June 10th, 2010
STARKSBORO — The traditional contra dance call of “grab your partner by the hand” has taken on a whole new meaning in light of the orphans affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Local activists who have seen firsthand the plight of the Port-au-Prince orphanage Men Nan Men (Creole for Hand in Hand) have organized a barn dance in Starksboro this Saturday to raise funds to support these children in need.
MIDDLEBURY — For the second year in a row, Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects, commonly known as HOPE, has launched a special fund-raising campaign in order to meet the growing demand for services by Addison County residents still weathering tough economic times.
Jeanne Montross, executive director of HOPE, said her organization is seeking to raise $145,000 in donations and another $6,700 through special events — including a fashion show this fall to be called “Model Citizens.”
MIDDLEBURY — Jill Ryea, 19, can’t help but smile when she talks about receiving her high school diploma this week. That’s because life without a diploma hasn’t exactly been easy. Since she dropped out of Otter Valley Union High School a year and a half ago, she has applied for jobs at 15 businesses in Brandon, 20 in Rutland and 12 in Middlebury.
“I’ve had about five interviews and still no calls back,” said the Leicester resident. “The economy’s so bad and I’m looking really hard for a job.”
CORNWALL — William Conlon got his first up-close-and-personal taste of politics last month when he won election as next year’s 11th-grade class president at Middlebury Union High School.
It will be an abbreviated term for the new office-holder, but that’s OK. That’s because Conlon will be leaving MUHS next January to spend five months on arguably the biggest political stage in the world — Washington, D.C., where Conlon will spend about five months as a U.S. Senate page representing the state of Vermont.
VERGENNES — Goodrich Corp.’s Vergennes plant will benefit from the latest installment on a $300 million contract with the U.S. Army for the company’s Health and Usage Management Systems (HUMS), which are used to monitor the operating status of key engine and rotor parts on military and commercial helicopters, according to a Wednesday press release from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on May 25 gave permission to Vergennes Opera House backers to sell the theater’s no-longer-used fixed chairs as a way to help pay for the sprinkler project that will benefit the Main Street building that houses both the theater and city offices.
The cost of that project to protect the building recently ballooned from about $60,000 to $80,000 when it was learned there was not enough water pressure in the original design to reach the top of the structure. City Manager Mel Hawley said an extra pump needed would add about $20,000 to the cost.
For years, the governor has been repeating a mantra: Vermont is bad for business. Its taxes are too high, its environmental regulations too onerous, its schools too expensive, he says.
This year he convinced lawmakers to lower taxes. His evidence came from a pretty solid source: the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s the same source he’s been citing for years; this time it was reported in Vermont Business Magazine in May.
MIDDLEBURY — The second-seeded Middlebury Union High School girls’ lacrosse team outworked and outscored visiting No. 7 Brattleboro in a Division I quarterfinal on Friday, taking a 16-5 second-half lead on the way to a 16-10 win.
Sisters Chrissy Ritter (a sophomore with six goals) and junior Katie Ritter (five goals, two assists) grabbed the scoring headlines.