Bennington School, town join on shelter rehabilitation

BENNINGTON (AP) -- A private school for emotionally challenged kids in Bennington has joined with the town on a project to rehabilitate a local park pavilion.

Students from the Bennington School spent some of last week tearing old shingles of the roof of the Willow Park Pavilion and replacing them with new, providing a needed upgrade to the more-than 40-year-old structure.

The private school in Bennington serves students from 10 to 18 years old who have had emotional and social difficulties. Its director of operations, Ralph Bennett, says it's hoped such projects teach practical skills, build accountability and encourage community engagement.

Sanders holds essay contest for Vermont high school students

BURLINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is holding his fourth annual State of Union essay-writing contest for Vermont high school students.

Sanders is asking students to write an essay of 250 to 500 words about their view of the state of the union as the president prepares for his State of the Union address to Congress in January.

The deadline for submissions is noon on Jan. 10, 2014.

Sanders will visit the winner's school to hold a student town meeting to discuss the state of the union and the future of the country. The finalists' essays will be entered in the Congressional Record and posted on Sanders' website.