January 5th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — A majority of Addison County’s lawmakers said they will vote in favor of incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin over Republican Scott Milne when the Vermont General Assembly decides the matter on this Thursday.
Per the state Constitution, the General Assembly must decide the contest by ballot when it convenes Jan. 8 because neither Shumlin nor Milne garnered more than 50 percent of the votes cast back on Nov. 4.
The Top 10 catalogs what the news staff of the Addison Independent chose as the most important stories of 2014, but readers have their own opinions about what interested them most last year. To get one indication of that, look at the top 10 stories on our website. Here are the headlines for the most-read stories of 2014 on addisonindependent.com, with their page views according to Google Analytics (note: Unfortunately, the analysis did not track all of the site activity before July 1). We’ll post this list with links to the stories at addisonindependent.com.
At the end of each year, the Independent editorial staff pores through all of the issues to pick the ten stories that readers cared the most about in 2014. They span a variety of topics, from the Vermont Gas pipeline to the Middlebury town office, the expansion of solar projects to the success of local high school sports programs.
For the second year in a row, the Vermont Gas Systems Addison Rutland Natural Gas Pipeline Project captivated (and sometimes enraged) county residents, and was the subject of more than 50 articles in the Independent.
After the Public Service Board in December 2013 approved Phase I of the pipeline, which will run from Colchester to Middlebury and Vergennes, Vermont Gas land agents spent the year securing land easements from Addison County residents.
No issue in recent Middlebury history proved as polarizing as the proposal to demolish the municipal building/gym complex at 94 Main St. and replace them with new town offices at 77 Main St. and a new recreation facility off Creek Road.
This past year in Bristol and the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union, residents debated two major projects that would require taxpayer-approved bonds: a new Bristol firehouse and a renovated Mount Abraham Union High School.
The Bristol Fire Department inched closer to getting a new firehouse this year, a process that firefighters have discussed for more than two decades.
VERGENNES — In July, new Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent JoAn Canning discovered — and immediately made public — that the Vermont Agency of Education had sanctioned ANwSU by starting to withhold about $1 million in state and federal grant funds.
After Gov. Peter Shumlin made opiate addiction the focus of his State of the State address in January, Addison County and neighboring areas saw multiple large drug busts and drug-related arrests as well as expansions in services to people seeking recovery or assistance.
As 2014 opened, Porter Medical Center and the Counseling Service of Addison County were in discussions to collaborate on a clinic to provide Suboxone, a drug designed to help a growing number of Addison County addicts break their dependence on opiates.