ROSES to local employers including Home Depot, National Hangar Co., Bennington Beverage Outlet, Price Chopper, and Label Shopper that work with local workforce development group Creative Workforce Solutions to hire individuals who face challenges entering or re-entering the workforce. This week CWS named Bennington Home Depot employer of the year for helping to place 17 clients. Bennington Home Depot Manager Scott Found was also recognized for leading customer service workshops and giving CWS members a tour of the store.

ROSES to the hundreds of young musicians and singers visiting Bennington this weekend for the 87th annual New England Music Festival, hosted by Mount Anthony Union High School About 450 young people from schools across the region -- as well as MAUHS -- are participating in the festival. ROSES also to the local families who volunteered to host students as finding host families was a big challenge, organizers said. The concert will be held Saturday at the high school, with the band and orchestra performing at 2 p.m. and the chorus performing at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.

ROSES to Jessie Kuzmicki, a Mount Anthony Union High School junior, who recently took bronze in the U-18 Vermont Cup State Championship Slalom race.

ROSES to Sunshine Week, which we're at the tail end of now, for celebrating the role of open government. This yearly initiative is celebrated each year in mid-March to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, who is known as the father of open government.


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The public as well as the press can to continue to "celebrate" transparency in government by attending and participating in government meetings such as the Bennington Select Board, and asking for clarification or requesting public documents that are discussed in those meetings.

ROSES to Bennington College President Mariko Silver for speaking before the state House and Senate committees on Education Tuesday on the role the college plays in our community. "I do not have to tell you that Vermont is not alone in the challenges it faces in reinventing once-thriving industrial towns for the 21st century ... I hope you will see a role for Bennington College, and its Center for the Advancement of Public Action especially, in helping our community and our state prepare for and weather those transitions." Silver also invited legislators to come visit the campus.

THORNS to the suspicious man who gave children who were waiting to be picked up by a school bus on Depot Street cookies on Thursday morning. Bennington Police investigating an incident that involved a male driving a dark blue car, possibly a PT Cruiser, with "rainbow colors" on the side, who stopped and gave the kids cookies. He is described to be in his 40s with a salt-and-pepper beard and hair. Any one who knows the identity of the male or has seen the vehicle is asked to contact Officer Diotte at 802-442-1030.

~Michelle Karas