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May 17th, 2012
VERMONT — On a gray May morning in Monkton, Norma Norris and Denzel Rankine were hard at work planting tomatoes, watering seedlings in the greenhouse and painting tables in preparation for the upcoming summer season.
Rankine, 48, comes to Norris Berry Farm from his home in Jamaica for six months each year through the federal H2A guest worker program, arriving in mid-April and staying until the end of the season in the fall.
ADDISON — Vergennes resident Karen Florucci can’t pin down whether she was in second or third grade when she picked out her career, but the choice stuck.
In early June, Florucci will retire after 25 years teaching at Addison Central School, 21 in kindergarten and four in second grade.
Before arriving at ACS, the 1972 Castleton State College graduate taught two years of elementary school in Castleton and three years at the now-shuttered Brandon Training Center, and then for four years in the 1980s operated her own kindergarten in her Vergennes home.
MIDDLEBURY — Don McIntosh has led three generations of Middlebury-area kids through exercises ranging from calisthenics to kickball.
Now, after 37 years as gym teacher serving local middle school-age students, McIntosh is ready to put down his whistle. But don’t expect him to prop up his feet in retirement, even as he approaches his 70th birthday.
VERMONT — Superintendents and principals across the state are bracing for looming cuts in federal education aid.
The “potential catastrophe,” as Vermont Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca put it, could lead to teacher layoffs and the end of crucial services for those students who need extra help, local education officials said.
BRISTOL — Most of the roughly three dozen people at Holley Hall Monday evening for the Bristol selectboard’s first public hearing on a new draft of the town plan showed overwhelming support for the general vision of the proposal. Nevertheless, a range of fundamental changes were proposed.
The selectboard will consider these proposed changes at its May 21 meeting, and likely will hold two more hearings, selectboard chairman John “Peeker” Heffernan said.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Planning Commission agreed on Monday to recommend that Vergennes aldermen make changes to proposed new zoning regulations based on testimony at the council’s May 8 public hearing.
The recommendations, according to planning chairman Shannon Haggett, will include a relaxed lot-frontage requirement in the new Historic Neighborhood District and a provision to allow multi-family housing in the Basin District.
Each recommendation was made after careful consideration at a two-and-a-half hour meeting, Haggett said.
VERGENNES — At their May 8 meeting last week, Vergennes aldermen continued to pare down their list of potential sites for a new city police station, and they heard Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel’s vision for what that station would offer his department.
ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont State Police and a number of agencies were called to Leicester on May 11 to search for a five-year-old missing on a hike near Silver Lake.