Community news in brief

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Veteran care moves

to telehealth system

The White River Junction VA Healthcare System has announced they will be transitioning all face-to-face visits to VA Video Connect or telephone visits at their Community Based Outpatient Clinics. The Bennington location will initiate this change beginning April 2. The White River Junction VA Healthcare System asks that patients use telehealth options for medical and behavioral visits that are not emergent.

Available telehealth options include appointments by phone or using VA Video Connect via computer, smartphone, or tablet. To learn more about VA Video Connect, visit

Veterans may also send online, secure messages for non-urgent questions to their VA health care team using My HealtheVet, VA's online patient portal. More information is available at

To set up telephone or video appointments, veterans can call 802-295-9363, ext. 6364 or send their provider a secure message on My HealtheVet.

Veterans experiencing an emergency should immediately dial 911 or go to the closest emergency room. Individuals experiencing an urgent mental health issue may also call The Veterans Crisis Line, 24/7, at 1-800-273-8255, press 1, or text 838255. Confidential chat is available at

Veterans can use Annie's Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care. Enroll at

Veterans who need non-urgent prescription refills should call the pharmacy call center at 1-866-400-1241 or 802-295-9363 extension 6364. Veterans can also request prescription refills be shipped to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app available for download at

New rules in place

at transfer stations

The Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance has asked residents and businesses to limit drop-offs at transfer stations to trash, recyclables, and food scraps at this time, in order too reduce the spread of COVID19, and in accordance of Gov. Phil Scott's "Stay Home/Stay Safe" order.

Residents are asked not to bring large household items such as furniture or tires to their transfer stations, and to also refrain from bringing electronic waste, mercury containing bulbs or batteries. This is in order to allow the staff to practice social distancing, and to minimize their contact with the public.

The Alliance asks that residents avoid bringing electronic waste, paint, batteries, and mercury containing bulbs to area retail locations that usually participate in collection programs.

For additional updates from government authorities regarding solid waste disposal as they become available, visit or contact Paula Kamperman at 518-788-2553.

The Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance includes the towns of Arlington, Bennington, Dorset, Glastenbury, Manchester, Pownal, Rupert, Sandgate, Searsburg, Shaftsbury, Stamford, Sunderland and Woodford.

Habitat closes store,

suspends construction

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In response to Governor Scott's "Stay Home/Stay Safe" executive order, Bennington County Habitat for Humanity is suspending its construction programs and closing its Office and ReSale Store through April 15.

Bennington County Habitat remains steadfast in its mission to partner with people in need of affordable home ownership and home repair opportunities in our communities. To this end, the staff, Board of Directors, and BCHfH Committees continue to work on this critical mission.

To request help, call the executive director at 802-824-6818.


National Forest shuts

offices, goes virtual

The Green Mountain National Forest is closing its offices and implementing virtual services to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities.

Though the offices have gone virtual, the Green Mountain National Forest continues to remain open and operational, and is committed to the continuity of its mission. Customers needing information, permits and maps are encouraged to use the following information during regular business hours for prompt, customer service.

The Manchester District Office can be reached at 802-362-2307.

These actions have been taken based on the best available medical advice to limit gatherings of large numbers of people and to promote social distancing. Visitors are encouraged to contact their local forest or ranger district ( for the latest office hours and availability.

Visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to:


Shooting range opening

postponed to April 16

The Hammond Cove Shooting Range in Hartland, Vermont will have a delayed tentative opening of Monday, April 16, at 10 a.m. The delay is due to Gov. Phil Scott's stay-at-home order placed on the state of Vermont to lessen the spread of COVID-19. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wants all Vermonters to be safe and healthy during this time and will post updates on event schedules on its website


Diocese closes churches,

chapels, indoor shrines

In keeping with Gov. Phil Scott's stay-at-home order, Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne has directed that all Catholic churches, chapels and shrines throughout the state closed as of 5 p.m. Wednesday and that all "non-essential" employees of the Catholic community, as defined by the governor's order, work remotely as need be.

Catholics can still participate in devotions and worship remotely by tuning into daily 12:05 p.m. Mass Monday through Friday, and Sundays at 10 a.m., live rosary at 11:15 a.m. and many other spiritual engagement activities. For the weekly schedule of activities visit:


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