January 6th, 2014
SHOREHAM — A New Year’s Day fire at a Shoreham animal preserve claimed more than a hundred pheasants, though no people were hurt.
Glenn and Judy Symon own and run the ringneck pheasant preserve, known as the Peaceable Hill Preserve, where a fire broke out in two buildings at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
FERRISBURGH — A two-vehicle, head-on collision on Route 7 sent two drivers to the hospital early Thursday morning.
Vermont State Police closed a stretch of Route 7 in Ferrisburgh for about 40 minutes after the traffic collision at around 6:45 a.m. The driver of a car traveling on Route 7 fell asleep and crossed into the other lane; then collided with an oncoming truck, a trooper at the Vermont State Police barracks in New Haven said.
ADDISON COUNTY — State and local lawmakers are preparing for a 2014 legislative session that they said will include the familiar task of dealing with a sizeable general fund budget shortfall, as well as ironing out the kinks in the state’s transition to universal access health care, exploring education finance reform, helping citizens deal with drug addiction, and confronting pollution and nuisance aquatic weeds in Vermont’s waterways.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Jan. 7 will attempt to further reduce a proposed 2014-2015 municipal budget of $9,223,799 that would require $6,605,869 in property tax revenue, reflecting a $240,924 increase (3 percent) compared to this year’s spending plan.
ADDISON COUNTY — As a new year dawns across the bleak Vermont landscape, dairy farmers have yet another worry to contend with.
BRISTOL — A Sunday afternoon blaze destroyed a home on Lower Notch Road in Bristol and required dozens of firefighters to extinguish. No one was injured, and firefighters were able to recover two family dogs from the blaze — one of which survived intense heat and flames by hiding underneath the porch.
Homeowner Greg West said he and his family were out of town at a Christmas gathering when the fire started.
VERGENNES — Workers earlier this week were putting the finishing touches on a double solar array near the Vergennes sewer plant that is projected to save the city $4,120 a year on its power bill.
About half of the nearly 500 solar panels are being placed on the plant’s lawn, and the rest sited on a knoll behind the nearby Vergennes-Panton Water District office.
The combined array is rated at 149 kilowatts and is expected to produce 200,000 kwh a year, all of which will be sent directly into the larger Green Mountain Power grid.
VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union has begun a formal search for a replacement for longtime superintendent Tom O’Brien; his co-superintendent during this school year, Addison Central School Principal Wayne Howe, has confirmed he is a candidate for the full position.
O’Brien, 65, an Orwell resident, announced in late November 2012 he would step down this June, which will complete his 13th year leading ANwSU and his 30th leading school districts in Washington state, Maine and Vermont.