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Brandon mulls a local option tax for road, bridge repairs

Posted on April 23, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — The Brandon selectboard is going to ask town residents to take the first step toward levying a 1 percent local tax that would fund repairs to local infrastructure.

Projections are that such a tax would raise roughly $130,000 a year for Brandon to spend solely on capital improvement projects, such as sidewalks, road and bridge repair, and vehicle maintenance and replacement.

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Brandon selectman hired to serve as town manager

Posted on April 16, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Atheron new Brandon mgr 1.JPG

BRANDON — Selectman Dave Atherton is Brandon’s new town manager.

The Brandon selectboard announced its decision to hire Atherton at a busy selectboard meeting Monday night.

Heeding input from voters over the last month, the selectboard chose a local candidate to fill the position that became open when Town Manager Robin Bennett resigned last month.

Atherton will have to resign from the selectboard before taking the new job. His town manager contract will take effect April 20, after two other board members return from vacation.

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Former heroin addict sees progress

Posted on April 16, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Kyle Pinkham update Burl Labs_9601.JPG

RUTLAND/BRANDON — Kyle Pinkham is sitting at a desk at the new Burlington Labs office in Rutland, wearing a black sweater, khaki pants and huge grin.

Yes, Pinkham is smiling, something he refused to do six months ago when he first sat down with The Reporter to talk about heroin addiction and all it has cost him, including his teeth.

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Civil War widow's story to be told on film

Posted on April 13, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Brandon Civil War woman Davenports.jpeg

BRANDON — A little-known love story about a diminutive Brandon woman who retrieved her husband’s body from a Civil War battlefield will soon be a documentary film.

Brandon resident and history professor Kevin Thornton has already raised $8,855 on the Kickstarter crowdfunding website, surpassing his goal of $5,000, to fund his documentary “Death in the Wilderness: A Love Story.” The website features a riveting film trailer narrated by Thornton.

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Brandon town manager resigns

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Brandon mgr Bennett resigns headshot.jpg

BRANDON — Brandon Town Manager Robin Bennett has resigned after reaching a $12,578 settlement in principle with the town that officially closes the book on her 18-month tenure.

The deal was announced following a brief executive session of the Brandon selectboard on Monday morning at the Brandon Town Hall. The move comes two weeks after the board placed Bennett on administrative leave following a performance evaluation over several weeks.

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Educators say small school subsidies have a place in Vermont

Posted on March 26, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Collins head shot.jpeg

ADDISON AND RUTLAND COUNTIES — As the Vermont Senate Education Committee continues its work on an education funding reform bill this week, small schools are once again under scrutiny as lawmakers consider the proposition that school and district consolidation equals cost savings.

Now, a new report names specific small schools in Addison and Rutland counties as examples of what’s wrong with Vermont’s school districting system.

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Brandon town manager is put on leave

Posted on March 19, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — The Brandon selectboard has placed Town Manager Robin Bennett on paid administrative leave.

“It means that she’s going to take the week off and figure out how dedicated she is to the town of Brandon,” Selectman Devon Fuller said last week after the board made the decision at a March 9 meeting. “It’s all part of her performance evaluation, which we began in February.”

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Brandon advances 'no-frills' budget

Posted on February 2, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — In the past 23 months Brandon residents have voted on municipal budgets nine times — four times in 2013 and five in 2014. In both of the last two budget cycles, townspeople have engaged in intense debate, emotional wrangling and numerous re-votes that led to budget approval in the summer months after the start of the fiscal year.

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New leaders named in Brandon

Posted on February 2, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Brandon selectbd new guy Seth Hopkins swearing in.JPG

BRANDON — After a sudden reorganization less than two months before Town Meeting Day, the Brandon selectboard has a new chairman, a new member, and at least one race for a seat come the first Tuesday in March.

Monday, Jan. 26, was a busy day for selectboard business, as 5 p.m. was the deadline for petitions to run for town office, followed by a regular selectboard meeting that evening.

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Slight spending hike results in bigger tax boost at OVUHS

Posted on January 22, 2015 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON — Statewide education funding reform can’t come soon enough for Otter Valley Union High School. Despite the fact that the OV board approved a proposed budget this month with a modest 1.83 percent spending increase, the union Homestead tax rate will increase by roughly 7 cents, or 4.6 percent.

The board on Jan. 7 approved a $10,718,131 spending plan for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, a $192,414 increase over the current spending plan.

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