We know that during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Middle East War of 1973, the United States and the Soviet Union came dangerously close to a nuclear war. This past week we learned that there was another close call in November 1983.

In March of 1983 President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire.” Six months later the Soviets shot down a Korean civilian airliner. That autumn the U.S. started deploying intermediate range missiles in Europe. And that November, NATO began an exercise to test its nuclear weapons command structure.

State dam safety officials give final approval to Mount Holly's new Star Lake Dam. Morristown and Elmore will vote on merging town school districts. 

Two nonprofit housing organizations plan to renovate 18 apartments on Montpelier's Main Street. A draft charter in Charlotte would change the way the town adopts its annual budget. The Salisbury Select Board passes, then withdraws, a hunting and firearms ordinance.

It should come as no surprise that people such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, Republicans seeking the presidential nomination or serving in Congress and FOX News, are virtually unanimous on this subject: Russian President Vladimir Putin is showing bold leadership and strength in Syria - President Barack Obama is clearly indecisive and weak.

Residents of the Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park have cooperatively purchased the park. School supervisory unions study consolidation. Stowe is named TripAdvisor's top fall foliage destination.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's wooden canal schooner is undergoing restoration. Summer's music festivals and agricultural fairs give way to job fairs, craft fairs and fall festivals. The fifth annual HackVT will 'hack the climate'.

Bill Doyle opens his Vermont Politics class for the public to hear guest speakers. The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program is offering tree steward training in Springfield. St. Albans celebrates the return of its Taylor Park fountain.

Morrisville holds a popular vote to determine public art installments. Bolton entices residents to take part in town planning with a pizza party. National Drug Take-Back Day will be held Sept. 26.

Democrats in the Washington-Chittenden House district organize to find a new representative. West Nile virus is discovered in several Vermont mosquito pools. Addison County Transit Resources gets ready to give its two millionth ride.

More than a year ago, as reported this week by the New York Times, a large number of corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists and Republican strategists began meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offices in Washington. President Obama had threatened to act forcefully to combat climate change. And they were determined to stymie whatever regulations he might propose.

Lemon Fair Wild Life Management Area gains 330 acres. Milton has a new town manager. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture announces a free breakfast on the farm event.

The Windham County Economic Development Program has been re-launched to distribute funds negotiated from the closure of Vermont Yankee. The High Meadows Fund promotes and finances a new watershed resilience initiative. The Vermont Steampunk Festival is coming to Springfield in September.

Vermont Electric Cooperative tries to "beat the peak." Killington sets an 18-month tax rate for this transitional tax year. The state puts a piece of Camel's Hump State Park back up for sale.

The Road Pitch business bikers will tour Vermont in August. Eight towns are awarded Community Development Block Grants. Festivals this weekend celebrate Abenaki heritage, Barre history and barbecue.

Between National Get Outdoors Day and Vermont Days, there are many free activities to choose from this weekend. The Vermont Library Association is encouraging patrons to visit libraries throughout the state with its Passport to Vermont Libraries summer program. Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union is hosting a community conversation on Vermont's new education governance law.

Turkey’s just concluded elections produced an outcome which is to be applauded as a victory for democracy. This comes at a time when some professed democracies seem threatened by autocratic leadership. Even here in the United States, admiration has been expressed for strong rulers such as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who can impose his will on his people and get things done.

The Vermont National Guard breaks ground on a vehicle maintenance facility in North Hyde Park. Vermont forest groups aim to train at least one Forest Pest First Detector in each town. Doctors are writing prescriptions to go spend time at state parks.

Voters in Stowe and Hyde Park Village vote to pursue community solar projects. Windsor students tackle tobacco litter in their town. Three towns vote to support replacing a dam at Lake Fairlee.

The upsurge of Middle East violence in recent days - particularly the latest battlefield successes of the extremist group Islamic State - has tended to overshadow the fact that time is running short, to finalize a comprehensive Iranian nuclear deal. June 30th is the date that Iran - and six world powers including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - set for the completion of that agreement. Its purpose is to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon - in exchange for the lifting of the range of economic sanctions imposed by the world community on Iran because of its nuclear activities.

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the season for most Vermont State Parks. Volunteers are wanted to staff a visitors center in Smugglers' Notch. VTrans finishes a bridge replacement in Stowe and is starting another in East Burke.