September 1st, 2011
Vermont’s 2012 presidential primary will be held in six months, on Town Meeting Day, March 6. Compared with 2008, next year’s Vermont presidential primary is likely to be a low-key affair. In 2008, the combination of open presidential nominating contests in both parties, and the presence of three candidates who were well-organized and had extensive support in Vermont — John McCain on the Republican side and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side — resulted in a primary with high public attention and a record turnout.
BRANDON — The heart of Brandon was devastated by a disastrous flood Sunday as rains from Tropical Storm Irene caused the Neshobe River to overflow and rage through the downtown.
Hundreds of roads and dozens of bridges around Vermont were washed out during the storm, which brought seven or more inches of rain to the state in a day’s time. The event is the worst natural disaster to hit the Green Mountain State since the flood of 1927.
ADDISON COUNTY — State officials investigating a Route 7 crash involving two tractor-trailers last week said both semis and both drivers involved were violating laws. Vermont State Police and inspectors from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit noted 13 driver violations and 9 equipment violations related to the condition of the trucks at the time of the crash.
ADDISON COUNTY — The floodwaters that covered fields in the wake of the rain and wind from Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday were strangely reminiscent of the high waters that covered fields this spring, pushing seasonal planting back by a month for some.
And Irene, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it headed north, decimated agricultural fields in some areas of Vermont and, for many others, threw hopes of a late fall growing season into question.
GRANVILLE/HANCOCK — As most Addison County residents turned to recovery and repairs early this week, many Granville and Hancock residents were still trying to make do without phones, electricity and passable roads.
The only two Addison County towns on the eastern slope of the Green Mountains were among the communities hit hardest when Tropical Storm Irene dumped a massive amount of rain on Vermont Sunday.
RIPTON/MIDDLEBURY — In a scene somewhat reminiscent of the flooding of August 2008, Route 125 from East Middlebury to Ripton experienced washouts in three locations as Tropical Storm Irene ripped through Addison County Sunday.
In one location, the Middlebury River took out a swath of guardrail, noted Ripton Selectman Richard Collitt.
LINCOLN — The mountain town of Lincoln was hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday with floods closing many roads, including the main connector with Bristol (see story on Page 1A).
Town officials this week said the massive amounts of water flowing through town raised questions about one important piece of local infrastructure — the Gove Hill Bridge — and put to rest worries about another — Burnham Hall.
VERGENNES — Northlands Job Corps has a new interim director who after three weeks in Vergennes has already acted to address the center’s stagnant national rankings and Vergennes officials’ concerns about student behavior.