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110 graduate from OV high school in 2012

Posted on June 21, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — “Let’s face it — Otters are awesome.”

And according to Otter Valley Class of 2012 Valedictorian Matt Dier, the school’s furry mascot possesses many traits that his classmates should take with them into the future.

That was the thrust of Dier’s speech at OV’s June 16 commencement ceremony in the school’s gymnasium, where 110 new graduates moved on to the next stages in their lives.

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New Brandon business mills alpaca fiber

Posted on May 31, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — Find a need, and fill it — that’s the recipe for business success.

Ed and Deb Bratton saw firsthand the need for a local fiber mill after 10 years in business with Maple View Farm Alpacas on Adams Road in Brandon. Now, they hope their new venture, Vermont Fiber Mill and Studio, will pay off as well.

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Low milk prices drive dairy farmers to open petting zoo

Posted on May 24, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



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ORWELL — The look on Alysa Farley’s face was one of serene happiness as she carried a three-week-old lamb named Ernie around the barn at Independence Petting Farm last week.

And Ernie, for his part, was perfectly content.

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Mallory picked as Brandon's new fire chief

Posted on May 7, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — There has been a surprise changing of the guard at the Lake Dunmore Hose Company in Brandon, as Eric Mallory was elected Brandon fire chief, replacing longtime Chief Bob Kilpeck.

The vote took place at the fire department’s April 25 bi-annual meeting. Mallory was nominated from the floor and voted in by the majority.

“I’m flattered by it, and I’ll give it my best,” Mallory said.

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Birch syrup helps to fill the maple void

Posted on April 5, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



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LEICESTER — It was one of very few “Maple Open House” signs seen over the annual March weekend during which Vermont sugarhouses invite in the general public, but the Sweet Success Sugar Shack is looking in a new direction.

A sudden warm-up in temperatures in late March brought a quick and then painful end to the annual maple sap run this year, leaving area sugarmakers with below-average sap supplies.

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Clippings: Presidential visit exciting, dismaying

Posted on April 5, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Prior to March 30, the closest I had been as a journalist to anything presidential was Howard Dean’s campaign kickoff in Burlington in June 2003. So, when an email from President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign offered press credentials to cover the president’s appearance at UVM’s Gutterson Field House last Friday, I took a shot. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to cover the first visit to Vermont by a sitting president in 17 years.

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Otter Valley board approves 2.3% budget increase

Posted on January 16, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School board last week approved a proposed $10,332,550 spending plan for 2012-13. That represents an increase of $233,918 or 2.32 percent over the current spending plan.

There was none of the drama of past year’s budget talks when the fate of two items in the budget — the alternative education Harvest Program and the school resource officer — were in question. For the record, both of those line items are intact.

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Brandon bookstore closes

Posted on January 5, 2012 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



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BRANDON — The polished but ancient wood floors creaked with familiarity last Saturday as old friends and customers stopped by the Briggs Carriage Bookstore in downtown Brandon one last time.

Erin Keyes, 18, considers Briggs an integral part of her life. Having grown up in Brandon, some of Keyes’s earliest memories are set in the bookstore.

“Just seeing something I’ve grown up with end, it’s like part of my childhood going away,” she said, as she sat in the bench nook of the children’s section with her mom, Laura King.

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Arts center eyed for the former site of Brandon Training School

Posted on October 3, 2011 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — A community-based music and arts center is planned for the last empty building at the former Brandon Training School.

Stephen and Edna Sutton, owners of Brandon Music, a classical music distribution and production company on Brandon’s Country Club Road, have bought Building K in Park Village with the intent of turning the long–empty, derelict building into a music and arts destination.

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Brandon emus die in 1st Vt. case of EEE

Posted on September 26, 2011 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — Sixteen emus on a farm in Brandon have died in what is Vermont’s first documented case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Area veterinarian Keely Henderson sent brain tissue and blood samples from the dead emus to a University of New Hampshire lab last Wednesday, Sept. 21, and the results were received late next day.

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