one easy-to-find place.

Returning college students must quarantine, but family members don’t need to - WPTZ

Every college student coming home for Thanksgiving-Christmas vacation must quarantine. But the family members in the same home don’t need to, state officials say.

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Keeping the faith during a pandemic - WCAX

New restrictions don’t limit worship service attendance (yet). But Vermont houses of worship are coping with the realities of reduced access and attendance due to the pandemic and its restrictions. 

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What does a treewarden do? - VPR 

With the Emerald Ash Borer and other threats facing Vermont trees, the hoary office of Tree Warden means more than it used to.

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Neighbors say Slate Ridge concern not about guns - Manchester Journal

The people who don’t like living near the Slate Ridge firearms training facility in Pownal say they like guns as much as the next Vermonter. What they don’t like (among other things) is the facility owner posting information about them on the internet in connection with their long, long running battle with him over the zoning of property. 

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Agency of Ed testing thousands of teachers, staff - Seven Days

Vermont education officials have launched a statewide program to offer Covid-19 testing on a voluntary basis to educators. Thankfully, they’re not using the “brain tickler” stick.

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Newport death of inmate “unconscionable,” report says - AP

Inmate Kenneth Johnson died in custody at a state prison in Newport after repeatedly claiming he couldn’t breathe. 

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Commentary: Election law reform worth considering - John McClaughry

As is his wont, the Bard of Kirby offers suggestions to make government work better for the people. Today, Ethan Allen Institute founder John McClaughry suggests giving the franchise to 15-year-olds is perhaps not a wise idea. He also recommends the Legislature rid itself of multi-person districts. Let each lawmaker stand or fall on their own record, he says. 

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Scott bans multi-household gathers, requires telework “to maximum extent possible” - VT Business Magazine

Are the new restrictions announced Friday the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of more restrictions on businesses and private gatherings? Maybe so, but some Vermonters are having difficulty with a ban on traditional family Thanksgiving celebrations and even walking outside with someone not of your household.

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Vermont ‘super-spreader’ events identified - Burlington Free Press

Were you there? Do you know someone who was? And what does the fact that we are even asking that question say about the balance between maintaining personal freedom in a time of pandemic?

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Schools asked to help with contact tracing - VT Digger

It isn’t just the Health Department checking up on you for where you’ve been and who you’ve been with. Now your local schools will be calling, too. This comes as schools are already stretched thin with its primary role of educating students. 

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Covid testing demand causes STD supply concern - WCAX

There’s no shortage of STD transmission testing supplies in Vermont - yet. But the massive Covid testing is slowly draining the state’s supply of some STD testing supplies are related to Covid’s.

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Another Vermont college closing - Rutland Herald

The Albany College of Pharmacy will close its Colchester campus and leave Vermont, due to enrollment decline that began in 2012 and has gotten worse since.

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Teen drove 119 MPH - St. Albans Messenger

A South Burlington teen was stopped after driving 119 MPH on I-89. Thankfully no-one was hurt.

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Vermont debt outlook goes from “stable” to “negative,” Treasurer says – NBC 5

Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce says the new S&P Global Rating outlook for Vermont, which moved from "stable" to "negative" this week, was another wake-up call for state policy makers. 

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With Sims in Legislature, NEK group wants new chief - Newport Dispatch

Now that Executive Director Katherine Sims has been elected to the Vermont Legislature, the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative needs a new executive director. 

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Commentary: Giving Thanks for Vermont’s strength - Anson Tebbetts

Former dairy farmer and newsman and current Agency of Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts gives thanks for Vermont’s strengths in a time of pandemic. 

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WDEV legend Ken Squier has Covid - Rutland Herald

A living legend in Vermont and national media has contracted the Covid-19 virus: Ken Squier, owner of WDEV and famed TV reporter for NASCAR.

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Bernie wants $2000/month for every ‘working class’ American - Twitter

Sen. and possible Labor Secretary Bernie Sanders has upped the ante on proposed stimulus payments for all Americans: he now wants the government to pay $2000 every month for every ‘working class’ American.

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Fairfax selectboard reverse decision, endorse BLM - St. Albans Messenger

With the dissenting vice-chair absent, the Fairfax Selectboard decided it would endorse a Black Lives Matter statement, after all.

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Has YOUR employer applied for hazard pay yet? Find out on state database - Burlington Free Press

The State of Vermont keeps an employer Hazard Pay Applicant List database of every employer that has applied for the Covid emergency funds to benefit essential, usually low-paid, workers in retail and other essential positions. Is your employer on the list?

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