March 18th, 2010
BRIDPORT/BRANDON — Administrators at Bridport Central School and Otter Valley Union High School breathed a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday after the Vermont Department of Education removed the schools from a list of Vermont’s 10 persistently lowest achieving schools.
The schools were initially tagged for the list in a memo released last week, but state education officials on Tuesday said “human error” meant that two of the identified schools — Bridport and OV — were mistakenly included.
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) Board next Wednesday will begin reviewing a new report detailing the district’s current resources, and the discussion could be the first step in exploring school board consolidation in the seven-town union.
It was last fall that that the ACSU board commissioned a $5,000 so-called “governance study,” contracted through the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA). The VSBA ultimately picked Ray Proulx, a retired Vermont school superintendent, to perform the study.
ADDISON — New York and Vermont transportation officials on Monday began advertising for a contractor to build the new Champlain Bridge, a span that’s expected to be ready for traffic by the fall of 2011.
Monday’s action fires the starter’s gun on an expedited construction timetable that’s expected to result in work on the new bridge starting late this May or early June, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Project Manager Dan Landry.
BRIDPORT — Faced with the need to trim $1.6 million from Vermont’s so-called “Current Use” program, local legislators told farmers on Monday that changes are almost certainly in store for the popular tax abatement program that preserves Vermont farm- and forestland from development.
ADDISON COUNTY — Federal Census Bureau officials are working to clarify a glitch they said may give some people the impression that their true town of residency has been misrepresented on their decennial census forms.
Addison County residents began receiving their census forms this week. Homeowners here and throughout the country are being asked to promptly complete the 10-question form and send it back. The federal government uses the new information each decade to track demographic trends that have a direct bearing on federal funding and reapportionment in the U.S. Congress.
MIDDLEBURY — An Addison District Court sentencing hearing scheduled for Monday for former Vergennes police chief Mike Lowe was postponed to allow a Vermont Department of Corrections probation officer time to prepare a report that will be used in the proceeding.
Lowe on Jan. 11 accepted a deal with state prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of prescription drugs, a felony, and to one count of obtaining prescription drugs by fraud. Lowe also agreed not to contest a charge of neglect of duty.
In the wake of the economic downturn, educational systems in the 50 states have been facing dramatic cuts or reform, or both. In Kansas City last week, the school board there narrowly approved a measure (5-4) to close nearly half of that district’s schools in an effort to consolidate and reduce a projected $50 million shortfall. The approved plan calls for closing 29 of the district’s 61 schools. About 700 of the district’s 3,000 jobs, including 285 teachers, are expected to be cut.
MIDDLEBURY — As part of the recent “De-Romanticizing India” 2010 Spring Symposium at Middlebury College, a panel on “Domestic Issues and Challenges in Contemporary India” focused on three themes: environmental degradation, party politics and the Hindu-Muslim conflict.
Environmentalist Saleem Ali from UVM, Walther Anderson from John Hopkins University and Safa Mohsin Khan, a sophomore at Middlebury College, were part of the panel that gave a multi-dimensional view of those domestic challenges.