April 8th, 2010
VERGENNES — Becky, 23, thought she was on a path to matrimony and a nurturing household for her two children.
But the longtime Addison County resident’s life took an abrupt turn last month with a sudden breakup that left her homeless. Faced with no other options, Becky sought help at the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter in Vergennes.
“I had nowhere else to go,” Becky said.
MIDDLEBURY — The economy may be bad, but Middlebury College is having no trouble attracting students eager for a liberal arts education.
In fact, according to Dean of Admissions Bob Clagett, this year the admissions office at the college handled 7,978 first-year applications, which is both an increase of 16 percent over last year and the largest applicant pool ever. The larger volume of applicants also meant that admissions officers saw more students with very high extracurricular and academic standings.
“It made for a very challenging year for us,” said Clagett.
LINCOLN — Bern Terry wants his clients to think of him like the family nephew: friendly, available and ready to step in when an elder needs a little extra help around the home.
That concept of flexible, personal home care is at the heart of a new for-profit senior care business expanding this month to Addison County. As the company’s name implies, Extended Family steps in to help senior citizens remain independent and in their homes — much like a family member or neighbor might pitch in as someone ages.
MIDDLEBURY — Local planning and economic development officials on Wednesday were lobbying hard against proposed state budget cuts they said could dramatically affect their ability to deliver services in Addison County.
The Legislature and the Douglas administration in January agreed to jointly seek $38 million in budget cuts to help shore up a $154 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2011 budget.
BRANDON — It remains to be seen whether New England Woodcraft will buy or lease the former Neo EMS building on Prospect Street in Brandon, but plans to expand the company’s operations at that location are moving forward.
Faced with the challenge of cutting $38 million in its Challenges for Change proposal, the Douglas administration finally provided a hint as to where that $38 million would be cut last week. Among the details, the administration suggested $3.4 million be cut from the Unified Economic Development Budget, which includes a number of departments and agencies such as the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Agency of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Tourism, and others. Few object to the cuts, but where those cuts must be made has rankled those most affected.
Editor’s note: Dr. Morris Earle Jr. is a Middlebury pediatrician who last weekend returned from 11 days working in the international disaster relief effort in Haiti. He and his wife Lynn Luginbuhl worked for seven months in Haiti previously. While in Haiti this time, he worked alongside Suzanne Germain, a nurse practitioner from Lincoln, and her daughter Rachel Clark, who worked with the Vermont Medical Response Teams in Haiti from March 17-31. Earle, a medical doctor with a master’s in public health, shares a somewhat different view on the Haitians’ response to the Jan.
Entergy’s decision Monday to nix plans to spin off six nuclear reactors, including Vermont Yankee, into a separate company that would be overburdened with debt is a welcome step forward in the state’s discussion about extending Vermont Yankee’s permit in 2012 by another 20 years. The spin-off proposal was widely criticized as a ploy to create an under-funded corporation (Enexus) that would have been more likely to default on decommissioning costs, while allowing Entergy to dodge those expenses at plants in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Michigan.