LEICESTER — In the living room of her Leicester home, Kristin Francoeur fed alpaca fiber into a wood spinning wheel, listening to its quiet click as she spun.
“This one has a tiny squeak, so we’ll have to adjust it,” she said.
The squeak, she said, was in the pedal. Over the past few years, Kristin has gotten some practice figuring out where the sounds are coming from: She tests each Green Mountain Spinning Wheel as her husband, Paul, makes them.
Editor’s note: This article is the final in a three-part series on Addison County residents who have sought help from the Quit Tobacco Program at Porter Hospital in order to kick their cigarette habits.
SHOREHAM — For the first time in decades, Deborah Diamond, 66, could smell the coming of spring.
Earlier this year, Diamond’s vow to quit smoking once and for all was bolstered when she caught a whiff of that “lovely green smell” that she never wants to lose again.
VERGENNES — As the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes enters the home stretch of its three-year community-wide effort to address substance abuse among teens and young adults, club and local officials are convinced their work and partnerships with schools, state and local health providers, and police have paid off.
The effort began in January 2008, when the Vermont Department of Health awarded the club a three-year, $360,000 Strategic Prevention Framework grant from a pot of federal funds.
RIPTON — More than 1,000 cross-country skiing enthusiasts from throughout New England will converge on Ripton this coming February as part of the 2011 TD Bank Bill Koch Festival.
The two-day event (Feb. 25-26), featuring a variety of activities for young cross-country skiers and their families, is expected to provide a very welcome spark to the winter economy in Addison County. Organizers anticipate filling every hotel room in the Middlebury area while providing a stream of potential shoppers and diners.
BRANDON — Against steep odds and with a few windfalls, the Otter Valley Union High School board this month passed a proposed 2011-2012 budget that far exceeds spending reductions suggested by state education officials in the Challenges for Change law and that raises the local education tax rate by a mere cent while retaining the school resource officer.
On Dec. 15, the board unanimously decided to put before voters a $10,221,037 spending plan for 2011-2012, cutting $454,853, or 4.26 percent, in spending from the current budget.
BRANDON — Some taxpayers in Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union towns — including Brandon, Goshen, Leicester and Whiting — will be very pleased come Town Meeting Day. Most area school budgets will translate into significant reductions in the local tax rate thanks to lower proposed spending and the state per pupil spending formula.
VERMONT — In an action that surprised many observers, the U.S. Senate on Sunday passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act.
The bill, which had appeared dead after it encountered a number of technical issues close to the end of this year’s congressional session, passed the Senate unanimously by voice vote late on Sunday. From there, the bill headed to the U.S. House, where it was approved on Tuesday and sent to the President’s desk.
ADDISON COUNTY — Orwell Republican Mark Young raised and spent the most of any of the Addison County candidates running for Vermont House or Senate seats in 2010.
Candidates had until Dec. 15 to file their final campaign finance reports closing out the 2010 elections.