MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Health (DOH) today, Saturday, Sept. 19, reported a total of 83 Addison County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, an increase of one compared to yesterday. Middlebury College has thus far reported two confirmed COVID-19 cases as part of its on-campus testing program, which has thus far conducted 5,901 tests.  The DOH provides limited data on town-by-town coronavirus cases. According to that data, Vergennes has reported 14 COVID-19 cases thus far, Bristol and Middlebury have recorded eight, Orwell seven, and New Haven and Ferrisburgh six...
COLCHESTER — Green Mountain Power is reaching out to customers to let them know they could qualify for free money from the state of Vermont that can help pay overdue utility bills tied to the pandemic. More than 23,000 GMP customers have balances older than 60 days for service after the pandemic began — mostly residential customers. Lawmakers created the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance program using $8 million in federal COVID relief funds to help Vermonters pay overdue electric, telephone, water, and natural gas balances at least 60 days overdue that were caused by the pandemic. In the...

Gov. Phil Scott, left, and Health Commissioner Mark Levine. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
Bars and restaurants with counter seating will be allowed to serve customers, under new guidelines announced Friday by Gov. Phil Scott, and lodging facilities can open to 100% capacity. Bars will be required to maintain a six-foot separation between customers and have barriers in place between servers and customers. Lodging facilities can open to full capacity, a move Scott said was critical as fall foliage season approaches. Visitors who come from areas with a low rate of cases will not be required to follow a 14-day quarantine, unlike  others who come from higher-rate areas. “Now, we’re...

U.S. REP. PETER WELCH / Photo by Benji Renton
WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter Welch on Friday introduced legislation to extend the deadline for state and local governments to use funds appropriated by the CARES Act. Currently, the state and local relief funds from the CARES Act must be used by Dec. 31, making it impossible to complete long-term recovery projects. Rep. Welch’s bill would fix that by authorizing the use of these funds through Sept. 30, 2021. “Our state and local communities need help to get through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Welch said in a press release. “But implementing the changes needed to cope with the...
BRISTOL — Because of the pandemic, Bristol will not be holding its annual Harvest Fest this year, but it will host a Harvest Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participating Bristol businesses will be offering great buys, end-of-season sales and previews of early fall and holiday merchandise, according to the event’s Facebook page. There will be various surprises from Main Street businesses, so shoppers are encouraged to check tables on both sides of the street. In accordance with state-mandated public health precautions, shoppers are asked to wear face masks while...

ORWELL VILLAGE SCHOOL kindergarten teacher Josh Martin leads story time for his students in a rustic outdoor learning space. The Orwell community partnered with its school to create the outdoor classrooms as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Independent photo/John Flowers
ORWELL — Teachers have been busy these past few months ordering classroom supplies for the first in-school classes since mid-March. A lot of chalk, erasers, desks, chairs and photocopier paper, right? Nope. The Orwell Village School’s supply list has included wood chips, large stones, tree stumps and tarps — the new “normal” classroom décor during this era of COVID-19. Orwell parents, educators and business leaders have joined forces to create an outdoor learning environment until a vaccine, or Mother Nature, sends students and teachers back into the school building. “It’s just another...

DURING GOV. PHIL Scott’s Tuesday news conference Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed Vermonters on the coronavirus pandemic.
MONTPELIER — National Health Advisor Dr. Anthony S. Fauci addressed Vermont by video Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly news conference.  “I’m a big fan,” said Scott of Fauci’s role guiding the nation through the coronavirus pandemic. “He tells it like it is. And in a way that most of us can understand. Much like Dr. Levine. For most, he probably needs no introduction, but I’ll give one anyway. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where he’s led our understanding of HIV, AIDS, Ebola, and ZICA. He’s advised six presidents on these...
Dear Middlebury Community, I write today to let you know that we will move to Phase 2 of our campus reopening this Thursday, Sept. 17, due to our encouraging COVID-19 testing results to date. At the moment, Middlebury College has zero positive cases, zero students in quarantine, and zero in isolation. Since mid-August, we have seen a high degree of compliance with our rules and protocols. In a few cases, we have imposed sanctions that included sending students home. Overall, our students are eager to stay on the positive path to complete an in-person semester. Your support and collaboration...
A new state website to distribute $30 “buy local” gift cards to Vermonters as an economic recovery measure experienced difficulties Tuesday morning when more than 10,000 Vermonters tried to sign up. The pilot program, which is funded by $425,000 from the federal CARES Act, offers electronic coupons for Vermonters to redeem at local businesses. The coupons were offered on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday to residents who applied. Because of the limited funding allotted, there were just 14,166 coupons available. And within the first hour of the site being live, more...
The Vermont House on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a $7.15 billion budget bill that will fund state government for the last nine months of the fiscal year, and spends the remaining $223 million in federal funding the state received this spring to respond to COVID-19. The spending bill includes funding for the state colleges to weather a budget deficit this year, a program to provide COVID-19 stimulus checks to immigrants in the state, and more than $30 million to help schools cover the costs of reopening during the pandemic. House lawmakers advanced the budget bill, H.969, in a...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100