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MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released its 2018 Enforcement Report, which details how DEC responded to citizen complaints and summarizes how the Department enforced environmental regulations to protect Vermonters and the lands and waters of the state. “Last year, DEC received over 2,700 complaints of alleged environmental harm. We investigate every complaint our division receives,” said Kim Greenwood, Director of the Environmental Compliance Division for DEC. “Citizens reporting alleged violations to DEC are a critical source of information...

CALEB BENZ, LEFT, Theo Wells-Spackman, Marina Herren-Lage and Romy Munkres have been selected to perform as part of the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensembles in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 7. Photo courtesy MUHS
MIDDLEBURY — Four Middlebury Union High School students will join more than 780 of the most musically talented high school students in the Eastern region of the United States to perform in the 2019 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensembles in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 7. Caleb Benz, a junior, will play his alto saxophone as part of the Jazz Ensemble. Benz is the son of Eric and Hannah Benz of Middlebury. Joining the Concert Band on flute is Romy Munkres, also a junior, and the daughter of Kristin Bolton and Andrew Munkres of Cornwall. Senior Marina Herren-Lage,...
BURLINGTON — Two Addison County Realtors were honored this month at Shelburne Museum’s Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education for their 2018 sales and service achievements. Chris von Trapp and Michael Johnston of Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty were each recognized. Chris von Trapp of Waltham, the lead agent for the Chris von Trapp Team, received the Coldwell Banker International Diamond Society Team Award recognizing the top 30 percent of all Coldwell Banker Teams with one-to-three agents in North America. For 20 years, von Trapp has specialized in Addison and Chittenden county...
FERRISBURGH — A public meeting next Tuesday could determine if the Vermont Agency of Transportation eventually makes improvements to the North Ferrisburgh intersection of Route 7 with Old Hollow and Stage roads — and whether those improvements are a full set of traffic lights, a roundabout, or more modest changes. That Jan. 15 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Ferrisburgh’s town office building will include a preliminary presentation from VTrans on those options and their cost, effect on safety and impact on the area, as well as crash data and traffic counts. VTrans officials also want to hear other...
BRANDON — School administrators are assuring parents of students at Neshobe Elementary that they are taking steps to mitigate the dangers of elevated radon gas levels in the Brandon building. In the district’s letter to parents last Wednesday, Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Superintendent Jeanńe Collins said these screening values are not an immediate health concern to students or staff as there is no known acute health effects associated with exposure to radon. “The Department of Health has been very clear there is no imminent health risk,” Collins said. “The district is taking...
MIDDLEBURY — The Open Door Clinic (ODC) in Middlebury enters 2019 on a high note, with two recent grant awards and a strategic plan that will sharpen the focus of the free medical service for the next three years. The awards include a $20,000 Ben & Jerry’s Foundation “Vermont Economic Justice” grant, and a $15,000 financial commitment from the Walter Cerf Community Fund. Heidi Sulis, executive director of the ODC, said the grants will help the clinic boost its wide range of services to the underinsured and uninsured, including migrant farm workers and those who simply can’t afford basic...

KATHY SWANSON AND Vince O’Connell, creators of the award-winning feature film “Farmer of the Year,” pause on the red carpet at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival last year. The Marquis Theatre in Middlebury will host special screenings of the film twice this Wednesday, Jan. 9.
MIDDLEBURY — The award-winning comedy-drama “Farmer of the Year” will be screened in Middlebury this week. When Vince O’Connell and Kathy Swanson “retired” and sold the business they’d created (a company that manufactured custom cycling and Nordic ski clothing for clubs and teams), they could have moved south to golf and do water aerobics year-round but instead they moved to Northern Vermont (Craftsbury Common) so they could cross country ski from November through April. Then, one long, cold night while watching a bad movie they started thinking they should apply to some film schools and nine...
FERRISBURGH/NEW HAVEN — The latest potential customer for the Vermont Green Line — a proposed high-voltage power transmission line intended to bring power from Hydro Quebec to southern New England via New York, the bottom of Lake Champlain and Vermont — has said no. If the Vermont Green Line, or VGL, is built through northwestern Addison County, millions of dollars could flow into New Haven and Ferrisburgh in compensation for use of town road rights-of-way and in higher tax revenue through new taxable infrastructure. But a spokesperson for the company proposing the VGL, National Grid (a...
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Supreme Court has rejected an Orwell man’s appeal of his 2017 conviction on a charge of aggravated sexual assault on a minor. It was in January of 2017 that an Addison County jury convicted Rein Kolts on the felony charge, relating to allegations he had repeatedly engaged in nonconsensual sexual acts over a two-year period with a girl whom court records identified as his niece. The victim — then in her early teens — told authorities in 2014 she had been sexually assaulted by Kolts more than five times at the defendant’s Orwell home and once in Chester during the...
MIDDLEBURY — Ben Dykema of North Ferrisburgh was elected to represent his local administrative area during the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee election. Dykema and his wife, Kris, run the Wilcon Farm in North Ferrisburgh. According to AgriMart/Cabot, when the Dykemas first purchased the farm several decades ago, they had 204 acres, 50 milkers and 40 young stock. They now have 450 milkers and 400 young stock. They actively farm 800 acres. Dykema was a founding member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition. Another result of the election is...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
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