BRANDON — Finally, in July, the weather turned and the rain subsided to a more normal level and the Otter Creek went back in its banks. For the month of July, the BLSG pursued the area mosquitoes both as larvae and adults. The larvae sampling continued for seven days in July collecting samples from 85 sites. The “dip counts” were low to zero in many sites, which was encouraging.  However, there were counts of 50 or more larvae, per dip, in two locations in Brandon and 20 or more larvae were found in Mud Pond in Leicester and Spring Pond in Brandon. Pomanville in Pittsford also had a larvae...

KIMBERLY TOWNSEND WILL perform a solo show of her emotive and captivating songs at Brandon Music on Friday, Aug. 23.
BRANDON — Kimberly Townsend will bring her powerful voice and penetrating lyrics to Brandon Music on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. A relatively new artist, and definitely a rising star,  Townsend is already being hailed as “the real deal.” The New York City-based sing/songwriter’s lyric-driven, emotive songs captivate, challenge, inspire, and console. Her sound is a blend of folk, indie pop, and soul, often compared to Sara Bareilles, Trevor Hall and Brandi Carlile. Through a uniquely powerful songwriting lens and strong, expansive vocals, she offers an earthy, visceral, intimate spin on...

RNESU SUPERINTENDENT JEANNE Collins is concerned about a Trump administration proposal that would tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — know as SNAP. That program provides food support systems to low-income families, and participants with children in schools are automatically enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program.
BRANDON — A snapshot from the state of how local schools performed on state tests show a sharp disparity in performances between those on free and reduced-price lunches and those who are not on the program. Now, a new change in federal law could compound that issue further. A Trump administration proposal would tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — know as SNAP. That program provides food support systems to low-income families, and participants with children in schools are automatically enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. The new...

ALYZA MCKEIGHAN, 17, of Brandon, is a rookie driver in the 500cc Mini Sprint Division at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
BRANDON — For most teenagers, the summer before their senior year of high school is a time for hanging out with friends, enjoying time without worrying about their studies and relaxing in the warm weather. For Alyza McKeighan, a rising senior at Otter Valley Union High School, relaxing has been the furthest thing from her mind this summer. McKeighan is a rookie driver in the 500cc Mini Sprint division at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven. Racing is not only a family affair for the 17-year-old, but also a way of building confidence in her skills behind the wheel and as a person. “It started...

THE BARN OPERA’S new building, located near the Sanderson Covered Bridge off Pearl Street in Brandon, will double the current seating capacity.
BRANDON — The melodious voices that make up the Barn Opera company will soon be getting a new home. After two years inside the barn of Brandon Music on Route 73, the opera will be moving to the west side of Brandon on Pearl Street. “We have looked at, trespassed in, and explored every barn larger than 20 by 40 feet in the area,” said Artistic Director Josh Collier. “At long last, we have found an absolutely perfect venue in a phenomenal post-and-beam dairy barn, adjacent to the Sanderson Covered Bridge.” Collier said that the intimate space of the current home of Barn Opera provided beautiful...

BUSTER KEATON STARS in “Our Hospitality” (1923), a classic silent comedy film to be screened with live music by Jeff Rapsis on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at Brandon Town Hall. Admission is free; donations are encouraged.
BRANDON — He never smiled on camera, earning him the nickname “the Great Stone Face.” But Buster Keaton’s comedies rocked Hollywood’s silent era with laughter throughout the 1920s, and remain popular crowd-pleasers today. See for yourself with a screening of “Our Hospitality” (1923), one of Keaton’s landmark features at Brandon Town Hall on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. The program, the latest in the Town Hall’s silent film series, will be accompanied by live music performed by silent film composer Jeff Rapsis. Admission is free; donations are encouraged, with all proceeds support ongoing...

BILL SCORZARI WILL perform at Brandon Music on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
BRANDON — Bill Scorzari gave up his life as a preeminent New York trial attorney to follow his inner voice and become a full time musician. This singer-songwriter gives audiences a new kind of sound: one that’s gritty, lived-in, raw and sad. Hear for yourself on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Brandon Music, at 7:30 p.m. Scorzari first began playing a guitar when he was eight years old. By the age of 13, he had formed his first group and performed with friends in and around his home town. His musical tastes grew to be all-inclusive, as he explored different genres throughout his formative and college...

THE NEW “WALGREENS” sign appears prominently on the drug store in Brandon, but the outlines of the former “Rite Aid” sign that it replaced last week still shows through. Middlebury and Bristol Rite Aid stores also got new Walgreens signs. Brandon Reporter photo/Russell Jones
ADDISON COUNTY AND BRANDON — The effects of a $4 billion business deal announced in 2017 are just now rippling through our part of Vermont. Rite Aid stores in Brandon, Bristol and Middlebury last week hung signs or banners announcing the new name of the retail drug store — Walgreens. Under the agreement made between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid, Walgreens last year purchased 1,932 stores and three distribution centers from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $4.3 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Though this was a large merger, with plenty of cash on the table, it...
BRANDON — A ruptured sewer line in downtown Brandon that led to over 3 million gallons of untreated sewage to flow directly into the Neshobe River in late February 2018 resulted in a $12,000 fine against the town. The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation announced the fine this month, largely for failing to report the release to the state in a timely manner. “This is the settlement that the selectboard agreed to a couple months ago for the March 2018 sewer line break,” Town Manager Dave Atherton said. According to the press release from the state, in the early...
BRANDON — The municipal tax rate in Brandon will see an increase of about 3 percent this coming fiscal year, rising from last year’s 93 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 96 cents this year. The breakdowns for the 2019- 2020 tax rates are 80 cents for the town budget, 6 cents for various voter-approved appropriations and 8 cents for the fire district. The education tax rates have been calculated by the state and come out to $1.33 for homeowners and $1.55 for non-residents per $100. With education rates figured in, the total tax rate for a Brandon resident will be $2.29 for residents...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100