Bird from Eddby Edd Merritt

State Treasurer’s Office fall promotion of unclaimed property
The State Treasurer’s Office is currently holding approximately $71 million in unclaimed financial property. The office is now in the midst of its fall outreach campaign, and State Treasurer Beth Pearce is encouraging Vermonters to check for their names in the unclaimed property database, which Vermonters may search by going to Unclaimed property includes misplaced savings or investments, forgotten insurance policies, abandoned security deposits, estates and even uncashed tax refunds or paychecks. Financial property becomes “unclaimed” after a business or nonprofit entity loses contact with a customer for a period of years. The property is sent to the State Treasurer’s Office to protect the funds and centralize efforts to locate the property owner. There is never a charge to claim funds through the Treasurer’s office.
Vermonters should be cautious of companies that claim they will locate and recover lost property for a fee. Vermont law forbids such businesses, known as asset locators, from charging more than 10 percent of the value of the unclaimed property for their services. The law further requires that asset locators post a bond of at least $10,000 with the Treasurer’s Office and send the office a copy of any agreement or contract along with a notarized “notice to claimant” form.

Now it’s bears and brownies—what’s next?
It does not seem all that long ago when then-Charlotte resident John Sortino went from selling Teddy Bears on a Church Street cart to helping Vermont Teddy Bear Company grow into the nation’s largest producer of hand-crafted teddies. What started as bears now includes brownies. Vermont Teddy Bear Co. purchased Vermont Brownie Company, producer of the famous Dark Chocolate Chevre brownie. Bill Shouldice, president and CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear, said his company was attracted to the brownie folks because “our values align.” Both support the local community through the use of local ingredients, local designs and local labor. Shelburne’s Shawna Lidsky, who started the brownie works in 2008, said, “Bears and brownies. I could not think of a better combination!”

Rotary turkeys for Charlotte families
A turkey is an iconic part of Thanksgiving celebrations, and for years Charlotte Shelburne Rotary has ensured that needy families in Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg have a turkey for their holiday feast.
This year, in cooperation with the food shelves in the three towns, as well as Shelburne Market and Lantman’s in Hinesburg, the Rotary Club is providing 120 turkeys for local families. The local grocery stores provide the turkeys at cost, Rotary pays the bill and helps to coordinate delivery to the food shelves, and food shelf volunteers put the turkeys into the arms of grateful families.
On November 21, families in Charlotte will come to the Charlotte Congregational Church where brightly decorated boxes (the result of the artistic work of Charlotte Central School students) will be filled to overflowing with everything needed for a Thanksgiving feast, plus special boxes of baking supplies, all packed to meet the needs of families of different sizes. Rotary is donating 25 turkeys to the Charlotte Food Shelf.
Charlotte Shelburne Rotary Club member Tod Whitaker coordinated the turkey project this year, working with Food Shelf Coordinator Karen Doris in Charlotte and the grocery store staffs.

Winter driving conditions on the way – winter tires and safe speeds critical
The Vermont Agency of Transportation would like to remind motorists that now is the time to start preparations for winter driving, which demands slower speeds, slower steering and slower braking
“The first storm of the year is when we typically see a lot of easily preventable crashes,” says Todd Law, state maintenance engineer at VTrans
For the best traction possible in winter conditions VTrans recommends winter rather than all-season tires. Even four-wheel-drive won’t stop you any faster without winter tires.
Snow and ice falling from a vehicle creates hazards for you and other drivers, so remove snow and ice from windows and lights and from the roof of your vehicle.
Slow down. Posted speed limits are for dry pavement. Be patient and accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid skids on a snow- or ice-covered roads. It takes longer to slow down on an icy road, so reduce speed early and slowly when approaching stop lights and stop signs and bridges, which freeze before roads do.

Finally, buckle up. And put the phone down.