August 18th, 2011
BRANDON — After a stellar run of providing classic, well-built construction and sage advice in the Brandon area, a well-known local builder has finally hung up his hard hat.
Jack McKernon, founder of The McKernon Group Inc., has retired from his long time position as owner/CEO of the Brandon-based business. Kevin Birchmore, president of the company and McKernon’s business partner for the last 25 years, has acquired the ownership position of the company and has taken on a partner, Justus Cameron, who is the newly appointed vice president.
ST. ALBANS/NEW HAVEN — Farmers had plenty of suggestions for Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., as he solicited feedback about a proposed federal dairy reform bill in St. Albans last Wednesday and at Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven on Friday.
The bill in question is a draft proposal by Minnesota Rep. Colin Peterson. The plan would replace the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) and the Dairy Product Price Supports programs and change the federal milk order system that sets the wholesale price conventional milk producers get for their product.
VERMONT — Gardeners beware: Late blight, which last swept tomato and potato plants in the state in 2009, has been confirmed in Vermont this year.
The University of Vermont Extension on Aug. 3 announced a case of the late blight on tomato plants in a home garden in Jericho.
Vern Grubinger of the UVM Extension said he’s spoken with a couple more people in that area who are sending their plants in for testing, but that there have been no other confirmed cases in the state.
NEW HAVEN — Visitors to the Addison County Fair and Field Days last week could follow the “Fresh cheese curds” sign and find themselves next to the Milking Parlor and Dairy Bar, at a simple white trailer with a window on one side.
Veronica Pedraza, wearing a net cap, guarded the sterile environment of her mobile cheesemaking unit. She was spending the summer traveling with the Orleans County Fair mobile cheese unit to county fairs around Vermont.
Editor’s note: With loads of fun activities, good weather, exciting rides and lots of friendly faces, the 63rd annual Addison County Fair and Field Days was by any account a great success. But some of the participants at last week’s fair can also demonstrate another measure of success: ribbons and honors from various competitions. Here are listings of many of those winners. Look for more in a future edition of the Addison Independent.
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Senior reporter John Flowers makes a weekly Tuesday radio appearance on Morning News Service, a program on Waterbury-based WDEV, 96.1 FM. He wraps up recent Addison County news for listeners across Vermont.
During last week's 63rd annual Addison County Fair and Field Days, the #1 Auto Parts Demolition Derby was once again among the most popular events. Over the course of two nights, fans gathered to watch old junker cars — decorated with spray paint and driven with pride — continuously smash into each other until just one vehicle was still running. The event featured separate competitions for 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines, as well as a minivan round and a pick-up truck round. Here, sports reporter Andy Kirkaldy gives a rundown of the popular event.
VERGENNES — Despite the ongoing renovation of the John Graham Homeless Shelter’s main building on Monkton Road in Vergennes, shelter officials have continued to fulfill the organization’s mission of finding housing for the homeless — even though demand is higher than usual, said Shelter Executive Director Elizabeth Ready.
Ready said plans had first called for the 10-bedroom Monkton Road building to stay open during the $627,000 project, which is expected to be finished in early September.