Home News and Features Business Community and Business News in Brief, Dec. 7, 2022

Community and Business News in Brief, Dec. 7, 2022


Police Chief Recruitment Underway

As Montpelier Police Chief Brian Peete’s departure to the Midwest nears, City Manager Bill Fraser has opened the recruitment process with an opportunity for current officers in the police department to apply.

The Monday, Nov. 28 deadline for internal candidates brought one application from a current member of the department.

Fraser indicated last week that the review process will include participation by people representing the Montpelier community. 

“I will assemble a small interview panel made up of key constituencies. When we hired Chief Peete, this included the State’s Attorney, Washington County Mental Health, the Social and Economic Justice Advisory Committee, the Times Argus, the Community Justice Center, and Montpelier Alive,” he wrote in an email to The Bridge.

“I have not yet formed the comparable group this time. We also include the city’s leadership team and members of the police department unions in the process. After that review process, I will decide whether to proceed with an internal hire or recruit more widely,” he wrote.

The turnover in police department leadership comes in the wake of a pandemic and at a time when only 11 of 17 authorized positions on the force are filled. Peete has led the department for two years, but recently announced he will be moving to a new position in Riley County Kansas at the first of the new year. See montpelierbridge.org/2022/11/police-chief-brian-peete-resigns.

Fraser earlier indicated interest in maintaining continuity and stability during the transition and expects to appoint an interim chief in the event a final selection has not been made by the time of Peete’s departure at the end of December.

—J. Gregory Gerdel

Turning Point Center of Central Vermont Gets $1 Million USDA Grant

A recently awarded $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development will help expand and renovate Turning Point of Central Vermont. 

The Barre-based facility helps people find, maintain, and enhance recovery from substance use disorder through peer-based recovery support, educational programs, and sober recreation and social activities. 

The project consists of renovating a historic building and building an addition, thereby creating more space and better accessibility so the center can implement and expand programs while accommodating the growth in staff and the demand for the center’s services.

“Between the pandemic and general inflation, construction costs have risen dramatically, which has been a challenge,” said Bob Purvis, Turning Point’s executive director. “Thanks to this hugely important grant from USDA, we are within striking distance of our fundraising goal.” 

Additional funding for this project comes from the U.S. Health and Human Services ($750,000), the Vermont Community Development Program ($300,000), and an applicant contribution ($416,300).

—press release

Monteverdi Welcomes Jolynda Burton

In this season of gratitude, the Monteverdi Music School welcomes Jolynda Burton to the organization as its new music education coordinator. As the arts are still rebounding from pandemic shutdowns, this small and mighty music hub has plans to expand its programs, deepen community engagement, and increase access to music in our region. And for the promise of what is to come, they are so grateful.

“Our board wanted to add a position that would best serve the school’s vision, expand our work, and bring out the best of what our faculty has to offer,” board chair Deb Smoller said. “We are thrilled to have found Jolynda to lead our school forward and to become more visible and engaged in the Montpelier music community.”

A vocal performance major at New York University, Burton worked as a performing artist in New York City for a number of years after school. In 2017, she returned to Vermont with a breadth of nonprofit management experience gained in New York and Philadelphia. She has worked with Just Basics, the nonprofit that runs the Montpelier Food Pantry, and is on the board of the Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools Partners in Education. 

—press release

T.W. Wood Gallery to Host 2022 Audubon Photography Award Winning Images

Audubon Vermont will host the 2022 Audubon Photography Awards Traveling Exhibition at the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier, from Thursday, Jan. 5 through Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. An opening reception is planned for Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Visitors can enjoy a display of the stunning winning images and learn more about local birdlife in Vermont. Reproductions of the winning photos will be available for sale through the photographers.

The T.W. Wood exhibit is one of 30 venues displaying the winning images throughout the country.

In the 13th year of the contest, winning photos, videos, and honorable mentions were selected from 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and seven Canadian provinces and territories to appreciate the wonder of birds and the places they inhabit.

The competition continued to award the Female Bird Prize and the Video Prize, which were successfully introduced last year. The Female Bird Prize highlights female birds, which are often overlooked and underappreciated in bird photography and conservation. The Video Prize recognizes the dynamic movement and behavior of birds and the ways we view and memorialize them.

Registration is not required for the opening reception or for general viewing, but please check the T.W. Wood Gallery’s website for directions and hours of operation.

—press release