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SALISBURY

The Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service (SVAS) has started a “Campaign for a New Ambulance.”

The SVAS volunteers want to buy a new ambulance on a Ford F-450 chassis. The price is steep: $250,000.

The ambulance that SVAS wishes to replace is 20 years old, does not meet new state standards, and lacks updated technology.

And, according to Pat Barton, the SVAS chief of service, the undercarriage is rusty.

“Nobody wants to be Fred Flintstone,” she said in an interview on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Upgrading the current...

Regional News

Schools honor student achievements

The Region One School District has announced the names of students who earned the annual Superintendent Award. Region One and other districts in the state recognize one student at each elementary school, honor them with a certificate of excellence and celebrate their achievement at a dinner. The awards are based on community service and service to others; academic excellence (relative to the student’s ability); and leadership service to the school community. 

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Using his hands to write poetry

Ameen-Storm Abo-Hamzy, 51, has been many things over the years: son, brother, an owner of The Collin’s Diner with his family in North Canaan, Army paratrooper (U.S. Infantry 4th Ranger Battalion), wrestling coach at Housatonic Valley Regional High School for 13 years (“While I was coaching, we took five wrestlers to the state open tournament for five years in a row; that had never been done before”). He’s been a hairdresser at the iconic Oribe salon in New York City. He speaks seven languages. He’s a sixth-generation American of Lebanese descent. 

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Trimming off the mummies as spring nears

Pruning season has arrived for fruit trees. Warren resident and orchardist Peter Montgomery offered some tips to The Lakeville Journal  for healthy, productive fruit trees. He emphasized essential elements of successful fruit tree care: pruning, fertilizing and spraying. 
“Now is the time to inspect your trees for damage, dead wood and ‘mummies’,” Montgomery said. Mummies, or old, shriveled fruit still on the tree from the previous season, can be especially dangerous as they often harbor pathogens. 

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Schedule of hearings, meetings

The boards of finance have to accept and approve the proposed spending plans from the boards of education and the boards of selectmen before “presenting them” to taxpayers, first at a public hearing and then at a town meeting.

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Grand Lists compiled as town meeting season nears

As area towns begin the hard work of preparing their spending plans for the coming fiscal year (which will begin on July 1), they are all referring to their Grand Lists.
The Grand List is the total assessed value of all taxable property in a town. Properties are assessed at 70 percent of their total value. 
Once the budgets are set, the budget will be divided into the Grand List to determine the mill rate.

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Forest Ranger report

ANCRAM— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

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Academic Achievements

Lauren Grayson of South Kent was named to the provost’s list at Southern Vermont College for the fall 2016 term. Also, as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program, Grayson will travel from Vermont to Spring Lake, N.J., in March to help Coastal Habitat with storm damage repair and restoration initiatives being worked on since Hurricane Sandy hit the state in 2012.
Ella Hansell-Baumgarten of Sharon earned high honors at Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock in fall 2016.

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KidsPlay’s third annual Family Fun Fair

TORRINGTON — The Kids-Play Children’s Museum hosted its third annual Family Fun Fair at the Warner Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 19.
For $15 admission a family of up to six people could enjoy all the activities at the fair as well as admission to the museum, which is located across the street at 61 Main St.

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Brrrrds

A red-bellied woodpecker filled up on suet at photographer Tom Brown’s feeder in Cornwall on Friday, Feb. 10. The big Feb. 9 snowstorm had passed; did this brightly plumed bird know what weather was still to come?
By the weekend, birds had begun to puff up in response to the cold and were looking grim, but beautiful. Photographer Alexander Kearney captured images of a vesper sparrow in Kent and a red-shouldered hawk in Sharon on Sunday, and a pair of white-crowned sparrows at the Sharon/Millerton border on Saturday.
— Cynthia Hochswender

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State police crack down on tow service

Following numerous complaints, the state police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles began an investigation of Jonathan Vakassian, 46 of West Cornwall, who is the managing member of Lime Rock Auto.
The garage had been on the state police list of companies authorized to tow vehicles following motor vehicle accidents where there was disabling damage or situations where a driver could not continue driving after a police stop.

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