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Around the State in Seven Days

Angels in America Students at the Breathing Lotus School in Bradford normally usher in the New Year with a dip in the Waits River, but this year the ice was too thick for swimming. Undaunted, students trekked barefoot to the golf course and made snow angels. Leslie Grove, co-owner of Breathing Lotus, explained that the purpose of the event was for students to “affirm their resolutions” for the New Year. “We taught something new to all the students that participated,” she said, referring to the ring of body prints around the ninth hole. This annual rite of refrigeration is a part of the school’s kung-fu curriculum.

— Bradford Journal Opinion, January 10

The Long Way Home Two men left a Stockbridge party to walk home to Bethel and stopped to warm up in an empty cabin along the way. There, they lit a fire in an old toilet, which set the cabin ablaze. Continuing on, they broke into a garage and appropriated a 1989 Bronco, which they drove about a mile down the road before crashing into a utility pole, knocking out the power to about 200 homes. When police arrived at the crash scene there was nobody there; dogs were used to trace the two to their apartment, which was also empty. They’d kept moving, but one of the men was quickly apprehended, and the second turned himself in the next day. The perps concede they should face charges of felony burglary, unlawful trespass, operation without consent and negligent operation, but insist the conflagration at the cabin was “an accident.”

— The Herald of Randolph, December 28

Net Loss A hockey net has disappeared from a backyard rink in St. Albans, and owner Dick Benoit wonders whether the theft has something to do with Philadelphia Flyers player John LeClair. LeClair learned and honed his early game here, and Fox Sports once featured the rink during the NHL All-Star Game. Two women once drove all the way from Philadelphia to shoot some videotape of the arena for a LeClair memorabilia contest. The speculation is that it was stolen because LeClair scored on it. Benoit points out that a hockey net is both heavy and of inconvenient dimensions: “It was a team effort to steal that thing,” he says. “I’m hoping whoever took it is using it, and not just dumping it in the brook or on the side of the road.” Amen.

— St. Albans Messenger, January 6

With Attitude A certain toughness has crept into the headlines. Spotted recently: “So Why Not a Little Class Warfare?” “Readying for Terrorism?” and “Fun Comes at a Price.”

And too much fun can be hard on the neurons: Post-holiday language disorders bring us: “When Doctors Doctor Doctors” and “Postcard Meeting to Focus on Spavin Cure.”

— Black River Tribune, January 10, Morrisville News & Citizen, January 11, Deerfield Valley News, January 4, Manchester Journal, January 5, County Courier, January 4

The Crystal Ball Making predictions about the year ahead is sometimes just another excuse for editorial frolicking, and one Vermont op-ed page ventures to say, “It will snow. Several times.” “Mud will wreak havoc on local roads, probably during the spring.” “The Beatles will not repeat their 2000 feat of scoring a number-one hit album,” and, “The Journal Opinion will run photos of dead deer and cute kids in a play. Not in the same photo.”

Another writer looks back on last year’s predictions and observes, “Forecasting that nothing much would happen in Cavendish was an easy call. Folks can only take so much debate on a canopy over a store’s gas pumps before they call for some quiet.” Another hit was the number of times the sun would rise during the year and the educated guess that neither Gary Bauer, Jesse Ventura, Donald Trump nor Linda Tripp would win the Presidency.

— Bradford Journal Opinion, January 3, Black River Tribune, December 27

There Will Be a Test A Vermont IQ quiz, designed to gauge our local savvy, asks what is the most recent solution to the heavy truck traffic plaguing downtown Woodstock. The choices are a) the Rockefeller family has offered to bury the entire downtown; b) a new highway through small towns without any clout; c) nothing larger than a Land Rover will be allowed through; and c) nails.

Most people probably know the answer is b, but how many of us remember what Dorothy Brown accidentally flicked out the window with her cigarette back in July? Was it her miniature pinscher, a sapphire-and-diamond ring, the infamous Mendon Constable Nelson Tift or a Pacemaker? If you knew it was the ring, then it may be time to cut back on your subscriptions.

— The Mountain Times, December 28<

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