MIDDLEBURY REGIONAL EMERGENCY Medical Services Director Kate Rothwell, shown at the recent Weybridge town meeting, said first responders are taking care not to become infected with coronavirus.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — While residents are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home, that’s not an option for those entrusted with public safety.
Emergency medical technicians, firefighters and police officers must still respond to accidents, crimes, fires and medical crises.
And more than ever they must be mindful of not endangering their health and that of those they serve.
City Police Chief George Merkel summed it up:
“We’ve got to continue to do our job, but we’ve got to be smart about it.”
And they must adapt to new guidelines that arrive steadily as experts learn more about the...
VERGENNES — In a Wednesday morning Vergennes Regional COVID-19 Group meeting, 18 area officials dealt with topics that included whether communities could enforce social distancing, if the public’s right to know could take priority over infected individuals’ medical privacy rights, and how they were handling public works and title searches.
The short answer to the enforcement question was that local communities and law enforcement could only do so much in cases like two mentioned at the meeting: people gathering on the Vergennes green, and others fishing and barbecuing together...
SOME JOBS NATURALLY involve social distancing. John Swepston of Swepston Arbor Works (SAW) doesn’t want anyone to get too close while he cuts up a tree and runs it through a chipper in Middlebury on Friday.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
ADDISON COUNTY — The two largest building-supply firms in the center of Addison County — rk Miles in Middlebury and Goodro Lumber Co. Inc in East Middlebury — have changed or are changing the way they do business after Gov. Phil Scott’s order to shut down non-essential ventures by end of day Wednesday.
And the firm’s owners agree on the impact on the area contractors, carpenters, plumbers and builders — their major customers.
Goodro co-owner Mark Thomas said contractors are pulling up stakes at their jobsites and heading home, and so are his employees.
“All of them (contractors) I know...
VERMONT — While Gov. Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has affected the majority of businesses around the county and state, the state and federal governments have in the past week made moves intended to help firms and workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Those include allowing delays on tax payments and boosting benefits of and relaxing obligations and penalties on unemployment insurance.
Starting with the most recent actions and in Vermont:
• On March 24, the Vermont Legislature passed H.742, which addresses unemployment insurance (UI) and benefits issues during the COVID-19 crisis...
ADDISON COUNTY — The United Way of Addison County (UWAC) and four anonymous donors have launched a new fundraising push to help the county nonprofit and the agencies it supports aid those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UWAC Executive Director Helena Van Voorst said the donors and UWAC are teaming up on the Addison County Responds initiative in which the donors collectively will match every dollar raised before April 1 up to $50,000.
In an email, Van Voorst said UWAC will put the proceeds toward:
• Providing emergency funds “to individuals who need support beyond what local, state,...
SCHOOLS ARE DELIVERING school lunches and breakfasts to many children in all Addison County school districts because many students rely on school food as an important source of nutrition. A student in the Addison Central School District received this lunch on Monday.
Independent photo/Bridget Sullivan
ADDISON COUNTY — After a couple days of planning late last week, Addison County’s unified school districts went into distance-learning mode on Monday — with an emphasis, at least through the end of next week, on what school officials called maintenance of education.
Addison Central, Mount Abraham and Addison Northwest superintendents reported in emails a smooth start for efforts that included delivering meals to many students who rely on school food as an important source of nutrition, as well as creating a new system for educating students.
MAUSD eighth-grader Grace Orvis noted the...
BRISTOL/VERGENNES — Repaving of the main arteries in Addison County’s second and third largest villages, work that had been set to start as soon as next week, has been postponed.
The news came in late afternoon email on Wednesday from Natalie Boyle, spokesperson for resurfacing projects that include most of Routes 17 and 116 in Bristol village and all of Route 22A in Vergennes.
It included a statement from the Vermont Agency of Transportation that said now the soonest the projects could start is mid-April. The two projects have the same contractor, J. Hutchins Inc.
The statement read:
TIGER JUNIOR KARIC Riche goes airborne for two points past the defense of VUHS senior forward Kevin Jackson. Both players earned postseason recognition from the Lake Division. The Tiger boys, led by senior Tyler Buxton, proved to be the best in the area by going 5-0 against the three other local teams on the way to a 12-10 record.
Independent file photo/Steve James
ADDISON COUNTY — This winter was not one that ended with the area’s high school basketball teams cutting down nets and earning banners to hang in their gyms.
But along the way the teams created memorable moments and made many a clutch individual or collective play.
Three girls’ teams — from Mount Abraham, Vergennes and Otter Valley — all posted strong winning streaks and won playoff games.
Others dealt with injury — such as the Middlebury boys, who also won a playoff game, and again the Eagle girls — but still fared well.
Another, the MUHS girls, won five times with a team with just two...
VERGENNES — At an online Vergennes-area Regional COVID-19 Meeting on Tuesday morning officials heard that the Ferrisburgh Shaw’s Supermarket has taken steps to protect customers and employees.
They also worked to pool local municipal and nonprofit email lists to better reach residents and discussed easing late fees on payments for property taxes and dog licenses.
Officials from Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Addison Northwest School District, city and county nonprofits, and Rep. Matt Birong, D-Vergennes, were among the 18 attendees at a meeting hosted by Vergennes City Manager Dan Hofman....
VERGENNES — Vergennes and its surrounding communities are working together to coordinate their efforts and to provide residents with up-to-date information about access to services and safe practices during the COVID-19 crisis.
Vergennes took the lead, but officials from other communities, notably Ferrisburgh, have been acting and participating in virtual meetings that also include the area’s two representatives in the Vermont House, Diane Lanpher and Matt Birong, both Vergennes Democrats.
Actions include consistent messaging on town and city websites and Facebook pages, efforts to protect...