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Country Creemee changes name and owners


Country Creemee, which has dispensed ice cream and burgers for many years at Downers Four Corners at Routes 106 and 131, is now in the hands of new owners, who have renamed it Villagers Restaurant.

“Everything we’re doing comes back to the name  Villagers, ” said new owner Jaime Wyman, who, with her fiance´ Robert Westney, took over the operation back in December. “That means local.”

Wyman said this is the first business she’s owned and that Westney would help out when he could, but will spend most of his time at the family insurance business.

“So that leaves me spending 80 hours a week here,” she said. “We’re closed Mondays so I can spend some time with my kids.”

The basic fare won’t change, she said, but will expand. Villagers will be offering 20 toppings for its burgers and hot dogs (including foot-longs), pulled pork in queso sauce, and a broad variety of ice cream. “We have real maple creemees,” she said.

Current hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but that will go to 9 p.m. after Memorial Day. More information can be found at the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Grace Cottage named among Top 20 critical access hospital


The National Rural Health Association has named Grace Cottage Hospital as one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for Best Practice — Patient Satisfaction, out of 1,339 similar hospitals in the United States.

According to a written statement, Grace Cottage is the only such hospital in the Northeast winning this distinction.
“I am extremely proud that Grace Cottage Hospital has been ranked in the Top 20 in the nation for Patient Satisfaction. This is an extraordinary achievement,” said Grace Cottage CEO Roger Allbee in a press release.

“This does not happen without the involvement and support of all staff in their interactions with patients and their families. These results help to prove what has always been true—that our community can count on us to deliver the services they need, now and into the future, in a compassionate and friendly way.” An awards ceremony will be held in Kansas City in September.

UCS: Vermont leads nation in clean energy jobs

The Union of Concerned Scientists has rated Vermont right behind California as a leader in clean energy, and said the state ranks first in creating clean energy jobs per capita.

According to the report Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress, “Vermont, in second place, leads the nation in clean energy jobs per capita and for its carbon reduction target and has top-five scores in energy savings, electric vehicle adoption, and energy efficiency policy. The Green Mountain State earns 10 top-10 appearances, the most of any state.”

Massachusetts and Rhode Island rank third and fourth, respectively. The UCS awarded its rankings on technical progress, direct, visible effects on people’s lives, and how the states plan to keep it going in the future.

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About the Author: Steve Seitz is an author, journalist and film critic based in Springfield,VT. He has reported local news in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for many years. Steve has been interviewed on NPR's "The Story" for his knowledge of cinematic music. He also has interviewed such cinematic luminaries as James Earl Jones, Jerry Lewis, James Whitmore, Matthew Lewis ("Neville Longbottom" from the Harry Potter films), and an original cast member from every "Star Trek" series, among many others. He is working on other novels.

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